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Corinth

Corinth, Greek Kórinthos , an ancient and a modern city of the Peloponnesus, in south-central Greece. The remains of the ancient city lie about 50 miles (80 km) west of Athens, at the eastern end of the Gulf of Corinth, on a terrace some 300 feet (90 metres) above sea level. 



The ancient city grew up at the base of the citadel of the Acrocorinthus—a Gibraltar-like eminence rising 1,886 feet (575 metres) above sea level. The Acrocorinthus lies about 1.5 miles (2.5 km) south of the Isthmus of Corinth, which connects the Peloponnese with central Greece and which also separates the Saronic and Corinthian gulfs from each other. The citadel of the Acrocorinthus rises precipitously above the old city and commands the land route into the Peloponnese, a circumstance that gave Corinth great strategic and commercial importance in ancient times. 

At one end of the corridor, routes fanned out to Athens and to Thebes and beyond. At the other end the routes led along the coast west towards Patras, east to Epidauros and through passes on either side of Acrocorinth to the Argolid and Arcadia. Corinth possessed four harbors. Two, Schoenus and Poseidona, were presumably fairly simple docking facilities that served either end of the Diolkos. The Diolkos was a paved portage road, probably built in the 6th century BC, across the 6 kilometer width of the Isthmus. Historical sources mention five successful and one unsuccessful attempt to portage warships over the isthmus between 428 and 30 BC.
Statue of a man in armor, from the Julian Basilica, 2nd quarter of 2nd century AD (Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth).

Niketas Oryphas, revealing his familiarity with ancient literature, affected a sixth crossing in AD 881. From the vulgar humor of Aristophanes’ Thesmophoriazousae 648, one can surmise that the Diolkos was regularly used for the haulage of merchant ships as well.

With water, an imposing acropolis, a large fertile coastal and a position between two seas, Corinth thus commanded the principal nodal point in the land and sea communications of southern Greece. Its strategic and commercial position was supplemented by valuable natural resources for export including building materials, excellent clays for ceramics and mortars, wood and agricultural produce. It is not so much that Corinth’s own riches were being moved, however. The importance of Corinth was as an entrepôt engaged in the movements, industry and produce of other regions.

Since 1896, systematic archaeological investigations of the Corinth Excavations by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens have revealed large parts of the ancient city, and recent excavations conducted by the Greek Ministry of Culture have brought to light important new facets of antiquity.

For Christians, Corinth is well-known from the two letters of Saint Paul in the New Testament, First Corinthians and Second Corinthians. Corinth is also mentioned in the Book of Acts as part of the Apostle Paul's missionary travels. In addition, the second book of Pausanias' Description of Greece is devoted to Corinth.

Ancient Corinth was one of the largest and most important cities of Greece, with a population of 90,000 in 400 BC. The Romans totally destroyed Corinth in 146 BC, built a new city in its place in 44 BC, and later made it the provincial capital of Greece.

History
The site of ancient Corinth was first inhabited in the Neolithic period (6500-3250 B.C.). It is located at the northern base of the hill of Acrocorinth at the site of today’s agglomeration, Ancient Corinth. Its fertile soil but mainly its strategic location at the intersection of land routes from the Balkan peninsula of Aimos and mainland Greece on towards the Peloponnese and waterways that connect the western Mediterranean to its Eastern counterpart, to Asia Minor and to Syro-Palestine, offered the region from very early on enormous potential for communication, growth and prosperity. 

Geometric Corinth
The earliest Geometric is represented by domestic debris in the valley floor, graves and a well. In the second half of the eighth century, however burial was kept separate from the residential area. At the same time the first stone architecture becomes evident and the water courses of the springs are artificially channeled. Evidence for roads survives. Evidence for roads survives which directed traffic from the south and southwest towards the north at the mouth of the valley.
In the seventh century the first temple is built on the rise to the north of the forum. The street plan developed with the addition of roads parallel to the Geometric streets and still channeling traffic from the south and west towards the north. The Sacred Spring was elaborated and at this point perhaps first has cult associated with it. 
Marble sphinx (lion with bird wings, human head), from a funerary monument, resting on its haunches. Traces of decorative paint are preserved on its torso and wings. A Corinthian product, mid-6th century BC (Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth).

The city, known since the Mycenaean period, Homer refers to as “αφνειός” [prosperous] (Iliad, Book 2, line 570) because of her especially fertile soil. The tremendous output of agricultural products, already in earlier historical periods, favored intense expansion in trade activities mainly towards the Western Mediterranean, while in the 8th century BC Corinthian colonies were founded, like Corfu in the Ionian Sea, Syracuse in Sicily, with an important role and contribution in the history of the ancient Mediterranean world.

The economic prosperity of the city reached its apogee in the 7th– 6th centuries BC under the administration of the tyrant Cypselus and his son Periander.

The strength of Corinth made its mark in a grandiose way in splendid buildings like the Temple of Apollo (560 BC), the elevation of the Isthmian Games, held at the Corinthian sanctuary of Poseidon and Amphitrite at Isthmus, to the status of Panhellenic Games (584 BC) even further increased the fame and influence of the city. 

However, from the end of the 6th century BC, the rise of Athens and its dominance in the production of ceramic vases and in Mediterranean trade gradually eclipsed the influence of the Corinthians, particularly after the Persian Wars (490-479 BC) where, despite their powerful participation, the Corinthians were forced to yield to the primacy of the Athenians. In the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC), Corinth openly allied with Sparta, from the outset exhorting the Spartans to turn their military against the Athenians. 

Corinth under the Bacchiadae
Corinth had been a backwater in 8th-century Greece. The Bacchiadae (Ancient Greek: Βακχιάδαι Bakkhiadai) were a tightly-knit Doric clan and the ruling kinship group of archaic Corinth in the 8th and 7th centuries BC, a period of expanding Corinthian cultural power. 

In 747 BC (a traditional date), an aristocratic revolution ousted the Bacchiad kings, when the royal clan of Bacchiadae, numbering perhaps a couple of hundred adult males, took power from the last king Telestes. They dispensed with kingship and ruled as a group, governing the city by annually electing a prytanis (who held the kingly position[9] for his brief term), probably a council (though none is specifically documented in the scant literary materials), and a polemarchos to head the army.

During Bacchiad rule from 747 to 650 BC, Corinth became a unified state. Large scale public buildings and monuments were constructed at this time. In 733 BC, Corinth established colonies at Corcyra and Syracuse. By 730 BC, Corinth emerged as a highly advanced Greek city with at least 5,000 people.

