THE present translation of Strabo, the great Geographer
of Antiquity, is the first which has been laid before the
English public. It is curious that a classic of so much
renown and intrinsic value should have remained a
comparatively sealed book to this country for so many
centuries; yet such is the fact. It is true that the imperfect state of the Greek text, and the difficulty of
geographical identification, have always been appalling
obstacles; yet, after the acute and valuable labours of
Gossellin, Du Theil, Groskurd, and especially of Gustav
The translation was, in the first instance, intrusted to Mr. H. C. Hamilton, whose knowledge of the subject, and familiarity with the various languages concerned, peculiarly fitted him for the undertaking. His official
duties, however, added to his anxious examination of
every thing which tended to illustrate his author, prevented his proceeding with much speed; and it was
only after the lapse of three years that he had reached
the end of the sixth book. In the mean time it transpired
that Mr. W. Falconer, son of the editor of the
This is all it seems necessary to state here. In the third volume will be given some account of the life and labours of Strabo, and of the manuscripts and principal editions; also a complete index of the places mentioned in the text, accompanied, where possible, by the modern names.
STRABO, the author of this work, was born at
In the 17th book our author speaks of the death of
The only information which we can obtain of the personal history of Strabo is to be collected from the scanty references made to himself in the course of this work; [Note] for although a writer of the Augustan age, his name and his works appear
to have been generally unknown to his contemporaries, and
to have been passed over in silence by subsequent authors
who occupied themselves with the same branch of study.
The work being written in Greek, and the subject itself not of
a popular kind, would be hindrances to its becoming generally
known; and its voluminous character would prevent many
copies being made; moreover, the author himself, although
for some time a resident at
It is remarkable that of his father and his father's family he
is totally silent, but of his mother and her connexions he has left
us some notices. She was of a distinguished family who had
Dorylaüs, her great grandfather, was a distinguished officer,
and friend of Euergetes; but the latter being assassinated at
Mithridates Eupator, who succeeded to the kingdom of
prospects of the king, and the execution of his son Theophilus and a nephew Tibius.
Dorylaüs made overtures to Lucullus for the revolt of the kingdom of Pontus to the Romans, and in return received great promises of reward, which were never fulfilled. Lucullus ceased to command in the war, and was succeeded by Pompey, who, through enmity and jealousy, prevailed on the senate not to confirm the conditions entered into by his predecessor. As before observed, there is no mention of Strabo's father in the works which have come down to us. Malte-Brun, in his Life of Strabo in the Biographie Universelle, collects several passages tending to show that he was a Roman. The name of Strabo, or squinting, originally Greek, was used by the Romans, and applied to the father of Pompey the Great, among others. How the geographer acquired this name is not related.
When a very young man, he received instruction in grammar and rhetoric from Aristodemus, at Nysa in Caria. [Note] He afterwards studied philosophy under Xenarchus of Seleucia, the Peripatetic philosopher. [Note] Strabo does not say whether he heard him at Seleucia in Cilicia, or at Rome, where he afterwards taught.
Strabo also attended the lessons of Tyrannio of Amisus, [Note]
the grammarian. This must have been at Rome; for Tyrannio
was made prisoner by Lucullus, B. C.
In book xvi., [Note] Strabo states that he studied the philosophy of Aristotle with Boethus of Sidon, who afterwards became a Stoic philosopher. Notwithstanding all these advantages, Strabo was not possessed of all the knowledge of his times, particularly in astronomy and mathematics, but he was well acquainted with history and the mythological traditions of his nation. He was a devout admirer of Homer, and acquainted with the other great poets.
The philosophical sect to which he belonged was the Stoic, as plainly appears from many passages in his Geography.
He wrote a History, which he describes (vol. i. p. 21) as composed in a lucid style; it is cited by Plutarch, and also by
Josephus in his Jewish Antiquities, xiv. 7. It consisted of forty-three books, which began where the history of Polybius ended, and was probably continued to the battle of Actium This valuable History is lost.
