Pavsaniae De tota Graecia libri decem,qvibvs non solvm vrbivm sitvs, locorumq[ue] interualla accuratè est complexus, sed regum etiam familias, bellorum causas & euentus, sacrorum ritus, rerumpub. status copiose descripsit: hactenus à nemine in linguam Latinam conuersi, nuncq[ue] primùm in lucem editi
Pausanias, born probably in Lydia in Asia Minor, was a Greek of the 2nd century CE, about 120Â-180, who travelled widely not only in Asia Minor, Palestine, Egypt and North Africa, but also in Greece and in Italy, including Rome. He left a description of Greece in ten books, which is like a topographical guidebook or tour of Attica, the Peloponnese, and central Greece, filled out with historical accounts and events and digressions on facts and wonders of nature. His chief interest was the monuments of art and architecture, especially the most famous of them; the accuracy of his descriptions of these is proved by surviving remains.
The Loeb Classical Library edition of Pausanias is in five volumes; the fifth volume contains maps, plans, illustrations, and a general index.
Written by a Greek traveller in the second century ad for a principally Roman audience, Pausanias' Guide to Greece is a comprehensive, extraordinarily literate and well-informed guidebook for tourists of the age. Concentrating on buildings, tombs and statues, it also describes in detail the myths, religious beliefs and historical background behind the monuments considered. In doing so, it preserves Greek legends, quotes classical literature and poetry that would otherwise have been lost, and offers a fascinating depiction of the glory of classical Greece immediately before its third-century decline. This, the second of two volumes, explores Southern Greece including Sparta, Arkadia, Bassae and the games at Olympia. An inspiration to travellers and writers across the ages, including Byron and Shelley, it remains one of the most influential of all travel books.
The introductory essay and archaeological commentary are by far the greater part of the work. The translation appears in small sections, each followed by its own commentary, well provided with illustrations.
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