previous next


The position of the city as it is described by Hieronymus, and Eudoxus, and others, and from our own observation, since its restoration by the Romans, is as follows.

That which is called the Acrocorinthus is a lofty mountain, perpendicular, and about three stadia and a half in height. There is an ascent of 30 stadia, and it terminates in a sharp point. The steepest part is towards the north. Below it lies the city in a plain of the form of a trapezium, at the very foot of the Acrocorinthus. The compass of the city itself was 40 stadia, and all that part which was not protected by the mountain was fortified by a wall. Even the mountain itself, the Acrocorinthus, was comprehended within this wall, wherever it would admit of fortification. As I ascended it, the ruins of the circuit of the foundation were apparent, which gave a circumference of about 85 stadia. The other sides of the mountain are less steep; hence, however, it stretches on- wards, and is visible everywhere. The summit has upon it a small temple of Venus, and below it is the fountain Peirene, which has no efflux, but is continually full of water, which is transparent, and fit for drinking. They say, that from the compression of this, and of some other small under-ground veins, originates that spring at the foot of the mountain, which runs into the city, and furnishes the inhabitants with a sufficient supply of water. There is a large number of wells in the city, and it is said in the Acrocorinthus also, but this I did not see. When Euripides says, “‘I come from the Acrocorinthus, well-watered on all sides, the sacred hill and habitation of Venus,’” the epithet ‘well-watered on all sides,’ must be understood to refer to depth; pure springs and under-ground rills are dispersed through the mountain; or we must suppose, that, anciently, the Peirene overflowed, and irrigated the mountain. There, it is said, Pegasus was taken by Bellerophon, while drinking; this was a winged horse, which sprung from the neck of Medusa when the head of the Gorgon was severed from the body. This was the horse, it is said, which caused the Hippocrene, or Horse's Fountain, to spring up in Helicon by striking the rock with its hoof.

Below Peirene is the Sisypheium, which preserves a large portion of the ruins of a temple, or palace, built of white marble. From the summit towards the north are seen Parnassus and Helicon, lofty mountains covered with snow; then the Crissæan Gulf,1 lying below both, and surrounded by Phocis, Bœotia, Megaris, by the Corinthian district opposite to Phocis, and by Sicyonia on the west. * * * *

Above all these are situated the Oneia2 mountains, as they are called, extending as far as Bœotia and Cithæron, from the Sceironides rocks, where the road leads along them to Attica.

1 Strabo here gives the name of Crisssæan Gulf to the eastern half of the Gulf of Corinth.

2 Of or belonging to asses.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus English (1924)
load focus Greek (1877)
hide References (12 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: