Pausanias, Description of Greece (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Paus.].
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1.16.1

Here are placed bronze statues, one, in front of the portico, of Solon, who composed the laws for the Athenians [Note], and, a little farther away, one of Seleucus, whose future prosperity was foreshadowed by unmistakable signs. When he was about to set forth from Macedonia with Alexander, and was sacrificing at Pella to Zeus, the wood that lay on the altar advanced of its own accord to the image and caught fire without the application of a light. On the death of Alexander, Seleucus, in fear of Antigonus, who had arrived at Babylon, fled to Ptolemy, son of Lagus, and then returned again to Babylon. On his return he overcame the army of Antigonus and killed Antigonus himself, afterwards capturing Demetrius, son of Antigonus, who had advanced with an army.

1.16.2

After these successes, which were shortly followed by the fall of Lysimachus, he entrusted to his son Antiochus all his empire in Asia, and himself proceeded rapidly towards Macedonia, having with him an army both of Greeks and of foreigners. But Ptolemy, brother of Lysandra, had taken refuge with him from Lysimachus; this man, an adventurous character named for this reason the Thunderbolt, when the army of Seleucus had advanced as far as Lysimachea, assassinated Seleucus, allowed the kings to seize his wealth [Note], and ruled over Macedonia until, being the first of the kings to my knowledge to dare to meet the Gauls in battle, he was killed by the foreigners. [Note] The empire was recovered by Antigonus, son of Demetrius.

1.16.3

I am persuaded that Seleucus was the most righteous, and in particular the most religious of the kings. Firstly, it was Seleucus who sent back to Branchidae for the Milesians the bronze Apollo that had been carried by Xerxes to Ecbatana in Persia. Secondly, when he founded Seleucea on the river Tigris and brought to it Babylonian colonists he spared the wall of Babylon as well as the sanctuary of Bel, near which he permitted the Chaldeans to live.

ch. 17 1.17.1

In the Athenian market-place among the objects not generally known is an altar to Mercy, of all divinities the most useful in the life of mortals and in the vicissitudes of fortune, but honored by the Athenians alone among the Greeks. And they are conspicuous not only for their humanity but also for their devotion to religion. They have an altar to Shamefastness, one to Rumour and one to Effort. It is quite obvious that those who excel in piety are correspondingly rewarded by good fortune.

1.17.2

In the gymnasium not far from the market-place, called Ptolemy's from the founder, are stone Hermae well worth seeing and a likeness in bronze of Ptolemy. Here also is Juba the Libyan and Chrysippus [Note] of Soli.

Hard by the gymnasium is a sanctuary of Theseus, where are pictures of Athenians fighting Amazons. This war they have also represented on the shield of their Athena and upon the pedestal of the Olympian Zeus. In the sanctuary of Theseus is also a painting of the battle between the Centaurs and the Lapithae. Theseus has already killed a Centaur, but elsewhere the fighting is still undecided.

1.17.3

The painting on the third wall is not intelligible to those unfamiliar with the traditions, partly through age and partly because Micon has not represented in the picture the whole of the legend. When Minos was taking Theseus and the rest of the company of young folk to Crete he fell in love with Periboea, and on meeting with determined opposition from Theseus, hurled insults at him and denied that he was a son of Poseidon, since he could not recover for him the signet-ring, which he happened to be wearing, if he threw it into the sea. With these words Minos is said to have thrown the ring, but they say that Theseus came up from the sea with that ring and also with a gold crown that Amphitrite gave him.

1.17.4

The accounts of the end of Theseus are many and inconsistent. They say he was kept a prisoner until Heracles restored him to the light of day, but the most plausible account I have heard is this. Theseus invaded Thesprotia to carry off the wife of the Thesprotian king, and in this way lost the greater part of his army, and both he and Peirithous (he too was taking part in the expedition, being eager for the marriage) were taken captive. The Thesprotian king kept them prisoners at Cichyrus.

1.17.5

Among the sights of Thesprotia are a sanctuary of Zeus at Dodona and an oak sacred to the god. Near Cichyrus is a lake called Acherusia, and a river called Acheron. There is also Cocytus, a most unlovely stream. I believe it was because Homer had seen these places that he made bold to describe in his poems the regions of Hades, and gave to the rivers there the names of those in Thesprotia. While Theseus was thus kept in bonds, the sons of Tyndareus marched against Aphidna, captured it and restored Menestheus to the kingdom.



Pausanias, Description of Greece (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Paus.].
<<Paus. 1.15.1 Paus. 1.16.3 (Greek) >>Paus. 1.18.3

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