Herausgeber: Humbach, Helmut; Ziegler, Susanne

Ptolemy, Geography Book 6

Middle East, Central and North Asia, China. Part 1. Text and English/German Translations

17,0 x 24,0 cm, 272 S., Leinen
32,00 €

ISBN: 9783895000614

Kurze Beschreibung

Book 6 of Ptolemy’s „Geography“ (2nd cent. AD) deals with Assyria, Media, Susiana, Persis, Parthia, the Carmanian Desert, Arabia Felix, Carmania, Hyrcania, Margiana, Bactriana, Sogdiana, Sakaland, Skythia, Serica, Areia, Paropanisadai, Drangiana, Archaosia, and Gedrosia. In the present part of ther work the authors offer the first complete critical edition of this important text. A second part will deal with the respective maps, and a third part will be formed by a commentary with philological, historical, and linguitic analysis of the single geographical ent ethnographical names.

Ausführliche Beschreibung

The Introduction to the Depiction of the World which is ascribed to Ptolemy, the famous Alexandrian mathematician and astronomer (mid-second century AD), and was at least partially authored by him, is generally known as the Geography.
Book 6 of the Geography deals with Assyria (Northern Iraq East of the Tigris), Media (Hamadan, Ray, Azerbaijan, Mazandaran), Susiana (Khuzestan), Persis (Fars), Parthia (Khorasan), the Carmanian Desert (Dasht-e Lut), Arabia Felix (Arabian Peninsula), Carmania (Kirman), Hyrcania (Gurgan), Margiana (Merv), Bactriana (Balkh), Sogdiana (Region of Bukhara and Samarqand), Sakaland (Pamir Region), Skythia, Serica (China), Areia (Herat), Paropanisadai (Hindukush Region), Drangiana (Sistan), Arachosia (Qandahar), Gedrosia (Baluchestan).
In its times Ptolemy’s description has enormously contributed to the western picture of the Asiatic countries and regions listed above, which remained unaltered till the times of Marco Polo, but stayed influential for some centuries afterwards. To the authors this seems reason enough to undertake a systematic and coherent treatment of this important piece of text from an interdisciplinary point of view, starting with a new edition.
The present volume is the first complete critical edition of the book 6. It is not only based on the text of the 12 relevant manuscripts, but it also includes the readings of some Greek and Latin side-traditions and those of the maps which will be published and commented on in Part 2 of the work. The main object of the new edition of the text is to provide a reliable tool for research in this field. This is aimed at by inserting notable variants in the constituted text in order to draw attention to them, and by supplementing the English translation with one (in German) which is exclusively based on two manuscripts closely related to each other, thus giving an informative picture of the instability of the tradition of the geographical and ethnographical names and coordinates. This instability often hinders the editor of the text from mechanically applying the established formal principles of textual criticism, and in such cases the reader is referred to the discussions of the respective entries in Part 3, the commentary, which will be dedicated to the philological, historical, and linguistic analysis of the geographical and ethnographical names, and to their identification with historical and/or modern equivalents.


„The publication of the texts, critical apparatus and translation are a remarkable example of academic work, compiled carefully with a deep knowledge of the material. Undoubtedly, it gives new life to this old text and it will be a reference for everyone, who is interested in the Ancient History and Culture of our region.“

Von Tork Dalalian
In: Iran und Caucasus III-IV, S. 18


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