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Battle of Corinth (146 BC)

 

Battle of Corinth (146 BC)

Battle of Corinth
Part of The Achaean War
Date 146 BC
Location Corinth
Result

Decisive Roman victory; destruction of Corinth

Complete Roman hegemony over Greece
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 city-state of Corinth and its allies in the Achaean League in 146 BC, that resulted in the complete and total destruction of Corinth. This battle marked the beginning of the period of Roman domination in Greek history.

Overview

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 predominance in Greece. Marching from Macedonia, the Romans defeated the first Achaean army under Critolaos of Megalopolis at the Battle of Scarpheia, and advanced unhindered onto Corinth.

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 Diaeus 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

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