City situated on an isthmus: Corinth was well placed to benefit from commerce between mainland Greece and the Peloponnesus, and boats were hauled across a track from the Adriatic to the Aegean Sea to avoid the danger of storms. (A canal started by Nero in 76 CE was finally completed in 1892.) The city had been destroyed by the Romans in 146 BCE but was refounded for veterans of his army by Julius Caesar in 44 BCE and Latin was widely used even though most of the citizens in Paul's time would have spoken Greek.

The city had a reputation for sexual orgies and boasted a temple of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Excavations have also uncovered a Jewish synagogue and some domestic houses of the kind that would have accommodated meetings of Christians. These show that the main room was not large, and if this was occupied by the more leisured and well‐to‐do members who arrived early, their slaves and employees would have been relegated to smaller rooms, which understandably provoked discontent. An inscription mentions the name Erastus the aedile, a council official, and this may be the man who sends greetings to Rome in Paul's letter to the Romans (Rom. 16: 23), which was sent from Corinth.