Aristotle tells the story of Philolaus of Corinth, a Bacchiad who was a lawgiver at Thebes. He became the lover of Diocles, the winner of the Olympic games. They both lived for the rest of their lives in Thebes. Their tombs were built near one another and Philolaus' tomb points toward the Corinthian country, while Diocles' faces away.

In 657 BC, polemarch Cypselus obtained an oracle from Delphi which he interpreted to mean that he should rule the city. He seized power and exiled the Bacchiadae.

Corinth under the tyrants
Cypselus or Kypselos (Greek: Κύψελος) was the first tyrant of Corinth in the 7th century BC. From 658–628 BC, he removed the Bacchiad aristocracy from power and ruled for three decades. He built temples to Apollo and Poseidon in 650 BC.

Aristotle reports that "Cypselus of Corinth had made a vow that if he became master of the city, he would offer to Zeus the entire property of the Corinthians. Accordingly, he commanded them to make a return of their possessions."

The city sent forth colonists to found new settlements in the 7th century BC, under the rule of Cypselus (r. 657–627 BC) and his son Periander (r. 627–585 BC). Those settlements were Epidamnus (modern day Durrës, Albania), Syracuse, Ambracia (modern day town of Lefkas), Corcyra (modern day town of Corfu), and Anactorium. Periander also founded Apollonia in Illyria (modern day Fier, Albania) and Potidaea (in Chalcidice). Corinth was also one of the nine Greek sponsor-cities to found the colony of Naukratis in Ancient Egypt, founded to accommodate the increasing trade volume between the Greek world and pharaonic Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Psammetichus I of the 26th dynasty.

Greek city-states tended to overthrow their traditional hereditary priest-kings, with increased wealth and more complicated trade relations and social structures. Corinth led the way as the richest archaic polis. 

The tyrants usually seized power at the head of some popular support, like the signori of late medieval and Renaissance Italy. Often the tyrants calmed the populace by upholding existing laws and customs and strict conservatism in cult practices. A cult of personality naturally substituted for the divine right of the former legitimate royal house, as it did in Renaissance Italy.

Cypselus was the son of Eëtion and a disfigured woman named Labda. He was a member of the Bacchiad kin and usurped the power in archaic matriarchal right of his mother.

According to Herodotus, the Bacchiadae heard two prophecies from the Delphic oracle that the son of Eëtion would overthrow their dynasty, and they planned to kill the baby once he was born. However, the newborn smiled at each of the men sent to kill him, and none of them could bear to strike the blow.

Labda then hid the baby in a chest, and the men could not find him once they had composed themselves and returned to kill him. (Compare the infancy of Perseus.) The ivory chest of Cypselus was richly worked and adorned with gold. It was a votive offering at Olympia, where Pausanias gave it a minute description in his 2nd century AD travel guide.

Cypselus grew up and fulfilled the prophecy. Corinth had been involved in wars with Argos and Corcyra, and the Corinthians were unhappy with their rulers. Cypselus was polemarch at the time (around 657 BC), the archon in charge of the military, and he used his influence with the soldiers to expel the king. 

He also expelled his other enemies, but allowed them to set up colonies in northwestern Greece. He also increased trade with the colonies in Italy and Sicily. He was a popular ruler and, unlike many later tyrants, he did not need a bodyguard and died a natural death.

He ruled for thirty years and was succeeded as tyrant by his son Periander in 627 BC. The treasury that Cypselus built at Delphi was apparently still standing in the time of Herodotus, and the chest of Cypselus was seen by Pausanias at Olympia in the 2nd century AD. Periander brought Corcyra to order in 600 BC.

Periander was considered one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece. During his reign, the first Corinthian coins were struck. He was the first to attempt to cut across the Isthmus to create a seaway between the Corinthian and the Saronic Gulfs. 

He abandoned the venture due to the extreme technical difficulties that he met, but he created the Diolkos instead (a stone-built overland ramp). The era of the Cypselids was Corinth's golden age, and ended with Periander's nephew Psammetichus, named after the hellenophile Egyptian Pharaoh Psammetichus I (see above).

Periander killed his wife Melissa. His son Lycopron found out and shunned him, and Periander exiled the son to Corcyra. Periander later wanted Lycopron to replace him as ruler of Corinth, and convinced him to come home to Corinth on the condition that Periander go to Corcyra. The Corcyreans heard about this and killed Lycophron to keep away Periander.

Archaic Corinth after the Tyrants 
581 BC: Periander's nephew and successor was assassinated, ending the dictatorship.

581 BC: the Isthmian Games were established by leading families.

570 BC: the inhabitants started to use silver coins called 'colts' or 'foals.'

550 BC: Corinth allied with Sparta.

525 BC: Corinth formed a conciliatory alliance with Sparta against Argos.

519 BC: Corinth mediated between Athens and Thebes.

Around 500 BC: Athenians and Corinthians entreated Spartans not to harm Athens by restoring the tyrant.

Just before the classical period, according to Thucydides, the Corinthians developed the trireme which became the standard warship of the Mediterranean until the late Roman period. Corinth fought the first naval battle on record against the Hellenic city of Corcyra. The Corinthians were also known for their wealth due to their strategic location on the isthmus, through which all land traffic had to pass en route to the Peloponnese, including messengers and traders. 

Classical Corinth
The later Fifth and early fourth centuries saw rapid organized and formalized development that gives the impression of a thoroughly urban space. Peirene fountain receives draw basins, Temple A is constructed to the north, and the Sacred Spring is further developed with a triglyph and metope wall and curious apsidal temple. 

A race course more or less follows the southernmost Archaic road and the houses which flanked it are replaced by larger complexes. To the west the house of a merchant dealing in imported fish fillets is constructed and disappears and finally a bath complex is established. The main changes of the period following is a realignment of the race track and the construction of the South Stoa.
A drawing of a reconstruction of Ancient Corinth about 100 AD. Number 1 is the Temple of Apollo, number 22 is the Temple of Octavia, Number 20 is the south stoa (porch), number 4 is the bema, number 14 is the southwest stoa.

A question that has constantly arisen is the location of the Agora. Many would point to the race track as evidence, by extension from the Athenian agora, that the Corinthian agora was the predecessor of the Roman forum. 

This area in the Greek period, however, had a relatively steep and continuous slope from the Sacred Spring up to the South Stoa interrupted only by the race track. All the roads found to date channel traffic in a general northwards direction while the water supply also serves and supplies the area towards the north. 