Strabo was a great traveller, and apparently had no professional or other occupation. We may therefore conclude that his father left him a good property. Much of his geographical information is the result of personal observation. In a passage of his 2nd book [Note] he thus speaks: Our descriptions shall consist of what we ourselves have observed in our travels by land and sea, and of what we conceive to be credible in the statements and writings of others; for in a westerly direction we have travelled from Armenia to that part of Tyrrhenia which is over against Sardinia; and southward, from the Euxine to the frontiers of Ethiopia. Of all the writers on geography, not one can be mentioned who has travelled over a wider extent of the countries described than we have. Some may have gone farther to the west, but then they have never been so far east as we have; again, others may have been farther east, but not so far west; and the same with respect to north and south. However, in the main, both we and they have availed ourselves of the reports of others, from which to describe the form, size, and other peculiarities of the country. He mentions having been in Egypt, the island Gyarus, Populonium near Elba, Comana in Cappadocia, Ephesus, Mylasa, Nysa, and Hierapolis in Phrygia. He visited Corinth, Argos, Athens, and Megara; but, on the whole, he does not appear to have seen more of Greece than in passing through it on his way to Brundusium, while proceeding to Rome. Populonium and Luna in Italy were the limit of his travels northwards. It is probable he obtained his information as to Spain, France, Britain, and Germany, while staying at Rome.
The first systematic writer on geography was Eratosthenes,
who died at the age of 80, about B. C.
There is no ground for considering the Geography of Strabo an improved edition of that of Eratosthenes. Strabo's work was intended for the information of persons in the higher departments of administration, and contains such geographical and historical information as those engaged in political em-
ployments cannot dispense with. Consistently with this object he avoids giving minute descriptions, except where the place is of real interest, but supplies some account of the important political events that had occurred in various countries, and sketches of the great men who had flourished or laboured in them. It is a lively, well-written book, intended to be read, and forms a striking contrast to the Geography of Ptolemy. His language is simple, appropriate to the matter, without affectation, and mostly clear and intelligible, except in those passages where the text has been corrupted. Like many other Greeks, Strabo looked upon Homer as the depository of all knowledge, but he frequently labours to interpret the poet's meaning in a manner highly uncritical. What Homer only partially knew or conjectured, Strabo has made the basis of his description, when he might have given an independent description, founded on the actual knowledge of his time: these observations apply especially to his books on Greece. He does not duly appreciate Herodotus; nor does he discriminate between the stories which Herodotus tells simply as stories he had heard, and the accounts he relates as derived from personal observation. He likewise rejects the evidence of Pytheas of Marseilles as to the northern regions of Europe, and on more than one occasion calls him a liar, although it is very certain that Pytheas coasted along the whole distance from Gadeira, now Cadiz, in Spain, to the river he calls Tanais, but which was probably the Elbe; however, from the extracts which have been preserved it seems that he did not give simply the results of his own observations, but added reports which he collected respecting distant countries, without always drawing a distinction between what he saw himself and what was derived from the report of others.
Strabo's authorities are for the most part Greek, and he seems to have neglected the Latin memoirs and historical narratives of the campaigns of the Romans, which might have furnished him with many valuable geographical facts for the countries as well of Asia as of Europe. He made some use of Cæsar's description of France, the Alps, and Britain; he alludes to the voyage of Publius Crassus in speaking of the Cassiterides, and also the writings of Asinius Pollio, Fabius Pictor, and an anonymous writer whom he calls the Chorographer; but he might have obtained much additional inform-
ation if he had taken pains to avail himself of the materials he could have procured during his stay at Rome.
Strabo considered that mathematical and astronomical knowledge was indispensable to the science of geography; he says in book i., [Note] that without some such assistance it would be impossible to be accurately acquainted with the configuration of the earth; and that every one who undertakes to give an accurate description of a place, should describe its astronomical and geometrical relations, and explain its extent, distance, latitude, and climate. [Note] As the size of the earth, he says, has been demonstrated by other writers, we shall take for granted what they have advanced. We shall also assume that the earth is spheroidal, and that bodies have a tendency towards its centre. He likewise says, the convexity of the sea is a further proof that the earth is spheroidal to those who have sailed; for they cannot perceive lights at a distance when placed at the same level as their eyes, but if raised on high, they at once become perceptible. [Note] He also observes, our gnomons are, among other things, evidence of the revolution of the heavenly bodies, and common sense at once shows us that if the depth of the earth were infinite, such a revolution could not take place. [Note] But Strabo did not consider the exact division of the earth into climates or zones, in the sense in which Hipparchus used the term, and the statement of the latitudes and longitudes of places, which in many instances were pretty well determined in his time, as essential to his geographical description.
