Description of Greece (Temenos of Zeus)

Author Pausanias
Subject Geography or Building Descriptions

Pausanias, Description of Greece, 8.38.6 from The Perseus Digital Library.

Among the marvels of Mount Lycaeus the most wonderful is this. On it is a precinct of Lycaean Zeus, into which people are not allowed to enter. If anyone takes no notice of the rule and enters, he must inevitably live no longer than a year. A legend, moreover, was current that everything alike within the precinct, whether beast or man, cast no shadow. For this reason when a beast takes refuge in the precinct, the hunter will not rush in after it, but remains outside, and though he sees the beast can behold no shadow. In Syene also just on this side of Aethiopia neither tree nor creature casts a shadow so long as the sun is in the constellation of the Crab, but the precinct on Mount Lycaeus affects shadows in the same way always and at every season.

Greek Text

τὸ δὲ ὄρος παρέχεται τὸ Λύκαιον καὶ ἄλλα ἐς θαῦμα καὶ μάλιστα τόδε. τέμενός ἐστιν ἐν αὐτῷ Λυκαίου Διός, ἔσοδος δὲ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐς αὐτὸ ἀνθρώποις: ὑπεριδόντα δὲ τοῦ νόμου καὶ ἐσελθόντα ἀνάγκη πᾶσα αὐτὸν ἐνιαυτοῦ πρόσω μὴ βιῶναι. καὶ τάδε ἔτι ἐλέγετο, τὰ ἐντὸς τοῦ τεμένους γενόμενα ὁμοίως πάντα καὶ θηρία καὶ ἀνθρώπους οὐ παρέχεσθαι σκιάν: καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ἐς τὸ τέμενος θηρίου καταφεύγοντος οὐκ ἐθέλει οἱ συνεσπίπτειν ὁ κυνηγέτης, ἀλλὰ ὑπομένων ἐκτὸς καὶ ὁρῶν τὸ θηρίον οὐδεμίαν ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ θεᾶται σκιάν. χρόνον μὲν δὴ τὸν ἴσον ἔπεισί τε ὁ ἥλιος τὸν ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ καρκίνον καὶ ἐν Συήνῃ τῇ πρὸ Αἰθιοπίας οὔτε ἀπὸ δένδρων οὔτε ἀπὸ τῶν ζῴων γενέσθαι σκιὰν ἔστι: τὸ δὲ ἐν τῷ Λυκαίῳ τέμενος τὸ αὐτὸ ἐς τὰς σκιὰς ἀεί τε καὶ ἐπὶ πασῶν πέπονθε τῶν ὡρῶν.