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When most people think of ancient Greece they will think of either Sparta or Athens. However, during the peak of classical Greece there was another city called Corinth which rivaled both Sparta and Athens. As such many people overlook the historical significance of ancient Corinth.
Today there are 3 reasons why ancient Corinth is significant to history. First, ancient Corinth was a major trading hub for all the Greek city states. Second, ancient Corinth would hold the Isthmian Games and become a major cultural center for ancient Greece. Third, the city-state of Corinth was known to field some of the strongest warriors in ancient Greece.
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Without further ado, here are the 3 reasons ancient Corinth is significant to history.
Ancient Corinth Was A Major Trading Hub For All The Greek City States
One of the major reasons that ancient Corinth is significant to history is because it was one of the largest trading hubs in ancient Greece.
At its peak Corinth was just as wealthy as Athens and as powerful as Sparta. We have reports from Herodotus and archeological evidence that demonstrates that Corinth was one of the major trading hubs of Greece.
The reason behind Corinth’s amazing success as a trading hub was because of its location in ancient Greece. Not only was Corinth located between Sparta and Athens it also controlled the extremely valuable Isthmus.
The Isthmus of Greece is a 4 mile stretch of land that connects the Peloponnese peninsula to the mainland of Greece. Corinth would build a narrow channel of paved rocks that ran alongside the modern channel. Any vessel wanting to circumnavigate the dangerous Peloponnese peninsula would have to pay a toll to drag their ship across this 4 mile stretch of land.
This land hauling process of ships across Corinth was called the Diolkos.
On top of this Corinthian merchants would easily be able to buy and sell products to passing ships. As a result of this Corinth would become a trading hub that all Greek merchants would engage with.
This made Corinth fabulously wealthy. Several large buildings and monuments would be built across Corinth which helped to create a culture of decadence and luxury.
As such one of the main reasons why ancient Corinth is significant to history is because it was one of the largest trading hubs in all of ancient Greece.
Ancient Corinth Would Hold The Isthmian Games And Become A Cultural Center For Ancient Greece
Another reason why ancient Corinth is significant to history is because it held the Isthmian Games and became a cultural hub of Greece.
Using its massive amount of wealth generated from trade Corinth would create the four Panhellenic Games; the Olympic Games, Pythian Games, Nemean Games, and Isthmian Games.
The Isthmian Games would be held the year before and after the Olympic Games. The central location of Corinth made it easier for all Greeks to attend and special accommodations were made for spectators who were not directly from Corinth.
The Isthmian Games were dedicated to the Greek God Poseidon. Here athletes from around Greece would compete in sports such as running, wrestling, and chariot races. For ancient Greece this was a moment for each city state to obtain prestige and honor for themselves.
However, one thing made the Isthmian Games at Corinth stand out. These games were often used for political purposes. Corinth held complete control over the games and who was in attendance. Athletes would use this as an opportunity to use the pedestal as a method of political propaganda.
From its wealth and games Corinth would become a cultural center of Greece. During the 5th century BC Corinth would create the 3rd form of Greek Column Architecture, the Corinthian order.
Corinth would come to be known for its grandeur in architecture and culture. This culture was known across Greece for the city’s wealth and lifestyle. To live in ancient Corinth would mean that you were one of the most prestigious and luxurious Greeks.
As such one of the main reasons why ancient Corinth is significant to history is because it became a cultural center of the ancient Greek world.
The City-State Of Ancient Corinth Was Known To Field Some Of The Strongest Warriors In Greece
One of the main reasons why ancient Corinth is significant to history is because it field some of the strongest warriors in Greece.
Because of Corinth’s central location in Greece during the classical period it became a major influencer in several large wars. The most famous of these was the Greco-Persian war which lasted from 499-450 BC.
The ancient historian Herodotus provides accounts of the valor of the 400 Corinthian warriors sent with the Spartan King Leonidas I to stop the Persian army at the Battle of Thermopylae.
After the Battle of Thermopylae Corinth would send over 5,000 hoplites and forty warships to aid in the Battle of Salamis. In this battle Corinth is depicted as fighting bravely and playing a major part in the decisive victory against the Persian fleet.
So famous was the warriors of Corinth that the iconic Greek hoplite helmet is named after them. To this day when people think of an ancient Greek warrior clad in their bronze armor they think of the soldier wearing a Corinthian helmet.
Historians are unsure where this name came from. It is possible that Corinth had some of the best metal workers in ancient Greece. Therefore the name of Corinth might have come from the quality of the helmet.
However, one of the main reasons that ancient Corinth is significant to history is because it fielded some of the strongest warriors in ancient Greece.
There you have it; an entire article on the 3 reasons ancient Corinth is significant to history.
The study of the ancient Greek city-states is a fascinating subject. One area of the world would give rise to such a variety of cultures that to this day continue to impact our daily lives.
Here at The History Ace I strive to publish the best history articles on the internet. If you enjoyed this article then consider subscribing to the free newsletter and sharing around the internet.
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