Monday, May 22, 2023


Roman Knowledge of Geography

Ronald Syme, "The Subjugation of Mountain Zones," in his Roman Papers, V (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988), pp. 648-660 (at 648):
To be sure, the Romans neglected the science and study of geography. That is a common assumption. It derives from literature, which tended to preserve obsolete notions, such as the misconception about the orientation of Spain—as likewise on the world map of Agrippa. That document was produced as public advertisement or ornament, not as a guide for travellers or the military. They had resources that have seldom percolated into literature. High technique is proved by the planning of roads, the construction of bridges and aqueducts, the siting of forts and cities.

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