Passing Through Corinth with Pausanias

 Book 2.2-3

 

“Within the Corinthian lands there is the place called the Kromyon after Poseidon’s son Kromos. There is where men claim that sow called Phaia was nourished (she was one of Theseus’ deeds). When I was there, pine forest was growing along the shore where one would find the altar of Melicertes. The story is that a dolphin carried a boy to that place and that after Sisyphus found him lying there, he buried him on the Isthmus and established the Isthmian games in his honor.

This is near the start of the Isthmus where Sinis the brigand used to grab pine trees and pull them to the ground. He took all the men he overcame in battle, bound them to the tree, and let it go again. After that, the pine trees would draw the bound man toward itself, but since the binding did not give way in either direction, the victim was split in two, tearing on both sides. Sinis suffered this same death himself thanks to Theseus.”

Theseus Sinis
Theseus and Sinis, by the Elpinikos Painter

 

τῆς δὲ Κορινθίας ἐστὶ γῆς καὶ ὁ καλούμενος Κρομυὼν ἀπὸ [τοῦ] Κρόμου τοῦ Ποσειδῶνος. ἐνταῦθα τραφῆναί φασι <Φαιὰν>, καὶ τῶν λεγομένων Θησέως καὶ τὸ ἐς τὴν <ὗν> ταύτην ἐστὶν ἔργον. προϊοῦσι δὲ ἡ πίτυς ἄχρι γε ἐμοῦ πεφύκει παρὰ τὸν αἰγιαλὸν καὶ Μελικέρτου βωμὸς ἦν. ἐς τοῦτον τὸν τόπον ἐκκομισθῆναι τὸν παῖδα ὑπὸ δελφῖνος λέγουσι· κειμένῳ δὲ ἐπιτυχόντα Σίσυφον θάψαι τε ἐν τῷ ἰσθμῷ καὶ τὸν ἀγῶνα ἐπ’ αὐτῷ ποιῆσαι τῶν ᾿Ισθμίων. ἔστι δὲ ἐπὶ τοῦ ἰσθμοῦ τῆς ἀρχῆς, ἔνθα ὁ λῃστὴς Σίνις λαμβανόμενος πιτύων ἦγεν ἐς τὸ κάτω σφᾶς· ὁπόσων δὲ μάχῃ κρατήσειεν, ἀπ’ αὐτῶν δήσας ἀφῆκεν ἂν τὰ δένδρα ἄνω φέρεσθαι· ἐνταῦθα ἑκατέρα τῶν πιτύων τὸν δεθέντα ἐφ’ αὑτὴν εἷλκε, καὶ τοῦ δεσμοῦ μηδετέρωσε εἴκοντος ἀλλ’ ἀμφοτέρωθεν ἐπ’ ἴσης βιαζομένου διεσπᾶτο ὁ δεδεμένος. τοιούτῳ διεφθάρη τρόπῳ καὶ αὐτὸς ὑπὸ Θησέως ὁ Σίνις·

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