Studies in Greek Scenery, Legend and History - James George Frazer - ebook
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It may be reckoned a peculiar piece of good fortune that among the wreckage of classical literature the Description of Greece by Pausanias should have come down to us entire. In this work we possess a plain, unvarnished account by an eye-witness of the state of Greece in the second century of our era. Of no other part of the ancient world has a description at once so minute and so trustworthy survived, and if we had been free to single out one country in one age of which we should wish a record to be preserved, our choice might well have fallen on Greece in the age of the Antonines. No other people has exerted so deep and abiding an influence on the course of modern civilisation as the Greeks, and never could all the monuments of their chequered but glorious history have been studied so fully as in the second century of our era. The great age of the nation, indeed, had long been over, but in the sunshine of peace and imperial favour Greek art and literature had blossomed again. New temples had sprung up; new images had been carved; new theatres and baths and aqueducts ministered to the amusement and luxury of the people. Among the new writers whose works the world will not willingly let die, it is enough to mention the great names of Plutarch and Lucian.

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James George Frazer

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Table of contents

PREFACE

PAUSANIAS | AND OTHER GREEK SKETCHES

PREFACE

The Englishman in Greece who pays any heed to the remains of classical antiquity is apt, if he be no scholar, to wonder who a certain Pausanias was whose authority he finds often quoted on questions of ancient buildings and sites. The first of the following sketches may do something to satisfy his curiosity on this head. It has already served as an introduction to a version of Pausanias’s Description of Greece which I published with a commentary two years ago. The account of Pericles was contributed to the ninth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. I desire to thank Messrs. A. and C. Black for their courteous permission to republish it. The other sketches are reprinted, with some small changes and adjustments of detail, from my commentary on Pausanias. References to authorities have been omitted as needless in a book which is not specially addressed to the learned. Any one who wishes to pursue the subject further will find my authorities amply cited in the original volumes. Among works from which I have borrowed both outlines and colours for some of my sketches of Greek landscape I will here mention only two—the Erinnerungen und Eindrücke aus Griechenland of the Swiss scholar W. Vischer, and the Peloponnes of the German geologist Mr. A. Philippson. Slight and fragmentary as these sketches are, I am not without hope that they may convey to readers who have never seen Greece something of the eternal charm of its scenery. To such as already know and love the country they will yet be welcome, if here and there they revive some beautiful or historic scene on those tablets of the mind from which even the brightest hues so quickly fade.

PAUSANIAS | AND OTHER GREEK SKETCHES

Greece in the second century A.D. I. Pausanias and his Description of Greece.—It may be reckoned a peculiar piece of good fortune that among the wreckage of classical literature the Description of Greece by Pausanias should have come down to us entire. In this work we possess a plain, unvarnished account by an eye-witness of the state of Greece in the second century of our era. Of no other part of the ancient world has a description at once so minute and so trustworthy survived, and if we had been free to single out one country in one age of which we should wish a record to be preserved, our choice might well have fallen on Greece in the age of the Antonines. No other people has exerted so deep and abiding an influence on the course of modern civilisation as the Greeks, and never could all the monuments of their chequered but glorious history have been studied so fully as in the second century of our era. The great age of the nation, indeed, had long been over, but in the sunshine of peace and imperial favour Greek art and literature had blossomed again. New temples had sprung up; new images had been carved; new theatres and baths and aqueducts ministered to the amusement and luxury of the people. Among the new writers whose works the world will not willingly let die, it is enough to mention the great names of Plutarch and Lucian. It was in this mellow autumn—perhaps rather the Indian summer—of the ancient world, when the last gleanings of the Greek genius were being gathered in, that Pausanias, a contemporary of Hadrian, of the Antonines, and of Lucian, wrote his description of Greece. He came in time, but just in time. He was able to describe the stately buildings with which in his own lifetime Hadrian had embellished Greece, and the hardly less splendid edifices which, even while he wrote, another munificent patron of art, Herodes Atticus, was rearing at some of the great centres of Greek life and religion. Yet under all this brave show the decline had set in. About a century earlier the emperor Nero, in the speech in which he announced at Corinth the liberation of Greece, lamented that it had not been given him to confer the boon in other and happier days when there would have been more people to profit by it. Some years after this imperial utterance Plutarch declared that the world in general and Greece especially was depopulated by the civil brawls and wars; the whole country, he said, could now hardly put three thousand infantry in the field, the number that formerly Megara alone had sent to face the Persians at Plataea; and in the daytime a solitary shepherd feeding his flock was the only human being to be met with on what had been the site of one of the most renowned oracles in Boeotia. Dio Chrysostom tells us that in his time the greater part of the city of Thebes lay deserted, and that only a single statue stood erect among the ruins of the ancient market-place. The same picturesque writer has sketched for us a provincial town of Euboea, where most of the space within the walls was in pasture or rig and furrow, where the gymnasium was a fruitful field in which the images of Hercules and the rest rose here and there above the waving corn, and where sheep grazed peacefully about the public offices in the grass-grown market-place. In one of his Dialogues of the Dead, Lucian represents the soul of a rich man bitterly reproaching himself for his rashness in having dared to cross Cithaeron with only a couple of men-servants, for he had been set upon and murdered by robbers on the highway at the point where the grey ruins of Eleutherae still look down on the