Although it might be argued that the lack of inscriptions in the area of the forum are to be expected in a tyrannical and, later, an oligarchic form of governance as opposed to a democracy, it is notable that what inscriptions have been found concentrate at the north east side of Temple Hill. 

A better hypothesis, therefore, is that the agora was located immediately to the north of the excavated zone. If not an agora then what were the main functions of the excavated area of the later forum in the Classical period? This also was summarized and answered by Williams; it was largely dedicated cult, especially non-Olympian cult, housing and minor industry. 

The evidence for cult includes fragments of inscriptions, buildings, temenoi, a race track and 26 hero reliefs. The cults attested tend to be of deities with local rather than pan Hellenic significance and include Hellotis celebrated with a torch race on the race track, her sister Kotyto perhaps in the Sacred Spring, Artemis Korithos, Peirene but also Poseidon, Aphrodite and perhaps Dionysos, Hermes and the nymphs. There are also heroes including Zeuxippus and unknown dead ancestors.

In classical times, Corinth rivaled Athens and Thebes in wealth, based on the Isthmian traffic and trade. Until the mid-6th century, Corinth was a major exporter of black-figure pottery to city-states around the Greek world, later losing their market to Athenian artisans.

In classical times and earlier, Corinth had a temple of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, employing some thousand hetairas (temple prostitutes) (see also Temple prostitution in Corinth). 

The city was renowned for these temple prostitutes, who served the wealthy merchants and the powerful officials who frequented the city. Lais, the most famous hetaira, was said to charge tremendous fees for her extraordinary favours. Referring to the city's exorbitant luxuries, Horace is quoted as saying: "non licet omnibus adire Corinthum" ("Not everyone is able to go to Corinth").

Corinth was also the host of the Isthmian Games. During this era, Corinthians developed the Corinthian order, the third main style of classical architecture after the Doric and the Ionic. 

The Corinthian order was the most complicated of the three, showing the city's wealth and the luxurious lifestyle, while the Doric order evoked the rigorous simplicity of the Spartans, and the Ionic was a harmonious balance between these two following the cosmopolitan philosophy of Ionians like the Athenians.

The city had two main ports: to the west on the Corinthian Gulf lay Lechaion, which connected the city to its western colonies (Greek: apoikoiai) and Magna Graecia, while to the east on the Saronic Gulf the port of Kenchreai served the ships coming from Athens, Ionia, Cyprus and the Levant. Both ports had docks for the city's large navy.

In 491 BC, Corinth mediated between Syracuse and Gala.

During the years 481–480 BC, the Conference at the Isthmus of Corinth (following conferences at Sparta) established the Hellenic League, which allied under the Spartans to fight the war against Persia. The city was a major participant in the Persian Wars, sending 400 soldiers to defend Thermopylae and supplying forty warships for the Battle of Salamis under Adeimantos and 5,000 hoplites with their characteristic Corinthian helmets) in the following Battle of Plataea. 

The Greeks obtained the surrender of Theban collaborators with the Persians. Pausanias took them to Corinth where they were put to death.

Following the Battle of Thermopylae and the subsequent Battle of Artemisium, which resulted in the captures of Euboea, Boeotia, and Attica,[30] the Greco-Persian Wars were at a point where now most of mainland Greece to the north of the Isthmus of Corinth had been overrun.

Herodotus, who was believed to dislike the Corinthians, mentions that they were considered the second best fighters after the Athenians.

In 458 BC, Corinth was defeated by Athens at Megara.

Peloponnesian War
In 435 BC, Corinth and its colony Corcyra went to war over Epidamnus.  In 433 BC, Athens allied with Corcyra against Corinth.  The Corinthian war against the Corcyrans was the largest naval battle between Greek city states until that time. In 431 BC, one of the factors leading to the Peloponnesian War was the dispute between Corinth and Athens over Corcyra, which probably stemmed from the traditional trade rivalry between the two cities.

Three Syracusan generals went to Corinth seeking allies against Athenian invasion. The Corinthians "voted at once to aid [the Syracusans] heart and soul". They also sent a group to Lacedaemon to rouse Spartan assistance. After a convincing speech from the Athenian renegade Alcibiades, the Spartans agreed to send troops to aid the Sicilians.

In 404 BC, Sparta refused to destroy Athens, angering the Corinthians. Corinth joined Argos, Boeotia, and Athens against Sparta in the Corinthian War.

Demosthenes later used this history in a plea for magnanimous statecraft, noting that the Athenians of yesteryear had had good reason to hate the Corinthians and Thebans for their conduct during the Peloponnesian War, yet they bore no malice whatever.

Corinthian War
In 395 BC after the end of the Peloponnesian War, Corinth and Thebes, dissatisfied with the hegemony of their Spartan allies, moved to support Athens against Sparta in the Corinthian War.

As an example of facing danger with knowledge, Aristotle used the example of the Argives who were forced to confront the Spartans in the battle at the Long Walls of Corinth in 392 BC.

379–323 BC
In 379 BC, Corinth, switching back to the Peloponnesian League, joined Sparta in an attempt to defeat Thebes and eventually take over Athens.

In 366 BC, the Athenian Assembly ordered Chares to occupy the Athenian ally and install a democratic government. This failed when Corinth, Phlius and Epidaurus allied with Boeotia.

Demosthenes recounts how Athens had fought the Spartans in a great battle near Corinth. The city decided not to harbor the defeated Athenian troops, but instead sent heralds to the Spartans. But the Corinthian heralds opened their gates to the defeated Athenians and saved them. Demosthenes notes that they “chose along with you, who had been engaged in battle, to suffer whatever might betide, rather than without you to enjoy a safety that involved no danger.”

These conflicts further weakened the city-states of the Peloponnese and set the stage for the conquests of Philip II of Macedon.

Demosthenes warned that Philip’s military force exceeded that of Athens and thus they must develop a tactical advantage. He noted the importance of a citizen army as opposed to a mercenary force, citing the mercenaries of Corinth who fought alongside citizens and defeated the Spartans.

In 338 BC, after having defeated Athens and its allies, Philip II created the League of Corinth to unite the Greeks, including Corinth, in a war against Persia. Philip was named hegemon of the League.

In spring of 337 BC, the Second congress of Corinth established the Common Peace.

Hellenistic period
By 332 BC, Alexander the Great was in control of Greece, as hegemon.

During the Hellenistic period, Corinth, like many other Greece cities, never quite had autonomy. Under the successors of Alexander the Great, Greece was contested ground, and Corinth was occasionally the battleground for contests between the Antigonids, based in Macedonia, and other Hellenistic powers. 

