was acquired through his achievements in a variety of branches of scholarship, indeed his versatility and many-sidedness call to mind the great humanists of the European Renaissance. His intellectual activities embraced poetry, philosophy, literary criticism, geography, astronomy, mathematics, scientific chronology etc. Therefore, instead of the customary title of ‘Grammaticus’ (scholar), he preferred to be designated as ‘Philologus’, a term applied to persons who distinguished themselvesin several branches of learning.52
Fig. 59. Eratosthenes
His scientific stoicism has its noblest expression in his humanism, which was rare, if not unique at that time. Eratosthenes denounced those who divided mankind into two groups, Greeks and nonGreeks as well as those who advised Alexander to treat the Greeks as friends and the non-Greeks as enemies. Well known among those advisers were Isocrates and Aristotle. Eratosthenes praised Alexander for disregarding their advice, while advocating the stoic moral principle of virtue and vice as the criterion for the division of men.53 The most innovative geographic work of Eratosthenes was the Measurement of the Earth and Geographica. Just to mention some of his chapters: The Inappropriateness of Homer as a Source of Geography (for entertainment and not for science) and The Need to Revise the Map of the World. He also did important works in geology such as On Irregularities in the Surface of the Earth such as the Mountains. What is also clear is that his objective was to revise and further articulate the scientific aims and methods of Geography, as well to give a conclusive, holistic view on the known world54.
Suetonius, De Grammaticis, 10. Strabo, 1,4.9. 54 Fraser, 1972, 525-538. 53