Thursday, March 25, 2010



Lionel Casson, Travel in the Ancient World (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994), p. 231 (discussing Livy 45.27-28, Aemilius Paulus' tour of Greece in 167 B.C.):
Among the sights Paulus included in his itinerary only one had to do with nature—the channel of the Euripus. And he went there not for aesthetic or emotional reasons but to see a curiosity. We today take long trips for the pleasure of viewing a varied terrain, or make laborious ascents to enjoy a superb panorama, and we particularly like wild and savage prospects untouched by man's hand. The ancients went to the trouble of climbing a mountain for a specific reason, to investigate the possibility of a route across it, or in quest of some natural marvel on the summit. They were not at all interested in beholding serrated files of snow-capped peaks, they were untouched by the austere beauty of boundless wasteland.
Id., note on p. 356: "Cool to nature, Friedländer 459-65." This is a reference to Ludwig Friedlaender, Darstellungen aus der Sittengeschichte Roms, vol. 1 (Leipzig 1922). I don't have access to that exact edition, but in the 1919 edition I see section VII (Die Reisen der Touristen, pp. 389-488), 6 (Die Interessen der römischen Reisenden, pp. 444-488), c (Die Interesse für Natur und das Naturgefühl überhaupt, pp. 459-488). Also note Friedlaender's appendix XII in volume 4 (Leipzig 1921), pp. 142-178 = Die Entwicklung des Gefühls für das Romantische im Gegensatz zum antiken Naturgefühl.

See also Casson, pp. 296-297:
As a matter of fact, when Pausanias includes a feature of the countryside, it is almost always to point out some religious or mythological association, hardly ever its natural beauty. He will mention a mountain only to tell us which god is worshipped on the top, a cavern to explain that it is the haunt of Pan, a river to relate the mythological stories in which it figures, a lake because through its waters one descends to the underworld, a great cedar tree because it has an image of Artemis hanging amid its branches. It is on the rarest of occasions that he will refer to nature for its own sake, and then in but a casual phrase.

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