Through the Pillars of Herakles : Greco-Roman Exploration of the Atlantic book cover
1st Edition

Through the Pillars of Herakles
Greco-Roman Exploration of the Atlantic

ISBN 9780415486965
Published August 11, 2008 by Routledge
186 Pages

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Book Description

In this first study of the Greek and Roman exploration for over half a century, Duane W. Roller presents an important examination of the impact of the Greeks and Romans on the world through the Pillars of Herakles and beyond the Mediterranean.

Roller chronicles a detailed account of the series of explorers who were to discover the entire Atlantic coast; north to Iceland, Scandinavia and the Baltic, and south into the Africa tropics. His account examines these early pioneers and their discoveries, and contributes a brand new chapter to the history of exploration.

Based not only on the literary evidence, but also personal knowledge of the areas from the Arctic to west Africa, the book looks at the people, from the earliest Greeks, through the Carthaginians to the Romans, and examines their exploration of this vast and largely unfamiliar territory.

Discussing for the first time the relevance of Iceland and the Arctic to Greco-Roman culture, this groundbreaking work is an enthralling and informative read that will be an invaluable study resource for Greek and Roman history courses

Table of Contents

Introduction  1. Greek Exploration before 500 BC  2. The Carthaginians North and South of the Pillars  3. The Atlantic Islands and Beyond  4. Pytheas of Massalia  5. Hellenistic Exploration on the Coasts of Africa  6. Late Hellenistic Exploration  7. Roman Exploration  Epilogue  Appendix

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Duane W. Roller is Professor of Greek and Latin at The Ohio State University. His previous publications include The Building Program of Herod the Great (University of California Press, 1998) and The World of Juba II and Kleopatra Selene (Routledge, 2003)


'Roller has performed a useful service in bringing together material that is scattered about in various chapters in the general histories of ancient geography and exploration and in updating it with the results of recent studies.' – International Journal of Nautical Archaeology

'... a succinct account of these early explorers, their discoveries, how they interpreted them, shaping and shaped by contemporary conceptions of the world.' Ancient West and East