Periegesis (or Periodos gēs)‘Tour around the world’

Hecataeus of Miletus
  • Ancient Greek
  • Ancient Greek texts
  • extent: fragmentary
Periegesis described a voyage around the coasts of the Mediterranean and Black Sea.
Hecataeus of MiletusHecataeus of Miletus
(6th/5th c. BC)
Greek historian and one of the first classical authors to mention the Celts.
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Hecataeus of Miletus (fl. 520-516 BC), Ionian historian and ethnographer

The text is no longer extant, but parts of it were cited or paraphrased by later authors. It appears to have been written as two parts: an account of Europa and another of Asia. The fragments from Europa which speak of Celtic towns on the south coast of Gaul are known from Stephan of Byzantium in his Ethnica (early 6th century)

  • Ancient Greek


Ancient Greek textsAncient Greek texts


Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] Nenci, Giuseppe [ed.], Hecataei Milesii Fragmenta, Biblioteca di studi superiori, 22, Firenze: La Nuova Italia, 1954.
45. Edition, with Italian commentary
[ed.] Jacoby, Felix [ed.], Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker, vol. 1 (A), Leiden: Brill, 1923–1958.
Fragments 54–56.

Secondary sources (select)

Freeman, Philip M., “The earliest Greek sources on the Celts”, Études Celtiques 32 (1996): 11–48.  
[FR] Les plus anciennes sources grecques concernant les Celtes.
Depuis la fin du VIe s. avant J.-C. jusqu’à la fin du IVe s. avant J.-C., les auteurs grecs fournissent la documentation écrite la plus ancienne concernant les Celtes. Ces sources sont souvent courtes, quelquefois fragmentaires, mais sont les premières à évoquer des sujets tels que les mouvements tribaux des Celtes ; les coutumes rudimentaires et les manières de faire, ainsi que les activités militaires. L’article fournit un recueil complet de ces sources grecques anciennes, y compris la version dans la langue d’origine, les traductions et les commentaires de chaque passage.

[EN] The Greek writers of the late sixth century to the late fourth century BC provide the earliest documentary evidence concerning the ancient Celts. These sources are often short and occasionally fragmentary, but they are the first to discuss such topics as Celtic tribal movements, banqueting and drinking habits, and military activities. The following paper is a complete collection of these early Greek sources, including original language texts, translations, and commentaries on each passage.
Journal volume:  Persée – Études Celtiques, vol. 32, 1996: <link>
14–15 The passages are cited here with translation.

External links

Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
December 2010, last updated: November 2022