( ? - 470 BC)
Nephew of the
Spartan king Leonidas I, Pausanias was to become a regent to the king's son.
He was general of the Spartan army at the battle of Plataea (479BC) where
the Persians were expelled from Greece. Leading the Greek fleets, Pausanius
secured most of Cyprus and conquered Byzantium, where he kept his fleet, protecting
the Greek seafarers.
Because of his many successes, Pausanias became quite unbearable, since he took on a bigheaded attitude, making himself unpopular with the Greek leaders. He was called back to Sparta since they had replaced him, but he was to return later as a private person, driving his own politics. He lived like a king and made plans of conquest to such a degree that the Spartan government accused him of treason, of which he was aquitted.
Being a man of vision, he planned to overthrow the Spartan govern-ment with help of the helots, but the plans were revealed, and he fled to a temple for refuge. His mother and the rest of the Spartans blocked the entrance until he died of starvation.
Pausanias had been constantly tormented by the fact that he had killed the young Byzantian woman Cleonice. He had ordered her to share his bed but when she came into his room he was already asleep.
By accident, she hit a burning lamp which fell to the floor, and Pausanias woke up and killed her instantly while still only half awake. For the rest of his life he had nightmares about her, and made constant sacrifices to please her soul.