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A Road Trip with Strabo

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Memory and Composition in the Geography

image of Mnemosyne

A number of places that feature in Strabo’s description of the Asian peninsula were situated on the ancient road that ran between the Euphrates river and the city of Ephesus. It is likely that Strabo journeyed along the entire thousand-kilometre length of the road, even though he makes explicit reference to his presence in only a few locations. He most probably made the journey as a youth on his way to Roman Asia, in the south west of the peninsula, from Pontus in the north. Decades pass before Strabo, as an old man, writes the Geography and includes in it the memories of places he had visited. The outdated tone of some of his descriptions reflects this passage of time.

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