Strabo[n 1] (/ˈstreɪboʊ/; Greek: Στράβων Strábōn; 64 or 63 BC – c. AD 24) was a Greek geographer, philosopher, and historian who lived in Asia Minor during the transitional period of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire.

Strabo as depicted in a 16th-century engraving
Born64 or 63 BC
Amaseia, Pontus
(modern-day Amasya, Turkey)
Diedc. AD 24 (aged about 87)
  • Geographer
  • Philosopher
  • Historian


Strabon Rerum geographicarum 1620
Title page from Isaac Casaubon's 1620 edition of Geographica

Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus (in present-day Turkey) in around 64 BC.[1] His family had been involved in politics since at least the reign of Mithridates V.[2] Strabo was related to Dorylaeus on his mother's side. Several other family members, including his paternal grandfather had served Mithridates VI during the Mithridatic Wars. As the war drew to a close, Strabo's grandfather had turned several Pontic fortresses over to the Romans.[3] Strabo wrote that "great promises were made in exchange for these services", and as Persian culture endured in Amasia even after Mithridates and Tigranes were defeated, scholars have speculated about how the family's support for Rome might have affected their position in the local community, and whether they might have been granted Roman citizenship as a reward.[2]

Nuremberg chronicles f 094r 1
Strabo as depicted in the Nuremberg Chronicle

Strabo's life was characterized by extensive travels. He journeyed to Egypt and Kush, as far west as coastal Tuscany and as far south as Ethiopia in addition to his travels in Asia Minor and the time he spent in Rome. Travel throughout the Mediterranean and Near East, especially for scholarly purposes, was popular during this era and was facilitated by the relative peace enjoyed throughout the reign of Augustus (27 BC – AD 14). He moved to Rome in 44 BC, and stayed there, studying and writing, until at least 31 BC. In 29 BC, on his way to Corinth (where Augustus was at the time), he visited the island of Gyaros in the Aegean Sea. Around 25 BC, he sailed up the Nile until reaching Philae,[n 2] after which point there is little record of his proceedings until AD 17.

Statue of Strabo in Amasia
Statue of Strabo in his hometown (modern-day Amasya, Turkey), beside the Iris (Yeşilırmak) River

It is not known precisely when Strabo's 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 7 BC,[4] others around AD 17[5] or 18.[4] The latest passage to which a date can be assigned is his reference to the death in AD 23 of Juba II, king of Maurousia (Mauretania), who is said to have died "just recently".[6] He probably worked on the Geography for many years and revised it steadily, not always consistently. It is an encyclopaedical chronicle and consists of political, economic, social, cultural, geographic description of almost whole Europe: British Isles, Iberian Peninsula, Gaul, Germania, The Alps, Italy, Greece; and Northern Black Sea region, Anatolia, Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa. The Geography is the only extant work providing information about both Greek and Roman peoples and countries during the reign of Augustus.[7]

On the presumption that "recently" means within a year, Strabo stopped writing that year or the next (AD 24 ), when he died. He was influenced by Homer, Hecataeus, and Aristotle.[8] The first of Strabo's major works, Historical Sketches (Historica hypomnemata), written while he was in Rome (c. 20 BC), is nearly completely lost. Meant to cover the history of the known world from the conquest of Greece by the Romans, Strabo quotes it himself and other classical authors mention that it existed, although the only surviving document is a fragment of papyrus now in possession of the University of Milan (renumbered [Papyrus] 46).


Strabo studied under several prominent teachers of various specialties throughout his early life[n 3] at different stops along his Mediterranean travels. His first chapter of education took place in Nysa (modern Sultanhisar, Turkey) under the master of rhetoric Aristodemus, who had formerly taught the sons of the very same Roman general who had taken over Pontus.[n 4] Aristodemus was the head of two schools of rhetoric and grammar, one in Nysa and one in Rhodes, the former of the two cities possessing a distinct intellectual curiosity of Homeric literature and the interpretation of epics. Strabo was an admirer of Homer's poetry, perhaps a consequence of his time spent in Nysa with Aristodemus.[n 5]

At around the age of 21, Strabo moved to Rome, where he studied philosophy with the Peripatetic Xenarchus, a highly respected tutor in Augustus's court. Despite Xenarchus's Aristotelian leanings, Strabo later gives evidence to have formed his own Stoic inclinations.[n 6] In Rome, he also learned grammar under the rich and famous scholar Tyrannion of Amisus.[n 7] Although Tyrannion was also a Peripatetic, he was more relevantly a respected authority on geography, a fact obviously significant, considering Strabo's future contributions to the field.

The final noteworthy mentor to Strabo was Athenodorus Cananites, a philosopher who had spent his life since 44 BC in Rome forging relationships with the Roman elite. Athenodorus endowed to Strabo three important items: his philosophy, his knowledge, and his contacts. Unlike the Aristotelian Xenarchus and Tyrannion who preceded him in teaching Strabo, Athenodorus was Stoic in mindset, almost certainly the source of Strabo's diversion from the philosophy of his former mentors. Moreover, from his own first-hand experience, Athenodorus provided Strabo with information about regions of the empire which he would not otherwise have known.


Map of the world according to Strabo.

Strabo is most notable for his work Geographica ("Geography"), which presented a descriptive history of people and places from different regions of the world known to his era.[6]

Map of Europe according to Strabo
Map of Europe according to Strabo.

