According to Hellenic myth, the city was founded by Corinthos, a descendant of the god Helios (the Sun), while other myths suggest that it was founded by the goddess Ephyra, a daughter of the Titan Oceanus, thus the ancient name of the city (also Ephyra). There is evidence that the city was destroyed around 2000 BC.
The peak period of the city, though, started in the 8th century B.C, when Corinth became one of the leading powers of the Greek world, founder of colonies in the west Mediterranean, such as Syracuse, and lasted until its destruction by the Roman general Lucius Mummius in 146 B.C. Representative of its wealth and pioneering spirit in architecture, is the Doric temple of Apollo which was built in 540 B.C. The city was reinhabited in 44 B.C. and gradually developed again.
For Christians, Corinth is known from the two books First Corinthians and Second Corinthians in the New Testament. In 51/52 A.D., Apostle Paul visited Corinth. The center of the Roman city was organized to the south of the temple of Apollo and included shops, small shrines, fountains, baths and other public buildings. The invasion of the Herulians in A.D. 267 , initiated the decline of the city though it remained inhabited for many centuries through successive invasions and destruction, until it was liberated from the Turks in 1822.
Limited excavations were conducted in 1892 and 1906 by the Archaeological Society of Athens under the direction of A. Skias. The systematic excavations of the area, initiated by the American School of Classical Studies in 1896, are still continuing today.