, or Korinth
Kórinthos( ) is a city in Greece.
antiquity it was a city-state, on the
Corinth, 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, to the east lies the Saronic Gulf. Corinth is about southwest of Athens.
isthmus, which was in ancient times traversed by hauling ships over
the rocky ridge on sledges, is now cut by a canal.
Corinth is now the capital of the prefecture
. The city is surrounded by the coastal
townlets of (clockwise) Lechaio, Isthmia, Kechries, and the
inland townlets of Examilia and the
archaeological site. Geophysically the city is likewise surrounded
by the narrow coastal plain of Vocha, Corinthian Gulf, Corinth Canal, Saronic Gulf, Oneia
mountains, and the monolithic rock of Acrocorinth where the medieval acropolis was built.
The city was founded in the Neolithic
, circa 6000 BC. According to myth, the city was founded by
Corinthos, a descendant of the god Helios
(the Sun), while other myths suggest that it was founded by the
goddess Ephyra, a daughter of the titan Oceanus
the ancient name of the city (also Ephyra
end of the Mycenaean period the Dorians attempted
to settle in Corinth. While at first they failed, their second
attempt was successful when their leader Aletes followed a different path around the
Corinthian Gulf from Antirio.
ancient names for the place, such as Korinthos, derive
from a pre-Greek, "Pelasgian" language; it
seems likely that Corinth was also the site of a Bronze Age Mycenaean palace-city, like Mycenae,
Tiryns or Pylos.
According to myth, Sisyphus
was the founder
of a race of ancient kings at Corinth. It was also in Corinth that
, the leader of the Argonauts
, abandoned Medea
During the Trojan War
participated under the leadership of Agamemnon
Just before the beginning of the classical period, the trireme
was developed here. This ship design
would become widespread in the navies of the Mediterranean area until the late Roman period.
took part in the first naval battle on record, against the Hellenic
city of Corcyra.
classical times the ancient city rivaled 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 ancient acropolis was
dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite
According to Strabo's
were more than one thousand temple
employed at the Temple of Aphrodite. Corinth was
also the host of the Isthmian
In the 7th century BC, when Corinth was ruled by the tyrants
(r. 657-627 BC) and his son
(r. 627-585 BC), the city
sent forth colonists to found new settlements: Epidamnus (modern day Durrës, Albania), Syracuse, Ambracia (modern day town of Lefkas), Corcyra (modern day town of
Corfu) and Anactorium. Periander also founded Apollonia in Illyria (modern day Fier, Albania)
and Potidaea (in Chalcidice). Corinth was also one of the nine Greek
sponsor-cities to found the colony of Naukratis in Ancient
Naucratis was founded to accommodate the
increasing trade volume between the Greek world and the pharaohnic
Egypt, during the reign of Pharaoh Psammetichus I
of the 26th dynasty
was considered one of the
Seven Wise Men of Greece
During his reign the first Corinthian coins
were struck. He was the first to
attempt to cut across the Isthmus to create a seaway to allow ship
traffic between the Corinthian and the Saronic Gulf. He abandoned the
venture due to the extreme technical difficulties he met, but he
created the Diolkos (a stone-build overland ramp) instead.
era of the Cypselids, ending with Periander's nephew Psammetichus
, named after
the hellenophile Egyptian Pharaoh Psammetichus I (see above), was
the golden age of the city of Corinth.
During this era Corinthians developed the Corinthian order
, the third order of the
classical architecture after the Ionic
and the Doric
. The Corinthian order was
the most complicated of the three, showing the accumulation of
wealth and the luxurious lifestyle in the ancient city-state, while
the Doric order was analogous to the strict and simplistic
lifestyle of the older Dorians like the Spartans, and the Ionic was
a balance between those two following the philosophy of harmony of
Ionians like the Athenians.
Horace is quoted as saying: "non licet omnibus adire
", which translates as "Not everyone is able to go to
Corinth", due to the expensive living standards that prevailed in
the city. The city was renowned for the temple prostitutes of
Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who served the wealthy merchants
and the powerful officials living in or traveling in and out of the
city. The most famous of them, Lais
was said to have extraordinary abilities and charged tremendous
fees for her favours.
had two main ports, one in the Corinthian Gulf and one in the
Saronic Gulf, serving the trade routes of the western and eastern
Mediterranean, respectively. In the Corinthian
Gulf lay Lechaion, which connected the city
to its western colonies (Greek: apoikoiai) and Magna Graecia, while in the Saronic Gulf the
port of Kenchreai served the ships coming
from Athens, Ionia, Cyprus and the rest
of the Levant.
