cartography

for a new meditation

"In Strabo’s work, the relationship between truth and falsehood does not solely impinge on methodological issues but on cartographic problems as well. The ancient author moreover shows how geographers can report false information because of a lack of autopsy, because of the defects of the sources or on account of rhetorical hyperboles ; in the case of a few generals and historians, one can speak of ideological manipulations of geographic narratives. Now Strabo appreciates that the same historians should sometimes resort to material sources to seek out truth and he suggests a comparative method to elicit the truth of myths. His trust in this science is so great that, in his opinion, truth lies in geographical definitions and not in the fallacious opinions scattered in the minds of most people. Still he actually knows the psychological mechanisms that influence narration. The scholar does not only point to remote peoples as examples of truthfulness but he anticipates through myth the extreme consequences of the care for truth against falsehood." 

Amedeo Alessandro Raschieri

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