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July 05 , 2007

Ancient Geography

The Discovery of the World in Classical Greece and Rome


The last dedicated book on ancient geography was published more than sixty years ago. Since then new texts have appeared (such as the Artemidoros palimpsest), and new editions of existing texts (by geographical authorities who include Agatharchides, Eratosthenes, Pseudo-Skylax and Strabo) have been produced. There has been much archaeological research, especially at the perimeters of the Greek world, and a more accurate understanding of ancient geography and geographers has emerged. The topic is therefore overdue a fresh and sustained treatment. In offering precisely that, Duane Roller explores important topics like knowledge of the world in the Bronze Age and Archaic periods; Greek expansion into the Black Sea and the West; the Pythagorean concept of the earth as a globe; the invention of geography as a discipline by Eratosthenes; Polybios the explorer; Strabo’s famous Geographica; the travels of Alexander the Great; Roman geography; Ptolemy and late antiquity; and the cultural reawakening of antique geographical knowledge in the Renaissance, including Columbus’ use of ancient sources.

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