The Journal of Hellenic Studies

Research Article

Pseudo-Skylax and the Natural Philosophers

D. Graham J. Shipley

University of Leicester *

Abstract

This paper seeks to establish an intellectual context for the periplous of Pseudo-Skylax (probably written in or near Athens in 338 to ca. 337 BC). The unknown author is aware of the work of contemporary natural philosophers, including those in the post-Platonic Academy and those who were to form the Peripatos, especially Aristotle, Theophrastos and Dikaiarchos. Among known writers, Dikaiarchos is most likely to have written the periplous; but the case remains unproven. Doubts are also raised as to the validity of the so-called periplographic genre.

Keywords

  • Pseudo-Skylax;
  • periplous ;
  • Greek geographical writers;
  • natural philosophy;
  • Dikaiarchos of Messana

Footnotes

*  gjs@le.ac.uk. This paper was drafted during a Research Leave Award from the Arts & Humanities Research Council in 2009–2010, extending a period of leave granted by the University of Leicester. Earlier versions were read at the Topoi-Haus at the Freie Universität Berlin (2010) and the Cardiff & District Classical Association (2011); I thank colleagues for suggestions on those occasions, particularly Klaus Geus and Louis Rawlings. The paper emerged from a longer programme of work on Ps.-Skylax, for which full acknowledgements can be found at Shipley (2011) viii–ix. Recently, Jeremy McInerney, Stefan Schorn and Maria Pretzler have been generous with copies of publications. For invaluable comments on drafts, I thank Roger Brock, Kim Harman, David Mattingly, Chris Pelling, Gillian Ramsey and two anonymous referees.

  In memory of Professor Duncan Tanner (1958–2010), ίστορικωτάτου