download PDF


Spatial (that is connected with space) topic has been becoming during recent decades more and more urgent in Classical studies. “Spatial modus” was extremely signifi cant, in particular, also for Ancient Greek historians. Of the latter, the author here is interested in their very first group – early Ionian historians of Late Archaic and Early Classical period, Herodotus’ predecessors.

This article continues analysis of spatial categories in Hecataeus of Miletus, citing “Asia” – the second book of his treatise “The Description of the Earth”. Data are also taken from extant fragments of some other early historians – Charon of Lampsacus, Damastes of Sigeum.

During the Archaic period, because of the sharp rhythm of changes, there took place “spacetime compression”, as it is sometimes rendered nowadays. That led to alterations in spatial categories. New realities demanded consideration, which was an aim for the earliest historians, among other authors.


Ancient Greece, the earliest historians, geography, Hecataeus of Miletus, “The Description of the Earth”, “Asia”, Charon, Damastes, spatial categories.

Igor E. Surikov

Institute of World History Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia

Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bichler, R. 2018: Herodotus the Geographer. In: E. Bowie (ed.), Herodotus – Narrator, Scientist, Historian. Berlin–Boston, 139–155.

Dougherty, C. 1994: Archaic Greek Foundation Poetry: Questions of Genre and Occasion. JHS 114, 35–46.

Dougherty, C. 2001: The Raft of Odysseus: The Ethnographic Imagination of Homer’s Odyssey. Oxford.

Fowler, R.L. 2013: Early Greek Mythography. II. Commentary. Oxford.

Freydenberg, O.M. 1990: Utopiya [Utopia]. Voprosy fi losofi i [Questions of philosophy] 5, 148– 167.

Hansen, M.H. 1997: Hekataios’ Use of the Word Polis in his Periegesis. In: T.H. Nielsen (ed.), Yet More Studies in the Ancient Greek Polis. Stuttgart, 17–27.

Heidel, W.A. 1987: Hecataeus and the Egyptian Priests in Herodotus. Book II. New York– London.

Jacoby, F. 1993: Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker (F Gr Hist). Tl. 3: Geschichte von Staedten und Voelkern (Horographie und Ethnographie). A. Autoren ueber verschiedene Staedte (Laender). Nr. 262–296. 3 Aufl . Leiden– New York–Köln.

Janni, P. 2016: The Sea of the Greeks and Romans. In: S. Bianchetti, M.R. Cataudella, H-.J. Gehrke (eds.), Brill’s Companion to Ancient Geography: The Inhabited World in Greek and Roman Tradition. Leiden–Boston, 21–42.

Lendle, O. 1968: Die Auseinandersetzung des Thukydides mit Hellanikos. In: H. Herter (Hg.), Thukydides. Darmstadt, 661–682.

Lister, R.P. 1979: The Travels of Herodotus. London.

Lloyd, A.B. 1975–1988: Herodotus. Book II. Leiden.

Lloyd, A.B. 2002: Egypt. In: E.J. Bakker, I.J.F de Jong, H. van Wees (eds.), Brill’s Companion to Herodotus. Leiden–Boston–Köln, 415–435.

Lloyd, A.B. 2004: Herodotus on Egypt and Ethiopia. In: V. Karageorghis, I. Taifacos (eds.), The World of Herodotus. Nicosia, 43–52.

Malkin, I. 1985: What’s in a Name? The Eponymous Founders of Greek Colonies. Athenaeum 63, 114–130.

Moers, G. 2010: The World and the Geography of Otherness in Pharaonic Egypt. In: K.A. Raaflaub, R.J.A. Talbert (eds.), Geography and Ethnography: Perceptions of the World in Pre- Modern Societies. Oxford, 169–181.

Möller, A. 2007: The Beginnings of Chronography: Hellanicus’ Hiereiai In: N. Luraghi (ed.), The Historian’s Craft in the Age of Herodotus. Oxford, 241–262.

Morris, I. 2000: Archaeology as Cultural History. Malden.

Musbakhova, V.T. 2014: V poiskakh granitsy mezhdu Evropoy i Aziey: Gekatey Miletskiy [In the search of the border between Europe and Asia: Hecataeus of Miletus]. In: D.A. Machinskiy (ed.), Ladoga v kontekste istorii i arkheologii severnoy Evrazii [Ladoga in the context of history and archaeology of the Northern Eurasia]. Saint Petersburg, 75–92.

Nagy, G. 2018: Herodotus on Queens and Courtesans of Egypt. In: E. Bowie (ed.), Herodotus – Narrator, Scientist, Historian. Berlin–Boston, 109–122.

Pedley, J.G. 1968: Sardis in the Age of Croesus. Norman.

Podosinov, A.V. 2015: Kuda plaval Odissey? O geografi cheskikh predstavleniyakh grekov arkhaicheskoy epokhi [Where did Odysseus sail? On geographical notions of the Greeks of the Archaic period]. Moscow.

Purves, A.C. 2010: Space and Time in Ancient Greek Narrative. Cambridge.

Ruschenbusch, E. 2003: Was Hellanikos the First Chronicler of Athens? Klio 85/1: 7–8.

Schmid, P.B. 1947: Studien zu griechischen Ktisissagen. Freiburg.

Schwab, A. 2016: The ‘Rediscovery’ of Egypt: Herodotus and his Account of Egypt in the Voyage dans la Basse et la Haute-Égypte (1802) by Vivant Denon. In: J. Priestley, V. Zali (eds.), Brill’s Companion to the Reception of Herodotus in Antiquity and Beyond. Leiden– Boston, 254–277.

Smart, J.D. 1986: Thucydides and Hellanicus. In: I.S. Moxon, J.D. Smart, A.J. Woodman (eds.), Past Perspectives: Studies in Greek and Roman Historical Writing. Cambridge, 19–35.

Surikov, I.E. 2011: Ocherki ob istoriopisanii v klassicheskoy Gretsii [Essays on historical writing in Classical Greece]. Moscow.

Surikov, I.E. 2013a: Nekotorye soobrazheniya ob ischeznuvshem prolive Bospore Sindskom [Some considerations on an extinct strait, the Sindian Bosporus]. Vestnik drevney istorii [Journal of Ancient History] 1 (284), 167–176.

Surikov, I.E. 2013b: “Gellespont burnotechnyy” (Proliv mezhdu Egeidoy i Propontidoy i ego rol’ v antichnoy istorii [“The rapidly fl owing Hellespont” (The strait between the Aegean and the Propontis and its role in ancient history)]. Problemy istorii, filologii, kul’tury [Journal of historical, philological and cultural studies] 4 (42), 3–44.

Surikov, I.E. 2019: Prostranstvennye kategorii u drevneishikh grecheskikh istorikov. I. Gekatey Miletskiy, “Europa” [The earliest Greek historians’ spatial categories. I. Hecataeus of Miletus, “Europe”]. Problemy istorii, fi lologii, kul’tury [Journal of historical, philological and cultural studies] 3 (65), 53–71.

Vannicelli, P. 2007: Herodotus’ Egypt and the Foundations of Universal History. In: N. Luraghi (ed.), The Historian’s Craft in the Age of Herodotus. Oxford, 211–240.

Veyne, P. 2003: Greki i mifologiya: vera ili neverie? Opyt o konstituiruyushchem voobrazhenii [Greeks and mythology: belief or disbelief? An essay on the constituting imagination]. Moscow.

Wainwright, G.A. 1953: Herodotus II, 28 on the Sources of the Nile. JHS 73, 104–107.