The Diolkos and the Emporion: How a Land Bridge Framed the Commercial Economy of Roman Corinth

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Territory has always formed a common theme in explanations of the wealth and power of the city of Corinth. Thucydides was the first to connect Corinthian wealth to the city’s situation on the Isthmus and its commercial facility (1.13.5). When the Greeks developed navies, he noted, the Corinthians built a fleet, suppressed piracy, and provided a trade market making their city wealthy and powerful. Roman writers repeated, expanded,and reinterpreted the explanation of Thucydides about the commercial facility of the Isthmus and its relationship to Corinthian wealth. By the end of antiquity, Corinth was inextricably associated with the image of a maritime city whose Isthmus fostered commerce, prosperity, and power.


Originally published as:

J Friesen, S., James, S., & Schowalter, D. (Eds.). (2014). 7. The diolkos and the emporion: How a land bridge framed the commercial economy of roman corinth. In Corinth in Contrast (pp. 126–142). BRILL. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004261310_008

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