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[21]

The situation of the city, as described by Hieronymus1 and Eudoxus2 and others, and from what I myself saw after the recent restoration of the city by the Romans,3 is about as follows: A lofty mountain with a perpendicular height of three stadia and one half, and an ascent of as much as thirty stadia, ends in a sharp peak; it is called Acrocorinthus, and its northern side is the steepest; and beneath it lies the city in a level, trapezium-shaped place4 close to the very base of the Acrocorinthus. Now the circuit of the city itself used to be as much as forty stadia, and all of it that was unprotected by the mountain was enclosed by a wall; and even the mountain itself, the Acrocorinthus, used to be comprehended within the circuit of this wall wherever wall-building was possible, and when I went up the mountain the ruins of the encircling wall were plainly visible. And so the whole perimeter amounted to about eighty-five stadia. On its other sides the mountain is less steep, though here too it rises to a considerable height and is conspicuous all round. Now the summit has a small temple of Aphrodite; and below the summit is the spring Peirene, which, although it has no overflow, is always full of transparent, potable water. And they say that the spring at the base of the mountain is the joint result of pressure from this and other subterranean veins of water—a spring which flows out into the city in such quantity that it affords a fairly large supply of water. And there is a good supply of wells throughout the city, as also, they say, on the Acrocorinthus; but I myself did not see the latter wells. At any rate, when Euripides says, “"I am come, having left Acrocorinthus that is washed on all sides, the sacred hill-city of Aphrodite,"
5one should take "washed on all sides" as meaning in the depths of the mountain, since wells and subterranean pools extend through it, or else should assume that in early times Peirene was wont to rise over the surface and flow down the sides of the mountain.6 And here, they say, Pegasus, a winged horse which sprang from the neck of the Gorgon Medusa when her head was cut off, was caught while drinking by Bellerophon. And the same horse, it is said, caused Hippu-crene7 to spring up on Helicon when he struck with his hoof the rock that lay below that mountain. And at the foot of Peirene is the Sisypheium, which preserves no inconsiderable ruins of a certain temple, or royal palace, made of white marble. And from the summit, looking towards the north, one can view Parnassus and Helicon—lofty, snow-clad mountains—and the Crisaean Gulf, which lies at the foot of the two mountains and is surrounded by Phocis, Boeotia, and Megaris, and by the parts of Corinthia and Sicyonia which lie across the gulf opposite to Phocis, that is, towards the west.8 And above all these countries9 lie the Oneian Mountains,10 as they are called, which extend as far as Boeotia and Cithaeron from the Sceironian Rocks,11 that is, from the road that leads along these rocks towards Attica.

1 Apparently Hieronymus of Rhodes (see 14. 2. 13), who lived about 290-230 B.C.

2 Eudoxus of Cnidus, the famous mathematician and astronomer, who flourished about 365 B.C.

3 Cp. 8. 4. 8.

4 "This level is 200 feet above the plain, which lies between it and the Corinthian Gulf" (Tozer, Selections, p. 217).

5 Eur. Fr. 1084 (Nauck)

6 The Greek word περίκλυστον is translated above in its usual sense and as Strabo interpreted it, but Euripides obviously used it in the sense of "washed on both sides," that is, by the Corinthian and Saronic Gulfs (cf. Horace's "bimaris Corinthi," Horace C. 1.7.2).

7 Also spelled "Hippocrene," i.e., "Horses Spring."

8 From Acrocorinthus.

9 i.e., towards the east.

10 "Ass Mountains," but as Tozer (Selections, p. 219 remarks, Strabo confuses these (they are southeast of Corinth) with Gerania, which lay on the confines of the territories of Corinth and Megara.

11 On the Sceironian road between Megara and Corinth, see Paus. 1.44.10

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