ROMAN PERIOD (625 B.C – A.D 476)

  • The rise of Roman Geography took place between 201-168 B.C.
  • A Roman major contribution was mainly in historical and Regional Geography.
  • Polybius, Poseidonius contributed to the field of physical Geography.
  • Glacken- “from the original state man advanced through a stage of pastoral nomadism, then through an agricultural stage and finally to the stage of contemporary culture”.
  • The Romans were great engineers and excellent administrators.
  • They built their empire on Roman law and Racial equality.
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STRABO (64 B.C – A.D 20)

  • Strabo is best known for his work Geographica (“Geography”), which presented a descriptive history of people and places from different regions of the world known during his lifetime.
  • Strabo is considered the father of Regional Geography.
  • He also places the northern limit of the habitable Earth only 400 miles north of the Black Sea.
  • He gave a correct explanation of the Flood of the Nile, attributing them to the heavy summer rain in Ethiopia.
  • Strabo’s greatest contribution in the field of Political Geography.
  • He was born in Amaceia (Turkey), Strabo is the first who conceived the idea of a complete geographical treatise, comprising four branches:
i. Traveler Geography

He visited along with ‘Gallus’ (Roman government scene passing through the Nile Valley 24 B.C the eastern coast of Italy was also a ‘Terra- Incognito’ to them (unknown world).

ii. Regional Geography

Strabo attempted to present a general picture of each country. He conceived the general features which characterize the entire area of the world.

iii. Political Geography

In his ‘Geographia’, Strabo ermines the prerequisites for the successful functioning of larger political units and reiterated that a strong central government and a single head of state are essential ingredients for political success.

iv. Mathematical Geography

He supported ‘Hipparchus’ view that it was impossible to make any real progress in geography without the determination of latitude and longitude.

His Writings and Contributions

1. General Treatise

The general treatise is just an improvement over the work of Eratosthenes and does not carry much credibility.

2. Historical Memoir

Strabo’s works 43 volumes entitled ‘Historical Memoir. His support of Herodotus’ view of geography and history should go hand in hand.

3. Geographical Treatise (Geographia)
  • Vol. I- Introduction of subject matter
  • Vol. II- Examine the detailed work of Eratosthenes.
  • Vol. III- Covers the geography of Spain, France, and Britain.
  • Vol. IV- Describe the Alps.
  • Vol. V & VI- Devoted to Italy and Sicily.
  • Vol. VII- East of Rhine and North of Danube.
  • Vol. VIII, IX & X- Devoted Greece and Neighboring Island.
  • Vol. XI- Devoted Asia and Europe.
  • Vol. XII & XVI- Description of Cappodocia, Asia and Eratosthenes.
  • Vol. XV & XVI- Describe southern Asia.
  • Vol. VII- Deals with Africa continent.

Strabo gave a graphic description of the inundation of the Nile. He tells us that it was caused by heavy rains that fell in the summer on the mountains of upper Ethiopia.


  • Ptolemy was born in ‘Pelusium’ (Egypt). His works inspired geographers and explores of the great age of discovery 1400-1500 A.D.
  • Concept of Universe:- The Earth was a sphere that remained stationary in the center, while the celestial bodies revolved around in a circular orbit.
  • This remains accepted doctrine until the time of Copernicus (17th. A.D)
  • The concept of ‘Terra Incognito’, was propounded by Ptolemy.
  • The first is the astronomical treatise now known as the Almagest.
  •  Ptolemy was a 2nd-century Greek mathematician, astronomer, and geographer famous for his controversial geocentric theory of the universe, which would form the basis of our understanding of the motions of stars and planets for over a thousand years.

His Writing

  • The outline of Geography / Guide to geography (8 volumes)

i. I vol.- Principle for calculating the dimensions of the Earth.

ii. II-VII vol.- Included tables of latitude & longitude.

iii. VIII vol.- Contained map of different parts of the world.

  • Almagest / Syntaxis- This book mainly deals with the complicated problem of mathematical geography, and astronomy. He devoted two parts of the Almagest to a catalog of stars.
  • Ptolemy wrote the theory of cartography.

His Contribution

1. Cartography
  • He established geography as an art and science of map Making.
  • Ptolemy was to reform the map of the world.
  • He did by adopting a projection for the world map showing the graticule of latitude and longitude.
2. Astronomy
  • According to him, the planet revolved around the Earth.
  • He refined the world map based on astronomical principles.
3. Regional Geography
  • Ptolemy described the regions and nations of western Europe at length.
  • The regional geography was enriched by the construction of many roads in the countries under the Roman Empire.
4. Human Geography
  • Ptolemy presents fairly dependable narrations of the tribes in Samatia, Besides good accounts of the tribes of Paprobane.
5. Physical Geography
  • The climatic zones of Ptolemy are shown on his map.
  • He also studies the work of rivers and mountains.
  • Ptolemy can also first plotting of the Genetic Gulf and Himalayas.


  • The world map was prepared in exaggerated size.
  • The Black Sea and Azov are distorted forms.
  • The Caspian Sea is shown as an inland lake.
  • The map shows no connection between Sea Asia and Africa.
  • The Indian Ocean is a landlocked sea depicting.

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