Government College University, Lahore
Contributions of Friedrich Ratzel and Homer in Geography
Sir Syed Yasir Usman
Syed Irtaza Ali Rizvi
Date of Submission:
Table of Contents
Contribution of Fredrick Ratzel
Environmental Determinism and early Geography
Environmental Determinism and Modern Geography
Decline of Environmental Determinism
Political Geography of Ratezel( Imperialism)
Ideology of Lebensraum
Idea of Gross arum and Expansionist
Contribution of Homer
Contribution of Homer in Strabo’s Geography
Instruction, Polymaths and Experience
Contribution of Freidrich Ratzel
Friedrich Ratzel was born on August 30,1844. His father was the supervisor of domestic employees of the Grand Duke of Baden,a place extremely examine at that time. Friedrich tired six years at La Fontaine Gymnasium in Karlsruhe ,before being apprenticed at the age of fifteen,to an apothecary at Eichtersheim , a village between Karlsruhe and Heidelberg.After six years as an learner there ,at Rapperswill , Switzerland where he begin to study the classics and at Mores in the Ruhr,he determined to go after an academic career.After a short time at the Karlsruhe Technische Hochschule ,he studied zoology at Heidelberg,Jena and Berlin.In 1868 Ratzel presented a thesis on the characteristics of worms and a year later,a book on the work of Charles Darwin, whose origin of species had appeared in 1859.But Ratzel’s work was overshadowed by Ernst Hackel’s.
After Friedrich’s conclusion of his education Ratzel started a phase of activities that transfer him from a zoologist to a geographer.He begin field work in Mediterranean.His most important and lengthiest expeditions were his trips to North America,Cuba and Mexico.Ratzel created the fundamentals of human geography in his second volume of Anthropogeographiein 1882 and 1891.Ratzel sustained his work at Leipzig untill his unexpected death on August 9,1904 in Ammerland , Germany. In 1871 Ratzel traveled in Danube situation the Alp, Haley . In 1874 and 1875 he finished tour North America. Where he mainly concerned in black population, Dwindling Habitation areas of Americans Indian and inflows of the Chinese in to California. He write six large volume of North America. And created shorter treaty allowed Das Meet as Quelled Dc Volker Grosse in 1900. In go back to Europe he began a permanent academic year, lecturing on geography at the Techniques. Hochschule in Munich. He criticize the natural theory of choice and Haeckel’s view on development and always remained persuaded of request of model of organic evolution to human societies. He was mainly involved in human geography and did a lot of work at human geography. He wrote extensively on physical geography such as earth pillars, limestone and surfaces. During second year at Munich Ratzel produced first volume of “Anthropogeography” in 1882. First two volume of his Volkerkunde 1885-1886 as well as 160 shorter Hems becomes most popular of his work. In 1886 Ratzel accepted the chair of geography at Leipzig following Ferdinand Von Richthofed. During years at Leipzig 1886-1904 he wrote 13 books and about 350 articles. He did a lot of work in observation on physical phenomenon of density of snow in 1889. He gives the idea of Lebensraum and scientific political geography. Basically Ratzel was an environmental geographer. He gave the idea of man to mature relation. Ratzel theory based on insightful dependence on nature. And was about the basic needs oh human and of society which is shelter and food.
ENVIRONMENTAL DETERMINISM AND EARLY GEOGRAPHY
while environmental determinism is a moderately current come up to to official geographic study, its origins go back to ancient times. Climatic factors for example were used by Strabo, Plato, and Aristotle to give details why the Greeks were so much more urbanized in the early ages than societies in hotter and colder climates.
Additionally, Aristotle come up with his climate classification system to give details why people were restricted to settlement in definite areas of the globe.
Other early scholars also used environmental determinism to explain not only the culture of a society but the reasons behind the physical uniqueness of a society’s people. Al-Jahir, a writer from East Africa, for example cite ecological factors as the origin of different skin colors. He assumed that the darker skin of many Africans and various birds, mammals, and insects was a direct result of the occurrence of black basalt rocks on the Arabian Peninsula.
Ibn Khaldun, an Arab sociologist and scholar, was officially known as one of the first environmental determinists. He lived from 1332 to 1406, during which time he wrote a complete world history and explained that dark human skin was caused by the hot climate of Sub-Saharan Africa.
ENVIRONMENTAL DETERMINISM AND MODERN GEOGRAPHY
Environmental determinism rose to its most well-known phase in modern geography beginning in the late 19th Century when it was rejuvenated by the German geographer Friedrich Rätzel and became the central theory in the discipline. Rätzel’s theory came about following Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species in 1859 and was deeply influenced by evolutionary biology and the impact a person’s environment has on their cultural evolution.