Although the Geographica was rarely utilized in its contemporary antiquity, a multitude of copies survived throughout the Byzantine Empire. It first appeared in Western Europe in Rome as a Latin translation issued around 1469. The first Greek edition was published in 1516 in Venice.[9] Isaac Casaubon, classical scholar and editor of Greek texts, provided the first critical edition in 1587.

Although Strabo cited the antique Greek astronomers Eratosthenes and Hipparchus, acknowledging their astronomical and mathematical efforts towards geography, he claimed that a descriptive approach was more practical, such that his works were designed for statesmen who were more anthropologically than numerically concerned with the character of countries and regions.

As such, Geographica provides a valuable source of information on the ancient world, especially when this information is corroborated by other sources. He traveled extensively, as he says: "Westward I have journeyed to the parts of Etruria opposite Sardinia; towards the south from the Euxine to the borders of Ethiopia; and perhaps not one of those who have written geographies has visited more places than I have between those limits."[10] We do not know when he wrote Geographica, but we know that he spent a lot of time in the famous library taking notes from his sources and his "the works of his predecessors" are most likely to have been noted at the library there. A first edition was published in 7 BC and a final edition no later than 23 AD, in the last year of Strabo's life. Geographica, unfortunately, had an infinitesimal influence in his lifetime. It took about five years for scholars to give him a credit and for it to become a standard.[11] In his last book of Geographica, he wrote quite extensively about the thriving port city of Alexandria. He emphasized that the harbor was well-encompassed by the embankments and that the shore was so deep-watered that even the largest ships could traverse. These ships were sent out to India, Ethiopia to supply them with products. Strabo juxtaposes Dichaiarchia (Naples, one of the largest ports in Europe) and Alexandria ports and says that the ships in Alexandria were clearly bigger. Thus, freight transporting and shipping were essential to foreign trade in products from all over the world, suggesting a highly developed local economy at that time.[12] Strabo also describes the city itself. According to him, there were a lot of beautiful public parks and the city was reticulated with perfectly designed streets that were wide enough for chariots and horsemen. "Two of these are exceeding broad, over a plethron in breadth, and cut one another at right angles ... All the buildings are connected one with another, and these also with what are beyond it."[13] Hence, the architecture was also developed in Egypt.

Strabo is pro-Roman politically, but culturally he reserves primacy to Greece:[14] "... pro-Roman throughout the Geography. But while he acknowledges and even praises Roman ascendancy in the political and military sphere, he also makes a significant effort to establish Greek primacy over Rome in other contexts."

In India, Strabo described small flying reptiles that were 90 centimetres (35 in) long with a snake-like body and bat-like wings. Other historians, such as Herodotus, Aristotle, and Flavius Josephus, mentioned similar creatures.


As quoted from Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology:

Strabo... enters largely, in the Second Book of his Geography, into the opinions of Eratosthenes and other Greeks on one of the most difficult problems in geology, viz., by what causes marine shells came to be plentifully buried in the earth at such great elevations and distances from the sea.

He notices, amongst others, the explanation of Xanthus the Lydian, who said that the seas had once been more extensive, and that they had afterwards been partially dried up, as in his own time many lakes, rivers, and wells in Asia had failed during a season of drought. Treating this conjecture with merited disregard, Strabo passes on to the hypothesis of Strato, the natural philosopher, who had observed that the quantity of mud brought down by rivers into the Euxine was so great, that its bed must be gradually raised, while the rivers still continued to pour in an undiminished quantity of water. He therefore conceived that, originally, when the Euxine was an inland sea, its level had by this means become so much elevated that it burst its barrier near Byzantium, and formed a communication with the Propontis, and this partial drainage had already, he supposed, converted the left side into marshy ground, and that, at last, the whole would be choked up with soil. So, it was argued, the Mediterranean had once opened a passage for itself by the Columns of Hercules into the Atlantic, and perhaps the abundance of sea-shells in Africa, near the Temple of Jupiter Ammon, might also be the deposit of some former inland sea, which had at length forced a passage and escaped.

But Strabo rejects this theory as insufficient to account for all the phenomena, and he proposes one of his own, the profoundness of which modern geologists are only beginning to appreciate. 'It is not,' he says, 'because the lands covered by seas were originally at different altitudes, that the waters have risen, or subsided, or receded from some parts and inundated others. But the reason is, that the same land is sometimes raised up and sometimes depressed, and the sea also is simultaneously raised and depressed so that it either overflows or returns into its own place again. We must, therefore, ascribe the cause to the ground, either to that ground which is under the sea, or to that which becomes flooded by it, but rather to that which lies beneath the sea, for this is more moveable, and, on account of its humidity, can be altered with great celerity. It is proper,' he observes in continuation, 'to derive our explanations from things which are obvious, and in some measure of daily occurrences, such as deluges, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and sudden swellings of the land beneath the sea; for the last raise up the sea also, and when the same lands subside again, they occasion the sea to be let down. And it is not merely the small, but the large islands also, and not merely the islands, but the continents, which can be lifted up together with the sea; and both large and small tracts may subside, for habitations and cities, like Bure, Bizona, and many others, have been engulfed by earthquakes.'

