But Ephorus describes the founding of the city thus: The Lacedaemonians were at war with the Messenians because the latter had killed their king Teleclus when he went to Messene
to offer sacrifice, and they swore that they would not return home again until they either destroyed Messene
or were all killed; and when they set out on the expedition, they left behind the youngest and the oldest of the citizens to guard the city; but later on, in the tenth year of the war, the Lacedaemonian women met together and sent certain of their own number to make complaint to their husbands that they were carrying on the war with the Messenians on unequal terms, for the Messenians, staying in their own country, were begetting children, whereas they, having abandoned their wives to widowhood, were on an expedition in the country of the enemy, and they complained that the fatherland was in danger of being in want of men; and the Lacedaemonians, both keeping their oath and at the same time bearing in mind the argument of the women, sent the men who were most vigorous and at the same time youngest, for they knew that these had not taken part in the oaths, because they were still children when they went out to war along with the men who were of military age; and they ordered them to cohabit with the maidens, every man with every maiden, thinking that thus the maidens would bear many more children; and when this was done, the children were named Partheniae. But as for Messene
, it was captured after a war of nineteen years, as Tyrtaeus says: "About it they fought for nineteen years, relentlessly, with heart ever steadfast, did the fathers of our fathers, spearmen they; and in the twentieth the people forsook their fertile farms and fled from the great mountains of Ithome
." Now the Lacedaemonians divided up Messenia
among themselves, but when they came on back home they would not honor the Partheniae with civic rights like the rest, on the ground that they had been born out of wedlock; and the Partheniae, leaguing with the Helots, formed a plot against the Lacedaemonians and agreed to raise a Laconian cap in the market-place as a signal for the attack. But though some of the Helots had revealed the plot, the Lacedaemonians decided that it would be difficult to make a counter-attack against them, for the Helots were not only numerous but were all of one mind, regarding themselves as virtually brothers of one another, and merely charged those who were about to raise the signal to go away from the marketplace. So the plotters, on learning that the undertaking had been betrayed, held back, and the Lacedaemonians persuaded them, through the influence of their fathers, to go forth and found a colony, and if the place they took possession of sufficed them, to stay there, but if not, to come on back and divide among themselves the fifth part of Messenia
. And they, thus sent forth, found the Achaeans at war with the barbarians, took part in their perils, and founded Taras.