Environmental determinism then became popular in the United States in the early 20th Century when Rätzel’s student, Ellen Churchill Semple, a professor at Clark University in Worchester, Massachusetts, introduced the theory there.
Like Rätzel’s initial ideas, Semple’s were also influenced by evolutionary biology.
Another one of Rätzel’s students, Ellsworth Huntington, also worked on expanding the theory around the same time as Sample. Huntington’s work though, led to a subset of environmental determinism, called climatic determinism in the early 1900s. His theory stated that the economic development in a country can be predicted based on its distance from the equator. He said temperate climates with short growing seasons stimulate achievement, economic growth, and efficiency. The effortlessness of growing things in the tropics on the other hand hindered their advancement.
THE DECLINE OF ENVIRONMENTAL DETERMINISM
Although its achievement in the early 1900s, environmental determinism’s popularity began to decline in the 1920s as its claims were often found to be wrong. In addition, critics claimed it was racialist and perpetuated imperialism.
CarlSauer for example began his critiques in 1924 and said that environmental determinism led to premature generalizations about an area’s culture and did not allow for results based on direct observation or other research. As a result of his and others criticisms, geographers developed the theory of environmental possibilism to explain cultural development.
Environmental possibilism was set forth by the French geographer Paul Vidal de la Blanche and stated that the environment sets limitations for cultural development but it does not completely define culture. Culture is instead defined by the opportunities and decisions that humans make in response to dealing with such boundaries
By the 1950s, environmental determinism was almost entirely replaced in geography by environmental possibilism, effectively ending its prominence as the central theory in the discipline. Regardless of its decline however, environmental determinism was an important component of geographic history as it initially represented an attempt by early geographers to explain the patterns they saw developing across the globe
Political Geography of Ratzel (Imperialism)
From the middle of the 1870s, the major European powers embarked upon the most ambitious program of colonial achievement the world had to that point witnessed. The United States and Japan ultimately joined in this strong and increasingly competitive drive, the apotheosis of which was reached with the epidemic of world war I in 1914. This ‘new imperialism’ aroused much preliminary passion and, eventually, zealous commitment depicted masterfully in the pathological Mr Kurtz of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness but however was not seen commonly as a natural stage in the development of European political life. This is understandable, for the new expansionist course did indeed represent a essential disappearance from some of the more basic political civilization of the nineteenth century. Among the most important of these was the idea of the nation state. As an ideal for social and political association, the nation-state thought had encouraged virtually the total range of European public life since the French Revolution, and did not finish to do so even after the 1870s. Yet this ideal was basically challenged by the realities of the new imperialism: the open-ended political and defensive extension of the developed world across the globe and the absorption of foreign domain and peoples into the national-imperial state structure of the respective metro pole. This was from the beginning mismatched, both reasonably as well as practically, with the territorially unfinished and generally all the same unit roundabout by the nation state. The tensions arising out of this de facto challenge were hardly covered at the time,. and those promoting the new imperialist effort were face, at least initially, with insignificant obstacles. Not slightest of these were ideological, for essential amendments were compulsory to virtually a century of popular political traditions and aspirations. Some sort of political Weltanschauung had to be obtainable to take the place of the revered but already, so it was felt, old-fashioned nation-state ideal; something that would be at once more suitable, more ‘modern’ and better suitable to the realities and needs of modern European imperialism. In this essay’ I will argue that the real meaning of Friedrich Ratzel’s political geography is to be understood within this framework of late nineteenth century European imperialism and more particularly as a particular response to the tensions between nation state and kingdom just described. Building, as was common for the time, on concepts taken from the natural sciences, he useful these by similarity to human society, and in so doing constructed a system that both explained and defensible ‘scientifically’ the requirement for the stable political and physical extension of the state. A champion of the ‘modern’ imperial view of state life, he exhorted enthusiastically against those who would contain Germany within the more limited goals of simple ethnic unity and national sovereignty: in other words, the organization of a true German nation state. The ultimate expression of this type of thinking, and the significance of Ratzel’s own contribution, became clear in the development of German expansionist thinking after 1918, which witnessed the disastrous conclusion of German imperialism. z II National and imperial state ideals in the nineteenth century In its classic form, the concept of the nation state was closely associated with the ideas of natural rights, national sovereignty and nationalism that had emerged in Europe in the rouse of the French Revolution and the defeat of the Napoleonic occupations. The nation state was founded on the idea that every people or nation was entitled to form a united and sovereign state, the physical foundation of which would be the specific piece of territory that through centuries of inhabitation and use had become imperceptibly nationalized. In a sense, therefore, the nation state was the tangible product of the union of a distinctly ‘national’ group of people with a correspondingly distinct ‘national’ territorial base. Importantly, the right to national statehood of this sort was seen as universal, each nationality sharing in it equally. This gave rise to a perspective on international relations which formed an hidden part of the nation-state idea itself: the vision of a fraternal society or brotherhood of nation states, each pursuing their independent national existence within the boundaries of their own discrete and, it was understood, limited national territory. It was, however, only in western Europe that historical and demographic circumstances made possible the realization of a reasonably satisfactory approximation of these ideals. In central and eastern Europe, the nation state remained an ideal and a vision. As such, it was an object of increasingly intense popular aspiration but, up to 1918 at least, unrealized and indeed unrealizable. This final point is important for our consideration of Ratzel and German imperialism. In Germany in particular, the realization of the nation-state ideal; was impossible from the outset. This was due, among other factors, to the circumstance that the ethnically German population was not centralized spatially, but rather had become widely and often thinly dispersed over the centuries throughout central and eastern Europe. Bismarck, it is true, created a unified and ‘national’ German state, but his kleindeutsch solution was a nation state that excluded over 10 million Germans in adjacent Austria-Hungary and yet remoter areas. At the same time and for the same reason, a clearly defined and generally recognized territorial base that would be uniquely German was lacking. All of these considerations insured that Germany, in striving for consolidation on the nation-state model, would in the process necessarily be constrained to go beyond it and embark on a course of expansionism, in order to come together the various German irredentism into one nationally founded state. The term ‘expansionist’ used in this sense, however, must be qualified, for it was in an important regard limited: limited in its aims, this is, to the creation of a truly all-encompassing national state. It should be kept distinct from at the same time movement of German colonial expansion, the sources and aims of which were quite different. In all of these areas, the annexed territories served the important function of settlement colonies for an seeping away of population from the mother countries. In the period under contemplation, on the other hand, the focus shifted to Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific, and colonization involved rather the amalgamation of more or less intact societies. Finally, there was a dramatic increase in the number of colonial competitors, the ‘traditional’ colonial powers of England, France, and Russia being joined in the 1880s and 1890s by Germany, Italy, Belgium, the United States and Japan. By the end of the century, the drive for imperial expansion had become a frenzied quest for new annexations, a mission in which considerations of economic exploitation or political incorporation of the colonial territories were often pushed aside by an domineering hunger for continued growth at all costs. It was, moreover, a process which had no logical end or goal away from that of further expansion.
Field house has commented on the new ‘bellicosity’ that characterized relations among the imposing powers in the final decades of the nineteenth century, and indeed, this bellicosity would seem to have been a natural association of the colonial competition itself. Throughout Europe, the vision of the international ground as the scene of an continuing effort grow more and more popular: a struggle in which national interests were necessarily in argument and where one nation’s gain could mean nothing other than another’s loss and possible declined These and related new ideas were given an intellectual framework and justification by the philosophy of social Darwinism, which enjoyed its great flowering during precisely this period. Taking a radically materialist and holistic view of the world, the social Darwinists argued that the laws governing the natural organic realm applied with equal validity to human society. These laws were, as their mentor had taught, those of evolution and unceasing growth of all organisms, together with the principle of their survival through an all-encompassing and never-ending struggle for existence. For the purposes of international politics, the social Darwinists identified the political state as the anthropological unit corresponding to a natural organism, from which point it was immediately possible to derive the very important for the growth, i.e., physical expansion, indicated above. At the same time, the international arena was thereby converted into a network or, to follow the popular image, a cruel world of challenging state organisms, struggling against each other for their bare survival. Success in this struggle superseded every other concern, and became the sole criterion by which a state should judge the morality and effectiveness of its international behavior. Ratzel’s system of political geography. It is within the context of the imperialist frenzy described above that Friedrich Ratzel’s political geography is to be understood. It represents the attempt to develop a theory of expansionism in which the need for more or less constant physical growth of the state was explained, as it were, ‘systematically’ in the way popular for the age: by direct analogy with the plant and animal world. For despite Ratzel’s ever greater reservations in regard to certain aspects of Darwin’s theories and the honest rejection in his grown-up work of the more brutal current social Darwinist tendencies, still his logic and argumentation derived a great deal of their encouragement from these teachings. Throughout his career, he enthusiastically advocated the essential unity of all natural life on earth, and shared the conclusion that, because of this fact, human society can be understood in terms of specifically the same laws that govern the natural world. In this will, his goal was to create a ‘science’ out of political geography similar to that of physical geography, and his theory of expansionism, based on the central concept of Lebensraum, was initially derived from a biogeographically deliberation of the non-human organic world. Ratzel argued that every living organism required a specific amount of territory from which to draw sustenance and labeled this territory the particular Lebensraum, or living-space, of the particular organism. He constantly emphasized the fundamental importance of the Lebensraum concept. Indeed, the idea of life itself could not for him be separated from its employee space-need, new form of life needs space in order to come into existence, and yet more space to establish and pass on its characteristics. Importantly.
