Written some time before 100 BC the On the Erythraean Sea of Agatharchides of Cnidus is the most important source for an almost forgotten chapter of the history of geographical discovery, the exploration of the Red Sea and the region surrounding it by agents of the Ptolemaic government of Egypt in the century after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. It also contains the earliest extensive account of the geography and ethnography of the coasts of northeast Africa and western Arabia. Although the original text of the On the Erythraean Sea is no longer extant, three abridgements of unequal extent and quality by the first century BC historian Diodorus, the first century AD geographer Strabo, and the ninth century AD Patriarch of Constantinople Photius survive. The present edition contains the first English translation of all three epitomes of this important work together with an introduction and extensive notes analysing the historical background and significance of Agatharchides' book.
Routledge is pleased to be the publisher for the Hakluyt Society.
The Hakluyt Society has for its object the advancement of knowledge and education, particularly in relation to the understanding of world history. The society publishes scholarly editions of primary sources on the 'Voyages and Travels' undertaken by individuals from many parts of the globe. These address the geography, ethnology and natural history of the regions visited, covering all continents and every period over the last two thousand years. Such texts, many previously available only in manuscript or in unedited publications in languages other than English, are the essential records of the stages of inter-continental and inter-cultural encounter.
Established in 1846, the Society has to date published over 350 volumes. All editions are in English. Although a substantial number of the Society's past editions relate to British ventures, with documentary sources in English, the majority concern non-British enterprises and are based on texts in languages other than English. Material originally written in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French or Dutch has regularly appeared, material in Russian, Greek, Latin, Ethiopic, Chinese, Persian or Arabic occasionally.
All editions contain an introduction and scholarly annotation, giving both the general reader and the student a degree of assistance in understanding the material and providing guidance on the relevance of the episodes described, within the context of global development and world history. Volumes are often generously furnished with maps and contemporary illustrations.
Information about the Society may be obtained from the Administrative Assistant at the following address:
Hakluyt Society, c/o Map Library, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DG, UK