Water, Myth and History in Ancient Corinth

The fountain in southern Greece owned by many

Bellerophon and Pegasus (1790–1844) by Bertel ThorvaldsenThe Metropolitan Museum of Art

Legend has it that, in Ancient Corinth, the mythical winged horse Pegasus struck the ground with his hoof, cracked open the Earth and created the famous Peirene Fountain in southern Greece.

The ruins of the ancient Greek city-state, Corinth by CyArkCyArk

The Ancient Greek city of Corinth dates back to the Stone Age but it reached its height in 8 BCE, almost 3,000 years ago, when it became the most powerful trading port in Greece. 

Aerial photo of Corinth by CyArkCyArk

The port city of Corinth remained an important trade center for centuries. In the heart of the city lies the artistic treasure of the Fountain of Peirene, which was the primary source of water in Corinth.

CyArk scanning the fountain of Peirene in Corinth by CyArkCyArk

In 44 BCE, Julius Caesar declared this trading port city as the capital of Roman Greece. He ordered his people to rebuild the city and the famous Fountain of Peirene, and they decorated it with frescoes of lively sea creatures and other aquatic scenes in vibrant paint. 

Aerial view of the ruins of Ancient Corinth by American School of Classical Studies at AthensCyArk

Over time, the Western Roman Empire lost their control over this wealthy trading city. In 4000 CE the Greek-speaking Byzantine Empire in Constantinople began ruling the city of Corinth. In the 10th century, the Byzantines built a small chapel within the Fountain of Peirene.  

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