Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Christopher D. Merrett
GEOGRAPHY IS AN academic discipline that traces its roots to classical Greece. The Greek scholar Eratosthenes (275–195 B.c.E.) is usually identified as the father of geography. He coined the term geography, which is derived by combining the Greek noun for Earth (geo) with the Greek verb “to write” [graphein) . Literally translated, geography means to write or describe the Earth. Based on his travels up the Nile River and his knowledge of geometry, he was able to accurately calculate the circumference of the Earth. Since the time of the ancient Greeks, geography has evolved into a varied discipline with many research subjects and methodologies. Some scholars have attempted to impose a narrow definition on the sprawling reach of geography. However, other geographers suggest that four research traditions have evolved within the discipline, all of which examine the regional dimensions of human and/or physical processes on the surface of the Earth. ...