Ratzel’s establishment of an organism included not only individual living units such as single trees or elephants, but also applied to entire homogenous and spatially coalesced populations of these individuals, such as forests of trees or herds of animals. These Ratzel termed aggregate-organisms, and as such they had their own independent Lebensraum requirements. Because, however, the laws of nature dictated that through reproduction the absolute size of such homogeneous populations would ultimately increase, so too would their space-need, living the unavoidable alternative of expansion or decline.’ For Ratzel to apply this biogeographically scheme to human society, it was necessary only to locate in this society the organism on to which the space-need concept could be transferred. Here Ratzel followed the lead that had already been conceptually developed by the social Darwinists, such as Oskar Her twig identified the political state as the consequent organism or, more precisely, aggregate organism. Composed of coalesced homogenous populations of human individuals, he argued, the state not only bore a morphological resemblance to forests or animal herds, but operated according to the same laws of development. The state organism was based on a certain defined territorial expanse – a Lebensraum – in which a certain level of sustenance was available. On the basis of this level a human society could merge and develop. This relatively stable relationship was bound to be upset, however, as the human population grew, resulting in an increased demand for sustenance, in other words a greater space-need. The ubiquitous response to this circumstance was a ‘flowing over’ of excess population beyond the formal political boundaries of the state, a process which ‘ in discussing Chinese emigration in the 1870s he likened to fermenting honey ‘flowing over the rim of the jar’. Under optimal conditions, the state would then itself physically expand to meet this need, acquire additional Lebensraum and once again consolidate on the newly enlarged state territory. If, however, the state were either unable to attempt acquisition of new lands, or if its attempts should prove unsuccessful – if, in short, it did not expand – then it would necessarily exhaust its sustenance base and thereby decline.
Ideology of Lebensraum
The Malthusian inspiration, with its characteristic concept of overpopulation, is not difficult to detect in Ratzel’s thesis. The conclusions that he and his contemporaries drew, however, were diametrically opposed to those of Malthus. For while the latter was concerned that the population of a country ,should simply not be allowed to grow beyond that country’s nutritional capacity, it was canonical in the view of the social Darwinists that a vigorous increase of population was one of the most important indications of a nation’s health and strength. This was a standard that Ratzel fully accepted. The actual problem, he argued, arose not from the imperative to expand, which was in itself entirely normal and positive. Rather, the source of the ultimate difficulties was to be found in the circumstance that, while the imperative he identified was shared equally by every state, still the earth’s surface was finite and offered only a limited amount of territory for this purpose. Moreover, as states grew larger through history, this available territory became ever more limited, and in this process they were forced to compete ever more directly and aggressively with each other for territorial advantage. The eventual expression of this was the contemporary imperialist competition, for Ratzel understood overseas colonial achievement as the only remaining means by which the European states, by the late nineteenth century already completely overpopulated in terms of their native Lebensraum, could further expand territorially. The European continent itself he viewed as effectively occupied and thus unavailable for new settlement, a perspective which Hitler for one did not share, as discussed below, and the modern struggle for space Ratzel adopted the social Darwinist vision of relations between states to the extent that he also saw these as a struggle for existence. This he customized in terms of his theory into a Kampf um Raum, or struggle for space, and defined it as well as a biogeographically principle: Between the movement of life, which is never at rest, and the earth’s territory (Raum), which remains constant, arises a contradiction. Out of this disagreement the struggle for space is born. In the beginning life was quickly able to spread and take over the land surface (Boden) of the earth as its own, but when it reached the limits of this surface it flowed back, and since this time, over the entire earth, life struggles with life unceasingly for space. The much misused, and even more misunderstood expression ‘the struggle for existence’ really means first of all a struggle for space. For space is the very first condition of life, in terms of which all other conditions are measured, above all sustenance. The application of this principle to contemporary European society led Ratzel to the conclusion that his own country must acquire land outside Europe if it was to survive, and he clung to this conviction with a passion that was fully at one with the Zeitgeist of his imperialist age. He argued that these new territories need not necessarily be limited to lands suitable for European agriculturalists, and indeed pointed to the fact that the best lands for this purpose had already been claimed. Rather, he insisted that all available territory, even uninhabitable and foreseeable unexplainable stretches of desert, had at least a potential political value, and referred to the contemporary process of colonial acquisition cynically but thoroughly approvingly as ‘large-scale land speculation. As he asserted in the opening pages of his Political geography: The policy that recognizes the more distant goals toward which the state strives, and for this reason secures for the growing nation the necessary land for its future, is a truer Real politik than that which bears this name because it accomplishes only that which is immediately tangible, for the sake of the present day alone. For Ratzel, the cultural development of a state was inseparable from its spatial growth. Consequently, states of limited territorial extent, such as tribal groupings in Africa, were associated with lower levels of development. This condition Ratzel termed Kleinraum. The advance of civilization was marked everywhere by the progressive broadening of the territorial base of the state. In considering the present and the future, Ratzel declared repeatedly that the territorial base of the European states had become too narrow, and would in the future have to give way to the modern principle of Grossraum. Concerning precisely what was meant by the designation gross, or large, Ratzel remained vague, but judging from his usage it implied a state with physical dimensions greater than those normal or indeed possible on the European continent. Ratzel did not coin this term, which had already been used in the German literature on political economy some three decades earlier (von Inama-Sternegg, 1869: 9ff; Faber, 1982: 392), but within his system it acquired a new significance. His models came from the non-European world, most notably from the impressive example of the rapid and vibrant colonization of the United States, but included Australia, Russia, and China as well. These countries, he insisted, exemplified the pattern that was to be the wave of the future: politically unified states based on continental or at least subcontinental land masses.
