29 Facts About Ancient Corinth


Ancient Corinth was a city-state (polis) on the Isthmus of Ancient Corinth, the narrow stretch of land that joins the Peloponnese to the mainland of Greece, roughly halfway between Athens and Sparta.

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Ancient Corinth is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles as part of Paul the Apostle's missionary travels.

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Neolithic pottery suggests that the site of Ancient Corinth was occupied from at least as early as 6500 BC, and continually occupied into the Early Bronze Age, when, it has been suggested, the settlement acted as a centre of trade.

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Ancient Corinth's verdict was that the Isthmus of Corinth belonged to Poseidon and the acropolis of Corinth belonged to Helios.

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Ancient Corinth had been a backwater in Greece in the 8th century BC.

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Aristotle tells the story of Philolaus of Ancient Corinth, a Bacchiad who was a lawgiver at Thebes.

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Ancient Corinth became the lover of Diocles, the winner of the Olympic games.

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Ancient Corinth was a member of the Bacchiad kin and usurped the power in archaic matriarchal right of his mother.

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Ancient Corinth expelled his other enemies, but allowed them to set up colonies in northwestern Greece.

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Ancient Corinth increased trade with the colonies in Italy and Sicily.

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Ancient Corinth was a popular ruler and, unlike many later tyrants, he did not need a bodyguard and died a natural death.

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Corinth was one of the nine Greek sponsor-cities to found the colony of Naukratis in Ancient Egypt, 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.

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Ancient Corinth ruled for thirty years and was succeeded as tyrant by his son Periander in 627 BC.

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Ancient Corinth was the first to attempt to cut across the Isthmus to create a seaway between the Corinthian and the Saronic Gulfs.

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Ancient Corinth abandoned the venture due to the extreme technical difficulties that he met, but he created the Diolkos instead.

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Periander later wanted Lycophron to replace him as ruler of Ancient Corinth, and convinced him to come home to Ancient Corinth on the condition that Periander go to Corcyra.

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Ancient Corinth fought the first naval battle on record against the Hellenic city of Corcyra.

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In classical times, Ancient Corinth rivaled Athens and Thebes in wealth, based on the Isthmian traffic and trade.

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Until the mid-6th century, Ancient Corinth was a major exporter of black-figure pottery to city-states around the Greek world, later losing their market to Athenian artisans.

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In classical times and earlier, Ancient Corinth had a temple of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, employing some thousand hetairas (see Temple prostitution in Ancient Corinth).

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

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Ancient Corinth 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.

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Under the successors of Alexander the Great, Greece was contested ground, and Ancient Corinth was occasionally the battleground for contests between the Antigonids, based in Macedonia, and other Hellenistic powers.

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Under the Romans, Ancient Corinth was rebuilt as a major city in Southern Greece or Achaia.

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Ancient 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.

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Traditionally, the Church of Ancient Corinth is believed to have been founded by Paul, making it an Apostolic See.

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Ancient Corinth instead argues that Paul had desired the Gentile Christians to remain assimilated within their Gentile communities and not adopt Jewish dietary procedures.

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Finally, in 1210 the fortress fell to the Crusaders, and Ancient Corinth became a full part of the Principality of Achaea, governed by the Villehardouins from their capital in Andravida in Elis.

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Ancient Corinth was the last significant town of Achaea on its northern borders with another crusader state, the Duchy of Athens.

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