The dictum in education which says learn "from the known to the unknown" is the underlying principle involved in this discussion. Many times the ancient maps are too archaic for the students to grapple with. Ancient places are totally greek to them and it would take a whole lot of prelectios to start a geography lesson. With the use of current events however, ancient names suddenly becomes alive, like the ancient city of Damascus and the likes - now caught in the middle of the Syrian civil war, can be discussed from the present vantage point going back.
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