Ancient Corinth

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700 BC–338 BC
Capital Corinth
Languages Doric Greek
Religion Greek Polytheism
Government Oligarchy
Historical era Classical Antiquity
 •  Founding 700 BC 700 BC
 •  Cypselus 657–627 BC
 •  Dissolution 338 BC
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Greek Dark Ages
Macedonian Empire

Corinth (/ˈkɔːrɪnθ/; Greek: Κόρινθος Kórinthos) was a city-state (polis) on the Isthmus of Corinth, the narrow stretch of land that joins the Peloponnese to the mainland of Greece, roughly halfway between Athens and Sparta. The modern town of Corinth is located approximately 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) northeast of the ancient ruins. Since 1896, systematic archaeological investigations of the Corinth Excavations by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens have revealed large parts of the ancient city, and recent excavations conducted by the Greek Ministry of Culture have brought important new facets of antiquity to light.

For Christians, Corinth is known from the two letters of Saint Paul in the New Testament, First Corinthians and Second Corinthians . The second book of Pausanias' Description of Greece is devoted to Corinth.

Ancient Corinth was one of the largest and most important cities of Greece, with a population of 90,000 in 400 BC.[1] After its total destruction in 146 BC, the Romans built a new city in its place in 44 BC and later made it the provincial capital of Greece.


Prehistory and founding myths

Neolithic pottery suggests that the site of Corinth was occupied from at least as early as 6500 BC, and continually occupied into the Early Bronze Age,[2] when, it has been suggested, the settlement acted as a centre of trade.[3] However, there is a dramatic drop in ceramic remains during the Early Helladic II phase, and only sparse ceramic remains in the EHIII and MH phases; thus it appears that the area was very sparsely inhabited in the period immediately before the Mycenaean period. While pottery dating to the Mycenaean period is negligible at the site of Corinth, there was a settlement on the coast near Lechaion which traded across the Corinthian Gulf; the site of Corinth itself was likely not heavily occupied again until around 900 BC, when it is believed the Dorians settled there.[4]

According to Hellenic myth, the city was founded by Corinthos, a descendant of the god Helios (the Sun), while other myths suggest that it was founded by the goddess Ephyra, a daughter of the Titan Oceanus, thus the ancient name of the city (also Ephyra). There is evidence that the city was destroyed around 2000 BC.[citation needed]

Some ancient names for the place, such as Korinthos, derive from a pre-Greek, "Pelasgian" language; it seems likely that Corinth was also the site of a Bronze Age Mycenaean palace-city, like Mycenae, Tiryns or Pylos. According to myth, Sisyphus was the founder of a race of ancient kings at Corinth. It was also in Corinth that Jason, the leader of the Argonauts, abandoned Medea. During the Trojan War as portrayed in the Iliad, the Corinthians participated under the leadership of Agamemnon.

In a Corinthian myth recounted in the 2nd century AD to Pausanias,[5] Briareus, one of the Hecatonchires, was the arbitrator in a dispute between Poseidon and Helios, between the sea and the sun: his verdict was that the Isthmus of Corinth belonged to Poseidon and the acropolis of Corinth, Acrocorinth, to Helios. Thus Greeks of the Classical age accounted for the archaic cult of the sun-titan in the highest part of the site.[citation needed]

The Upper Peirene spring is located within the walls of the acropolis. "The spring, which is behind the temple, they say was the gift of Asopus to Sisyphus. The latter knew, so runs the legend, that Zeus had ravished Aegina, the daughter of Asopus, but refused to give information to the seeker before he had a spring given him on the Acrocorinthus." (Pausanias, 2.5.1).[citation needed]

Corinth under the Bacchiadae

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Corinth had been a backwater in 8th-century Greece.[6] The Bacchiadae (Ancient Greek: Βακχιάδαι Bakkhiadai), a tightly-knit Doric clan, were the ruling kinship group of archaic Corinth in the 8th and 7th centuries BC, a period of expanding Corinthian cultural power. In 747 BC (a traditional date) an aristocratic revolution ousted the Bacchiad kings, when the royal clan of Bacchiadae, numbering perhaps a couple of hundred adult males, took power from the last king, Telestes.[7] They dispensed with kingship and ruled as a group, governing the city by electing annually a prytanis, who held the kingly position[8] for his brief term,[9] no doubt a council (though none is specifically documented in the scant literary materials) and a polemarchos to head the army.

