Pausanias (115–180) historian, travel writer. Encyclopedia of World Writers, Beginnings To 20th Century

Born in Greece, next to Mount Sipylos, Pausanias
was a Greek traveler who lived during the height of
Rome’s rule in Greece. His writing—the only
source of information about his life—reveals that
he lived a long life, witnessed many important historical
events, and traveled extensively throughout
Greece and the Greco-Roman world. His major
work is Hellados Periegesis (Description of Greece),
which exists in 10 books; the first was completed
after 143, the last before ca. 176.
As a whole,Description of Greece serves as a type
of guidebook for the places Pausanias visited.As he
reached each city, he first recorded the location’s
history.He then visited sacred sites or monuments
within or near the city, describing them and other
important religious, artistic, and architectural
achievements. He also reflects on the customs, peculiarities,
and daily lives of the local population of
each region, including descriptions of folklore,
local legends, and ceremonial rituals. Based on surviving
structures and artworks, as well as archaeological
evidence, Pausanias’s descriptions are
remarkably accurate.
Description of Greece provides modern readers
with a unique opportunity to journey through ancient Greece with an educated and curious companion,
one whose knowledge of history and culture
also provides a wealth of information that
continues to aid in research of the ancient world.
English Versions of a Work by Pausanias
Pausanias’ Guide to Ancient Greece. Translated by
Christian Habicht. Berkeley: University of California
Press, 1985.
Pausanias’s Description of Greece. Translated with a
commentary by J. G. Frazer. New York: Biblo and
Tannen, 1965.
A Work about Pausanias
Alcock, Susan E., John F. Cherry, and Jajs Elsner, eds.
Pausanias: Travel and Memory in Roman Greece.
Edited by Lysiacum. Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 2001.