The Peutinger Map is the only map of the Roman world to come down to us from antiquity. An elongated object full of colorful detail and featuring land routes across Europe, North Africa, and the Near East, it was mysteriously rediscovered around 1500 and then came into the ownership of Konrad Peutinger, for whom it is named. Today it is among the treasures of the Austrian National Library in Vienna. Richard J. A. Talbert’s Rome’s World: The Peutinger Map Reconsidered offers a long overdue reinterpretation and appreciation of the map as a masterpiece of both mapmaking and imperial Roman ideology. Here, the ancient world’s traditional span, from the Atlantic to India, is dramatically remolded; lands and routes take pride of place, whereas seas are compressed. Talbert posits that the map’s true purpose was not to assist travelers along Rome’s highways, but rather to celebrate the restoration of peace and order by Diocletian’s Tetrarchy. Such creative cartography, he demonstrates, influenced the development of medieval mapmaking. With the aid of digital technology, this book enables readers to engage with the Peutinger Map in all of its fascinating immensity more closely than ever before.

Richard J. A. Talbert is William Rand Kenan, Jr., Professor of History and Classics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he has taken the lead in establishing the Ancient World Mapping Center. He is the author of several books, including The Senate of Imperial Rome and the collaborative Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World.

© Cambridge University Press 2010