Side 2, Pt. 4: Anisina
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BOOK II: Corinth
[2.1.1] The Corinthian land is a portion of the Argive, and is named after Corinthus. That Corinthus was a son of Zeus I have never known anybody say seriously except the majority of the Corinthians. Eumelus, the son of Amphilytus,1 of the family called Bacchidae, who is said to have composed the epic poem, says in his Corinthian History (if indeed the history be his) that Ephyra, the daughter of Oceanus, dwelt first in this land; that afterwards Marathon, the son of Epopeus, the son of Aloeus, the son of Helius (Sun), fleeing from the lawless violence of his father migrated to the sea coast of Attica; that on the death of Epopeus he came to Peloponnesus, divided his kingdom among his sons, and returned to Attica; and that Asopia was renamed after Sicyon, and Ephyraea after Corinthus.
[2.1.2] Corinth is no longer inhabited by any of the old Corinthians, but by colonists sent out by the Romans. This change is due to the Achaean League.1 The Corinthians, being members of it, joined in the war against the Romans, which Critolaus, when appointed general of the Achaeans, brought about by persuading to revolt both the Achaeans and the majority of the Greeks outside the Peloponnesus. When the Romans won the war, they carried out a general disarmament of the Greeks2 and dismantled the walls of such cities as were fortified. Corinth was laid waste by Mummius, who at that time commanded the Romans in the field, and it is said that it was afterwards refounded by Caesar,3 who was the author of the present constitution of Rome. Carthage, too, they say, was refounded in his reign. [2.1.3] In the Corinthian territory is also the place called Cromyon from Cromus the son of Poseidon. Here they say that Phaea was bred; overcoming this sow was one of the traditional achievements of Theseus. Farther on the pine still grew by the shore at the time of my visit, and there was an altar of Melicertes. At this place, they say, the boy was brought ashore by a dolphin; Sisyphus found him lying and gave him burial on the Isthmus, establishing the Isthmian games in his honor.[2.1.4] At the beginning of the Isthmus is the place where the brigand Sinis used to take hold of pine trees and draw them down. All those whom he overcame in fight he used to tie to the trees, and then allow them to swing up again. Thereupon each of the pines used to drag to itself the bound man, and as the bond gave way in neither direction but was stretched equally in both, he was torn in two. This was the way in which Sinis himself was slain by Theseus. For Theseus rid of evildoers the road from Troezen to Athens, killing those whom I have enumerated and, in sacred Epidaurus, Periphetes, thought to be the son of Hephaestus, who used to fight with a bronze club.[2.1.5] The Corinthian Isthmus stretches on the one hand to the sea at Cenchreae, and on the other to the sea at Lechaeum. For this is what makes the region to the south mainland. He who tried to make the Peloponnesus an island gave up before digging through the Isthmus. Where they began to dig is still to be seen, but into the rock they did not advance at all. So it still is mainland as its nature is to be. Alexander the son of Philip wished to dig through Mimas, and his attempt to do this was his only unsuccessful project. The Cnidians began to dig through their isthmus, but the Pythian priestess stopped them. So difficult it is for man to alter by violence what Heaven has made.
[2.1.6] A legend of the Corinthians about their land is not peculiar to them, for I believe that the Athenians were the first to relate a similar story to glorify Attica. The Corinthians say that Poseidon had a dispute with Helius (Sun) about the land, and that Briareos arbitrated between them, assigning to Poseidon the Isthmus and the parts adjoining, and giving to Helius the height above the city.Ever since, they say, the Isthmus has belonged to Poseidon.[2.1.7] Worth seeing here are a theater and a white-marble race-course. Within the sanctuary of the god stand on the one side portrait statues of athletes who have won victories at the Isthmian games, on the other side pine trees growing in a row, the greater number of them rising up straight. On the temple, which is not very large, stand bronze Tritons. In the fore-temple are images, two of Poseidon, a third of Amphitrite, and a Sea, which also is of bronze. The offerings inside were dedicated in our time by Herodes the Athenian, four horses, gilded except for the hoofs, which are of ivory,[2.1.8] and two gold Tritons beside the horses, with the parts below the waist of ivory. On the car stand Amphitrite and Poseidon, and there is the boy Palaemon upright upon a dolphin. These too are made of ivory and gold. On the middle of the base on which the car is has been wrought a Sea holding up the young Aphrodite, and on either side are the nymphs called Nereids. I know that there are altars to these in other parts of Greece, and that some Greeks have even dedicated to them precincts by shores, where honors are also paid to Achilles. In Gabala is a holy sanctuary of Doto, where there was still remaining the robe by which the Greeks say that Eriphyle was bribed to wrong her son Alcmaeon.[2.1.9] Among the reliefs on the base of the statue of Poseidon are the sons of Tyndareus, because these too are saviours of ships and of sea-faring men. The other offerings are images of Calm and of Sea, a horse like a whale from the breast onward, Ino and Bellerophontes, and the horse Pegasus.
