Corinthian War: Corinth and Argos

Sparta once found allies in Thebes and Corinth, but in the end, the cities could not abide by its imperialist policy. This drove the two cities to side with Athens , a city that was once the enemy of both. During the Corinthian War, Argos, Thebes and Corinth joined forces with Athens to fight against Sparta. In this article, you will learn a bit more about Corinth and Argos. Other facts regarding the war will also be revealed.


Corinth (also known as Korinth) was another city-state that thrived in Greece, located on the Isthmus of Corinth , a narrow stretch of land that linked the Peloponnesus to the mainland of Greece. During ancient times, the shape of the city caused inhabitants to haul their ships across the rocky ridges by using sledges. Today, a canal separates this characteristic of the city.


During Mycenaean times, Argos held a significant position, as it was known as an important stronghold. With other neighboring settlements, they would rule the activity that took place across the fertile land of Argolis. A great deal of the history connected to Argos is linked to Homeric times. It was known that a follower of Agamemnon owned the land. It was he who gave the city its name. The district became known as the Argolid and grew in significance. But the close proximity of Sparta cast a shadow on the city and its importance was overlooked after the 6th century BC had passed.

Power, Power, Power

One of the reasons that the Corinthian War was important in history is because it established who would become the top dogs of power. The war also stopped other regions from trying to rebel. Mainland states did not dare go against the control of Persia. Over the years, the Persians would finally rule lands like Ionia , a move that would last for more than 50 years , right up until the emergence of Alexander the Great.

Enjoying fruitful fighting on land after 394 BC, Sparta had exposed its weakness for fighting at sea. By this time, the coalition states held strong and enjoyed their own success in keeping the Spartans from moving into the central Greek territory.

Facts to Keep in Mind About the War

·    Sparta knew they had to weaken the alliance that was successfully fighting against them. Over the next couple of years, they tried to remove Corinth or Argos out of the battles. The allies came at Sparta from all different angles and directions. While anti-Spartan allies remained united, while Athens and Thebes took the time to strengthen their own power in regions they had traditionally watched over in the past.

·    Omens played an important role in battles that took place during ancient Greek times. For example, in 388 BC, a Spartan army led by Agesipolis attempted to take control of Argos forces. No members of the Argive army challenged the leader, so he took full advantage of ransacking the countryside. However, after he saw what he believed to be a handful of unfavorable omens, he decided to return back home.

·    To avoid a Spartan backlash at the end of the war, Thebes disbanded their forces. Argos and Corinth entered a shared government role. Since Corinth didn’t have any strong allies, they were absorbed back into the Peloponnesian League, which was connected to the Spartans.

·    The Corinthian War lasted for eight years in total.