What Is the Corinth in Ancient Greece?

The Corinth in Ancient Greece: A Brief Overview

If you’re interested in ancient Greece, you’ve probably heard of Corinth. Located on the narrow isthmus connecting mainland Greece with the Peloponnese peninsula, this city-state played a significant role in Greek history and culture. In this article, we’ll explore what made Corinth unique and why it was so important.

Geography and Early History

Corinth was situated on the Isthmus of Corinth, which separates the Gulf of Corinth from the Saronic Gulf. This strategic location allowed it to control both land and sea trade routes, making it a prosperous city-state.

According to legend, the founder of Corinth was Sisyphus, who was punished by the gods for his cunning deeds. However, archaeological evidence suggests that Corinth was inhabited as early as the Neolithic period.

During the Archaic period (8th-6th centuries BCE), Corinth became a major center of trade and industry. It was famous for its pottery, which was exported throughout the Mediterranean world. The Corinthians also established colonies in Sicily and southern Italy.

The Peloponnesian War

In 431 BCE, Athens and Sparta went to war in what would become known as the Peloponnesian War. Following an initial period of neutrality, Corinth joined Sparta’s side in 429 BCE. The city-state provided troops and ships to Sparta’s cause and played a key role in several major battles.

Corinthian Architecture

Corinth is also famous for its distinctive style of architecture. The Corinthians developed a new type of column known as the Corinthian column, which features elaborate leafy decorations at its capital. This style became popular throughout Greece and is still used today.


In conclusion, Corinth was a significant city-state in ancient Greece. Its strategic location, economic prosperity, and cultural achievements made it a major player in Greek history. Whether you’re interested in mythology, politics, or architecture, there’s something for everyone in the story of Corinth.