Battle of Corinth (146 BC)

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Corinth
partof=


date=146 BC
place=Corinth
result=Roman victory
combatant1=Roman Republic
combatant2=Achaean League
commander1=Lucius Mummius Achaicus
commander2=Diaios
strength1=23,000 infantry
3,500 cavalry
strength2=14,000 infantry
600 cavalry
casualties1=
casualties2=

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 which was previously so famous for its fabulous wealth.

Preface

The 140's BC was a decade in history when the people of Rome really proved their superiority to the rest of the known world. It was in this decade that they decided to complete their old unfinished business with the Carthaginians. By 146 BC the Romans stormed the city of Carthage looted it and set it ablaze.Meanwhile, in Greece the Romans wanted the Greeks to know who the new force of the Mediteranean was. So they spent the spring of 146 taunting them. That winter a group of cities retaliated against Rome, thus dooming the city of Corinth. [Rubicon, Tom Holland, 2003]

Overview

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 government of the Achaean League. The Achaean general Diaios camped at Corinth with 14,000 infantry and 600 cavalry (plus probably some survivors of another army beaten 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 but 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 Achaians 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 marked a severe departure from previous Roman policy in Greece and it is perhaps telling that Carthage shared a similar fate in this same year. Rome could no longer pretend that they were conquering the world in self defence. Memories of the looting of Corinth embarrassed the Romans for years to come.

While there is archeological 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.

With Greece under Rome's control, a new chapter was added to Rome's history called the Greco-Roman Era.

References


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