Level 3 Mortlock Wing State Library of South Australia North Terrace Adelaide SA 5000

Peutinger Table - a 19th century copy of a strip map printed in 1598

Originally drawn in 1265 this strip map - depicting territory from England to China - is a 19th century copy comprising 11 panels and measuring approximately 34cm high and 6.74m long. The 16th century original of Tabula Peutingeriana is now conserved in the Austrian National Library Vienna.

The Peutinger Table, or Tabula Peutingeriana as it is also known, is a 19th century copy of a strip map printed in 1598 and originating from the 1st century.

Maps of routes for specific purposes — military or trade — were produced by the Romans, and this example is a 19th century print of a map dating back to the first century, revised, corrected, and added to for the next 900 years. It has no overall orientation and no consistent scale, resembling in this the 'strip maps' issued for specific journeys by the Royal Automobile Association. First issued by the Plantin press and printed in Antwerp in 1598, the printed map depicts the cities and roads from England (Kent and Norfolk) through to Türkiye , Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh and China and is in eleven sections. Parchment sections VII, IX, X and XI range from the Dardanelles through India to China. Here, the ancient world’s traditional span, from the Atlantic to India, is dramatically remoulded; lands and routes take pride of place, whereas seas are compressed.

Originally drawn in 1265 by a monk from Colmar and made up of 11 parchment scrolls measuring approximately 34 cm high by 6.74 m. long when assembled, this document was discovered in 1494 by Konrad Meissel, alias Celtes, and given in 1507 to an antiquarian of Augsburg, Konrad Peutinger.

The map is the only known iteneraria (an ancient Roman Road map) known to have survived from its use by curcus publicus, the courier service of the Roman Empire, which was created by the emperor Augustus (63BC – 14AD) to transport messages and tax revenues from one province to another. The absence of an Iberian Peninsula on the map suggests that the twelfth section may have been lost in antiquity. The map includes Roman icons and functional place symbols as well as the distances between each point.

Peutinger strip map

RGSSA 207gmbd, 4thcent. July 2022 in glass display case.  This map is often on display so ask the Librarian for it's current location.