Corinth Monument: Amphitheater
Collection:   Corinth
Type:   Monument
Name:   Amphitheater
Description:   A large oval depression (79 meters long x 52 meters wide) in the fields 1.2 kilometers east-north-east of the Temple of Apollo is a remnant of the Roman amphitheater. A broad gap probably marks the Porta Triumphalis on the south side. Traces of a massive masonry and concrete wall which originally supported the superstructure are visible in the olive grove on the southeast and southwest sides. These suggest exterior dimensions of approximately 100 x 70 meters. Early last century four steps were visible, quarried from the oolitic limestone dune capping the marl deposits. These were either the seats themselves or cuttings for the placement of separately carved seats since robbed out. An early 19th century plan marks traces of seven staircases. The spacing suggests that these divided lower seating on each side into six kerkides, wedge-shaped seating areas. A diazoma, or horizontal walkway, may have divided the upper seating from the lower. The lowest part of the seating was cut into the marl and both this and the superstructure above ground were presumably built of stone quarried on site.
Katherine Welch who studied the superficial remains of the amphitheater has suggested that it was built in the late 1st century B.C. and thus belongs to the early years of the colony. It is possible that this is the amphitheater in which Lucius, the hero of The Golden Ass (written by the Roman author Apuleius), was to perform in public but was saved from embarrassment when he was transformed from a donkey back into a man.
The Amphitheater was later used by the Venetians as a place of quarantine (lazaretto). The remains were mapped by Francesco Grimani in 1700 and Abel Blouet, a surveyor with the French Morea expedition, in the 1830’s.
Site:   Corinth
City:   Ancient Corinth
Country:   Greece
References:   Image: bw 2232
Image: bw 2233
Image: digital 2014 0901