In another place, this learned geographer [Strabo], in alluding to the tradition that Sicily had been separated by a convulsion from Italy, remarks, that at present the land near the sea in those parts was rarely shaken by earthquakes, since there were now open orifices whereby fire and ignited matters and waters escaped; but formerly, when the volcanoes of Etna, the Lipari Islands, Ischia, and others, were closed up, the imprisoned fire and wind might have produced far more vehement movements. The doctrine, therefore, that volcanoes are safety valves, and that the subterranean convulsions are probably most violent when first the volcanic energy shifts itself to a new quarter, is not modern.[15]

The very first written definition/discussion on the fossil formation (mentioning Nummulite quoted from A.M. Celâl Şengör).

"One extraordinary thing which I saw at the pyramids must not be omitted. Heaps of stones from the quarries lie in front of the pyramids. Among these are found pieces which in shape and size resemble lentils. Some contain substances like grains half peeled. These, it is said, are the remnants of the workmen's food converted into stone; which is not probable. For at home in our country (Amasia), there is a long hill in a plain, which abounds with pebbles of a porus stone, resembling lentils. The pebbles of the sea-shore and of rivers suggest somewhat of the same difficulty [respecting their origin]; some explanation may indeed be found in the motion [to which these are subject] in flowing waters, but the investigation of the above fact presents more difficulty. I have said elsewhere, that in sight of the pyramids, on the other side in Arabia, and near the stone quarries from which they are built, is a very rocky mountain, called the Trojan mountain; beneath it there are caves, and near the caves and the river a village called Troy, an ancient settlement of the captive Trojans who had accompanied Menelaus and settled there."[6]

The first written definition/discussion of volcanism (effusive eruption) observed at Katakekaumenē (modern Kula, Western Turkey) until Pliny the Younger witnessed to the eruption of Vesuvius on 24 August AD 79 in Pompeii:

Kula karadivlit scoriacone aaflow
Karadivlit Scoria Cone and AA type basaltic fissure lava flow in Katakekaumenē (modern-day Kula, Turkey).

"... There are no trees here, but only the vineyards where they produce the Katakekaumene wines which are by no means inferior from any of the wines famous for their quality. The soil is covered with ashes, and black in color as if the mountainous and rocky country was made up of fires. Some assume that these ashes were the result of thunderbolts and sub-terranean explosions, and do not doubt that the legendary story of Typhon takes place in this region. Ksanthos adds that the king of this region was a man called Arimus. However, it is not reasonable to accept that the whole country was burned down at a time as a result of such an event rather than as a result of a fire bursting from underground whose source has now died out. Three pits are called "Physas" and separated by forty stadia from each other. Above these pits, there are hills formed by the hot masses burst out from the ground as estimated by a logical reasoning. Such type of soil is very convenient for viniculture, just like the Katanasoil which is covered with ashes and where the best wines are still produced abundantly. Some writers concluded by looking at these places that there is a good reason for calling Dionysus by the name ("Phrygenes")."[16]


  • Meineke, Augustus, ed. (1877). Strabonis Geographica. Lipsiae: B.G. Teubneri.
  • Strabo (1852). Gustav Kramer, ed. Strabonis Geographica. Recens. G. Kramer. Ed. minor.
    • Strabo's Geography in three volumes as translated by H.C. Hamilton, ed. H.G. Bohn, 1854–1857: vol. 1
    • vol. 2
    • vol. 3 (Internet Archive)
  • Stefan Radt, ed. (2002–2011). Strabons Geographika : mit Übersetzung und Kommentar. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
  • Jones, H. L., transl. (1917). The Geography of Strabo. Vol. 1 (Books 1 & 2) of 8 vols. London: Heinemann.


  1. ^ Strabo (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus) 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."
  2. ^ Accompanied by prefect of Egypt Aelius Gallus, who had been sent on a military mission to Arabia.
  3. ^ He mentions all or most of his teachers as prominent citizens of their own respective cities.
  4. ^ This also highlights the international trend of the era that Greek intellectuals would often instruct the Roman elite.
  5. ^ Aristodemus was also the grandson of the famous Posidonius, whose influence is manifest in Strabo's Geography.
  6. ^ Largely due to his future teacher Athenodorus, tutor of Augustus.
  7. ^ Thus completing his traditional Greek aristocratic education in rhetoric, grammar, and philosophy. Tyrannion was known to have befriended Cicero and taught his nephew, Quintus.


  1. ^ Purcell, Nicholas (2014). "Strabo". In Hornblower, Simon; Spawforth, Antony; Eidinow, Esther. The Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization. Oxford University Press. p. 757. ISBN 978-0-19-870677-9.
  2. ^ a b Bianchetti, Serena; Cataudella, Michele; Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (4 December 2015). Brill's Companion to Ancient Geography: The Inhabited World in Greek and Roman Tradition. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-28471-5.
  3. ^ Adrienne Mayor (March 2011). The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy. Princeton University Press. pp. 9–. ISBN 0-691-15026-5.
  4. ^ a b Strabo (1917). Geography. Vol. I. Translated by Horace Leonard Jones. London: William Heinemann. p. xxv-xxvi.
  5. ^ Sarah Pothecary, When was the Geography written?
  6. ^ a b c Strabo (1949). "34". Geography. Vol. VIII Book XVII. Translated by Horace Leonard Jones. London: William Heinemann. p. 95.
  7. ^ "Strabo, Geography, Volume I: Books 1-2". Loeb Classical Library. n.d. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Geographie, Band 1, Strabo, S.17, Strabo, Karl Kärcher, Gottlieb Lukas Friedrich Tafel, Christian Nathanael Osiander, Gustav Schwab, Verlag Metzler, 1831.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Strabo, Geography 17.1.6, 7, 8, 13; translated by Brent Shaw.Attained from: E.A. Pollard, C. Rosenberg, and R.L. Tignor, et al. Worlds Together, Worlds Apart, Concise, Volume One: Beginnings through the Fifteenth Century (W.W. Norton, 2015) Pg. 228
  13. ^ Davis, William Stearns (1912). Reading in Ancient History:. Vol. I: Greece and the East. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. pp. 325–329.
  14. ^ Kim, Lawrence (2010). Homer between History and Fiction in Imperial Greek Literature. Cambridge University Press. p. 83. ISBN 978-1-139-49024-5.
  15. ^ Lyell, Charles (1832). Principles of Geology. John Murray. pp. 20–21.
  16. ^ Strabo (1950). "11". Geography. Vol. VI Book XIII. Translated by Horace Leonard Jones. London: William Heinemann. p. 183.


  • "Biography of Strabo". Tufts.
  • "Strabo". Encyclopædia Britannica (15th ed.). 1998. pp. 296–297.
  • Diller, A. (1975). The Textual Tradition of Strabo’s Geography. Amsterdam.
  • Dueck, Daniela (2000). Strabo of Amasia: Greek Man of Letters in Augustan Rome. New York: Routledge.
  • Dueck, D.; H. Lindsay; S. Pothecary, eds. (2005). Strabo's Cultural Geography: The Making of a Kolossourgia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Lindberg, David C. (2008). The Beginnings of Western Science The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, Prehistory A.D. 1450 (2nd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Roller, Duane (2014). The Geography of Strabo: An English Translation, with Introduction and Notes. Cambridge.

External links


Ariana, the Latinized form of the Ancient Greek Ἀρ(ε)ιανή Ar(e)ianē (inhabitants: Ariani; Ἀρ(ε)ιανοί Ar(e)ianoi), was a general geographical term used by some Greek and Roman authors of the ancient period for a district of wide extent between Central Asia and the Indus River, comprising the eastern provinces of the Achaemenid Empire that covered the whole of modern-day Afghanistan, as well as the easternmost part of Iran and up to the Indus River in Pakistan (former Northern India).At various times, various parts of the region were governed by the Persians (the Achaemenids from 550 to 330 BC, the Sasanians from 275 to 650 AD and the Indo-Sasanians from 345 to 450 AD), the Macedonians (the Seleucids from 330 to 250 BC, the Greco-Bactrians from 250 to 110 BC and the Indo-Greeks from 155 to 90 BC), Iranian peoples from Persia and Central Asia (the Parthians from 160 BC to 225 AD, the Indo-Scythians from 90 BC to 20 AD, the Indo-Parthians from 20 to 225 AD and the Kushans from 110 BC to 225 AD), the Xionites (the Kidarites from 360 to 465 AD and the Hephthalites from 450 to 565 AD) and Indian empires (the Mauryans from 275 to 185 BC).

Arsinoe (Cilicia)

Arsinoe (Ancient Greek: Ἀρσινόη) was a city on the coast of ancient Cilicia between Anemurium and Kelenderis; the site is near the modern city of Bozyazı, Mersin Province, Turkey. Strabo mentions Arsinoe as having a port. In the 19th century, William Martin Leake placed it at or near the ruined modern castle, called Softa Kalesi (Sokhta Kálesi), just west of Bozyazı, below which is a port, such as Strabo describes at Arsinoe, and a peninsula on the east side of the harbor covered with ruins. This modern site is east of Anemurium, and west of, and near to, Kızil Burnu (Cape Kizliman). The city was founded by Ptolemy Philadelphus and named for Arsinoe II of Egypt, his sister and wife.

The site of Arsinoe is located near modern Maraş Harabeleri in Anatolia.

Asander (Bosporan king)

Asander, named Philocaesar Philoromaios (Greek: Άσανδρoς Φιλοκαισαρ Φιλορώμαίος, Asander, lover of Caesar lover of Rome, 110 BC – 17 BC) was a Roman client king of the Bosporan Kingdom. He was of Greek and possibly of Persian ancestry. Not much is known of his family and early life. He started his career as a general under Pharnaces II, the king of the Bosporus. According to some scholars, Asander took as his first wife a woman called Glykareia, known from one surviving Greek inscription, "Glykareia, wife of Asander".

By 47 BC, Asander had taken Dynamis, the daughter of Pharnaces II by a Sarmatian wife, as his second wife. She was a granddaughter of King Mithridates VI of Pontus by his first wife, his sister Laodice.

