Strabo was born in a wealthy family from Amaseia (current-day Amasya) in Pontus, which became part of the Roman empire just around his birth. He studied under various geographers and philosophers, first in his own area, later in Rome. He was philosophically a stoicist, politically a proponent of Roman imperialism. Later he made extensive travels to among others Egypt and Ethiopia. It is not known when he wrote his Geographia; some place it around 7 AD, others around 18 AD.
The Geographia is an extensive work, spanning 17 volumes, and can be regarded as an encyclopedia of the geographical knowledge of his time. He also gives a history of geography, thus giving us information about various older geographers whose works have not survived.
Several different dates have been proposed for Strabo's death, most of them placing it in the first half of the 20s.