The Myths of Ancient Greece: Corinth

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The city-state of Corinth, one of the most famous in Ancient Greece, was home to several famous myths.

Sisyphus in action

One ancient name for Corinth was Ephyra. One ancient king of Ephyra was a man named Sisyphus. He maintained his hold on the city through deceit and violence. When he had finally had enough of his brother Salmoneus, Sisyphus consulted the Oracle at Delphi, seeking advice on how to do away with his brother.

In the most commonly known version of the story, Sisyphus also sought to demonstrate, on many an occasion, how clever he was; in fact, he tried to show that he was more clever than Zeus, the chief god. Zeus responded to this display of hubris by dooming Sisyphus to the punishment for which he is most famously known: having to push a heavy boulder up a steep hill, only to see the boulder roll back down the hill, where he had to beginning pushing all over again.

Another story has it that Corinthus, a descendant of Helios, the sun god, founded Corinth and named it after himself.

Corinth is the setting for two other well-known stories from Greek mythology: It is where Jason and Medea settled after Jason returned from chasing the Golden Fleece and where Theseus chased the wild boar.

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