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Ancient Geography

The Discovery of the World in Classical Greece and Rome

Duane W. Roller

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I B TAURIS
01 July 2017
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.
By:   Duane W. Roller
Imprint:   I B TAURIS
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 216mm,  Width: 138mm, 
Weight:   335g
ISBN:   9781784539078
ISBN 10:   1784539074
Pages:   304
Publication Date:   01 July 2017
Audience:   College/higher education ,  General/trade ,  Primary ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Duane W Roller is Professor Emeritus of Greek and Latin at The Ohio State University. His previous books include The Geography of Strabo: An English Translation, with Introduction and Notes (2014); Cleopatra: A Biography (2010); Through the Pillars of Herakles: Greco-Roman Exploration of the Atlantic (2005); and The Building Program of Herod the Great (1998).

Reviews for Ancient Geography: The Discovery of the World in Classical Greece and Rome

'For the first time in several generations, Duane Roller offers readers a clear, comprehensive and authoritative survey of ancient geographical thought from its mythic origins in Homer right through to the fall of the Roman Empire. Ancient Geography is the distillation of decades of work on the subject by Roller, who is also a distinguished translator of the key books he discusses here. Ancient Geography immediately eclipses the introductions to the subject offered by previous scholars and should hold its place as the single key treatment of the topic for generations to come for classicists, geographers and historians alike.' -Robert Mayhew, Professor of Historical Geography and Intellectual History, University of Bristol, 'In this elegant and readable narrative, Duane Roller adroitly recreates the sense of wonder, excitement, and adventure that permeated Greek and Roman geographical initiatives. The result is a vivid tapestry of the many threads of ancient geographical thought that have been untangled from myriad layers of discord, transmission, redaction, and (mis)interpretation in the ancient sources. The book will be warmly and appreciatively welcomed by students of classical history and geography and indeed by anyone with an interest in how antiquity conceived of the world and its features.' - Georgia L Irby, Associate Professor of Classical Studies, The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, 'What Duane Roller has achieved in this book is impressive and invaluable. The Greek and Roman grasp of geography, from both spatial and scientific perspectives, developed remarkably over more than half a millennium. So while the approach taken here of explaining this growth chronologically might seem a straightforward task, in fact it is no such thing. Most of the relevant geographical writings and maps are lost. Even some fundamentally important Greek ideas have to be reconstructed from references by later authors who did not always agree with them, let alone perhaps fully understand them. Roller's earlier studies of such giants in this story as Pytheas, Eratosthenes and Strabo make him uniquely qualified to craft an informed, balanced, up-to-date synthesis in defiance of the never-ending obstacles. He writes in a concise, accessible style. Anyone whose imagination is fired by the absorbing puzzle of how the Greeks and Romans envisioned and recorded their surroundings both near and far should read this important book.' - Richard J A Talbert, William Rand Kenan, Jr., Professor of History and Classics, University of North Carolina, editor of Ancient Perspectives: Maps and Their Place in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome


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