Level 3 Mortlock Wing State Library of South Australia North Terrace Adelaide SA 5000

Translation of Strabo's Geographicorum 1523

This is a translation of Strabo’s Geographicarum or Geography, originally published in 7BC, and is by Valentmus Curio according to a new translation from the Greek original done by Conrado Heresbachio, 1523. It is one of the oldest books in the RGSSA library and gives a valuable picture of how the world was perceived at that time.

STRABO TRANSLATION, 1523 Lalentinvs Cvrio lectori. En tibi lector stvdiose Strabonis geographicorum cõmetarios, olim ut putatur, à Guarino Veronense, & Gregorio Trisemate latinate donates, iam uero


Geographicarum is an encyclopedia of geographical knowledge of the time. Originally consisting of 17 'books', it is written in Greek and attributed to Strabo (64 BC-20 AD), an educated citizen of the Roman Empire and of Greek descent. It includes Strabo's geographical theories and ideas and gives valuable descriptions of how the world was seen at that time.

Strabo is considered the 'father of regional geography,' because he substituted divisions and natural boundaries (such as mountains, rivers etc.) for the less permanent and artificially drawn political units. He was the first to hypothesize that geography should include the study of causal relationships between geographical phenomena occurring within a particular region - termed chorological science.

RGSSA catalogue rgsp 910 S894 c

Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus (in present-day Turkey) around 64 BC. His family had been involved in politics since at least the reign of Mithridates V. Strabo was related to Dorylaeus on his mother's side.

Strabo's life was characterized by extensive travels. He journeyed to Egypt and Kush, as far west as coastal Tuscany and as far south as Ethiopia in addition to his travels in Asia Minor and the time he spent in Rome. Travel throughout the Mediterranean and Near East, especially for scholarly purposes, was popular during this era and was facilitated by the relative peace enjoyed throughout the reign of Augustus (27 BC – AD 14). He moved to Rome in 44 BC, and stayed there, studying and writing, until at least 31 BC. In 29 BC, on his way to Corinth (where Augustus was at the time), he visited the island of Gyaros in the Aegean Sea. Around 25 BC, he sailed up the Nile until he reached Philae, after which point there is little record of his travels until AD 17.

It is not known precisely when Strabo's Geographicarum was written, though comments within the work itself place the finished version within the reign of Emperor Tiberius. Some place its first drafts around 7 BC, others around AD 17or AD 18. The latest passage to which a date can be assigned is his reference to the death in AD 23 of Juba II, king of Maurousia (Mauretania), who is said to have died "just recently".