The Ancient Library

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year of Iris birth is not ascertained ; but it has been fixed by some writers by a conjecture founded on several passages in the geography, ahout b. c. 66. In b. c. 29 Strabo was at Gyaros, and on his voyage to Corinth. Octavianus Caesar was then at Corinth, and on his road to Italy to cele­brate the triumph of his victory at Actium (p. 485). Strabo was probably on his way to Italy and Rome, where he spent several years. In b. c. 24, Strabo was with his friend Aelius Gallus in Egypt, and travelled as far as Syene (p. 816). It is as­sumed that he must have been a man of mature years when he first, visited Rome, but there is nothing which justifies the conjecture of making him eight and thirty at the time of this visit, in order to establish b. c. 66 as the year of his birth. A passage in which Strabo says (p. 568) that he saw P. Servilius Isauricus, has given rise to some discussion. This Servilius defeated the Isauri, whence he got the name Isauricus, between B. c. 77 and 75 ; and he died at Rome in b. c. 44, at the age of ninety. If Strabo saw this Isauricus, when did he see him ? As the question cannot be satisfactorily answered, it has been assumed that Strabo confounded Isauricus with some other dis­tinguished Roman whom he saw in Asia in his youth, or that he has confounded him with the son

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P. Servilius Casca, who was also called Isauricus. But it is clear that Strabo means to say that he saw the Isauricus who got his name from the conquest of the Isaurians. The assumed date, B. c. 66, for the birth of Strabo, is too early. He was certainly writing as late as a. d. 18 ; and perhaps we may with Clinton place his birth not later than b. c. 54. But Strabo was a pupil of Tyrannio the grammarian (p. 548), and Tyrannio was made pri­soner by Lucullus in b. c. 71, and carried to Rome, probably not later than b. c. 66, and perhaps earlier. Strabo therefore was a hearer of Tyrannio at Rome.

The name Strabo (squint-eyed) is originally Greek, though it was also used by the Romans, and applied as a cognomen, among others, to the father of Pornpeius Magnus. How the geographer got this name we are not informed.

Groskurd infers that Strabo died about ,,a. d 24. Strabo (lib. xii. p. 576) says that Cyzicus was still a free state ; but in a. d. 25, Cyzicus lost its pri­vilege as a Libera Civitas (amisere libertatem; Tacit. Ann. iv. 36 ; Dion Cass. liv. 7). Accord­ingly, Groskurd concludes that Strabo was dead in a. d. 25 ; but this is not a necessary conclusion. We can only conclude that the passage about Cyzi­cus was written before A. d. 25. In the seven­teenth and last book (p. 828, &c.) he mentions the death of Juba II. as a recent occurrence, and he also mentions the fact of Juba being succeeded by his son Ptolemaeus. Juba died in a. d. 21. The conclusion that Strabo died in A. d. 24 is unsup­ported by any evidence. We only know that he died after a. d. 21. Groskurd's reckoning makes Strabo attain the age of near ninety. In fact he may have lived after A. d. 25, and may have been more than ninety when he died ; but as the year of his birth is unknown, we cannot fix the limit of his age.

As to the time at which he wrote his work, we know nothing more than can be collected from particular passages, and we cannot with certainty infer from a particular passage in a book being written after a given time, that the whole book


was written after such time ; but Groskurd does make such inferences. At the close of the sixth book (p. 288) Strabo speaks of Caesar Germanicus as still living. Germanicus died in Syria in a. d. 20 (19) ; and Groskurd concludes that the sixth book was written in a. d. 19. The true conclusion is that this passage was written before a. d. 19. It has been shown that Strabo was writing after A. d. 19, and vet the passage at the end of the sixth book stands as he wrote it, though Ger­manicus was dead when he wrote the passage about Juba II. in the seventeenth book. This shows that the inference from particular passages should be the strict logical inference and no more. A passage in the fourth book (p. 206) certainly was written in a. d. 19, for Strabo there states that the Carni and Taurisci had quietly paid tri­bute for thirty-three years ; and both these tribes were reduced to subjection by Tiberius and Drusus in b. o. 14. Groskurd concludes thus : " if Strabo wrote his fourth book in his eighty-fifth year, and if we allow him two years for the composition of the first three books, he will have commenced his work in the eighty-third year of his age ; and since he finished it in his eighty-eighth or ninth year, we may allow for the composition of the whole work six or seven years." This conclusion as to the age when Strabo began his work depends on the date of his birth, which is unknown ; and the con­clusion as to the times at which he wrote particular books is not certain.

Strabo had a good education. Tyrannio of Ami-sus in Pontus, a professor of grammatic, is men­tioned by Strabo as his teacher (p. 548) ; but if Tyannio went to Rome soon after the capture of Amisus, Strabo must have heard him at Rome ; and if he did not hear him at Rome as a youth, he must have heard him when he was of mature years. This question about Tyrannio is not clear. See Clinton, Fast. Hellen. b. c. 8. Strabo also received instruction in gram­matic and rhetoric from Aristodemus, at Nysa in Caria (p. 650) ; and he afterwards studied philo­sophy under Xenarchus of Seleucia in Cilicia (p. 670), but Strabo does not say that he heard him in Cilicia. Xenarchus finally taught at Rome, where he died. Boethus of Sidon, afterwards a Stoical philosopher, was the companion of Straba in his Aristotelian studies (p. 757). Strabo seems to have had only moderate mathematical and astro­nomical knowledge, and certainly he did not pos­sess all the knowledge of his times. He was well acquainted with history and the n^thological tra­ditions of his nation; and also with the Greek poets, and particularly with Homer. He must have had competent means to obtain a good educa­tion, and as he travelled a great deal and appa­rently had no professional or other occupation, we may conclude that his father left him some pro­perty. It does not appear where he was living while he wrote his work, but wherever it was, he had opportunities of being acquainted with the chief public events that took place in the Roman empire.

The philosophical sect to which Strabo belonged was the Stoical, as appears plainly enough from many passages in his Geography. He wrote an historical work, intitled 'IcrropiKa 'Tiro^i/T^aTa, which he mentions himself, and it is also cited bv

' V

Plutarch (Lucullm, 28, Sulla, 26), who calls him Strabo the philosopher. This work, in forty-three

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