pass; in the time of Lucian the district, laid waste, he tells us, by the old wars, seems to have been even more lonely and deserted than it is now. Of this state of things Pausanias himself is our best witness. Again and again he notices shrunken or ruined cities, deserted villages, roofless temples, shrines without images and pedestals without statues, faint vestiges of places that once had a name and played a part in history. To the site of one famous city he came and found it a vineyard. In one neglected fane he saw a great ivy-tree clinging to the ruined walls and rending the stones asunder. In others nothing but the tall columns standing up against the sky marked the site of a temple. Nor were more sudden and violent forces of destruction wanting to hasten the slow decay wrought by time, by neglect, by political servitude, by all the subtle indefinable agencies that sap a nation’s strength. In Pausanias’s lifetime a horde of northern barbarians, the ominous precursor of many more, carried fire and sword into the heart of Greece, and the Roman world was wasted by that great pestilence which thinned its population, enfeebled its energies, and precipitated the decline of art. The little we know of the life of Pausanias is gathered entirely from his writings. Antiquity, which barely mentions the writer, is silent as to the man. Date of Pausanias. Fortunately his date is certain. At the beginning of his description of Elis he tells us that two hundred and seventeen years had elapsed since the restoration of Corinth. As Corinth was restored in 44 B.C., we see that Pausanias was writing his fifth book in 174 A.D. during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. With this date all the other chronological indications in his book harmonise. Thus he speaks of images which were set up in 125 A.D. as specimens of the art of his day. Again, he gives us to understand that he was a contemporary of Hadrian’s, and he tells us that he never saw Hadrian’s favourite, Antinous, in life. Now Hadrian died in 138 A.D., and the mysterious death of Antinous in Egypt appears to have fallen in 130 A.D. It is natural to infer from Pausanias’s words that though he never saw Antinous in life, he was old enough to have seen him; from which we conclude that our author was born a good many years before 130 A.D., the date of Antinous’s death. The latest historical event mentioned by him is the incursion of the Costobocs into Greece, which seems to have taken place some time between 166 A.D. and 180 A.D., perhaps in 176 A.D.Dates of the various books. From these and a few more hints we may draw some conclusions as to the dates when the various books that make up the Description of Greece were written. In the seventh book Pausanias tells us that his description of Athens was finished before Herodes Atticus built the Music Hall in memory of his wife Regilla. As Regilla appears to have died in 160 or 161 A.D. and the Music Hall was probably built soon afterwards, we may suppose that Pausanias had finished his first book by 160 or 161 A.D. at latest. There is, indeed, some ground for holding that both the first and the second book were composed much earlier. For in the second book Pausanias mentions a number of buildings which had been erected in his own lifetime by a Roman senator Antoninus in the sanctuary of Aesculapius at Epidaurus. If, as seems not improbable, the Roman senator was no other than the Antoninus who afterwards reigned as Antoninus Pius, we should naturally infer that the second book was published in the reign of Hadrian, that is, not later than 138 A.D., the year when Hadrian died and Antoninus succeeded him on the throne. With this it would agree that no emperor later than Hadrian is mentioned in the first or second book, or indeed in any book before the eighth. Little weight, however, can be attached to this circumstance, for in the fifth book Hadrian is the last emperor mentioned although that book was written, as we have seen, in the reign of Marcus Aurelius, thirty-six years after Hadrian’s death. A much later date has been assigned to the second book by Mr. W. Gurlitt in his valuable monograph on Pausanias. He points out that when Pausanias wrote it the sanctuary of Aesculapius at Smyrna had already been founded, and that if Masson’s chronology of the life of the rhetorician Aristides is right the sanctuary was still unfinished in 165 A.D. Hence Mr. Gurlitt concludes that the second book of Pausanias was written after 165 A.D. Even the first book, according to him, must be dated not earlier than 143 A.D. His reason is that when Pausanias wrote this book the stadium at Athens had already been rebuilt of white marble by Herodes Atticus, and that the reconstruction cannot, if Professor C. Wachsmuth is right, have been begun before 143 A.D. or a little earlier. With regard to the other books, the evidence, scanty as it is, is less conflicting. The fifth book, as we have seen, was composed in the year 174 A.D. The eighth book, in which mention is made of the victory of Marcus Antoninus over the Germans, must have been written after 166 A.D., the year when the German war broke out, and may have been written in or after 176 A.D., the year in which the emperor celebrated a triumph for his success. In the tenth book occurs the reference to the inroad of the Costobocs; hence the book was written between 166 and 180 A.D. Further, the references which Pausanias makes both forwards and backwards to the several parts of his work show that the books were written in the order in which they now stand. Hence books six to ten cannot have been composed earlier, and may have been composed a good deal later, than 174 A.D., the year in which our author was engaged on his fifth book. Thus the composition of the work extended over a period of at least fourteen years and probably of many more. That Pausanias spent a long time over it might be inferred from a passage in which he explains a change in his religious views. When he began his work, so he tells us, he looked on some Greek myths as little better than foolishness, but when he had got as far as his description of Arcadia he had altered his opinion and had come to believe that they contained a kernel of deep wisdom under a husk of extravagance. Such a total change of attitude towards the religious traditions of his country was more probably an affair of years than of weeks and months. That the first book was not only written but published before the others seems clear. book written and published before the rest. Amongst the proofs of this the strongest is the writer’s statement in the seventh book, that when he wrote his description of Athens the Music Hall of Herodes Atticus had not yet been built. This implies that when he wrote the seventh book the first was already published; otherwise he could easily have incorporated a notice of the Music Hall in its proper place in the manuscript. Again, in