Guide to Archaeological Studies

Pausanias. Pausaniae Graeciae descriptio accurata, qua Lector ceu mnu per eam regionem circumducitur: cum Latina Romuli amasaei interpretatione. Accesserunt Gul. Xylandri & Frid. Sylburgii annotationes, ac novae notae Ioachimi Kuhnii.

❧ Lipsiae [Leipzig]: apud Thomam Fritsch, MDCXCVI [1696]. In Greek and Latin. 346 × 220 mm (13.6 × 8.7 in.). Folio. [26], 898, columns 899–934, [74] pp. Title page printed in red and black. Engraved vignette of a pegasus on the title page (head facing down). Woodcut initials, head- and tail-pieces. Colophon: Typis Goezianis.” Armorial bookplate of the Macclesfield North Library: Press mark: 10.G.10.” Coat of arms embossed at head of first three leaves. Very Good. Bound in contemporary vellum, blind ruling on both covers, with embossed central ornament. Manuscript spine title written directly in the first spine compartment, pasted over with an early spine label.

The travels of 2nd century Greek traveler and geographer Pausanias, who remarks on various sites around Greece—landscapes, temples, architecture, and cities—
as well as the myths and stories surrounding them. With Latin and Greek texts in parallel columns. Edited by Joachim Kuhn who used the Latin translation of Romolo Amaseo, with material drawn from previous editions by Wilhelm Xylander and Friedrich Sylburg. Pausanias was mostly neglected through the Middle Ages and then dismissed by classical scholars through the 19th century. For many years, Pausanias was thought of as a copyist and literary hack whose text was filled with digressions. However, by the early twentieth century, Pausanias was recognized as an authoritative source by archeologists who found in his geography a reliable guide in their excavation of Greek sites, earning his work the title of Ancient Baedeker” (Habicht).

The work is divided into ten books, each dedicated to a particular region of Greece: Attica, Corinthia, Laconia, Messenia, Elis, Achaia, Arcadia, Boeotia, Phocis, and Hesperian Locris. Pausanias’s travels are believed to have lasted about twenty years. He was especially interested in monuments and ruins, histories and myths. A long description of Delphia includes remarks on the temple to Apollo, the Oracle of Delphia, and narrates the myth of Oedipus. It was this combination of description and myth that worked against Pausanias’s positive reception among later generations. The text of his travels, seldom cited, also had many imperfections. As Kuhn notes in his introduction, he consulted several manuscripts in Paris, but found all sources lacking in some regard. Pausanias’s travels were first published by Aldus Manutius in 1516. Interest in his works seem to be grammatical or rhetorical. Kuhn in his introduction notes that, errors notwithstanding, the text is worthy for its style which has an air of genuine antiquity (“sufficit, quod stylus eius si non optimus, optimis tamen proximus sit, & antiquitatis genuinae plurimum redoleat”). While archeologists have used this ancient Baedeker in their excavations, classical scholars still turn to Pausanias’s digressions” and to his linguistic style, as is the case in a recent study on the language he uses to describe sexual violence in the ancient Greek world (Cundy).

Vd17 39:128725Q


Cundy, Jody Ellyn. Pausanias’ Careful Language of Sexual Violence.” Mnemosyne, vol. 74, no. 1, 2020, pp. 76–98.

Habicht, Christian. An Ancient Baedeker and His Critics: Pausanias’ Guide to Greece.’” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 129, no. 2, 1985, pp. 220–24.


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