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Λακωνική, sc. γῆ), called by the Roman writers Laconia. A country of the Peloponnesus, situated at its southern extremity, having Messenia on the west, and Arcadia and Argolis on the north. The extent of Laconia from east to west, where it reached farthest, was 1¡ 45', but it became narrower towards the north, and its extent from north to south was about fifty miles. As the southern parts were encompassed by the sea, and the east and northeast parts by the Sinus Argolicus, it had a great number of promontories, the chief of which were those of Malea and Taenarum, now Capes Malio and Matapan. The sea-coast of Laconia was furnished with a considerable number of seaports, towns, and commodious harbours, the chief of which were Trinnassus, Acria, Gytheum, and Epidaurus. The Laconian coasts were famous for yielding a shellfish (murex) whence was obtained a beautiful purple dye, inferior only to that which was brought from the Red Sea and Phœnicia. The mountains of Laconia were numerous, the most famous being Taÿgetus. The principal river was the Eurotas, on which stood the capital, Sparta or Lacedaemon. The soil was very rich, especially in the low grounds, and, being well watered, was excellent for pasture; but the number of its mountains and hills prevented its being tilled so well as it might otherwise have been. See Sparta.

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