2,1,1,n1. 8th cent. B.C.
2,1,2,n1. A league of states in the northern Peloponnesus. It was most influential in the second half of the third century B.C. Founded 280 B.C.
2,1,2,n2. 146 B.C.
2,1,2,n3. 44 B.C.
[2.2.1] Within the enclosure is on the left a temple of Palaemon, with images in it of Poseidon, Leucothea and Palaemon himself. There is also what is called his Holy of Holies, and an underground descent to it, where they say that Palaemon is concealed. Whosoever, whether Corinthian or stranger, swears falsely here, can by no means escape from his oath. There is also an ancient sanctuary called the altar of the Cyclopes, and they sacrifice to the Cyclopes upon it.[2.2.2] The graves of Sisyphus and of Neleus–for they say that Neleus came to Corinth, died of disease, and was buried near the Isthmus–I do not think that anyone would look for after reading Eumelus. For he says that not even to Nestor did Sisyphus show the tomb of Neleus, because it must be kept unknown to everybody alike, and that Sisyphus is indeed buried on the Isthmus, but that few Corinthians, even those of his own day, knew where the grave was. The Isthmian games were not interrupted even when Corinth had been laid waste by Mummius, but so long as it lay deserted the celebration of the games was entrusted to the Sicyonians, and when it was rebuilt the honor was restored to the present inhabitants.
[2.2.3] The names of the Corinthian harbors were given them by Leches and Cenchrias, said to be the children of Poseidon and Peirene the daughter of Achelous, though in the poem called The Great Eoeae1 Peirene is said to be a daughter of Oebalus. In Lechaeum are a sanctuary and a bronze image of Poseidon, and on the road leading from the Isthmus to Cenchreae a temple and ancient wooden image of Artemis. In Cenchreae are a temple and a stone statue of Aphrodite, after it on the mole running into the sea a bronze image of Poseidon, and at the other end of the harbor sanctuaries of Asclepius and of Isis. Right opposite Cenchreae is Helen’s Bath. It is a large stream of salt, tepid water, flowing from a rock into the sea.[2.2.4] As one goes up to Corinth are tombs, and by the gate is buried Diogenes1 of Sinope, whom the Greeks surname the Dog. Before the city is a grove of cypresses called Craneum. Here are a precinct of Bellerophontes, a temple of Aphrodite Melaenis and the grave of Lais, upon which is set a lioness holding a ram in her fore-paws.
[2.2.5] There is in Thessaly another tomb which claims to be that of Lais, for she went to that country also when she fell in love with Hippostratus. The story is that originally she was of Hycara in Sicily. Taken captive while yet a girl by Nicias and the Athenians, she was sold and brought to Corinth, where she surpassed in beauty the courtesans of her time, and so won the admiration of the Corinthians that even now they claim Lais as their own.[2.2.6] The things worthy of mention in the city include the extant remains of antiquity, but the greater number of them belong to the period of its second ascendancy. On the market-place, where most of the sanctuaries are, stand Artemis surnamed Ephesian and wooden images of Dionysus, which are covered with gold with the exception of their faces; these are ornamented with red paint. They are called Lysius and Baccheus,[2.2.7] and I too give the story told about them. They say that Pentheus treated Dionysus despitefully, his crowning outrage being that he went to Cithaeron, to spy upon the women, and climbing up a tree beheld what was done. When the women detected Pentheus, they immediately dragged him down, and joined in tearing him, living as he was, limb from limb. Afterwards, as the Corinthians say, the Pythian priestess commanded them by an oracle to discover that tree and to worship it equally with the god. For this reason they have made these images from the tree.
