JF Ptak Science Books Post 1431
The tale of the Garden of Eden is told in the Old Testament, and although it described, its location is left to mystery1, even though its legend is ground zero for the Fall of Man, the eternal disgrace for which humanity still pays. I suppose it would be nice to have a tombstone for the grave. Over time—and particularly in the Middle Ages and then in the Renaissance—the location was fixed in the eastern reaches of the known Euro-world, and then in and about Mesopotamia.
The map Tabula Paradisi Terrestris justa Systema Auctoris incisa a P. Stark-Man was printed late in the 18th century, probably around 1775, and locates the GOE far in the north country, near the Dead Sea, deep in old Armenia, near Mount Ararat (where Noe and his family were supposed to have landed after the creator flooded the world killing everything, where everything else, young and old, infant younger, men women children, beasts and ants, were killed by a wrathful OT maker.).
The very finely engraved map by A.R. Fremin, Carte du Paradis Terrestre, printed 1839 (in Paris, by Félix Locquin et Cie, for l'Atlas de la Sainte Bible)., again locates the Garden much further north than the great majority of other maps that I have seen, coming (as with the map above) nearly to the Dead Sea.
This image is a detail from:
Joseph Moxon's Paradise of the Garden of Eden with the Countries circumjacent inhabited by the Patriarchs, printed in 1690, shows the GOE as just to the east of Babel and not far due north from the Persian Gulf, just on the Euphrates in the Land of Nod, which is quite different from our two samples above. (This map is expandable.)
The polymathic and semi-problematical Jesuit genius Athanasius Kircher suspected the location of Eden to be along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, in southern Iraq, and published his idea in this map Topographia Paradisi Terrestris in his book Arca Noe in 1665. It is of course a highly idealized map, Eden taking up a disproportionate amount of land, larger than life, bigger than legend almost, a monstrous overstatement of the lost land. Eden is shown here with four gates guarded by angels, but it does its occupants little good, as we can see that Adam and Eve are already stepping up to Satan in the tree of knowledge, and that outside Cain is killing Abel, all harm already being done.
There continue to be differences of opinion on this matter of location, particularly in the modern age, when there are many laying claim to the position of Eden, including a number of half-hearted attempts to locate the place or its idea/ideal in the United States. There are at least 14 Edens in the U.S.-- Eden City/Isle/Town/Valley/Prairie/Village/--in twelve different states (Idaho, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, o0rth Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, Wyoming and thankfully Hawaii),but for some reason they are fairly sparely populated, eight of them having populations of under 1000 people. I don't know what that means.
Then there is this terrific example, coming from Florida (which does not seem to actually have anyplace in the state named Eden), in 1898, being a transorbital bird's-eye view of the east coast of Florida receiving pure holy light, announcing yet another newish Eden.
1. "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates."(Genesis 2:10-14 KJV)