Idea of Gross arum And Expansionist
Ratzel emphatically contrasted his own geographical or territorial principle, and insisted that in the modern world the basis for a successful state must be the idea of Gross raum. Accordingly, he condemned the striving for an exclusively nationally founded state, or National itdten politik, which represented a dreamy goal for many of his contemporaries in central and eastern Europe: Viewed against the major movement of our time to give politics an ever firmer territorial base, today’s Nationalitdtenpolitik is a step backward away from this territorial priority. It considers a people based on a linguistic community to be the principle of the state, without any regard for its land. It will in the long run not be able to stand up against a geographical politics, which is concerned above all with land. Political strivings toward an exclusively national union stand in notable contrast to the ¡ tendency toward large political spaces, and will certainly be overcome by the latter, unless they join with a political movement based on the Gross raum principle, such as the Pan-Slavs. It is in union with such movements that they can hope to win. Because, however, spatial growth is founded on a younger and more lasting political force than the idea of a national union, we see the former progress uninterruptedly beyond the latter. Purely national politics are inspired by the struggle to free oneself from the geographical conditions of the land, but this struggle is unmistakably defeated and in the end always submits to them. Ratzel applied this logic with admirable consistency to the situation in his own country. In an early essay, for example, he rejected on principle the claims of the Germans in the Baltic regions to membership in a German state, arguing that this would violate the exclusively geographical or territorial logic which must be the foundation of all political unions. He firmly adhered to this position in his later work. In so doing, he not only opposed a popular current of the time, but indeed raised fundamental questions at the outset about an issue that was to become nothing less than a holy cause for many of his countrymen. Within the context of the tensions between nation and empire discussed earlier in this essay, the significance of Ratzel’s political geography is unmistakable. He has discarded as ‘retrograde’ the classic nineteenth-century idea of the nation state as the ultimate form of political organization, and offered in its stead something radically different. Presented in the language of the age, using, that is, the ‘scientific’ precepts of a rudely materialist social Darwinism, his system was a coherent formulation and justification of the concern that animated Europe’s modern age of imperialism: the drive for political expansion. Its inordinate significance lay in the fact that it replaced an essentially restricted ideal of political organization – limited spatially to the distribution of the nationality and its national territory, and bound at least in theory by notions of international coexistence – with a vision of biologically founded expansion having no ultimate goal besides that of further growth and expansion. In an early discussion of Ratzel, Franz Neumann identified this fundamental aspect of his thinking and expressed it succinctly with the observation that ‘The laws of movement and space cannot be reconciled with the notion of a unified legal and political sovereignty over a specific area. Older standards of relations between states were overruled by the single exigency of the struggle for space, and success in the Endeavour to expand became the sole criterion for moral judgment. In presenting and arguing for these ideas Ratzel did not limit himself to the pages of his scholarly texts. Quite to the contrary, in an age which in general was characterized by the intense involvement of academics directly in the political life of the country, Ratzel was among the most involved. He was active from the first in colonial advocacy leagues, and passionately took up their cause of convincing a reluctant German government of the need to acquire overseas colonial possessions. In the late 1870s, while still a young university instructor in Munich, he founded the ‘Munich association for the defense of German interests abroad ‘earliest and most important colonial societies: the ‘Central association for commercial geography and the promotion of German interests abroad’.
