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What Did World Map Look Like When Jesus Was Born?

December 17, 2015

Another fascinating map.

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Two thousand years ago, around the time that Jesus of Nazareth was born, the second Holy Temple was still standing in Jerusalem. The Great Pyramid at Giza was already 2,500 years old, but the Library of Alexandria was still around. In Rome, the Colosseum hadn’t been built yet.

It’s a bit uncanny to think about the political geography of a time and place that’s also the setting for a timeless story–the birth of Jesus Christ. Because that story is so often told, its context feels familiar. And, in the part of the world that Jesus lived in, the best knowledge about the rest of the world was, in some ways, thorough and accurate. But there were profound differences, too: most importantly, the Mediterranean Sea was still a geographer’s main point of reference, if not the center of the world

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