Hecataeus of Miletus

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Hecataeus of Miletus


Born circa 546 B.C.; died 480 B.C. Ancient Greek historian and geographer. One of the earliest Greek prose writers.

Hecataeus of Miletus wrote Travels Around the Earth (a work in two parts: Europe, which includes northern Asia, and Asia, which includes Egypt and Libya). It was one of the first regional-type geographic studies. This work was apparently accompanied by a map depicting the oikoumene (the inhabited portion of the land area of the world). Hecataeus’ map has never been found, but a partial reconstruction of the map, based on the accounts of Herodotus and other authors, and the more than 300 surviving fragments of his Travels Around the Earth do provide a clear idea of the geographic notions of the ancient Greeks. Genealogies, another work by Hecataeus of Miletus (fragments have survived), contained ancient Greek myths and legends arranged in the form of a historical account.


Hecataeus [of Miletus], Fragmenta. Text, introduction, appendix, indexes, and edited by G. Nenci. Florence [1954].
In Russian translation:
Latyshev, V. V. “Izvestiia drevnikh pisatelei o Skifii i Kavkaze.” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1948, no. 1.
Sheffer, V. “Ocherki grecheskoi istoriografii.” Universitetskie izvestiia (Kiev), 1883, nos. 1, 3; 1884, nos. 5, 6, 7.


El’nitskii, L. A. Znaniia drevnikh o severnykh stranakh. Moscow, 1961.
Thomson, J. O. Istoriia drevnei geografii. Moscow, 1953. (Translated from English.)


References in periodicals archive ?
was probably conceived as a geographical work like the Periegesis of Hecataeus of Miletus.