The first systematic attempt to map the whole earth based on Greco-Roman knowledge is actually surprisingly late: it comes in 150 AD, in Alexandria, at the very end of a period of Hellenic culture that had dominated so much of the Mediterranean: Claudius Ptolemy’s Geography. The book described the Greek ecumene (‘settled communities’), as well as how to draw world maps, and a gazetteer of over 8,000 locations known to the Hellenic World. Ptolemy made two important assumptions. Firstly, that the earth is a globe, though his focus was only on what the Greeks believed was its inhabited areas. He did not be- lieve the inhabited world extended more than 16 degrees south of the equator. Secondly, he acknowledged that any attempt to map the whole globe onto a flat surface would create distortions and cartographers would have to make compromises. His solution was to offer two methods of projecting the known world onto a flat surface.