Greek geographer and historian Strabo.


(c. 64 BC - c. 25)

In 44 BC, when he was around the age of twenty, Strabo left his home in modern-day Turkey for a life in Rome, where he studied with various notable philosophers and grammarians, among them a friend of Cicero and a former tutor to the future emperor Octavian. He wrote a now-lost continuation of Polybius’ Histories before starting his seventeen-book Geography, which he described as a “kolossourgia,” a colossal statue of a work. Considered the Augustan Age’s foremost geographer, Strabo traveled as far east as Armenia and south to the frontier of Ethiopia, but ventured no farther west than Sardinia and never north into much of Europe.

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Ancient Greek geographer Strabo believed the founder of the discipline of geography was not an explorer or a natural philosopher but Homer, for the epic poet had “reached the utmost limits of the earth, traversing it in his imagination.”


Greek geographer Strabo wrote around 20 BC that, to deal with “a crowd of women” or “any promiscuous mob,” one cannot use reason but rather must exert control using myths and marvels. “For thunderbolt, aegis, trident, torches, snakes, thyrsus lances—arms of the gods—are myths,” he wrote. “The founders of states gave their sanction to these things as bugbears wherewith to scare the simpleminded.”

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