Pater in the Footsteps of Pausanias
This chapter explores how Walter Pater’s reading of Pausanias’ Periegesis, books 1, 5, and 6, informed the lectures on Greek art which he delivered at Oxford University in 1878. Pater’s personal interpretation of Pausanias has rarely been documented, although his writings on Greek sculpture and Greek myth occupy a crucial place within the complex history of the reception of Pausanias’ Description of Greece in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, from Winckelmann to J. A. Symonds and Jane Ellen Harrison. This chapter sheds light on Pater’s multifaceted appropriation of the Periegete’s nostalgic itinerary through the relics of ancient Greece by showing how he drew on Pausanias’ descriptions of archaic artworks to articulate scholarly, aesthetic, and sexual considerations on Greek sculpture.
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