The ruins of Ancient
Corinth are spread out at the foot of the
huge rock of Acrocorinth.
Corinth derived its prosperity from its position on the
narrow isthmus between the Saronic and Corinthian gulfs.
Transporting goods across the isthmus, even before the canal
was built, provided the shortest route from the eastern Mediterranean
to the Adriatic and Italy. Founded in Neolithic times (5000-3000
BCE), its history is obscure until the early 8th century BCE,
when the city-state
of Corinth began to develop as a commercial center. Until it
was eclipsed by Athens in the 5th
century BCE, Corinth was the biggest and wealthiest classical
Greek city-state, with two bustling ports, a famous ceramics
industry and distant colonies in Syracuse in Sicily and
Kerkyra on Corfu. The town was prosperous until it was razed in 146 BCE by the
Roman general, Lucius Mummius. In
as a Roman colony. Consequently, the remaining
monuments are mainly Roman; only a few are Greek. Attaining a population of 750,000 under the patronage
of the emperors, the town gained a reputation for licentious
living that St. Paul attacked when he came here in 52 CE.
Excavations have revealed the vast extent of the city,
destroyed in Byzantine times by earthquakes. The ruins
constitute the largest Roman township in Greece.
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© All pictures are Copyright 2000 Grisel Gonzalez and Jeff