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date: 19 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter surveys Greek geographical thought to ca 350 bce. Early Greek geographical conceptions, influenced by Near Eastern traditions, were expressed first as genealogical relationships between places and as itineraries. The Ionian natural philosophers speculated about the shape of the earth and its geophysical features, and developed a cartographical conception of the world. The itinerary developed into the genre of the “periplous,” describing coastal journeys, from which came the “periegesis” of Hecataeus, which provided the names of cities around the Mediterranean and some ethnographical data. Herodotus, the first historian, united geographical and ethnographical interests with historical narrative, further developing the cartographic model of the earth, while also incorporating detailed itineraries and approximations of distances. Later historians continued the application of geography and topography to historical understanding. Aristotle’s summation of the speculative tradition of the shape and the size of the earth laid the groundwork for the establishment of scientific geography.

Keywords: Aristotle, Ephoros, Eudoxus, geography, Hecataeus, Herodotus, Scylax of Caryanda, periploi

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