During Bacchiad rule, from 747 to 650 BC, Corinth became a unified state. Large scale public buildings/monuments were constructed at this time. In 733 BC, Corinth established colonies at Corcyra and Syracuse. By 730 BC, Corinth emerged as a highly advanced Greek city with at least 5,000 people.[10]

Aristotle tells the story of Philolaus of Corinth, a Bacchiad who was a lawgiver at Thebes. He became the lover of Diocles, the winner of the Olympic games. They both lived for the rest of their lives in Thebes. Their tombs were built near one another and Philolaus' tomb points toward the Corinthian country while Diocles' faces away.[11]

In 657 BC the polemarch Cypselus obtained an oracle from Delphi which he interpreted to mean that he should rule the city.[12] He seized power and exiled the Bacchiadae.[13]

Corinth under the tyrants

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Cypselus or Kypselos (Greek: Κύψελος) was the first tyrant of Corinth, in the 7th century BC. From 658–628 BC, he removed the Bacchiad aristocracy from power and ruled for three decades. He built temples to Apollo and Poseidon in 650 BC.

Apollo Temple has been built in Doric style on the ruins of earlier temple, being a good example of peripteral temple, supported by 38 columns, only 7 of which are still in place.
Archeological site located close to Temple of Apollo.
Archeological site of Ancient Theater first built in Corinth in 5th c. BC. The Theater could seat around 15000 spectators.

Aristotle reports that "Cypselus of Corinth had made a vow that if he became master of the city, he would offer to Zeus the entire property of the Corinthians. Accordingly, he commanded them to make a return of their possessions."[14]

In the 7th century BC, under the rule of Cypselus (r. 657–627 BC) and his son Periander (r. 627–585 BC), the city sent forth colonists to found new settlements: Epidamnus (modern day Durrës, Albania), Syracuse, Ambracia (modern day town of Lefkas), Corcyra (modern day town of Corfu) and Anactorium. Periander also founded Apollonia in Illyria (modern day Fier, Albania) and Potidaea (in Chalcidice). Corinth was also one of the nine Greek sponsor-cities to found the colony of Naukratis in Ancient Egypt. Naucratis was founded to accommodate the increasing trade volume between the Greek world and pharaonic Egypt, during the reign of Pharaoh Psammetichus I of the 26th dynasty.

With increased wealth and more complicated trade relations and social structures, Greek city-states tended to overthrow their traditional hereditary priest-kings; Corinth, the richest archaic polis, led the way.[15] Like the signori of late medieval and Renaissance Italy, the tyrants usually seized power at the head of some popular support. Often the tyrants calmed the populace by upholding existing laws and customs, and strict conservatism in cult practices. As in Renaissance Italy, a cult of personality naturally substituted for the divine right of the former legitimate royal house.

Cypselus, the son of Eëtion and a disfigured woman named Labda, was a member of the Bacchiad kin, and usurped the power in archaic matriarchal right of his mother.

Temple of Apollo, Ancient Corinth.
Periander (Περίανδρος) (r. 627–585 BC).

According to Herodotus the Bacchiadae heard two prophecies from the Delphic oracle that the son of Eëtion would overthrow their dynasty, and they planned to kill the baby once it was born. However, the newborn smiled at each of the men sent to kill it, and none of them could bear to strike the blow. An etiological myth-element, to account for the name Cypselus (cypsele, "chest") accounted how Labda then hid the baby in a chest, and when the men had composed themselves and returned to kill it, they could not find it. (Compare the infancy of Perseus.) The ivory chest of Cypselus, richly worked with mythological narratives and adorned with gold, was a votive offering at Olympia, where Pausanias gave it a minute description in his 2nd century AD travel guide.[16]

When Cypselus had grown up, he fulfilled the prophecy. Corinth had been involved in wars with Argos and Corcyra, and the Corinthians were unhappy with their rulers. At the time, around 657 BC, Cypselus was polemarch, the archon in charge of the military, and he used his influence with the soldiery to expel the king. He also expelled his other enemies, but allowed them to set up colonies in northwestern Greece. He also increased trade with the colonies in Italy and Sicily. He was a popular ruler, and unlike many later tyrants, he did not need a bodyguard and died a natural death.

He ruled for thirty years and was succeeded as tyrant by his son Periander in 627 BC.[17] The treasury Cypselus built at Delphi was apparently still standing in the time of Herodotus, and the chest of Cypselus was seen by the traveler Pausanias at Olympia in the 2nd century AD. Periander brought Corcyra to order in 600 BC.

