The Geography of Strabo

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Harvard University Press, 1989 - History - 529 pages

Strabo (ca. 64 BCE to ca. 25 CE), an Asiatic Greek of Amasia in Pontus, studied at Nysa and after 44 BCE at Rome. He became a keen traveller who saw a large part of Italy, various near eastern regions including the Black Sea, various parts of Asia Minor, Egypt as far as Ethiopia, and parts of Greece. He was a long time in Alexandria where he no doubt studied mathematics, astronomy, and history.

Strabo's historical work is lost, but his most important Geography in seventeen books has survived. After two introductory books, numbers 3 and 4 deal with Spain and Gaul, 5 and 6 with Italy and Sicily, 7 with north and east Europe, 8¬-10 with Greek lands, 11¬-14 with the main regions of Asia and with Asia Minor, 15 with India and Iran, 16 with Assyria, Babylonia, Syria, and Arabia, 17 with Egypt and Africa. In outline he follows the great mathematical geographer Eratosthenes, but adds general descriptions of separate countries including physical, political, and historical details. A sequel to his historical memoirs, Geography is planned apparently for public servants rather than students¬--hence the accounts of physical features and of natural products. On the mathematical side it is an invaluable source of information about Eratosthenes, Hipparchus, and Posidonius.

The Loeb Classical Library edition of Strabo is in eight volumes.

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User Review  - JVioland - LibraryThing

Strabo was the geographer of the Ancient World. He not only traveled, but he relied on the recorded geographies of other writers to fill the gaps in his knowledge (which was pretty extensive). It is ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JVioland - LibraryThing

Strabo was the geographer of the Ancient World. He not only traveled, but he relied on the recorded geographies of other writers to fill the gaps in his knowledge (which was pretty extensive). It is ... Read full review

Contents

LIST Or STBABOS WORK
vii
INTRODUCTION
xiii
BIBLIOGRAPHY
xxxi
Copyright

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About the author (1989)

A native of Pontus (today central northern Turkey along the Black Sea), Strabo is the author of a multivolume Geography that gives a full sense of geographical knowledge of the Roman Empire at the time of Augustus. Although a native of Asia Minor, Strabo spent many years in Rome in circles close to the imperial family. During the course of his Roman stay, he adopted tenets of the Stoic philosophy. Strabo's first work, "Historical Sketches," is almost entirely lost. It is said to have recounted known history from the middle of the second century b.c. to the founding of the Roman Empire. Strabo's second work, the Geography, is extant in its entirety. In composing it, Strabo relied heavily on secondary sources, even for areas that he himself knew. He described the world from Spain and Mauritania in the West to India and Persia in the East. Strabo knew next to nothing of northern Europe and Asia or sub-Saharan Africa. In describing the eastern Mediterranean, Strabo was particularly concerned with identifying sites mentioned in Homer, a topic that has fascinated several modern writers, too. Among the many topics in the Geography, Strabo discusses the religious customs of the various areas he describes.

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