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An island off shore from the Bay of Navarino. It belonged to Sparta after the second Messenian war. In 425 B.C. during the Peloponnesian war it was the site of the famous battle that ended with the Athenian capture of 400 Spartans who had landed on the island. The remains of the ancient fort in which the Spartans sought refuge (Thuc. 4.31.2), on the mountain of Haghios Elias in the N section of the island, which have been visited and described by many scholars, are no longer easily recognizable. They were destroyed by military installations during WW II.


H. Schliemann, AthMitt 14 (1889) 132; R. M. Burrows, “Pylos and Sphacteria,” JHS 16 (1896) 55ff; 18 (1898) 147ffPI; U. von Wilamovitz-Moellendorf, “Sphacteria,” SBPreussAK (1921); W. Kendrick-Pritchett, Studies in Ancient Greek Topography (1965) 25ffM.


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