Messenian Wars

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Messenian Wars


three wars between Messenia and Sparta (ancient Greece).

As a result of the first Messenian War (second half of the eighth century B.C.), the Spartans succeeded in seizing the eastern region and southern coast of Messenia, and the conquered were obliged to give the Spartans one-half of their harvest. A revolt of the Messenians against Spartan domination, led by Aristomenes, is called the Second Messenian War (second half of the seventh century B.C.). In that war Sparta, which was militarily stronger, seized all of Messenia. Some of the conquered resettled in Sicily, and the remaining Messenians were turned into disenfranchised Helots. The largest rebellion of the Messenian Helots in antiquity is traditionally called the Third Messenian War (464 to 458 or 455 B.C.). The rebels took up a position on inaccessible Mount Ithome and stubbornly held out for ten years, despite the military aid that was given to Sparta by many of the Greek city-states. The Spartans were compelled to allow the rebels to leave Messenia unhindered. The Messenians then settled in the city of Naupactus (Navpaktos) in central Greece.


Berger, A. Sotsiarnye dvizheniia v Drevnei Sparte. Moscow, 1936.
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But when Messene was actually carved out of the Lacedemonian state in 369 BCE, those traditions seem to have been deliberately sacrificed to a new toaster narrative that was preferable to the new polity: that of a previously enslaved tribe that had fought for its independence ever since the so-called First Messenian War.
15) Although dates vary from authority to authority, the First Messenian War is traditionally placed in the later eighth century (in archaeological terms, roughly the Late Geometric period), the Second in the first half of the seventh century (the Early Archaic period).
Archaic settlements are described by McDonald and Hope Simpson as being "rather small," an expected result of the loss of freedom following the Second Messenian War, (41) but the characterization is not entirely borne out by the data they themselves present for estimates of site size.
With the Messenian War and its dating to the reign of Polydoros we stumble upon a problem of a wholly different order, and a debate that cannot be entered upon here.
5 One need hardly mention the Messenian War account of book four's preface or the Achaean War of book seven's, or descriptions appended, for example, to statues of Aratus, Epaminondas, Lysimachus, Pyrrhus, Attalus and Ptolemy (2.
Greek elegiac poet, author of stirring poetry on military themes supposedly composed to help Sparta win the Second Messenian War.
The civil war in Arcadia took place in the fourth century BC, while Aristomenes is generally associated with the Second Messenian War (685-668 BC).
Messenia was thoroughly subjugated after the Spartan victory in the Second Messenian War in the seventh century, and did not rebel again until the fifth.
28)Scholars have sharply differed over Plato's mention of a Messenian war which prevented the Spartans from supporting Athens in time in 490 (Laws 698 ED).