[2.2.8] There is also a temple of Fortune, with a standing image of Parian marble. Beside it is a sanctuary for all the gods. Hard by is built a fountain, on which is a bronze Poseidon; under the feet of Poseidon is a dolphin spouting water. There is also a bronze Apollo surnamed Clarius and a statue of Aphrodite made by Hermogenes of Cythera. There are two bronze, standing images of Hermes, for one of which a temple has been made. The images of Zeus also are in the open; one had not a surname, another they call Chthonius (of the Lower World) and the third Most High.
2,2,3,n1. Said to be a work of Hesiod.
2,2,4,n1. The “Cynic” philosopher
[2.3.1] In the middle of the market-place is a bronze Athena, on the pedestal of which are wrought in relief figures of the Muses. Above the market-place is a temple of Octavia the sister of Augustus, who was emperor of the Romans after Caesar, the founder of the modern Corinth.[2.3.2] On leaving the market-place along the road to Lechaeum you come to a gateway, on which are two gilded chariots, one carrying Phaethon the son of Helius (Sun), the other Helius himself. A little farther away from the gateway, on the right as you go in, is a bronze Heracles. After this is the entrance to the water of Peirene. The legend about Peirene is that she was a woman who became a spring because of her tears shed in lamentation for her son Cenchrias, who was unintentionally killed by Artemis.
[2.3.3] The spring is ornamented with white marble, and there have been made chambers like caves, out of which the water flows into an open-air well. It Is pleasant to drink, and they say that the Corinthian bronze, when red-hot, is tempered by this water, since bronze . . . the Corinthians have not. Moreover near Peirene are an image and a sacred enclosure of Apollo; in the latter is a painting of the exploit of Odysseus against the suitors.
[2.3.4] Proceeding on the direct road to Lechaeum we see a bronze image of a seated Hermes. By him stands a ram, for Hermes is the god who is thought most to care for and to increase flocks, as Homer puts it in the Iliad:–
Son was he of Phorbas, the dearest of Trojans to Hermes,
Rich in flocks, for the god vouchsafed him wealth in abundance.1
The story told at the mysteries of the Mother about Hermes and the ram I know but do not relate. After the image of Hermes come Poseidon, Leucothea, and Palaemon on a dolphin.[2.3.5] The Corinthians have baths in many parts of the city, some put up at the public charge and one by the emperor Hadrian. The most famous of them is near the Poseidon. It was made by the Spartan Eurycles,1 who beautified it with various kinds of stone, especially the one quarried at Croceae in Laconia. On the left of the entrance stands a Poseidon, and after him Artemis hunting. Throughout the city are many wells, for the Corinthians have a copious supply of flowing water, besides the water which the emperor Hadrian brought from Lake Stymphalus, but the most noteworthy is the one by the side of the image of Artemis. Over it is a Bellerophontes, and the water flows through the hoof of the horse Pegasus. [2.3.6] As you go along another road from the market-place, which leads to Sicyon, you can see on the right of the road a temple and bronze image of Apollo, and a little farther on a well called the Well of Glauce. Into this they say she threw herself in the belief that the water would be a cure for the drugs of Medea. Above this well has been built what is called the Odeum (Music Hall), beside which is the tomb of Medea’s children. Their names were Mermerus and Pheres, and they are said to have been stoned to death by the Corinthians owing to the gifts which legend says they brought to Glauce. [2.3.7] But as their death was violent and illegal, the young babies of the Corinthians were destroyed by them until, at the command of the oracle, yearly sacrifices were established in their honor and a figure of Terror was set up. This figure still exists, being the likeness of a woman frightful to look upon but after Corinth was laid waste by the Romans and the old Corinthians were wiped out, the new settlers broke the custom of offering those sacrifices to the sons of Medea, nor do their children cut their hair for them or wear black clothes.[2.3.8] On the occasion referred to Medea went to Athens and married Aegeus, but subsequently she was detected plotting against Theseus and fled from Athens also; coming to the land then called Aria she caused its inhabitants to be named after her Medes. The son, whom she brought with her in her flight to the Arii, they say she had by Aegeus, and that his name was Medus. Hellanicus,1 however, calls him Polyxenus and says that his father was Jason.[2.3.9] The Greeks have an epic poem called Naupactia. In this Jason is represented as having removed his home after the death of Pelias from Iolcus to Corcyra, and Mermerus, the elder of his children, to have been killed by a lioness while hunting on the mainland opposite. Of Pheres is recorded nothing. But Cinaethon1 of Lacedaemon, another writer of pedigrees in verse, said that Jason’s children by Medea were a son Medeus and a daughter Eriopis; he too, however, gives no further information about these children. [2.3.10] Eumelus said that Helius (Sun) gave the Asopian land to Aloeus and Epliyraea to Aeetes. When Aeetes was departing for Colchis he entrusted his land to Bunus, the son of Hermes and Alcidamea, and when Bunus died Epopeus the son of Aloeus extended his kingdom to include the Ephyraeans. Afterwards, when Corinthus, the son of Marathon, died childless, the Corinthians sent for Medea from Iolcus and bestowed upon her the kingdom.
