STRABO°

STRABO° (first century C.E.), Greek historian and geographer. Born in Pontus, he traveled widely, and received the conventional education of his day. He wrote a comprehensive history in 47 books. Of this work only a few extracts have been preserved, most of them in josephus ' Antiquities. It is not surprising that the bulk of these extracts deal with matters relating to the history of the Jews, Josephus having used Strabo as a source for his history of the Hasmonean state. To what extent Josephus was further indebted to Strabo it is impossible to gauge. In any event, the history of Strabo, who was free from the pro-Herodian tendencies and the Syrian-Greek viewpoint of nicholas of damascus , provided to some extent a counterbalance to the latter's writings. In his history Strabo frequently quoted the literary sources to which he had recourse; thanks to this the few extracts from him in Antiquities have preserved the evidence of other historians who wrote about the Jews (Timagenes, hypsicrates of amisus ). The earliest event in Jewish history known to have been mentioned by Strabo was antiochus epiphanes ' attack on the Temple in Jerusalem (Jos., Apion, 2:84). His comments on the penetration of Jews throughout the entire inhabited world, on their status in Cyrene, and on the organization of the Jewish settlement in Egypt (Jos., Ant., 14: 115ff.) are particularly interesting. On the authority of Timagenes, Strabo depicts aristobulus i in a favorable light (ibid. 13:319), contrary to Josephus' previous assessment of him, which was based on Nicholas. The final quotation from Strabo's history deals with the execution of antigonus , and from it the affection of the Jewish people for Herod's rival can be gauged. Strabo's other great work, his Geographica in 17 books, has survived in its entirety. It is a comprehensive geography in which Ereẓ Israel is described in the 16th book. Here, Strabo states that the most acceptable view about the origin of the Jews is that which regards them as descended from the Egyptians. According to him, the Jewish religion and nation originated with an Egyptian priest called Moses, who came to   realize that the Egyptians were misguided in depicting their gods in the form of animals. The same applied to the Greeks, with their anthropomorphic conception of the gods. Moses held that God embraces all things, the earth and the sea, that He is in reality "what we call heaven, the universe, and the nature of things." Having succeeded in persuading intelligent men of this, Moses led them to the place now known as Jerusalem, where he established a just regime which his direct heirs maintained for a certain time. Later, however, they had priests who were superstitious and subsequently even tyrannical. These changes led to acts of brigandage, as a result of which Judea and the neighboring countries suffered. Strabo briefly mentions the kingdom of alexander yannai and the conquest of pompey (Jos., Ant., 14:34–6). Generally he displays great respect for Moses and the ancient Jewish regime but rejects its later development. The last event in the political history of Judea quoted in Strabo's geography is the banishment of archelaus in 6 C.E. In his geographical survey, Strabo describes at some length the region of Jericho and the Dead Sea, which he confuses with the Sirbonian Lake. His knowledge of the geography of Ereẓ Israel is poor, and he apparently did not really know the country. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Schuerer, Hist, 97, 179, 329 n. 11; Reinach, Textes, 89–113; K. Albert, Strabo als Quelle des Josephus (1902); Heinemann, in: MGWJ, 63 (1919), 113–21; Norden, in: Festgabe Harnack (1921), 292–301; F. Jacoby, Fragmente der griechischen Historiker, 2A (Texts) (1926), 92f., 430–6; 2A (Commentary) (1926), 83, 291–5; Roos, in: Mnemosyne, 2 (Ger., 1935), 236–8; W. Aly, Strabonis Geographica, 4 (Ger., 1957), 191ff. (Menahem Stern)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Strabo — [ Strabo ( squinty ) was a term employed by the Romans for anyone whose eyes were distorted or deformed. The father of Pompey was called Pompeius Strabo. A native of Sicily so clear sighted that he could see things at great distance as if they… …   Wikipedia

  • strabo — Element prim de compunere savantă cu semnificaţia încrucişat , cruciş , saşiu . [var. strab . / < fr., it. strabo , cf. gr. strabos]. Trimis de LauraGellner, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DN  STRAB(O) elem. încrucişat, cruciş, saşiu , strabism . (<… …   Dicționar Român

  • Strabo [1] — Strabo (Strabus, lat.), ein Schielender; davon Strabiren, Strabismus (Strabosität), so v.w. Schielen, vgl. Staar …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Strabo [2] — Strabo, 1) C. Julius Cäsar S., s. Cäsar 2). 2) Sejus S., s. Sejus; 3) ein Römer, bekannt durch seine scharfen Augen, mit denen er von Lilybäum aus die Schiffe zählen konnte, welche aus dem Hafen von Carthago ausliefen. 4) (Strabon), geb. um 66 v …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Strabo — Strabo, griech. Geograph, geb. um 63 v. Chr. zu Amasia im Pontus, gest. in höherm Alter zu Rom, verfaßte nach großen Reisen ein geogr. Werk (»Geographika«) in 17 Büchern, hg. von Meineke (2. Aufl. 1866), übersetzt von Forbiger (1856 62 u.ö.) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Strabo — Strabo, geb. um 66 vor Chr. zu Amasea in Kappadocien, bereiste den größten Theil des röm. Reichs, studierte die älteren Geographen gründlich u. trug die geograph. Kenntnisse seiner Zeit in 17 Büchern »Geographica« zusammen, die uns größtentheils… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Strabo — [strā′bō] 63? B.C. A.D. 21?; Gr. geographer …   English World dictionary

  • Strabo — /stray boh/, n. 63? B.C. A.D. 21?, Greek geographer and historian. * * * born с 64 BC, Amaseia, Pontus, Asia Minor died after AD 21 Greek geographer and historian. Born to a well connected family, he studied under Aristodemus before moving to… …   Universalium

  • Strabo — Geographer c.64 BC.     Strabo was born at Pontus, but spent some years at Alexandria in Egypt; in the seventeenth and last book of his Geographia (which was written in Greek), he gives a short account of the geography of Egypt and other details… …   Ancient Egypt

  • Strabo — (ca. 64 b.c. 25 a.d.)    An important ancient Greek traveler, geographer, and historian whose book on geography covered most parts of the known world of his day, including the plains of Mesopotamia and the surrounding territories. Strabo, who was …   Ancient Mesopotamia dictioary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.