Eratosthenes Contribution to Geography Notes By NETSET CORNER

Eratosthenes Contribution to Geography

Eratosthenes (276-194 BC)

Eratosthenes was a Greek mathematician, geographer, astronomer & poet. He developed systems of latitudes and longitudes and ascertained accurate length of equator using Gnomon.

He is regarded as the first scientific geographer who measured the length of the equator almost accurately (24860 miles) on sound principles with the help of gnomon. He drew the meridian through Alexandria, Syene, Rhodes and the mouth of Boresthenes (Dniester).

He was appointed as the Librarian of the Library of Alexandria-the post of highest academic honour of that period. He remained the librarian for about 40 years till his death.

He was a follower of Aristotle in his belief about the spherical shape of the Earth which he considered to be placed in the centre of the universe. He believed that the celestial bodies revolved around the Earth.

He was also of the opinion that the spread of the world from west to east is more than from north to south. He extended the habitable world from Thule to Taprabone (Sri Lanka) and from the Atlantic Ocean to the Bay of Bengal. He conceived the subcontinent of India to be of rhomboidal form and supposed the range of Imaus (Himalayas) which he said extended from west to east, to have made the boundary of India. Moreover, he conceived the peninsula of India Pointing towards the south-west, instead of south.

Eratosthenes was well acquainted with the extent of the Red sea, which he described as extending for about 9000 stadia (900 miles) from the head of Gulf of Suez to the Bab-al-Mandab.

The book written by him describes the ekumene (inhabited) world. He accepted the three continents (Europe, Asia, and Libya) and five climatic zones (one torrid zone, two temperate zones, and two frigid zones)


Key Points on Eratosthenes

[1] First scientific Geographer

[2] The term geography was first coined by Eratosthenese

[3] Father of Geodesy

[4] Founder of Systematic Geography

[5] He adopted view of Aristotle & regarded the shape of the earth as sphere.

[6] He developed systems of latitudes and longitudes

[7] He measure accurate length of equator

[8] Circumferences of the earth by Eratosthenes 25000 miles, but actual 24860 miles


N.B- Notes will be updated time to time

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