2.1.3 – The Road to Corinth continued: Memories of Theseus and Melicertes

τῆς δὲ Κορινθίας ἐστὶ γῆς καὶ ὁ καλούμενος Κρομυὼν ἀπὸ τοῦ Κρόμου τοῦ Ποσειδῶνος. ἐνταῦθα τραφῆναί φασι Φαιὰν, καὶ τῶν λεγομένων Θησέως καὶ τὸ ἐς τὴν ὗν ταύτην ἐστὶν ἔργον. προϊοῦσι δὲ ἡ πίτυς ἄχρι γε ἐμοῦ πεφύκει παρὰ τὸν αἰγιαλὸν καὶ Μελικέρτου βωμὸς ἦν. ἐς τοῦτον τὸν τόπον ἐκκομισθῆναι τὸν παῖδα ὑπὸ δελφῖνος λέγουσι: κειμένῳ δὲ ἐπιτυχόντα Σίσυφον θάψαι τε ἐν τῷ ἰσθμῷ καὶ τὸν ἀγῶνα ἐπ᾽ αὐτῷ ποιῆσαι τῶν Ἰσθμίων.

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The liminal territory between poleis can be a treacherous no-man’s land.  We have already met Theseus along the road from Attica to the isthmus where he tossed the robber Sciron into the sea.  Now we learn of two more of his famous deeds, the defeat of the wild boar Phaia and the brigand Sinis who stretches travelers between two pine trees.

In this section, Pausanias presents part two of Melicertes’ story: his tomb.  After his mother Ino throws herself and her son into the sea to escape the wrath of her husband Athamas, Melicertes is carried to dry land by a dolphin.  The hero Sisyphus discovers the body and buries the boy on the isthmus.

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Theseus finds sword and sandals