web counter








That there were two long contests between the Lacedaemonians and Messenians, and that in both the former were completely victorious, is a fact sufficiently attested. And if we could trust the statements in Pausanias,—our chief and almost only authority on the subject,—we should be in a situation to recount the history of both these wars in considerable detail. But unfortunately, the incidents narrated in that writer have been gathered from sources which are, even by his own admission, undeserving of credit,—from Rhianus, the poet of Bene in Krete, who had composed an epic poem on Aristomenes and the second Messenian war, about 220 BC—and from Myron of Priene, a prose author whose date is not exactly known, but belonging to the Alexandrine age, and not earlier than the third century before the Christian era. From Rhianus, we have no right to expect trustworthy information, while the accuracy of Myron is much depreciated by Pausanias himself,—on some points even too much, as will presently be shown. But apart from the mental habits either of the prose writer or the poet, it does not seem that any good means of knowledge were open to either of them, except the poems of Tyrtaeus, which we are by no means sure that they ever consulted. The account of the two wars, extracted from these two authors by Pausanias, is a string of tableaux, several of them, indeed, highly poetical, but destitute of historical coherence or sufficiency: and O. Muller has justly observed, that absolutely no reason is given in them for the subjection of Messenia.” They are accounts unworthy of being transcribed in detail into the pages of genuine history, nor can we pretend to do anything more than verify a few leading facts of the war.


the plain of Messenia from the the mountain Ithome nearby Messene


The poet Tyrtaeus was himself engaged on the side of the Spartans in the second war, and it is from him that we learn the few indisputable facts respecting both the first and the second. If the Messenians had never been reestablished in Peloponnesus, we should probably never have heard any farther details respecting these early contests. That reestablishment, together with the first foundation of the city called Messene on Mount Ithome, was among the capital wounds inflicted on Sparta by Epaminondas, in the year 369 BC—between three hundred and two hundred and fifty years after the conclusion of the second Messenian war. The descendants of the old Messenians, who had remained for so long a period without any fixed position in Greece, were incorporated in the new city, together with various Helots and miscellaneous settlers who had no claim to a similar genealogy. The gods and heroes of the Messenian race were reverentially invoked at this great ceremony, especially the great Hero Aristomenes; and the site of Mount Ithome, the ardor of the newly established citizens, the hatred and apprehension of Sparta, operating as a powerful stimulus to the creation and multiplication of what are called traditions, sufficed to expand the few facts known respecting the struggles of the old Messenians into a variety of details. In almost all these stories we discover a coloring unfavorable to Sparta, contrasting forcibly with the account given by Isokrates, in his Discourse called Archidamus, wherein we read the view which a Spartan might take of the ancient conquests of his forefathers. But a clear proof that these Messenian stories had no real basis of tradition, is shown in the contradictory statements respecting the principal Hero Aristomenes; for some place him in the first, others in the second, of the two wars. Diodorus and Myron both placed him in the first; Rhianus, in the second. Though Pausanias gives it as his opinion that the account of the latter is preferable, and that Aristomenes really belongs to the second Messenian war, it appears to me that the one statement is as much worthy of belief as the other, and that there is no sufficient evidence for deciding between them,—a conclusion which is substantially the same with that of Wesseling, who thinks that there were two persons named Aristomenes, one in the first and one in the second war. This inextricable confusion respecting the greatest name in Messenian antiquity, shows how little any genuine stream of tradition can here be recognized.

Pausanias states the first Messenian war as beginning in 743 BC and lasting till 724,—the second, as beginning in 685 BC and lasting till 668. Neither of these dates rest upon any assignable positive authority; but the time assigned to the first war seems probable, while that of the second is apparently too early. Tyrtaeus authenticates both the duration of the first war, twenty years, and the eminent services rendered in it by the Spartan king Theopompus. He says, moreover, speaking during the second war, “the fathers of our fathers conquered Messene”; thus loosely indicating the relative dates of the two.

The Spartans (as we learn from Isokrates, whose words date from a time when the city of Messene was only a recent foundation) professed to have seized the territory, partly in revenge for the impiety of the Messenians in killing their own king, the Herakleid Kresphontes, whose relative had appealed to Sparta for aid,—partly by sentence of the Delphian oracle. Such were the causes which had induced them first to invade the country, and they had conquered it after a struggle of twenty years. The Lacedaemonian explanations, as given in Pausanias, seem for the most part to be counter-statements arranged after the time when the Messenian version, evidently the interesting and popular account, had become circulated.

