Sunday, March 31, 2013

Roman Geographers

1. Strabo (64 BC-20 AD) - Most of the earlier scholar’s works disappeared. Defended Homer’s work & discarded Herodotus. First correct explanation of Nile’s flood. 8 books on Europe, 6 books on Asia & one on Africa. Considered earth as oblong. Interested in political geography. He divided geography into – physical, mathematical, political & historical. He was basically a regional geographer.

2. Ptolemy (90-168 AD) - Mathematical geographer & Astronomer. Earth was a sphere that remained stationery in the center while the celestial bodies moved around it (remained accepted till 17th century-Copernicus). Far ahead in map projections & map improvements. Considered India ocean to be enclosed on the south by unknown land (Terra Incognita). First to draw Bay of Bengal & Volga (Rha) on his map. Equatorial land was considered uninhabitable.

3. Pomponius Mela - Periplus of Scylax-shores of Mediterranean & Periplus of Arrian- Black Sea (guidelines to ship captains). Widely quoted in works of Pliny the elder.

4. Marcus Tarantius Varro - Compedium of geography that dealt with a theory of culture. Food form virgin earth-Pastralism-Agriculture-Contemporary culture.

5. Pliny - Wrote “Historia Naturalis”

6. Solinus - General geographical account of the world.