With regard to the lost continent of Atlantis, Strabo is very cautious in criticising [Note] Poseidonius; he observes, he did well, too, in citing the opinion of Plato, that the tradition concerning the island of Atlantis might be received as something more than a mere fiction, it having been related by Solon, on the authority of the Egyptian priests, that this island, almost as large as a continent, was formerly in existence, although now it had disappeared, and remarks that Poseidonius thought it better to quote this than to say, He who brought it into existence can also cause it to disappear, as the poet did the wall of the Achivi.
The measure adopted by Strabo was the stadium. In book
vii. chap. vii. § 4, he says, From Apollonia to Macedonia is the Egnatian Way; its direction is towards the east, and the distance is measured by pillars at every mile, as far as Cypsela and the river Hebrus. The whole distance is 535 miles. But reckoning, as the generality of persons do, a mile at eight stadia, there may be 4280 stadia. And, according to Polybius, who adds two plethra, which are a third of a stadium, to every eight stadia we must add 178 stadia more,—a third part of the number of miles. In book xi. chap. xi. § 5, he compares the parasang with the stadium, and states that some writers reckoned it at 60, others at 40, and others at 30 stadia.
Dr. Smith, in his Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, says, We think that Ukert has satisfactorily shown an accurate description of a place should be particular to add its astronomical and geometrical relations, explaining care fully its extent, distance, degrees of latitude, and temperature of atmosphere. He says likewise, as the size of the earth has been demonstrated by other writers, we shall take for granted that the Greeks had not different standards of length, but always used the Olympic stadium and the foot corresponding to it. He states that the stadium was equal to 600 Greek, or 625 Roman feet, or to 125 Roman paces, and the Roman mile contained 8 stadia. Hence the stadium contained 606 feet 9 inches, English. This standard prevailed throughout Greece under the name of the Olympic stadium, because it was the exact length of the stadium or foot-race course at Olympia, measured between the pillars at the two extremities of the course. Still Dr. Smith further observes, But although the stadium and the foot connected with it were single definite measures throughout Greece, yet we find in the eastern countries, Babylon, Syria, and Egypt, and in some neighboring Greek states, feet longer than the Olympic, the origin of which is to be explained by the coëxistence, in the Babylonian system, of a royal or sacred and a common foot and cubit, which were so related to one another, that the royal cubit was three finger-breadths longer than the common.
We may conclude that Strabo's stadium varied considerably, as he sometimes received his distance from personal observation or credible report, and often quoted other writers, and reduced other standards, as the mile, the parasang, and the
schœnus, to the stadium. In addition to this, the most ancient mode of reckoning distances was by the number of days required to perform the journey, and this was transferred into stadia by reckoning a certain number of stadia to a day's journey. [Note]
Siebenkees and Heeren (De Fontibus Geographicorum Strabonis) have examined the authorities to which Strabo had, or might have had, access, and Groskurd has availed himself of their researches.
The following is a short summary of the seventeen books from these sources, but for a more detailed account of their contents the translation itself must be referred to.
The first two books may be considered as an independent treatise, and by themselves form a remarkable contrast with the rest of the work, in the manner of treating the subjects, and in the difficulties which they present both of language and matter.
