Strabon
Relevant Non-Istrians

trabon, known in English as Strabo of Amasia / Amaseia (now Amasya in Turkey) was born c. 62 B.C. and died  c. 24 A.D. He was a Greek geographer, one of the most important sources for ancient topography and history. Strabo was a native of Amasia, in Pontus, probably a Greek by birth. His mother's family had been important during the reign of king Mithridates VI of Pontus, but during the war against the Roman general Pompey, it had switched sides. This loyalty provided Strabo with connections in the Roman world.

geographer

born in Amasia
c. 62 B.C.

He travelled young and had the best education of his time, visited Greece in 29 B.C., and then spent some years in Rome. In 24 B.C. he travelled in Egypt, and went up the Nile. He travelled in Greece, central Italy, the coast of Africa, and in Asia Minor. But he soon afterwards withdrew to his native town in Pontus, which is now Rumili, and there compiled, almost entirely from Greek sources, his great work on Geography. It remained unknown for a century, and is not mentioned by Pliny. It was not until the third century that the importance of his labours was duly recognized.

The seventeen books of his Geography are partially based upon autopsy (Asia Minor, Greece, Italy, Egypt), and partially on good sources like Polybius of Megalopolis and Megasthenes (who had visited India). The books are written in a simple Greek, but are more entertaining than other ancient works of geography.

A translation can be found at: http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Strabo/home.html.

Click map to enlarge

19th century reconstruction of World map according to Strabo (18 A.D.)

Strabo's Geographia

Books 6-14 of the Geographia by the Greek philosopher Strabo are online at Perseus, in both the original Greek and an English translation. Bill Thayer of LacusCurtius, states that he will make the entire work available (English translation only), and he has started with Books 1-5 and 15-17 from which the following selections were taken.

Book 1

Book 4

Book 5

  • Chapter 1 - Northern Italy proper (roughly Emilia-Romagna) - includes specific reference to Istria
  • Chapter 2 - Tyrrhenia and Umbria (Tuscany, Umbria, and the N. Marche)
  • Chapter 3 - The Sabine lands and Latium
  • Chapter 4 - Picenum (S. Marche) and Campania

Sources:

  • LacusCurtius Strabo's Geography. Based on Loeb Classical Library, 8 volumes, Greek texts with facing English translation by Horace White: Harvard University Press, 1917 thru 1932 - http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Strabo/home.html.

  • http://www.livius.org/so-st/strabo/strabo.html

See also:


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Created: Thursday, August 19, 2004; Updated Thursday, January 24, 2013  
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