the eighth book he expressly corrects a view which he had adopted in the first; this also he might have done in the manuscript of the first book if he still had it by him. In other places he tacitly adds to statements and descriptions contained in the first book. Further, the narrative of the Gallic invasion in the first book is superseded by the much fuller narrative given in the tenth book, and would hardly have been allowed to stand if it had been in the author’s power to cut it out. More interesting are the passages in which we seem to discover references to criticisms which had been passed on his first book. Thus in the third book he repeats emphatically the plan of work which he had laid down for himself in the first, adding that the plan had been adopted after mature deliberation, and that he would not depart from it. This sounds like a trumpet-blast of defiance to the critics who had picked holes in the scheme of his first book. Elsewhere he seems conscious that some of their strictures were not wholly undeserved. In speaking of the descendants of Aristomenes he is sorely tempted to go into the family history of the Diagorids, but pulls himself up sharply with the remark that he passes over this interesting topic “lest it should appear an impertinent digression.” Clearly the arrows of the reviewers had gone home. The tedious historical dissertations with which he had sought to spice the plain fare of Athenian topography were now felt by the poor author himself to savour strongly of impertinent digressions. Again, old habit getting the better of him, the sight of a ruined camp of King Philip in a secluded Arcadian valley sets him off rambling on the divine retribution that overtook that wicked monarch and his descendants and the murderers of his descendants and their descendants after them, till, his conscience smiting him, he suddenly returns to business with the half apology, “But this has been a digression.” That Pausanias had the fear of the critics before his eyes is stated by himself in the plainest language. He had made, he tells us, careful researches into the vexed subject of the dates of Homer and Hesiod, but refrained from stating the result of his labours, because he knew very well the carping disposition of the professors of poetry of his own day. Little did he foresee the disposition of certain other professors who were to sit in judgment on him some seventeen hundred years later. Had he done so he might well have been tempted to suppress the Description of Greece altogether, and we might have had to lament the loss of one of the most curious and valuable records bequeathed to us by antiquity. Birthplace of Pausanias. The birthplace of Pausanias is less certain than his date, but there are good grounds for believing that he was a Lydian. For after saying that in his country traces were still to be seen of the abode of Pelops and Tantalus, he mentions some monuments and natural features associated with the names of these ancient princes on and near Mount Sipylus. This is nearly a direct affirmation that the region about Mount Sipylus in Lydia was his native land. The same thing appears, though less directly, from the minute acquaintance he displays with the district and from the evident fondness with which he recurs again and again to its scenery and legends. He had seen the white eagles wheeling above the lonely tarn of Tantalus in the heart of the hills; he had beheld the stately tomb of the same hero on Mount Sipylus, the ruined city at the bottom of the clear lake, the rock-hewn throne of Pelops crowning the dizzy peak that overhangs the cañon, and the dripping rock which popular fancy took for the bereaved Niobe weeping for her children. He speaks of the clouds of locusts which he had thrice seen vanish from Mount Sipylus, of the wild dance of the peasantry, and of the shrine of Mother Plastene, whose rude image, carved out of the native rock, may still be seen in its niche at the foot of the mountain. From all this it is fair to surmise that Pausanias was born and bred not far from the mountains which he seems to have known and loved so well. Their inmost recesses he may have explored on foot in boyhood and have drunk in their old romantic legends from the lips of woodmen and hunters. Whether, as some conjecture, he was born at Magnesia, the city at the northern foot of Mount Sipylus, we cannot say, but the vicinity of the city to the mountain speaks in favour of the conjecture. It is less probable, perhaps, that his birthplace was the more distant Pergamus, although there is no lack of passages to prove that he knew and interested himself in that city. As a native of Lydia it was natural that Pausanias should be familiar with the western coast of Asia Minor. There is indeed no part of the world outside of Greece to which he refers so often. He seizes an opportunity to give us the history of the colonisation of Ionia, and dwells with patriotic pride on the glorious climate, the matchless temples, and the natural wonders of that beautiful land. Other writers of the same name. Some scholars have identified our author with a sophist of the same name who was born at Caesarea in Cappadocia, studied under Herodes Atticus, and died an old man at Rome, leaving behind him many declamations composed in a style which displayed a certain vigour and some acquaintance with classical models. But, quite apart from the evidence that our author was a Lydian, there are strong reasons for not identifying him with his Cappadocian namesake. Neither Suidas nor Philostratus, who has left us a short life of the Cappadocian Pausanias, mentions the Description of Greece among his works; and on the other hand our Pausanias, though he often mentions Herodes Atticus, nowhere speaks of him as his master or of any personal relations that he had with him. Further, the author of the Description of Greece is probably to be distinguished from a writer of the same name who composed a work on Syria to which Stephanus of Byzantium repeatedly refers. It is true that our Pausanias evidently knew and had travelled in Syria, but this in itself is no reason for supposing that he was the author of a work to which in his extant writings he makes no allusion. The name Pausanias was far too common to justify us in identifying all the authors who bore it, even when we have grounds for believing them to have been contemporaries. That Pausanias had travelled widely beyond the limits of Greece and Ionia is clear from the many allusions he lets fall to places and objects of interest in foreign lands. Some of them he expressly says that he saw; as to others we may infer that he saw them from the particularity of his description. In Syria he had seen the Jordan flowing through the Lake of Tiberias and falling into the Dead Sea, and had gazed at the red pool near Joppa in which Perseus was said to have washed his bloody sword after slaying the