Pausanias (general)
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Pausanias ( grc-gre, Παυσανίας; died c. 477 BC) was a
Sparta Sparta (Doric Greek: Σπάρτα, ''Spártā''; Attic Greek: wikt:Σπάρτη, Σπάρτη, ''Spártē'') was a prominent city-state in Laconia, in ancient Greece. In antiquity, the city-state was known as Lacedaemon (, ), while the nam ...
n regent and a general. In 479 BC, as a leader of the Hellenic League's combined land forces, Pausanias won a pivotal victory in the
Battle of Plataea The Battle of Plataea was the final land battle during the second Persian invasion of Greece. It took place in 479 BC near the city of Plataea in Boeotia, and was fought between an alliance of the Ancient Greece, Greek city-states (including S ...
ending the
Second Persian invasion of Greece The second Persian invasion of Greece (480–479 BC) occurred during the Greco-Persian Wars, as King Xerxes I of Persia sought to conquer all of Greece. The invasion was a direct, if delayed, response to the defeat of the first Persian invasion ...
. One year after the victories over the Persians and the Persians' allies, Pausanias fell under suspicion of conspiring with the
Persia Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmeni ...
n king,
Xerxes I Xerxes I ( peo, wiktionary:𐎧𐏁𐎹𐎠𐎼𐏁𐎠, 𐎧𐏁𐎹𐎠𐎼𐏁𐎠 ; grc-gre, Ξέρξης ; – August 465 BC), commonly known as Xerxes the Great, was the fourth King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, ruling from 486 to 4 ...
to betray Greeks and died in 477 BC in Sparta starved to death by fellow citizens. What is known of his life is largely according to
Thucydides Thucydides (; grc, , }; BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian historian and general. His ''History of the Peloponnesian War'' recounts Peloponnesian War, the fifth-century BC war between Sparta and Athens until the year 411 BC. Thucydides has ...
' ''
History of the Peloponnesian War The ''History of the Peloponnesian War'' is a historical account of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC), which was fought between the Peloponnesian League (led by Sparta) and the Delian League (led by Classical Athens, Athens). It was written b ...
'',
Diodorus Diodorus Siculus, or Diodorus of Sicily ( grc-gre, wikt:Διόδωρος, Διόδωρος ;  1st century BC), was an ancient Greece, ancient Greek historian. He is known for writing the monumental universal history ''Bibliotheca historica' ...
' ''
Bibliotheca historica ''Bibliotheca historica'' ( grc, Βιβλιοθήκη Ἱστορική, ) is a work of universal history by Diodorus Siculus. It consisted of forty books, which were divided into three sections. The first six books are geographical in theme, a ...
'' and a handful of other classical sources.


Early life

Pausanias like all Spartan citizens (
Spartiate A Spartiate (cf. its plural Spartiatae 'Spartans') spärshēˈātē(z)or Spartiate spärshēˌāt(from respectively the Latin and French forms corresponding to Classical- el, and pl. Σπᾰρτῐᾱ́ται) or ''Homoios'' (pl. ''H ...
), would have gone through intense training from the age of seven and was required to be a regular soldier until the age of thirty. Pausanias was from the royal house of the Agiads. Yet this did not exempt him from going through the same training as every other citizen as every male Spartan citizen earned their citizenship by dedicating their lives to their ''
polis ''Polis'' (, ; grc-gre, :wikt:πόλις, πόλις, ), plural ''poleis'' (, , ), literally means "city" in Greek. In Ancient Greece, it originally referred to an administrative and religious city center, as distinct from the rest of the cit ...
'' and its laws.


Spartan lineage

As a son of the regent Cleombrotus and a nephew of the recently deceased warrior king, Leonidas I, Pausanias was a scion of the Spartan royal house of the Agiads, but not in the direct line of succession as he was not the first born son of one of the kings of Sparta. After Leonidas' death, while the king's son Pleistarchus was still in his minority, Pausanias served as
regent A regent (from Latin : ruling, governing) is a person appointed to govern a state ''pro tempore'' (Latin: 'for the time being') because the monarch is a minor, absent, incapacitated or unable to discharge the powers and duties of the monarchy, ...
of
Sparta Sparta (Doric Greek: Σπάρτα, ''Spártā''; Attic Greek: wikt:Σπάρτη, Σπάρτη, ''Spártē'') was a prominent city-state in Laconia, in ancient Greece. In antiquity, the city-state was known as Lacedaemon (, ), while the nam ...
. Pausanias was also the father of
Pleistoanax Pleistoanax, also spelled Plistoanax, ( grc-gre, Πλειστοάναξ) was Agiad king of Sparta from 458 to 409 BC. He was the leader of the peace party in Sparta at a time of violent confrontations against Athens Athens ( ; el, Αθήν ...
who later became king. Pausanias' other sons were Cleomenes and Nasteria.


