Pausanias: Travel and Memory in Roman Greece


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Like the cardboard and cellophane 3-D glasses worn by cinema audiences in the s, his text brings into temporary and unstable focus a very specialized scene, but the view is that of a virtual museum, a theme park created for our viewing enjoyment. How did he do it and what are the consequences? I admit that when it comes to Pausanias, I am one of those "seekers after lost religions" whom Elsner classifies with archaeologists surveying the text of Pausanias for possible excavation sites. We will all be a little more careful after reading this book.

Yet, where else [End Page ] could we find the information Pausanias gives? Habicht rehabilitated Pausanias in the s by demonstrating how well his text stands up when compared with the surviving external record. Pausanias did not have a spreadsheet to keep straight the sixty-nine altars at Olympia, but he must at least have taken notes. The arrangement of the articles presented here replicates a familiar academic setting. Structured like a weekend conference, the book divides into three sessions "The Traveler and the Text," "Studies and Comparisons," and " Nachleben " , with four papers and two comments in each session.

Very generally, the topics are: Elsner ; mental baggage and method E. Bowie ; informants and information C. Jones ; pilgrimage and the inspiration of vision I. Rutherford ; selection and cultural choice M. Torelli ; memory and memorization D.

Pausanias : travel and memory in Roman Greece

Konstan ; identity, monumentality and the recall of mo nu ments sublime J. Porter ; representation of space and movement A. Cohen ; archaic text and image on the chest of Kypselos A. Snodgrass ; filling the empty map of Messenia S. Alcock ; Greek narratives in Roman images B.

Bergmann ; other Spartas P. Cartledge ; shaping the genre of travel writing S.

Sutton ; Leake's Pausanias and Greek topography J. Wagstaff ; rearranging Pausanias or Farnell on Greek ritual J. Henderson ; Harrison and Verrall present Pausanias for the hoipolloi M.

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Beard ; Sparta and the French Enlightenment S. One of the more thought-provoking essays in the entire collection comes first: Porter writing on "Ideas and Ruins" seeks to draw a parallel between the mentalities of Pausanias and those of the author of On the Sublime. Porter suggests that Pausanias' fascination with ruined and fragmentary reminders of Greece's past evokes the same sense of sublimity that pseudo-Longinus attempts to illustrate through fragmentary excerpts of classical masters.

Ada Cohen follows with "Art, Myth, and Travel in the Hellenistic World," a wide-ranging study of narrative strategies in the visual arts, with most attention given to a Hellenistic bowl in the National Museum of Athens showing narrative scenes in molded relief. Cohen draws some brief comparisons between these narrative strategies and Pausanias' handling of space and time. The issue of Pausanias' relation to the visual arts is also taken up by A.

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Snodgrass in the next article, "Pausanias and the Chest of Kypselos," one of the few attempts in the entire volume to offer detailed analysis of a single passage in Pausanias, the extended description of the scenes carved on the so-called Chest of Kypselos at Olympia 5. Snodgrass sees Pausanias' treatment of the chest as a good example of what he examines at greater length in his Homer and the Artists , the tendency on the part of interpreters from Pausanias' day to the present to read Homeric content into archaic and classical artworks. Snodgrass also comments on Pausanias' predilection for dry and painstakingly objective descriptions of art in contrast to the more subjective and emotive responses to visual arts offered by near-contemporaries like Philostratus and Lucian.

The final essay of Part II is A. This is a sensible argument, and it is supported by reference to things ignored by Pausanias that have been uncovered by modern archaeology including the Pylos Regional Archaeological Project, of which A, as a leading member of the project, is eminently qualified to speak. Most of these items, however, are things which we would not necessarily expect Pausanias to mention in any case: Roman villas, for instance, and small agrarian communities. Of the two "commentaries" that conclude Part II, Bettina Bergmann offers a study actually, at twelve pages as substantial as many of the articles in the collection of parallels to Pausanias' antiquarian view of landscapes in contemporary Italian art and landscape architecture, and Paul Cartledge makes some briefer comments on the nature and the usefulness of Pausanias' account of Lakonia.