In 47 BC Pharnaces II put Asander in charge the Bosporan Kingdom while he went away to invade the eastern parts of [Anatolia]. This was successful and Pharnaces started to advance towards the western parts of Anatolia. However, he stopped because Asander revolted against him. Asander hoped that by betraying his father-in-law he would win favor with the Romans and they could help him become the Bosporan King. Pharnaces defeated Roman general Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus but was then defeated by Gaius Julius Caesar. After this, he fled to Sinope with 1,000 cavalry. He was allowed leave with his cavalry. He killed his horses and sailed to the Cimmerian Bosporus, intending to recover it from Asander. He captured Theodosia (Feodosia) and Panticapaeum. Asander, attacked him. He was defeated because he was short of horses and his men were not used to fighting on foot. Pharnaces was killed in this battle. Strabo wrote that Asander, took possession of the Bosporus.Asander was soon overthrown from the Bosporan throne. Julius Caesar gave a tetrarchy in Galatia and the title of king to Mithridates of Pergamon. He also allowed him to wage war against Asander and conquer the Cimmerian Bosporus because Asander “had been mean to his friend Pharnaces.”. When Caecilius Bassus plotted a rebellion against Caesar and gathered troops to take over Syria in late 47 BC or early 46 BC, he claimed that “he was collecting these troops for the use of Mithridates the Pergamenian in an expedition against Bosporus.” Mithridates of Pergamon overthrew Asander and became Mithridates I of the Bosporus.

Mithridates robbed the temple of Leucothea in Moschia.. He was then overthrown by Asander.According to Lucian, Asander had been an ethnarch and then was proclaimed king of Bosporus by Augustus. This must have taken place after Augustus became the first Roman emperor in 27 BC.According to Strabo, Asander blocked the isthmus of the Chersonesus (Chersonesus Tauricus, modern Crimea) near Lake Maeotis (the Sea of Azov) with a wall which was 360 stadia long ( 53 kilometres, 35 miles) and had ten towers for every stadium. The wall was probably built because the Georgi of the region engaged in piracy. This isthmus was probably the modern Isthmus of Perekop.

Lucian wrote that Asander "at about ninety years proved himself a match for anyone in fighting from horseback or on foot; but when he saw his subjects going over to Scribonius on the eve of battle, he starved himself to death at the age of ninety-three."Cassius Dio wrote that a certain Scribonius claimed to be a grandson of Mithridates VI and that he had received the Bosporan Kingdom from Augustus after the death of Asander. He gained the control of the kingdom by marrying Dynamis, who had been entrusted with the regency of the kingdom by her husband. Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa sent Polemon against him. Scribonius was killed by the people, before Polemon got there because they had heard of his advance. They resisted Polemon because they were afraid that he may be appointed as their king. Polemon defeated them but was unable to quell the rebellion until Agrippa went to Sinope to prepare a campaign against them. They surrendered. Polemon was appointed as their king. He married Dynamis with the sanction of Augustus. Dynamis' marriage with a usurper, Scribonius must have been forced on her. She died in 14 BC, and Polemon ruled until his death in 8 BC, succeeded by Aspurgus.



Cytorus (Greek Κύτωρος, Kytoros; also Cytorum, Κύτωρον, Kytoron) was a settlement on the northern coast of Asia Minor. Mentioned by Homer, Cytorus survives in the name of Gideros, which is both

a bay of the Black Sea and

the adjacent neighbourhood (mahalle) of the village of Kalafat in the district (ilçe) of Cide in the Kastamonu Province of Turkey.Gideros is 12 km west of the town of Cide, 15 km east of Kurucaşile.

Possibly the name of Cide itself is derived from Cytorus.In giving the Trojan battle order in Book 2 of the Iliad,

Homer mentions Cytorus and Sesamon as Paphlagonian settlements, along with others around the river Parthenius, today's Bartın River.

Sesamon is today's Amasra. This town was Amastris for Strabo, who writes of its founding through a union of Cytorus, Sesamon, and two other settlements. He reports that Cytorus was the marketplace of Sinope and was a source for boxwood. He derives the name of Cytorus (he uses the neuter Cytorum) from Cytorus, a son of Phryxus and therefore one of the Argonauts.In the Argonautica,

Apollonius of Rhodes mentions the settlement of Cytorus and related places in describing the voyage of the Argo. Unlike Strabo, he does not mention Cytorus as a son of Phryxus. Apollonius does apparently place Cytorus where Gideros Bay is today, between the Bartın River and the city of Sinop.Apollonius applies the epithet "woody" to Cytorus, alluding to the boxwood that Strabo mentions.

In the 4th of the Carmina, Catullus addresses "Box-tree-clad Cytórus", while

in the Georgics, Virgil says, "Fain would I gaze on Cytorus billowy with boxwood".

The Homeric commentator Eustathius of Thessalonica mentions a saying, "carry boxwood to Cytorus," with the meaning of "carry coals to Newcastle".Strabo's etymology notwithstanding, Bilge Umar finds the origin of the name Cytorus in the Luwian for "Big wall".There is also reported a folk etymology for the modern name of Gideros, based on its resemblance to the Turkish gideriz (we go). Villagers say that Roman ships once sought shelter from a storm at Gideros Bay, and when the villagers asked the sailors if they would stay, the sailors replied, "Kalamazsak, gideros"—If we can't stay, we go. Pleased at the prospect of not having the Romans around, the villagers called the bay Gideros.


Elis or Eleia (Greek: Ήλιδα, translit. Ilida, Attic Greek: Ἦλις Ēlis /ɛ̂ːlis/; Elean: Ϝᾶλις /wâːlis/, ethnonym: Ϝᾱλείοι) is an ancient district that corresponds to the modern regional unit of Elis.