sea-monster. He describes a tomb at Jerusalem, the door of which by an ingenious mechanical contrivance opened of itself once a year at a certain hour, and he often alludes to Antioch which for its vast size and wealth he ranked with Alexandria. In Egypt he had seen the Pyramids, had beheld with wonder the colossal statue of Memnon at Thebes, and had heard the musical note, like the breaking of a lute-string, which the statue emitted at sunrise. The statue still stands, and many inscriptions in Greek and Latin carved by ancient visitors on its huge legs and base confirm the testimony of Pausanias as to the mysterious sound. From Egypt our author seems to have journeyed across the desert to the oasis of Ammon, for he tells us that in his time the hymn which Pindar sent to Ammon was still to be seen there carved on a triangular slab beside the altar. Nearer home he admired the splendid fortifications of Rhodes and Byzantium. Though he does not describe northern Greece, he had visited Thessaly, and had seen the blue steaming rivulet rushing along at the foot of the rugged forest-tufted mountains that hem in like a wall the pass of Thermopylae on the south. He appears to have visited Macedonia, and perhaps, too, Epirus; at least he speaks repeatedly of Dodona and its oracular oak, and he mentions the sluggish melancholy rivers that wind through the dreary Thesprotian plain and that gave their names to the rivers in hell. He had crossed to Italy and seen something of the cities of Campania and the wonders of Rome. The great forum of Trajan with its bronze roof, the Circus Maximus—then probably the most magnificent building in the world—and the strange beasts gathered from far foreign lands, seem to have been the sights which most impressed him in the capital of the world. In the Imperial Gardens he observed with curiosity a tusk which the custodian assured him had belonged to the Calydonian boar; and he noticed, doubtless with less pleasure, the great ivory image of Athena Alea which Augustus had carried off from the stately temple of the goddess at Tegea. In the neighbourhood of Rome the bubbling milk-white water of Albula or Solfatara, as it is now called, on the road to Tibur, attracted his attention, and beside the sylvan lake of Aricia he appears to have seen the grim priest pacing sword in hand, the warder of the Golden Bough. The absurd description he gives of the beautiful and much-maligned Strait of Messina would suffice to prove that he never sailed through it. Probably like most travellers coming from the East he reached Italy by way of Brundisium. Of Sardinia he has given a somewhat full description, but without implying that he had visited it. Sicily, if we may judge by a grave blunder he makes in speaking of it, he never saw. Aim of Pausanias’s work. The aim that Pausanias had in writing his Description of Greece is nowhere very fully or clearly stated by him. His book has neither head nor tail, neither preface nor epilogue. At the beginning he plunges into the description of Attica without a word of introduction, and at the end he breaks off his account of Ozolian Locris with equal abruptness. There is reason to believe that the work is unfinished, for he seems to have intended to describe Opuntian Locris, but this intention was never fulfilled. However, from occasional utterances as well as from the general scope and plan of the book, we can gather a fairly accurate notion of the writer’s purpose. Thus in the midst of his description of the Acropolis of Athens he suddenly interposes the remark, “But I must proceed, for I have to describe the whole of Greece,” as if the thought of the wide field he had to traverse jogged him, as well it might, and bade him hasten. Again, after bringing his description of Athens and Attica to an end, he adds: “Such are, in my opinion, the most famous of the Athenian traditions and sights: from the mass of materials I have aimed from the outset at selecting the really notable.” Later on, before addressing himself to the description of Sparta he explains his purpose still more definitely and emphatically: “To prevent misconceptions, I stated in my Attica that I had not described everything, but only a selection of the most memorable objects. This principle I will now repeat before I proceed to describe Sparta. From the outset I aimed at sifting the most valuable traditions from out of the mass of insignificant stories which are current among every people. My plan was adopted after mature deliberation, and I will not depart from it.” Again, after briefly narrating the history of Phlius, he says: “I shall now add a notice of the most remarkable sights,” and he concludes his description of Delphi with the words: “Such were the notable objects left at Delphi in my time.” In introducing his notice of the honorary statues at Olympia he is careful to explain that he does not intend to furnish a complete catalogue of them, but only to mention such as were of special interest either for their artistic merit or for the fame of the persons they portrayed. Method of the work. From these and a few more passages of the same sort it seems clear that Pausanias intended to describe all the most notable objects and to narrate all the most memorable traditions which he found existing or current in the Greece of his own time. It was a vast undertaking, and we need not wonder that at the outset he should have felt himself oppressed by the magnitude of it, and that consequently in the first book, dealing with Attica, his selection of notable objects should be scantier and his description of them slighter than in the later books. It was not only that he was bewildered by the multitude of things he had to say, but that he had not quite made up his mind how to say them. He was groping and fumbling after a method. As the work proceeded, he seems to have felt himself more at ease; the arrangement of the matter becomes more systematic, the range of his interests wider, the descriptions more detailed, his touch surer. Even the second book shows in all these respects a great advance on the first. To mention two conspicuous improvements, he has now definitely adopted the topographical order of description, and he prefaces his account of each considerable city with a sketch of its history. In the first book, on the other hand, an historical introduction is wholly wanting, and though Athens itself is on the whole described in topographical order, the rest of Attica is not. Only with the description of the Sacred Way which led from Athens to Eleusis does Pausanias once for all grasp firmly the topographical thread as the best clue to guide him and his readers through the labyrinth. Throughout the rest of his work the general principle on which he arranges his matter is this. After narrating in outline the history of the district he is about to describe, he proceeds from the frontier to the capital by the nearest