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date: 24 November 2020

tourismlocked

  • Antony Spawforth

Extract

Well-known Greek tourists include *Solon, said (Hdt. 1. 30) to have visited Egypt and Lydia ‘for the sake of seeing’ (theōria), and *Herodotus (1) himself. Sea-borne *trade and sightseeing were surely companions from an early date, as they still were in the 4th cent. (Isoc. Trapeziticus 17. 4). A genre of Greek periegetic (‘travel’) literature arose by the 3rd cent., from which date fragments survive of a descriptive work, On the Cities in Greece, by Heraclides Criticus (ed. F. Pfister (1951); for partial trans. see Austin83); the only fully preserved work of this type is *Pausanias (3) (see polemon(3)), illustrating the thin line between sightseers and pilgrims. Under Rome ancient sightseeing came into its own. A papyrus (PTeb. 1. 33 = Bagnall and Derow 58) of 112 bce gives instructions to prepare for a Roman senator's visit to the *Fayūm, including titbits for the crocodiles; the colossi of *Memnon and other pharaonic monuments are encrusted with Greek and Latin graffiti.

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