Periander was considered one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece. During his reign the first Corinthian coins were struck. He was the first to attempt to cut across the Isthmus to create a seaway between the Corinthian and the Saronic Gulfs. He abandoned the venture due to the extreme technical difficulties he met, but he created the Diolkos (a stone-built overland ramp) instead. The era of the Cypselids, ending with Periander's nephew Psammetichus, named after the hellenophile Egyptian Pharaoh Psammetichus I (see above), was Corinth's golden age.

Periander killed his wife Melissa. His son Lycopron found out and shunned him, and Periander exiled the son to Corcyra.[18] Periander later wanted Lycopron to replace him as ruler of Corinth, and convinced to come home to Corinth on the condition that Periander go to Corcyra. The Corcyreans heard about this and killed Lycophron to keep away Periander.[19]

Herodotus relates that the harpist Arion was sailing home on a Corinthian vessel when the crew decided to rob and kill him. He begged them to let him sing a last song before killing himself. He threw himself overboard and escaped to Taernarus on the back of a dolphin. He presented himself to Periander, who then condemned the sailors.[20]

Archaic Corinth after the Tyrants

In 581 BC, Periander's nephew and successor was assassinated, ending the dictatorship.

In 581 BC, the Isthmian Games were established by leading families.

In 570 BC, the inhabitants started to use silver coins called 'colts' or 'foals.'

In 550 BC, Corinth allied with Sparta.

In 525 BC, Corinth formed a conciliatory alliance with Sparta against Argos.

In 519 BC, Corinth mediated between Athens and Thebes.

Around 500 BC, Athenians and Corinthians entreated Spartans not to harm Athens by restoring the tyrant.[21]

Just before the classical period, according to Thucydides, the Corinthians developed the trireme, which became the standard warship of the Mediterranean until the late Roman period. Corinth fought the first naval battle on record, against the Hellenic city of Corcyra.[22] The Corinthians were also known for the wealth due to their strategic location on the isthmus through which all land traffic to the Peloponnese must pass, including messengers and traders. [23]

Classical Corinth

Corinthian stater.Obverse:Pegasus with Koppa (Greek alphabet qoppa2.png) (or Qoppa) beneath. Reverse:Athena wearing Corinthian helmet. Koppa symbolised the archaic spelling of the city name (Ϙόρινθος).
Corinthian order columns in ancient Corinth.

In classical times, Corinth rivaled Athens and Thebes in wealth, based on the Isthmian traffic and trade. Until the mid-6th century, Corinth was a major exporter of black-figure pottery to city-states around the Greek world, later losing their market to Athenian artisans.

In classical times and earlier, Corinth had a temple of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, employing some thousand hetairas (temple prostitutes) (see also Temple prostitution in Corinth). The city was renowned for these temple prostitutes, who served the wealthy merchants and the powerful officials who frequented the city. Lais, the most famous hetaira, was said to charge tremendous fees for her extraordinary favours. Referring to the city's exorbitant luxuries, Horace is quoted as saying: "non licet omnibus adire Corinthum" ("Not everyone is able to go to Corinth").[24]

Corinth was also the host of the Isthmian Games. During this era, Corinthians developed the Corinthian order, the third main style of classical architecture after the Doric and the Ionic. The Corinthian order was the most complicated of the three, showing the city's wealth and the luxurious lifestyle, while the Doric order evoked the rigorous simplicity of the Spartans, and the Ionic was a harmonious balance between these two following the cosmopolitan philosophy of Ionians like the Athenians.

The city had two main ports: to the west on the Corinthian Gulf lay Lechaion, which connected the city to its western colonies (Greek: apoikoiai) and Magna Graecia, while to the east on the Saronic Gulf the port of Kenchreai served the ships coming from Athens, Ionia, Cyprus and the Levant. Both ports had docks for the city's large navy.

Street in ancient Corinth.

In 491 BC, Corinth mediated between Syracuse and Gala.

During the years 481–480 BC, the Conference at the Isthmus of Corinth (following conferences at Sparta) established the Hellenic League, which allied under the Spartans to fight the war against Persia. The city was a major participant in the Persian Wars, sending 400 soldiers to defend Thermopylae[25] and supplying forty warships for the Battle of Salamis under Adeimantos and 5,000 hoplites with their characteristic Corinthian helmets[citation needed]) in the following Battle of Plataea. The Greeks obtained the surrender of Theban collaborators with the Persians. Pausanias took them to Corinth where they were put to death.[26]

Following the Battle of Thermopylae and the subsequent Battle of Artemisium, which resulted in the captures of Euboea, Boeotia, and Attica,[27] the Greco-Persian Wars were at a point where now most of mainland Greece to the north of the Isthmus of Corinth had been overrun.[28]

Herodotus, who was believed to dislike the Corinthians, mentions that they were considered the second best fighters after the Athenians.[29]

In 458 BC, Corinth was defeated by Athens at Megara.

Peloponnesian War

In 435 BC, Corinth and its colony Corcyra went to war over Epidamnus.[30] In 433 BC, Athens allied with Corcyra against Corinth.[31] The Corinthian war against the Corcyrans was the largest naval battle between Greek city states until that time.[32] In 431 BC, one of the factors leading to the Peloponnesian War was the dispute between Corinth and Athens over Corcyra, which probably stemmed from the traditional trade rivalry between the two cities.

Three Syracusan generals went to Corinth seeking allies against Athenian invasion.[33] The Corinthians "voted at once to aid [the Syracusans] heart and soul". They also sent a group to Lacedaemon to rouse Spartan assistance. After a convincing speech from the Athenian renegade Alcibiades, the Spartans agreed to send troops to aid the Sicilians.[34]

In 404 BC, Sparta refused to destroy Athens, angering the Corinthians. Corinth joined Argos, Boeotia, and Athens against Sparta in the Corinthian War.[citation needed][clarification needed]

Demosthenes later used this history in a plea for magnanimous statecraft, noting that the Athenians of yesteryear had had good reason to hate the Corinthians and Thebans for their conduct during the Peloponnesian War,[35] yet they bore no malice whatever.[36]

Corinthian War

In 395 BC after the end of the Peloponnesian War, Corinth and Thebes, dissatisfied with the hegemony of their Spartan allies, moved to support Athens against Sparta in the Corinthian War.[37][38]

As an example of facing danger with knowledge, Aristotle used the example of the Argives who were forced to confront the Spartans in the battle at the Long Walls of Corinth in 392 BC.[39]

379–323 BC

In 379 BC, Corinth, switching back to the Peloponnesian League, joined Sparta in an attempt to defeat Thebes and eventually take over Athens.[citation needed][clarification needed]

In 366 BC, the Athenian Assembly ordered Chares to occupy the Athenian ally and install a democratic government. This failed when Corinth, Phlius and Epidaurus allied with Boeotia.

Demosthenes recounts how Athens had fought the Spartans in a great battle near Corinth. The city decided not to harbor the defeated Athenian troops, but instead sent heralds to the Spartans. But the Corinthian heralds opened their gates to the defeated Athenians and saved them. Demosthenes notes that they “chose along with you, who had been engaged in battle, to suffer whatever might betide, rather than without you to enjoy a safety that involved no danger.”[40]

These conflicts further weakened the city-states of the Peloponnese and set the stage for the conquests of Philip II of Macedon.

Demosthenes warned that Philip’s military force exceeded that of Athens and thus they must develop a tactical advantage. He noted the importance of a citizen army as opposed to a mercenary force, citing the mercenaries of Corinth who fought alongside citizens and defeated the Spartans.[41]

In 338 BC, after having defeated Athens and its allies, Philip II created the League of Corinth to unite the Greeks, including Corinth, in a war against Persia. Philip was named hegemon of the League.

In spring of 337 BC, the Second congress of Corinth established the Common Peace.

Hellenistic period

By 332 BC, Alexander the Great was in control of Greece, as hegemon.

During the Hellenistic period, Corinth, like many other Greece cities, never quite had autonomy. Under the successors of Alexander the Great, Greece was contested ground, and Corinth was occasionally the battleground for contests between the Antigonids, based in Macedonia, and other Hellenistic powers. In 308 BC, the city was captured from the Antigonids by Ptolemy I, who claimed to come as a liberator of Greece from the Antigonids. The city was recaptured by Demetrius in 304 BC, however.[42]

Corinth remained in Antigonid control for half a century. After 280 BC it was ruled by the faithful governor Craterus, but in 253/2 BC his son Alexander of Corinth, moved by Ptolemaic subsidies, resolved to challenge the Macedonian supremacy and seek independence as a tyrant. He was probably poisoned in 247 BC and after his death the Macedonian king Antigonus II Gonatas retook the city in the winter of 245/44 BC.

The Macedonian rule was short-lived. In 243 BC Aratus of Sicyon, using a surprise attack, captured the fortress of Acrocorinth and convinced the citizenship to join the Achaean League.

Thanks to an alliance agreement with Aratus, the Macedonians recovered Corinth once again in 224 BC, but after the Roman intervention in 197 BC the city was permanently brought into the Achaean League. Under the leadership of Philopoemen the Achaeans went on to take control of the entire Peloponnesus and made Corinth the capital of their confederation.[43]

Roman era

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The ancient Roman fountain.
Ancient Roman statue in the Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth.

In 146 BC, Rome declared war on the Achaean League, and after victories over league forces in the summer of that year, the Romans under Lucius Mummius besieged and captured Corinth; when he entered the city, Mummius put all the men to the sword and sold the women and children into slavery before torching the city, for which he was given the cognomen Achaicus as the conqueror of the Achaean League.[44] While there is archeological evidence of some minimal habitation in the years afterwards, Corinth remained largely deserted until Julius Caesar refounded the city as Colonia Laus Iulia Corinthiensis (‘colony of Corinth in honour of Julius’) in 44 BC, shortly before his assassination.

Under the Romans, Corinth was rebuilt as a major city in Southern Greece or Achaia. It had a large[45] mixed population of Romans, Greeks, and Jews.

Biblical Corinth

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Corinth is mentioned many times in the New Testament, largely in connection with Paul the Apostle's mission there - testifying to the success of Caesar's refounding of the city. Traditionally, the Church of Corinth is believed to have been founded by Paul, making it an Apostolic See.

When the apostle Paul first visited the city (AD 51 or 52), Gallio, the brother of Seneca, was proconsul of Achaia.[46] Paul resided here for eighteen months (see Acts 18:1–18). Here he first became acquainted with Priscilla and Aquila with whom he later travelled. They worked here together as tentmakers (from which the modern Christian concept of tentmaking is derived), and regularly attended the synagogue. Silas and Timothy rejoined Paul here, having last seen him in Berea (Acts 18:5). Acts 18:6 suggests that Jewish refusal to accept his preaching here led Paul to resolve no longer to speak in the synagogues where he travelled: 'From now on I will go to the Gentiles'.[47] However, on his arrival in Ephesus (Acts 18:19) the narrative records that Paul went to the synagogue to preach.

Paul wrote at least two epistles to the Christian community, the First Epistle to the Corinthians (written from Ephesus) and the Second Epistle to the Corinthians (written from Macedonia). The first Epistle occasionally reflects the conflict between the thriving Christian church and the surrounding community.

Some scholars believe that Paul visited Corinth for an intermediate "painful visit" (see 2 Corinthians 2:1), between the first and second epistles. After writing the second epistle he stayed in Corinth for about three months[Acts 20:3] in the late winter, and there wrote his Epistle to the Romans.[48]

Based on clues within the Corinthian epistles themselves some scholars have concluded that Paul wrote possibly as many as four epistles to the church at Corinth.[49] Only two of them, the First and Second Epistles to the Corinthians, are contained within the Canon of Holy Scripture. The other two letters (probably the very first letter that Paul wrote to the Corinthians and the third one) are lost (and so the First and Second Letters of the canon are in fact the second and the fourth). Many scholars think the third one (known as the "letter of the tears", see 2 Cor 2:4) is included inside the canonical Second Epistle to the Corinthians (it would be chapters 10–13); this letter is not to be confused with the so-called "Third Epistle to the Corinthians", which is a pseudoepigraphic letter written many years after the death of Paul.

Byzantine era

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The walled gates of Acrocorinth.

The city was largely destroyed in the earthquakes of 365 A.D. and 375 A.D., followed by Alaric's invasion in 396. The city was rebuilt after these disasters on a monumental scale, but covered a much smaller area than previously. Four churches were located in the city proper, another on the citadel of the Acrocorinth, and a monumental basilica at the port of Lechaion.[50]

During the reign of Emperor Justinian I (527–565), a large stone wall was erected from the Saronic to the Corinthian gulfs, protecting the city and the Peloponnese peninsula from the barbarian invasions from the north. The stone wall was about six miles (10 km) long and was named Hexamilion ("six-miles").