In 1882 he was a founding member of the Kolonialgesellschaft and later in the decade of its successor the Kolonialverein. In the early 1890s he was one of the very few geographers to participate in the establishment of the radical-conservative Alldeutscher Verb and, or Pan-German League, and although he quickly distanced himself from the group’s more outspoken chauvinism, his students Paul Longhand and Felix Hdnsch went on to play important roles in the organization. At the turn of the century he joined with such luminaries as Max Weber in the group of so-called ‘fleet professors’: prominent academics who supported the rapid development of Germany’s navy in order to enhance the country’s position as a world power. In addition to this active engagement in political organizations, much of Ratzel’s prodigious literary output was devoted to treatments of contemporary problems of world politics. These included entire monographs advocating the need for overseas expansion (1884) and the imperative for the country to develop a competitive navy (1900). The latter work in particular won high praise in naval circles, where it was considered an excellent ‘scientific foundation for the professional education of naval officers. He was moreover one of the most active contributors in the 1890s to the conservative-nationalist journal Die Grenzboten. Throughout all of this, Ratzel strove to explain and popularize the ideas that he had developed on a scholarly level in his political geography, the dire need for Germany to acquire land to insure its healthy growth and the life-and-death character of the current struggle for space among the imperial powers. The near-frenzied tone which these exhortations could reach is well expressed in a passage written in 1898 in regard to the naval question and Germany’s position as a world power. ‘There will always be peoples who rule and peoples who serve’, Ratzel observed, and depicted metaphorically the existential choice facing the nation as between being either a hammer or an anvil. Whether they i.e., we Germans become one or the other depends on their recognizing in good time the demands which the world situation presents to a nation which is struggling to rise. Prussia’s task in the eighteenth century – to win for itself a position as a major power in the middle of the European continental powers – was different from that of Germany in the nineteenth century: to win a place among the world powers. This task can no longer be solved in Europe alone; it is only as a world power that Germany can hope to secure for its people the land which it needs for its growth. Germany must not remain apart from the transformations and redistributions taking place in all parts of the world if it does not want to run the risk … of being pushed into the background for generate. Lebensraum and expansionist ideology in Germany after 1918 Although Ratzel’s ideas certainly had an effect in the period after world war I, subjectively he still belonged to Europe’s pre-1914 era. This is apparent, for example, from his insistence that spatial growth of the state need not necessarily resemble that of other aggregate-organisms and take the form of an amorphous extrusion beyond existing boundaries into immediately adjacent areas. Rather, he believed that the expansion of advanced states could be a rational and planned affair, accomplished through the selective sending out of groups of excess population for the purposes of colonization. The territorial needs of these groups could be met through land acquisition overseas, in the non-European world. As noted, Ratzel rejected the idea of territorial expansion on the European continent itself. Moreover, although he did adopt the view of relations between states as a struggle for space, which meant existence, it may well be argued that he did not necessarily feel that the ultimate outcome of this would be a general armed conflagration. Despite a not infrequently aggressive tone, in important respects his thinking unmistakably reflected some of the dominant optimism of nineteenth-century liberalism. This was an ambiguity that Ratzel shared fully with social Darwinism in general, and in his writings as well can be found the vision of the progressive march of civilization toward ultimate perfection. One example of this was his optimistic conviction that the petty squabbles between the nations of Europe would be irresistibly overcome by the further development of international commerce and transportation. In this spirit, he may well have ultimately allowed for the possibility of a peaceful and mutually satisfactory solution of the existing space-need through international negotiation and moderation.
The outbreak of world war I dashed forever the hope that developments might in fact follow such a course, and Germany’s situation after 1918 led rather to an intensification of the ideas we have been discussing. The overseas colonies were lost with no prospect of reacquisition, but even more damaging was the loss of territories in Europe itself that the Germans considered to be rightfully theirs. The atmosphere of the 1920s was consequently marked by a sense of mass claustrophobia and obsession with Germany’s space-need, an obsession well demonstrated by the remarkable popularity of works such as Hans Grimm’s Volk ohne Raum (A people without space), or by the flourishing of the new science of Geopolitics. 15 In such an atmosphere, Ratzel’s postulates about Lebensraum seemed to take on a new relevance and urgency, and his Political geography appeared in its third and definitive edition in 1923.
