Cover image for Guide to Greece.
Guide to Greece.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Description of Greece. English
Publication Information:
[Harmondsworth] : Penguin [1971]
Physical Description:
2 volumes : illustrations, maps, plans. ; 18 cm.
General Note:
Translation of Descriptio Graeciae.
v. 1. Central Greece.--v. 2. Southern Greece.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DF27 .P34 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
DF27 .P34 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

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Written in the second century AD by a Greek traveller for a predominantly Roman audience, Pausanias' Guide to Greece is an extraordinarily literate and well-informed guidebook. A study of buildings, traditions and myth, it describes with precision and eloquence the glory of classical Greece shortly before its ultimate decline in the third century. This volume, the first of two, concerns the five provinces of central Greece, with an account of cities including Athens, Corinth and Thebes and a compelling depiction of the Oracle at Delphi. Along the way, Pausanias recounts Greek legends that are unknown from any other source and quotes a wealth of classical literature and poetry that would otherwise have been lost. An inspiration to Byron and Shelley, the Guide to Greece remains one of the most influential travel books ever written.

Author Notes

Pausanias traveled through Greece in the middle of the second century a.d. On the way, he wrote about his travels in 10 rich books, beginning at Athens and ending up at Delphi, the site of Apollo's ancient oracle. From his writings, it is clear that Pausanias also knew Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor (now Turkey), Egypt, and parts of Italy, including Rome.

Pausanias liked especially to describe monumental art and architecture, much of it religious in nature. Pausanias routinely gave attention to the history and topography of the most important cities he visited. His descriptions of the wonders of nature reveal his own attitude of personal curiosity. Especially significant for the study of religions are his accounts of local ceremonies, superstitions, legends, and folklore. These are often not as detailed as one might like, but they are invaluable clues to the religious life of Greece in the middle of the second century.

(Bowker Author Biography)