Pausanias the Traveler Criticism - Essay

J. G. Frazer (essay date 1900)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: "Pausanias and His Description of Greece" in Pausanias and Other Greek Sketches, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1900, pp. 1-159.

[In the following essay, Frazer provides an overview of Pausanias and his Description of Greece, including Pausanias s background and peers, aim and method, beliefs and tastes, and accounts of his travels and digressions.]

It may be reckoned a peculiar piece of good fortune that among the wreckage of classical literature the Description of Greece by Pausanias should have come down to us entire. In this work we possess a plain, unvarnished account by an eye-witness of the state of Greece in the second century of our...

(The entire section is 37297 words.)

Mitchell Carroll (essay date 1907)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: "Pausanias the Periegete" in The Attica of Pausanias, edited by Mitchell Carroll. Boston: Ginn & Company, 1907, pp. 1-11.

[In the following essay, Carroll explores the dates for composition of the Periegesis, the aim and method used by Pausanias, and his debt to previous writers.]

1. Scope and character of Pausanias's work.

—Aldus Manutius begins his preface to the editio princeps of Pausanias's Description of Greece, which appeared in 1516, by characterizing it as an "opus antiquae raraeque eruditionis thesauros continens." And invaluable it is because of its subject-matter, since it...

(The entire section is 3603 words.)

Herman Louis Ebeling (essay date 1914)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: "Pausanias as an Historian," The Classical Weekly, Vol. VII, No. 18, March 7, 1914, pp. 138-41; Vol. VII, No. 19, March 14, 1914, pp. 146-50.

[In the following excerpt, Ebeling describes Pausanias's use of digressions and his debt to Polybius in his scheme of relating history.]

The periegesis of Pausanias is regarded in two lights: first, as a description of the monuments of Greece, of inestimable value to the archaeologist; secondly, as a repository of myths, legends, love stories, tales of notable natural phenomena, and numerous facts of history, given either in the form of brief notes, or in extensive introductions and excursuses.… The problem has been to...

(The entire section is 6324 words.)

W. H. S. Jones (essay date 1918)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: Introduction to Pausanias: Description of Greece, translated by W. H. S. Jones, London: William Heinemann, 1918, pp. ix-xxv.

[In the following essay, Jones provides a brief overview of Pausanias's life, style, the scope of his work, and background on Greek religion and the names of Greek gods.]

Life of Pausanias

About Pausanias we know nothing except what we can gather from a few scattered hints in his own Tour of Greece. In book v. xiii. sect. 7 he mentions "the dwelling among us of Pelops and Tantalus," and "the throne of Pelops on Mount Sipylus." It is a fair inference that Pausanias was a native of Lydia. His date we...

(The entire section is 3733 words.)

R. E. Wycherley (essay date 1959)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: "Pausanias in the Agora of Athens," Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies, Vol. 2, No. 1, January, 1959, pp. 21-44.

[In the following excerpt, Wycherley traces Pausanias's account of the Athenian agora and, with knowledge gained from modern excavations, attempts to resolve problems arising from his occasional lack of clarity.]

Pausanias' route in the agora was worked out fully and satisfactorily by E. Vanderpool in Hesperia, Vol. 18, pp. 128ff. The probable identification of Pausanias' Enneakrounos as the south-eastern rather than the southwestern fountain house subsequently produced a modification which made for greater simplicity and clarity. I accept in...

(The entire section is 7551 words.)

R. E. Wycherley (essay date 1963)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: "Pausanias at Athens, II: A Commentary on Book I, Chapters 18-19," Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies, Vol. 4, No. 3, Summer, 1963, pp. 157-75.

[In the following excerpt, Wycherley examines Pausanias's account of the southeastern quarter of Athens and its monuments.]

Several years ago I discussed Pausanias' account of the Athenian Agora in this journal, in the light of the detailed archaeological knowledge of the site provided by the American excavations.1 The next phase of his description of the city, intermediate between the Agora and the Acropolis with its nearer approaches, is concerned almost entirely with the southeastern quarter, dominated...

(The entire section is 7387 words.)

Christian Jacob (essay date 1980)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Greek Traveler's Areas of Knowledge: Myths and Other Discourses in Pausanias' Description of Greece," translated by Anne Mullen-Hohl, Yale French Studies, No. 59, 1980, pp. 65-85.

[In the following essay, Jacob delves into the ethnographic context of Pausanias's work to try to find its coherence.]

We need topographers who would give us exact descriptions of the places where they have been.
Montaigne, On Cannibals, I, 31.

Pausanias' Travels and Greek Tradition

Tell me, O Muse, of the man of many devices, who wandered full many...

(The entire section is 7741 words.)

Christian Habicht (essay date 1984)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: "Pausanias and the Evidence of Inscriptions," Classical Antiquity, Vol. 3, No. 1, April, 1984, pp. 40-56.

[In the following essay, Habicht explains the role of mythology in Pausanias's Description of Greece, the importance of Pausanias's work in identifying archaeological discoveries, and the weight Pausanias gave to inscriptions.]

Among the Sather Lectures on Pausanias' "Description of Greece," which I had the honor of delivering at Berkeley in the fall of 1982, the third one, under the title of this article,1 aimed at demonstrating that an epigraphical commentary on Pausanias seems highly desirable, since Pausanias has...

(The entire section is 7567 words.)

K. W. Arafat (essay date 1992)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: "Pausanius' Attitude to Antiquities," The Annual of the British School at Athens, No. 87, 1992, pp. 387-409.

[In the following essay, Arafat explores the unstated criteria used by Pausanias in determining what to present in his works, including his religious beliefs and preference for ancient works over modern.]

The very fact that the second-century AD traveller Pausanias wrote at such length about the sites and monuments of Greece is itself indicative of his most important attitude towards antiquities.1 That is, he thought them of sufficient value to be worth recording and thought it worth travelling extensively in mainland Greece over a period of...

(The entire section is 14898 words.)

K. W. Arafat (essay date 1995)

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

SOURCE: "Pausanias and the Temple of Hera at Olympia," The Annual of the British School at Athens, No. 90, 1995, pp. 461-73.

[In the following essay, Arafat utilizes Pausanias's work in analyzing the Heraion's contents and purpose.]

In the temple of Hera there is an image of Zeus. The image of Hera is seated on a throne, and he is standing beside her wearing a beard and with a helmet on his head. The workmanship of these images is rude. Next to them are the Seasons seated on thrones, a work of Smilis of Aigina. Beside them stands an image of Themis, as mother of the Seasons: it is a work of Dorykleidas, a Lakedaimonian by birth, but a pupil of...

(The entire section is 9041 words.)