In the 1st book, the author enters into a long discussion on the merits of Homer, whom he considers to have been the earliest geographer, and defends him against the errors and misconceptions of Eratosthenes. He corrects some faults of Eratosthenes, and, in his inquiry concerning the natural changes of the earth's surface defends Eratosthenes against Hipparchus. In conclusion, he again corrects Eratosthenes as regards the magnitude and divisions of the inhabited world. The most remarkable passage in this book is that in which he conjectures the existence of the great Western Continents. [Note]
The 2nd book is chiefly occupied with some accounts of mathematical geography, and the Author defends against Hipparchus the division of the inhabited world adopted by Eratosthenes into sections. Then follows a criticism of the division of the earth into six zones, as taught by Poseidonius and Polybius. The pretended circumnavigation of Africa by Eudoxus is referred to, as well as some geographical errors of Polybius. He makes observations of his own on the form and size of the earth in general, as well as of the inhabited portion of it, describing the method of representing it on a spherical or plane surface. A short outline is given of seas, countries,
and nations; and he concludes with remarks on the system of climates, [Note] and on the shadows projected by the sun.
The 3rd book commences with Iberia, and the subject of Europe is continued to the end of the 10th book. His references are the Periplus of Artemidorus, Polybius, and Poseidonius; all three of whom wrote as eye-witnesses. For descriptions and measurement of distances, Artemidorus is chiefly depended upon. The information possessed by Eratosthenes of these countries was meagre and uncertain. For the nations of southern Iberia, he adopts the account of Asclepiades of Myrlea, who had lived and been educated there. Some statements also are borrowed from Roman authors.
The 4th book contains Gallia, according to the four divisions then existing, viz. Gallia Narbonensis, Acquitanensis, Lugdunensis, and the Belgæ; also Britain, with Ierne, and Thule; and lastly, the Alps.
Here Eratosthenes and Ephorus are of little service. His chief guide is Julius Caesar, whom he frequently quotes verbatim. Polybius is his guide for the Alps. Pytheas is the source of some scanty information respecting Ierne and Thule. Throughout his description he adds accounts obtained at Rome from travellers.
The 5th book commences with a general sketch of Italy, and refers principally to northern Italy. Dividing its history into ancient and modern, his chief reference for the former is Polybius, and for the latter we are indebted to the observations of the author himself, or to accounts received from others. Still the description of Upper Italy is poor and unsatisfactory, from the author not sufficiently availing himself of Roman resources. Then follows some account of Etruria with its neighbouring islands, Umbria, Samnium, Latium, and Rome, chiefly the result of the author's own researches and observations. The book concludes with some remarks on the inhabitants of the mountainous districts of Samnium and Campania.
The 6th book is a continuation of the same subject. Magna Græcia, Sicily, and the adjacent islands, are noticed, and the author concludes with a short discussion on the extent of the Roman Empire. Descriptions of some places are from his own observations; but the sources whence he takes his
other account of Italy and the islands are the works of Polybius, Eratosthenes, Artemidorus, Ephorus, Fabius Pictor, Cæcilius (of Cale Acte in Sicily), and some others, besides an anonymous chorographer, supposed to be a Roman, from the circumstance of his distances being given, not in stadia, but in Roman miles.
The 7th book relates, first, to the people north of the Danube, —the Germans, Cimbri, Getæ, Dacians (particularly the European Scythians), and the Crimea; secondly, to the people south of the Danube, viz. those inhabiting Illyricum, Pannonia, Dalmatia, the eastern coast of Thrace to the Euxine, Epirus, Macedonia, Thrace, and the Hellespont. The latter part of this book is not preserved entire in any manuscript, but Kramer has, in his own opinion, succeeded in restoring from the epitomes left to us the greater part of what was wanting. Of Germany, Strabo had tolerable information, but he nowhere states whence it is derived; he may have been partly indebted to Asinius Pollio, whose work he had already examined for the Rhine. For the remaining northern countries, he had Poseidonius and the historians of the Mithridatic war. For the southern countries, he had a lost work of Aristotle on forms of government, Polybius, Poseidonius, and his chief disciples, Theopompus and Ephorus. Incidentally also he quotes Homer and his interpreters, and Philochorus.
