Strabo

Strabo ["Strabo" ("squinty") was a term employed by the Romans for anyone whose eyes were distorted or deformed. The father of Pompey was called "Pompeius Strabo." A native of Sicily so clear-sighted that he could see things at great distance as if they were nearby was also called "Strabo."] (Greek: Στράβων; 63/64 BC – ca. AD 24) was a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher.

Life

Strabo was born in a wealthy family from Amaseia in Pontus (modern Amasya Turkey), ["Geography" Book XII Chapter 3 Section 15, "Amaseia, my fatherland."] which had recently become part of the Roman Empire. [Pontus fell to the Roman general Pompey in 63 BC and after the murder or suicide of Mithridates VI of Pontus was broken up into smaller provinces in 64 BC. Strabo in Book 12 Chapter 3 Section 41 states that the Romans took possession of Bithynia "a little before my time", setting the date of his birth to after 63 BC.] His mother was Georgian. He studied under various geographers and philosophers; first in Nysa, later in Rome. He was philosophically a Stoic and politically a proponent of Roman imperialism. Later he made extensive travels to Egypt and Kush, among others. It is not known when his "Geography" was written, though comments within the work itself place the finished version within the reign of Emperor Tiberius. Some place its first drafts around AD 7, others around 18. Last dateable mention is given to the death in 23 of Juba II, king of Maurousia (Mauretania), who is said to have died "just recently." [Book 17 Chapter 7.] On the presumption that "recently" means within a year, Strabo stopped writing that year or the next (24 AD), perhaps because of his death.

Strabo's "History" is nearly completely lost. Although Strabo quotes it himself, and other classical authors mention that it existed, the only surviving document is a fragment of papyrus now in possession of the University of Milan (renumbered [Papyrus] 46).

Several different dates have been proposed for Strabo's death, but most of them place it shortly after 23.

The "Geography"

Strabo is mostly famous for his 17-volume work "Geographica", which presented a descriptive history of people and places from different regions of the world known to his era. It is an important source of information on the ancient world, especially when information is corroborated by other sources.

Notes and references

Bibliography

* cite book
first=Augustus (Editor)
last=Meineke
authorlink=Augustus Meineke
title=Strabonis Geographica
location=Lipsiae
publisher=B.G. Teubneri
date=MDVVVLXXVII
Strabo in Greek, Teubner Edition. Downloadable Google Books at [http://books.google.com/books?id=MvoHAAAAQAAJ&printsec=titlepage&dq=Strabo&as_brr=1#PPP7,M1] .

External links

* [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0004%3Aid%3Dstrabo Biography of Strabo]


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