STRABO ON HOMER 1) BY D. M. SCHENKEVELD It is a well-established fact that Homer-more than any other poet-influenced Greek life in all its facets. Hence it is no small wonder that Homer was considered to be the a4pa«%q of many arts and sciences the origin of which we would prefer to date after his time. A striking example of this view is the small book of Pseudo- Plutarch, De vita et poesi Homeri, in which book the author proves that all well-known philosophical trends could already be found in Homer. Not only were all philosophies present in Homer's epics, but also the science of geography. Strabo calls Homer "the founder of the science of geography": xon xov ot 7tpO XKL elval YEMYp<X<p!.X7]f; "OfL"f)poV (I, 1, 2. C 2). Evidence was not hard to find: the Iliad, and even more so the Odyssey, contains hundreds of geographical state- ments, a large number of which corresponded with personal obser- vation in Strabo's time. If we further take into account Homer's great influence, it is easy to see why he should also be considered the founder of geography. Yet there were scholars and scientists who denied Homer the title of
Mnemosyne – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1976
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