Strabo’s Geographica

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss Strabo’s Geographica. Written almost exactly two thousand years ago by a Greek scholar living in Rome, the Geographica is an ambitious attempt to describe the entire world known to the Romans and Greeks at that time. Strabo seems to have based his book on accounts of distant lands given to him by contemporary travellers and imperial administrators, and on earlier works of scholarship by other Greek writers. One of the earliest systematic works of geography, Strabo’s book offers a revealing insight into the state of ancient scholarship, and remained influential for many centuries after the author’s death.

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  • Paul Cartledge 21 episodes
    AG Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at the University of Cambridge
  • Maria Pretzler No other episodes
    Senior Lecturer in Ancient History at Swansea University
  • Benet Salway No other episodes
    Senior Lecturer in Ancient History at UCL

Reading list

  • Between Geography and History: Hellenistic Constructions of the Roman World
    Katherine Clarke (Oxford University Press, 1999) Google Books →
  • Strabo of Amasia: A Greek Man of Letters in Augustan Rome
    Daniela Dueck (Routledge, 2000) Google Books →
  • Geography in Classical Antiquity
    Daniela Dueck (Cambridge University Press, 2012) Google Books →
  • Strabo's Cultural Geography: The Making of a Kolossourgia
    D. Dueck, H. Lindsay & S. Pothecary (Cambridge University Press, 2005) Google Books →
  • Eratosthenes' Geography
    Eratosthenes (trans. Duane W. Roller) (Princeton University Press, 2010) Google Books →
  • Circumference: Eratosthenes and the Ancient Quest to Measure the Globe
    Nicholas Nicastro (St Martin's Press, 2008) Google Books →
  • Space, Geography and Politics in the Early Roman Empire
    C. Nicolet (University of Michigan Press, 1991) Google Books →
  • Pausanias: Travel Writing in Ancient Greece
    Maria Pretzler (Duckworth, 2007) Google Books →
  • The Edges of the Earth in Ancient Thought: Geography, Exploration and Fiction
    J. S. Romm (Princeton University Press, 1992) Google Books →
  • The Geography of Strabo: An English Translation, with Introduction and Notes
    Strabo (trans. Duane W. Roller) (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming) Google Books →
  • Geography
    Strabo (trans. H. L. Jones) (Loeb Classical Library, 8 vols, Harvard University Press, 1917-1930) Google Books →
  • Ancient Perspectives: Maps and Their Place in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome
    Richard J. A. Talbert (ed.) (Chicago University Press, 2012) Google Books →

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Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello, one of the earliest known examples of a foreigner complaining about the British weather can be found in a book written 2000 years ago by the Greek scholar Strabo.