Sack of Corinth (Great Events from History: The Ancient World, Prehistory-476)
Article abstract: The sack of Corinth marked the end of Greek political autonomy and displayed the harsh tactics of mature Roman imperialism.
Summary of Event
Corinth’s fall in the summer of 146 b.c.e. came as the final event of what the Romans called the bellum Achaicum, or Achaean War, the fifth Roman military intervention into the eastern Mediterranean region since 200 b.c.e. Unlike earlier invasions, which had targeted the powerful kings of Macedonia and Syria, this conflict was a war against a Greek state: the Achaean League, one of several confederacies of city-states that had come to prominence during the late classical and Hellenistic periods. Since joining the league in 243 b.c.e., Corinth had emerged as an influential member and frequently served as a site for Achaean League congresses and meetings with foreign ambassadors. As a result, Corinth was a logical target for punitive action following the Roman victory over the league. The fame of its wealth and artistic treasures made it an even more appealing victim, and its international prominence as overseer of the Panhellenic Isthmian Games heightened the lesson of its destruction.
The motives behind Rome’s halting assertion of control over Greece are extremely complex, but two things must be understood: The Romans did not set out to conquer Greece, and initially the Greeks did not find the Roman presence unwelcome. For example, the...
(The entire section is 1517 words.)
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