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History of geography

The history of geography includes many histories of geography which have differed over time and between different cultural and political groups. In more recent developments, geography has become a distinct academic discipline. Geography derives from the Greek γεωγραφία – geographia, a literal translation of which would be to describe or write about the Earth ". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes. However, there is evidence for recognizable practices of geography, such as cartography prior to the use of the term geography.

Aethiopian Sea

Aethiopian, Æthiopian, Æthiopic or Ethiopian Sea or Ocean was the name given to the southern half of the Atlantic Ocean in classical geographical works. The name appeared in maps from ancient times up to the turn of the 19th century.


Antichthones, in geography, are those peoples who inhabit the antipodes, regions on opposite sides of the Earth. The word is compounded of the Greek ὰντὶ and χθών. Classical and Medieval Europe considered the Earth to be divided by the equator into two hemispheres, the northern and southern; those who inhabited one of these hemispheres were said to be antichthones to those of the other. This idea was expounded by Mela and other Classical authors, though Christian writers, who believed that all people on earth must be descended from Adam, denied the possibility that any southern land, if it existed, could be inhabited by humans. St. Augustine, arguing from a position of scriptural inerrancy, wrote in his City of God "it is too absurd to say, that some men might have taken ship and traversed the whole wide ocean, and crossed from this side of the world to the other, and that thus even the inhabitants of that distant region are descended from that one first man."

Atlantic World

The Atlantic World comprises the interactions among the peoples and empires bordering the Atlantic Ocean rim from the beginning of the Age of Discovery to the early 21st century. Atlantic history is split between three different contexts. transatlantic history, meaning the international history of the atlantic world, circum-atlantic history meaning the transnational history of the atlantic world, and cis-atlantic history within an atlantic context. The Atlantic slave trade continued into the 19th century, but the international trade was largely outlawed in 1807 by Britain. Slavery ended in 1865 in the United States and in the 1880s in Brazil and Cuba. While some scholars stress that the history of the "Atlantic world" culminates in the "Atlantic Revolutions" of the late 18th century and early 19th century, the most influential research in the field examines the slave trade and the study of slavery, thus in the late-ninetennth century terminus as part of the transition from Atlantic history to globalization seems most appropriate. The historiography of the Atlantic World, known as Atlantic history, has grown enormously since the 1990s.

Bedford Level experiment

The Bedford Level experiment is a series of observations carried out along a six-mile length of the Old Bedford River on the Bedford Level of the Cambridgeshire Fens in the United Kingdom, during the 19th and early 20th centuries, to measure the curvature of the Earth. Samuel Birley Rowbotham, who conducted the first observations starting in 1838, claimed he had proven the Earth to be flat. However, in 1870, after adjusting Rowbothams method to avoid the effects of atmospheric refraction, Alfred Russel Wallace found a curvature consistent with a spherical Earth.

Buenaventura River (legend)

The non-existent Buenaventura River, alternatively San Buenaventura River, Rio Buenaventura, etc. was once believed to run from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean through the Great Basin region of what is now the western United States. The river was chronologically the last of several imagined incarnations of an imagined Great River of the West which would be for North America west of the Rockies what the Mississippi River was east of the Rockies. The hopes were to find a waterway from coast to coast, sparing the traveling around Cape Horn at the tip of South America.

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