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Political geography has been too often looked on from both sides as a mere summary of guide-book knowledge, useful in the schoolroom, a poor relation of physical geography that it was rarely necessary to recognize.
There is a large number of small treatises and compendia of Florentine history of the guide-book description.
There is no doubt that Leucas fits the Homeric descriptions much better than Ithaca; but, on the other hand, many scholars maintain that it is a mistake to treat the imaginary descriptions of a poet as if they were portions of a guide-book, or to look, in the author of the Odyssey, for a close familiarity with the geography of the Ionian islands.
This narrative, as written out by Adamnan, was presented to Aldfrith the Wise, last of the great Northumbrian kings, at York about 701, and came to the knowledge of Bede, who inserted a brief summary of the same in his Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation, and also drew up a separate and longer digest which obtained great popularity throughout the middle ages as a standard guide-book (the so-called Libellus de locis sanctis) to the Holy Places of Syria.