Pausanias

Guide to Greece
  • Guide to Greece

  • Pausanias

    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.

Pausanias was a Greek geographer and native of Lydia who explored Greece, Macedonia, Asia and Africa, before settling in Rome. Pausanias is believed to have lived in the second half of the second century A.D. and is thought by some historians to have been a doctor as well as a scholar.