Second Messenian War
Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Second Messenian War
685 BC- 668 BC[cite news | title = Early History of Peloponnesus and Sparta to the end of the Messenian Wars, B.C. 668 | url = http://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/history-of-ancient-greece-4-668.asp?pg=11 | publisher = Elpenor | date = | accessdate = 2008-02-23]
Messeniaremains under Spartan control
Messenia Arcadia Sicyon Elis Argos
Sparta Corinth Lepreo
Aristomenes Androcles Fidas Aristocrates II
Anaxander Anaxidamus Tyrtaeus Emperamus
The Second Messenian War was a war between the Ancient Greek states of
Messeniaand Sparta. It started around 40 years after the end of the First Messenian Warwith the uprising of a slave rebellion. This war lasted from 685 to 668.
The First Messenian War lasted from
743 BCto 724 BCand was said to have started because some Messenian men carried off some Spartan women praying at a temple. When the Messenians refused to return them, the Spartans invaded Messeniaand besieged the Messenians in their citadel at Ithome. However, in 724 BC, Ithome fell and the Spartans turned the inhabitants of Messenia into slaves. [cite news | title = The Messenian War | url = http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=guerber&book=greeks&story=war | publisher = The Baldwin Project | date = | accessdate = 2008-02-23]
At the first battle, the
Battle of Deres, happened before the allies arrived but Aristomenes still fought so well that he was made the new king of Messenia by his people. He followed this up by crossing into Sparta and placed a shield in the temple of Athena in order to scare the Spartans. This forced the Spartans to send to Delphi where they were told to gain a leader from Athens. Upon doing so the Spartans marched on the Messenians at Boar's Grave where they met Aristomenes and his troops who defeated them greatly. [Smith, William. (2000 March, 01). Early History of Peloponnesus and Sparta to the end of the Messenian Wars, B.C. 668. A Smaller History of Ancient Greece (chapter IV, pg 10). Retrieved 7 Feb, 2008, from http://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/history-of-ancient-greece-4-668.asp?pg=11.] .
However, it was the Spartans who had the upper hand at the battle of Great Trench where the Spartans bribed the Messenian allies into retreating through the Messenian lines when the Spartans advanced into battle. This caused pandemonium and many Messenian leaders were lost. Again, this loss forced the Messenians into a fortified city at Mt. Eira (Ira). It was while fortified here that the Messenians started to use the land as enemy territory and several raids were made of the surrounding towns, some even lead by Aristomenes himself.
During this time Aristomenes was captured but before he was killed he escaped his holding and made it back to Eira. The Messenians held Eira for over ten years before the Spartans made their last attack. Before Eira fell, however, the Spartans allowed the women and children to be released along with Aristomenes. The ones who did not escape Eria were again turned into helots and most of the ones who escaped fled to Italy. Aristomenes himself left for Rhodes where he died and was honored as a hero [Xanthippos, Demetrios. (2003 Jun.6) The Second Messenian War. Retrieved Feb 3, 2008 from http://www.ancientworlds.net/aw/Post/157630]
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