previous next

LAS Lakonia, Greece.

Town mentioned in the Catalogue of Ships (Il. 2.585). Legend gives it an eponymous founder (Paus. 3.24.10) and adds that it was captured by the Dioskouroi (Strab. 8.5.4) and that the Heraklidai used its port after their victory. The importance of this port in historic times is illustrated by the fact that the Spartan fleet called there in 411 (Thuc. 8.91-92) and that the Lakedaimonians attacked it in 189 (Livy 3 8.30-31) in order to obtain access to the sea. Under the Empire, it was sufficiently prosperous to coin money under Septimius Severus, Caracalla, and Geta.

The site of the Homeric city was supposed to be Mount Asia, which is identified with the hill of Passava, on which is built a Frankish castle with large blocks of ancient masonry visible in its walls. But one cannot be sure, given the absence of any Mycenaean sherds. On the other hand, numerous chance finds from the Hellenistic and Roman periods have been made on the plain. The port may have been situated either at Vathi, on the coast, or a little to the S at Ayeranos, which can be identified as the site of the Arainos mentioned by Pausanias together with Las.


E. Puillon-Boblaye, Recherches géographiques . . . (1835) 87; W. M. Leake, Travels in the Morea I (1830) 255-57; Peloponnesiaca (1847) 174; E. S. Forster, BSA 13 (1906-7) 232-34; H. Waterhouse & R. Hope Simpson, BSA 56 (1961) 118; R. Hope Simpson & J. F. Lazenby, The Catalogue of Ships in Homer's Iliad (1970) 79.


hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 3.24.10
    • Strabo, Geography, 8.5.4
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.91
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: