Almost like a modern-day travel guide: the graphic representation of the gigantic road network of the Roman Empire

Tabula Peutingeriana

Monastery of Reichenau (Germany) — 12th/13th century

Tabula Peutingeriana

Tabula Peutingeriana

Monastery of Reichenau (Germany) — 12th/13th century

  1. A graphical representation of the most important roads running through the Roman Empire

  2. The original 4th century manuscript was copied in either the 12th or 13th centuries as is reflected in the artwork

  3. It also reports on the comfort to be expected at various stopovers like in modern travel guides

Tabula Peutingeriana

Tabula Peutingeriana

Rome

This schematic map emphasizes the preeminence of Rome by showing the emperor crowned and enthroned with a globus in one hand and a scepter in the other and wearing a toga. Roads depicted as straight red lines radiate from the great city labelled with the names of the cities they lead to. At the mouth of the Tiber River, the port of Ostia is depicted as a neat semi-circle guarded by towers. Significant settlements are indicated by buildings with red tiled roofs.

Tabula Peutingeriana

Alternative Titles:
  • Peutinger table
  • Peutinger map
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology
Short Description

More than merely being great warriors, the Romans were some of the greatest engineers, merchants, and bureaucrats of antiquity. Rome was a massive mercantile machine, commerce was the blood that sustained it and its circulatory system was the system of roads that allowed the swift and reliable transport of goods and people, be they merchants or legionaries. The Tabula Peutingeriana contains a graphical representation of the most important roads and lines of traffic running through the Roman Empire, as well as information on towns and places of lodging. The original 4th century manuscript was copied in either the 12th or 13th centuries as is reflected in the artwork. It is of priceless value today, particularly since it is the only example of its kind which has come down to us from antiquity, and as such is one of the most prized items in the illustrious collections of the Austrian National Library.

Tabula Peutingeriana

The map named after its former owner Konrad Peutinger is a great document of cultural history, as it constitutes the only surviving testimony to an antique Roman map of the world. Rather than being a geographical illustration, it contains a graphical representation of the most important roads and lines of traffic running through the Roman Empire. The manuscript consists of eleven parchment leaves which were originally glued together along their edges to form a roll. This roll was 6.75 m long and a little less than 34 cm wide. The Tabula Peutingeriana contains the road network of the then known world, more precisely – considering that the first section is now lost – from Spain, England, France, through to the European area south of the Danube, all the way to northern Africa, the Near and Middle East and finally across to Peninsular India and Ceylon. The Tabula Peutingeriana was modeled after an antique world map dating back to the 4th century**. This Roman original was copied in the 12th or 13th century by a monk in southern Germany, perhaps at Reichenau abbey. It is of priceless value today, particularly since it is the only example of its kind which has come down to us from antiquity. After having changed owners several times, it passed into the ownership of Prince Eugene, whose precious library was later integrated into the stocks of the Austrian National Library where the Tabula Peutingeriana is still kept today as one of the greatest treasures.

An Antique Road Map

The Tabula Peutingeriana depicts the most important travel routes of the Imperium Romanum, providing an overview of the empire’s roads and routes used by travelers and merchants, but also by state officials, from the simple soldier to the general or provincial governor on official trips. It thus constituted a map for practical use, which not only indicated locations and distances but also hostels and inns. Of particular interest is the detailed identification of numerous towns, 555 in all, with so-called vignettes, ranging from twin towers and spas to temples, ports, lighthouses and even a road tunnel, through to the personification of the goddesses of the three most important cities: Rome, Constantinople and Antioch. Rather than reflecting the character of a town, these vignettes are intended to indicate the location’s size and available accommodations. This is in line with the purpose of this map which intends to be a kind of traveler’s manual, going beyond the representation of roads and distances, giving a general report of the comfort to be expected at the various stopovers, just like in modern travel guides where the character of hostels and hotels is identified with stars or other symbols.

All Roads Lead to Rome

In the middle of a circle, from which the largest roads of Italy emanate like the rays of the sun – thus embodying the symbol of eternal Rome reigning above the other cities – the goddess Dea Roma is seated on an elevated throne, scepter and orb in her hands and a crown on her head. She represents the pagan Dea Roma restyled into the figure of a medieval Roman-German Emperor. The medieval copyist obviously did away with her female attributes (one can, however, see traces of a right breast) and replaced Dea Roma’s helmet with an imperial crown.

Codicology
Alternative Titles
Peutinger table
Peutinger map
Size / Format
1 map / 675.0 × 34.0 cm
Date
12th/13th century
Style
Language
Script
Gothic Textualis Rotunda
Previous Owners
Tabula Peutingeriana

Tabula Peutingeriana

Segment 7 – Central Mediterranean

This map is actually part of a larger map of the Roman road system was later divided into twelve parts. It is a depiction of the Central Mediterranean Sea including Sicily and Southern Italy, the mouth of the Adriatic Sea, the western regions Macedonia and Greece, the Tunisian coast of North Africa, as well as detailing various smaller islands.

The Romans were certainly capable of creating geographically accurate maps, but this is a schematic map of the Empire’s road system and specifies the distances between settlements. It was used to plan itineraries along established routes, not for navigation. Nonetheless, relevant geographical features like rivers and mountains are depicted, and more important settlements are represented with buildings.

3 available facsimile edition(s) of „Tabula Peutingeriana“

Tabula Peutingeriana Facsimile

Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Tabula Peutingeriana – Cod. Vindob. 324 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
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Tabula Peutingeriana Facsimile

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA) – Graz, 1976
Binding
Cloth
Commentary
1 volume (68 pages) by E. Weber
Language: German

The valuable scholarly commentary by Ekkehard Weber describes the contents of the map, its original quality and the story of its discovery and exploration. A comprehensive bibliography and a complete register of the towns and stops indicated makes this outstanding edition accessible to both the expert and the amateur alike.

E. Weber, Vienna. 68 pp. with 8 ill. and 26 pp. index, several modern maps. Binding: stitched.
More Information
Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!

La Tabula Peutingeriana Facsimile

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La Tabula Peutingeriana Facsimile

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Edizioni Edison – Bologna, 1978
Commentary
1 volume by Mario Levi and Annalina Levi
Language: Italian
More Information
Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.

Tabula Peutingeriana. Le antiche vie del mondo Facsimile

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Tabula Peutingeriana. Le antiche vie del mondo Facsimile

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Leo S. Olschki – Florence, 2009
Commentary
1 volume (116 pages) by Francesco Prontera, Manlio Magini, Patrick Gautier Dalché, and Mauro Calzolari
Language: Italian
More Information
Reprint of the facsimile edition by K. Miller (1888), enlarged in size and executed on a white background. Reproduction entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Copy available – Ask for a quote!
Copy available – Ask for a quote!
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