Asked in Middle Ages
Explain why geographical knowledge in Europe regressed during the middle ages?
October 28, 2010 7:56PM
I think it is probably not right to characterize geographical knowledge as having regressed during this time.
Geographical knowledge declined in Western Europe during the early part of the Middle Ages, during the time called the Age of Migrations, about 400-700 AD, because the time was very chaotic, with armies wandering almost aimlessly through the areas of the West Roman Empire. People could not travel safely, so there was little trade.
The situation in Eastern Europe was different, however, and people continued to travel and maintained their knowledge.
Later on, medieval people traveled more, and possibly they traveled more than the people of the Roman Empire. Their portolan maps were certainly more accurate than anything the Romans produced.