[2.3.11] Through her Jason was king in Corinth, and Medea, as her children were born, carried each to the sanctuary of Hera and concealed them, doing so in the belief that so they would be immortal. At last she learned that her hopes were vain, and at the same time she was detected by Jason. When she begged for pardon he refused it, and sailed away to Iolcus. For these reasons Medea too departed, and handed over the kingdom to Sisyphus.
2,3,4,n1. Hom. Il. 14.490
2,3,5,n1. Probably a contemporary of Augustus.
2,3,8,n1. A writer of the fifth century B.C.
2,3,9,n1. An early epic writer.
[2.4.1] This is the account that I read, and not far from the tomb is the temple of Athena Chalinitis (Bridler). For Athena, they say, was the divinity who gave most help to Bellerophontes, and she delivered to him Pegasus, having herself broken in and bridled him. The image of her is of wood, but face, hands and feet are of white marble. [2.4.2] That Bellerophontes was not an absolute king, but was subject to Proetus and the Argives is the belief of myself and of all who have read carefully the Homeric poems.1 When Bellerophontes migrated to Lycia it is clear that the Corinthians none the less were subject to the despots at Argos or Mycenae. By themselves they provided no leader for the campaign against Troy, but shared in the expedition as part of the forces, Mycenaean and other, led by Agamemnon. [2.4.3] Sisyphus had other sons besides Glaucus, the father of Bellerophontes a second was Ornytion, and besides him there were Thersander and Almus. Ornytion had a son Phocus, reputed to have been begotten by Poseidon. He migrated to Tithorea in what is now called Phocis, but Thoas, the younger son of Ornytion, remained behind at Corinth. Thoas begat Damophon, Damophon begat Propodas, and Propodas begat Doridas and Hyanthidas. While these were kings the Dorians took the field against Corinth, their leader being Aletes, the son of Hippotas, the son of Phylas, the son of Antiochus, the son of Heracles. So Doridas and Hyanthidas gave up the kingship to Aletes and remained at Corinth, but the Corinthian people were conquered in battle and expelled by the Dorians.[2.4.4] Aletes himself and his descendants reigned for five generations to Bacchis, the son of Prumnis, and, named after him, the Bacchidae reigned for five more generations to Telestes, the son of Aristodemus. Telestes was killed in hate by Arieus and Perantas, and there were no more kings, but Prytanes (Presidents) taken from the Bacchidae and ruling for one year, until Cypselus, the son of Eetion, became tyrant and expelled the Bacchidae.1 Cypselus was a descendant of Melas, the son of Antasus. Melas from Gonussa above Sicyon joined the Dorians in the expedition against Corinth. When the god expressed disapproval Aletes at first ordered Melas to withdraw to other Greeks, but afterwards, mistaking the oracle, he received him as a settler.Such I found to be the history of the Corinthian kings. [2.4.5] Now the sanctuary of Athena Chalinitis is by their theater, and near is a naked wooden image of Heracles, said to be a work of Daedalus. All the works of this artist, although rather uncouth to look at, are nevertheless distinguished by a kind of inspiration. Above the theater is a sanctuary of Zeus surnamed in the Latin tongue Capitolinus, which might be rendered into Greek “Coryphaeos”. Not far from this theater is the ancient gymnasium, and a spring called Lerna. Pillars stand around it, and seats have been made to refresh in summer time those who have entered it. By this gymnasium are temples of Zeus and Asclepius. The images of Asclepius and of Health are of white marble, that of Zeus is of bronze.[2.4.6] The Acrocorinthus is a mountain peak above the city, assigned to Helius by Briareos when he acted as adjudicator, and handed over, the Corinthians say, by Helius to Aphrodite. As you go up this Acrocorinthus you see two precincts of Isis, one if Isis surnamed Pelagian (Marine) and the other of Egyptian Isis, and two of Serapis, one of them being of Serapis called “in Canopus.” After these are altars to Helius, and a sanctuary of Necessity and Force, into which it is not customary to enter.
