Can you help with history of city of Corinth and at present what’s their


Corinth is on the isthmus separating the Peloponesian peninsula from
mainland Greece. For this reason, it was in important and wealthy city
from ancient times. During the 500’s BC it played a role as the or one of
the leading cities of Greece–establishing many colonies abroad. The
tyrant of Corinth even tried to dig a canal across the isthmus, but failed
to complete the task (which was finished by the French in the 19th
century). During the Peloponesian wars between Sparta and Athens in the
400s BC, Corinth fared badly. However, it remained a very important city
politically, culturally and economically right up until Roman times.
Corinth became the center of the architectural style known as Corinthian.
When Rome finally took Greece, the Romans completely destroyed Corinth,
killing all its adult male inhabitants, making slaves of all the women and
children (146 BC).

For just over one hundred years the city of Corinth was unoccupied. Then,
in 44 BC Pompei refounded the city as a Roman colony for retired
soldiers. It soon flourished again due to its excellent location at the
crossroads of commerce. Corinth was the most Roman of cities in Greece
proper. It was very cosmopolitan–having Roman, Greek, Phoenecian and
Jewish residents. It was also infamous for the sinful atmosphere in the
city. I had the good fortune of visiting ancient Corinth last year. We
visited the Acrocorinth, which was the location of the temple at which the
“worshippers” had sex with the priestesses. No wonder the church in
Corinth was experiencing so many struggles with worldly behavior, as
evidenced by the letters of Paul to this church.

The city of Corinth still exists today, although it is not located at the
same site as the city in the days of the apostle Paul. It is downhill and
closer to the isthmus and the Gulf of Corinth. It is a great experience
to walk the same streets as Paul in AD 51–to see the market where he
preached. The Corinth of today is a medium sized city of 36,000. Its
economic importance is less than it was. There is now a canal dug through
the isthmus. This is a marvel of modern engineering. It is up to 150
feet deep, through solid rock. The canal is fairly narrow, making it not
particularly important to international shipping, which partially explains
why Corinth is only a medium sized city.

John Oakes, PhD

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