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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(plural, peripli), an ancient Greek literary genre presenting an account of a coastal sea voyage. Peripli are usually divided into two types: travel descriptions and manuals for the use of navigators.

Among peripli of the first group are the periplus about a voyage along the western coast of Africa compiled by the Carthaginian Hanno (seventh-sixth centuries B.C.) and a nonextant periplus (second half of sixth century B.C.) used by Avienus (fourth century A.D.) in his description of the coasts of Spain, Britain, and Gaul. A description of a journey from the Indus River to the Euphrates written by the naval commander Near chus dates from the fourth century B.C.; it was used by Strabo (first century B.C.-first century A.D.) and Arrian (second century A.D.). The works of these two authors also attest to the existence of a Black Sea periplus and of a route to the Atlantic.

The second type of periplus described special features and dangers of a particular route, locations of convenient harbors, and distances between points. The earliest known periplus of this type, dating from approximately the mid-fourth century B.C., is ascribed to the Greek explorer Scylax (Pseudo-Scylax). It describes the coasts of the Mediterranean and Black seas. Another example is the Red Sea periplus, compiled circa 110 B.C.; fragments of it are found in works by Diodorus Siculus (first century B.C.) and Photius (ninth century A.D.). Also belonging to this type of periplus is a detailed description of a voyage from Egypt to India compiled in the first century A.D. Most peripli have not been preserved.


Müller, C. Geographi Graeci Minores, vol. 2. Paris, 1861.
Müller, C. Fragmenta historicorum graecorum, vol. 1. Paris, 1841.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Further evidence for the extraordinary early contact with Africa is found in the 1st century AD Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, which is one of the few ancient Greek sources on the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf.
(35) The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, written by a Greek merchant during the first century CE, (36) describes a busy maritime world of coastal and oceanic trade between small and large ports in north-east and eastern Africa as far down as Rhapta (a port on the Rufiji River delta in present-day Tanzania, near Kilwa), Arabia, Gujarat and peninsular India, and island South-east Asia, in which African traders from present-day Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and Somalia were actively involved.
Bartleby, the Archetypal Man, sets forth on his sublunary periplus, clad in the appearance of a "poor," "pallid" copyist; he willingly submits himself to the limiting conditions of the space he visits.
This is where you stock up on holiday reading at Periplus, Indonesia's largest provider of English books, and groceries shopping at Casa Gourmet and Bali Deli, a favourite with expats.
XLVI." (23) By the time Periplus was published in 1897 Nordenskiold had changed tack saying: "Franciscus Monachus also seems to have published a map of the world on Bordone's projection.
Shoff's (1912) Periplus of the Erythrean Sea (London 1980, New York 1912).
Daswatte C, Sansoni D, 2006 Sri Lankan Style: Tropical Design and Architecture (Periplus Publications, Singapore)
As for our barbarians, we can now return to them after this theoretical constructivist periplus. Although it seemed to syncope the conceptual continuity of the present essay, the brief discussion of constructivism operated in the above pages actually helps clarifying the stake and also some methodological details of this paper.
We know, from the Periplus, how via sea commerce "a variety of items coming from all over were available at modern Bharuch in Gujarat: precious stones, textiles and spices from the India world, Mediterranean wine, imported metals and sulfides, coral and peridot, raw glass, fancy garments, and Roman coins" (p.