Peirene (pye-REE-nee) was a fountain in Corinth. The arched openings led to bowls carved in the rock where water collected.
The Greek historian Pausanias describes the Fountain of Peirene: "On leaving the market-place along the road to Lechaeum you come to a gateway, on which are two gilded chariots, one carrying Phaethon the son of Helius, the other Helius himself. A little farther away from the gateway, on the right as you go in, is a bronze Heracles. After this is the entrance to the water of Peirene. ... The spring is ornamented with white marble, and there have been made chambers like caves, out of which the water flows into an open-air well. It is pleasant to drink... Near Peirene are an image and a sacred enclosure of Apollo; in the latter is a painting of the exploit of Odysseus against the suitors.
According to Greek myth, the fountain originated when mother was transformed into a spring by her tears while she was lamenting for her son who had been killed accidentally by the goddess Artemis. The fountain was said to have been a favorite watering hole of the Pegasus, the winged horse who was the progeny of Poseidon (left), god of water and earthquakes, and Medusa, the Gorgon.
Notes and Credits
The photo of the Fountain of Peirene is a non-copyrighted photograph from Apollo: An Infrastructure for Teaching the Ancient Mediterranean and Medieval Worlds at http://apollo.classics.unc.edu/. Click on it to see a larger version.
The computer-altered photograph of a sculpture of Poseidon is adapted from one at Forum Romanum web site and is used by permission of David Camden.
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