Roman intervention in Greek political affairs resulted in conflicts that led to the destruction of Corinth in 146 B.C. and the sacking of Athens in 86 B.C. It was not until 27 B.C., however, that Augustus formally organized the Roman province of Achaea. Achaea consisted of the cities and territories of the southern Greek mainland between the Peloponnese and Thessaly, as well as Epirus in the northwest and the Ionian and some of the Aegean islands. The provincial capital was Corinth. Under Nero in the mid-1st century A.D. Epirus became a separate province, and in the mid-2nd century Thessaly was detached and added to the province of Macedonia. Under Roman domination many cities such as Athens, Sparta, Patras, and Corinth grew in size and prominence, the latter two partly owing to their importance as ports. After an initial decline in the number of rural sites in the early Empire, by the late Roman period the countryside was densely settled with farms and villas, due to changing landholding patterns and Roman improvements in agricultural and irrigation technology. The main exports from Achaea were wine, particularly from the northern Peloponnese, as well as olive oil and honey, linen and woollen textiles and marbles.
Sanctuary of Poseidon
We know of a grove of trees in the precinct of the temple of Poseidon, thanks to Pausanias’ and Strabo’s descriptions of it in the early 1st and the later 2nd century A.D. (Strab. 8.6.22; Paus. 2.1.7). According to Pausanias, on one side of the precinct stood statues of athletes who had been victorious in the Isthmian games, and opposite them was a row of pine trees. The fact that these trees stood in a row suggests that they were intentionally planted.
21 Apr 2021