Corinth: The First City of Greece

An Urban History of Late Antique Cult and Religion


This book addresses cult and religion in the city of Corinth from the 4th to 7th centuries of our era. The work incorporates and synthesizes all available evidence, literary, archaeological and other.
The interaction and conflict between Christian and non-Christian activity is placed into its urban context and seen as simultaneously existing and overlapping cultural activity. Late antique religion is defined as cult-based rather than doctrinally-based, and thus this volume focuses not on what people believed, but rather what they did.
An emphasis on cult activity reveals a variety of types of interaction between groups, ranging from confrontational events at dilapidated polytheist cult sites, to full polysemous and shared cult activity at the so-called "Fountain of the Lamps". Non-Christian traditions are shown to have been recognized and viable through the sixth century. The tentative conclusion is drawn that a clear definition of "pagan" and "Christian" begins at an urban level with the Christian re-monumentalization of Corinth with basilicas. The disappearance of "pagan" cult is best attributed to the development of a new city socially and physically based in Christianity, rather than any purely "religious" development.

E-Book List price

EUR €117.00USD $147.00

Biographical Note

Richard M. Rothaus, Ph.D. (1993), Ohio State University, is Assistant Professor of History, St. Cloud State University, and Director of the Archaeological Computing Laboratory at the same university. He is also Assistant Director of the Ohio State University Excavations at Isthmia, Greece.

Review Quotes

' As a result, the book is a serviceable guide both to Corinth's archaeological record and the excavations that unearthed it, useful even to scholars focused on early rather than late Roman Corinth.'
Rihard e. DeMaris, Religious Studies Review, 2003.
' ...Richard Rothaus is to be congratulated for addressing a significant era and posing important questions concerning Corinth and the Corinthia.'
Paul D. Scotton, BMCR, 2002.' …relevant to scholars of early Roman Corinth as to scholars of late antiquity…there exists no historical study of religion at Corinth so well informed by the archaeological record.'
Richard E. DeMaris, Journal of Biblical Literature, 2002.


Corinth, the First City of Greece will be of interest to researchers and students in the religious life of Late Antiquity, Byzantium, and the Early Middle Ages.

Index Card

Collection Information