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date: 15 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Pausanias’s Periegesis, an historically and culturally selective topography of the lower Greek mainland, is unlike any work produced in the Second Sophistic, but there are several features of the text that render it difficult to imagine it as the product of any other period. Pausanias shares with his sophistic contemporaries a nostalgia for the glories of classical Greece, a tendency toward religiosity, a moralistic outlook on history, and a literary taste for learned imitation of classical masters. Yet the particular choices Pausanias makes in each of these areas make him a unique representative of sophistic mentalities. For instance, the mimetic gestures in his work include imitations (nonironic, apparently) of Herodotus and, perhaps, of his reviled compatriot Hegesias of Magnesia, the notorious father of Asianic rhetoric. Pauasanias’s attitude toward the Romans and Roman rule—which occasionally seems more dyspeptic than acquiescent—also sets him apart from his contemporaries.

Keywords: Pausanias, Periegesis, Second Sophistic, topography, nostalgia, religion, moralism, mimesis, Herodotus, Hegesias

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