History of Construction and
The Peribolos of Apollo was a
marble peristyle court offering shelter from inclement weather
and respite from the noise and traffic of the adjacent Lechaion
road. Adorned with a statue of Apollo and a painting of Odysseus
fighting the suitors, according to Pausanias, the court also
had stairs leading down to the refreshing water of the fountain
of Peirene to the south.
Prior to the construction of
the peristyle court in the last quarter of the first century
A.D., a market building where provisions were sold (macellum)
occupied the area.
Excavations have also revealed
a long history for the area before the Roman period. Sequentially
the finds from the periods represented are as follows: Neolithic
sherds found in the northwest and southeast corners of the area,
an early Helladic burial, sherds and two burials of Geometric
date, and Protocorinthian and Corinthian sherds in the northwest
From the early sixth century,
possibly earlier, a dying workshop identified by deposits of
murex shells and equipped with drying floors and reservoirs
occupied the northern half of the area. A late sixth- or early
fifth-century temenos wall and associated temple and altar,
possibly belonging with a hero cult, occupied the southern half.
The plan of the temple was a simple pronaos and cella. A baldachino
covered the semicircular altar. The temenos wall lay roughly
5.5 m to the north and 4 m to the west of the temple. In the
second half of the fourth century the temenos wall on the north
was abandoned and the dye workshop encroached into the former
temenos. At the same time or slightly later the temple was dismantled
and a baldachino with a screen wall on the west was built on
the foundations of the temple. The altar was adapted and continued
Restored plan of the Peribolos
in Corinth, A.D. 150
Following two ephemeral
early Roman bronze working installations and a stoa built on the north
border of the area, the first Roman phase was the macellum.
An inscription probably associated with the macellum mentioning
Quintus Cornelius Secundus provides a date in the Augustan period.
Built with the shops along the east side of the Lechaion road, the
macellum (20.3 X 41.0 m) was built of poros limestone
and consisted of a tholos (diameter 7.50 m) stradling the Peirene
drain in the center of a colonnaded court with shops on the north
and south. A terrace wall perhaps pierced by an entrance lay on the
east. Entrance into the court from the Lechaion road was through the
central shop space.
The evidence for the second
Roman phase is a poros stylobate in the foundations of the south wall
of the third Roman phase. It suggests the construction, although perhaps
not completed, of a poros peristyle court in third quarter of the
first century AD.
In the third Roman phase
the area was extended to the east and the marble peristyle court ca.
32.4 X 40.0 m of the Peribolos of Apollo proper was built. An Ionic
colonnade of Pentelic and Hymettian marble with columns of a restored
height of 3.9 m bordered the court. Four columns divide the southern
colonnade from a roofed, slightly more than semicircular exedra (radius
6.1 m). To the east of the exedra there was an entrance into the court
and to the west stairs led down to the court of Peirene. The western
entrance continued through the central shop space. The Corinthian
colonnade of the Lechaion road and a limestone sidewalk were built
in front of the shops.
After the addition of
three apses to the court of Peirene in the first half of the second
century, the exedra of the Peribolos of Apollo was altered and the
entrance to the west was moved to the east of the northern apse of
the Peirene court.
The colonnade and the
pavement of the Peribolos of Apollo were repaired in the fourth century
AD. Modifications of the plan were also undertaken in the Byzantine
period. The colonnade seems to have been dismantled and numerous pits
were dug in the area.
Building summary written
by Peri Johnson.
Pictures from the Peribolos:
- Fowler, Harold N. and Richard Stillwell.
Corinth I, i; Introduction, Topography, Architecture. Cambridge,
Mattusch, C.C., "Corinthian
metalworking, the forum area," Hesperia 46 (1977) 380-389,
Slane, Kathleen W.,
"Tetrarchic recovery in Corinth: Pottery, lamps, and other finds
from the Peribolos of Apollo," Hesperia 63 (1994) 127-168,
and H. Ess Askew, "The Peribolos of Apollo," in Corinth I,
ii; Architecture. Richard Stillwell, R. L. Scranton, and S.
E. Freeman. Cambridge, 1941, 1-54, plate 1.
West, A.B., "Latin
Inscriptions 1896-1926," in Corinth VIII, ii; Cambridge,
1931, no. 124.