2.4.5 – The Road to Sicyon: The Capitolium, gymnasium, the spring of Lerna, and the Sanctuary of Asclepius

[5] τὸ δὲ ἱερὸν τῆς Ἀθηνᾶς τῆς Χαλινίτιδος πρὸς τῷ θεάτρῳ σφίσιν ἐστὶν καὶ πλησίον ξόανον γυμνὸν Ἡρακλέους, Δαιδάλου δὲ αὐτό φασιν εἶναι τέχνην. Δαίδαλος δὲ ὁπόσα εἰργάσατο, ἀτοπώτερα μέν ἐστιν ἐς τὴν ὄψιν, ἐπιπρέπει δὲ ὅμως τι καὶ ἔνθεον τούτοις. ὑπὲρ δὲ τὸ θέατρόν ἐστιν ἱερὸν Διὸς Καπετωλίου φωνῇ τῇ Ῥωμαίων: κατὰ Ἑλλάδα δὲ γλῶσσαν Κορυφαῖος ὀνομάζοιτο ἄν. τοῦ θεάτρου δέ ἐστι τοῦδε οὐ πόρρω γυμνάσιον τὸ ἀρχαῖον καὶ πηγὴ καλουμένη Λέρνα: κίονες δὲ ἑστήκασι περὶ αὐτὴν καὶ καθέδραι πεποίηνται τοὺς ἐσελθόντας ἀναψύχειν ὥρᾳ θέρους. πρὸς τούτῳ τῷ γυμνασίῳ ναοὶ θεῶν εἰσιν ὁ μὲν Διός, ὁ δὲ Ἀσκληπιοῦ: τὰ δὲ ἀγάλματα Ἀσκληπιὸς μὲν καὶ Ὑγεία λευκοῦ λίθου, τὸ δὲ τοῦ Διὸς χαλκοῦν ἐστιν.

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After Pausanias completes his discussion of the rulers of Corinth, he re-situates his readers by recalling the temple of Athena Chalinitis before proceeding to other important monuments on the road to the harbor.  Although the location of the Capitolium is still disputed, it is an important landmark in any Roman colony, built after the model of the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill overlooking the Forum in Rome.  Recently, the magnificent, Roman podium-style Temple E has been considered as a likely candidate as Corinth’s Capitolium. For the bibliography, see Hutton, Describing Greece 168, n. 91.  How would you reconcile this location for the Capitolium with Pausanias’ description of the road to Sicyon?

Pausanias also comments on the wooden statues of the artist Daedalus before turning north to the gymnasium, Lerna spring, and the sanctuary of Asclepius.  The fresh water supplied by the spring would have been a wonderful resource for both the athletes who trained at the gymnasium and for the priests in charge of comforting and curing the infirm and ill who visited the sanctuary of Asclepius, whose healing cult at Epidaurus spread throughout the Greek world.  The Asclepieion at Corinth has produced many votive offerings of body parts that were given to the god in thanksgiving for healing.  See M. Lang, Cure and Cult in Ancient Corinth.

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