Society / Sack or Destruction of City

146BC

Event #35: Destruction of Corinth

Stable URL: http://cof.quantumfuturegroup.org/events/35


Geographical sites:

  • Corinth (click here to focus in map) (see also Pleiades #570182)
    Pleiades_icon Corinthus/Korinthos settlement, amphitheatre, plaza Geocontext: Archaia Korinthos
    Description: The ancient Greek and Roman city of Corinth, located in the Peloponnese, Greece. Also known today as Archaia Korinthos and not to be confused with the nearby modern town.

Citations:

Text #56

Editorial comment by Laura Knight-Jadczyk

In 146 BC the Roman consul Lucius Mummius razed Corinth, marking the end of free Greece at the same time that Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus, the son of Scipio Africanus destroyed the city of Carthage in North Africa which left Rome the Master of the western Mediterranean, adding North Africa and Spain to the Roman territories. This part of Polybius’ history is lost but a fragment was preserved in Strabo VIII.6.28.

Text #9437

"Battle of Corinth (146 BC)", in Wikipedia.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_C...

The Battle of Corinth was a battle fought between the Roman Republic and the Greek city-state of Corinth and its allies in the Achaean League in 146 BC, that resulted in the complete and total destruction of Corinth. This battle marked the beginning of the period of Roman domination in Greek history.

In 146 BC, the Romans finally defeated and destroyed their main rival in the Mediterranean, Carthage, and spent the following months in provoking the Greeks, aiming to a final battle that would strengthen their hold also in this area. Cassius Dio reported that it was the Achaeans (Greeks) who began the quarrel. In the winter of that year the Achaean League rebelled against Roman predominance in Greece. Marching from Macedonia, the Romans defeated the first Achaean army under Critolaos of Megalopolis at the Battle of Scarpheia, and advanced unhindered onto Corinth.

The Roman consul Mummius, with 23,000 infantry and 3,500 cavalry (probably two legions plus Italian allies) with Cretans and Pergamese, advanced into the Peloponnese against the revolutionary Achaean government. The Achaean general Diaeus camped at Corinth with 14,000 infantry and 600 cavalry (plus possibly some survivors of another army that had been defeated earlier). The Achaeans made a successful night attack on the camp of the Roman advance guard, inflicting heavy casualties.

Encouraged by this success they offered battle the next day but their cavalry, heavily outnumbered, did not wait to receive the Roman cavalry charge and instead fled at once. The Achaean infantry, however, held the legions until a picked force of 1000 Roman infantry charged their flank and broke them. Some Achaeans took refuge in Corinth but no defense was organized because Diaeus fled to Arcadia. Corinth was utterly destroyed in this year by the victorious Roman army and all of her treasures and art plundered. The annihilation of Corinth, the same fate met by Carthage the same year, marked a severe departure from previous Roman policy in Greece.

While there is archaeological evidence of some minimal habitation in the years afterwards, Julius Caesar refounded the city as Colonia Laus Iulia Corinthiensis in 44 BCE, shortly before his assassination.

References Cassius Dio 72.1

Text #9438

Polybius. The Histories

The incidents of the capture of Corinth were melancholy. The soldiers cared nothing for the works of art and the consecrated statues. I saw with my own eyes pictures thrown on the ground and soldiers playing dice on them; among them was a picture of Dionysus by Aristeides—in reference to which they say that the proverbial saying arose, “Nothing to the Dionysus,”—and the Hercules tortured by the shirt of Deianeira. . . .

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