Last updated on February 14th, 2023 at 02:10 pm

**Who is the Father of Geography**: Eratosthenes is considered the “Father of Geography.” He was a Greek mathematician, geographer, and astronomer who lived in the 3rd century BCE. He was the chief librarian at the Library of Alexandria and made several important contributions to the fields of geography and cartography. He was the first to coin the phrase “geography,” and he also had a detailed understanding of the planet, which helped him determine the circumference of the globe. Eratosthenes was endowed with a variety of skills. He was a fifth-century BC Greek mathematician, geographer, poet, astronomer, and music theorist.

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## Eratosthenes

Eratosthenes was a Greek scholar and polymath who lived in the 3rd century BCE. He was born in Cyrene, a city in modern-day Libya, and later became the chief librarian at the Library of Alexandria in Egypt. Eratosthenes made several important contributions to the fields of geography, mathematics, and astronomy. He is best known for being the first person to calculate the circumference of the Earth with remarkable accuracy. He accomplished this by measuring the angle of the sun’s rays in two cities on the same meridian and using simple geometry to triangulate the Earth’s size. Eratosthenes also created a map of the known world and made significant contributions to the field of chronology. He was a highly respected scholar in his time and is considered one of the greatest minds of the ancient world.

## Eratosthenes – Career and Accomplishments

- Greek mathematician, astronomer, and geographic expert Eratosthenes lived in the third century BCE. He was raised in Cyrene (present-day Libya), and later rose to the position of chief librarian at Alexandria, one of the most significant libraries in antiquity.
- Eratosthenes is most renowned for his remarkably accurate calculations of the Earth’s diameter. In order to do this, he measured the angle of the sun’s rays in two towns that were located on the same meridian and calculated the size of the Earth using basic geometry. This was a significant achievement that revealed Eratosthenes’ extraordinary aptitude for mathematics and astronomy.
- Eratosthenes made important contributions to the area of chronology, determining the length of the year and the dates of eclipses. He also produced a map of the known world and was the first to use the term “geography.” He was a gifted geometer and made significant contributions to the disciplines of prime numbers and mathematics, including the calculation of pi.
- Eratosthenes also wrote on philosophy, was interested in geography and history, and worked in mathematics and astronomy. He was also a gifted poet. He was regarded as one of the brightest thinkers of the ancient world and had enormous respect in his day. The disciplines of geography, mapping, mathematics, and astronomy have all benefited significantly from his accomplishments and contributions.

## Eratosthenes as the Father of Geography

Eratosthenes is considered the “Father of Geography” for several reasons:

- Calculation of Earth’s circumference: Eratosthenes was the first person to calculate the circumference of the Earth with remarkable accuracy. This was a major accomplishment and demonstrated his exceptional skills in mathematics and astronomy.
- Mapping the known world: Eratosthenes created a map of the known world, which was a significant contribution to the field of cartography. He used this map to study and understand the geography of the world and make accurate predictions about its shape and size.
- Coining the term “geography”: Eratosthenes is credited with coining the term “geography”, which is now widely used to describe the study of the Earth’s physical features, climate, and human populations.
- Contributions to chronology: Eratosthenes made significant contributions to the field of chronology, calculating the length of the year and the dates of eclipses. This showed his broad range of interests and knowledge.
- Skills in mathematics and astronomy: Eratosthenes was a talented mathematician and astronomer, making important contributions to the fields of prime numbers, geometry, and the calculation of pi.

These achievements and contributions to the fields of geography, cartography, mathematics, and astronomy, as well as his broad range of interests, have established Eratosthenes’ place as the “Father of Geography”.

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## Father of Geography: Other Popular Geographers

Here are some of the more well-known geographers who are regarded as the “fathers” of various geographic specialties (some of these are open to debate). For information on the fathers of the many branches of geography, see the table below.

Father of American Geography | William Morris David |

Father of Geology | Sir Charles Lyell |

Father of Modern Geomorphology | Grove Carl Gilbert |

Father of Phytogeography | Alexander Von Humboldt |

Father of Modern Cartography | Heinrich Caesar Berann |

Father of Scientific Climatology | Reid Bryson |

Father of Human Geography | Carl Ritter. |

## FAQs on Who is the Father of Geography

**Who was Eratosthenes?**

Eratosthenes is considered the father of Geography. He was an ancient Greek scholar and mathematician who lived from 276 BCE to 194 BCE.

**Why is Eratosthenes considered the “Father of Geography”?**

Eratosthenes is considered the “Father of Geography” due to his pioneering work in geography and cartography. He was one of the first geographers to use mathematical principles to calculate the size of the earth and the distances between geographical locations.

**What contributions did Eratosthenes make to geography?**

Eratosthenes made several significant contributions to geography, including; Developing a system of latitude and longitude to map the earth, calculating the size of the earth with remarkable accuracy using mathematical principles and others.

**How did Eratosthenes calculate the size of the earth?**

Eratosthenes calculated the size of the earth by measuring the angle of the sun’s rays at two different locations on the earth on the same day. He then used this information, along with mathematical principles, to calculate the circumference of the earth.

**How did Eratosthenes influence the development of geography?**

Eratosthenes had a major influence on the development of geography by advancing the field with his innovative ideas and methods. His use of mathematics and his systematic approach to mapping the earth helped establish geography as a scientific discipline and laid the foundation upon which future geographers to build upon.