Corinth

Corinth (kŏrˈĭnth) [key] or Kórinthos kôˈrĭnthôs, city (1991 pop. 27,412), capital of Corinth prefecture, S Greece, in the NE Peloponnesus, on the Gulf of Corinth. It is a port and major transportation center trading in olives, tobacco, raisins, and wine. Founded in 1858 after the destruction of Old Corinth by an earthquake, it was rebuilt after another earthquake in 1928. It formerly was known as New Corinth. Old Corinth, just southwest of modern Corinth, is now a village. Strategically situated on the Isthmus of Corinth and protected by the fortifications on the Acrocorinthus, Corinth was one of the largest, wealthiest, most powerful, and oldest cities of ancient Greece. Dating from Homeric times, it was conquered by the Dorians. In the 7th and 6th cent. B.C., under the tyrants Cypselus, his son Periander, and their successors, it became a flourishing maritime power. Syracuse, Kérkira, Potidaea, and Apollonia were among its colonies. The natural rival of Athens, Corinth was traditionally allied with Sparta. Athenian assistance to the rebellious Corinthian colonies was a direct cause of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 B.C.). During the Corinthian War (395–387 B.C.), however, Corinth joined with Athens against the tyrannical rule of Sparta. After the battle of Chaeronea (338 B.C.) Corinth was garrisoned by Macedonian troops. It became (224 B.C.) a leading member of the Achaean League and in 146 B.C. was destroyed by the victorious Romans. Julius Caesar restored it (46 B.C.) and also reestablished the Isthmian games. Corinth was again laid waste by the invading Goths (A.D. 395) and by an earthquake in 521. Early in the 13th cent., Corinth was conquered by Geoffroi I de Villehardouin following the Fourth Crusade. It was taken by the Ottoman Turks in 1458, and in 1687 was seized by Venice, which lost it to the Turks in 1715. In 1822 it was captured by Greek insurgents. Ancient ruins at Old Corinth include the marketplace, fountains, the temple of Apollo, and a Roman amphitheater. Paul preached here and wrote two epistles to the infant Corinthian church.

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