Both ports had docks
for the large war fleet of the city-state.
was a major participant in the Persian
Wars, offering 40 war ships in the sea Battle of Salamis under the admiral
Adeimantos and 5,000 hoplites (wearing their characteristic Corinthian helmets ) in the following
Battle of Plataea but afterwards
was frequently an enemy of Athens and an ally of Sparta in the
431 BC, one of the factors leading to the Peloponnesian War
was the dispute between
Corinth and Athens over the Corinthian colony of Corcyra (Corfu),
which probably stemmed from the traditional trade rivalry between
the two cities.
After the end of the Peloponnesian War, Corinth and Thebes, which
were former allies with Sparta in the Peloponnesian League, had
grown dissatisfied with the hegemony of Sparta and started the
against it, which
further weakened the city-states
Peloponnese. This weakness allowed for the subsequent invasion of
of the north and the forging
of the Corinthian League
Philip II of Macedon
the Persian Empire
In the 4th century BC, Corinth was home to Diogenes of Sinope
, one of the world's
best known cynics
under Lucius Mummius
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
as the conqueror
of the Achaean League
(see Battle of Corinth
). While there
is archeological evidence of some minimal habitation in the years
afterwards, Julius Caesar
the city as Colonia laus Iulia Corinthiensis
in 44 BC
shortly before his assassination. Under the Romans, it became the seat of
government for Southern Greece or Achaia (according
to ) and was noted for its wealth.
When the apostle Paul
the city (AD 51 or 52), Gallio
, the brother
, was proconsul
. Paul resided here for eighteen months
first became acquainted with Aquila
and Priscilla, and soon after his
departure Apollos came from Ephesus.
Paul visited Corinth for a "second benefit" (see 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
Paul also wrote two of his epistles
to the Christian community at Corinth, the First Epistle to the
and the Second Epistle to the
. The first Epistle reflects the difficulties of
maintaining a Christian community in such a cosmopolitan
The city was destroyed by an earthquake in 375 and again in 551.
's invasion of Greece, in
395–396, Corinth was one of the cities he despoiled, selling many
of its citizens into slavery.
During the reign of Byzantine
emperor Justinian I
, a large stone
wall was erected from the Saronic to the Corinthian gulf,
protecting the city and the Peloponnesean peninsula from the
barbarian invasions of the north. The stone wall was about six
miles (10 km) long and was named Examilion
(exi=six in Greek). During this era
Corinth was the seat of the Thema of
Hellas (representing modern day Greece).
In November 856, an earthquake
killed an estimated 45,000.
In the 12th century (during the reign of the Comnenus
dynasty), the wealth of the city,
generated from the silk trade to the Latin states of western
Europe, attracted the attention of the Sicilian Normans
under Roger of
, who plundered it in 1147.
Principality of Achaea
Geoffrey I de
Villehardouin, nephew of the homonymous famous historian of the Fourth Crusade, was granted Corinth after the
sack of Constantinople, with the title of Prince of Achaea.
1205-1208 the Corinthians resisted the Frankish domination from
their stronghold in Acrocorinth, under the command of the Greek
general Leo Sgouros
. The French
knight William of Champlitte
led the crusader
forces. In 1208 Leo Sgouros killed himself by riding off the top of
Acrocorinth, but from 1208 to 1210 the Corinthians continued to
resist the enemy forces. After the collapse of the resistance and for
the years to come, Corinth became a full part of the Principality of Achaea, governed by
the Villehardouin's from their capital
in Andravida of Elis.
Corinth was the
last significant town of Achaea on its northern borders with
another crusader state, the Duchy of
. The Byzantines reconquered the city and it became part
of the despotate of Morea
1388. The Ottomans captured it in 1395. The Byzantines captured it
again in 1403. Theodore II
Plaiologos, who was Despot of Morea, built the Hexamilion
wall across the Isthmus of Corinth.
In 1458, five years after the final Fall of Constantinople
, the Turks of
the Ottoman Empire
conquered the city
and its mighty castle. The Ottomans renamed it Gördes
became the Sanjak centre of Morea in Rumelia Province. The Venetians
captured it in 1687 and it fell under the control of the Republic of
Venice according to Treaty
of Karlowitz in 1699.
Ottomans retook the city in 1715.
It was the capital of Mora
1715-1731 and the Sanjak centre between 1731-1821.
