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Eudoxus of Cnidus used the idea of a sphere to explain how the sun created differing climatic zones based on latitude.This led the Greeks to believe in a division of the world into five regions.'Geography' derives from the Greek a literal translation of which would be "to describe or write about the Earth".The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes (276–194 BC).This idea was embraced by Plato and Aristotle presented empirical evidence to verify this.He noted that the Earth's shadow during an eclipse is curved, and also that stars increase in height as one moves north.The works show that the Greeks by the 8th century BC had considerable knowledge of the geography of the eastern Mediterranean.The poems contain a large number of place names and descriptions, but for many of these it is uncertain what real location, if any, is actually being referred to.

Pythagoras was perhaps the first to propose a spherical world, arguing that the sphere was the most perfect form.

At each of the poles was an uncharitably cold region.

While extrapolating from the heat of the Sahara it was deduced that the area around the equator was unbearably hot.

A similar work, and one that mostly survives today, is Herodotus' Histories.

While primarily a work of history, the book contains a wealth of geographic descriptions covering much of the known world.

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