road, noting anything of interest that strikes him by the way. Arrived at the capital he goes straight to the centre of it, generally to the market-place, describes the chief buildings and monuments there, and then follows the streets, one after the other, that radiate from the centre in all directions, recording the most remarkable objects in each of them. Having finished his account of the capital he describes the surrounding district on the same principle. He follows the chief roads that lead from the capital to all parts of the territory, noting methodically the chief natural features and the most important towns, villages, and monuments that he meets with on the way. Having followed the road up till it brings him to the frontier, he retraces his steps to the capital, and sets off along another which he treats in the same way, until in this manner he has exhausted all the principal thoroughfares that branch from the city. On reaching the end of the last of them he does not return on his footsteps, but crosses the boundary into the next district, which he then proceeds to describe after the same fashion. This, roughly speaking, is the way in which he describes the cities and territories of Corinth, Argos, Sparta, Mantinea, Megalopolis, Tegea, and Thebes. The work is a guide-book. A better and clearer method of arranging matter so complex and varied it might be hard to devise. It possesses at least one obvious advantage—the routes do not cross each other, and thus a fruitful source of confusion is avoided. The reader, however, will easily perceive that the order of description can hardly have been the one in which Pausanias travelled or expected his readers to travel. The most patient and systematic of topographers and sightseers would hardly submit to the irksome drudgery of pursuing almost every road twice over, first in one direction and then in the other. Manifestly the order has been adopted only for the sake of lucidity, only because in no other way could the writer convey to his reader so clear a notion of the relative positions of the places and things described. Why was Pausanias at such pains to present everything to his readers in its exact position? The only probable answer is that he wished to help them to find their way from one object of interest to another; in other words that he intended his Description of Greece to serve as a guide-book to travellers. If his aim had been merely to amuse and entertain his readers at home, he could hardly have lighted on a worse method of doing so; for the persons who find topographical directions amusing and can extract entertainment from reading that “This place is so many furlongs from that, and this other so many more from that other,” must be few in number and of an unusually cheerful disposition. The ordinary reader is more likely to yawn over such statements and shut up the book. We may take it, then, that in Pausanias’s work we possess the ancient equivalent of our modern Murrays and Baedekers. The need for such a guide-book would be felt by the many travellers who visited Greece, and for whom the garrulous but ignorant ciceroni did not, as we know, always provide the desired information. Yet with the innocent ambition of an author Pausanias may very well have hoped that his book might prove not wholly uninteresting to others than travellers. The digressions on historical subjects, on natural curiosities, on the strange creatures of different countries, with which he so often breaks the thread of his description, may be regarded as so many lures held out to the reader to beguile him on his weary way. Indeed in one passage he plainly intimates his wish not to be tedious to his readers. Antiquarian and religious bias of Pausanias. When we come to examine the substance of his book we quickly perceive that his interests were mainly antiquarian and religious, and that though he professes to describe the whole of Greece or, more literally, all things Greek, what he does describe is little more than the antiquities of the country and the religious traditions and ritual of the people. He interested himself neither in the natural beauties of Greece nor in the ordinary life of his contemporaries. For all the notice he takes of the one or the other, Greece might almost have been a wilderness and its cities uninhabited or peopled only at rare intervals by a motley throng who suddenly appeared as by magic, moved singing through the streets in gay procession with flaring torches and waving censers, dyed the marble pavements of the temples with the blood of victims, filled the air with the smoke and savour of their burning flesh, and then melted away as mysteriously as they had come, leaving the deserted streets and temples to echo only to the footstep of some solitary traveller who explored with awe and wonder the monuments of a vanished race. Yet as his work proceeded Pausanias seems to have wakened up now and then to a dim consciousness that men and women were still living and toiling around him, that fields were still ploughed and harvests reaped, that the vine and the olive still yielded their fruit, though Theseus and Agamemnon, Cimon and Pericles, Philip and Alexander were no more. To this awakening consciousness or, to speak more correctly, to this gradual widening of his interests, we owe the few peeps which in his later books Pausanias affords us at his contemporaries in their daily life. Thus he lets us see the tall and stalwart highlanders of Daulis; the handsome and industrious women of Patrae weaving with deft fingers the fine flax of their native fields into head-dresses and other feminine finery; the fishermen of Bulis putting out to fish the purple shell in the Gulf of Corinth; the potters of Aulis turning their wheels in the little seaside town from which Agamemnon sailed for Troy; and the apothecaries of Chaeronea distilling a fragrant and healing balm from roses and lilies, from irises and narcissuses culled in peaceful gardens on the battlefield where Athens and Thebes, side by side, had made the last stand for the freedom of Greece. His descriptions of religious rites. Contrast with these sketches, few and far between, the gallery of pictures he has painted of the religious life of his contemporaries. To mention only a few of them, we see sick people asleep and dreaming on the reeking skins of slaughtered rams or dropping gold and silver coins as a thank-offering for recovered health into a sacred spring; lepers praying to the nymphs in a cave, then swimming the river and leaving, like Naaman, their uncleanness behind them in the water; holy men staggering along narrow paths under the burden of uprooted trees; processions of priests and magistrates, of white-robed boys with garlands of hyacinths in their hair, of children wreathed with corn and ivy, of men holding aloft blazing torches and chanting as they march their native hymns; women wailing for Achilles