The city derived rich income from the transport of cargo across the narrow isthmus (a distance less than five miles). Not until A.D. 1893 was the present canal dug, saving a two-hundred-mile trip around the stormy Cape Malea.
Corinth is ancient Greece’s most important trade city (1 Cor 1:2; 2 Cor 1:1,23). At Corinth the apostle Paul established a flourishing church, made up of a cross section of the worldly-minded people who had flocked to Corinth to participate in the gambling, legalized temple prostitution, business adventures, and amusements available in a first-century navy town (1 Cor 6:9-11).
Always a commercial and trade center, Corinth was already prosperous and famous for its bronze, pottery, and shipbuilding nearly 800 years before Christ.
In the outlying areas around Corinth, farmers tended their grain fields, vineyards, and olive groves. But the pulse of Corinth was the city itself, enclosed by walls ten kilometers in circumference. Most of the daily business were conducted in the marble-paved agora, or marketplace, in the central part of the city.
Modern Corinth, rebuilt about four kilometers from the ancient site, is little more than a town. It is certainly not a thriving trade center, but the inhabitants only need to look at the ancient ruins to recall the former glory of their city.
– Summary in Points –