Category Archives: The Land of Corinth and its Founders


The Land of Corinth and its Founders

According to Pausanias, the land (χώρα) of Corinth has two accounts of Corinthus’ lineage.  The Corinthians themselves ascribe their founding to Corinthus the son of Zeus, but most Greeks follow the account of the eighth century Corinthian poet Eumelus, namely that Ephyra was the first to live there followed later by the sons of Marathon, Sicyon and Corinthus.  Several questions to consider:

If the Corinthia is a portion of the Argive, then why is Book 2 named “Corinthiaca”?  If Marathon is connected to Attica, why would a poet from Corinth name someone from Attica as founder of the Corinthian land?  Cf. OCD Eumelus and Bacchiadae. Finally, does Pausanias reconcile these two competing traditions regarding the founding of the Corinthia?  Does he prefer one account over another?

Review: genitive case, participles, compounds of οἰκέω

Pre-reading: participles in 2.1.1

ἡ δὲ Κορινθία χώρα  οὖσα τῆς  ἀπὸ τὸ ὄνομα . εἶναι οὐδένα  εἰπόντα  πλὴν Κορινθίων :  δὲ ὁ Ἀμφιλύτου τῶν  καλουμένων, ὃς καὶ τὰ  λέγεται ποιῆσαι, φησὶν ἐν τῇ Κορινθίᾳ —εἰ δὲ Εὐμήλου γε ἡ συγγραφή— Ὠκεανοῦ θυγατέρα οἰκῆσαι πρῶτον ἐν τῇ γῇ ταύτῃ, Μαραθῶνα δὲ  τὸν  τοῦ Ἀλωέως τοῦ Ἡλίου φεύγοντα καὶ  τοῦ πατρὸς ἐς τὰ   τῆς Ἀττικῆς,  ἀφικόμενον ἐς Πελοπόννησον καὶ τὴν  τοῖς παισὶν αὐτὸν ἐς τὴν Ἀττικὴν αὖθις , καὶ ἀπὸ μὲν Σικυῶνος τὴν Ἀσωπίαν, ἀπὸ δὲ Κορίνθου τὴν Ἐφυραίαν .

Pausanias. Pausaniae Graeciae Descriptio, 3 vols. Leipzig, Teubner. 1903.
The Annenberg CPB/Project provided support for entering this text.

Cultural Background

Rulers of Corinth

Rulers of Corinth (Complete)

Rulers of Corinth (Complete)

*μοῖρα, ἡ, part, portion, lot, share; destiny, fate
Ἀργεῖος -α -ον Argive, of Argos, the major polis south of Corinth
Κόρινθος, ὁ, Corinthus, founder of Corinth
ἔσχηκε, what tense of ἔχω ἕξω (σχήσω) ἔσχον (εἶχον impf.) ἔσχηκα -έσχημαι?
οἶδα I know. This sentence includes two indirect statements, the first accusative and participle depending on οἶδα (ουδένα . . . εἰπόντα) and the second an accusative and infinitive depending on εἰπόντα (Διὸς εἶναι Κόρινθον).
πω, enclitic particle, up to this time, yet, ever
σπουδή, ἡ, eagerness, enthusiasm
τῶν πολλῶν, the plural of πολύς preceded by the article (e.g., οἱ πολλοί) means “the majority”
Εὔμελος, c. 730 BCE, a Corinthian poet who composed a Corinthiaca, a history of Corinth from Helios to Glaucus, known to Pausanias only in a later prose version, and other works recounting the history of Messenia, Thebes, a Titanomachy, and the epic Returns (Nostoi).
 Βακχιάδαι, οἱ, royal family of Corinthian kings who claimed descent from Heracles, who, after being overthrown by Cypselus (c. 657 BCE), fled to Corcyra.
#ἔπος –εος, τό  a word; pl. epic poetry
συγγραφή, ἡ, writing, book, history
Ἐφύρα, ἡ, Ephyra is located μυχῷ Ἄργεος (the innermost part of the Argolid) according to Homer (Il. 6.150ff.; 2.659, 15.531), famous as the home of the heroes Sisyphus and Bellerophon.
*ὕστερος -α -ον, following, later
Ἐποπεύς -έως, ὁ, the father of Marathon
ἀνομία, ἡ, lawlessness (ἀ + *νόμος)
**ὕβρις –εως, ἡ, wanton violence, assault, insolence, arrogance
παραθαλάσσιος -α –ον, beside the sea, i.e., the coast (παρά + *ἡ θάλασσα). As often in Pausanias, the rest of the prepositional phrase is completed after the verb: to the coast of Attica (τῆς Ἀττικῆς).
μετοικέω, to change home, migrate (μετά + οἰκέω)
A combination of a participle ἀποθανόντος and a noun in the genitive Ἐπωπέως is a genitive absolute, a grammatical construction that explains the circumstances surrounding an event: when Epopeus died.
#ἀρχή, ἡ  beginning, origin, first cause; supreme power, rule, kingdom, empire
διανείμαντα, aor. partic. of διανέμω, to distribute, divide into portions
ἀναχωρέω, to go back, withdraw, retreat
μετονομασθῆναι, aor. pass. infin. of μετονομάζω (μετά + ὄνομα), to change name; pass. to take a new name