The three following books are dedicated to the description of Greece, with the adjacent islands. The 8th comprises the Peloponnesus and its well-known seven provinces, Elis, Messenia, Laconia, Argolis, Corinthia with Sicyonia, Achaia, and Arcadia: the 9th, Attica, with Megaris, Bœotia, Phocis, both Locri and Thessaly: the 10th, Eubœa, ætolia, and Acarnania, with the islands. After a long digression on the subject of the Curetes, the description of Europe closes with some account of Crete and the islands of the ægean Sea. The design and construction of these three books differ considerably from the preceding. Homer is adopted as the foundation of his geographical descriptions; some things Strabo must have learnt as an eye-witness, but more from vivâ voce communications at Athens or at Corinth. All is interwoven together without any clear line of separation, and the result is some confusion. Athens, Corinth, Argos, and their neighbourhood, were the only parts of Greece our author saw. Heeren, in-
deed, maintains that he had seen the whole of it, and the Archipelago, but satisfactory proof of this is altogether wanting.
The 11th book commences with the description of the countries separated from Europe by the Tanaïs or Don. Asia is divided by our author (who here follows Eratosthenes) into two parts by the Taurus, which runs in a direction east and west. The northern part of Asia (or this side Taurus) is divided into four parts. The first part comprises the countries lying between the Don, the Sea of Azoff, the Euxine, and the Caspian; the second, the countries east of the Caspian; and the third, the countries south of Caucasus. These three parts of the first or northern division of Asia are contained in the 10th book; the remaining fourth part occupies the 12th, 13th, and 14th books.
The chief authorities for the first part are, besides information obtained from travellers and merchants at Amasia, Herodotus for the Don; Artemidorus and Eratosthenes for distances; Poseidonius and Theophanes of Mitylene, historians, of the Mithridatic war; Metrodorus of Skepsis; Hypsicrates of Amisus; and Cleitarchus for the digression on the Amazons.
For the second part, are principally Patrocles and Aristobulus, historians of the Asiatic campaigns of Alexander. For the third part, or Media and Armenia, are, Dellius, who wrote a history of the war against the Parthians, in which he had served under Antony; Apollonides of Nicæa, who wrote a Periplus of Europe; and other writers before mentioned.
The 12th book commences with a detailed account of Anatolia, and contains the northern part. It was to have been expected that Strabo would have described most of these countries as an eye-witness, lying, as they do, so near his native country, Cappadocia. But this expectation vanishes, when we discover the meagreness of his account. With the exception of Pontus and Cappadocia, he had seen little of the rest, and depends upon historians and oral information. For earlier times, his authorities are Herodotus, Hellanicus, Theopompus, Ephorus, Artemidorus, Apollodorus, and Demetrius of Skepsis; for later times, historians of the wars of Mithridates and Pompey. For the ancient history of the Mysians and Phrygians, he is indebted to the celebrated Lydian historian Xanthus, and Menecrates.
The 13th book continues the description of Anatolia. The greater part of the book is occupied with a dissertation on the Troad. Strabo had travelled over the country himself, but his great authority is Homer and Demetrius of Skepsis, the author of a work in twenty-six books, containing an historical and geographical commentary on that part of the second book of the Iliad, in which the forces of the Trojans are enumerated. A learned digression on the Leleges, Cilices, and Pelasgi, who preceded the æolians and Ionians in the occupation of the country, is principally taken from Menecrates and Demetrius of Skepsis. The description then turns to the interior, and the account of the æolian cities is probably due to Poseidonius. Throughout this book are evidences of great care and desire for accuracy.
The 14th book continues with the remainder of Anatolia, and an account of the islands Samos, Chios, Rhodes, and Cyprus. The authorities followed are, on the whole, the same as in the previous book—Herodotus, Thucydides, Ephorus, Artemidorus, Eratosthenes, and Poseidonius; besides Pherecydes of Syros who wrote on the Ionian migration, and Anaximenes of Lampsacus, the author of a history in Greek of the Milesian colonies. For Caria, he had the historians of Alexander and an author named Philip, who wrote on the Leleges and Carians. For Cyprus he had Damastes and Eratosthenes.
The 15th and 16th books contain a description of the second portion of Asia, namely, the southern or the other side of Taurus. In the 15th book, Strabo describes India and Persia, the latter in two chief divisions, viz. Ariana or East Persia, and Persis or West Persia. These countries Strabo never saw; his description, therefore, is founded on the authority of travellers and historians. The topography of India is meagre, and limited to a few towns and rivers; but his account of the people of the country is more copious, he being supplied with materials from the historians of Alexander and of the campaigns of Seleucus in India. He looks on Megasthenes, Onesicritus, Deimachus, and Cleitarchus as fabulous writers: but his confidence rests chiefly on Patrocles, Aristobulus (one of the companions and historians of Alexander), and Nearchus, the chief commander of Alexander's fleet. Artemidorus and Nicolaus of Damascus are occasionally consulted. For Ariana or East Persia, he had for his principal authority Era-
tosthenes; and for Persia Proper, he had, besides the above authors, Herodotus, Xenophon, and Polycletus of Larissa, an historian of Alexander.
In the 16th book, he describes the westerly half of south Asia, viz. Assyria with Babylonia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine, the Persian and Arabian Gulfs, the coast of Ethiopia, and lastly, Arabia. For the three first countries (the old Assyrian kingdom), his chief authorities are, besides some of Alexander's historians, Eratosthenes, Poseidonius, and Herodotus; for the remainder he had, in addition to the same writers, Artemidorus, and probably also Nicolaus of Damascus. The account of Moses and the Jews, Heeren surmises, comes from Poseidonius, but it probably proceeds from oral communication had in Egypt; of these countries our author could describe nothing as an eye-witness, except the northwest of Syria. The accounts of Arabia, the Indian and the Red Seas, are from Agatharchides; and much that he describes of Arabia was obtained from his friends, ælius Gallus and the Stoic, Athenodorus.
The 17th book concludes the work with the description of Egypt, Ethiopia, and the north coast of Africa. Strabo had travelled through the whole of Egypt, as far as Syene and Philæ, and writes with the decided tone of an eye-witness. Much verbal information, also, he collected at Alexandria. His most important written authorities are, for the Nile, Eratosthenes (who borrowed from Aristotle), Eudoxus, and Aristo. For the most remarkable events of Egyptian history, he had Polybius, and for later times probably Poseidonius, besides vivâ voce accounts.
For the oracle at Ammon, he had the historians of Alexander; for Ethiopia, the accounts of Petronius, who had carried on war there, Agatharchides, and Herodotus. Of Libya or Africa Proper he had nothing new or authentic to say. Besides Eratosthenes, Artemidorus, and Poseidonius, his chief authorities, he had Iphicrates, who wrote on the plants and animals of Libya. The whole concludes with a short notice of the Roman Empire.
The dates at which particular books were written, as attempted to be given by Groskurd and Coraÿ, must be received with caution.
In book iv. c. vi. § 9, Strabo says that the Carni and Tau-
risci had quietly paid tribute for thirty-three years; and both
these tribes were reduced to subjection by Tiberius and Drusus, B. C.
In book vi. c. iv. § 2, Cæsar Germanicus is spoken of as
still living. He died in Syria, A. D.
In book xii. c. viii. § 11, Strabo says that Cyzicus was
still a free state. It lost its liberty A. D.
The codices or manuscripts which exist of Strabo's work appear to be copies of a single manuscript existing in the middle ages, but now lost. From the striking agreement of errors and omissions in all now extant (with such differences only as can be accounted for, arising from the want of ability or carelessness of the copyist), it appears most probable that to this single manuscript we are indebted for the preservation of the work. Strabo himself describes the carelessness of bad scribes both at Rome and Alexandria, [Note] in the following expressive language: Some vendors of books, also, employed bad scribes and neglected to compare the copies with the originals. This happens in the case of other books, which are copied for sale both here and at Alexandria. After what Kramer has done for the text, we can hope for little improvement, unless, what is beyond all expectation, some other manuscript should be discovered which is either derived from another source, or is a more correct copy.
