As Ada Cohen points out in her essay, Pausanias does not describe the landscape itself but only the places where it intersects with divinity. As the collaborators here make clear, similar principles of selection operate on other levels. Pausanias may enable us to visualize a lost world, but the view is sanitized.
Writing at the peak of Roman wealth, power, and privilege, he gives us old Greece with hardly a trace of Rome. He presents cities without houses, landscapes without agriculture, sanctuaries without worshippers, and the past without the present. 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?
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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. Travel and Memory in Roman Greece.
Oxford University Press Bolero Ozon. Travel and Memory in Roman Greece: Pausanias, the Greek historian and traveler, lived and wrote around the second century AD, during the period when Greece had fallen peacefully to the Roman Empire. While fragments from this period abound, Pausanias' Periegesis "description" of Greece is the only fully preserved text of travel writing to have survived.
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