), the author of the Ἑλλάδος Περιήγησις.
has been supposed to be a native of Lydia.
The passage in which this opinion is founded is in his own work (5.13.7).
The time when he travelled and lived is fixed approximately by various passages.
The latest Roman emperors whom he mentions are Antoninus Pius, whom he calls the former Antoninus (8.43.1), and his successor Marcus Antoninus, whom he calls the second Antoninus (8.43.6).
He alludes to Antoninus leaving Marcus for his successor, and to the defeat of the Germans and Sarmatians by Marcus.
The great battle with the Quadi took place A. D. 174. (D. C. 71.8
.) Aurelius was again engaged in hostilities with the Sarmatians, Quadi, and other barbarians, in A. D. 179, but as he died in A.D. 180, and Pausanias does not mention his death, probably he refers to his earlier campaigns.
He was therefore writing his eighth book after A. D. 174.
In a passage in the seventh book (20.6) he says that he had not described the Odeion of Herodes in his account of Attica (lib. i.), because it was not then built. Herodes was a contemporary of Pius and Marcus, and died in the latter part of the reign of Marcus.
The Itinerary of Pausanias, which is in ten books, contains a description of Attica and Megaris (i.), Corinthia, Sicyonia, Phliasia, and Argolis (ii.), Laconica (iii.), Messenia (iv.), Elis (v. vi.), Achaea (vii.), Arcadia (viii.), Boeotia (ix), Phocis (x.). His work shows that he visited most of the places in these divisions of Greece, a fact which is clearly demonstrated by the minuteness and particularity of his description.
But he also travelled much in other countries.
A passage in the eighth book (46.4, 5) appears to prove that he had been at Rome, and another passage (10.21.1) is still more to the purpose.
He speaks of seeing a hymn of Pindarus on a triangular stele in the temple of the Libyan Ammon, near the altar which Ptolemaens, the son of Lagus, dedicated to Ammon (9.16.1).
He also visited Delos (9.40.5), as we infer from his mode of description, which is exactly like that of Herodotus in similar cases: "the Delians have a wooden statue (ξόανον
) of Aphrodite, of no great size. which has lost the left hand by reason of age, and it terminates in a quadrangular form instead of feet."
It is probable that he also visited Syria and Palestine, for he contrasts the byssus that grew in Eleia with the byssus of the Hebrews (v. .5.2).
He must of course have visited a great number of places which lay between the extreme points which have been mentioned. Nothing is known of Pausanias except what we learn from his own book.
The Periegesis is merely an Itinerary. Pausanias gives no general description of a country or even of a place, but he describes the things as he comes to them. His account is minute; but it mainly refers to objects of antiquity, and works of art, such as buildings, temples, statues, and pictures.
He also mentions mountains, rivers, and fountains, and the mythological stories connected with then, which indeed are his chief inducements to speak of them. His religious feeling was strong, and his belief sure, for he tells many old legends in true good faith and seriousness. His style has been much condemned by modern critics, some of whom consider it a sample of what has been called the Asiatic style. Some even go so far as to say that his words are wrongly placed, and that it seems as if he tried to make his meaning difficult to discover.
But if we except some corrupt passages, and if we allow that his order of words is not that of the best Greek writers, there is hardly much obscurity to a person who is competently acquainted with Greek, except that obscurity which sometimes is owing to the matter.
He makes no attempt at ornament; when he speaks of the noble works of art that he saw, the very brevity and simplicity with which he describes many beautiful things, present them to us in a more lively manner than the description of a connoisseur, who often thinks more about rounding a phrase than about the thing which he affects to describe.
With the exception of Herodotus, there is no writer of antiquity, and perhaps none of modern times, who has comprehended so many valuable acts in a small volume.
The work of Pausanias is full of matter mythological, historical, and artistic; nor does he neglect matters physical and economical. His remarks on earthquakes (7.24), on the soft stone full of sea shells (λίθος κογχίτης
) used in the buildings of Megara, on the byssus above referred to, and on a kind of silk worm (6.26), show the minuteness of his observation. At Patrae he was struck with the fact (7.24.14) that the females were double the number of the males; which is explained by the circumstance that the greater part of them got their living by making head-gear, and weaving cloth from the byssus of Elis.
He has thus preserved a valuable record of the growth and establishment of manufacturing industry in a small Greek town in the second century of our aera.
When Pausanias visited Greece. it was not yet despoiled of all the great works of art.
The country was still rich in the memorials of the unrivalled genius of the Greeks. Pausanias is not a critic or connoisseur in art, and what is better, he does not pretend to be one; he speaks of a thing just as he saw it, and in detail. His description of the works of Polygnotus at Delphi (10.25-31), the paintings in the Poecile at Athens (1.15), the treasures of art collected in Elis (v. vi.), among which was the Jupiter of Pheidias (5.10), are valuable records, simply because they are plain facts. Greece was still richer in sculpture at the time of his visit than in painting, and he describes works of all the great Greek sculptors, both in marble and in bronze ; nor does he omit to mention the memorials of the archaic style which were still religiously preserved in the temples of Greece.
The first edition of Pausanias was printed at Venice, 1516, fol., by Aldus
, but it is very incorrect. Xylander (Holzmann) commenced an edition, which was finished by Sylburg, and appeared with the Latin version of Romolo Amaseo, at Frankfort on the Main, 1583, fol., and at Hanau, 1613
. The edition of Kühn, Leipzig, 1696. fol.
, also contains the Latin version of Romolo Amaseo. which was first published at Rome in 1547, 4to. The edition of C. G. Siebelis, Leipzig, 1822-1828, 5 vols. 8vo, has an improved text, and the corrected version of Amaseo, with a copious commentary and index. The edition of Imm. Bekker, Berlin, 1826-7, 2 vols. 8vo, is founded solely on the Paris MS. 1410, and the few deviations from the text are noted by the editor; there is a very good index to this edition. The latest edition is by J. H. C. Schubart and C. Walz, Leipzig, 1838-40, 3 vols. 8vo.
There is a French translation by Clavier, with the Greek text collated after the Paris MSS. Paris, 1814, &c, 6 vols. 8vo. The latest German translation is by E. Wiedasch, Munich, 1826-29, 4 vols. 8vo. There is an English translation by Thomas Taylor
, the translator of Plato and Aristotle, which in some passages is very incorrect.