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Bible Encyclopedias

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Pausanias (Regent)

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PAUSANIAS (5th century B.C.), Spartan regent and commander, of the Agiad family, son of Cleombrotus and nephew of Leonidas, the hero of Thermopylae. Upon the death of the latter in 480 B.C. his son Pleistarchus became king, but as he was still a minor the regency devolved first on Leonidas's brother Cleombrotus, and after his death in 479 on Pausanias. He first distinguished himself as commander of the combined Greek forces in the victory of Plataea. In 478 he was appointed admiral of the Greek fleet, and succeeded in reducing the greater part of Cyprus, the strategic key of the Levant, and in capturing Byzantium from the Persians, thus securing the command of the Bosporus, and of the route by which Darius had invaded Europe. But he entered into treacherous negotiations with the Persian king, and his adoption of Oriental dress and customs, and his haughty behaviour to the Greeks under his command, roused their resentment and suspicion (see Delian League). Pausanias was recalled by the ephors and, though acquitted on the main charge of Medism, was not again sent out in any official position. He returned to Byzantium, nevertheless, in a ship of Hermione and seized that town and, apparently, Sestos also. He was dislodged from both by the Athenians, to whom the allies had transferred from Sparta the naval hegemony. For some time he lived at Cleonae in the Troad, carrying on negotiations with Xerxes, but was again recalled to Sparta, where he incited the helots to revolt. When his schemes were almost matured, the evidence of a confidential slave led to the discovery of his plot by the ephors. He fled to the sanctuary of Athena Chalcioecus on the Spartan Acropolis: there he was immured, and when starvation and exposure had all but done their work he was dragged out to die. This crime against religion the state subsequently expiated by the burial of his body at the spot where he died and the dedication of two bronze statues. To commemorate Leonidas and Pausanias a yearly festival was held, at which speeches were made extolling their victories; this was still celebrated when the geographer Pausanias visited Sparta more than six centuries later (Paus. iii. 14). The date of the regent's death probably falls in 471 or 47 0, though some assign it to a later date on a very doubtful statement of Justin (ix. 1) that Pausanias held Byzantium for seven years.

See Herodotus v. 32, ix. io-88; Thucydides i. 94-96, 128-134, ii. 71, 72, iii. 58; Diodorus Siculus xi. 3 0 -47, 54; Cornelius Nepos, Pausanias; Justin ii. 15, ix. I, 3; Pausanias iii. 4, 14, 17; Polyaenus viii. 51; Aristodemus ii., iv., vi.-viii.; Athenaeus xii. 535E, 536A; Plutarch, Cimon 6, Themistocles 23, Aristides 11-20, 23; N. Hanske, Ueber den Konigsregenten Pausanias (Leipzig, 1873). (M. N. T.)


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Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Pausanias (Regent)'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. http://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/bri/p/pausanias-regent.html. 1910.


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