Corinth . City located on the isthmus of Corinth, the narrow strip of land that connects the Peloponnese with mainland Greece , between Athens and Sparta . The modern city of Corinth is located approximately 5 km northeast of the ancient ruins.


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  • 1 History
    • 1 Distinguished citizens and inhabitants
    • 2 Definition
  • 2 Geography
    • 1 Isthmus of Corinth
  • 3 Economic development
    • 1 Civil engineering
  • 4 Social development
    • 1 Biblical places
    • 2 Culture
      • 2.1 Architecture
      • 2.2 Corinthian pottery
      • 2.3 Proto-Corinthian vessels
    • 5 Related Topics
    • 6 References
    • 7 Sources


Peloponnese city in Greece, capital of the peripheral unit of Corinthia. Corinth in (Greek Κόρινθος, Kórinthos), of great prosperity since classical times, where there is one of the most important temples dedicated to the god Apollo , with columns forged in a single piece and based on the rock, something unusual in constructions Doric.

Beginning in 1896 , archaeological excavations in Corinth by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens have revealed large parts of the ancient city, and recent research led by the Greek Ministry of Culture has illustrated important new facets about antiquity.

In the Baquíada government, from 747 to 650 BC. C., Corinth became a unified State. Large public buildings and monuments were built at that time. In 733 a. C., Corinto established colonies in Córcira and Siracusa. By 730 a. C., emerged as a Greek city, thanks to maritime trade and the development of its ceramic industry.

Aristotle tells the story of Philolaus of Corinth, a baquíada who was a legislator in Thebes and 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 close to each other, and that of Philolaus pointed towards Corinth, while that of Diocles turned his back.

In the Peloponnesian War Corinth allied with Sparta, against its commercial competitor Athens. They then allied with Athens against Sparta in the Corinthian War (395-386).

In 338 the city was conquered by Philip of Macedon. In 146 BC the Romans destroyed it and refounded it in 44 BC After its reconstruction it became the capital of the Roman province of Achaia.

The Romans had planned to build a canal linking the Gulf of Corinth with the Aegean Sea. The project only came to fruition at the end of the 19th century . In ancient times it was customary to drag ships from the port of Corinth to the Aegean coast.

Historical period Classical antiquity

  • Established 700
  • Foundation 700 a. C.
  • Dissolution 200 a. C.

Illustrious citizens and inhabitants

  • Diogenes of Sinope, the cynical philosopher, when he was sold as a slave in Crete, was lucky enough to be bought by Xenaides of Corinth, who restored him to freedom and made him a teacher to his children. According to tradition, he died in Corinth.
  • Oedipus , the tragic hero, was born in Thebes but raised in Corinth as the son and heir of King Polibo.
  • Xenophon, soldier and philosopher born in Athens, spent the last years of his life in Corinth.
  • Dinarco, one of the Attic speakers.
  • Diogenes of Sinope, one of the best known cynics.
  • Euphranor, sculptor and painter from the 4th century BC. C.
  • Periander, one of the Seven Sages of Greece.


  1. Corinth sm / adj. Dark red color, close to violet: the Corinthian color takes its name from that of the original Corinthian raisins.
  2. Corinth (Kórinthos) [1]City of Greece, in the Peloponnese, ch. from the Corinthian nomes, next to the channel and gulf of his name; 22 658 h. Located at the foot of Acrocorinth, the ancient citadel of the Pelasgians, its origin dates back to the time of the Doric invasions (12th century BC). It was the capital of the Peloponnese under Byzantine rule; occupied by the Turks in 1459 and destroyed by an earthquake in 1838, for which the current Corinth was later founded, a little further to the E.


Located on the isthmus of Corinth. The isthmus is about 6 kilometers wide and links the Peloponnese peninsula with the rest of mainland Greece. The lands surrounding the city were very productive.

On a very high rock and surrounded by a very steep slope, the city had its fortress (Acrocorinth), which was almost impregnable.

Its main port was Lequeo, in the Gulf of Corinth, which gave access to the Ionian Sea and, through it, the Adriatic. It also had a smaller port on the Gulf of Aegina, that of Cencreas, on the Aegean Sea .

