Friday, July 14, 2017

Hecataeus of Miletus

Hecataeus of Miletus (550 BC – 476 BC), a geographer and genealogist, wrote under the Persians. He was interested in Oriental genealogies and compared Greek with non Greek evidence

Hecataeus of Miletus, the son of Hegensander, the most important of the early Ionian prose writers, was active in the late 6th and early 5th centuries BC.
World according to Hecataeus
He was an Ionian Greek and a contemporary of Xenophanes who, like Xenophanes, wrote one of the first works critical of traditional Greek mythology. This was his Genealogies, in which Hecataeus tried to provide a rational account of myth and legend, including accout of his own supposed descent from a god.

He traveled in the Persian Empire as a Persian subject in its heyday. His successor Herodotus was born a Persian subject in the Greek city of Halicarnassus. He travelled in countries which were or had been Persian.

Apart from Genealogies Hecataeus also wrote a book that he titled Periegesis, journeys. The Periegesis was an account of the world, which Hecataeus divided into two continents, Europe and Asia. The Periegesis provides information about the places and peoples to be encountered on a clockwise coastal voyage round the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, starting at the Straits of Gibraltar and ending on the Atlantic –coast of Morocco. Hecataeus of Miletus
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