[2.4.7] Above it are a temple of the Mother of the gods and a throne; the image and the throne are made of stone. The temple of the Fates and that of Demeter and the Maid have images that are not exposed to view. Here, too, is the temple of Hera Bunaea set up by Bunus the son of Hermes. It is for this reason that the goddess is called Bunaea.
2,4,2,n1. Hom. Il. 6.159
2,4,4,n1. 655 B.C.
[2.5.1] On the summit of the Acrocorinthus is a temple of Aphrodite. The images are Aphrodite armed, Helius, and Eros with a bow. The spring, which is behind the temple, they say was the gift of Asopus to Sisyphus. The latter knew, so runs the legend, that Zeus had ravished Aegina, the daughter of Asopus, but refused to give information to the seeker before he had a spring given him on the Acrocorinthus. When Asopus granted this request Sisyphus turned informer, and on this account he receives–if anyone believes the story–punishment in Hades. I have heard people say that this spring and Peirene are the same, the water in the city flowing hence under-ground.[2.5.2] This Asopus rises in the Phliasian territory, flows through the Sicyonian, and empties itself into the sea here. His daughters, say the Phliasians, were Corcyra, Aegina, and Thebe. Corcyra and Aegina gave new names to the islands called Scheria and Oenone, while from Thebe is named the city below the Cadmea. The Thebans do not agree, but say that Thebe was the daughter of the Boeotian, and not of the Phliasian, Asopus.[2.5.3] The other stories about the river are current among both the Phliasians and the Sicyonians, for instance that its water is foreign and not native, in that the Maeander, descending from Celaenae through Phrygia and Caria, and emptying itself into the sea at Miletus, goes to the Peloponnesus and forms the Asopus. I remember hearing a similar story from the Delians, that the stream which they call Inopus comes to them from the Nile. Further, there is a story that the Nile itself is the Euphrates, which disappears into a marsh, rises again beyond Aethiopia and becomes the Nile.[2.5.4] Such is the account I heard of the Asopus. When you have turned from the Acrocorinthus into the mountain road you see the Teneatic gate and a sanctuary of Eilethyia. The town called Tenea is just about sixty stades distant. The inhabitants say that they are Trojans who were taken prisoners in Tenedos by the Greeks, and were permitted by Agamemnon to dwell in their present home. For this reason they honor Apollo more than any other god.
[2.5.5] As you go from Corinth, not into the interior but along the road to Sicyon, there is on the left not far from the city a burnt temple. There have, of course, been many wars carried on in Corinthian territory, and naturally houses and sanctuaries outside the wall have been fired. But this temple, they say, was Apollo’s, and Pyrrhus the son of Achilles burned it down. Subsequently I heard another account, that the Corinthians built the temple for Olympian Zeus, and that suddenly fire from some quarter fell on it and destroyed it.[2.5.6] The Sicyonians, the neighbours of the Corinthians at this part of the border, say about their own land that Aegialeus was its first and aboriginal inhabitant, that the district of the Peloponnesus still called Aegialus was named after him because he reigned over it, and that he founded the city Aegialea on the plain. Their citadel, they say, was where is now their sanctuary of Athena; further, that Aegialeus begat Europs, Europs Telchis, and Telchis Apis. [2.5.7] This Apis reached such a height of power before Pelops came to Olympia that all the territory south of the Isthmus was called after him Apia. Apis begat Thelxion, Thelxion Aegyrus, the Thurimachus, and Thurimachus Leucippus. Leucippus had no male issue, only a daughter Calchinia. There is a story that this Calchinia mated with Poseidon; her child was reared by Leucippus, who at his death handed over to him the kingdom. His name was Peratus.