Isthmus of Corinth


Corinth Isthmus

The Isthmus of Corinth is a strip of land that connects the Peloponnese with Hellas, mainland Greece. It is bathed by the Ionian Sea and the Aegean Sea. At its narrowest point, the isthmus is 6 km wide. Since the end of the 19th century it has been crossed by the Corinth Canal, a project whose first plans date back to Antiquity.

According to Greek mythology, it was disputed by Helios and Poseidon. Aegeon, a marine divinity from the Aegean Sea, was called in to arbitrate the conflict. He agreed with Poseidon . Historically, the isthmus was inhabited since the Neolithic and the Bronze Age . It was immediately fortified by the Corinthians around the 11th century BC. C., to protect themselves from invasions. A new line of walls was built around 480 BC. C., to stop a Persian attack, which did not materialize. A third line was raised in the 3rd century BC. C., against the Gauls.

Economic development

Civil Engineering


Diolkos, causeway to transport the ships

Diolkos was a work of fundamental importance for the inter-citizen communications of the Greek world, the causeway by which the ships were transported along the isthmus, to avoid the long journey of the Peloponnese.

Social development

Biblical places

  • Excavations in Corinth: This view is of the center of the ancient city looking from the Acrocorinth (with a large telephoto lens). On the left you can see the standing columns of the Temple of Apólos. To the right the via Lekeion can be seen. In the middle of the two (a little down) is the Ancient Agora.


Temple of Apollo

  • Temple of Apollo: The Temple of Apollo was in the lower city and the Acrocorinth housed the Temple of Aphrodite. Greek writers in the 5th to 4th centuries BC characterized Corinth as a city where love was traded. At the same time a “Young Corinthian” meant prostitute. The Corinthian church of Paul’s time struggled with worldliness and sexual sins. Both of these were typical of a cosmopolitan city. The temple originally had 38 Doric columns; 7 of them are still standing.
  • Agora: Paul met the Jews Aquila and Priscilla in Corinth after they had been exiled from Rome by the Emperor Claudius. All three made tents (or worked with skins). Perhaps they had their businesses in the commercial part of the city (agora). This would have given Paul the opportunity to talk about the resurrection of Christ with clients and locals on numerous occasions. The Book of Acts of the Apostles states that Paul spent every Sabbath (day of rest) trying to convince Jews and Greeks.


Temple of Aphrodite

  • Temple of Aphrodite: The acropolis of Corinth is known as the Acrocorinth. Its elevation is 549 m (1800 ft) above the plain. In the highest part is the Temple of Aphrodite. There have been disputes about the interpretation of this place as the house of 1000 prostitutes.
  • Temple of Poseidon: The temple was shaped like a very elongated rectangle (about 40 by 14 m), the walls of the cella were made of stuccoed stone and painted with drawings and a peristyle of seven wooden columns on the smaller sides and 19 on the larger ones . A row of columns also ran through the interior of the cella and the anti-shelf pronaos. During the excavations, many votive objects belonging to the temple, bronze figures, and fragments of a hundred helmets appeared. A great perirranterios, that is, a glass of water for libations, held by female figures and whose style refers us to 650 BC. C., constitutes an excellent example of archaic Greek sculpture, still related to the art of the dedication. From the first temple of Poseidon, one of the oldest Doric temples, probably erected around 700 BC. C.5th century BC C .: small fragments of local stone and roof tiles, apart from the cuts in the foundations.


Corinthian art is considered the latest. It is mainly characterized by its capital, which is formed by a double row of acanthus leaves and stems that arise between them. The rest follow the Ionic model, but it is much more detailed and with more decoration. Examples:


Lysicrates Lantern

  • Lantern of Lysicrates.
  • Olympiaion of Athens (which is from Roman times).



Corinthian order

Corinthian order is the most elegant and ornate of the classical architectural orders. Its creation is attributed to the Greek sculptor Callimachus in the 4th century BC . C. It is similar to the Ionic order, from which it differs basically in the shape and size of the capital. One of the most remarkable constructions executed according to the stylistic guidelines of the Corinthian order is the monument of Lisícrates in Athens, built around 334 BC. C.

It is defined by the following characteristics:

  1. The capital is the most representative element of this order and is recognized by its appearance of an inverted bell or basket from which the acanthus leaves overflow, whose stems give rise to a kind of volutes or spirals (caulicles) in the four corners .
  2. The shaft is circular in section and has a slight entasis. It is ribbed by 24 grooves separated from each other by fine longitudinal fillets. The total size of the column is usually twenty modules and that of the shaft itself sixteen and two thirds.
  3. The column is equipped with a base. It is a support piece made up of three moldings: two circular or half-torus boceles and a scotch sandwiched between them that can be adorned by listels. Sometimes, this base in turn rests on a plinth, a prismatic piece with a square plan of little thickness.
  4. The entablature generally measures one-fifth of the total order. It is made up:
  • The architrave, which is usually shown decomposed into three staggered, overlapping horizontal bands (fasciae).
  • The frieze is a continuous band (without metopes or triglyphs) adorned with a succession of figures in relief. Charge directly onto the architrave.
  • The cornice crowned by the eaves forms a projection that generally has a crown-like molding.

There is less information on marble and stone sculpture. The Corinthian excavations have made no particularly significant contribution. The colossal statue of Zeus bathed in gold and which, according to Pausanias , was a gift from the Cipselids to Olympia, shows the skill of local artisans in metalworking, although the famous Corinthian bronze, so praised by the Romans, seems to belong to a much later time.

Many of the bronze vases, bowls and tripods found in the sanctuaries of Olympia and Dodona, even in distant places such as Trebeniste in Illyria, are considered Corinthians. Tradition speaks above all, in the field of ceramics, of three pottery: Eucheir (“the one with skillful hands”), Diopos (“the one who directs”) or, according to others (“tube for leveling”) and Eugrammos ( “the one with the beautiful drawing”).

Among the archaic painters we remember Cleante (author of a painting on the conquest of Troy and another on the birth of Athena from the head of Zeus, while Poseidon offers a tuna to the god for childbirth); to Aregón (author of an Artemis on a tap, to Ecfantos, who would have been the first to fill the figures with color, using crushed clay.

Corinthian pottery

Corinthian Pottery, is part of Greek pottery, is distinguished by having been made in Corinth. It began in (725 BC) beginning the orientalizing period, they specialized in the manufacture of small glasses and especially for perfumes.

They were the ones who began to make incisions to highlight the details of the silhouettes. As the Athenian trade increased, they ceased to have commercial importance and already in 575 BC. C Attic pottery had raised it.

Proto-Corinthian vessels


Geometric Protocorinthian vessels

From the middle of the 8th century BC. C., glasses and vases made in Corinth, of different size, shape and decoration, but all characterized by the fine clay and by its careful realization, are spread everywhere, along the Mediterranean coast, from Spain to Syria and are profusely imitated in the various ancient centers.

The Corinthian attribution of all these vessels constitutes one of the important results of the American excavations in the neighborhood of the potters and in the archaic necropolis of Corinth. The oldest geometric Corinthian pottery from the 8th century BC. C. (geometric proto-Corinthian) prefers, unlike Attic geometric ceramics, small vessels, firstly the characteristic kotyle or cotila (small and deep cup with two handles) and to which other diverse shapes are added, especially the oinochoai (enócoes) with trilobed mouth and the paunchy aryballos (aríbalo) to store perfumes.

The decoration is very simple, with multiple and subtle parallel lines on the body of the vessel and adorned in zigzag, with vertical lines or other geometric motifs (sometimes schematic figures of birds) on the reverse. The human figure appears very rarely, as in a famous crater in the Toronto museum.

The vessels of the Geometric Proto-Corinthian follow those of the Orientalizing Proto-Corinth. They are vessels better known by the simple name of Protocorinthians (who first gave them this name was Loescheke, in 1881), at some point also called Asiatics, Babylonians, Doric, Egyptian, etc., according to the supposed place of origin.

The chronology of these Proto-Corinthian vessels, that is, their stylistic development, is now certain, after the studies of H. Payne and others, which start from the ancient Proto-Corinthian, continue with the Middle and Late.


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