Corinth declined from the 6th century on, and may even have fallen to barbarian invaders in the early 7th century. The main settlement moved from the lower city to the Acrocorinth. Despite its becoming the capital of the theme of Hellas and, after ca. 800, of the theme of the Peloponnese, it was not until the 9th century that the city began to recover, reaching its apogee in the 11th and 12th centuries, when it was the site of a flourishing silk industry.[50]

In November 856, an earthquake in Corinth killed an estimated 45,000.[51]

The wealth of the city attracted the attention of the Sicilian Normans under Roger of Sicily, who plundered it in 1147, carrying off many captives, most notably silk weavers. The city never fully recovered from the Norman sack.[50]

Principality of Achaea

Following the sack of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade, a group of Crusaders under the French knights William of Champlitte and Geoffrey of Villehardouin carried out the conquest of the Peloponnese. The Corinthians resisted the Frankish conquest from their stronghold in Acrocorinth, under the command of Leo Sgouros, from 1205 until 1210. In 1208 Leo Sgouros killed himself by riding off the top of Acrocorinth, but resistance continued for two more years. Finally, in 1210 the fortress fell to the Crusaders, and Corinth became a full part of the Principality of Achaea, governed by the Villehardouins from their capital in Andravida in Elis. Corinth was the last significant town of Achaea on its northern borders with another crusader state, the Duchy of Athens. The Ottomans captured the city in 1395. The Byzantines of the Despotate of the Morea recaptured it in 1403, and the Despot Theodore II Palaiologos, restored the Hexamilion wall across the Isthmus of Corinth in 1415.

Ottoman rule

In 1458, five years after the final Fall of Constantinople, the Turks of the Ottoman Empire conquered the city and its mighty castle. The Ottomans renamed it Gördes and made it a sanjak (district) centre within the Rumelia Eyalet. The Venetians captured the city in 1687 during the Morean War, and it remained under Venetian control until the Ottomans retook the city in 1715. Corinth was the capital of the Mora Eyalet in 1715–1731 and then again a sanjak capital until 1821.


"Corinth with Acrocorinth" by Carl Anton Joseph Rottmann, 1847

During the Greek War of Independence, 1821–1830 the city was destroyed by the Turkish forces.[citation needed] The city was officially liberated in 1832 after the Treaty of London. In 1833, the site was considered among the candidates for the new capital city of the recently founded Kingdom of Greece, due to its historical significance and strategic position. Nafplio was chosen initially then Athens.

Modern Corinth

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In 1858, the village surrounding the ruins of Ancient Corinth was totally destroyed by an earthquake, leading to the establishment of New Corinth 3 km (1.9 mi) NE of the ancient city.

The ancient city and its environs

Acrocorinth, the acropolis

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Acrocorinthis, the acropolis of ancient Corinth, is a monolithic rock that was continuously occupied from archaic times to the early 19th century. The city's archaic acropolis, already an easily defensible position due to its geomorphology, was further heavily fortified during the Byzantine Empire as it became the seat of the strategos of the Thema of Hellas. Later it was a fortress of the Franks after the Fourth Crusade, the Venetians and the Ottoman Turks. With its secure water supply, Acrocorinth's fortress was used as the last line of defense in southern Greece because it commanded the isthmus of Corinth, repelling foes from entry into the Peloponnesian peninsula. Three circuit walls formed the man-made defense of the hill. The highest peak on the site was home to a temple to Aphrodite which was Christianized as a church, and then became a mosque. The American School began excavations on it in 1929. Currently, Acrocorinth is one of the most important medieval castle sites of Greece.

The city

The two ports: Lechaeum and Cenchreae

Corinth had two harbours: Lechaeum on the Corinthian Gulf and Cenchreae on the Saronic Gulf. Lechaeum was the principal port, connected to the city with a set of long walls of about 2 miles (3.2 km) length, and was the main trading station for Italy and Sicily, where there were many Corinthian colonies, while Cenchreae served the commerce with the Eastern Mediterranean. Ships could be transported between the two harbours by means of the diolkos constructed by the tyrant Periander.

