The Diolkos: A Significant Technical Achievement of Antiquity

I wish I had attended that Corinthia Loutraki conference in 2007.  I continue to discover interesting paper titles and abstracts in the forthcoming publication.  I noted previously Hans Lohman’s “Der Diolkos von Korinth — eine antike Schiffsschleppe?.”  And now I learned of another paper on the diolkos titled “The Diolkos: A Significant Technical Achievement of Antiquity.”  The piece by Giannis Nakas and D. Koutsoumba is forthcoming in the Loutraki volume.  Here’s the abstract:

“The ancient stone-paved road, located around the west end of the Isthmus of Corinth has been firmly and widely identified already from the end of the 19th century with the ancient diolkos, a road especially made for the transportation of ships over the Isthmus, which was built by the tyrant Periander (6th century BC). However, a more thorough study of the ancient sources and the archaeological remains shows that it is unclear whether the diolkos was used for the transportation of ships or for the transportation of heavy cargoes or even if it was ever completed as a technical work. Furthermore, there are doubts concerning its dating, which varies between the 6th and the 4th centuries BC. In any case, the diolkos is one of the most important technical achievements of Ancient Greece, a masterpiece of engineering and a unique public work of archaic and classical Greece. Its preservation and further study is essential for our understanding of ancient technology and craftsmanship.”

Back in 2009, the ASCSA uploaded a program of the conference here, and abstracts here.

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