Ancient Corinth

Αncient Corinth, the richest city in antiquity. It was founded by Sisyphus and there the first three-tier was built.

Ancient Corinth was one of the richest cities of antiquity. Originally called Ephyra, it was named after the hero Corinth, who was the son of Marathon and a distant descendant of the god Hermes. It was built at the foot of the Acrocorinth near Isthmus. After the conflict between Neptune and the Sun, Isthmus became the god of the sea and Corinth to Apollo. The city was in a commercial hub, so the arts and commerce developed. According to Homer, Corinth was “abundant”, that is, rich because of the fertile land ….

Sisyphus; The founder and first king of Corinth was Sisyphus, son of Aeolus and father of the great Odysseus. He was the only man who twice deceived the gods of the lower world and became a symbol of futile struggle. Corinth is mentioned by the ancient writers and was a refuge for important persons of antiquity. There, Jason arrived with Medea and the young Oedipus, who grew up in Tenea.

Kypselos and Periandros; The Corinthians took part in the Trojan War and built the first warship, the triad, which helped to defeat pirates and the Greek domination of the sea. The area was inhabited by Dorians, where the tyrants Kypselos and his son Periandros ruled. During the reign of Periandros, the city experienced its greatest boom. The Corinthian fleet dominated the seas and Corinth became a commercial and spiritual center. Periandros created the city’s aqueduct and exploited the harbors of the Corinthian and Saronic Gulfs. Revenue from trade was high, so it abolished taxation ….

The Corinthians built the temple of Apollo and the Sanctuary of Poseidon and Amphitritus in Isthmus. They participated in the wars against the Persians and when the Peloponnesian War broke out they allied with the Spartans against Athens. After the end of the war, they lost their climax with the final decline of the city during the Roman invasion of Greece. In 146 BC the Greeks confronted the Romans at Lefkopetra, Corinth. The Romans conquered and ruled all over Greece. The region’s important strategic position led to 44 BC. in July Caesar to order re-establishment of a new colony.

The Roman city was built seventeen years later, on Octavian Augustus, in the area of ​​ancient Corinth and was named Iulia Corinthus Augusta. It was designated the capital of the Roman province of Achaia. Agriculture and livestock were developed and Corinth became a commercial center again. The city was surrounded by large walls and designed with the hippodrome system, with large vertical and horizontal roads. Around the Corinthian market, there were important private monuments, small temples, the Hippodrome, elongated tanks, massive statues arches, the Corinthian Conservatory and theater ….

The city was devastated by the Eroulis raids and the great earthquake of 375 AD. At the end of the 19th century, excavations were carried out by archaeologist A. Shadow with funding from the Archaeological Society. Subsequent systematic excavations by the American School of Classical Studies followed. They came to light, temples, fountains, shops, arcades, baths and great statues. The findings, including the twin Kouros found in Tenea, are housed in the Corinth Archaeological Museum, located in the archaeological site north of the Acrocorinth.

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