Geography

Pausanias: The Description of Greece

Butler1851GreecePelopThe Description of Greece (Greek: Ἑλλάδος Περιήγησις) by Pausanias is a guide to continental Greece written in about 160 CE.  It focuses mainly on places and monuments of historical, religious and artistics interest, with observations on the natural world featuring only occasionally.

The work is divided into ten books covering: 1. Attica and Megara, 2. Corinth and Argolis, 3. Laconia, 4. Messenia. 5 and 6. Elis including Olympia, 7 Achaea, 8. Arcadia, 9, Boeotia, 10. Phocis including Delphi.

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Free online texts

Internet Archive: Pausanias's Description of Greece, English translation with a commentary by James George Frazer. Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L093 - Pausanias - Description of Greece I: Books 1-2 (Attica and Corinth). PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.
Loebulus. L188 - Pausanias - Description of Greece II: Books 3-5 (Laconia, Messenia, Elis 1). PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Greek text (Teubner 1903) and English translation by W.H.S. Jones and H.A. Ormerod. HTML and XML formats.

Theoi.com: Description of Greece. English translation by by W.H.S. Jones and H.A. Ormerod. HTML  format.

ToposText: English text hyperlinked to accompanying maps. HTML format.

Wikisource: Greek text and English translations by Jones and Taylor.

Other Resources

Ancient History Encyclopedia: Pausanias (Geographer).

Digital Milliet Project: Excerpts on painting. Ancient Greek with English and French commentary. HTML format.

Livius: Pausanias the Periegete.

Peter Sommer Travels: Pausanias - The Father of Guidebooks, by Heinrich Hall.

PPG System: Pausanias Paths in Greece. English introduction to Greek language navigation system.

University of Texas at Austin Linguistics Research Center: Classical Greek Online - Lesson 10 - From Pausanias' Description of Greece. Winfred P. Lehmann and Jonathan Slocum.

Wikipedia: Pausanias (Geographer).

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Homer: The Iliad. See especially Book II.

Herodotus: The Histories.

Strabo: The Geography.

Butler: Atlas of Ancient Geography.

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.


Strabo: Geography

Map of the World according to Strabo. Via Wikimedia Commons.Strabo's Geographica or Geography (Greek: Γεωγραφικά) is the most important work on its subject to survive from the ancient world, giving a comprehensive account of those parts of Europe, Asia and Africa known to the Romans.

It's author, Strabo, came from a well-to-do Greek family in the city of Amasia, Pontus, and was born in around 64 BC.  His early education at Rome was the prelude to extensive travels in the Near East.  He adopted a Stoic philosophy which influenced a cosmopolitan admiration for the Romans. His lost Historical Sketches covered the periods before and after the work of Polybius, up to the time of Julius Caesar. The Geography may have been completed around around 7BC and revised in 18 AD.

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Free online texts

Gutenberg: The Geography of Strabo. Vol I | Vol II | Vol III. English translation by Hailton and Falconer. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: L 049 - Strabo - Geography I. Greek and English text. Loeb edition, multiple formats.

LacusCurtius: Strabo's Geography. English translation by H.L. Jones. HTML format.

Loebulus: L049 - Strabo -- Geography I: Books 1-2L211 - Strabo -- Geography V: Books 10-12L223 - Strabo -- Geography VI: Books 13-14L241 - Strabo -- Geography VII: Books 15-16 | L267 - Strabo -- Geography VIII: Book 17 and General Index. Greek and English text. Loeb edition, PDF format.

Perseus: Greek text and translations by Hamilton & Falconer (Books I-XVII) and by Jones (Books VI-XII).

Wikisource: Greek text available. English text not yet online but open for contributions.

Other Resources

Ancient World Mapping Center: Strabo Map.

BBC In Our Time: Strabo's Geographica. Melvyn Bragg in radio conversation with Paul Cartledge, Maria Pretzler, and Benet Salway.

Cartographic-images.net: Strabo's World Map.

Strabo the Geographer - Site by Sarah Pothecary.

Wikipedia: Strabo - Geographica.

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Herodotus: The Histories.

Polybius: The Histories.

Pliny the Elder: Natural History - a similarly encyclopaedic writer who seems to have been oddly unaware of Strabo's work.

 Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.


Herodotus: The Histories

Greece_persian_war_500_479The Histories of Herodotus is the founding work of the Greek historical tradition, documenting the rise of the Persian Empire, the Ionian revolt and the subsequent war between the Persians and the Greeks led by Athens and Sparta. Through his frequent digressions on the various cultures of the known world Herodotus, known as the 'father of history', imparted to the discipline a broad anthropological focus, rivalling the predominantly political and military interests of his successor, Thucydides.

