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Pausanias The Novelist

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Chapter Summary

In 2001 Ewen Bowie published an interesting suggestion: that in writing Daphnis and Chloe, Longus was influenced by Pausanias the periegete, whose ten-volume topographical account of the Greek mainland, the Description of Greece, was produced in the same general period in which Longus' novel emerged. While it is unlikely that many would object to the notion that a fiction-writer like Longus would read factual literature like the Description of Greece, perhaps with the aim of heightening the verisimilitude of his writings, it is a somewhat harder pill to swallow to think that Pausanias, an author we rely on for all sorts of serious real-world information, would have any significant dependence on the novelists of his day. The novel is fictional; Pausanias deals with facts. The purpose of the novel is entertainment; Pausanias' purpose is information

Keywords: Daphnis and Chloe; Description of Greece; Ewen Bowie; Greek novel; Longus; Pausanias



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