In 308 BC, the city was captured from the Antigonids by Ptolemy I, who claimed to come as a liberator of Greece from the Antigonids. The city was recaptured by Demetrius in 304 BC, however.

Corinth remained in Antigonid control for half a century. After 280 BC it was ruled by the faithful governor Craterus, but in 253/2 BC his son Alexander of Corinth, moved by Ptolemaic subsidies, resolved to challenge the Macedonian supremacy and seek independence as a tyrant. He was probably poisoned in 247 BC and after his death the Macedonian king Antigonus II Gonatas retook the city in the winter of 245/44 BC.

The Macedonian rule was short-lived. In 243 BC Aratus of Sicyon, using a surprise attack, captured the fortress of Acrocorinth and convinced the citizenship to join the Achaean League.
Mosaic floor with Dionysus’ head, from a Roman villa. Second half of the 2nd century AD (Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth)

Thanks to an alliance agreement with Aratus, the Macedonians recovered Corinth once again in 224 BC, but after the Roman intervention in 197 BC the city was permanently brought into the Achaean League. Under the leadership of Philopoemen the Achaeans went on to take control of the entire Peloponnesus and made Corinth the capital of their confederation.

Roman Corinth
In the Earlier Roman period the Forum was a huge open space about 200 meters east-west and 100 meters north south taking its orientation from the surviving South Stoa which defined its southern edge. The South Stoa was modified converting some of its smaller spaces into larger rooms but it retained its colonnade. 

Dominating the skyline to the North the Archaic Temple of Apollo on Temple Hill was flanked by colonnades to the north and south. The colonists had rotated its orientation by 180 degrees to face an approach from the road out of the Forum to the west. Its interior colonnade was removed and re-erected in a line running north from the west end of the South Stoa along the road to Acrocorinth. Also, to the north was a long basilica flanking the Lechaeum road on one side with the cliff of Temple Hill on the other. 

The Lechaeum road, entering the Forum from the north, ascended a broad stairway through a three-bayed monumental arch. East of the Lechaeum Road Peirene had been refurbished and extended. The former simple façade of the draw basins was walled off with a series of arches. A rectangular two-storey court enclosing a rectangular pool was added to the north.

On the east side of the Forum stood the Julian basilica. At Forum level this was a cryptoporticus basement. The first storey, approached by a staircase of 14 steps up to a porch was an open rectangular space 38 by 24 meters in extent with Corinthian columns supporting a clerestorey and a marble dado. Inside were set up sculptures of the Imperial family. 

These include Augustus in Pentelic marble, dressed in a toga with a fold draped over his head is portrayed engaged in sacrifice. He was flanked by his adopted sons Caius and Lucius Caesar portrayed in heroic nudity with a chlamys over the shoulder perhaps, appropriately, as the Dioscuroi. Clearly this building had some high civic function.

To the west of the Forum stood Temple E. This was a 6 by 11 column peripteral temple on a low base with long stoas flanking it to the north and south. The identification of the temple has been hotly debated. Some consider it to be dedicated to Jove or Zeus based on its size and location, others regard it as the Temple of Octavia. In front of the temple was a range of more typically Roman temples and monuments. 

Two prostyle temples, F and G, were dedicated to Venus and to Clarion Apollo respectively. Built in the Roman style, they stood on high concrete and rubble, marble clad podia approached from the east by a stair. To the north was a fountain house dedicated to Poseidon decorated with a statue of the god and dolphins and a circular monument decorated in the Corinthian order and dedicated by Gnaius Cornelius Babbius. South of center in the Forum was the rostra considered by many to be the Bema in front of which Paul was brought by the elders of the Jewish community. 

A second topos for those following the travels of Paul in Greece can be found East of the theatre (also remodeled to suit Roman taste). Here is the inscription “Erastus Proaedilitate Suae Pecuniae Stravit” that is more or less “Erastus, while Aedile, paid for the paving”. Since the office of Aedile can be pretty much equated with that of Economus, it is thought that this is the Economus Erastus whose greetings Paul forwards in his letter to the Romans.
In 1929, among the excavated ruins of ancient Corinth was discovered an inscription on a marble paving stone bearing the name of Erastus.The inscription read: ERASTVS. PRO. AED. S. P. STRAVIT, which is an abbreviation of ERASTUS PRO AEDILITATE SUA PECUNIA STRAVIT. The inscription translates as "Erastus, in return for his aedileship, laid this pavement at his own expense." The office of aedilis was the commissioner of public works and, for this reason, a high ranking public offical belonging to the Roman ruling class in a city. Paul mentions an Erastus from Corinth in his Letter to the Romans (16:23) and identifies him as "the city treasurer" (oikonomos), which is not the Greek equivalent of the Latin aedilis; rather the oikonomos is equivalent to the lesser office of arcarius. If the Erastus of Rom 16:23 is to be identified with the man of the inscription, then he was aedilis either before or after Paul wrote his letter.

A hundred years later the form of the Forum remained much the same but with additions such as the Odeion, another temple at the west end of the Forum, shops to the west of the rostra and a new basilica south of the South Stoa.

According to scholars the city was redesigned following the Hippodamian system (grid-plan) that is to say with vertical and horizontal street axes (cardines and decumani) which demarcate urban islets (insulae). Around its Forum were erected resplendent public edifices and private monuments in honor of the affluent Greeks and Romans who wished to emphatically proclaim their presence in the capital of the province. 

Accounts of the construction of buildings can be found in numerous inscriptions while representations of them exist primarily in local coins of a later date. Horace’s adages “non cuivis homini contingit adire Corinthum / non licet omnibus adire Corinthum” (Epistles 1.17.36) “It falls not to every man’s lot to go to Corinth / not everyone can go to Corinth” and Strabo’s “ου παντός ανδρός ες Κόρινθον εσθ’ ο πλους”/ “Not for every man is the voyage to Corinth” (Geography 8.6.20) reflect the prosperity of the city and high cost required of residence there. 

About the middle of the 1st century AD when the Apostle Paul visited, Corinth was already an important Roman city in the Empire, ruled by two local leaders, the duoviri, following the prototype of Roman consuls, a miniature of the capital that constituted a point of reference in the thought and the journey of Romans towards the East. 

Biblical Corinth
Corinth is mentioned many times in the New Testament, largely in connection with Paul the Apostle's mission there, testifying to the success of Caesar's refounding of the city. Traditionally, the Church of Corinth is believed to have been founded by Paul, making it an Apostolic See.

