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    The Edges of the Earth in Ancient Thought: Geography, Exploration and Fiction (Paperback) By (author) James S. Romm

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    DescriptionFor the Greeks and Romans the earth's furthest perimeter was a realm radically different from what they perceived as central and human. The alien qualities of these "edges of the earth" became the basis of a literary tradition that endured throughout antiquity and into the Renaissance, despite the growing challenges of emerging scientific perspectives. Here James S. Romm surveys this tradition, revealing that the Greeks, and to a somewhat lesser extent the Romans, saw geography not as a branch of physical science but as an important literary genre. The tradition described by Romm emerged in Homer and Hesiod, whose imaginative geography defined the earth by giving it boundaries - the river Ocean, the Pillars of Heracles, and other mythic forms of circumscription. Other Greek authors developed exotic literary landscapes by filling these "limits" with idealized human societies and bizarre or monstrous animal life, while the Romans adapted the concept of perimeters to goals of imperial conquest. As Hellenistic and Roman voyages of exploration failed to confirm the fancied landscapes, the tradition came to be seen as one in which invented narratives had masqueraded as truths. As a result some of late antiquity's most daring innovators seized on geography as a theme for prose fiction, and the explorer's log became an important antecedent of the early modern novel.

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  • Full bibliographic data for The Edges of the Earth in Ancient Thought

    The Edges of the Earth in Ancient Thought
    Geography, Exploration and Fiction
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) James S. Romm
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 248
    Width: 140 mm
    Height: 216 mm
    Thickness: 14 mm
    Weight: 320 g
    ISBN 13: 9780691037882
    ISBN 10: 0691037884

    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC subject category V2: HBG
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T5.1
    BIC E4L: HIS
    BIC subject category V2: HBLA, DSB, JFCX
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15700
    Abridged Dewey: 930
    LC classification: DE
    B&T General Subject: 431
    Ingram Theme: CHRN/ANCIEN
    B&T Approval Code: A23280000
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 02
    Ingram Subject Code: PH
    Libri: I-PH
    B&T Merchandise Category: POD
    BISAC V2.8: HIS002000
    B&T Approval Code: A24200000
    BISAC V2.8: PHI012000
    DC22: 809.9359
    DC21: 809.93591002
    LC classification: 91025748
    Thema V1.0: NHB, JBCC9, NHC, DSB
    Edition statement
    Illustrations note
    black & white illustrations
    Princeton University Press
    Imprint name
    Princeton University Press
    Publication date
    09 October 1994
    Publication City/Country
    New Jersey
    Review quote
    "An immensely engaging and erudite work, packed full of provocative insights... Romm successfully sorts out for us some of the most complex traditions of ancient geographic literature; and he deserves high marks for doing it in such an intelligent, original, and attractive manner."--T. Corey Brennan, Bryn Mawr Classical Review "Romm's incisive and brilliant analysis of Greco-Roman ideas of earth's geography is grounded in a linguistic interpretation of Greek conceptions of space and boundary... His work captures the imagination as few others have and will provide material for the study of the classical legacy in the shaping of the modern scientific mind for many years to come."--Helen Liebel-Weckowicz, Classical Bulletin
    Back cover copy
    "This work is unparalleled in its scope and perspective."--Deborah Boedeker, College of the Holy Cross
    Table of contents
    Acknowledgments 1The Boundaries of Earth Boundaries and the Boundless Ocean and Cosmic Disorder Roads around the World Herodotus and the Changing World Picture Aristotle and After 2Ethiopian and Hyperborean The Blameless Ethiopians The Fortunate Hyperboreans Arimaspians and Scythians The Kunokephaloi 3Wonders of the East Before Alexander Marvel-Collectors and Critics The Late Romance Tradition 4Ultima Thule and Beyond Antipodal Ambition The North Sea Coast The Headwaters of the Nile The Atlantic Horizon 5Geography and Fiction Ocean and Poetry The Voyage of Odysseus Pytheas, Euhemerus, and Others The Fiction Election Epilogue: After Columbus Index