2.1.1 – The Land of Corinth and its Founders

ἡ δὲ Κορινθία χώρα μοῖρα οὖσα τῆς Ἀργείας ἀπὸ Κορίνθου τὸ ὄνομα ἔσχηκε. Διὸς δὲ εἶναι Κόρινθον οὐδένα οἶδα εἰπόντα πω σπουδῇ πλὴν Κορινθίων τῶν πολλῶν: Εὔμηλος δὲ ὁ Ἀμφιλύτου τῶν Βακχιδῶν καλουμένων, ὃς καὶ τὰ ἔπη λέγεται ποιῆσαι, φησὶν ἐν τῇ Κορινθίᾳ συγγραφῇ—εἰ δὲ Εὐμήλου γε ἡ συγγραφή—Ἐφύραν Ὠκεανοῦ θυγατέρα οἰκῆσαι πρῶτον ἐν τῇ γῇ ταύτῃ, Μαραθῶνα δὲ ὕστερον τὸν Ἐπωπέως τοῦ Ἀλωέως τοῦ Ἡλίου φεύγοντα ἀνομίαν καὶ ὕβριν τοῦ πατρὸς ἐς τὰ παραθαλάσσια μετοικῆσαι τῆς Ἀττικῆς, ἀποθανόντος δὲ Ἐπωπέως ἀφικόμενον ἐς Πελοπόννησον καὶ τὴν ἀρχὴν διανείμαντα τοῖς παισὶν αὐτὸν ἐς τὴν Ἀττικὴν αὖθις ἀναχωρῆσαι, καὶ ἀπὸ μὲν Σικυῶνος τὴν Ἀσωπίαν, ἀπὸ δὲ Κορίνθου τὴν Ἐφυραίαν μετονομασθῆναι.

  • Map
  • Pre Reading
  • Post Reading
  • Culture Essay

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. Throughout the passage, places are named after their mythical founders.

Pre-reading exercise: Prepositional Prefixes in compound words-Pre-reading-IntrotoCorinth

Watch the Ancient Greek Review video on Participles in Greek – Participles video.

Read an explanation how Participles work.

Pre-reading exercise: participles in 2.1.1

The manuscripts give the heading “Corinthiaca” to Book 2. Based on what Pausanias says in the first sentence about the Corinthia being part of the Argive, do you think that Pausanias gave this name to the book this way or a later editor?  Why might it be named this way?

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?


Earliest Rulers of Corinth (Complete)