Home > f67v2, f68v3, Labels, Latin, ohay, Rich Santa Coloma, Rose, T/O Map > T/O Maps, the Moon and Carthage

T/O Maps, the Moon and Carthage

Consider the three T/O maps (thanks to Rich Santa Coloma for this suggestion), depicting the Earth (or World) in the VMs (on f67v2, the Rosettes, and f68v3). Looking at f67v2 there is a channel between the moon and one of the T/O map quadrants, labeled “ohay aeck oehaN”. The same quadrant is labelled “ohay” on the Rosettes. It makes sense that the Earth is shown like this on both folios – away and to the side – as these folios are dedicated to illustrations of the sun, moon etc. and (perhaps) paradise or the garden of earthly delights, respectively. Let’s come back to this later – specifically the significance of the label “ohay” with the Moon.

The T/O map on f68v3 can be compared with a map from 1472 , and it’s tempting to match “oko8oe” to “Africa” or “Cham”.

However, the Asia part of the map on f68v3 is labeled with a set of words, rather than a single word that might be “Asia” or “Sem”. So perhaps this is a list of prominent place names in Asia. Perhaps the labels on the Europa and Africa quadrants are also prominent place names? Here’s a contemporary map that shows Africa, Europa and Asia (from 1483):

In Africa, we see the city of Cartha (Carthage). Carthage is even more prominent in this map dating from 1110:

So, the conjecture for this T/O map on f68v3 is that it is showing prominent (or significant) place names in each continent, and that “oko8oe” = “cartago”. This fits nicely (of course) with the “ok-” = “ca-” prefix theory.

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  1. May 11, 2015 at 3:45 am

    What you have described as the “moon” is more likely the Pole star – whether Polaris in Ursa Minor, or the “Cynosura” in Ursa Major, which the Latins continued to treat as the North marker throughout the Roman period and most of the medieval.

    The ‘world soul’ was also identified with the North point – usually as the star but sometimes pictured as the Angel of the tiller, and used to signify the wind from the North.

  2. May 11, 2015 at 3:54 am

    But that’s just the European traditions – there were others. 🙂

  3. May 11, 2015 at 3:59 am

    When I first commented on this diagram, back in 2009/10, I said it might represent the moon, but later after considering other of the details in more depth, realised it was as I’ve described above. Only one of the three examples shown above actually qualifies as a T-O type of diagram. The others are (i) a diagram of the winds, I think and (ii) an overpainting of a fourfold division to make it appear tripartite.

  4. May 11, 2015 at 4:01 am

    Even the first is unlikely to be meant for a T-O diagram. I believe it represents an actual place which, as it happens, was divided into three, perhaps by water, or (as in Constantinople) to maintain social divisions. But that is a long story. 🙂

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