Corinth Monument: Bema
Collection:   Corinth
Type:   Monument
Name:   Bema
Description:   The Bema was a complex marble structure dating from the middle of the 1st century A.D. which dominated the face of the terrace of the Upper Forum at Corinth. It took the form of an open propylon with a Π-shaped ground plan, which stood on a rectangular pedestal measuring 15.6 x 7.2 m. This pedestal had a crepis with two steps and on the north projected 3.00 m. above the level of the Lower Forum. Its superstructure consisted of eight pillars, the three central intervals between which were open while the two pairs at each end were blocked with walls and benches. The pedestal was flanked by two unroofed rooms (exedras) that had benches on two of their three sides. In addition to these rooms, there were marble staircases communicating between the Lower and Upper Forum.
The Bema was the venue for public ceremonies, from which the assembled citizens were addressed by the proconsul of Corinth. It is thought to have corresponded to the Bema mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles: the Apostle Paul was brought to the Bema by the elders of Corinth’s synagogue, who accused him of subversive teaching against the Mosaic law. The proconsul Gallio, however, judged that the teaching did not constitute an offence against Roman law.
In the Byzantine period, a Christian church with at least two phases was built on the site and ruins of the Bema. The second phase was a three-aisled basilica (11th-12th century). On both sides of the Bema were the main shops of the Forum, the remains of which can still be seen by modern visitors.
Site:   Corinth
City:   Ancient Corinth
Country:   Greece
References:   Plans and Drawings (31)
Images (48)
Object: A 1099
Object: A 1100