Guest House 1



Province Description

Roman intervention in Greek political affairs resulted in conflicts that led to the destruction of Corinth in 146 B.C. and the sacking of Athens in 86 B.C. It was not until 27 B.C., however, that Augustus formally organized the Roman province of Achaea. Achaea consisted of the cities and territories of the southern Greek mainland between the Peloponnese and Thessaly, as well as Epirus in the northwest and the Ionian and some of the Aegean islands. The provincial capital was Corinth. Under Nero in the mid-1st century A.D. Epirus became a separate province, and in the mid-2nd century Thessaly was detached and added to the province of Macedonia. Under Roman domination many cities such as Athens, Sparta, Patras, and Corinth grew in size and prominence, the latter two partly owing to their importance as ports. After an initial decline in the number of rural sites in the early Empire, by the late Roman period the countryside was densely settled with farms and villas, due to changing landholding patterns and Roman improvements in agricultural and irrigation technology. The main exports from Achaea were wine, particularly from the northern Peloponnese, as well as olive oil and honey, linen and woollen textiles and marbles.


Olympia (Pleiades)



Guest House I


Garden Description

A Roman guest house of the 2nd century A.D., so-called Guest House I, was erected southeast of the Roman Kladeos baths of ca. 100 A.D. (Fig. 3, A on plan). The guest house had a peristyle courtyard with a water-filled channel surrounding a rectangular island. The island may have been planted as a garden, since this area was not paved. Around 220/230 A.D. the guest house was altered. At this time, the building was given direct access through a corridor to the Kladeos baths. The peristyle courtyard of the guest house also was reduced in size and paved with terracotta slabs (C on plan), suggesting that the garden was no longer maintained.


plan of Guest Houses 1 and 2 with their courtyard gardens

Fig. 1: Plan of Guest House I (A) and Guest House II (B) with their courtyard gardens (G). The garden in Guest House I was later paved over (C). Adapted from Mallwitz 1972, fig. 230.


2nd-4th century CE


  • A. Mallwitz, Olympia und seine Bauten. Munich,1972, pp. 276-277, fig. 230. (worldcat)

Pleiades ID





Maureen Carroll (ORCID: 0000-0001-9958-8032)

Publication date

21 Apr 2021