Elis is in southern Greece on the Peloponnese, bounded on the north by Achaea, east by Arcadia, south by Messenia, and west by the Ionian Sea. Over the course of the archaic and classical periods, the polis "city-state" of Elis controlled much of the region of Elis, most probably through unequal treaties with other cities; many inhabitants of Elis were Perioeci—autonomous free non-citizens. Perioeci, unlike other Spartans, could travel freely between cities. Thus the polis of Elis was formed.

Homer mentions that Elis participated in the Trojan War.The first Olympic festival was organized in Elian land - Olympia - by the authorities of Elis in the eighth century BC, with tradition dating the first games to 776 BC. The Hellanodikai, the judges of the Games, were of Elian origin.

The local form of the name was Valis, or Valeia, and its meaning, in all probability was, "the lowland" (compare with the word "valley"). In its physical constitution Elis is similar to Achaea and Arcadia; its mountains are mere offshoots of the Arcadian highlands, and its principal rivers are fed by Arcadian springs.According to Strabo, the first settlement was created by Oxylus the Aetolian who invaded there and subjugated the residents. The city of Elis underwent synoecism—as Strabo notes—in 471 BC. Elis held authority over the site of Olympia and the Olympic games.

The spirit of the games had influenced the formation of the market: apart from the bouleuterion, the place the boule "citizen's council" met, which was in one of the gymnasia, most of the other buildings were related to the games, including two gymnasia, a palaestra, and the House of the Hellanodikai.


In Greek mythology, the Gargareans, or Gargarenses, (Greek: Γαργαρείς Gargareis) were an all-male tribe. They copulated with the Amazons annually in order to keep both tribes reproductive. Varying accounts suggest that they may have been kidnapped, raped, and murdered for this purpose, or that they may have had relations willingly. The Amazons kept the female children, raising them as warriors, and gave the males to the Gargareans.The Gargareans are held by some historians to be a component of the ancestry of the Chechen and the Ingush peoples, and equivalent or at least related to the Georgian name Dzurdzuks.Strabo wrote that "... the Amazons live close to Gargarei, on the northern foothills of the Caucasus mountains". The Amazons were attributed to the Circassians via the root maze. Gaius Plinius Secundus also localizes Gargarei at North of the Caucasus, but calls them Gegar. Some scholars (P.K. Uslar, K. Miller, N.F. Yakovleff, E.I. Krupnoff, L.A. Elnickiy, I.M. Diakonoff, V.N. Gemrakeli) supported that Gargarei is earlier for of Ingush ethnonym. Jaimoukha suggests that the myth might have been a nod to the similarity between Circassians and Durdzuks, despite their very different languages. The Ancient Greek chronicler Strabo mentioned that Gargareans had migrated from eastern Asia Minor (i.e. Urartu) to the North Caucasus. Jaimoukha notes that Gargareans is one of many Nakh roots- gergara, meaning, in fact, "kindred" in proto-Nakh. If this is the case, it would make Gargarei virtually equivalent to the Georgian term Dzurdzuk (referring to the lake Durdukka in the South Caucasus, where they are thought to have migrated from, as noted by Strabo, before intermixing with the local population) which applied to a Nakh people who migrated North across the mountains to settle in modern Ingushetia.

In addition to their importance to the ancestry of Chechens and Ingush, the Gargareans have also been considered possibly central to the formation of the Èrs, another historical (albeit now extinct) Nakh people living in Northern Armenia, Caucasian Albania and Hereti (the name Hereti is derived from them).


The Geographica (Ancient Greek: Γεωγραφικά Geōgraphiká), or Geography, is an encyclopedia of geographical knowledge, consisting of 17 'books', written in Greek by Strabo, an educated citizen of the Roman Empire of Greek descent. Work can have begun on it no earlier than 20 BC. A first edition was published in 7 BC followed by a gap, resumption of work and a final edition no later than 23 AD in the last year of Strabo's life. Strabo probably worked on his Geography and now missing History concurrently, as the Geography contains a considerable amount of historical data. Except for parts of Book 7, the complete work is known.


The Getae , , or Gets (Ancient Greek: Γέται, singular Γέτης) were several Thracian tribes that once inhabited the regions to either side of the Lower Danube, in what is today northern Bulgaria and southern Romania. Both the singular form Get and plural Getae may be derived from a Greek exonym: the area was the hinterland of Greek colonies on the Black Sea coast, bringing the Getae into contact with the ancient Greeks from an early date. Several scholars, especially in the Romanian historiography, posit the identity between the Getae and their westward neighbours, the Dacians.

Heinkel He 343

The Heinkel He 343 was a quadjet bomber project developed by Ernst Heinkel Flugzeugwerke in Nazi Germany during the final two years of World War II. Plans recovered by the Soviet Union were studied and used in the development of the Ilyushin Il-22.

