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Ancient World Seminar: Mathieu de Bakker (UvA), “Strabo and the edges of the oikoumenê”

Wanneer:ma 19-03-2018 16:15 - 17:30
Waar:Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies (Oude Boteringestraat 38), Court Room
Poster Lecture De Bakker
Poster Lecture De Bakker

The Greek historiographer and geographer Strabo (ca. 60 BCE - 20 AD) wrote a Geography in which he describes the entire known world (oikoumenē), from the Iberian peninsula to the valley of the Indus, and from the British Isles to the coasts of Africa and the Arabian peninsula.
Strabo rejects the open-ended worldview of some of his classical and hellenistic predecessors and takes as his point of departure Homer's idea of a world surrounded by Ocean. This he combines with more recent philosophical theories that presuppose the presence of latitudinal zones in the North and the South that are too barren to be livable. In his work he pays ample attention to the peoples that inhabit the edges of the oikoumenē and presents an altogether more complex and nuanced picture of these peoples than has often been assumed, in which he innovates upon existing traditions and relates much historical and geographical information to the growth of the Roman Empire.

Mathieu de Bakker is university lecturer at the Classics department of the University of Amsterdam, where he teaches courses on all aspects of ancient Greek. He has published on the Greek historians and orators. He is also co-author of the Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek, which will appear in the course of 2018.