The South Stoa at Corinth: Design, Construction and Function of the Greek Phase

  • David Scahill

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The focus of this dissertation is the design, construction and function of the South Stoa at Corinth in its initial phase. The South Stoa was first published in a monograph by Oscar Broneer in 1954.1 In addition to dealing with the Greek and Roman phases of the building, Broneer’s study also dealt with the “pre-stoa” remains. Certain aspects of the architecture of the stoa, however, were either treated only briefly or were entirely left out of the publication. While it was one of the first attempts at a full study of a secular Greek building, several conclusions deserve re-evaluation, including the date of construction and the design of the building in its initial phase, which has an impact on subsequent phases of remodeling, the function of the building, as well as its place in the historical development of stoas.Re-evaluation of the in situ remains of the stoa combined with newly identified architectural fragments of the building, particularly from the superstructure, provide important evidence to suggest an alternative reconstruction to that previously put forward. This new reconstruction is presented as the most likely solution, in awareness of the possibility that future finds may give rise to modification. As will be shown, the staircases inside the first and last front rooms of the stoa do not belong to the initial building phase as previously thought, but instead date to the Roman period, while evidence in the form of foundations and cuttings for a staircase inside the colonnade at the west end of the stoa, dated prior to 146 B.C., belongs to the initial phase of the building and calls for an entirely different interior reconstruction.The date of the stoa, which has fluctuated from sometime after the middle of the fourth century B.C. (340-320 B.C.) to the early decades of the third century B.C., can now be more precisely determined in view of recent examination of pottery deposits from beneath the stoa terrace, which was built prior to the stoa’s construction. These deposits have been dated between 300-290 B.C., which would push the date of the stoa’s construction to the beginning decades of the third century B.C. This has considerable bearing on the early development of Hellenistic stoas and on the stylistic chronology of several other buildings built around the end of the fourth century B.C.Having resolved aspects of the reconstruction and situated the stoa chronologically, the focus of this study moves on to design considerations, including examination of the proportions and of the ancient foot unit used in the design of the building. Construction and statics of the building are also considered.
Date of Award10 Oct 2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorMark Wilson Jones (Supervisor) & Paul Richens (Supervisor)


  • Ancient Greek architecture
  • Doric order
  • stoa

Cite this