A world map from 43 AD, by Pomponius Mela

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Agreed. It’s also important to note that the “north” direction of this map isn’t as random as you’d first believe. While the Romans didn’t have a sense of north as we do today, their culture followed a system of “augury.” Augury was the divination process where a priest would scan the sky for various objects(birds, meteors, etc.) to understand the gods will. It was an ancient practice required for all state decisions. When performed in Rome, a priest would face Alba Longa, a mountain barely visible in the distance that had a special religious association. This view point, Rome to Alba, was so important that it directed the view of “north” on most Roman maps – such as this one. So while it’s not true north, it’s also not random.

Source: I’ve waisted my life away in grad school studying roman topography -_-.

Edit: cause I’m a dumb grad student ๐Ÿ™

Edit 2: Thanks kind person for the gold!! Check that off my bucket list!

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