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STRABO
Form: Gr. Strabon.
The Greek geograpber. He was born of a good family at Amaseia in Pontus about 63 B.C. After the conclusion of his education in philosophy he devoted himself to historical and geographical studies, and undertook long journeys in Asia Minor, also in Egypt up to the boundaries of Ethiopia, and in parts of Greece and Italy, paying several visits to Rome. He composed a great historic work in forty-seven books, which from the fifth book onwards formed a continuation of Poklybius down to his own time; but of this only a few fragments remain. His Geogrdphica, however, we possess complete in seventeen books, with the exception of a few gaps in the seventh book. This was finished about A.D. 23. It is the principal geographical work that has come down to us from ancient times. It consists of descriptions of countries and peoples, and is specially valuable on account of the extent and importance of the historical and topographical matter it contains, partly derived from personal observation, but chiefly drawn from the best authorities, particularly from Eratosthenes. The first two books contain (1) a criticism, not always just, of the more ancient geographers from the time of Homer; and (2) the mathematical part of physical geography, the weakest portion of the work; books iii-x describe Europe (iii Spain, iv Gaul, Britain, Ireland, and the Alps, v and vi Italy, vii the north and east of Europe to the Danube, viii-x Greece); xi-xvi Asia; xvii Africa. Strabo gives detailed accounts of manners and customs, history and constitutions, whereas, in topography, he generally gives only what is of most importance. His style is clear and attractive. Notwithstanding a great extension of geographical knowledge, the work was not superseded by any later one, and indeed even in the Middle Ages was still used in selections as a school-book in Constantinople. [See Tozer's Selections, 1893.]
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