Messenia

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Messenia

(mĕsē`nēə), ancient region of SW Greece, in the Peloponnesus and corresponding to the modern nome of Messinías. Excavation has revealed an important center of Mycenaean culture at PylosPylos
, ancient harbor, Messenia, SW Greece, on a bay of the Ionian Sea. Excavations have revealed a great Mycenaean palace of the 13th cent. B.C., perhaps the dwelling of King Nestor.
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 dating from the 13th cent. B.C. From the 8th cent. B.C. the Messenians were engaged in a series of revolts against expanding Sparta. After the First Messenian War the Spartans annexed (c.700 B.C.) the eastern part of Messenia. With the Second Messenian War the remaining inhabitants were reduced (7th cent. B.C.) to helots. The Third Messenian War (464–459 B.C.) was a failure for Messenia, but very costly to Sparta. The battle of LeuctraLeuctra
, village of ancient Greece, in Boeotia, 7 mi (11.3 km) SW of Thebes. There the Spartans were defeated (371 B.C.) by the Thebans under Epaminondas. A brilliant tactical success, the battle also dealt a severe blow to Spartan hegemony.
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 (371 B.C.) freed Messenia, and Messene was founded (c.369 B.C.) as the capital. The region gave its name to Messina, Sicily, because of an influx of Messenian colonists (c.490 B.C.).

Bibliography

See C. A. Roebuck, A History of Messenia from 369 to 146 B.C. (1941); The Minnesota Messenia Expedition, ed. by W. A. McDonald and G. R. Rapp (1972).

Messenia

 

(Messinia), the name of a region in ancient Greece, in the southwestern Peloponnesus, and of a modern nomos. According to legend, it was inhabited by the Leleges. Homer describes it as the kingdom of the legendary Nestor, with its capital at Pilos, where many remains of the Aegean culture have been preserved. As a result of the Messenian Wars, Messenia came under Spartan rule. It regained its independence in 369 B.C., after Epaminondas’ victory over Sparta. That year Messene was founded as the capital of the region. In the first century B.C., Messenia was incorporated into the Roman province of Achaea.

Messenia

the southwestern area of the Peloponnese in S Greece