Pausaniou Tēs Hellados Periēgēsis = Hoc Est, Pausaniae Accurata Graeciae Descriptio, Qua Lector Ceu Manu Per Eam Regionem Circumducitur

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by Pausanias

Pausaniou Tēs Hellados Periēgēsis

Title page from Pausaniou Tēs Hellados Periēgēsis, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author Pausanias
Editor {{{editor}}}
Translator Romolo Quirino Amaseo
Published Francofurti: Apud haeredes Andreae Wecheli
Date 1583
Edition {{{edition}}}
Language Greek and Latin; supplementary material in Latin
Volumes {{{set}}} volume set
Pages [12], 357, [1] pages, 359-374 columns, 375-377 pages, 378-507 columns, page 508, [77], [12], 302 pages, 303-352 columns, [1] pages
Desc. Folio (34 cm.)
Location Shelf N-5
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]
Initial capital, first page of text.
The identity of the traveler and author Pausanias has been debated for centuries.[1] Ten books were written detailing his travels through and opinions about Greece in the mid to late second century CE, and are combined under the title Pausaniou Tes Hellados Periegesis. It is now generally understood that all ten volumes were written roughly during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180).[2] Analysis of the book's phrasing indicates that Pausanias was a Greek from Lydia in Asia Minor, or at least he spent a great deal of time there while writing.[3]

Pausanias’s Description of Greece can be considered “both a guidebook for tourists and a piece of literature for readers sitting at home” by including general descriptions of areas he visited, with more details of his favorites, and tangents into history, mythology, anthropology, and linguistics.[4] Unfortunately, Pausanias' guide was not successful; his intent to both entertain while guiding tourists and to educate while entertaining readers at home did not reach fruition for either purpose.[5] Later readers did not have access to his true work due to transmission errors, and there are only one or two references to it through the end of the Middle Ages. Classical scholars of the 1800s harshly criticized Pausanias, accusing him of plagiarism and deceit, claiming that he did not read the works from which he extracted quotes and material and that he did not visit all the places he discussed.[6]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Previous owner's signature, front pastedown.
Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as "Pausanias Gr. Lat. fol." and given by Thomas Jefferson to his grandson Thomas Jefferson Randolph. The precise edition owned by Wythe is unknown. George Wythe's Library[7] on LibraryThing indicates this without choosing a specific edition. The Brown Bibliography[8] lists the edition published in 1583 in Frankfurt based on the copy Jefferson sold to the Library of Congress.[9] The Wolf Law Library followed Brown's suggestion and purchased the Frankfurt volume edited by Frideric Sylburg.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Rebacked using original label and original leather boards. Includes a previous owner's signature on the front pastedown.

Images of the library's copy of this book are available on Flickr. View the record for this book in William & Mary's online catalog.

Initial capital, first page of text.

See also


  1. Aubrey Diller, “The Authors Named Pausanias,” Transactions and Proceeds of the American Philological Association 86 (1955): 268.
  2. Ibid., 269.
  3. Ibid., 270.
  4. Christian Habicht, ”An Ancient Baedeker and His Critics: Pausanias’ ‘Guide to Greece,’” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 129, no. 2 (June 1985): 220.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid., 211.
  7. LibraryThing, s.v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on November 13, 2013.
  8. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at:
  9. E. Millicent Sowerby, Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, (Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress, 1952-1959), 4:136-137 [no.3919].

External Links

Read this book in Google Books.