Old World


Old World
Map of the "Old World" (the Ptolemy world map in a 15th century copy)

The Old World consists of those parts of the world known to classical antiquity and the European Middle Ages. It is used in the context of, and contrast with, the "New World" (i.e., the Americas).

The Old World comprises Africa, Asia, and Europe (collectively known as Afro-Eurasia), plus surrounding islands (or at least those parts which were known to classical geography before the 15th century).

The concept of the three continents in the Old World goes back to classical antiquity. Their boundaries as defined by Ptolemy and other geographers of antiquity were drawn along the Nile and Don rivers. This definition remained influential throughout the Middle Ages (see T and O map) and the Early Modern period.

See also

References


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  • old´-world´ly — old world «OHLD WURLD», adjective. 1. Also, Old World. of or having to do with the Eastern Hemisphere; not of the New World; not American: »old world monkeys, old world folk songs. 2. belonging to or characteristic of a former period: »old world… …   Useful english dictionary

  • old-world — adj. 1. Characteristic of former times especially in Europe; as, an old world cottage. [WordNet 1.5] 2. (Biology) Native to the Old World; not found in the Americas; as, old world monkeys. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • old-world — old worldly, adj. old worldliness, n. /ohld werrld /, adj. 1. of or pertaining to the ancient world or to a former period of history. 2. of or pertaining to the Old World: old world customs. 3. characteristic of the Old World; quaint; traditional …   Universalium

  • Old World — Old Old, a. [Compar. {Older}; superl. {Oldest}.] [OE. old, ald, AS. ald, eald; akin to D. oud, OS. ald, OFries. ald, old, G. alt, Goth. alpeis, and also to Goth. alan to grow up, Icel. ala to bear, produce, bring up, L. alere to nourish. Cf.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Old World — n the Old World the Eastern ↑Hemisphere, especially Europe, Asia, and Africa →↑New World ▪ the civilizations of the Old World …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • old-world — adj [only before noun] an old world place or quality is attractive because it is old or reminds you of the past ▪ The town has retained much of its old world charm …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • old-world — adj [only before noun] an old world place or quality is attractive because it is old or reminds you of the past ▪ The town has retained much of its old world charm …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Old World — n the Old World the Eastern ↑Hemisphere, especially Europe, Asia, and Africa →↑New World ▪ the civilizations of the Old World …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • old-world — old′ world′ adj. 1) of or pertaining to the ancient world or to a former period of history 2) of or pertaining to the Old World • Etymology: 1705–15 old′ world′ly, adj …   From formal English to slang

  • old-world — [ōld′wʉrld′] adj. 1. of or from the Old World, esp. Europe 2. having or displaying certain usually good qualities or characteristics associated with European customs, manners, or standards [old world hospitality] …   English World dictionary

  • old-world — old ,world adjective an old world quality or place is old fashioned in a pleasant and attractive way …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English


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