Mainake (Greek settlement)

Mainake or Menace (Greek Μαινάκη Mainákē) is an ancient Greek settlement lying in the southeast of Spain according to Strabo (3,4,2). Maria Eugenia Aubet locates it at the site of modern Málaga. The first colonial settlement in the area, dating from the late 8th century BC, was made by seafaring Phoenicians from Tyre, Lebanon, on an islet in the estuary of the Guadalhorce River at Cerro del Villar (the coastline of Málaga has changed considerably since that time, as river silting and changes in river levels have filled the ancient estuary and moved the site inland).The Phoenician settlements were more densely concentrated on the coastline east of Gibraltar than they were further up the coast. Market rivalry had attracted the Greeks to Iberia, who established their own trading colonies along the northeastern coast before venturing into the Phoenician corridor. They were encouraged by the Tartessians, who may have desired to end the Phoenician economic monopoly. Herodotus mentions that around 630 BC, the Phocaeans established relations with King Arganthonios (670–550 BC) of Tartessos, who gave them money to build walls around their city. Later they founded Mainake on the Málaga coast (Strabo. 3.4.2).Recent archaeological investigations have reopened the debate about the location of the Greek Mainake. The Massaliote Periplus places the city under Tartessian dominion on an island with a good harbour; its author emphasises that the city was on an island close to the river of the same name, and surrounded by saltwater lagoons. Geomorphological and paleo-environmental studies have shown that the Phoenician colony of Cerro del Villar, at the mouth of the Guadalhorce, was situated on an ancient island, now a rise in an alluvial flood plain west of Málaga.The Periplus, a merchants' guidebook which described the sea routes used by traders from Phoenicia and Tartessos, possibly dating to as early as the 6th century BC, contains the most ancient identification of Malaca as Mainake. It gives an account of a sea voyage circa 525 BC from Massalia (Marseille) along the western Mediterranean coast. The part referring to the Iberian Peninsula is preserved in the Ora Maritima (The Maritime Shores) of the Latin writer Rufus Festus Avienus, who wrote down excerpts much later, during the 4th century. Lines 425–431, which come after a description of the Pillars of Herakles (The Straits of Gibraltar), say that Mainake is close to the island of Noctiluca:

hos propter autem mox iugum Barbetium est

Malachaeque flumen urbe cum cognomine

Menace priore quae vocata est saeculo.

Tartessiorum iuris illic insula

antistat urbem, Noctilucae ab incolis

sacrata pridem. in insula stagnum quoque

tutusque portus. oppidum Menace super.

In English:

Near them [the Tartessians] is Cape Barbetium and the river Malacha with the town of the same name, formerly called Menace, under Tartessian dominion. In front of the town lies an island formerly dedicated by the inhabitants to Noctiluca. On the island is a marsh and a safe harbour; the town of Menace is above.

The mythical Greek colony of Mainake existed for at least two centuries. The name appears to be derived from the Greek: μαίνη (maínē). There are several ancient documents that mention its existence and discuss its intensive commercial activity. Strabo and other ancient historians placed it east of Malaka, but recent archaeological investigations suggest that the site of the 8th century BC Phoenician settlement at Cerro del Villar, less than 5 kilometres (3 miles) west of the original site of Malaka, corresponds to the location of the Greek colony. According to the ancient sources it was gradually abandoned after the battle of Alalia and the consequent collapse of the Phocaean Greek trade, which led the native inhabitants to shift their residence to the Phoenician-Punic Malaka.The Greek historian and geographer Strabo (64 BC–24 AD) says in his Geographica that in his time some thought this colony was the city of Malaca, a supposition he contradicted by pointing out that the ruins of Mainake could still be seen near Malaca and showed the regular urban plan of the Greeks, versus the haphazard Semitic layout of Malaka:

The first city on this coastline is Malaca, which is as far distant from Calpe as Gades is. It is a market for the nomad tribes from the opposite coast, and it also has great establishments for salting fish. Some suppose it to be the same as Maenaca, which tradition reports to be the farthest west of the Phocaean cities; but this is not true. On the contrary, the city of Maenaca is farther away from Calpe, and is now in ruins, though it still preserves traces of having been a Grecian city, whereas Malaca is nearer, and Phoenician in its configuration. [Calpe is an ancient name for Gibraltar].

The layout of ancient Malaka is unknown, but its location on a hill at the foot of Mount Gibralfaro suggests it was a more dense and irregular urban cluster than neighbouring Cerro del Villar, that is, Mainake. Traces of ancient landings there, as of a port, correspond with the description in the Periplous. The ruins mentioned by Strabo were still visible in the 1st century BC, and could only belong to a place that was already vacated in the Roman period, as occurred in Cerro del Villar but not in Malaka. The Phoenician city at Cerro del Villar lay in ruins at the beginning of the 6th century BC, when it was apparently resettled by the Phocaean Greeks.According to the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, its probable location is the hill of Cerro del Peñón, near the mouth of river Vélez, at the south of Vélez Malaga.


Medma or Mesma (Greek: Μέδμη, Steph. B.; Μέδμα, Strabo, Scymn. Ch.; but Μέσμα on coins, and so Apollodorus of Damascus, cited by Steph. B.; Scylax has Μέσα, evidently a corruption for Μέσμα), was an ancient Greek city of Southern Italy (Magna Graecia), on the west coast of the Bruttian (now Calabrian) peninsula, between Hipponium and the mouth of the Metaurus (probably today's River Petrace). The site is located at Rosarno, Province of Reggio Calabria, Calabria.

