Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries the rapidly accumulating store of facts as to the extent, outline and mountain and river systems of the lands of the earth were put in order by the generation of cartographers of which Mercator was the chief; but the writings of Apian and Munster held the field for a hundred years without a serious rival, unless the many annotated editions of Ptolemy might be so considered.
Besides Napier and Briggs, special reference should be made to Kepler (Chilias, 1624) and Mercator (Logarithmotechnia, 1668), whose methods were arithmetical, and to Newton, Gregory, Halley and Cotes, who employed series.
The dates of the rest of the extant plays, here given in alphabetical order, are quite uncertain, namely, Amphitruo, Aulularia, Bacchides, Captivi, Casina, Curculio, Epidicus, Menaechmi, Mercator (probably later than the Rudens, as shown by F.
As limits; but in none of these schemes has the coast of Antarctica been adequately considered, and they have all been too much influenced by the Mercator map. Each of the three oceans, Atlantic, Indian and Pacific, possesses an Antarctic facies in the southern part and a tropical facies between the tropics, and the Atlantic and Pacific an Arctic facies in their northern parts.
The latter view prevailed and was as a rule held by the Arab geographers of the middle ages, so that until the discovery of America and of the Pacific Ocean the belief was general that the land surface was greater than the water surface, or that at least the two were equal, as Mercator and Varenius held.
Bologninus Zalterius on a map of 1566, and Mercator on his famous chart of 1569, separates the two continents by a narrow strait which they call Streto de Anian, thus anticipating the discovery of Bering Strait by more than a hundred and fifty years.
Thus the distance between New York and Oporto, following the former (great circle sailing), amounts to 3000 m., while following the rhumb, as in Mercator sailing, it would amount to 3120 m.