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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Geography as a scholarly discipline originated in the period from the 4th century BCE through the 1st century CE. Ephorus in the 340s BCE was the first to write about it in detail, and the slightly later explorations of Pytheas to the North Atlantic and Baltic, and Alexander the Great to India, provided data that allowed Eratosthenes of Cyrene, after ca 250 BCE, to write the first scholarly treatise on geography, even inventing the term. Other Hellenistic authors added to the topic, especially Hipparchus and Polybius. Fantasy geography—mythical places at the end of the known world—also developed, but such works could contain valuable information. The culmination of Hellenistic geographical thought was the 17-book treatise of Strabo of Amaseia, completed ca 25 CE. It is the most complete ancient work on geography, and the source for most of the previous history of geography, including numerous quotations from works now lost.

Keywords: Agatharchides, Artemidorus of Ephesus, Dicaearchus, Ephorus, Eratosthenes, geography, Hipparchus, latitude, maps, periplous, Polybius, Poseidonius of Apamea, Pytheas, Strabo

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