(general, died 470? BC), Spartan regent and general, the nephew of Leonidas
I, king of Sparta. Pausanias was regent for Leonidas's son about 480 BC. He
commanded the Greek army in the Battle of Plataea (479 BC), in which the
Persians were totally routed and expelled from Greece and their leader Mardonius
slain. Soon thereafter Pausanias, in command of the combined Greek fleets,
secured most of Cyprus and captured Byzantium.
His adoption of Persian ways aroused suspicion among his fellow Greeks, and he was recalled to Sparta and accused of treason, but was acquitted in 475. Thought to have entered into treasonable negotiations with the Persian king Xerxes II, about 470 Pausanias was again recalled to Sparta, where a scheme to overthrow the Spartan government was uncovered. He was forced to seek refuge in the temple of the goddess Athena. The Spartans blocked up the entrance and allowed him to starve before bringing him outside the consecrated area to die.