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Eratosthenes' ''Geography'' by Eratosthenes

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By Eratosthenes

This can be the 1st glossy variation and primary English translation of 1 of the earliest and most vital works within the background of geography, the third-century Geographika of Eratosthenes. during this paintings, which for the 1st time defined the geography of the whole inhabited global because it used to be then recognized, Eratosthenes of Kyrene (ca. 285-205 BC) invented the self-discipline of geography as we are aware of it. A polymath who served as librarian at Alexandria and instruct to the longer term King Ptolemy IV, Eratosthenes created the terminology of geography, most likely together with the observe geographia itself. development on his earlier paintings, within which he decided the dimensions and form of the earth, Eratosthenes within the Geographika created a grid of parallels and meridians that associated jointly each position on this planet: for the 1st time you possibly can work out the connection and distance among distant localities, akin to northwest Africa and the Caspian Sea. The Geographika additionally pointed out a few 400 locations, greater than ever sooner than, from Thoule (probably Iceland) to Taprobane (Sri Lanka), and from good down the coast of Africa to vital Asia. this can be the 1st collation of the greater than a hundred and fifty fragments of the Geographika in additional than a century. every one fragment is observed by way of an English translation, a precis, and remark. Duane W. curler presents a wealthy historical past, together with a background of the textual content and its reception, a biography of Eratosthenes, and a complete account of old Greek geographical idea and of Eratosthenes' pioneering contribution to it. This version additionally comprises maps that exhibit the entire identified areas named within the Geographika, appendixes, a bibliography, and indexes.

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Other fragments that have been suggested to refer to a map include F47, 56, and 72. See Bosworth, Commentary vol. 2, pp. 213–15. 92 93 22 Eratosthenes other authors down to Herodotos. After this description of the earliest sources for geographical knowledge, Eratosthenes examined the spe­ cific ones that he used for his treatise, from the sixth century BC to his own era, stressing the great advances in geographical knowledge made in the period of Alexander and the Successors (F15). His latest sources are virtually of his own time, from the early Seleukid period (F50) and that of Ptolemaios II (F40).

He broke with the pattern accepted since Hekataios and did not go in clockwise fashion from the Pillars of Herakles but from east to west (F78), per­ haps reflecting the contemporary obsession with India. 102 The book opens with the establishment of two baselines, an east-west one from the Pillars of Herakles to India and a north-south one from Meroë to Thoule (F64–5), with the two crossing on Rhodes. This provided a method by which Eratosthenes could divide the world into sections. He also discussed some of his sources (F51), which were written and oral reports of distances.

1, pp. 525–39; Geus, Eratosthenes 260– 88; Aujac (supra n. 4). Other important works include Bunbury (supra n. 103) vol. 1, pp. 615–50 (still of great value), and Germaine Aujac, Strabon et la science de son temps (Paris 1966) 49–64. ” Isis 73 (1982) 259–65; and his “The Eratosthenes-Strabo Nile Map,” AHES 26 (1982) 211–19. 135 See, refreshingly, Bernard R. Goldstein, “Eratosthenes on the ‘Measurement’ of the Earth,” HM 11 (1984) 411–16. 132 36 Eratosthenes astronomy, and those who see in the treatise more than a casual appli­ cation of these disciplines regrettably have missed its point.

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