On some mystifying language used by Pausanias in referring to the Eleusinian Mysteries
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CitationNagy, Gregory. 2020.07.10. "On some mystifying language used by Pausanias in referring to the Eleusinian Mysteries." Classical Inquiries. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.eresource:Classical_Inquiries.
AbstractI have run into a problem in trying to come up with an adequate translation of Pausanias when he talks about the Eleusinian Mysteries. Part of the problem, I think, is that Pausanias himself is mystifying in his language about the Mysteries. He seems guarded about giving the impression that he is in any way about to reveal to his readers whatever was periodically being revealed to initiates in the Great Hall of Initiation at Eleusis. My purpose in this brief essay is not to attempt a reconstruction of what was actually revealed. Nor do I aim to solve the mystery of what Pausanias thinks is the essence of the Mysteries—any more than I would hope to understand the Eleusinian Mysteries as represented by Dirck van Baburen in his painting Mistérios Eleusinos, dating from the seventeenth century of our era, a suitably dark copy of which is featured as the cover illustration of my post here. No, all I intend to do here, as I already said, is to produce an adequate translation of the mystifying language used by Pausanias in his reference to the Mysteries. But I must add that my translation is not meant to be mystifying: rather, it is meant to convey the actual language of mystification that is being used here by Pausanias.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37366752
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