(Greek: ge, earth; grapho, write)

The science which is concerned with the description of the earth's surface and the plant and animal life upon it. It may be divided into the branches of astronomical, biological, botanical, commercial, mathematical, and political geography, each of which is concerned with the subject implied in its name; it also comprehends cartography, the science of map-making, and exploration. The contributions of Catholics to every branch of the science are innumerable and of inestimable value. Motivated by a desire to spread Christianity, missionaries of the Dominican, Franciscan, Jesuit, and other orders who were the pioneers of scientific geography discovered and opened up new territories, while other Catholic scholars by their progress in the auxiliary sciences contributed much to geographical theory.
New Catholic Dictionary

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