[2.5.8] What is reported of Plemnaeus, the son of Peratus, seemed to me very wonderful. All the children borne to him by his wife died the very first time they wailed. At last Demeter took pity on Plemnaeus, came to Aegialea in the guise of a strange woman, and reared for Plemnaeus his son Orthopolis. Orthopolis had a daughter Chrysorthe, who is thought to have borne a son named Coronus to Apollo. Coronus had two sons, Corax and a younger one Lamedon.
[2.6.1] Corax died without issue, and at about this time came Epopeus from Thessaly and took the kingdom. In his reign the first hostile army is said to have invaded the land, which before this had enjoyed unbroken peace. The reason was this. Antiope, the daughter of Nycteus, had a name among the Greeks for beauty, and there was also a report that her father was not Nycteus but Asopus, the river that separates the territories of Thebes and Plataea.[2.6.2] This woman Epopeus carried off but I do not know whether he asked for her hand or adopted a bolder policy from the beginning. The Thebans came against him in arms, and in the battle Nycteus was wounded. Epopeus also was wounded, but won the day. Nycteus they carried back ill to Thebes, and when he was about to die he appointed to be regent of Thebes his brother Lycus for Labdacus, the son of Polydorus, the son of Cadmus, being still a child, was the ward of Nycteus, who on this occasion entrusted the office of guardian to Lycus. He also besought him to attack Aegialea with a larger army and bring vengeance upon Epopeus; Antiope herself, if taken, was to be punished.[2.6.3] As to Epopeus, he forthwith offered sacrifice for his victory and began a temple of Athena, and when this was complete he prayed the goddess to make known whether the temple was finished to her liking, and after the prayer they say that olive oil flowed before the temple. Afterwards Epopeus also died of his wound, which he had neglected at first, so that Lycus had now no need to wage war. For Lamedon, the son of Coronus, who became king after Epopeus, gave up Antiope. As she was being taken to Thebes by way of Eleutherae, she was delivered there on the road.[2.6.4] On this matter Asius the son of Amphiptolemus1 says in his poem:–
Zethus and Amphion had Antiope for their mother,
Daughter of Asopus, the swift, deep-eddying river,
Having conceived of Zeus and Epopeus, shepherd of peoples.2
Homer traces their descent to the more august side of their family, and says that they were the first founders of Thebes, in my opinion distinguishing the lower city from the Cadmea.[2.6.5] When Lamedon became king he took to wife an Athenian woman, Pheno, the daughter of Clytius. Afterwards also, when war had arisen between him and Archander and Architeles, the sons of Achaeus, he brought in as his ally Sicyon from Attica, and gave him Zeuxippe his daughter to wife. This man became king, and the land was named after him Sicyonia, and the city Sicyon instead of Aegiale. But they say that Sicyon was not the son of Marathon, the son of Epopeus, but of Metion the son of Erechtheus. Asius confirms their statement, while Hesiod makes Sicyon the son of Erechtheus, and Ibycus says that his father was Pelops.[2.6.6] Sicyon had a daughter Chthonophyle, and they say that she and Hermes were the parents of Polybus. Afterwards she married Phlias, the son of Dionysus, and gave birth to Androdamas. Polybus gave his daughter Lysianassa to Talaus the son of Bias, king of the Argives; and when Adrastus fled from Argos he came to Polybus at Sicyon, and afterwards on the death of Polybus he became king at Sicyon. When Adrastus returned to Argos, Ianiscus, a descendant of Clytius the father-in-law of Lamedon, came from Attica and was made king, and when Ianiscus died he was succeeded by Phaestus, said to have been one of the children of Heracles.[2.6.7] After Phaestus in obedience to an oracle migrated to Crete, the next king is said to have been Zeuxippus, the son of Apollo and the nymph Syllis. On the death of Zeuxippus, Agamemnon led an army against Sicyon and king Hippolytus, the son of Rhopalus, the son of Phaestus. In terror of the army that was attacking him, Hippolytus agreed to become subject to Agamemnon and the Mycenaeans. This Hippolytus was the father of Lacestades. Phalces the son of Temenus, with the Dorians, surprised Sicyon by night, but did Lacestades no harm, because he too was one of the Heracleidae, and made him partner in the kingdom.
2,6,4,n1. fl. 640-617 B.C.
