Different Geographical Traditions, Geography 3

Word cloud for Strabo

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Of coarse not two of these environments were exactly alike. Egypt was much dryer but warmer than Mesopotamia. In Egypt it did not rain and all water apply for crops came from flooding of the Nile. Mesopotamia was more unpredictable with frequent bad weather and more uncertainly with regard to survival. As a result Egypt was more unified and stable not only in it’s political structure but also in its religion than Mesopotamia.

The problem is, would a study of these first two civilizations and how they differ be attributed to the Man-Land Tradition of Hippocrates? It is clear that environmental controls shaped Egypt and Mesopotamia differently  as would be expressed in Hippocrates essay On Airs Waters and Places. But the differentiation of of these two places could also be attributed to the area studies tradition of Strabo a geography of first century Rome. He “intended to sum up and regularize knowledge not of the location of places and associated cartographic facts, as in the somewhat latter case of Ptolemy,but of the nature of places their character and their differentiation” (Pattison p9). Some people, particularly backers of the Spatial Tradition say that the area studies is just a subgroup of it.  I however beg to differ believing the Area Studies Tradition is more closely linked to the Man-Land Tradition. These two traditions would I think fall under the category of Interaction of People and the Environment and be subdivided into the classes Possibilism and Environmental Determinism respectively.  Although Environmental Determinism may be too absolute saying that their is no autonomous nature in humans and the way they build their society is totally dependant on nature. Possibilism takes the exact opposite theory. Therefore these two traditions would probably take an amalgamation of the two beliefs of environmental controls mentioned.