while the sun sinks low in the west; Persians in tall caps droning their strange litany in an unknown tongue; husbandmen sticking gold leaf on a bronze goat in a market-place to protect their vines from blight, or running with the bleeding pieces of a white cock round the vineyards while the black squall comes crawling up across the bay. We see the priest making rain by dipping an oak-branch in a spring on the holy mountain, or mumbling his weird spells by night over four pits to soothe the fury of the winds that blow from the four quarters of the world. We see men slaughtering beasts at a grave and pouring the warm blood down a hole into the tomb for the dead man to drink; others casting cakes of meal and honey into the cleft down which the water of the Great Flood all ran away; others trying their fortune by throwing dice in a cave, or flinging barley-cakes into a pool and watching them sink or swim, or letting down a mirror into a spring to know whether a sick friend will recover or die. We see the bronze lamps lit at evening in front of the oracular image, the smoke of incense curling up from the hearth, the enquirer laying a copper coin on the altar, whispering his question into the ear of the image, then stealing out with his hands on his ears, ready to take as the divine answer the first words he may hear on quitting the sanctuary. We see the nightly sky reddened by the fitful glow of the great bonfire on the top of Mount Cithaeron where the many images of oak-wood, arrayed as brides, are being consumed in the flames, after having been dragged in lumbering creaking waggons to the top of the mountain, each image with a bridesmaid standing by its side. These and many more such scenes rise up before us in turning the pages of Pausanias. His account of superstitious customs and beliefs. Akin to his taste for religious ritual is his love of chronicling quaint customs, observances, and superstitions of all sorts. Thus he tells us how Troezenian maidens used to dedicate locks of their hair in the temple of the bachelor Hippolytus before marriage; how on a like occasion Megarian girls laid their shorn tresses on the grave of the virgin Iphinoe; how lads at Phigalia cropped their hair in honour of the river that flows in the deep glen below the town; how the boy priests of Cranaean Athena bathed in tubs after the ancient fashion; and how the priest and priestess of Artemis Hymnia must remain all their lives unmarried, must wash and live differently from common folk, and must never enter the house of a private person. Amongst the curious observances which he notices at the various shrines are the rules that no birth or death might take place within the sacred grove of Aesculapius at Epidaurus, and that all sacrifices had to be consumed within the bounds; that no broken bough might be removed from the grove of Hyrnetho near Epidaurus, and no pomegranate brought into the precinct of the Mistress at Lycosura; that at Pergamus the name of Eurypylus might not be pronounced in the sanctuary of Aesculapius, and no one who had sacrificed to Telephus might enter that sanctuary till he had bathed; that at Olympia no man who had eaten of the victim offered to Pelops might go into the temple of Zeus, that women might not ascend above the first stage of the great altar, that the paste of ashes which was smeared on the altar must be kneaded with the water of the Alpheus and no other, and that the sacrifices offered to Zeus must be burnt with no wood but that of the white poplar. Again, he loves to note, though he does not always believe, the local superstitions he met with or had read of, such as the belief that at the sacrifice to Zeus on Mount Lycaeus a man was always turned into a wolf, but could regain his human shape if as a wolf he abstained for nine years from preying on human flesh; that within the precinct of the god on the same mountain neither men nor animals cast shadows, and that whoever entered it would die within the year; that the trout in the river Aroanius sang like thrushes; that whoever caught a fish in a certain lake would be turned into a fish himself; that Tegea could never be taken because it possessed a lock of Medusa’s hair; that Hera recovered her virginity every year by bathing in a spring at Nauplia; that the water of one spring was a cure for hydrophobia, while the water of another drove mares mad; that no snakes or wolves could live in Sardinia; that when the sun was in a certain sign of the zodiac earth taken from the tomb of Amphion and Zethus at Thebes and carried to Tithorea in Phocis would draw away the fertility from the Theban land and transfer it to the Tithorean, whence at that season the Thebans kept watch and ward over the tomb, lest the Tithoreans should come and filch the precious earth; that at Marathon every night the dead warriors rose from their graves and fought the great battle over again, while belated wayfarers, hurrying by, heard with a shudder the hoarse cries of the combatants, the trampling of charging horses, and the clash of arms. In carrying out his design of recording Greek traditions, Pausanias has interwoven many narratives into his description of Greece. These are of various sorts, and were doubtless derived from various sources. Some are historical, and were taken avowedly or tacitly from books. Some are legends with perhaps a foundation in fact; others are myths pure and simple; others again are popular tales to which parallels may be found in the folk-lore of many lands. Narratives of these sorts Pausanias need not have learned from books. Some of them were doubtless commonplaces with which he had been familiar from childhood. Others he may have picked up on his travels. The spring of mythical fancy has not run dry among the mountains and islands of Greece at the present day; it flowed, we may be sure, still more copiously in the days of Pausanias. Amongst the popular tales which he tells or alludes to may be mentioned the story of the sleeper in the cave; of the cunning masons who robbed the royal treasury they had built; of the youth who slew the lion and married the princess; of the kind serpent that saved a child from a wolf and was killed by the child’s father by mistake; of the king whose life was in a purple lock on his head; of the witch who offered to make an old man young again by cutting him up and boiling him in a hellbroth, and who did in this way change a tough old tup into a tender young lamb. It is characteristic of Greek popular tradition that these stories are not left floating vaguely in the cloudy region of fairyland; they are brought down to solid earth and given a local habitation and a name. The sleeper was Epimenides the Cretan; the masons were Trophonius and Agamedes, and the king for whom they built the treasury was Hyrieus of Orchomenus; the youth who won the hand of the princess was Alcathous of Megara; the king with the purple lock was