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A trip to ancient Corinth

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Written by   8
2 years ago

“A famous and luxurious city where the loads of the East and the West meet. It was ancient Corinth. The city's wealth is also said to be "celebrated in a proverbial way."

Which city deserves these descriptions? Can anyone take a "trip" to such a place? We'll see.

Corinth a prosperous city

Ancient Corinth was located on the narrow headland that connects the Peloponnese with mainland Greece. To the east are the Saronic Gulf and the Aegean Sea, to the west the Gulf of Corinth and the Ionian Sea. The city was strategically located at the northern foot of the Acrocorinth, a steep, rocky hill 566 meters above sea level.

Originally a small town, Corinth was a city in the 8th century BC. C. A prosperous city. The first settlers included the Phoenicians, who may have introduced weaving, dyeing, and other handicrafts. Then come the Atticans, then the Dorians and finally the Macedonians. The Romans liberated the city in 196 BC. As an independent city-state, Corinth joined the Aquean League, competed against Rome and became 146 BC. C. Burned by the Roman Consul L. Mummius. Their. The city was almost deserted until 44 BC. C. Founded by Julius Caesar as a Roman colony. During the 1000s AD. It was the capital of the Roman province of Achaia and was ruled by a proconsul.

With about 200,000 free inhabitants and perhaps more than twice as many slaves at the height of its power, Corinth was a lively city. Among its inhabitants were Greeks, Italians and a large number of Jews. But the streets were full of foreign merchants and travelers visiting for business or pleasure.

The bridge of the sea

Land trade roads passed through Corinth. In addition, transoceanic ships carried goods to the city's ports, Cencreia, eighty miles east in the Saronic Gulf, and Lechaeum in the Corinthian Gulf, one and a half miles (2.4 km) west. Some ships arrived at Schönus, a small eastern port.

If the objects on board the ship were intended for points further east or west, how could they be transported overland? Some men were thinking of building a canal. In fact, the Roman emperor Nero started a similar project around 66 or 67 AD, only to give up and solve more pressing problems elsewhere. This watercourse took centuries to complete in 1893. This 6.4 km long canal connecting the Gulf of Corinth and the Saronic Gulf is still in use.

However, there was no canal on the headland near Corinth. Large ships were unloaded in one port and their cargo was transported overland to the other port. The goods were then loaded on another ship and sent to their destination. However, the smaller ships were transported over the land mouse with their cargo on board. This was achieved through a sea route with wooden paths. The Greeks called it diʹol · kos, meaning "transport". The Corinthians were rightly called "the bridge of the sea". Most sailors were willing to face the challenges of land transport across the land muscles, rather than embarking on a 20-mile journey around the storm-based cape of the southern peninsula.

The whole eye of Greece

Corinth was also a place of learning. This was so true that the Roman speaker, writer and statesman Cicero (106-43 BC) named the city totius Græciæ lumen, meaning "the eye of all Greece."

It is true that some currants were well educated. Yet many Corinthians were involved in morally corrupt activities. In fact, the term "Corinth" meant "to commit fornication" and "Virgin of Corinth" to be a prostitute. Do you wonder what contributed to so much moral neglect in this city that was called the "Eye of All Greece"?

Wrong religion was an important factor. Think, for example, of the worship of the goddess Aphrodite (the Roman Venus). The magnificent sanctuary was located in the Acro Corinth and rose about 457 meters above the city. "The Temple of Venus," wrote biblical commentator Adam Clarke, "was not only very large but also very rich, and according to Strabo, it housed no less than 1,000 courtiers, who were the medium of enormous competition." "Foreigners in that place."

But how could a visitor to Corinth ignore the imposing Temple of Apollo? What about the shrines that were built for gods like Jupiter, Hera and Asclepius, the god of healing? Wow, statues of heroes and gods lined the streets and squares of Corinth! Adam Clarke also commented, “Public prostitution was an important part of your religion. And they were used to their public prayers, asking the gods to increase their prostitutes! ""

Entertainment and athletics

One of the attractions of ancient Corinth was theatrical productions. In fact, the city had two theaters, one large enough for 18,000 people.

By the way, near the great theater northwest of the agora there is a square covered with limestone blocks. One of them bears the Latin inscription: "Erastus, prosecutor and mayor, made this plan at his expense". It has been suggested that this Erastus was the same person as “Erastus the governor” that Paul mentioned when he wrote to the Roman Christians in Corinth.

Corinth has also attracted sports fans. The Isthmian Games were held nearby every two years. It is likely that these descendants of Poseidon (Neptune) were located in the southern part of the buttresses as the temple of the false god. Competitions could include music and poetry competitions. The games also included events such as car racing, running, jumping, darts, boxing, and wrestling. How much effort did it take for the athlete to win! And what would you buy? Praise of the people and perhaps a perishable crown.

A race for life?

In his first canonical letter to the Christians of Corinth, the apostle Paul used the ancient games as an illustration, which the inhabitants of this region could easily understand. "Don't you know that all the runners in a race run, but only one wins the prize?" Paul asked and continued, “Run as you can. In addition, every man who participates in a competition exercises self-control over all things. Now, of course, they are doing it because they can get a harmful crown [the Isthmian Games can be harmful things like ivy, celery or parsley], but we are eternal life [immortal life in paradise] . To encourage them, Paul used himself as an example and said, “So I don't know how I'm running. The way I direct my shots is not to detonate. but I beat my body and lead it like a slave, and after preaching to others I will not regret at all ”- 1 Corinthians 9: 24-27.

Like so many ancient cities today, the ancient ruins of Corinth are. The modern city of Corinth is 4.8 kilometers northeast of the ancient location. Thus the "famous and luxurious city where the vices of East and West met" no longer exists

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Written by   8
2 years ago
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Good post

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2 years ago

Nice article. Unfortunately, not much of Ancient Corinth remains today, as you mentioned. I pass by that city sometimes on trips, and the modern city is mostly a stopping point for tired travelers.

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2 years ago