War service

In 479 BC, Pausanias was leader of the Spartan army alongside , son of
Dorieus Dorieus (died c.510 BC; grc-gre, Δωριεύς) was a Spartan prince of the List of kings of Sparta#Agiad dynasty, Agiad dynasty who is mentioned several times in Herodotus. The second son of Anaxandridas II, he was the younger half-brother of Cl ...
, as the Agiad king of Sparta Pleistarchus, son of Leonidas I, was too young to command. Pausanias led 5000 Spartans to the aid of the league of Greek cities created to resist the Persian invasion. At the Greek encampment at Plataea 110,000 men were assembled along the Asopos River. Further down the river, Mardonius, commander of the Persian forces, stationed 300,000 Persian forces alongside 50,000 Greek allies. After eleven days of stalemate, Mardonius offered a challenge that was ignored by the Greeks. With no answer to his challenge, Mardonius ordered his cavalry to pollute the Asopos from which the Greeks were getting their water, so the Athenian forces decided in the night to move towards
Plataea Plataea or Plataia (; grc, wikt:Πλάταια, Πλάταια), also Plataeae or Plataiai (; grc, wikt:Πλαταιαί, Πλαταιαί), was an ancient city, located in Greece in southeastern Boeotia, south of Thebes (Boeotia), Thebes.M ...
. The forces led by Pausanias headed through the ridges and foothills of the
Cithaeron Cithaeron or Kithairon (Κιθαιρών, -ῶνος) is a mountain and mountain range about sixteen kilometres (ten miles) long in Central Greece. The range is the physical boundary between Boeotia in the north and Attica in the south. It is mai ...
while the Athenian forces headed the opposite direction onto the plains. Seeing this, Mardonius thought the Athenians were fleeing, so he sent his Persian forces to charge Pausanias' army while dispatching his Greek allies to go after the Athenians. With the battle underway Pausanias sent a messenger to ask for Athenian aid, but they could not spare any. So Pausanias with 50,000
Lacedaemonians Sparta (Doric Greek Doric or Dorian ( grc, Δωρισμός, Dōrismós), also known as West Greek, was a group of Ancient Greek dialects; its varieties are divided into the Doric proper and Northwest Doric subgroups. Doric was spok ...
and 3,000 Tegeans prepared for battle at Plataea. In the subsequent
Battle of Plataea The Battle of Plataea was the final land battle during the second Persian invasion of Greece. It took place in 479 BC near the city of Plataea in Boeotia, and was fought between an alliance of the Ancient Greece, Greek city-states (including S ...
, Pausanias led the Greeks to a major victory over the Persians and their allies. While the Battle of Plataea is sometimes seen as a chaotic battle, others see evidence of both Pausanias' strategic and tactical skills in delaying the engagement with the Persians until the point where Spartan arms and discipline could have maximum impact.
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, , }; BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided in ...
concluded that "Pausanias the son of Cleombrotus and grandson of Anaxandridas won the most glorious victory of any known to us". After the victories at Plataea and the subsequent
Battle of Mycale The Battle of Mycale ( grc, Μάχη τῆς Μυκάλης; ''Machē tēs Mykalēs'') was one of the two major battles (the other being the Battle of Plataea) that ended the second Achaemenid Empire, Persian invasion of Greece during the Grec ...
, the Spartans lost interest in liberating the Greek cities of
Asia Minor Anatolia (also Asia Minor), is a large peninsula in Western Asia and is the western-most extension of continental Asia. The land mass of Anatolia constitutes most of the territory of contemporary Turkey. Geographically, the Anatolian region i ...
until it became clear that
Athens Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, Athênai (pl.) ) is a coastal city in the Mediterranean and is both the capital and largest city of Greece. With a population close to four million, it is also the seventh largest c ...
would dominate the League in Sparta's absence. Sparta then sent Pausanias back to command the Greek military.


