|dc.description.abstract||This thesis aims to reconstruct a map of the world drawn by Eratosthenes of Cyrene (ca. 285 – 205 BC), a Greek polymath of the third century BC. It was during his time as chief librarian at the Library of Alexandria in Egypt that Eratosthenes wrote a three-volume geographical treatise with an accompanying world map. The map is lost and the treatise is extant only in fragments preserved by later authors, primarily Strabo.
The fragments illustrate that Eratosthenes’ map was a product of its sources, influenced greatly by various published reports of early Hellenistic exploration. The expeditions of Alexander the Great, Pytheas of Massalia, Megasthenes, Patrocles and Timosthenes of Rhodes, to name only a few, introduced an abundance of new geographic, ethnographic and scientific knowledge to the Greek world. The frontiers of the known and inhabited world were empirically investigated, from India in the east to the Iberian Peninsula in the west, and from Ethiopia in the south to Scandinavia in the north.
Eratosthenes extensively utilised the reports of early Hellenistic exploration to inform his mapping of topographic features, geographic regions and cartographic systems. Figuring out the ways in which Eratosthenes took information from these reports and transposed it onto his map of the world will be this thesis’ main concern. A thorough analysis of Eratosthenes’ map in the context of its source material will also elucidate a great deal about the development of Greek cartography in the Hellenistic Age.||