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 There were frequent wars (between the Lacedæmonians and Messenians) on account of the revolts of the Messenians. Tyrtæus mentions, in his poems, that their first subjugation was in the time of their grandfathers;1 the second, when in conjunction with their allies the Eleians [Arcadians], Argives, and Pisatæ, they revolted; the leader of the Arcadians was Aristocrates, king of Orchomenus, and of the Pisatæ, Pantaleon, son of Omphalion. In this war, Tyrtæus says, he himself commanded the Lacedæmonian army, for in his elegiac poem, entitled Eunomia, he says he came from Erineum; “‘for Jupiter himself, the son of Saturn, and husband of Juno with the beautiful crown, gave this city to the Heracleidæ, with whom we left the windy Erineum, and arrived at the spacious island of Pelops.’” Wherefore we must either invalidate the authority of the elegiac verses, or we must disbelieve Philochorus, and Callisthenes, and many other writers, who say that he came from Athens, or Aphidnæ, at the request of the Lacedæmonians, whom an oracle had enjoined to receive a commander from the Athenians. The second war then occurred in the time of Tyrtæus. But they mention a third, and even a fourth war, in which the Messenians were destroyed.2 The whole voyage along the Messenian coast comprises about 800 stadia, including the measurement of the bays.
1 The first war dates from the year B. C. 743, and continued 20 years. The second, beginning from 682 B. C., lasted 14 years; the third concluded in the year 456 B. C., with the capture of Ithome, which was the citadel or fort of Messene. Diod. Sic. lib. xv. c. 66.
2 The Messenians, driven from Ithome at the end of the third war, settled at Naupactus, which was given to them as a place of refuge by the Athenians, after the expulsion of the Locri-Ozolæ. It is probable that Strabo considers as a fourth war that which took place in the 94th Olympiad, when the Messenians were driven from Naupactus by the Lacedæ. monians and compelled to abandon Greece entirely.
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