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Messenia borders on Eleia; and for the most part it inclines round towards the south and the Libyan Sea. Now in the time of the Trojan War this country was classed as subject to Menelaüs, since it was a part of Laconia, and it was called Messene, but the city now named Messene whose acropolis was Ithome, had not yet been founded;The city was founded by Epameinondas in 369 B.C. (Diod. Sic. 15.66). but after the death of Menelaüs, when those who succeeded to the government of Laconia had become enfeebled, the Neleidae began to rule over Messenia. And indeed at the time of the return of the Heracleidae and of the division of the country which then took place, Melanthus was king of the Messenians, who were an autonomous people, although formerly they had been subject to Menelaüs. An indication of this is as follows: The seven cities which Agamemnon promised to give to Achilles were on the Messenian Gulf and the adjacent Asinaean Gulf, so called after the Messenian Asine;Now the ci