Nisus, also of Megara; the witch was Medea, and the old man whom she mangled was Pelias; the place where the serpent saved the child from the wolf was Amphiclea in Phocis. Amongst the myths which crowd the pages of Pausanias we may note the strangely savage tale of Attis and Agdistis, the hardly less barbarous story of the loves of Poseidon and Demeter as horse and mare, and the picturesque narratives of the finding of the forsaken babe Aesculapius by the goatherd, and the coming of Castor and Pollux to Sparta in the guise of strangers from Cyrene. Of the legends which he tells of the heroic age—that border-land between fable and history—some are his own in the sense that we do not find them recorded by any other ancient writer. Such are the stories how Theseus even as a child evinced undaunted courage by attacking the lion’s skin of Hercules which he mistook for a living lion; how the same hero in his youth proved his superhuman strength to the masons who had jeered at his girlish appearance; how the crazed Orestes, dogged by the Furies of his murdered mother, bit off one of his fingers, and how on his doing so the aspect of the Furies at once changed from black to white, as if in token that they accepted the sacrifice as an atonement. Such, too, is the graceful story of the parting of Penelope from her father, and the tragic tale of the death of Hyrnetho; in the latter we seem almost to catch the ring of a romantic ballad. Among the traditions told of historical personages by Pausanias but not peculiar to him are the legends of Pindar’s dream, of the escape of Aristomenes from the pit, and of the wondrous cure of Leonymus, the Crotonian general, who, attacking the Locrian army at the point where the soul of the dead hero Ajax hovered in the van, received a hurt from a ghostly spear, but was afterwards healed by the same hand in the White Isle, where Ajax dwelt with other spirits of the famous dead. To the same class belong a couple of anecdotes with which Pausanias has sought to enliven the dull catalogue of athletes in the sixth book. One tells how the boxer Euthymus thrashed the ghost of a tipsy sailor and won the hand of a fair maiden, who was on the point of being delivered over to the tender mercies of the deceased mariner. The other relates how another noted boxer, by name Theagenes, departed this vale of tears after accumulating a prodigious number of prizes; how when he was no more a spiteful foe came and wreaked his spleen by whipping the bronze statue of the illustrious dead, till the statue, losing patience, checked his insolence by falling on him and crushing him to death; how the sons of this amiable man prosecuted the statue for murder; how the court, sitting in judgment, found the statue guilty and solemnly condemned it to be sunk in the sea; how, the sentence being rigorously executed, the land bore no fruit till the statue had been fished up again and set in its place; and how the people sacrificed to the boxer as to a god ever after. His description of the country. The same antiquarian and religious tincture which appears in Pausanias’s account of the Greek people colours his description of the country. The mountains which he climbs, the plains which he traverses, the rivers which he fords, the lakes and seas that he beholds shining in the distance, the very flowers that spring beside his path hardly exist for him but as they are sacred to some god or tenanted by some spirit of the elements, or because they call up some memory of the past, some old romantic story of unhappy love or death. Of one flower, white and tinged with red, he tells us that it first grew in Salamis when Ajax died; of another, that chaplets of it are worn in their hair by white-robed boys when they walk in procession in honour of Demeter. He notes the mournful letters on the hyacinth and tells the tale of the fair youth slain unwittingly by Apollo. He points out the old plane-tree which Menelaus planted before he went away to the wars; the great cedar with an image of Artemis hanging among its boughs; the sacred cypresses called the Maidens, tall and dark and stately, in the bleak upland valley of Psophis; the myrtle-tree whose pierced leaves still bore the print of hapless Phaedra’s bodkin on that fair islanded coast of Troezen, where now the orange and the lemon bloom in winter; the pomegranate with its blood-red fruit growing on the grave of the patriot Menoeceus who shed his blood for his country. If he looks up at the mountains, it is not to mark the snowy peaks glistering in the sunlight against the blue, or the sombre pine-forests that fringe their crests and are mirrored in the dark lake below; it is to tell you that Zeus or Apollo or the Sun-god is worshipped on their tops, that the Thyiad women rave on them above the clouds, or that Pan has been heard piping in their lonely coombs. The gloomy caverns, where the sunbeams hardly penetrate, with their fantastic stalactites and dripping roofs, are to him the haunts of Pan and the nymphs. The awful precipices of the Aroanian mountains, in the sunless crevices of which the snow-drifts never melt, would have been passed by him in silence were it not that the water that trickles down their dark glistening face is the water of Styx. If he describes the smooth glassy pool which, bordered by reeds and tall grasses, still sleeps under the shadow of the shivering poplars in the Lernean swamp, it is because the way to hell goes down through its black unfathomed water. If he stops by murmuring stream or brimming river, it is to relate how from the banks of the Ilissus, where she was at play, the North Wind carried off Orithyia to be his bride; how the Selemnus had been of old a shepherd who loved a sea-nymph and died forlorn; how the amorous Alpheus still flows across the wide and stormy Adriatic to join his love at Syracuse. If in summer he crosses a parched river-bed, where not a driblet of water is oozing, where the stones burn under foot and dazzle the eye by their white glare, he will tell you that this is the punishment the river suffers for having offended the sea-god. Distant prospects, again, are hardly remarked by him except for the sake of some historical or legendary association. The high knoll which juts out from the rugged side of Mount Maenalus into the dead flat of the Mantinean plain was called the Look, he tells us, because here the dying Epaminondas, with his hand pressed hard on the wound from which his life was ebbing fast, took his long last look at the fight. The view of the sea from the Acropolis at Athens is noticed by him, not for its gleam of molten sapphire, but because from this height the aged Aegeus scanned the blue expanse for the white sails of his returning son, then cast himself headlong from the rock when he descried the bark with sable sails steering for the port of Athens. The disinterested glimpses, as we may call them, of Greek scenery which we catch