Claudius Ptolemy, Geography 5.16.1-2


Claudius Ptolemy was a learned Greek scholar, apparently of Greco-Egyptian descent and Roman citizenship, who conducted research in the fields of astronomy, mathematics, and geography during the 2nd century C.E. Apart from the Almagest, his famous astronomical treatise, his most influential work was a detailed survey of the world containing a gazetteer of places plotted in coordinates, his version of longitude (degrees of arc from a notional meridian through the Blessed Isles) and latitude (degrees of arc from the equator). In the book on Asia, Ptolemy defined the limits of Palestine-Judaea and plotted the settlements along the coast, including “Caesarea Stratonis.”


(1) Ἡ Παλαιστίνη, ἥτις καὶ Ἰουδαία καλεῖται, περιορίζεται ἀπὸ μὲν ἄρκτων καὶ ἀνατολῶν Συρίᾳ κατὰ τὴν ἐκτεθειμένην γραμμήν, ἀπὸ δὲ [ἀνατολῶν καὶ] μεσημβρίας Ἀραβίᾳ Πετραίᾳ κατὰ γραμμὴν τὴν ἀπὸ τοῦ πρὸς τῇ Συρίᾳ ἑωθινοῦ ὁρίου μέχρι τοῦ πρὸς τῇ Αἰγύπτῳ πέρατος, οὗ πέρατος ἡ θέσις ὡς εἴρηται ξδ° δʹ λ° γοʹ ἀπὸ δὲ δύσεως τῷ τε ἐντεῦθεν μέχρι θαλάσσης ἐκτεθειμένῳ τῆς Αἰγύπτου μέρει, καὶ τῷ ἐφεξῆς πελάγει μέχρι τοῦ ὁρίου τῆς Συρίας κατὰ περιγραφὴν τοιαύτην· (2) Μετὰ τὰς τοῦ Χορσέου ποταμοῦ ἐκβολάς· Καισάρεια Στράτωνος ξϛ° δʹ λβ° ͵ʹ Ἀπολλωνία ξϛ° λβ° δʹ Ἰόππη ξε° γοʹ λβ° ιβʹ Ἰαμνιτῶν λιμήν ξε° λβ° Ἄζωτος ξε° δʹ λα° ͵γʹ Ἀσκαλών ξε° λα° γοʹ Γαζαίων λιμήν ξδ° ͵γιβʹ λα° ͵ʹ Ἀνθηδών ξδ° ͵γʹ λα° γοʹ

Textual Note

Ed. Stückelberger and Graßhoff 2006


1) Palestine, which is also called Judaea, is bordered on the north and the east by Syria along the line mentioned above. On the east and south it is bordered by Arabia Petraea along a line drawn from the southeastern border of Syria to its terminus at Egypt, The location of that terminus is, as stated, 64° 15ʹ 30° 40ʹ. On the west it is bordered by the part of Egypt extending from there to the sea, and by the adjacent sea to the border of Syria according to the following description: 2) After the mouth of the river Chorseas: Caesarea Stratonis 66° 15ʹ 32° 30ʹ Apollonia 66° 32° 15ʹ Ioppe 65° 40ʹ 32° 05ʹ Iamnia (port) 65° 32° Azotus 65° 15ʹ 31° 50ʹ Ascalon 65° 31° 40ʹ Gaza (port) 64° 55ʹ 31° 30ʹ Anthedon 64° 50ʹ 31° 40ʹ

Translation Note

Trans. J. L. Rife with ref. to Stevenson 1932 and Stückelberger and Graßhoff 2006


  • 1 Claudius Ptolemy, Ptolemaios, Handbuch Der Geographie, Griechisch-Deutsch I-IIPtolemaios, Handbuch Der Geographie, Griechisch-Deutsch I-II, ed. Alfred Stückelberger and Gerd Graßhoff, 2nd ed. (Basel: Schwabe, 2017), bk: 5, ch: 16.1-2. Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 2 Claudius Ptolemy, Claudius Ptolemy: The GeographyClaudius Ptolemy: The Geography, trans. Edward Luther Stevenson, repr. 1991 (New York: Dover Publications, 1932), p: 128. Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

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How to Cite This Entry

Joseph L. Rife, “Claudius Ptolemy, Geography 5.16.1-2,” in Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia, last modified August 9, 2021,


Joseph L. Rife, “Claudius Ptolemy, Geography 5.16.1-2.” In Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia, edited by Joseph L. Rife and Phillip I. Lieberman., edited by Joseph L. Rife et al.. Caesarea City and Port Exploration Project, 2021. Entry published August 9, 2021.

About this Entry

Entry Title: Claudius Ptolemy, Geography 5.16.1-2

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Joseph L. Rife, general editor, Vanderbilt University
  • Joseph L. Rife and Phillip I. Lieberman, editors, Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia
  • David A. Michelson, Daniel L. Schwartz, and William L. Potter, technical editor, “Claudius Ptolemy, Geography 5.16.1-2
  • Joseph L. Rife, entry contributor, “Claudius Ptolemy, Geography 5.16.1-2

Additional Credit:

  • TEI encoding by William L. Potter
  • Electronic text added by Joseph L. Rife
  • Testimonia identified by Joseph L. Rife
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