Etymology of Geography

Identified in the Latin geographĭa, with roots in the Greek geōgraphía, composed by the prefix geō- originated from gê, which implies the ‘Earth’, being used in other words that have this part of the solar system as a reference point: ‘geology’ (in the Greek geō- and -logy), ‘geodynamics’ (in the Latin geō- and in the Greek dynamikós for dýnamis) or ‘geometry’ (from the Latin geometrĭcus, from the Greek geōmetrikós), among others. To this Hellenic voice, the term grapho is added, adopted as the suffix -graphy, which describes everything that has to do with drawing or engraving. From such a combination, a literal translation is obtained, revealed as the ‘earth draw’, evolving to the current meaning to be understood as the science that studies the planet, taking into account the physical and biological aspects.

With the term previously mentioned, grapho, conforms its present linguistic meaning, from its origin in the Mycenaean Period of the Greek civilization that developed between the year 200 and 1100 BC, where Eratosthenes and Herodotus are presented as maximum references. On the other hand, the German Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) is recognized as one of the founders of modern geography.

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