Notable people



See also


  1. Ancient Greece: Social and Historical Documents from Archaic Times to the Death of Socrates, p. 352, at Google Books
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  5. Pausanias, Description of Greece ii. 1.6 and 4.7.
  6. Édouard Will, Korinthiaka: recherches sur l'histoire et la civilisation de Corinth des origines aux guerres médiques (Paris: Boccard) 1955.
  7. Telestes was murdered by Arieus and Perantas, who were themselves Bacchiads. (Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. I p. 450). To what extent this early history is a genealogical myth has been debated.
  8. Perhaps the designation "king" was retained, for reasons of cult, as a king was normally an essential intercessor with the gods. (Stewart Irvin Oost, "Cypselus the Bacchiad" Classical Philology 67.1 (January 1972, pp. 10–30) p. 10f.) See: rex sacrorum.
  9. Diodorus Siculus, 7.9.6; Pausanias 2.4.4.
  10. Urbanism in the Preindustrial World: Cross-Cultural Approaches, p. 37, at Google Books
  11. Politics, 1274a
  12. Histories, Herodotus, Book 5.92 E
  13. His mother had been of the Bacchiadae, but being lame, married outside the clan.
  14. Economics, Book 2. 1346a, Aristotle
  15. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  16. Pausanias, 5.18.7.
  17. Histories, Herodotus, Book 5.92F
  18. Histories, Herodotus, Book 3.52
  19. Histories, Herodotus, Book 3.53
  20. Herodotus Histories Book 1.24
  21. Histories, Herodotus, Book 5.93
  22. Thucydides 1:13
  23. Thucydides, Book 1:13
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  25. Histories, Herodotus, Book 7:202
  26. Histories, Book 9:88, Herodotus
  27. Lazenby, p. 248–253
  28. Brian Todd Carey, Joshua Allfree, John Cairns. Warfare in the Ancient World Pen and Sword, 19 jan. 2006 ISBN 1848846304
  29. Histories, Herodotus, Book 9:105
  30. The Peloponnesian War, Thucydides, Book 1:29
  31. The Peloponnesian War, Thucydides, Book 1:45
  32. Thucycdides, Book 1, "The dispute over Corcyra", 50
  33. Thucydides, Book 6:73
  34. Thucydides, Book 6:88
  35. especially the latter part, the Decelan War
  36. On The Crown Book 18.96
  37. On the Peace, Isocrates, Speech 68, section 68
  38. Hellenica, Books 3–7, Xenophon
  39. Nicomachean Ethics, Book 3.8
  40. Demosthenes Against Leptines 20.52–20.53
  41. Philippic I, Book 4.24
  42. Shipley, G. 2000. The Greek World After Alexander 323-30 BC. London: Routledge (pp. 121–122).
  43. Shipley, G. 2000. The Greek World After Alexander 323-30BC. London: Routledge (pp. 137–138).
  44. Shipley, G. 2000. The Greek World After Alexander 323-30 BC. London: Routledge (pp. 384–385).
  45. Josiah Russell, in "Late Ancient and Medieval Population", estimates 50,000 people in Roman Corinth.
  46. Acts 18:12
  47. Paul and Barnabas had said the same thing to the Jews of Antioch in Acts 13:46
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  49. Orr, William F. and James Arthur Walther (1976). 1 Corinthians: A New Translation (Anchor Bible). Doubleday, p. 120.
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Further reading

  • Results of the American School of Classical Studies Corinth Excavations published in Corinth Volumes I to XX, Princeton.
  • Excavation reports and articles in Hesperia, Princeton.
  • Partial text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897
  • Will, E. Korinthiaka. Recherches sur l'histoire et la civilisation de Corinthe des origines aux guerres médiques. Paris : de Boccard, 1955.
  • Adkins, Lesley and Roy A. Adkins. Handbook to Life in Ancient Greece. New York: Facts on File. 1997.
  • Alcock, Susan E. and Robin Osborne (ed.s). Classical Archaeology Malden: Blackwell Publishing. 2007.
  • Del Chiaro, Mario A (ed). Corinthiaca: Studies in Honor of Darrell A. Amyx. Columbia: University of Missouri Press. 1986.
  • Grant, Michael. The Rise of the Greeks. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. 1987.
  • Hammond, A History of Greece. Oxford University Press. 1967. History of Greece, including Corinth from the early civilizations (6000–850) to the splitting of the empire and Antipater's occupation of Greece (323–321).
  • Kagan, Donald. The Fall of the Athenian Empire. New York: Cornell University Press. 1987.
  • Salmon, J. B. Wealthy Corinth: A History of the City to 338 BC. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1984.
  • Dixon, M. Late Classical and Early Hellenistic Corinth: 338-196 BC. London: Routledge. 2014.
  • British Admiralty charts: BA1085, BA1093, BA1600

External links