BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)
***Please Use Full Byline***
The extent of the known world...
One of the world's first printed atlases that contains a bizarre and distorted map of Britain has emerged for sale for 90,000 pounds.
The unrecognisable shape of the British Isles was an interpretation of the works of Roman mathematician, astrologer and geographer Claudius Ptolemaeus.
Claudius lived between 90-168 AD and wrote about the world's geography in the Roman Empire.
It wasn't until 1300 years later after the process of printing developed that Claudius' works were turned into a printed atlas, called Cosmographia.
One rare copy of the book has now emerged for sale in London.
On the pages that covers Britain, the outline for the coast of France, Belgium and Holland is comparitvely accurate.
Yet, the British Isles are bent right out of shape and looking twice as thin as it did in reality.
The south west of England, famous for its rugged coastline, is a rectangular shape with straight lines, while the south east from Southampton to Kent is pushed upwards at a 45 degree angle.
The rest of England is much narrower, and the east coast is where Birmingham, Nottingham and Leeds should be.
Although the Wales coastline is recognisble, Scotland appears to have grown a large appendage that sticks out into the North Sea and spreads across to where Norway is.
Because Britain is half the size it should be, the North Sea, or Oceanus Germanicus, is twice as wide.