Suspected pact with Persia

In 478 BC, Pausanias was accused of conspiring with the Persians and recalled to Sparta. One allegation was that after capturing
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country located south of the Anatolian Peninsula in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Its continental position is disputed; while it is geo ...
and
Byzantium Byzantium () or Byzantion ( grc, Βυζάντιον) was an Ancient Greece, ancient Greek Polis, city in classical antiquity that became known as Constantinople in late antiquity and Istanbul today. The Greek name ''Byzantion'' and its Romanizat ...
, Pausanias released some of the prisoners of war who were friends and relatives of the king of Persia. Pausanias argued that the prisoners simply escaped. Another allegation was that Pausanias sent a letter via Gongylos of Eretria (Diodorus has general
Artabazos I of Phrygia Artabazos ( grc, Ἀρτάβαζος; fl. 480 BC - 455 BC) was a Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Wester ...
as a mediator) to
Xerxes I Xerxes I ( peo, wiktionary:𐎧𐏁𐎹𐎠𐎼𐏁𐎠, 𐎧𐏁𐎹𐎠𐎼𐏁𐎠 ; grc-gre, Ξέρξης ; – August 465 BC), commonly known as Xerxes the Great, was the fourth King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, ruling from 486 to 4 ...
saying he wished to help Xerxes and bring Sparta with the rest of Greece under Persian control. In return, Pausanias wished to marry Xerxes's daughter. After Xerxes replied agreeing to his plans, Pausanias started to adopt Persian customs and dress like a Persian aristocrat. Due to lack of evidence, Pausanias was acquitted and left Sparta on his own accord, taking a
trireme A trireme( ; derived from Latin: ''trirēmis'' "with three banks of oars"; cf. Greek ''triērēs'', literally "three-rower") was an ancient navies and vessels, ancient vessel and a type of galley that was used by the ancient maritime civilizat ...
from the town of Hermione. According to
Thucydides Thucydides (; grc, , }; BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian historian and general. His ''History of the Peloponnesian War'' recounts Peloponnesian War, the fifth-century BC war between Sparta and Athens until the year 411 BC. Thucydides has ...
and
Plutarch Plutarch (; grc-gre, Πλούταρχος, ''Ploútarchos''; ; – after AD 119) was a Greek people, Greek Middle Platonism, Middle Platonist philosopher, historian, Biography, biographer, essayist, and priest at the Temple of Apollo (D ...
, Athenians and many Hellenic League allies were displeased with Pausanias because of Pausanias' arrogance and high-handedness. In 477 BC, the Spartans recalled Pausanias once again. Pausanias went to Kolonai in the
Troad The Troad ( or ; el, Τρωάδα, ''Troáda'') or Troas (; grc, Τρῳάς, ''Trōiás'' or , ''Trōïás'') is a historical region in northwestern Anatolia. It corresponds with the Biga Peninsula (Turkish language, Turkish: ''Biga Yarımad ...
before returning to
Sparta Sparta (Doric Greek: Σπάρτα, ''Spártā''; Attic Greek: wikt:Σπάρτη, Σπάρτη, ''Spártē'') was a prominent city-state in Laconia, in ancient Greece. In antiquity, the city-state was known as Lacedaemon (, ), while the nam ...
. Upon his arrival in Sparta, the
ephor The ephors were a board of five magistrates in ancient Sparta. They had an extensive range of judicial, religious, legislative, and military powers, and could shape Sparta's home and foreign affairs. The word "''ephors''" (Ancient Greek ''ép ...
s imprisoned Pausanias, but he was later released due to lack of sufficient evidence to convict Pausanias of disloyalty, even though some
helots The helots (; el, εἵλωτες, ''heílotes'') were a Wikt:subjugate, subjugated population that constituted a majority of the population of Laconia and Messenia – the territories ruled by Sparta. There has been controversy since Classical ...
reported that Pausanias offered freedom if the helots joined in revolt. Later, one of the messengers Pausanias used to communicate with the Persians provided written evidence (a letter stating Pausanias' intentions) to the Spartan ephors.
Diodorus Diodorus Siculus, or Diodorus of Sicily ( grc-gre, wikt:Διόδωρος, Διόδωρος ;  1st century BC), was an ancient Greece, ancient Greek historian. He is known for writing the monumental universal history ''Bibliotheca historica' ...
adds further detail to Thucydides' account. After the ephors were loath to believe the letter provided by the messenger, the messenger offered to produce Pausanias' acknowledgement in person. In the letter Pausanias asked the Persians to kill the messenger. The messenger and the ephors went to the Temple of Poseidon (Tainaron). The ephors concealed themselves in a tent at the shrine and the messenger waited for Pausanias. When Pausanias arrived, the messenger confronted Pausanias asking why did the letter say to kill whoever delivered the letter. Pausanias said that he was sorry and asked the messenger to forgive the mistake. Pausanias offered gifts to the messenger. The ephors heard the conversation from the tent. Herodotus notes that the Athenians were hostile to Pausanias and wished Pausanias removed from Greek command, with his Athenian counterpart
Themistocles Themistocles (; grc-gre, wikt:Θεμιστοκλῆς, Θεμιστοκλῆς; c. 524–459 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian politician and General officer, general. He was one of a new breed of non-aristocratic politicians who ros ...
publicly ostracising him as a threat to democracy. The historian A. R. Burn speculates that the Spartans became concerned about Pausanias' progressive views about freeing the Helots.


