I've been using LaTeX for a while now with text documents (both math and otherwise), but now I find myself trying to do some typesetting that includes picture-type things, and I have no experience with this any my readings haven't been very helpful for what I'm trying to do.

I'm trying to recreate this "map" of the underworld from the Aeneid and I'm not sure how to create such a complex diagram.

The "map" I'm trying to replicate,

If anyone knows of somewhere to at least start from I can probably figure it out using the documentation, I just haven't been able to find a package that seems to fit what I'm trying to create.



1 Answer 1


One option using TikZ:

enter image description here

The code:


  \draw[decoration=coil,decorate,segment length=20pt] (0,0) -- (4,0);
  \draw[decoration={coil,mirror},decorate,segment length=20pt] (0,0) -- (4,0);



\draw (0,10pt) -- ++(4,0) -- ++(0,3);
\draw (0,-10pt) -- ++(4,0) -- ++(0,-3);
\node[anchor=west] at (0,0)
  {Path from upper world};
\node[anchor=south west,font=\footnotesize] at (0,10pt)
\node[anchor=north west,font=\footnotesize] at (0,-10pt)
\node[align=left,anchor=west,rotate=90] at (5,-3) 
  {The unburied\\ Aeneas's helmsman Palinurus};  
\node[align=left,anchor=west,rotate=90] at (6.5,-2) 
\node[align=left,anchor=west,rotate=90] at (8,-3) 
  {The mournful fields (see p.~173)\\ Dido};  
\node[align=left,anchor=west,rotate=90] at (9.5,-3) 
  {The farther fields (see p.~174)\\ Deiphobus};
\draw (10.5,-3cm-10pt) -- (10.5,3cm+10pt);    

  (10.5,0) -- ++(45:3cm) 
  node[midway,sloped,align=left,below] {Left-hand road\\ (see p.~176)};
\draw(10.5,0) -- ++(-45:3cm) 
  coordinate (aux1)
  coordinate[pos=0.5] (aux2) 
  coordinate[pos=0.9] (aux3)
  node[midway,sloped,align=left,below,fill=white] {Right-hand road};
\draw ([shift={(-1.3cm,-1.3cm)}]aux1) -- ([shift={(1.3cm,1.3cm)}]aux1)   
    ELYSIUM \\
    Seclusum Nemus \\[1ex]
  at (14,-1.8)
  {Secluded Grove (in Elysium) \\ (Dryden's ``flower vale,'' p.~178)};
  (aux2) -- ++(45:25pt) -- 
  {Moenia \\ Ditis}
  ++(-45:35pt)-- (aux3);
  at (12.7,-0.8)
  {= Walls od Dis (``Pluto's Palace,'' p.~179)};
\draw[decoration={brace,mirror},decorate,line width=1.5pt]
  (4.3,-3.5) -- node(brace) {} ++(5.9,0);
\node[below=10pt of brace,align=left,text width=6cm,align=left]
    Tartarus is the ``maximum security prison'' in the Underworld, reserved
    for the worst villains of classical myth
\node[below=10pt of legend1,align=left,text width=6cm,align=left]
    Elysium, where Aeneas meets his father Anchises, is a kind of
    ``heaven'' within the Underworld

  • Thank you so much! I was just expecting a general direction. I think I will need to get to know tikz as it looks really versatile.
    – jrisner
    Feb 23, 2015 at 19:36

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