66: Corinth, Emergence on the Greek Stage

Corinth, Emergence on the Greek Stage

We continue our look at the development of Corinth in the series. Last episode we ended with the period of tyranny that had lasted two generations and ended with the assassination of the third. However, Corinth would continue to flourish, with cultural and economic advances taking place. Corinth would end up hosting one of the Pan Hellenic games, being one of the first mainland cities to mint their own coins, while large public building would begin to dot the Acropolis.

The mid-6th century would also see Corinth become part of a larger collection of city states, through the establishment of the Peloponnesian league. This league was headed by Sparta and it seems Corinth sought security from other city states growing in power that were close by. We would also find that Corinth would have a level of influence within the league that others did not, coming down to them possessing one of the largest navy’s within the league.

Once we reach the Greco-Persian War in Herodotus’ account we start to see Corinth portrayed in a negative light. This would be through the Corinthian commander supposedly putting up opposition to how the Athenians wanted to conduct the campaign. While also giving accounts of the Corinthian army and navy being unreliable in battle. However, as we look at, the times these histories were being written in would have an impact of how they were presented.

After the Persian Wars Corinth would continue to hold influence within the Peloponnesian league. They would be one of the main players of the First Peloponnesian War while also influencing Sparta’s decision on conducting campaigns across the Aegean. As we continue forward in the series, we will continue to see Corinth involved in inter-city state diplomacy, where they would be embroiled in the spark that would ignite the Peloponnesian War.

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