Death

According to
Thucydides Thucydides (; grc, , }; BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian historian and general. His ''History of the Peloponnesian War'' recounts Peloponnesian War, the fifth-century BC war between Sparta and Athens until the year 411 BC. Thucydides has ...
,
Diodorus Diodorus Siculus, or Diodorus of Sicily ( grc-gre, wikt:Διόδωρος, Διόδωρος ;  1st century BC), was an ancient Greece, ancient Greek historian. He is known for writing the monumental universal history ''Bibliotheca historica' ...
and
Polyaenus Polyaenus or Polyenus ( ; see American and British English spelling differences#ae and oe, ae (æ) vs. e; grc-gre, Πoλύαινoς, Polyainos, "much-praised") was a 2nd-century CE Greek author, known best for his ''Stratagems in War'' ( grc-gre ...
, Pausanias, pursued by the ephors, took refuge in the temple of Athena "of the Brazen House" (Χαλκίοικος, Chalkioikos) (located in the acropolis of Sparta). Pausanias' mother Theano ( grc, Θεανὼ) immediately went to the temple, and laid a brick at the door saying: "Unworthy to be a Spartan, you are not my son" (according to Thucydides ). Following the mother's example, the Spartans blocked the doorway with bricks and forced Pausanias to die of starvation. After Pausanias' body was turned over to relatives for burial, the divinity through the
Oracle of Delphi Pythia (; grc, Πυθία ) was the name of the high priestess of the Temple of Apollo (Delphi), Temple of Apollo at Delphi. She specifically served as its oracle and was known as the Oracle of Delphi. Her title was also historically glossed i ...
showed displeasure at the violation of the sanctity of supplicants. The oracle said that Athena demanded the return of the supplicant. Unable to carry out the injunction of the goddess, the Spartans set up two bronze statues of Pausanias at the temple of Athena.


Legacy

Pausanias is a central figure in the "Pausanias, the betrayer of his country a tragedy, acted at the Theatre Royal by His Majesties servants" by Richard Norton and Thomas Southerne."Pausanias, the betrayer of his country a tragedy, acted at the Theatre Royal by His Majesties servants"
/ref>


See also

*
Cleomenes I Cleomenes I (; Greek language, Greek Κλεομένης; died c. 490 BC) was Agiad Kings of Sparta, King of Sparta from c. 524 to c. 490 BC. One of the most important Spartan kings, Cleomenes was instrumental in organising the Greek resistance aga ...
*
Themistocles Themistocles (; grc-gre, wikt:Θεμιστοκλῆς, Θεμιστοκλῆς; c. 524–459 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian politician and General officer, general. He was one of a new breed of non-aristocratic politicians who ros ...
*
Thermopylae Thermopylae (; Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following peri ...
*
Medism In ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a northeastern Mediterranean Sea, Mediterranean civilization, existing from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, classical anti ...


Notes


External links


Livius
by Jona Lendering {{DEFAULTSORT:Pausanias Ancient Spartan generals Rulers of Sparta 5th-century BC Spartans Spartans of the Greco-Persian Wars Deaths by starvation Medism Battle of Plataea Year of birth unknown 477 BC deaths Regents Agiad dynasty