Susan Buck Sutton begins with "A Temple Worth Seeing", an examination of how modern travelers' experiences of Nemea and their descriptions of it have been influenced, if not straitjacketed, by Pausanias' selective description of the site. Sutton draws Snodgrassian conclusions similar to those of A.

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Pausanias omits much in the landscape though once again, apparently not much of the sorts of things that usually interest Pausanias , and we must learn to look beyond what he chooses to tell us. Wagstaff follows with a brief study on William Leake and the important role Pausanias played for Leake in his pioneering topographical work in Greece. Part III concludes with a pair of substantial articles on important contemporaries of Frazer: John Henderson on L.

Both articles are lively, perceptive, and informative and, while the focus of neither is Pausanias himself even references to Pausanias are rather scarce in Henderson's offering , they both offer insight into the place and time that produced the dominant way of looking at Pausanias in Anglophone scholarship for much of the twentieth century, i.

Part III concludes with commentaries by Stephen Bann, comparing the travel writing of Chateaubriand with that of Pausanias, and by C, who argues that the features of the Periegesis that much of the new work on Pausanias focuses on, such as selectivity and a sense of nostalgia, are endemic to the outlook of a travel writer. Capping off the whole collection is a five-page "coda" by E examining a nineteenth-century painting of the Spartan city center by J. Gandy fancifully based on the description of Pausanias.

Near the end of this volume Mary Beard talks about how Pausanias' text performed yeomanlike duty in facilitating the introduction of archaeology into the classics curriculum at Cambridge during the time of Frazer and Harrison. To give the new science a respectable philological patina quotations from Pausanias and from other descriptive authors were used as the basis for exam questions in which the quotations themselves were largely beside the point.

So, for instance, a passage from Pausanias' description of the Acropolis prefaces a question in which the examinee is instructed to discuss "the building omitted at this point by Pausanias" In many respects the Periegesis fills a similar function for the present text. Many of the contributors to the volume seem enamored not so much of Pausanias himself as they are of the idea of Pausanias -- an author whose literary project dances around the edges of so many fields of inquiry and methods of reading that are currently popular.

In fact when it comes to Pausanias himself many of the contributors seem the opposite of enamored. In addition to Konstan's remarks noted above, Cartledge feels that "it is perhaps worth repeating Habicht's sober ing judgment: I am glad there is many a more lively work out there to be read" When we move beyond the ideal Pausanias to the real Pausanias, even many of the more enthusiastic contributors have relatively little to say of a direct nature.

Like the cheese shop in the classic Monty Python sketch that is "certainly uncontaminated by cheese", there are vast tracts in this book entitled "Pausanias" that are remarkably uncontaminated by Pausanias. This is not to deny that much of what one does find here is very worthwhile, but the buyer who is led by the title to expect extensive or detailed explication of numerous passages in the text of Pausanias is in danger of being disappointed.

Pausanias: Travel and Memory in Roman Greece Pausanias: Travel and Memory in Roman Greece
Pausanias: Travel and Memory in Roman Greece Pausanias: Travel and Memory in Roman Greece
Pausanias: Travel and Memory in Roman Greece Pausanias: Travel and Memory in Roman Greece
Pausanias: Travel and Memory in Roman Greece Pausanias: Travel and Memory in Roman Greece
Pausanias: Travel and Memory in Roman Greece Pausanias: Travel and Memory in Roman Greece
Pausanias: Travel and Memory in Roman Greece Pausanias: Travel and Memory in Roman Greece
Pausanias: Travel and Memory in Roman Greece Pausanias: Travel and Memory in Roman Greece
Pausanias: Travel and Memory in Roman Greece Pausanias: Travel and Memory in Roman Greece

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