If the lady had been around in late antiquity, she most likely would not have been having trouble folding her map in her car while waiting at a light. Back in those days, they had fancy mosaic maps like in Madaba, Jordan in the images below. It's just another reason that I find ancient frescos and mosaics interesting because maps written on skins and papyrus have long since been destroyed. Imagine folding one of these marble beauties up...
Concerning the Madaba map specifically, I've just read an interesting book from a fellow named Bowersock from Harvard who saw the map as a guide for religious pilgrims about 1450 years ago. Even in the relatively small space it had available to depict cities, it showed characteristic elements of the cities that are known to have existed (towers, walls, buildings within). It's rumored to have sourced some of the information from an earlier Roman map by a guy named Eusebius.
In the book, Bowersock goes on to point out personfication images of a few particular cities. It was kind of weird, but back in the day towns made images of how they would imagine (hmm, image and imagine are eerily similar words) that their city would look if it were a person. And, if that person was a female, seated, usually with a crown, holding a scepter, orb of victory, a television remote, or other item that more or less identified the place. These images are sometimes referred to as Tyche. The seated lady below is from the Tabula Peutingeriana drawn in the 12th century or so copied from ancient map sources that had not yet been destroyed.
In the city of Madaba, a mosaic of personified Rome (left), Madaba (right), and a city of which there isn't a definite record of existence called 'Gregoria' (center) were personified. Is there another 'Pompeii' buried out there? Under a landslide / earthquake? Maybe sunken deeply in a marsh? Notice that the Constantinople from the Tabula Peutingeriana above looks nothing like the 'Gregoria' mosaic below.
Bowersock supposes through tenuous evidence it might be referring to Constantinople, but no one knows. The supposition is that since Gregoria was the wife of Constantine III around 630 AD and Constantinople was her 'hood'. But, the Madaba map creation was about 60 years before the wedding because of buildings known to be created in Jerulsalem in 570AD were not present in the Madaba map, so it doesn't make much sense that the personification would be named that way. So it's time for a treasure hunt?
Ok, enough boring history stuff. I was tagged by Heather at Welsh Happenings to do a meme. I'm too busy to tag people, so if you feel like it, you know the drill (by that, um, I don't mean power tools).
Let's see... 10 things that make me happy.
1) Working with natural stone in various colors
2) Lavazza Blu lattes
3) Spending time in the spa / pool
4) Running while listening to rocking music
5) Traveling to distant lands
6) Speaking Italian and having native people get the gist of what I'm saying.
7) Buying tromp l'oeil paintings
8) Talking with artists I admire like like Andjelka