The Mediterranean World: Ancient Greece and Turkey
The Geography of Strabo
Volume 1: translated by H. C. Hamilton & W. Falconer
The life of the Greek geographer Strabo (63 BC to AD 24) spanned the event-filled period beween the late Roman Republic and the early Empire. His comprehensive Geography (greatly influencing later writers including the 1st century Pliny the Elder), is no mere compendium of place names and distances. The work, while geographically organized, covers a near-cosmic range of historical, political, and mythological information about the known world. Examples range from the famed 6th century BC lyric poetry of Sappho from the island of Lesbos, to the little-known tribes of Germania across the Rhine/Danube frontier, reported by Caesar and other legionary sources, to the palace of Ptolemy at Alexandria in 24 BC, personally observed by Strabo, who was a great traveller as well as a prolific writer.
The current edition of Strabo's Geography, based on the now classic 19th century translation by H.C. Hamilton and W. Falconer (derived from 12th-15th century manuscript sources), will be issued in 3 volumes. Part 1, now available, covers Books 1 through 7, including the provinces and tribes of Spain, Gaul, Italy, and Germany, plus a full introduction on earlier, Hellenistic geographer/ historians. These sources include Eratosthenes, Poseidonius, Polybius, and Ptolemy, many of whose works do not survive today. The wide empirical scope of Strabo's work combines in a most interesting fashion with the sometimes philosphical bent of his discussion, providing the reader with an entree to the mind of an ancient explorer.
Paperback, 525 pages. Introduction, maps, bibliography, and index.
ISBN 1-887954-25-2. US $16.95
[Lions' gate at Mycenae; Schliemann's Mycenae]
Mycenae: A Narrative of Research and Discovery at Mycenae and Tiryns
by Heinrich Schliemann
Originally published in 1877, this is the first written account of excavations at two major Bronze Age citadels in mainland Greece of the 16th-12th centuries BC. On hiatus from his pioneering work at Troy, Schliemann brought his considerable energy and knowledge of classical literature and archaeology to bear on the excavation at Mycenae and Tiryns. Defying his critics here, as he had at Troy, Schliemann proceeded to uncover houses, palaces, tombs, and treasuries at Mycenae.
Among his most impressive finds were the Shaft Graves recorded in the 2nd century by the Greek travel writer Pausanias, and the treasuries of Atreus (Agamemnon) and his wife Clytemnestra, filled with gold, silver, jewelry and burial items including the famous “Mask of Agamemnon.” Schliemann, in his quest to prove the accuracy of Homer, had in fact discovered the pre-Hellenic Mycenean civilization, now dated to 2100-1150 BC.
This 384-page account, written by Schliemann from copious field notes in only eight weeks, also contains hundreds of high-quality drawings of artifacts and site areas. Additional notes provide the reader with updated information regarding the artifacts and conclusions detailed by Schliemann.
The present edition is taken from the first 1877 American printing by Scribner, Armstrong and Co. Also included are appendices containing maps, site plans, and color illustrations.
Paperback, 384 pages. Illustrations, notes, and bibliography.
ISBN 1-887954-00-7. US $21.95
Ilios: The City and Country of the Trojans
by Heinrich Schliemann
Perhaps the most famous city in the classical world, Ilios, better known today as Troy, has been a center of debate for generations. Though central to Homer’s Iliad of ca. 750 BC, and later the backdrop for Virgil’s 1st century BC epic The Aeneid, 19th century scholars were sceptical of Troy’s existence as a real town.
[Golden armsbands from Troy; Schliemann's Ilios]
Heinrich Schliemann, however, had spent a lifetime studying the epics of Homer and the geography of Strabo, and was convinced of the historical basis for Homer’s poems. After retiring from his business career in 1863, he set out to find Troy. In 1871, following several years of study in Paris, Schliemann went to Hissarlik, the site of historic Ilion in Turkey, and began his excavations seeking Troy and the treasures of its ancient king, Priam.
Schliemann then made discoveries of several superimposed levels of ancient Troy, which caused a revolution in the world of classical studies. His Ilios (first published in Europe in 1880) became not only an important primary source in archaeology, but also a vindication of Homer’s historical value which underscores the importance of viewing the Iliad itself as a source of historical information.
This edition (based on the first US printing in 1881 by Harpers) includes a total of 2000 illustrations plus updated references, and translations of classical references used by Schliemann. Original appendices by A.H. Sayce, Frank Calvert, Max Müller, and Rudolf Virchow are also included.
Paperback, 966 pages. Illustrations, notes, bibliography, and index.
ISBN 1-887954-01-5. US $24.95
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