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Pausanias, Description of Greece, Messenia, chapter 9 (search)
larm, as resembling plague, although it did not attack all. In these circumstances they resolved to desert all their numerous towns inland and to settle on Mount Ithome. A small town existed here, which they say Homer mentions in the Catalogue:Stepped Ithome.Hom. Il. 2.729To this town they withdrew, extending the old circuit to fIthome.Hom. Il. 2.729To this town they withdrew, extending the old circuit to form a sufficient protection for them all. The place was strong in other respects, for Ithome falls short of none of the mountains within the Isthmus in height and at this point was most difficult to climb. They also resolved to send an envoy to Delphi, and despatched Tisis the son of Alcis, a man of the highest reputation, consided his ground to resist in spite of the wounds he received, until a voice was heard from an unseen quarter, “Let the bearer of the oracle go free.” Tisis, reaching Ithome with all speed, delivered the oracle to the king, and soon afterwards died of his wounds. Euphaes assembled the Messenians and made known the oracle:Ye shall sacr
Pausanias, Description of Greece, Messenia, chapter 10 (search)
But the Lacedaemonians, when they heard the oracle given to the Messenians, were in despair, both they and their kings, and for the future shrank from offering battle.But five years after the escape of Lyciscus from Ithome, the victims being auspicious, the Lacedaemonians marched against Ithome. The Cretans were no longer with them. The allies of the Messenians also were late, for the Spartans had now incurred the suspicion of others of the Peloponnesians, especially of the Arcadians and ArgivesIthome. The Cretans were no longer with them. The allies of the Messenians also were late, for the Spartans had now incurred the suspicion of others of the Peloponnesians, especially of the Arcadians and Argives. The Argives intended to come without the knowledge of the Lacedaemonians, and by private enterprise rather than by public declaration. The expedition was openly proclaimed among the Arcadians, but they did not arrive either. For the Messenians were induced by the credit placed in the oracle to face the risk without allies. This engagement did not differ in most points from the first, as on this occasion too daylight failed the combatants, but they record that on neither side was a wing or divi
Pausanias, Description of Greece, Messenia, chapter 11 (search)
posted on the wings in a deeper and closer formation than ever before. The dispositions of Aristodemus and his men were as follows: he selected the most serviceable of the arms for all the Arcadians and Messenians who were physically strong and stout hearted but did not possess powerful weapons, and as the matter was urgent, posted them with the Argives and Sicyonians, extending the line that they might not be surrounded by the enemy. He also took care that they should be drawn up with Mount Ithome in their rear. Placing Cleonnis in command of these troops, he himself and Damis remained in reserve with the light troops consisting of a few slingers or archers, the bulk of the force being physically suited to rapid assaults and retirements and lightly armed. Not all of them possessed a breastplate or shield, but those who lacked them were protected with the skins of goats and sheep, some of them, particularly the Arcadian mountaineers, having the hides of wild beasts, wolves and bears. E
Pausanias, Description of Greece, Messenia, chapter 12 (search)
failed. They imitated that deed of Odysseus at Troy, and sent a hundred men to Ithome to observe what the enemy were planning, but pretending to be deserters. A sentsited her tomb, Arcadian horsemen lay in wait and captured him. When carried to Ithome and brought into the assembly he urged that he had not departed a traitor to hiion:To those who first around the altar set up tripods ten times ten to Zeus of Ithome, heaven grants glory in war and the Messenian land. For thus hath Zeus ordainedgranted them victory; for as they themselves possessed the sanctuary of Zeus of Ithome within the walls, the Lacedaemonians could not forestall them in making the ded easily escape detection by the Messenians. Joining some countrymen, he entered Ithome with them, and as soon as night fell, dedicated these tripods of clay to the go the wooden tripods, which had already been made, round the altar of the god of Ithome. It happened also that Ophioneus, the seer who had been blind from birth, recei
Pausanias, Description of Greece, Messenia, chapter 13 (search)
o them the future. For the armed statue of Artemis, which was all of bronze, let its shield fall. And as Aristodemus was about to sacrifice the victims to Zeus of Ithome, the rams of their own accord leapt towards the altar, and dashing their horns violently against it were killed by the force of the blow. A third portent befell tdeeds, but all their generals were killed and their most notable men. After this they held out for some five months, but as the year was coming to an end deserted Ithome, the war having lasted twenty years in all, as is stated in the poems of Tyrtaeus:But in the twentieth year they left their rich tilled lands, and fled from out t, and fled from out the lofty mountains of Ithome.Tyrtaeus, unknown location. This war came to an end in the first year of the fourteenth Olympiad,B.C. 724. when Dasmon of Corinth won the short footrace. At Athens the Medontidae were still holding the archonship as a ten years' office, Hippomenes having completed his fourth year.