The value of his arguments remained the fact that they seemed to offer a scientific basis and justification for these concerns. At the same time, concern for the strictly national consolidation of the German people was intensified in the same manner. In the form of Wilson’s Fourteen Points, the issue of national rights had figured importantly in the negotiations following the conclusion of the war, and indeed, the political reorganization of central and eastern Europe was largely based on them. The feeling was widespread in Germany that they, alone of all European peoples, had been denied these elemental rights, and that their quest for national unity and sovereignty was nothing more than a desire for fair and equal treatment. Of course, the pattern of German settlement had not been fundamentally altered by the war, and the call for national union carried the same expansionist overtones as before. The dichotomy between the notions of national union and biological expansionism was expressed in the ideology of national socialism, and it is here, I would argue, that the type of perspective developed by Ratzel received its ultimate and fateful significance. The demand for a national political union based on the inclusion of all ethnically German peoples figured in the official programmers of the Nazis throughout the 1920s and early 1930s. That the principle of nationality was perverted by the Nazis into a chauvinistic racial concept should not obscure the basic continuity of these demands with the nineteenth-century concept of the nation state described above. While this was in the German case expansionist, it represented a sort of limited expansionism, limited to the geographical distribution of the German peoples. Diametrically opposed to this was the idea of biological expansionism, the need for which was maintained at the same time and in the same programmers, 16 and developed in some detail in Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Pursuing a crude logic, his reasoning seemed to parallel Ratzel’s, and led to the proclamation that a vibrant, growing population must seek an expanded Lebensraum in order to insure racial survival. He gave this imperative the appropriate name of Bodenpolitik, or soil politics, which clearly underscored the contrast to the national principle, or Nationalitatenpolitik. Hitler may have derived some inspiration directly from Ratzel. A copy of the latter’s Political geography, presented by Karl Haushofer during a visit in 1924, was among his small prison-cell library as he composed his manifesto, or so Haushofer proudly claimed. Quite unlike Ratzel, however, Hitler identified the appropriate territory for expansion on the European continent, specifically in Slavic agricultural land to the east of Germany. When Germany annexed Austria in the name of the nationality principle in 1938, it seemed that this should have satisfied the country’s ‘limited’ expansionist aims. It was, however, no longer the nationality principle but rather the drive for biological expansion implied by the ideas of Lebensraum and Bodenpolitik that had become the inspirational basis for German foreign policy, and explained Hitler’s real interest in world war II: un unlimited war of territorial conquest against the Slavic east. This is by no means to suggest that Ratzel’s theories produced or can be held in any way as ultimately responsible for this aspect of national socialist ideology. Hitler’s Bodenpolitik was founded on a chauvinistic racism, and he was convinced that available land for Germans must be created in Europe itself by evacuation and resettlement of biologically inferior races. Ratzel, as we have seen, was an outspoken critic of this sort of racism. Of equal importance in estimating Ratzel’s subsequent influence is the fact that he was not the only, and indeed, not at all the most important advocate of Germany’s need to expand based on a growing population. Similar arguments were advanced in the 1890s both in academic quarters) and in the more popular political press, and can be traced further back into the nineteenth century in the works of Friedrich List and others. This essay attempted an analysis of Ratzel’s political geography within the context of the imperialism of the late nineteenth century.
Contribution of Homer
Homer is a greatest Greek poet and Greek philosopher. He considered earth to be circular and to be ocean rivers. He believed sky concaved and resting on tall pillars . these pillars are atlas charges according to homer . he also contributed to propose the concept of the sun rising and the sinking, according to him sun is rise and sink in the ocean stream. He is not familiar with Europe and asia because he is not actually a traveler, therefore from many areas and continents Homer is not familiar. Basically he is a poet and also talking about myths and universal truths. He considered the 6 month days and 6 months nights are blessed and he also describe this in his stories. Greek considered the homer as a father of geography.
Contribution of Homer in Strabo’s Geography
Strabo’s work is separately a contribution and a protection of his geographical project; it professes to give details what “geography” is by detailing the kind of guidance it requires, what its aims should be, and what kind of readers it seeks, but in doing so slowly develops into an act of contrition for the paper in hand, which is “a severe work very good of a philosopher.”The initial half of this long mechanical introduction is dedicated to establishing Homer’s position as the ?rst geographer, mainly by representative the poet’s knowledge of “the distant ends of the what surroundings it as well as the regions around the Mediterranean Sea” The fantastic interpretations of Homeric poetry that Strabo offers in this fragment to establish rather doubtful points, such as Homer’s consciousness of Iberia (not mentioned by name in his poems), or that “by the term the assemblage the Bear” the northern polar zone,”13 have not endeared this part to scholars, but there is more at chance here than originally meets the eye. After all, the position of an extensive perform of Homer right at the start of his work suggests that the importance of Homer to the Geography cannot be explain simply as a doze off to an well-known precursor or an effort to co-opt a cultural power for a novel project. In fact, the total sequence of point of view rest on an unambiguous, comprehensive hypothesis about what kind of man Homer was, offered right at the opening of Strabo’s dialogue and slowly but surely supplement and claries throughout the full ?rst book. This suggest that Strabo knew very well that proving Homer’s geographical knowledge was not enough to make him the ?rst geographer—only as an personification of those qualities proper to the geographical techno can Homer rightly be called its “founder.” In fact, it is by means of his explanation of Homer that Strabo manages to address a middle issue that he omits from his more unambiguous discussion of the “philosophical” nature of geography, namely, the type of person a geographer should be.
we should look at Strabo’s draft of Homer, Strabo’s original description of Homer emphasizes three interwoven qualities that will be reiterated and further elaborated in the course of his discussion: (a) his experience, of life, from which he developed (b) his keenness to learn, and (c) his compliance to travel great distances to learn about “actions” and “places.” In particular, these last two speak to a definite geographical craving that lies at the heart of Strabo’s formation of Homer, over and over again stressed throughout the Prolegomena, and rendered more notable by the use of rare and unusual expressions. In for illustration, Strabo points to Homer’s assumed explanation of the tides as “another proof of the same enthusiastic curiosity” that he had alluded to a few pages before, and at Strabo speaks of the poet’s “love of learning” pairing it this time with his “love of travel” using two words that are unique to this text. Strabo establishes the parameters of the knowledge to which this aspiration is bound for as he discusses Odysseus’ wanderings.
