Tseggai Isaac


Duane W Roller, Eratosthenes, geography


Duane W. Roller brought back to life the enigmatic and flamboyant Eratosthenes by capturing the rich details of Eratosthenes’ intellectual background, his personal life, Eratosthenes’ Geographika; and how Eratosthenes was received by contemporary and nascent critics in later years and decades. Eratosthenes was practical and controversial in the sense that he seemed to use unorthodox methodology of practical observation combined with creative and inventive scientific and mathematical intricacies to explain, define, and analyze his findings. He was flamboyant and fertile in his discoveries and the breadth of his creative imaginations of unparalleled perspicuity. Roller observed:

The discipline of geography began with Eratosthenes of Kyrene and the publication of his Geographika in the last third of the third century B.C. Before that time there had been interests in the surface of the earth, its formative process, and its shape and structure, but it was Eratosthenes who brought these divergent streams of thought and experience together to create a new scholarly discipline (p.1).

In this book, the first English translation in over a century of fragments compiled by Strabo and “handful of other authors”, Roller brings to life the intellectual senses of Eratosthenes.