Pausanias, Description of Greece, Messenia, chapter 14 (search)
All the Messenians who had ties with Sicyon and Argos and among any of the Arcadians retired to these states, but those who belonged to the family of the Priests and performed the mysteries of the Great Goddesses, to Eleusis. The majority of the common people were scattered in their native towns, as before. The Lacedaemonians first razed Ithome to the ground, then attacked and captured the remaining towns. Of the spoils they dedicated bronze tripods to the god of Amyclae. A statue of Aphrodite stands under the first tripod, of Artemis under the second, of Kore or Demeter under the third. Dedicating these offerings at Amyclae, they gave to the people of Asine, who had been driven out by the Argives, that part of Messenia on the coast which they still occupy; to the descendants of Androcles (he had a daughter, who with her children had fled at his death and come to Sparta) they assigned the part called Hyamia. The Messenians themselves were treated in this way: First they exacted an oath
Pausanias, Description of Greece, Messenia, chapter 15 (search)
When all their preparations were made for the war, the readiness of their allies exceeding expectation (for now the hatred which the Argives and Arcadians felt for the Lacedaemonians had blazed up openly), they revolted in the thirty-ninth year after the capture of Ithome, and in the fourth year of the twenty-third Olympiad,B.C. 685 when Icarus of Hyreresia won the short footrace. At Athens the archonship was now of annual tenure, and Tlesias held office. Tyrtaeus has not recorded the names of the kings then reigning in Lacedaemon, but Rhianos stated in his epic that Leotychides was king at the time of this war. I cannot agree with him at all on this point. Though Tyrtaeus makes no statement, he may be regarded as having done so by the following; there are lines of his which refer to the first war:Around it they fought unceasingly for nineteen years, ever maintaining a stout heart, the warrior fathers of our fathers.Tyrtaeus, unknown. It is obvious then that the Messenians went to war
Pausanias, Description of Greece, Messenia, chapter 19 (search)
from his scouts that their march discipline was lax and that their encampments were made without precaution, Aristomenes attacked them by night. He slew most of them while the rest were still sleeping, and killed the leaders Hypermenides, Achladaeus, Lysistratus and Sidectus. And having plundered the generals' tent, he made it clear to the Spartans that it was Aristomenes and no other Messenian who had done this. He also made the sacrifice called the Offering for the hundred slain to Zeus of Ithome. This was an old-established custom, all Messenians making it who had slain their hundred enemies. Aristomenes first offered it after the battle at the Boar's Tomb, his second offering was occasioned by the slaughter of the Corinthians in the night. It is said that he made a third offering as the result of his later raids. Now the Lacedaemonians, as the festival of Hyacinthus was approaching, made a truce of forty days with the men of Eira. They themselves returned home to keep the feast, bu
Pausanias, Description of Greece, Messenia, chapter 23 (search)
g islanders instead of mainlanders, and raid the coasts of Laconia with their ships and ravage the land. But Manticlus bade them forget Messene and their hatred of the Lacedaemonians, and sail to Sardinia and win an island which was of the largest extent and greatest fertility. Meantime Anaxilas sent to the Messenians and summoned them to Italy. He was tyrant of Rhegium, third in descent from Alcidamidas, who had left Messene for Rhegium after the death of king Aristodemus and the capture of Ithome. So now this Anaxilas summoned the Messenians. When they came, he said that the people of Zancle were at war with him, and that they possessed a prosperous land and city well placed in Sicily; and these he said he was ready to give them and help them to conquer. When they accepted the proposal, Anaxilas then transported them to Sicily. Zancle was originally occupied by pirates, who, as the land was uninhabited, walled off the harbor and used it as a base for their raids and cruises. Their le
Pausanias, Description of Greece, Messenia, chapter 24 (search)
suspicion that they were likely to promote revolution, and as a result of this suspicion to have soon dismissed them from Ithome. The Athenians, realizing the feelings of the Lacedaemonians towards them, made friends therefore with the Argives, and gave Naupactus to the Messenians besieged in Ithome, when they were allowed to depart under a truce. They had taken Naupactus from the Locrians adjoining Aetolia, called the Ozolian. The retirement of the Messenians from Ithome was secured by the streIthome was secured by the strength of the place; also the Pythia announced to the Lacedaemonians that assuredly they would be punished if they committed a crime against the suppliant of Zeus of Ithome. For this reason then they were allowed to go from Peloponnese under a truce. ength of the place; also the Pythia announced to the Lacedaemonians that assuredly they would be punished if they committed a crime against the suppliant of Zeus of Ithome. For this reason then they were allowed to go from Peloponnese under a truce.
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