South Stoa

History of Construction and Use

Restored plan of the South Stoa in Corinth, A.D. 150. Figure 1. Restored plan of the South Stoa in Corinth, A.D. 150.

The South Stoa was a two-story structure which had a row of seventy-one Doric columns across the front and thirty-four Ionic columns to form the portico.

Before the South Stoa was constructed, the site was occupied by various structures. A stele shrine was located at the southwest end of the South Stoa, while various commercial structures were located under the westernmost shops and part of the portico. The early race course concluded near the western end of the South Stoa.

There are multiple phases in the construction of the South Stoa. Originally constructed during the first quarter of the third century B.C., the South Stoa underwent considerable remodeling by the Roman architects. The Greek Stoa was 164.38 m long by 25.15 m deep, and had a series of thirty-three shops and workrooms behind the portico. When it was constructed, the South Stoa was the largest public building in Greece.

Actual state of the South Stoa. Figure 2. Actual state of the South Stoa.

Commencing during the reign of Augustus (31 B.C. to A.D. 14), shops were removed to make administrative spaces. Later, a fountain house, entrance court for the South Basilica, elliptical room, bath complex and latrine were added to the urban ensemble. Several spaces remained shops throughout the Roman period. The major period of construction within the South Stoa by the Romans was from ca. A.D. 50 to A.D. 150.

West End of the South Stoa. Figure 3. West End of the South Stoa.

East End of the South Stoa. Figure 4. East End of the South Stoa.

The exact functions of all of the Roman spaces within the South Stoa are not known. It has been suggested that the duovirs, the aediles, the Senate, and an official for the Isthmian Games all had office space within the South Stoa. The precise location of the curia is unknown, but several spaces within the South Stoa have been proposed.

Building summary written by Thomas Morton.

Detail of Rooms 10 to 14. Figure 4. Detail of Rooms 10 to 14.

Pictures from the South Stoa

Bibliography

Broneer, Oscar. Corinth I, iv: The South Stoa. Princeton, 1954.
Coulton, J.J. The Architectural Development of the Greek Stoa. Oxford, 1976.
Walbank, M., “The foundation and planning of early Roman Corinth,” Journal of Roman Archaeology 10 (1997) 95-130.