Who is Strabo?June 26, 2021
Strabo or Strabo BC. 64 to A.D. He is a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher of the Roman period who lived between 24 BC.
Strabon, who was born in Amasya, is known as the first geographer of the world and gained fame with his geography book describing the ancient world. Most of his 17-volume work, “Geographumena” or “Geographika”, has survived.
Strabo’s Geography not only has a historical feature, but also examines the relations of people, tribes and empires with the natural environment. In this respect, it is different from Ptolemy’s (Ptolemy) work called “Geographike Aphegesis”. The 12th, 13th and 14th volumes of this work, covering the Anatolian geography, were published by Archeology and Art Publications in today’s Turkish.
Strabo gained fame with his studies on migrations to known places and which nations settled during his lifetime. He is thought to be related by blood with Roman aristocrats. He was born into a wealthy family within the borders of today’s Amasya province. He is the world’s first recognized geographer.
He is best known for his geography book on the Ancient World.
Strabo was born in Amasya and died in Amasya. He was educated in classical Greek. He took rhetoric lessons from Aristodemus. He went to Rome in 44 BC to continue his education. Although he initially defended Aristotelian views, he later became influenced by Athenodoros, one of Augustus’ teachers, and adopted the views of the Stoic school.
He remained in Rome until 31 BC. He toured Greece in 29 BC. He went to Egypt in 28 BC. He traveled throughout most of the Roman Empire. He stayed for a long time in Rome and Alexandria.
He wrote a work called “Historika Hypomnemata” (Historical Memoirs) (now lost) in his maturity. This work, in 43 volumes, is a continuation of the history of Polybios, covering the period from the destruction of Corinth and Carthage (146 BC) to the death of Caesar or the Battle of Actium. Only 19 fragments were recovered.
Most of his work “Geographumena” or “Geographika” has survived to the present day. This work has 17 volumes. The author wrote this work for the cultured people of the Greek and Roman world. It was inspired by Eratosthenes, Hipparchus, and by historians Epheros, Polybios, and Poseidonios, which included the broadest selective thinking.
Strabo, while talking about Chalcedon, says that “there was a spring a little inland from the sea, in which small crocodiles lived”. It is not known on which side of Kadıköy this crocodile spring is located. However, it is possible that it was found around today’s Uzunçayır before it filled the bed of Kurbağalıdere (Kuşdili Stream) with alluvium.
Since some captives and slaves were sacrificed to crocodiles in the years when Anatolia was invaded by the Romans, it will not be difficult to understand Strabo’s sentence “There were crocodiles in the small spring a little bit inside Chalcedon”.
Strabo is also a geologist who made the first cause/effect explanation of volcanism in the Ancient Period.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer Yıldırım
Source: Atatürk University Department of Sociology Lecture Notes for Grade 1 “Introduction to Philosophy” and Grade 3 “History of Contemporary Philosophy” (Ömer YILDIRIM)