Pausanias, a Spartan general, son of Cleom-brotus and nephew of Leonidas, of the Agid branch of the royal family, died about 468 B. C. He succeeded his father as guardian of the young king Plistarchus, son of Leonidas, and retained that office until his death. He was leader of the combined forces of the Greeks in the battle at Platm, 479 B. C, and in 478 was commander of the fleet which sailed against Cyprus, and restored to freedom most of the cities of that island, and then reduced Byzantium. After the battle of Plataaa Pausanias had besieged Thebes, and having obtained possession of Timagenidas, a leader of the Medi-zing faction, had carried him to Corinth and put him to death without trial. In the tripod dedicated at Delphi by the victorious Greeks, he styled himself alone as the leader of the Greeks and destroyer of the Persians; which inscription the Lacedamionians subsequently replaced by the names of the confederate nations engaged in the battle. On the capture of Byzantium he connived at the escape of the Persian prisoners, who carried a letter to Xerxes offering to bring under his dominion Sparta and the rest of Greece, and demanding in return the hand of his daughter in marriage.
The Persian monarch promised to furnish as much money and as many men as would be needed, and sent Artabazus to treat with him. Pausanias now assumed the Persian dress, imitated the luxurious conduct of the Persian chiefs, and journeyed through Thrace with a body of Persian and Egyptian guards. His treasonable course at length came to the ears of the Spartans, and he was recalled and placed on trial, but there was no evidence to convict him. Under pretence of taking part in the war, he sailed to Byzantium, and, resuming his correspondence with Artabazus, so conducted himself that the Athenians expelled him from the city. He retired to Colonnas in Troas, where he continued his communications with the Persians, until he received a peremptory order from Sparta to return. Upon his arrival he was imprisoned, but released on his demand for trial. As nothing serious could be proved, he remained at liberty, and to carry out his designs tampered with the helots, to whom he offered freedom and the rights of citizenship. Although some of the helots divulged the plot, the ephors feared to take decisive measures against him.
At length a slave intrusted with a letter to Artabazus, having noticed that none of the previous messengers had come back, broke the seal and discovered that he was to be put to death. He showed the letter to the ephors, and by their direction took refuge in the temple of Neptune at Tsenarus. There two of the ephors hid themselves, and heard the conversation of Pausanias with his slave, which left no doubt of his guilt. As he was about to be arrested he fled to the temple of Athena Ohalcioecus, where he was walled in, his own mother being said to have laid one of the first stones for this purpose. He was carried out as he was dying, to save the temple from pollution. He left three sons, of whom Plistoanax became one of the kings of Sparta.
Pausanias, a Greek topographer, supposed to have been born in Lydia. He was engaged on a part of his work in the time of Antoninus Pius, whose reign began in A. D. 138, and wrote his 8th book during the latter part of the reign of Marcus Aurelius, which closed in 180. His work, entitled , "Itinerary of Greece," is divided into 10 books, and comprises minute descriptions of the whole of the Peloponnesus and of the most interesting parts of Hellas proper. It is largely devoted to monuments, edifices, local legends, and physical peculiarities, and is obviously the fruit of close personal examination. The first edition, which was exceedingly incorrect, was printed by Aldus at Venice (fol., 1516). The latest editions are those of Schu-bart and Walz (3 vols. 8vo, Leipsic, 1838-'40; new ed., 1857-'66), and of Dindorf (Paris, 1845). There is an English translation by-Thomas Taylor (3 vols. 8vo, London, 1793-'4).