Instruction, Polymaths and Experience
We should begin by delineation what exactly Strabo means by polumavqeia which he sees correspondingly as the precondition and purpose of geography. Polumavqeia comprises ?uency in both extraterrestrial and terrestrial matters, and in particular a mastery of that is, knowledge of “what lives on the earth” This “wide learning” required of the geographer corresponds to those things “useful for the statesman and the general,” whom Strabo imagines as his ideal readers Strabo emphasizes the realistic cast of this knowledge; geography, for the most part, is geared towards political needs and clearly bears upon the activities of leaders; “for thus they can supervise their affairs in a more reasonable manner, if they know how large a country is, how it lies, and what its peculiarities are” Such a practical usefulness is the standard by which geography must be measured and is illustrated with a series of examples: the knowledge of the forest is essential to a hunter, just as a sure take hold of the land is to the leaders of military expeditions. Utility is thus the overarching aim of the Geography; the geographer should direct his attention to “the useful and Strabo’s work—to; suvggramma, as he calls it—should be “useful alike to the statesman and the public at large”
As we have seen, Strabo has been envisioning Homer as an exemplar of historic graphical and geographical practice up to this point; any reference to Homer’s “instructional” or “entertainment” aims should refer primarily to his work not qua poetry, but qua geography. In fact, this whole section (1.2.3–40) can be read in a largely geographical framework, as directly linked to the discussion of the ideal geographer in and dedicated to proving that Homer not only knew a lot of geographical, meteorological, and climatic facts but that he planned to pass along this information to his readers for their practical, rather than moral, beneath . A connection between the here and already evident in Strabo’s treatment of the ideal geographer at where he states that the geographer must present things clearly and use things “for the purposes of instruction” and where he asks “how the geographer can educate correctly and adequately if he has paid no attention, even super?cially, to any of these matters?”These references to the objective and activity of geographers as “instruction” suggest a close relation with the more explicit geographical goal of “utility”; in essence, Felecia is the expected result .
Strabo’s decision to focus on Homer’s historic-geographical zeal and his instructional objectives takes on an essential role in his own work that goes beyond simply acknowledging Homer’s position as both “author of the ?rst and greatest periegetic composition,” and the founder of geography. The Geography constitutes Strabo’s attempt to forge a new type of universal geography to describe the changed world of the late Hellenistic period. In doing so he builds upon the geographical literature of the past—perigees, universal histories, mathematical geographies—while disavowing the ability of any one of those to adequately treat his more unreserved understanding of geography, one which is at the same time historical, descriptive, and normative. Strabo’s work dictates both what geography has been and what it must be, both who geographers were in the past and who they must be in the future. Within such a framework, I propose, Strabo pays so much attention to sketching Homer’s attitude and objectives because he is making a conscious effort to renew the tradition by “recurring” to the Homeric model of inquiry, not only in terms of content—both geographical and historical in equal measure—but in terms of the coherence bestowed upon that content by the character of the inquirer. To cast doubt on Homer’s correctness, then, would also call into question Homer’s desire for truth. I hope to have shown that a reliable portrait of Homer lies behind Strabo’s use of Homeric poetry in the Geography, depicting a man who, in his zeal for travel, knowledge, and instruction bears a great resemblance both to the model historian outlined by Polybius in his Histories and to the ideal geographer set out by Strabo in his preface. Even his lengthy defense of Homer from Eratosthenes’ accusations can be seen as part of this vision, through its emphasis on Homer’s concern for the utility so central to Strabo’s conception of both historical and geographical inquiry. Strabo insists not only that Homer was correct, but that he wanted to be correct, not only that he was content to hear about things, but that he had made an effort to verify such information and to pass it on to his audience. Such a conception of Homer lies at the heart of Strabo’s deployment of Homeric poetry as evidence throughout the rest of the Geography and suggests an attitude very different from that of other ancient Homeric exegetes, who posit Homer’s words as a priori authoritative or “scriptural,” whether in moral, scienti?c, or other terms. Homer retains his authoritative status, but is given occupational speci?city—Strabo envisions a Homer endowed with all the qualities of the best historian and geographer, and this fashioning of Homer in his own image is a striking testament to the poet’s continuing power in Greek thinker life.