Pausanias at Sounion: why no mention of Poseidon?
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CitationNagy, Gregory. 2020.06.12. "Pausanias at Sounion: why no mention of Poseidon?" Classical Inquiries. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.eresource:Classical_Inquiries.
Abstractt the very beginning of the Description of Greece as narrated by Pausanias (1.1.1), when the ship carrying our traveler approaches the east side of the akrā or ‘headland’ of Sounion, he must have been struck by the view of a magnificent temple situated at the highest point of the headland—a temple that archaeologists have identified as sacred to the god Poseidon, lord of the seas. The visual power of this view is evident from the photograph I show, where we see the temple of Poseidon as viewed from the east side of the headland. But why does Pausanias make no mention of Poseidon? My answer, in what follows, will require a shift in emphasis. What I really need to ask is this: why does Pausanias make no mention of Poseidon as a god who presides over the headland of Sounion? And the answer, I will argue, is that the god Poseidon is at least for the moment eclipsed, in the mind of Pausanias, by the goddess Athena.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37366734
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