Monday 24 November 2014


"As you enter the temple that they name the Parthenon, all the sculptures you see on what is called the pediment refer to the birth of Athena, those on the rear pediment represent the contest for the land between Athena and Poseidon. The statue itself is made of ivory and gold. On the middle of her helmet is placed a likeness of the Sphinx—the tale of the Sphinx I will give when I come to my description of Boeotia—and on either side of the helmet are griffins in relief." [Pausanias I.24.5]

Pausanias was a Greek traveler and geographer born about 115 C.E. in Lydia. His Description of Greece (Ἑλλάδος περιήγησις, Hellados Periegesis) describes ancient Greece from firsthand observations and is a crucial link between classical literature and modern archaeology.

Follow Pausanias' course on the Acropolis with this text [pdf] published by the Acropolis Restoration Service.