Roman Corinth’s reputation for wealth, fuelled by its trading access to luxury goods, was soon equalled by its appetite for earthly pleasures – including sex. Corinthian women were renowned for their beauty and much sought after as hetairai (courtesans); over a thousand sacred prostitutes served a temple to Aphrodite/Venus, on the acropolis of Acrocorinth. St Paul stayed in Corinth for eighteen months in 51–52 AD, though his attempts to reform the citizens’ ways were met with rioting – tribulations recorded in his two letters to the Corinthians.

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