The apostle Paul first visited the city in AD 51 or 52, when Gallio, the brother of Seneca, was proconsul of Achaia. Paul resided here for eighteen months (see Acts 18:1–18). Here he first became acquainted with Priscilla and Aquila with whom he later travelled. They worked here together as tentmakers (from which is derived the modern Christian concept of tentmaking), and regularly attended the synagogue. Silas and Timothy rejoined Paul here, having last seen him in Berea (Acts 18:5). Acts 18:6 suggests that Jewish refusal to accept his preaching here led Paul to resolve no longer to speak in the synagogues where he travelled: 'From now on I will go to the Gentiles'. However, on his arrival in Ephesus (Acts 18:19), the narrative records that Paul went to the synagogue to preach.

Paul wrote at least two epistles to the Christian church, the First Epistle to the Corinthians (written from Ephesus) and the Second Epistle to the Corinthians (written from Macedonia). The first Epistle occasionally reflects the conflict between the thriving Christian church and the surrounding community.

Some scholars believe that Paul visited Corinth for an intermediate "painful visit" (see 2 Corinthians 2:1) between the first and second epistles. After writing the second epistle, he stayed in Corinth for about three months[Acts 20:3] in the late winter, and there wrote his Epistle to the Romans.

Based on clues within the Corinthian epistles themselves, some scholars have concluded that Paul wrote possibly as many as four epistles to the church at Corinth. Only two are contained within the Christian canon (First and Second Epistles to the Corinthians); the other two letters are lost. (The lost letters would probably represent the very first letter that Paul wrote to the Corinthians and the third one, and so the First and Second Letters of the canon would be the second and the fourth, if four were written.) Many scholars think that the third one (known as the "letter of the tears"; see 2 Cor 2:4) is included inside the canonical Second Epistle to the Corinthians (it would be chapters 10–13). This letter is not to be confused with the so-called "Third Epistle to the Corinthians", which is a pseudepigraphical letter written many years after the death of Paul.

Byzantine era
The walled gates of Acrocorinth.
The city was largely destroyed in the earthquakes of 365 A.D. and 375 A.D., followed by Alaric's invasion in 396. The city was rebuilt after these disasters on a monumental scale, but covered a much smaller area than previously. Four churches were located in the city proper, another on the citadel of the Acrocorinth, and a monumental basilica at the port of Lechaion.
View of Acrocorinth, an extensive castle with ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Frankish, Venetian and Turkish construction phases.

During the reign of Emperor Justinian I (527–565), a large stone wall was erected from the Saronic to the Corinthian gulfs, protecting the city and the Peloponnese peninsula from the barbarian invasions from the north. The stone wall was about six miles (10 km) long and was named Hexamilion ("six-miles").

Corinth declined from the 6th century on, and may even have fallen to barbarian invaders in the early 7th century. The main settlement moved from the lower city to the Acrocorinth. Despite its becoming the capital of the theme of Hellas and, after ca. 800, of the theme of the Peloponnese, it was not until the 9th century that the city began to recover, reaching its apogee in the 11th and 12th centuries, when it was the site of a flourishing silk industry.

In November 856, an earthquake in Corinth killed an estimated 45,000.

The wealth of the city attracted the attention of the Sicilian Normans under Roger of Sicily, who plundered it in 1147, carrying off many captives, most notably silk weavers. The city never fully recovered from the Norman sack.

Principality of Achaea
Following the sack of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade, a group of Crusaders under the French knights William of Champlitte and Geoffrey of Villehardouin carried out the conquest of the Peloponnese. The Corinthians resisted the Frankish conquest from their stronghold in Acrocorinth, under the command of Leo Sgouros, from 1205 until 1210. In 1208 Leo Sgouros killed himself by riding off the top of Acrocorinth, but resistance continued for two more years. Finally, in 1210 the fortress fell to the Crusaders, and Corinth became a full part of the Principality of Achaea, governed by the Villehardouins from their capital in Andravida in Elis.

Corinth was the last significant town of Achaea on its northern borders with another crusader state, the Duchy of Athens. The Ottomans captured the city in 1395. The Byzantines of the Despotate of the Morea recaptured it in 1403, and the Despot Theodore II Palaiologos, restored the Hexamilion wall across the Isthmus of Corinth in 1415.

Ottoman rule
In 1458, five years after the final Fall of Constantinople, the Turks of the Ottoman Empire conquered the city and its mighty castle. The Ottomans renamed it Gördes and made it a sanjak (district) centre within the Rumelia Eyalet. The Venetians captured the city in 1687 during the Morean War, and it remained under Venetian control until the Ottomans retook the city in 1715. Corinth was the capital of the Mora Eyalet in 1715–1731 and then again a sanjak capital until 1821.

During the Greek War of Independence, 1821–1830 the city was destroyed by the Ottoman forces. The city was officially liberated in 1832 after the Treaty of London. In 1833, the site was considered among the candidates for the new capital city of the recently founded Kingdom of Greece, due to its historical significance and strategic position. Nafplio was chosen initially then Athens.

Modern Corinth
Most tourists pass through modern Corinth with out stopping, on their way to other Peloponnesian attractions. So if you are seeking a taste of a modern Greek towns life, without the traditional charms, modern Corinth will do admirably. Food will be good and prices less! Naufplion, further south has a lot more charm and is recommended.

To view the available Archeological Bus Tours departing your Athens Hotel: of Mycenae, Epidavros, Olympia and more click here.

The waterfront area is the most attractive section of town and with ones back to the sea, the streets are laid out in a logical grid like manner so different from most Greek villages.

Damaskinou Street borders the harbor and intersects Corinth's' 3 main thoroughfares of which Ethinki Antistasis is the major along with Kolokotroni St. to the west and Ermou to the east. The Bus Station and major town park lie 2 blocks inland between Ermou and Ethniki Antistasis streets. Corinth is served by OSE Greek Rail. The train station is 6 blocks east of the towns center.


Somewhat business-like and staid of appearance during the day, the town of Corinth seems to come alive after 9:30 PM. when many residents take to the streets and frequent the waterfront tavernas, bars and sweet shops. The Kalami beach area in particular, is happening at night, with many bars and discos.

Description and Monuments
The archaeological site of Ancient Corinth lays on the northern foothills of the Acrocorinth hill, around the Archaic Temple of Apollo. Extended excavations and have brought to light the Roman Forum, temples, fountains,porticoes, baths, latrines and various other monuments. The investigations extended also to the fortress on Acrocorinth, tto the south of the organized Archaeological Site, as well as to the north, were prehistoric settlements sucha as that on the Korakou hill, at Hagios Gerasimos, Gonia and Gyriza were brought to light. To the south of the organized Archaeological Site excavations revealed the Theatre, the Roman Odeion, the temple of Asclepius and Hygieia (Asclepieion), cemeteries, the Potter's Quarter (Kerameikos), Roman Baths, the walls of the city and many more other building, such as the Frankish Area and a substantial number of Venetian and Ottoman monuments.




Diolkos of Corinthian Isthmus
The Diolkos is a paved road which was used for the transport of boats by land on a platform ("puller of boats").

Its western section was excavated to a length of 255m. on the Peloponnesos side of the Isthmus and of 204 m. on the Sterea Hellas side, in the precinct of the School of Engineering.
The eastern part of Diolkos to the north of the Corinth Canal

Its width is 3,40 - 6,00m. It is paved with square blocks of poros and carried two grooves in the middle, at a distance of 1,50 m. from each other. On its western side it ended on a paved quay.

It became necessary to built the "diolkos" in order to provide a quick passage for the boats between the Saronic Gulf and the Corinthian Bay. It was constructed during the 6th century B.C., probably during the tyranny of Periandros in Corinth. Its western end was reconstructed at the beginning of the 4th century B.C. It was used for the transport of small boats, mostly warships, up to the 9th century A.D. as is confirmed by various sources.

Peirene Fountain
The Peirene fountain was established during the Greek period, when tunnels were dug into the clay beneath the Upper Lechaion Road Valley. The clay was cut back from the face of the terrace, and the resulting overhanging conglomerate ledge was supported by a series of poros limestone cross-walls, which created six chambers. The fountain was situated east of the later Lechaion road, and southwest of the Hexastyle Stoa and the Cyclopean Fountain.
Peirene Fountain, ca. A. D. 160. Reconstruction of C. Iliakis, from Petros G. Themelis, Ancient Corinth, Editions Hannibal, 2004, p.

After a period of neglect between 146 B.C. and 44 B.C., the fountain was developed and renovated during a series of seven Roman periods.

During the First Roman Period, minor repairs were made to the fountain, and walls were added to the east and west of the fountain façade.

The Second Roman Period was a period of dramatic change for the fountain. The Greek façade of Peirene was covered by a poros façade, which was pierced by six arched windows that provided views of the interior of the chambers. The first story of the façade was adorned with Doric columns, and the second story was adorned with Ionic columns.
During the Third Roman Period, the courtyard in front of the façade was enclosed with three walls. The resulting nearly-rectangular space was open to the sky, and the adornment of the walls followed the orders of the fountain façade. The north wall of the courtyard had a semicircular niche in the middle, and visitors to Peirene entered the fountain through doors that flanked this niche. There were also niches on the east and west walls of the courtyard, close to the façade.

A rectangular basin, supplied with water from chambers II and IV, was constructed in the middle of the courtyard during the Fourth Roman Period. The basin, called a "Hypaithros Krene" by Pausanias (2.3.3), was accessed by stairways on its northeast and northwest corners.

During the Fifth Roman Period, also known as the First Marble Period, the surfaces of the façade and the courtyard were cut back and revetted with marble. A rectangular concrete platform was constructed at the south end of the Hypaithros Krene.

The Sixth Roman Period is also known as the Second Marble Period, and the renovations of this period may be attributable to Herodes Atticus. New courtyard walls, with three large semicircular exedrae, replaced the previous courtyard walls, so that the courtyard was made more rectangular. The exedrae were each pierced with three niches. During this period, the fountain was accessed through vaulted tunnels that flanked the north exedra.

The fountain fell into disrepair during the Seventh Roman Period. Nearly half of the spouts in the Hypaithros Krene ceased to supply water during this period, and toward the end of this phase, the Hypaithros Krene was converted into a circular dipping basin.

Temple of Apollo 
The temple of Apollo at Corinth is one of the earliest Doric temples in the Peloponnese and the Greek mainland. Built around 560 B.C.E., of local oolithic limestone on top of an imposing, rocky hill to the north of Acrocorinth, the Archaic temple was an emblem for the Greek city of Corinth, reflecting its growth and prosperity. The temple was peripteral, surrounded by a pteron of 42 monolithic, limestone columns (6x15), over 7 m. high. Its central structure was divided into three parts: an antechamber with two columns in antis (pronaos), a central oblong, rectangular room subdivided into two parts (cella), and a rear room with two columns in antis (opistodomos).
1755; Courtesy of the Corinth Excavations

In the Roman period, when the city of Corinth was refounded by the Romans, the Temple of Apollo was renovated in order to house the cult of the Emperor. In the Byzantine era a basilica was built on the northeast part of the Temple Hill, whereas in the Ottoman period, the eastern part of the Temple was demolished and a new residence of the local Turkish Bey was built on top of its crepis. Today, although only seven standing columns of the western pteron and part of the crepis and its foundations are preserved, the monument is the emblem of the Archaeological Site of Ancient Corinth, and remains one of the few standing Archaic Greek Temples in the world.

Asklepieion and the Lerna Fountain
At a distance of approximately 450 m to the north of the hill of the temple of Apollo, at the northern foot of the Acrocorinth, the American School of Classical Studies undertook the excavation of the sanctuary – infirmary of Asclepios, one of the most important sanctuaries in the city, whose life span covered more than 800 years.

The choice of the site is considered to have been ideal, due to the distance from the center of Corinth, the strong north winds which blow at the region, clearing the atmosphere, and of course to the abundant water supply from the neighboring fountain of Lerna. An archaic, open-air shrine dedicated to the cult of Apollo was confirmed to have existed in that site and a second shrine was added next to it in the 5th c. B.C., dedicated to his son Asclepios.

Towards the late 4th c. B.C, possibly due to a catastrophic earthquake, the sanctuary was renovated and a four-pillar, prostyle temple, with prodomos and cella was built, oriented along the East-West axis. It was dedicated to Asclepios and possibly Hygeia. The shrine was delimitated and the temple was complemented to its east by a sacrifice altar and a treasury. To its west, it disposed the avaton, a spacious area where egimisis (healing through dream) took place. Two rectangular pits carved symmetrically in the rock stood on both sides of the temple, may have intended for the sacred snakes of the god.