2,6,4,n2. Asius, unknown work
[2.7.1] From that time the Sicyonians became Dorians and their land a part of the Argive territory. The city built by Aegialeus on the plain was destroyed by Demetrius the son of Antigonus,1 who founded the modern city near what was once the ancient citadel. The reason why the Sicyonians grew weak it would be wrong to seek; we must be content with Homer’s saying about Zeus:–
Many, indeed, are the cities of which he has levelled the strongholds.
When they had lost their power there came upon them an earthquake, which almost depopulated their city and took from them many of their famous sights. It damaged also the cities of Caria and Lycia, and the island of Rhodes was very violently shaken, so that it was thought that the Sibyl had had her utterance about Rhodes2 fulfilled.
[2.7.2] When you have come from the Corinthian to the Sicyonian territory you see the tomb of Lycus the Messenian, whoever this Lycus may be; for I can discover no Messenian Lycus who practised the pentathlon1 or won a victory at Olympia. This tomb is a mound of earth, but the Sicyonians themselves usually bury their dead in a uniform manner. They cover the body in the ground, and over it they build a basement of stone upon which they set pillars. Above these they put something very like the pediment of a temple. They add no inscription, except that they give the dead man’s name without that of his father and bid him farewell.[2.7.3] After the tomb of Lycus, but on the other side of the Asopus, there is on the right the Olympium, and a little farther on, to the left of the road, the grave of Eupolis, 1 the Athenian comic poet. Farther on, if you turn in the direction of the city, you see the tomb of Xenodice, who died in childbirth. It has not been made after the native fashion, but so as to harmonize best with the painting, which is very well worth seeing.
[2.7.4] Farther on from here is the grave of the Sicyonians who were killed at Pellene, at Dyme of the Achaeans, in Megalopolis and at Sellasia.1 Their story I will relate more fully presently. By the gate they have a spring in a cave, the water of which does not rise out of the earth, but flows down from the roof of the cave. For this reason it is called the Dripping Spring.[2.7.5] On the modern citadel is a sanctuary of Fortune of the Height, and after it one of the Dioscuri. Their images and that of Fortune are of wood. On the stage of the theater built under the citadel is a statue of a man with a shield, who they say is Aratus, the son of Cleinias. After the theater is a temple of Dionysus. The god is of gold and ivory, and by his side are Bacchanals of white marble. These women they say are sacred to Dionysus and maddened by his inspiration. The Sicyonians have also some images which are kept secret. These one night in each year they carry to the temple of Dionysus from what they call the Cosmeterium (Tiring-room), and they do so with lighted torches and native hymns.
[2.7.6] The first is the one named Baccheus, set up by Androdamas, the son of Phlias, and this is followed by the one called Lysius (Deliverer), brought from Thebes by the Theban Phanes at the command of the Pythian priestess. Phanes came to Sicyon when Aristomachus, the son of Cleodaeus, failed to understand the oracle1 given him, and therefore failed to return to the Peloponnesus. As you walk from the temple of Dionysus to the market-place you see on the right a temple of Artemis of the lake. A look shows that the roof has fallen in, but the inhabitants cannot tell whether the image has been removed or how it was destroyed on the spot.[2.7.7] Within the market-place is a sanctuary of Persuasion; this too has no image. The worship of Persuasion was established among them for the following reason. When Apollo and Artemis had killed Pytho they came to Aegialea to obtain purification. Dread coming upon them at the place now named Fear, they turned aside to Carmanor in Crete, and the people of Aegialea were smitten by a plague. When the seers bade them propitiate Apollo and Artemis, [2.7.8] they sent seven boys and seven maidens as suppliants to the river Sythas. They say that the deities, persuaded by these, came to what was then the citadel, and the place that they reached first is the sanctuary of Persuasion. Conformable with this story is the ceremony they perform at the present day; the children go to the Sythas at the feast of Apollo, and having brought, as they pretend, the deities to the sanctuary of Persuasion, they say that they take them back again to the temple of Apollo. The temple stands in the modern market-place, and was originally, it is said, made by Proetus, because in this place his daughters recovered from their madness. [2.7.9] It is also said that in this temple Meleager dedicated the spear with which he slew the boar. There is also a story that the flutes of Marsyas are dedicated here. When the Silenus met with his