The following is some account of those in existence:—
Codices in the Imperial Library, Paris:
of the 12th or 13th century; Kramer, however, judging from
the character of the handwriting and contractions, maintains
that it belongs to the end of the 13th or beginning of the
14th century. It contains the whole seventeen books of the
Geography, and was written in the East (not, however, by the
same hand throughout), and brought from Constantinople to
Paris by the Abbé Servin in
Codices in the Vatican:
ning, probably, of the 14th century, and is remarkable for being the work of thirteen different transcribers. It is much to be lamented, that the greater part of it is lost; it begins from the end of the 12th book only, and a part of the last leaf of the 17th book is also destroyed; what remains to us surpasses all others in correctness of the text. The whole has been collated for the first time by Kramer.
No. 174 is of the 15th century, and contains the seventeen books: the first nine books are written by one transcriber, the list eight by another hand. The first nine books have been collated by Kramer.
No. 173 contains the first ten books, and is of the middle of
the 15th century. It is badly and incorrectly written. The
last seven books, which would complete the codex, are, as
Kramer conjectures from the paper and handwriting, in the
Library of the Grand Duchy of Parma. From a note in Greek
at the end of the 10th book, it appears to have been brought
to Rome A. D.
No. 81 is tolerably well and correctly written. It contains the last eight books, and is of the end of the 15th century. It appears to be a copy of, or served as a copy to, the codex in the Laurentian Library, No. 19. Partially collated by Kramer.
Medicean Codices, in the Laurentian Library, Florence:
Codex 5 is elegantly and correctly written; it is of the beginning, probably, of the 15th century, and contains the first ten books. The 8th and 9th books are not entire; passages are curtailed, and much is omitted, to which the attention is not drawn, the lines being run on without spaces left to mark omissions. Errors of the first transcriber are corrected by a later hand, and noticed in the margin or between the lines. Collated by Bandini for Falconer, and almost the whole by Kramer.
Codex 40 contains the first ten books; a copy, probably, of the former. It was written after the middle of the 15th century
Codex 15 is of the middle of the 15th century, and contains the last seven books. It is not in any way remarkable.
Codex 19, written at the end of the 15th century. It contains the last eight books, and resembles No. 81 of the Vatican. Collated by Bandini for Falconer.
No. 377 of the catalogue contains the first twelve books, and is written in the 15th century. Formerly the property of Cardinal Bessarion.
No. 378 contains the seventeen books, of which the first twelve are apparently copies of the above, No. 377; the remaining five are transcribed from some other codex. This was, also, formerly the property of Cardinal Bessarion.
No. 640 contains the last eight books. It was written, as
appears from a note A. D.
No. 379 is of the 15th century. It contains the Epitome of
Gemistus Pletho of the first ten books, and the whole of the
last seven books. It is the codex which served for the copy,
No. 606 contains the last eight books, and was written towards the end of the 15th century. It contains nothing which is not to be found in other manuscripts.
Codices in the Ambrosian Library, Milan:
Codex M. 53 contains all but book ii., and is of the 15th century. The books are not written on paper of the same size, nor in consecutive order, although by the same hand. Book ii. is to be found in Codex N. 289, together with portions of other authors, written by a different transcriber, no doubt with the intention of completing this codex. According to Kramer, the first ten books are copied from Codex 5 of the Medici MS. The 13th, 14th, 12th books (the order in which they stand) from the Medici MS. 19, and the 11th, 15th, 16th, 17th, from the Medici MS. 15. Partly collated by Kramer.
Codex G. 53 contains the seventeen books, and is of the end of the 15th century. Five leaves at the beginning, and two at the end, are destroyed by damp, traces of which are to be seen throughout. Partly collated by Kramer.
In the Library of Eton College is a codex containing the first ten books; it was written at Constantinople. Kramer,
who, however, did not see it, conjectures that the Medici MS., Codex 15, containing the last eight books, was formerly united to it, and completed the whole work. Collated for Falconer.
In the Library of the Escurial is a codex completed, as we
are informed by a note at the end, A. D.
The Madrid Library possesses a codex written in the latter part of the 15th century, containing the seventeen books.