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Free Online Texts

Gutenberg: Herodotus author page. Multiple formats.

Gutenberg: The History of Herodotus, Volume 1. Translated by G.C. Macaulay.

Gutenberg: The History of Herodotus, Volume 2. Translated by G.C. Macaulay.

Inquiries by Herodotus, translated by Shlomo Felberbaum, with photographs by Shane Solow. Online text.

Internet Archive: Herodotus.

Internet Classics Archive, The History of Herodotus, translated by George Rawlinson.

Loebulus. L117 - Herodotus -- Herodotus I: Books 1-2. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. 

Loebulus. L118 - Herodotus -- Herodotus II: Books 3-4. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Loebulus. L119 - Herodotus -- Herodotus III: Books 5-7. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. 

Loebulus. L120 - Herodotus -- Herodotus IV: Books 8-9. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Pax Librorum: The Histories by Herodotus. Pdf download.

Perseus: Herodotus, Greek text (Godley ed., 1920). English translation (Godley, 1920). Online texts.

Sacred Texts: The History of Herodotus, parallel English/Greek, translated by G. C. Macaulay, (1890). Online with zipped text download.

 Wikisource: The Histories  - Online Translations by A. D. Godley, George Rawlinson and G. C. Macaulay. Downloads via Book Creator.

Continue reading "Herodotus: The Histories" »


Pliny the Elder: Natural History

The Natural History (Latin: Naturalis Historia) by Pliny the Elder, was dedicated to the Emperor Titus in 77 CE, and published posthumously, following Pliny's death while observing the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE. It is an encyclopedic work, designed to illustrate a philosophical belief in a benign providence, and to assimilate Greek knowledge for the Roman World. Despite a reputation for credulity, the sheer breadth of Pliny's interests make the Natural History a work of lasting value.

Book I provides a summary of contents and list of Roman and foreign authorities cited. Book II focuses on cosmology and physics, while books III-VI cover the geography of the known world. Book VII deals with the human body, Books VIII-XI with animals, Books XII-XIX with botany. The medicinal properties of plants are covered in Books XX-XXVII and of animals in Books XXVIII-XXXII. Books XXXIII-XXXVII examine minerology, with the aesthetic properties of stones providing the occasion for an excursus on art.

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Free online texts

Internet Archive:  The Natural History of PlinyVol I - Vol II - Vol III - Vol IV - Vol V - Vol VI. Translated by John Bostock and Henry T. Riley (1855-57). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Pliny's Natural History - Vol I - Vol II. Translated by Philemon Holland (1601, printed 1847-48). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Elder Pliny's Chapters on the History of Art, translated by K. Jex-Blake. Multiple formats.

LacusCurtius. Natural History. Latin text, HTML format.

Latin Library: Naturalis Historiae. Latin text, HTML format.

Loebulus. L330 - Pliny -- Natural History I: Books 1-2. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. Also at the Internet Archive.

Loebulus. L352 - Pliny -- Natural History II: Books 3-7. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. Also at the Internet Archive.

Loebulus. L353 - Pliny -- Natural History III: Books 8-11. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. Also at the Internet Archive.

Loebulus. L370 - Pliny -- Natural History IV: Books 12-16. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. Also at the Internet Archive.

Loebulus. L371 - Pliny -- Natural History V: Books 17-19. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. Also at the Internet Archive.

Loebulus. L392 - Pliny -- Natural History VI: Books 20-23. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. Also at the Internet Archive.

LoebulusL393 - Pliny -- Natural History VII: Books 24-27. Index of Plants. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. Also at the Internet Archive.

Loebulus. L418 - Pliny -- Natural History VIII: Books 28-32. Index of Fishes. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. Also at the Internet Archive.

Loebulus. L394 - Pliny -- Natural History IX: Books 33-35. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English. Also at the Internet Archive.

Perseus: Latin text, edited by K.F.T. Mayhoff (1906). English text, translated by John Bostock (1855).

University of Chicago: The Historie of the World, translated by Philemon Holland (1601). HTML format.

Other Resources

BBC In Our Time: Pliny's Natural History - Radio programme presented by Melvyn Bragg, with Serafina Cuomo, Aude Doody and Liba Taub.

Librivox: The Natural History -  public domain audiobook.

Livius: Pliny the Elder, Natural History.

Roger Pearse: The manuscripts of Pliny the Elder’s “Natural History.

Wikipedia: Natural History (Pliny).

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Pliny's sources

Pliny is unusual among ancient writers in explicitly citing a copious range of sources. The extant authors mentioned in the summary of the work in Book I include:

Aeschylus - Anacreon - Aristotle - Callimachus - Cato the Elder - Cicero - Columella - Cornelius Nepos - Herodotus - Hesiod - Hippocrates - Homer - Horace- Livy - Menander - Ovid - Pindar - Plautus - Polybius - Pomponius Mela - Seneca - Sophocles - Theophrastus - Thucydides - Varro - Virgil - Vitruvius.

