History Of The First Messenian War

702 Words3 Pages
First Messenian War 743BC----724BC The Messenian War started for two major reasons according to Pausanias. Though most historians say the war was fought to conquer the rich and fertile lands of Messenia. The first incident started in the borders of Messene and Laconia. In the temple of Artemis both Spartans and Messenians were celebrating as Spartan virgins danced. According to Spartans history records Messenians rushed forward and they took the dancing virgins. They abducted them. King Teleklos of Sparta who tried to hamper them was killed. The women instead of going with the Messenians, committed suicide. According to Messenians history records King Teleklos of Sparta had dressed up young men as women with concealed daggers. After the Messenians discovered the plot they had King Teleklos killed. The second incident was between two citizens one from Sparta and one from Messenia. The Spartan Euphaenos who had been entrusted with the care of Polychares (A Messenian) cows killed the cows and Polychares’s son. Unable to find justice in Sparta Polychares started killing every Spartan that crossed into his border. Sparta demanded Polychares to be delivered so that he could be punished, but Polychares never came so in vain the war started. Alkamenes son of Teleklos, king of Sparta surprised the Messenians and one night entered a Messenian city killing everyone in it. Euphaes fought for four years bough neither side had gotten anywhere until the fifth year when a major battle took place. This battle forced the Messenians kings hand and he ordered his people to retreat to a fortified fortress in the mountains of Ithome. During the 13th year of war King Theopompos of Sparta marched his troops to Ithome to war but again there was no victor.... ... middle of paper ... ...o get the Spartans inside of Eira. The battle was a hard one. Messenians fought desperately women and men throwing tiles, and bricks at the soldiers as they were slaughtered. At the end the Spartans had them defeated. Aristomenes and some of his men managed to break the Spartan lines and he rounded up the women and children and took them to Arcadia. Aristomenes choose 300 Arcadians and 500 Messenians they decided to surprise attack Sparta since most of the Spartan army was away at war. They were ready to attack until they discovered that Aristocrates the king of Arcadia had sent a messenger to warn the Spartans. The King was killed by his own people who threw stones at his head and his corpse was thrown from the city of Arcadia The Messenians moved to Italy where they founded the new city of Messene. The ones who did not leave were known as Helots and the war ended.

More about History Of The First Messenian War

Open Document