2.3.2 – The Road to Lechaeum

[2] ἐκ δὲ τῆς ἀγορᾶς ἐξιόντων τὴν ἐπὶ Λεχαίου προπύλαιά ἐστι καὶ ἐπ᾽ αὐτῶν ἅρματα ἐπίχρυσα, τὸ μὲν Φαέθοντα Ἡλίου παῖδα, τὸ δὲ Ἥλιον αὐτὸν φέρον. ὀλίγον δὲ ἀπωτέρω τῶν προπυλαίων ἐσιοῦσιν ἐν δεξιᾷ ἐστιν Ἡρακλῆς χαλκοῦς. μετὰ δὲ αὐτὸν ἔσοδός ἐστι τῆς Πειρήνης ἐς τὸ ὕδωρ. ἐπὶ δὲ αὐτῇ λέγουσιν ὡς ἥ Πειρήνη γένοιτο ὑπὸ δακρύων ἐξ ἀνθρώπου πηγή, τὸν παῖδα ὀδυρομένη Κεγχρίαν ὑπὸ Ἀρτέμιδος ἀκούσης ἀποθανόντα.

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After completing his discussion of the agora, Pausanias now embarks on describing Corinth along three different routes that move out of the agora radially like spokes on a wheel.  The first is the road north to Lechaeum, the second is the road west to Sicyon, and the third is the road south up to Acrocorinth.

After passing through the Propylaia—marked by statues of Phaethon and his father Helios—toward Lechaeum, Pausanias immediately speaks of the most famous fountain in Corinth, Peirene.  As he continues down the road to Lechaeum, he writes most extensively about baths and the aqueduct built to feed them. It appears that Hadrian vies with Poseidon as a benefactor of these waterworks.


Arch at the Head of the Lechaion Road (Corinth Computer Project)

Lechaeum Road
Road to Lechaeum. Paved with limestone slabs and cut off to wheeled traffic in the second half of the 1st c. CE. Served as the Cardo Maximus of the Roman colony. Ancient Corinth. Photograph: John Gruber-Miller.
Lechaeum Road sidewalk
Sidewalk along the Road to Lechaeum. Note the lower street level on the right and a gutter to the left for catching rain water. Late 1st c. CE. Ancient Corinth. Photograph: John Gruber-Miller.
Steps to the Forum
Steps to the Propylaea and Roman forum. 2nd half of the 1st c. CE. Ancient Corinth. Photograph: John Gruber-Miller.
Radiate Helius drives a quadriga with winged horses
Helius drives his four-horse chariot out of ocean, the stars dive and disappear into the water. Red-figured calyx-krater. 430BC (circa). Excavated in Puglia, Italy. British Museum.