Pliny's contemporaries

Pliny the Younger: Letters.

Tacitus: The Germania - thought to be strongly influenced by Pliny's lost work on the German Wars.

Pliny's influence

Isidore of Seville: Etymologies - An encyclopedic work from late antiquity that relies heavily on Pliny. 


Butler: Atlas of Ancient Geography

ButlerOldWorldThe Atlas of Ancient Geography by Dr Samuel Butler was published in 1851, so no doubt it is obsolete for serious academic purposes, but I have yet to find a classical text, or classical scholar, that it couldn't illuminate. From Homer's Iliad, to Livy's or Mommsen's History of Rome, the maps below, downloaded to my desktop and tablet, are always helpful in understanding what's going on. 

The files are hosted at the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin, who are be it noted, seeking donations to upload many other maps from the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection - a very worthy cause.

Maps

Africa (3.2 MB) | Armenia, Colchis, Iberia, and Albania (3.2 MB) | Asia Minor (3.9 MB) | Britannia (3.7 MB) | Egypt (3.3 MB) | Orbis Veteribus Notus (Europe, Asia and North Africa) (3.5 MB) | Gallia (France) (4.0 MB) | Germany (3.4 MB) | Greece and Islands (3.6 MB) | Greece and the Peloponnese (4.3 MB) | Greece and the Peloponnesus, South (3.8 MB) | Islands in the Aegean Sea (4.5 MB) | Italy, Central (3.8 MB) | Italy, North (4.1 MB) | Italy, South (3.7 MB) | Macedonia, Moesia, Thracia, and Dacia (4.1 MB) | Mauritania, Numidia, and Africa (3.2 MB) | Oriens (Persia) (3.6 MB) | Palestine, Times of Christ and His Apostles (3.7 MB) | Palestine, Times of Judges and Kings (3.2 MB) | Rome (3.9 MB) | Spain (3.9 MB)
Syria, Mesopotamia, and Assyria (3.0 MB) | Vindelicia, Rhaetia, Noricum, Pannonia, and Illyricum (3.0 MB) 


Tacitus: Germania

Txu-pcl-maps-oclc-70574898-germania-1851The Germania (Latin: De Origine et situ Germanorum),  is an extended account of the Germanic peoples encountered by the Romans on the northern frontiers of their empire. Completed by Tacitus in around AD 98,the work describes the land of Germany and the customs of the Germans as a whole, before discussing individual tribes in turn, dividing them into three main groups, the Ingaevones, the Herminones and the Istaevones.

Tacitus contrasted the simplicity and liberty of the Germans with the decadence of Rome, in an influential example of the rhetorical trope that would come to be known as the myth of the noble savage.

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Online Texts

Bibliotheca Augustana: De Origine et Situ Germanorum - Latin text, HTML format.

Internet Archive: The Agricola and Germania, translated by R.B. Townshend. Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L035 - Tacitus -- Dialogus, Agricola, Germania. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Latin and English.

The Latin Library: De Origine et Situ Germanorum - Latin text, HTML format.

Medieval History Sourcebook: Germania, translated by Thomas Gordon. HTML format.

Perseus: De Origine et Situ Germanorum, edited by Henry Furneaux - Latin text, HTML and XML formats.

Perseus: Germany and its Tribes, translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. HTML and XML formats.

Poetry in Translation: The Agricola and Germania, translated by A.S. Kline (2015). Multiple formats.

Sacred-texts: Germany - Latin and English side by side. HTML format.

Wikisource: The Situation of the Germans, translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb, 1876. Online, downloadable as PDF/MOBI/EPUB.

Other resources

Classical Wisdom Weekly: Tacitus' Germania - The Mythology Behind German Nationalism, by Benjamin Welton.

Librivox: Tacitus' Germania - public domain audiobook.

Livius: Tacitus.

New York Times: The Idea of Germany - from Tacitus to Hitler, by Cullen Murphy.

Tertullian: Tacitus and his Manuscripts.

The Great conversation: further reading at Tom's Learning Notes.

Caesar: The Gallic War - includes an account of the first Roman incursion into Germany.

Pliny the Elder: Natural History - includes some material on the Germans in Book IV. Pliny's lost writings on the German Wars were probably a major influence on his contemporary, Tacitus.

Tacitus: The Annals - From the Death of Augustus to Nero.

Tacitus: The Histories - the Year of the Four Emperors and the rise of the Flavian Dynasty.

Tacitus: The Agricola.

 Latin Resources: Online materials for learning Latin.