Battle of Corinth (146 BC)

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Battle of Corinth
Part of The Achaean War
Date 146 BC
Location Corinth
Result Roman victory
Belligerents
Roman Republic Achaean League
Commanders and leaders
Lucius Mummius Achaicus Diaeus
Strength
23,000 infantry
3,500 cavalry
14,000 infantry
600 cavalry

The Battle of Corinth was a battle fought between the Roman Republic and the Greek state of Corinth and its allies in the Achaean League in 146 BC, that resulted in the complete and total destruction of the state of Corinth. This battle marked the beginning of a new age in Greek history known as Roman Greece.

Overview[edit]

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. In the winter of that year the Achaean League rebelled against Roman domination in Greece.

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 Diaios 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 BC shortly before his assassination.

In popular culture[edit]

The Battle of Corinth was the central event in the 1961 film The Centurion.

References[edit]