The sporting rake in Pierce Egan's Life in London. A “Corinthian” was the “fast man” of Shakespeare's period.
“I am no proud Jack, like Falstaff; but a Corinthian, a lad of mettle, a good boy.” —Shakespeare: 1 Henry IV., ii. 4.
Corinthian War (The), B.C. 395-387. A suicidal contention between the Corinthians and the Lacedemonians. The allies of Corinth were Athens, Thebes, and Argos. The only battle of note was that of Coronea won by the Lacedemonians. Both the contending parties, utterly exhausted, agreed to the arbitration of Artaxerxes, and signed what is called The Peace of Antalkidas.
Not long after this destructive contest Epaminondas and Pelopidas (Theban generals) won the battle of Leuctra ( B.C. 371), from which defeat the Lacedemonians never recovered.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894