P. 251 (with art)

Bacchylides Ode 18 (Dithyramb 4) 18.19-22:

He tells of the indescribable deeds of a mighty man. That man killed overweening Sinis, who was the greatest of mortals in strength; he is the son of Lytaeus the Earthshaker, son of Cronus (Original Greek).

London, British Museum E48: Attic red-figure kylix by Douris with Theseus and Sinis (on right)


The British Museum Collection on line

Munich, Antikensammlung, 8771: Attic red-figure cup by Apollodoros or Elpinikos, Theseus and Sinis


Drawing of cup’s interior by J.D. Beazley, Beazley Archive Pottery Database

Diodorus Siculus Library of History 4.59.3:

(Original Greek).

Pausanias Description of Greece 2.1.4:

At the beginning of the Isthmus is the place where the brigand Sinis used to take hold of pine trees and draw them down. All those whom he overcame in fight he used to tie to the trees, and then allow them to swing up again. Thereupon each of the pines used to drag to itself the bound man, and as the bond gave way in neither direction but was stretched equally in both, he was torn in two. This was the way in which Sinis himself was slain by Theseus. For Theseus rid of evildoers the road from Troezen to Athens, killing those whom I have enumerated and, in sacred Epidaurus, Periphetes, thought to be the son of Hephaestus, who used to fight with a bronze club (Original Greek).

Apollodorus Library 3.16.2:

Second, he killed Sinis, son of Polypemon and Sylea, daughter of Corinthus. This Sinis was surnamed the Pine-bender; for inhabiting the Isthmus of Corinth he used to force the passersby to keep bending pine trees; but they were too weak to do so, and being tossed up by the trees they perished miserably. In that way also Theseus killed Sinis (Original Greek).

Hyginus Fabula 38:

(Original Latin).

Ovid Metamorphoses 7.440-442:

And Sinis, a monstrosity of strength,
who bent the trunks of trees, and used his might

Against the world for everything that’s wrong.
For evil, he would force down to the earth (Original Latin).

Plutarch Theseus 8.2:

On the Isthmus, too, he slew Sinis the Pine-bender in the very manner in which many men had been destroyed by himself, and he did this without practice or even acquaintance with the monster’s device, but showing that valor is superior to all device and practice. Now Sinis had a very beautiful and stately daughter, named Perigune. This daughter took to flight when her father was killed, and Theseus went about in search of her. But she had gone off into a place which abounded greatly in shrubs and rushes and wild asparagus, and with exceeding innocence and childish simplicity was supplicating these plants, as if they understood her, and vowing that if they would hide and save her, she would never trample them down nor burn them (Original Greek).

Kratinos fr 328 PCG:

Oxford, Ashmolean Museum 1937.983: Attic red-figure calyx krater by Dinos Painter with Theseus and Sinis


J. D. Beazley, “Prometheus Fire-Lighter,” American Journal of Archaeology, vol. 43 (1939), pl. 11

Beazley Archive Pottery Database

Edited by R. Ross Holloway, Elisha Benjamin Andrews Professor Emeritus, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown Univ., and by Frances Van Keuren, Prof. Emerita, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Univ. of Georgia, July 2016.

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