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(pôsā`nēəs), d. c.470 B.C., Spartan general; nephew of King Leonidas. He was the victorious commander at Plataea (479) near Thebes in the Persian Wars and followed up the battle with expeditions to Cyprus and Byzantium. From Byzantium he was called home to face a very circumstantial charge of treasonable negotiations with Persia; he was acquitted (c.475). The accusation was repeated several years later, and he was acquitted again, only to be accused (this time probably justly) of planning a coup at Sparta, in collaboration with the exiled ThemistoclesThemistocles
, c.525–462 B.C., Athenian statesman and naval commander. He was elected one of the three archons in 493 B.C. In succeeding years many of his rivals were eliminated by ostracism and he became the chief figure of Athenian politics.
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. To escape arrest he took sanctuary in a temple, where he was left to starve.


fl. A.D. 150, traveler and geographer, probably b. Lydia. His Description of Greece is an invaluable source for the topography, monuments, and legends of ancient Greece. There are translations by J. G. Frazer and W. H. S. Jones.


See study by C. Habicht (1969).



Died 385 B.C. in Tegea. King of Sparta from 408 to 394.

In 403, at the time of the campaign in Attica, Pausanias supported the Athenian democrats led by Thrasybulus in their successful attempt to wrest control of Athens from the extremist oligarchic forces backed by the Spartan military commander Lysander and from the government of the Thirty Tyrants. The latter had been put in power by Lysander, whose growing influence posed a threat to Pausanias.

In 395, during the Corinthian War, Pausanias, who was then with the army in Boeotia, did not link up in time with Lysander’s troops; as a result, Lysander perished, and the Spartan army was defeated. Sentenced to death on this account in 394, Pausanias fled to Tegea, where he died.



Died circa 470 B.C. Spartan military commander.

During the Greco-Persian Wars (500–449 B.C.), Pausanias commanded the forces of the Greek city-states in their victory at Plataea in 479, and in 477 he won back the city of Byzantium, which had been captured by the Persians. Suspected of treasonous negotiations with the Persians, Pausanias was twice brought to trial by the ephors but was acquitted. Around 470 he was accused of preparing an uprising of the Helots. He concealed himself in a temple, but the Spartans walled up the temple door, causing Pausanias to die of starvation.



Ancient Greek writer who lived during the second century A.D.

Apparently a native of Lydia, Pausanias traveled in Italy, Sardinia, Corsica, Arabia, and Syria. His Description of Greece, consisting of ten books, was probably written during the eighth decade of the second century. It is a unique guide to the most noteworthy architectural and artistic works of central Greece and the Peloponnesus, most of which have not survived and are known only through Pausanias’ descriptions. Pausanias gives detailed descriptions of these works and invaluable information on Greek mythology, religion, and history. In addition to his own impressions, he utilized writings that have not survived, among them the works of such historians as Ister, such geographers as Polemon and Artemidorus, and such poets as Rhianus.


Opisanie Ellady, vols. 1–2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1938–40. (Translation by and introductory article by S. P. Kondrat’ev.)
Pausanias’s Description of Greece, vols. 1–6. London, 1898. (Translation and commentary by J. G. Frazer.)


2nd century ad, Greek geographer and historian. His Description of Greece gives a valuable account of the topography of ancient Greece
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Plato's speaker Pausanius argues that "since there are in fact two Aphrodites, there are necessarily two Loves.
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When Gontran de Boismassif, the leaden-named hero, asks his clueless tutor, Pausanius, for advice, the tutor displays his ridiculous academic credentials (heliography, agronomy, geodesy, etc.
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Arnold's summary of the classical accounts of the Merope myth by Apollodorus, Pausanius, and Hyginus allows him to foreground form while revealing the absolute interconnection between subject and form, for each of the classical accounts demonstrates how any one rendering also shows how the ancients served the enlightenment poets, Maffei, Voltaire, and Alfieri, for better or for worse.
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Mesenzeva (1983) cites Pausanius, Plato, and Plutarch, but none of the poets associated with satire such as Horace, Juvenal, Petronius, or Lucian.