Pausanias Paths in Greece


This Project and Web-System, the PPG System, is motivated by the great traveller of the antiquity Pausanias.

Pausanias

The reputed anthropologist and classical scholar Sir James George Frazer (Glasgow 1854-Cambridge 1941) said about Pausanias: "Without him the ruins of Greece would, for the most part, be a labyrinth without a clue, a riddle without an answer".

Pausanias was born in Lydia. He was a Greek traveler and geographer. He wrote "Periegesis Hellados", a "Description of Greece', an invaluable guide to the ancient Greek world.

Before visiting Greece Pausanias had traveled widely to Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Macedonia, Epirus and parts of Italy. His "Description" takes the form of a tour in Greece starting from Attica. It is divided into ten books; the first book seems to have been completed after 143 AD, and before 161 AD. In this work no event is mentioned after 176 AD.

His account of each important city begins with an outline of its history; the descriptive narration follows a topographical order. He gives a few glimpses into the daily life, ceremonial rites and superstitious customs of the inhabitants and frequently introduces legend and folklore.

His major interests were the works of art. Inspired by the ancient glories of Greece, Pausanias is most at home in describing the religious art and architecture of Olympia and Delphi. In Athens the pictures, portraits and inscriptions recording the laws of Solon fascinate him. On the Acropolis he is amazed by the great gold and ivory statue of Athena and outside the city, the monuments of famous men and the Athenian soldiers fallen in battle. The remains of the ancient structures in Greece have proved the exactness of his descriptions.

The topographical part of his work shows his fondness for the wonders of nature: signs that make up an indication of the approach of an earthquake, he observes the tides, the icebound seas of the north, and the noonday sun, which at summer solstice casts no shadow at Syene Aswan, Egypt.


Map of Ancient Greece


This PPG Project and System aims to follow the steps of the great traveller in ancient Greece, by giving information about ancient and modern Greek places and locations following map navigation (Google maps), hyperlinks and index lists.

For the moment, the PPG System is in Greek and covers 4 books of Pausanias’ "Periegesis": Arcadia, Corinth, Achaea, Argolis and Fokis (and Ozolon Lokron).

The system supports the original text in ancient Greek and text in modern Greek.

The text of "Periegesis" in English is available in Perseus Digital Library.

The text of "Periegesis" in French is available in remacle.org.




 



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