in the pages of Pausanias are brief and few. He tells us that there is no fairer river than the Ladon either in Greece or in foreign land, and probably no one who has traversed the magnificent gorge through which the river bursts its way from the highlands of northern Arcadia to the lowlands on the borders of Elis will be inclined to dispute his opinion. Widely different scenes he puts in for us with a few touches—the Boeotian Asopus oozing sluggishly through its deep beds of reeds; the sodden plain of Nestane with the rain-water pouring down into it from the misty mountains; the road running through vineyards with mountains rising on either hand; the spring gushing from the hollow trunk of a venerable plane; the summer lounge in the shady walks of the grove beside the sea; the sand and pine-trees of the low coast of Elis; the oak-woods of Phelloe with stony soil where the deer ranged free and wild boars had their lair; and the Boeotian forest with its giant oaks in whose branches the crows built their nests. His notices of the natural products of Greece. It is one of the marks of a widening intellectual horizon that as his work goes on Pausanias takes more and more notice of the aspect and natural products of the country which he describes. Such notices are least frequent in the first book and commonest in the last three. Thus he remarks the bareness of the Cirrhaean plain, the fertility of the valley of the Phocian Cephisus, the vineyards of Ambrosus, the palms and dates of Aulis, the olive-oil of Tithorea that was sent to the emperor, the dykes that dammed off the water from the fields in the marshy flats of Caphyae and Thisbe. He mentions the various kinds of oaks that grew in the Arcadian woods, the wild-strawberry bushes of Mount Helicon on which the goats browsed, the hellebore, both black and white, of Anticyra, and the berry of Ambrosus which yielded the crimson dye. He observed the flocks of bustards that haunted the banks of the Phocian Cephisus, the huge tortoises that crawled in the forests of Arcadia, the white blackbirds of Mount Cyllene, the two sorts of poultry at Tanagra, the purple shell fished in the sea at Bulis, the trout of the Aroanius river, and the eels of the Copaic Lake. All these instances are taken from the last three books. In the earlier part of his work he condescended to mention the honey of Hymettus, the old silver mines of Laurium, the olives of Cynuria, the fine flax of Elis, the purple shell of the Laconian coast, the marble of Pentelicus, the mussel-stone of Megara, and the green porphyry of Croceae. But of the rich Messenian plain, known in antiquity as the Happy Land, where nowadays the traveller passes, almost as in a tropical region, between orange-groves and vineyards fenced by hedges of huge fantastic cactuses and sword-like aloes, Pausanias has nothing more to say than that “the Pamisus flows through tilled land.” His account of the state of the roads. On the state of the roads he is still more reticent than on that of the country. The dreadful Scironian road—the Via Mala of Greece—which ran along a perilous ledge of the Megarian sea-cliffs at a giddy height above the breakers, had lately been widened by Hadrian. An excellent carriage road, much frequented, led from Tegea to Argos. Another road, traversable by vehicles, went over the pass of the Tretus, where the railway from Corinth to Argos now runs; and we have the word of Pausanias for it that a driving-road crossed Parnassus from Delphi to Tithorea. On the other hand the road from Sicyon to Titane was impassable for carriages; a rough hill-track led from Chaeronea to Stiris; the path along the rugged mountainous coast between Lerna and Thyrea was then, as it is now, narrow and difficult; and the pass of the Ladder over Mount Artemisius from Argos to Mantinea was so steep that in some places steps had to be cut in the rock to facilitate the descent. Of the path up to the Corycian cave on Mount Parnassus our author truly observes that it is easier for a man on foot than for mules and horses. Greek mules and horses can, indeed, do wonders in the way of scrambling up and down the most execrable mountain paths on slopes that resemble the roof of a house; but it would sorely tax even their energies to ascend to the Corycian cave. The real interest of Pausanias, however, lay neither in the country nor in the people of his descriptions of the monuments. own age, but in those monuments of the past, which, though too often injured by time or defaced by violence, he still found scattered in profusion over Greece. It is to a description of them that the greater part of his work is devoted. He did not profess to catalogue, still less to describe, them all. To do so might well have exceeded the powers of any man, however great his patience and industry. All that a writer could reasonably hope to accomplish was to make a choice of the most interesting monuments, to describe them clearly, and to furnish such comments as were needful to understanding them properly. This is what Pausanias attempted to do and what, after every deduction has been made for omissions and mistakes, he may fairly be said to have done well. The choice of the monuments to be described necessarily rested with himself, and if his choice was sometimes different from what ours might have been, it would be unreasonable to blame him for it. He did not write for us. No man in his sober senses ever did write for readers who were to be born some seventeen hundred years after he was in his grave. In his wildest dreams of fame Pausanias can hardly have hoped, perhaps under all the circumstances we ought rather to say feared, that his book would be read, long after the Roman empire had passed away, by the people whom he calls the most numerous and warlike barbarians in Europe, [1] by the Britons in their distant isle, and by the inhabitants of a new world across the Atlantic. 1 . “Antoninus the Second,” he tells us (viii. 43. 6), “inflicted punishment on the Germans, the most numerous and warlike barbarians in Europe.” His preference for the older over the later art. When we examine Pausanias’s choice of monuments we find that, like his account of the country and people, it was mainly determined by two leading principles, his antiquarian tastes and his religious curiosity. In the first place, the monuments described are generally ancient, not modern; in the second place, they are for the most part religious, not profane. His preference for old over modern art, for works of the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. over those of the later period, was well founded and has been shared by the best judges both in ancient and modern times. Cicero, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Quintilian, and our author’s own contemporary, Lucian, perhaps the most refined critic of art in antiquity, mention no artist of later date than the fourth century B.C.