In order to service its many visitors, the temple was flanked by stoas, which also received the numerous offerings of the patients. To the temple’s west and at a quite lower level, a peristyle yard was constructed to house the natural fountain of Lerna, whose water was necessary for the treatment. Besides the purifying water cisterns, the surrounding stoas housed restaurants, a balneum, as well as areas of respite and recuperation for the worn-out patients.

It is very possible that the Asclepieion and the fountain of Lerna ceased to function due to the city’s destruction in 146 B.C., however, following the reestablishment of Corinth as an imperial colony in 27 B.C., they were remodeled and resumed their operation. During his travels in Corinth in the 2nd c. A.D., Pausanias mentions a temple of Asclepios, with ‘the statues of Asclepios and Hygeia made of white stone ‘ (Pausanias ΙΙ, 4, 5).

The almost 900 clay models depicting human body parts and organs were retrieved in a total of seven depository areas around the perimeter of the Hellenistic temple. These were areas for discarding objects from the early temple of Apollo and Asclepios; apart from the aforementioned clay models, they also contained numerous other objects, such as vases, figurines, etc.

These models date between the late 5th c. and the second half of the 4th c. B.C. They constitute a unique ensemble of ex-votos, dedicated by the patients themselves, who were either cured by the god or hoping for their cure. Among them, one can find complete natural-sized masculine and feminine heads, models of hands, feet, male genitalia and women’s breasts, as well as men’s cuirasses, and models of eyes, ears, tongues, even hair.

Created mainly in local clay, the models from the Asclepieion belong to the long and successful tradition of Corinthian potters, who also created the famous Corinthian vases which travelled across the Mediterranean. It seems that the local potters were proposing a rich variety of models since the very beginning, in order to fully cover the needs of all specific ailments. Although most clay models are not realistic in the small representation of human bodies, parts and organs. The choice of the colors covering them, mostly white and red, has been interpreted as an effort to discern the offerings made by men (red) and women (red).

The uniqueness of the Corinthian offerings, combined with the powerful Corinthian presence in the Hellenic colonies of Southern Italy and Sicily, has been linked to clay models in Etruscan and Italiote sanctuaries – treatment sanctuaries, like the one of Diana Nemorensis at Nemi, in the center of Italy, of the Veii, as well as the Asclepieion on Tiber island.

Temple E (of Octavia)
Temple E is located to the west of the Forum, on a ridge above the temples of the West terrace. Pieces of the superstructure from one of its later phases have been set upon what remains of the podium and are visible today just to the west of the site museum.

Prior to the Roman period, several wells and cisterns occupied the area where Temple E stands. Pottery dating to the last quarter of the seventh century B.C. was recovered from some of these, along with pieces of terracotta sculpture dated stylistically to the end of the sixth century B.C. This sculpture may have belonged to the pediment of an archaic temple; however, so far the cisterns and wells are the only evidence of early construction.

As it has been reconstructed, there were two major components of Temple E: a temple and a precinct of surrounding porticoes or stoas. At least two building phases have been identified.

In its first phase, the temple consisted of a concrete and stone platform of 44 m x 23.50 m, upon which was built a poros hexastyle temple of the Doric order, possibly on a three-stepped crepidoma. No exact date has been determined for this phase; however, coin and pottery evidence suggest that it was probably erected between the reigns of the Roman emperors Augustus and Caligula. 

At this early phase the western extent of the precinct may have been delineated by a wall immediately behind the temple (though not bonding with it), remains of which survive to the south of and are partially covered by the podium of the later temple. Evidence of two building phases has been seen in the east stoa (the so-called "West Shops") and on the eastern part of both the north and south stoas, whereas only a single phase can be seen in the northwest part of the complex. The original appearance of the temple in its precinct would have been a temple against a back wall with three stoas surrounding it, and it would have looked something like the temple of Mars Ultor did within the Forum of Augustus at Rome.

The second temple has been restored as hexastyle and peripteral with twelve columns, carrying Corinthian capitals, on the long sides, and with a long narrow cella of approximately 24.5 meters east-west and 10 meters north-south, having a shallow pronaos with two columns in antis. It is estimated that the original column height would have been about nine meters. This podium consisted of a solid core of opus incertum with a stone casing, the remains of which are preserved to a height of 3.38 meters from the lower foundations to the top of the concrete. It should be noted that this temple is longer and narrower than the first one, and extends ten meters to the west of its predecessor. The temple at this phase was surrounded completely by the stoas. This later temple may have more than one building phase; a Domitianic coin gives a date after the earthquake of the 70's A.D. for a likely rebuilding. In addition, however, sculpture of Pentelic marble which may belong to the pediment of the temple belongs stylistically to a later period. Perhaps this is an indication of later renovations.

The precinct contained an area fairly large in proportion to the forum as a whole; its reconstructed dimensions in the later period are 125 x 85 meters. In addition, the foundations of the podium are approximately nine meters in elevation above the forum and about a meter above the foundations for the archaic temple. Temple E clearly held an important place in the city of Corinth.

As its name suggests, the deity for whom Temple E was built has not been securely identified. Two main suggestions have come to the fore, both of which rely in part on the description of Pausanias. The first is that it was a temple to Octavia, the sister of Augustus; the second is that it was a Capitolium temple. Neither has been proven without a doubt.

Bema of Saint Paul (Roman Forum)
In Ancient Greece, a bema was a raised platform where officials gave public addresses and heard legal cases, typically located at the center of the forum, or marketplace. The bema at Corinth was erected around 44 B.C.E. out of blue and white marble. In Acts (Acts 18:12-17), the bema at Corinth is called a tribunal.


During Paul s stay in Corinth, he was brought for judgment before the proconsul Lucius Junius Gallio Annaeanus, also known as Gallio, on the accusation of conducting illegal teachings. Gallio, however, refused to judge what he considered to be a mere religious dispute among the Jews. According to tradition, the site of Paul s trial was the Bema, a large elevated rostrum standing prominently in the centre of the Roman Forum of ancient Corinth and from where the city?s officials addressed the public. Probably because of the monument?s connection to Saint Paul, the Bema was transformed into a Christian church during the Byzantine period.

The partial restoration of the Bema has been funded by the Operational Program: Western Greece-Peloponnesus-Ionian Islands 2007-2013 (NSRF) and implemented by the 37th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities in the framework of the project: Fixation, Conservation, Restoration and Reevaluation of Monuments at Ancient Corinth.

