Travel and Travel Writing

Maria Pretzler

in The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780199286140
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

 Travel and Travel Writing

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Greek travellers tried to take their city with them: travel is typically conducted as a civic act, one justified and defined by one's tie to the city: trade, for example, or martial aggression, or colonization. This article discusses the range of travel experiences reflected in surviving literature. The study of ancient travel focuses on the process of travelling, on individual travellers' movements and their reactions to particular journeys and places. The evidence is therefore mainly literary, with valuable additions from epigraphic sources. The remains of sites that were particularly attractive to ancient travellers, depictions of their means of transport, shipwrecks, and traces of ancient roads can add further information. Greek travel literature had a strong influence on early modern geography and ethnography, and it still has an impact on how people understand the Greek world.

Keywords: travel experiences; Greek travellers; colonization; shipwrecks; travel literature; ethnography

Article.  5185 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Reception

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