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
References in periodicals archive ?
While most people have heard of the Ancient Greeks and many have heard of the Spartans, far fewer have heard of the Messenians, who inhabited the southwest corner of mainland Greece between the ninth and second centuries BC.
As Pericles had suggested before the war, the Athenians could also fortify a base, whether at Methone (while he was still alive), at Pylos (after his death), or elsewhere in Sparta, to support a revolt of the Helots, with essential aid from the Messenian exiles at Naupactus (1.142, 2.25, 4.3-15).
21; LURAGHI, N.: The Ancient Messenians. Construction of Ethnicity and Memory.
The victors then liberated the Messenians, who made up most of the helots.
We learn from their conversation that Agamemnon has already subjugated the Messenians, Arcadians, and Epeians.
There was a harbor next to it, and the Messenians had been natives of the land in the old days: they spoke a dialect similar to the Lacedaemonians', and would be able to do them a great deal of damage if they used Pylos as a base--also, they would make a reliable garrison for it.
This controversy was heightened in Plato's lifetime, when, in the aftermath of a decisive defeat of Sparta by the Boeotians at Leuktra in 371, the larger portion of them, the Messenians, finally achieved their collective freedom and established themselves as free Greek citizens of the restored (as they saw it) free city of Messene.
even asserts that Messenia was not primarily conquered for its territory, but `as a means of community self-definition'; hence `the stark "othering" of the Messenians' (184).
As Carol Dougherty writes(4) of the Tarentum oracle, `The practically impossible, namely a goat that loves salt water, becomes possible when we recognize that, in this instance, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] does not mean a goat, but functions as a metaphor(5) for the wild fig tree whose silvery branches dip into the stream.' We are told, in connexion with the related oracle given to Aristomenes,(6) that among the Messenians [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] the wild fig.(7)
According to Polybius (IV.33), the Arcadians took the Messenians into their homes, made them citizens, and gave them their daughters in marriage.
If this is indeed the case, it comes as no surprise that Nino Luraghi's masterly chapter on "Messenian Ethnicity and the Free Messenians" provides the most forceful example of what ethnic politics brought to the map of the Peloponnese.
The Messenians of the Diaspora: from submission to resistance