During the Greek War of
, 1821-1830 the city was destroyed by the Turkish
forces. The city was officially liberated in 1832 after the
Treaty of London
. In 1833,
the site was considered among the candidates for the new capital
city of the recently founded Kingdom
, due to its historical significance and strategic
position. Athens, then an insignificant town, was chosen
Coat of Arms of the Municipality of
In 1858, the old city of Corinth (now known as Αρχαία Κόρινθος /
Ancient Corinth; a town SW of the modern city) was totally
destroyed by an earthquake. It was rebuilt after a further
earthquake in 1928 and again after a great fire in 1933. The new
city of Corinth was founded on the coast of the Gulf of Corinth.
is the second largest city in the periphery of Peloponnese after Kalamata (53,659 inh. in 2001).
In the census of 1991
the city had a population of 28,071 while latest data 2001 showed
an increase of 2,363 inhabitants (+8,4%) to 30,434. Between the
census of 1981 and that of 1991 the city had one of the
fastest-increasing populations in the country.
The Municipality of Corinth or Dimos Korinthion
population of 36,991 in 2001. The municipality includes the town of
Ancient Corinth (1,770 inh.), where the ancient and the medieval
city used to be built at the foothills of the rock of Acrocorinth
3 km from the new city centre, the town of Examilia (1,547
inh.), and the smaller settlements of Xylokeriza
(777 inh.) and Solomos
Canal, carrying ship traffic between the western
Mediterranean and the Aegean
Sea, is about 4 km east of the city, cutting
through the Isthmus of
square is located next to its port.
port operates north of the square, and serves the local needs of
industry and agriculture. It is mainly a cargo exporting facility.
The town centre is home to some surprisingly glamorous shops and
bars for a relatively small town, as well as high quality local
leather and jewellery outlets.
Corinth is a major industrial hub at a national level. Copper
cables, petroleum products, medical equipment, marble, gypsum,
ceramic tiles, salt, mineral water & beverages, meat products,
and gums are produced nearby. As of 2005, a period of
de-industrialization has commenced as a large pipework complex, a
textile factory and a meat packing facility disrupted their
A large oil-refinery complex is situated about 12 km northeast
of the city, which some think is the line marking the Athens metro
area. The complex is amongst the largest in the eastern
Mediterranean. It is surrounded by Greece Interstate 8A
and a 3+1 lanes
per direction freeway. A modern rest area with restaurants and gas
stations is located nearby on the freeway.
The city is the terminal point of an electric railway line
) to the Athens metropolitan
area. This was completed in 2008. Expectations for further economic
and residential expansion are significant due to this new
The city is also a major road hub being the entry point to the
Peloponnesian peninsula, the southernmost area of continental
Port of Corinth
Port of Corinth is situated close to the northwest
entrance of the Corinth
Canal, at 37 56.0’ N / 22 56.0’ E (Local Time: [GMT
It is an artificial harbour
(depth app. , protected by a concrete mole
(length app. 930 metres, width 100
metres, mole surface 93,000 m2) in front of the town of Corinth. A
new pier finished in the late 1980s doubled the capacity of the
port. The reinforced mole protects anchored vessels from strong
northern winds. The port facilities are well protected around their
perimeter by high iron fences.
Within the port a customs
and a Hellenic Coast Guard
operate 24/7. Sea traffic is limited to trade in the export of
local produce, mainly citrus fruits, grapes, marbles, aggregates
and some (less) domestic imports. The Port of Corinth operates as a
contingency facility for general cargo ships, bulk carriers and ROROs, in
case of strike at Piraeus port. There is a ferry line
(RORO) connecting Corinth to Italy.
The city's association football
team is Korinthos F.C.
) established in 1999 after the
merger of the Pankorinthian Football Club (Παγκορινθιακός
and the Corinth Football Club (Κόρινθος
). During the
2006-2007 season, the team played in the Greek Fourth Division's
Regional Group 7. The team went undefeated that season and it
earned the top spot. This granted the team a promotion to the
for the 2007-2008
season. For the 2008-2009 season, Korinthos F.C. competed in the
Gamma Ethniki (Third Division) southern grouping.
Twin towns — Sister cities
Corinth is twinned
traditional Greek place names
Partial text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897
- The temple of Aphrodite was so rich that it owned more than a
thousand temple-slaves, courtesans, whom both men and women had
dedicated to the goddess, and therefore it was also on account of
these women that the city was crowded with people and grew rich.
For instance, the ship-captains freely squandered their money and
hence the proverb, "Not for every man is the voyage to Corinth."
- British Admiralty charts:BA1085, BA1093, BA1600