Saint Paul in Corinth
Saint Paul is also known as the Apostle of the Nations because of his missionary journeys throughout the eastern Mediterranean for the dissemination of Christianity. In this context he visited several Greek cities, including the island of Samothrace, Philippi, Thessalonica and Veroia in Macedonia, Athens and, most importantly, Corinth. Corinth, a Roman imperial colony and capital of the province of Achaea (Peloponnese and Central Greece), experienced a period of great prosperity during the Roman era. Saint Paul arrived in the city in the mid-1st c. A.D. and took up lodging and work with the Jewish tentmakers Aquila and Priscilla. At the same time, he reasoned and preached the Gospel to the Jews of the city, being confronted, however, with strong opposition from several members of the city?s large Jewish community.

Saint Paul thus resolved to devote his full attention to the conversion of the Gentiles, a decision which proved highly successful. After a year and a half of his sojourn in Corinth, Saint Paul left for Ephesus, having established a strong and well-organized church in the city. Even after his departure, he kept in contact with the Christian community; in fact, he addressed some of his most famous epistles, the Epistles to the Corinthians, to its leaders.

Odeion (Odeum)
The Roman Odeion (Odeum) of Ancient Corinth was constructed in the 1st century AD, as an integral part of the new - founded Roman Imperial colony of Corinth. The Odeion is estimated to hold an audience of 3,000 spectators of musical and rhetorical contests. In the 2nd century AD it was renovated, probably thanks to a donation of the famous benefactor and philosopher Herodes Atticus, while in the 3rd century AD it was converted into an arena. The monument was destroyed and abandoned in the 4th century AD.

Amphitheater
The Roman Amphitheater of Corinth is located 1.200 m. to the northeast of the Temple Hill of Apollo, The monument remains unexcavated, yet part of the ellipsoidal building, of total exterior dimensions 100x70 m. is still visible. The Amphitheater, partly curved on the bedrock, was built in the 1st century AD.
The remains of a large amphitheater are visible approximately 1000 meters to the northeast of the forum.  The floor of the structure, arena, and the stone seats were cut out of the bedrock and it is likely that the original superstructure was constructed of wood. The location of the amphitheater, in the northeast corner of the "drawing board plan" of the Caesarean colony of 44 B.C., would be have been in keeping with the design of Roman cities, where amphitheaters were commonly situated immediately inside or outside the limits of the city. A roadway, cardo XXVII east, approaches the amphitheater from the south and served as the principal access to the structure (figure 2). The point at which the roadway met the amphitheater was likely to have been the Porta Triumphalis that would have served as the entrance to the arena for the gladiators and other performers. At the north end of the amphitheater is a rock cut entrance that likely would have been the Porta Libitinensis, the exit for gladiators and animals. One of the only plans produced of the amphitheater in Corinth comes from Abel Blouet, a French scholar, who published the plan to the right in the 1830's. The plan clearly illustrates the elliptical shape and the seating plan of the amphitheater (figure 3).
The amphitheater was the place where gladiatorial games, munera gladiatoria, were held. Gladiators were usually prisoners of war or condemned criminals and were known to be of four types: the murmillo who carried a short sword, a rectangular shield and a helmet with a fish crest; the Samnite who had a short sword, oblong shield, greaves and visored helmet; the retiarius who fought with a trident and a net and the Thraex who carried a round shield and a curved sword. Other events that likely occurred in the amphitheater included wild animal hunts, venationes.

It is interesting to note that during the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D., both the odeum and the theater near the forum of Roman Corinth were readied for gladiatorial contests. In both cases, the orchestras of the facilities were converted for use. In the theater, wall paintings have been discovered that depict gladiatorial contests and wild beast hunts. Figures 4 and 5 are frescos taken from the theater in Corinth. They depict scenes of gladiators fighting the types of wild beasts that were imported into Corinth for the gladiatorial games. Figure 4 depicts the gladiator highlighted in blue and a lion highlighted in yellow. Figure 5 depicts two gladiators highlighted in blue fighting a bull, highlighted in yellow.

The Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore
Excavations on the north slopes of Acrocorinth in the 1960’s and 70’s revealed a mass of small dining rooms both above and below and ancient road leading to Acrocorinth. They were arranged in parallel rows either side of a road and staircase ascending to a propylon which gave access to the area associated with the worship of Demeter and Kore. In the Classical period there was no temple, simply rooms and a large stone lined pit containing ash, pig bones and pottery. The area also contained large quantities of votives including large scale terracotta statues. The identity of the goddesses is attested by graffiti on ceramics, the kinds of terracotta figurines, models of food on offering trays and a reference to it in Pausanias. A small theater, seating no more than 100 people, was cut into bedrock on the south side. The earliest dining rooms were built in the late 6th century B.C. and the latest belonged to the Hellenistic period.
In the Roman period refurbishment of the sanctuary was refurbished and the three small temples above the disused theater date soon after the middle of the 1st century A.D. The middle temple has a mosaic floor with a geometric pattern and a panel depicting two baskets flanked by snakes either side of a depiction of a pair of feet. A mosaic text identifies the benefactor as the neokoros Octavius Agathopous whose gift was made when “Chara was priestess of Neotera (Kore)”

Worship at the sanctuary towards the end of the 4th century; in the 6th century the area was used as a cemetery.
Theater 

Glauke Fountain

The Glauke Fountain was curved on the western slope of the Hill of the Temple of Apollo in Roman times. The fountain was probably created and initially used in the Archaic period. According to tradition, Glauke, daughter of king Kreon, was about to marry the hero of the Argonauts Jason, who was already related to the Kaukasian witch Medea. A little before her wedding, Glauke received a poisoned peplos by Medea, which inflamed immediately after it was worn, In order to be saved, the girl fell in the fountain, which was named after her.

The fountain of Glauke was cut from the limestone ridge on which stands the Temple of Apollo. The form of the fountain is of a large cube roughly 15m north-south, 14m east-west and 7.5 m in elevation with an extension at the southwest. The interior consists of four large reservoirs, I-IV of a drain basin (V) and a smaller reservoir (VI). Water was piped from the south to reservoir IV which extended a total length of 33m. to the west and southwest. The water flowed from reservoir IV to III by means of an opening through their partition wall near the south wall. The same relationship existed between reservoirs III and II.
The total capacity of the reservoirs when filled was approximately 527 m3. The north facade of the fountain was likely to have been characterized by a simple architrave, doric frieze and pediment. The fountain may have been destroyed by the Romans in 146 B.C. The Romans later restored and repaired elements of the fountain.
The fountain of Glauke is believed to date to the same time as the Temple of Apollo in the sixth century B.C. and possibly as part of the same building program.








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