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Corinth, Greece

Temple of Apollo at Corinth
Temple of Apollo at Corinth

Corinth, or Korinth (Κόρινθος) is a Greek city, on the Isthmus of Corinth, the original isthmus, the narrow stretch of land that joins the Peloponnesus to the mainland of Greece. To the west of the isthmus lies the Gulf of Corinth.

Corinth is about 48 miles (78 km) west of Athens. The isthmus, which was in ancient times traversed by hauling ships over the rocky ridge on sledges, is now cut by a canal. It is also the capital of the prefecture of Corinthia . The city is surrounded by Lechaio , Kalamaki , Loutraki, Geraneia mountains, and the southern mountains.


Some very ancient names for places, such as Korinthos derive from a pre-Greek, "Pelasgian" language; it seems likely that Corinth was also the site of a Bronze Age Mycenean palace-city, like Mycenae, Tiryns or Pylos. Myth made Sisyphus the founder of a race of ancient kings at Corinth. In Corinth, Jason abandoned Medea.

Later, in classical times the ancient city rivalled 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 cities around the Greek world. Athenian potters later came to dominate the market. Corinth's great temple on its acropolis was dedicated to Aphrodite. According to most sources, there were more than one thousand temple prostitutes employed at the Temple of Aphrodite. Corinth was also the host of the Isthmian Games.

In the 7th century BC, when Corinth was ruled by the tyrants Cypselus and Periander, the city sent forth colonists to found new settlements: Syracuse, Ambracia, and with Corcyra, itself perhaps the site of an early Corinthian settlement, Apollonia and Anactorium. The city was a major participant in the Persian Wars, but afterwards was frequently an enemy of Athens and an ally of Sparta in the Peloponnesian League. In 431 BC, one of the factors leading to the Peloponnesian War was the dispute between Corinth and Athens over the Corinthian colony of Corcyra.

The Romans under Lucius Mummius destroyed Corinth following a siege in 146 BC; when he entered the city Mummius put all the men to the sword and sold the women and children into slavery before he torched the city, for which he was given the [[cognomen Achaicus as the conqueror of the Achaean League. While there is archeological evidence of some minimal habitation in the years afterwards, Julius Caesar refounded the city as Colonia laus Iulia Corinthiensis in 44 BC shortly before his assassination. According to Appian, the new settlers were drawn from freedmen of Rome. Under the Romans it became the seat of government for Southern Greece or Achaia (Acts 18:12-16). It was noted for its wealth, and for the luxurious, immoral and vicious habits of the people. It had a large mixed population of Romans, Greeks, and Jews.

When Paul first visited the city (AD 51 or 52), Gallio , the brother of Seneca, was proconsul. Paul resided here for eighteen months (18:1-18). Here he first became acquainted with Aquila and Priscilla, and soon after his departure Apollos came from Ephesus. Although he intended to pass through Corinth the second time before he visited Macedonia, circumstances were such, in the absence of Titus, that he went from Troas to Macedonia, and then likely passed into Corinth for a "second benefit" (2 Corinthians 1:15), and remained for three months, according to Acts 20:3.

During this second visit in the spring of 58 it is likely the Epistle to the Romans was written. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians reflects the difficulties of maintaining a Christian community in such a cosmopolitan city.

During Alaric's invasion of Greece, in 395396, Corinth was one of the cities he despoiled, selling many of its citizens into slavery.

Corinth today

Capital: Corinth
Area: 2,290 km²
Inhabitants: 129,000 (1991)
Pop. density: ? inh./km²
ISO 3166-2: GR-?
Map showing Corinth within Greece

Also Corinthia, today, it is the second-most populated prefecture on the Peninsula. It is the second largest city in the Peloponnese.

The Corinth Canal, carrying ship traffic between the northern Mediterranean and the Aegean, is about 4 km east of the city, cutting through the Isthmus of Corinth. Slightly east a toll booth named Isthmia stood there but had moved about 2 km east near Kalamaki because the space was small, and 1.5 km of lights renovated. The only thing lying is the East Corinth-Loutraki westbound interchange today when construction was completed.

A city square is located next to its port . A port is founded north of the square. Boats are lined up in the harbor, and ships is also used there. In late-2003, people were against aluminium production in this port which will result of water contamination to Corinth and Loutraki, and cancer. This has been stopped.

A refinery that produces oil is founded slightly east of the city, and some think is the line marking the Athens metro area. The size is very large. It was surrounded by national road and freeway. Restaurants are served especially Goody's. It is also serve as a rest area for GR-8.

The city and Kalamaki has train stations. A river is south of city centre, and lined up with a main street.

In Loutraki, a beach, a town of around 6,000 and 7,000 has its statewide (nationwide)-famous spring water named Loutraki . It is bottled from the waters of Loutraki and possibly on Mount Geraneia and a mountain north of the town. It is the most famous beach along with Loutra Elenis 5 km NE of Corinth and 4 km north of GR-8A, E94 .

Agioi Theodoroi is the easternmost Corinthian community and is considered a suburb of Athens.

For communities, see Communities of Corinthia

Partial text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897

Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45