Corinth and Pegasos

Mythological Motif Coin

The great Temple of Apollo (6th C. BCE) is shown above (top) in Corinth, Greece. Between the massive Doric pillars one views Acrocorinth on-high -- the acropolis and center of worship of Greek Corinthian culture. The two photos just below the temple show Acrocorinth from the ancient city walls and close-up. In the 4th C. BCE, Acrocorinth was linked to Corinth below by long walls. [Boardman, et al., Greece and the Hellenistic World, 1990, p.31] (As luck would have it, as the temple photo was taken, Pegasos -- the mythological symbol of Corinth and central icon for its coinage -- came flying by . It bears an uncanny resemblance to its coin image below. Digital enhancement? What digital enhancement?)

The final set of three mint-site photos, just above, are from Roman period Corinth. They show the agora. The arched structure in the center is part of a shop in the N.W. sector of the agora. (The wall paper image for this web page is also from the agora : Roman Temple E. The style of its columns is, well, Corinthian.)

Corinth, Silver Stater, 345-307 BCE. Obverse: Pegasos flying left.

Converse: Laureate and helmeted head of Athena left, plow behind. [Pegasi I pg.265, 441]

Q: Pegasos appears on the early coinage of Siracusa, Sicily, and many other ancient cities of the Greek World. Is there any connection with Corinthian culture?

A: Yes. Typically, colonies established by Corinth paid homage to their parent culture by use of its central symbol. Pegasos became as well known in the Corinthian sphere of influence as the owl became in the Athenian. [Sayles, Ancient Coin Collecting, II: Numismatic Art of the Greek World, 1997, pp.46-47] Syracuse was settled in the 8th C. BCE by the Corinthian Archias and his fellow Peloponnesian Greeks -- it would become the most powerful and wealthiest of all cities in the classical Greek World. [Wescoat, Syracuse, The Fairest Greek City, 1989, p.14] The coin converse below is an AE19 example, minted 310-305 BCE in Syracuse. [Sear 1199]

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