Greek Travel Pages

Location information

Listed 8 sub titles with search on: Mythology for destination: "ISTHMUS KORINTHOS Isthmus LOUTRAKI-PERACHORA".

Mythology (8)

Gods & demigods


A legend of the Corinthians about their land is not peculiar to them, for I believe that the Athenians were the first to relate a similar story to glorify Attica. The Corinthians say that Poseidon had a dispute with Helius (Sun ) about the land, and that Briareos arbitrated between them, assigning to Poseidon the Isthmus and the parts adjoining, and giving to Helius the height above the city. Ever since, they say, the Isthmus has belonged to Poseidon.

This extract is from: Pausanias. Description of Greece (ed. W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., & H.A. Ormerod, 1918). Cited Oct 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

Poseidon Isthmius

Isthmius (Isthmios), i. e. the god worshipped on the Isthmus (of Corinth), a surname of Poseidon, in honour of whom the Isthmian games were celebrated. (Paus. ii. 9. Β 6 )

Alcyoneus the giant

Alcyoneus. A giant, who kept possession of the Isthmus of Corinth at the time when Heracles drove away the oxen of Geryon. The giant attacked him, crushed twelve waggons and twenty-four of the men of Heracles with a huge block of stone. Heracles himself warded off the stone with his club and slew Alcyoneus. The block, with which the giant had attempted the life of Heracles, was shewn on the Isthmus down to a very late period. (Pind. Nem. iv. 44, with the Schol.) In another passage (Isth. vi. 45, &c.) Pindar calls Alcyoneus a Thracian shepherd, and places the struggle with him in the Phlegraean plains.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Famous robbers

Sinis the Pityokamptes (Pinebender)

At the beginning of the Isthmus is the place where the brigand Sinis used to take hold of pine trees and draw them down. All those whom he overcame in fight he used to tie to the trees, and then allow them to swing up again. Thereupon each of the pines used to drag to itself the bound man, and as the bond gave way in neither direction but was stretched equally in both, he was torn in two. This was the way in which Sinis himself was slain by Theseus. For Theseus rid of evildoers the road from Troezen to Athens, killing those whom I have enumerated and, in sacred Epidaurus, Periphetes, thought to be the son of Hephaestus, who used to fight with a bronze club.(Paus. 2.1.4)

This extract is from: Pausanias. Description of Greece (ed. W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., & H.A. Ormerod, 1918). Cited Oct 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

    (Sinis) or Sinnis (Sinnis). Son of Polypemon, Pemon, or Poseidon, by Sylea, the daughter of Corinthus. He was a robber, who frequented the Isthmus of Corinth, and killed the travellers whom he captured by fastening them to the top of a fir-tree, which he bent, and then let spring up again. He himself was killed in this manner by Theseus.
   (pituokamptes, "pine-bender"). A name applied to the robber Sinis, who killed travellers by tying them between two pine-trees bent down so as nearly to meet, and then allowed to spring apart (Pausan. ii. 1, 3).

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Second, he (Theseus) killed Sinis, son of Polypemon and Sylea, daughter of Corinthus. This Sinis was surnamed the Pine-bender; for inhabiting the Isthmus of Corinth he used to force the passersby to keep bending pine trees; but they were too weak to do so, and being tossed up by the trees they perished miserably. In that way also Theseus killed Sinis.
Commentary: The ancients are not agreed as to the exact mode in which the ruffian Sinis despatched his victims. According to Diodorus, Pausanias, and the Scholiast on Pindar he bent two pine-trees to the ground, tied the extremities of his victim to both trees, and then let the trees go, which, springing up and separating, tore the wretch's body in two. This atrocious form of murder was at a later time actually employed by the emperor Aurelian in a military execution. A Ruthenian pirate, named Botho, is said to have put men to death in similar fashion. According to Hyginus, Sinis, with the help of his victim, dragged down a pine-tree to the earth; then, when the man was struggling to keep the tree down, Sinis released it, and in the rebound the man was tossed up into the air and killed by falling heavily to the ground. Apollodorus seems to have contemplated a similar mode of death, except that he does not mention the cooperation of Sinis in bending the tree to the earth. According to the Parian Chronicle it was not on his journey from Troezen to Athens that Theseus killed Sinis, but at a later time, after he had come to the throne and united the whole of Attica under a single government; he then returned to the Isthmus of Corinth, killed Sinis, and celebrated the Isthmian games. This tradition seems to imply that Theseus held the games as a funeral honour paid to the dead man, or more probably as an expiation to appease the angry ghost of his victim. This implication is confirmed by the Scholiast on Pindar, who says that according to some people Theseus held the Isthmian games in honour of Sinis, whom he had killed. Plutarch tells us (Plut. Thes. 8.2) that when Theseus had killed Sinis, the daughter of the dead man, by name Perigune, fled and hid herself in a bed of asparagus; that she bore a son Melanippus to Theseus, and that Melanippus had a son Ioxus, whose descendants, the Ioxids, both men and women, revered and honoured asparagus and would not burn it, because asparagus had once sheltered their ancestress. This hereditary respect shown by all the members of a family or clan for a particular species of plant is reminiscent of totemism, though it is not necessarily a proof of it.

This extract is from: Apollodorus, Library and Epitome (ed. Sir James George Frazer, 1921). Cited Oct 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

  On the Isthmus, too, he slew Sinis the Pine-bender in the very manner in which many men had been destroyed by himself, and he did this without practice or even acquaintance with the monster's device, but showing that valor is superior to all device and practice. Now Sinis had a very beautiful and stately daughter, named Perigune. This daughter took to flight when her father was killed, and Theseus went about in search of her. But she had gone off into a place which abounded greatly in shrubs and rushes and wild asparagus, and with exceeding innocence and childish simplicity was supplicating these plants, as if they understood her, and vowing that if they would hide and save her, she would never trample them down nor burn them. When, however, Theseus called upon her and gave her a pledge that he would treat her honorably and do her no wrong, she came forth, and after consorting with Theseus, bore him Melanippus, and afterwards lived with Deioneus, son of Eurytus the Oechalian, to whom Theseus gave her. From Melanippus the son of Theseus, Ioxus was born, who took part with Ornytus in leading a colony into Caria whence it is ancestral usage with the Ioxids, men and women, not to burn either the asparagus-thorn or the rush, but to revere and honor them.

This extract is from: Plutarch's Lives (ed. Bernadotte Perrin, 1914). Cited Oct 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

You are able to search for more information in greater and/or surrounding areas by choosing one of the titles below and clicking on "more".

Ferry Departures

Copyright 1999-2019 International Publications Ltd.