In the Library at Moscow is a codex containing the seventeen
books; it was written at the end of the 15th or beginning
of the 16th century. The first nine books resemble the Paris
A codex also is yet to be found in one of the monasteries
of Mount Athos. From the accounts of learned travellers
(Zacharias, Reise in den Orient, and Fallmerayer, in the Allgem.
Zeitg. 5 Jun.
Besides the above codices, there exist four epitomes of the Geography of Strabo, of which,
The Epitome Palatina, in the Heidelberg Library, is the oldest of all MSS. of this work. It is probably of the beginning of the 10th century, although Dodwell places it between 976 and 996. The codex from which it was copied appears to have been perfect, and contained the whole of the 7th book, which is imperfect in all other codices. It is, however, to be regretted that the author did not confine himself to following the text of Strabo; he has not only indulged in curtailing, transposing, and changing the words and sentences of the original, but has sometimes also added expressions of his own.
The Vatican Epitome is of more value than the preceding; the extracts are more copious, the author seldom wanders from the text of Strabo, and in no instance inserts language of his own. The codex which served as the basis for the Epitome contained the 7th book entire, and from this
and the Palatine Epitome Kramer collected the fragments of the last part of the 7th book, which appear for the first time in his edition (see vol. i. of the Translation, p. 504). This codex was written in the middle of the 14th century, and has suffered much by time and carelessness; several leaves are lost, and lines of the text at the top and bottom of the pages have been cut off in the binding.
The Parisian Epitome, on which no great value is placed by Kramer.
The Epitome of Gemistus Pletho, referred to above, is of great value, and held in the highest estimation by all editors.
The first appearance of Strabo's work in print was a Latin
translation by Guarini, of Verona, and Gregorio of Tiferno.
Of this, thirteen editions were printed, the first in
The first edition of the Greek text was printed at Venice
by Aldus in
The seventh edition was that of Thomas Falconer of Ches-
ter, and of Brasennose College, published in 2 vols. folio, at
The eighth edition was that of Professor J. P. Siebenkees,
of which great expectations were formed. The deficiencies of
his performance are strongly commented on by Kramer. Siebenkees lived to complete only the first six books; the remainder of the work was undertaken by Tzchucke, and conducted with greater skill and ability than by his predecessor.
It was published in
The ninth edition is that by Coraÿ, Paris,
The tenth edition is that by Professor Gustavus Kramer,
in 3 vols. 8vo, the first of which appeared in
unwearied labour; of the many years spent in the preparation of it, three were passed in Italy for the purpose of collating manuscripts. This edition surpasses all others in completeness, and little is left for correction by subsequent editors.
A. Meineke published at Leipsic, in 3 vols.,
C. Miller and F. Dübner have also published the first vol.,
In modern languages, we have a translation by Alfonso
Buonacciuoli, of Ferrara, in Italian, 2 vols. 8vo, Venice,
A translation in French was published at Paris in five
vols. 4to, from the year
and in the Commentaries of Eustathius on Homer, which were written towards the end of the twelfth century. It is an example of Kramer's just remark, that no work of any ancient author, which has descended to our time, has suffered more from various causes.
A translation by F. Ambrosoli, forming part of the Collana degli Antichi Storici Greci, was published in
In conclusion, I have to acknowledge considerable obligations to the notes and prefaces of Groskurd, Kramer, the French translators, and others.
The part of the translation for which I am responsible commences at chap. iv. book vii., vol. i. p. 473, to the end of the work, and is partly based on an incomplete translation in MS. by my late father, the Rev. Dr. T. Falconer. The previous portion is the work of Hans C. Hamilton, Esq., F. S. A., to whom I am indebted for his continued interest in the translation throughout, for his care in correcting the press, and for valuable suggestions.
A complete index, which concludes the third volume, has been compiled with the greatest regard to accuracy, by a gentleman of tried skill and ability. It contains every geographical name mentioned by Strabo; and the modern names, printed in italics, are also added, as far as can be ascertained: they are not given with perfect confidence in all cases; discussion on doubtful points would have exceeded the limits of this work; and reference may be advantageously made, where more minute detail is required, to the able articles in Dr. W. Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography.
Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].