It was a colony founded by the Epizephyrian Locrians, and is said to have derived its name from an adjoining fountain. But though it is repeatedly noticed among the Greek cities in this part of Italy, it does not appear ever to have attained to any great power or importance. It is probable, however, that the Medimnaeans (Μεδιμναῖοι), who are noticed by Diodorus as contributing a body of colonists to the repeopling of Messana (modern Messina) by Dionysius in 396 BCE, are no other than the Medmaeans, and that we should read Μεδμαῖοι in the passage in question. Though never a very conspicuous place, Medma seems to have survived the fall of many other more important cities of Magna Graecia, and it is noticed as a still existing town both by Strabo and Pliny the Elder. But the name is not found in Ptolemy, and all subsequent trace of it disappears. It appears from Strabo that the town itself was situated a little inland, and that it had a port or emporium on the seashore.

The name of Mesima is still borne by a river which flows into the sea a little below Nicotera, in the neighbourhood. Nicotera, the name of which is already found in the Antonine Itinerary, probably arose after the decline of Mesma.


Megasthenes ( mi-GAS-thi-neez; Ancient Greek: Μεγασθένης, c. 350 – c. 290 BC) was an ancient Greek historian, diplomat and Indian ethnographer and explorer in the Hellenistic period. He described India in his book Indika, which is now lost, but has been partially reconstructed from the writings of the later authors.

Megasthenes was born in Asia Minor and became an ambassador of Seleucus I Nicator of the Seleucid dynasty to Chandragupta Maurya in Pataliputra, India. However, the exact date of his embassy is uncertain. Scholars such as Kaushik Roy place him in the Maurya court between 302 and 298 BCE, prior to Chandragupta's voluntary death in 297. Other Greek envoys to the Indian court are known after Megasthenes: Deimachus as ambassador to Bindusara, and Dionysius, as ambassador to Ashoka.


Picenum (Ancient Greek: Πικηνόν, Πικεντίνη) was a region of ancient Italy. The name is an exonym assigned by the Romans, who conquered and incorporated it into the Roman Republic. Picenum was the Regio V in the augustan territorial organization of Italy. Picenum was also the birthplace of such Roman notables as Pompey the Great and his father Pompeius Strabo. It was situated in what is now Marche and the northern part of Abruzzo. The Piceni or Picentes were the native population of Picenum, but they were not of uniform ethnicity. They maintained a religious centre in Cupra Marittima, in honor of the goddess Cupra.

Pillars of Hercules

The Pillars of Hercules (Latin: Columnae Herculis, Greek: Ἡράκλειαι Στῆλαι, Arabic: أعمدة هرقل / Aʿmidat Hiraql, Spanish: Columnas de Hércules) was the phrase that was applied in Antiquity to the promontories that flank the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar. The northern Pillar, Calpe Mons, is the Rock of Gibraltar. A corresponding North African peak not being predominant, the identity of the southern Pillar, Abila Mons, has been disputed throughout history, with the two most likely candidates being Monte Hacho in Ceuta and Jebel Musa in Morocco.


Pytheas of Massalia (; Ancient Greek: Πυθέας ὁ Μασσαλιώτης Pythéas ho Massaliōtēs; Latin: Pytheas Massiliensis; fl. 4th century BC) was a Greek geographer and explorer from the Greek colony of Massalia (modern-day Marseille, France). He made a voyage of exploration to northwestern Europe in about 325 BC, but his account of it, known widely in Antiquity, has not survived and is now known only through the writings of others.

On this voyage, he circumnavigated and visited a considerable part of modern-day Great Britain and Ireland. He was the first known scientific visitor to see and describe the Arctic, polar ice, and the Celtic and Germanic tribes. He is also the first person on record to describe the Midnight Sun. The theoretical existence of some Northern phenomena that he described, such as a frigid zone, and temperate zones where the nights are very short in summer and the sun does not set at the summer solstice, was already known. Similarly, reports of a country of perpetual snow and darkness (the country of the Hyperboreans) had reached the Mediterranean some centuries before.

Pytheas introduced the idea of distant Thule to the geographic imagination, and his account of the tides is the earliest one known that suggests the moon as their cause. He also may have reached Iceland.


"Rhodopis" (Greek: Ροδώπις) is an ancient tale about a Greek courtesan who marries the king of Egypt. The story was first recorded by the Greek historian Strabo in the late first century BC or early first century AD and is considered the earliest known variant of the "Cinderella" story. The origins of the fairy-tale figure may be traced back to the 6th-century BC hetaera Rhodopis.


Scheria (; Ancient Greek: Σχερίη or Σχερία)—also known as Scherie or Phaeacia—was a region in Greek mythology, first mentioned in Homer's Odyssey as the home of the Phaeacians and the last destination of Odysseus in his 10-year journey before returning home to Ithaca.


The Troglodytae (Greek: Τρωγλοδύται), or Troglodyti (literally "cave goers"), were a people mentioned in various locations by many ancient Greek and Roman geographers and historians, including Herodotus (5th century BCE), Agatharchides (2nd century BCE), Diodorus Siculus (1st century BCE), Strabo (64/63 BCE – c.  24 CE), Pliny (1st century CE), Josephus (37 – c. 100 CE), and Tacitus (c. 56 – after 117 CE).

Walafrid Strabo

Walafrid, alternatively spelt Walahfrid, surnamed Strabo (or Strabus, i.e. "squint-eyed") (c. 808 – 18 August 849), was an Alemannic Benedictine monk and theological writer who lived on Reichenau Island.

Notable people

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.