It has already been stated that the Lacedaemonians and Messenians had a joint border temple and sacrifice in honor of Artemis Limnatis, dating from the earliest times of their establishment in Peloponnesus. The site of this temple, near the upper course of the river Nedon, in the mountainous territory north-east of Kalamata, but west of the highest ridge of Taygetus, has recently been exactly verified,—and it seems in these early days to have belonged to Sparta. That the quarrel began at one of these border sacrifices was the statement of both parties, Lacedemonians and Messenians. According to the latter, the Lacedemonian king Teleklus laid a snare for the Messenians, by dressing up some youthful Spartans as virgins, and giving them daggers; whereupon a contest ensued, in which the Spartans were worsted and Teleklus slain. That Teleklus was slain at the temple by the Messenians, was also the account of the Spartans,—but they affirmed that he was slain in attempting to defend some young Lacedaemonian maidens, who were sacrificing at the temple, against outrageous violence from the Messenian youth. In spite of the death of this king, however, the war did not actually break out until some little tine after, when Alkamenes and Theopompus were kings at Sparta, and Antiochus and Androkles, sons of Phintas, kings of Messenia. The immediate cause of it was a private altercation between the Messenian Polychares (victor at the fourth Olympiad, 764 BC) and the Spartan Euaephnus. Polychares, having been grossly injured by Euaephnus, and his claim for redress having been rejected at Sparta, took revenge by aggressions upon other Lacedaemonians; the Messenians refused to give him up, though one of the two kings, Androkles, strongly insisted upon doing so, and maintained, his opinion so earnestly against the opposite sense of the majority and of his brother Antiochus, that a tumult arose, and he was slain. The Lacedaemonians, now resolving upon war, struck the first blow without any formal declaration, by surprising the border town of Ampheia, and putting its defenders to the sword. They farther overran the Messenian territory, and attacked some other towns, but without success. Euphaes, who had now succeeded his father Antiochus as king of Messenia, summoned the forces of the country and carried on the war against them with energy and boldness. For the first four years of the war, the Lacedaemonians made no progress, and even incurred the ridicule of the old men of their nation as faint­hearted warriors: in the fifth year, however, they undertook a more vigorous invasion, under their two kings, Theopompus and Polydorus, who were met by Euphaes with the full force of the Messenians. A desperate battle ensued, in which it does not seem that either side gained much advantage: nevertheless, the Messenians found themselves so much enfeebled by it, that they were forced to take refuge on the fortified mountain of Ithome, abandoning the rest of the country. In their distress, they sent to solicit counsel and protection from Delphi, but their messenger brought back the appalling answer that a virgin, of the royal race of Aepytus, must be sacrificed for their salvation: in the tragic scene which ensues, Aristodemus puts to death his own daughter, yet without satisfying the exigencies of the oracle. The war still continued, and in the thirteenth year of it another hard-fought battle took place, in which the brave Euphaes was slain, but the result was again indecisive. Aristodemus, being elected king in his place, prosecuted the war strenuously: the fifth year of his reign is signalized by a third general battle, wherein the Corinthians assist the Spartans, and the Arcadians and Sicyonians are on the side of Messenia; the victory is here decisive on the side of Aristodemus, and the Lacedaemonians are driven back into their own territory. It was now their turn to send envoys and ask advice from the Delphian oracle; while the remaining events of the war exhibit a series, partly of stratagems to fulfil the injunctions of the priestess,—partly of prodigies in which the divine wrath is manifested against the Messenians. The king Aristodemus, agonized with the thought that he has slain his own daughter without saving his country, puts an end to his own life. In the twentieth year of the war, the Messenians abandoned Ithome, which the Lacedaemonians razed to the ground: the rest of the country being speedily conquered, such of the inhabitants as did not flee either to Arcadia or to Eleusis, were reduced to complete submission.

Such is the abridgment of what Pausanias gives as the narative of the first Messenian war. Most of his details bear the evident stamp of mere late romance; and it will easily be seen that the sequence of events presents no plausible explanation of that which is really indubitable,—the result. The twenty years’ war, and the final abandonment of Ithome, is attested by Tyrtaeus beyond all doubt, as well as the harsh treatment of the conquered. “Like asses, worn down by heavy burdens,” says the Spartan poet, “they were compelled to make over to their masters an entire half of the produce of their fields, and to come in the garb of woe to Sparta, themselves and their wives, as mourners at the decease of the kings and principal persons.” The revolt of their descendants, against a yoke so oppressive, goes by the name of the second Messenian war.

Had we possessed the account of the first Messenian war as given by Myron and Diodorus, it would evidently have been very different from the above, because they included Aristomenes in it, and to him the leading parts would be assigned. As the narrative now stands in Pausanias, we are not introduced to that great Messenian hero,—the Achilles of the epic of Rhianus,—until the second war, in which his gigantic proportions stand prominently forward. He is the great champion of his country in the three battles which are represented as taking place during this war: the first, with indecisive result, at Derae; the second, a signal victory on the part of the Messenians, at the Boar’s Grave; the third, an equally signal defeat, in consequence of the traitorous flight of Aristokrates, king of the Arcadian Orchomenus, who, ostensibly embracing the alliance of the Messenians, had received bribes from Sparta. Thrice did Aristomenes sacrifice to Zeus Ithomates the sacrifice called Hekatomphonia, reserved for those who had slain with their own hands a hundred enemies in battle. At the head of a chosen band, he carried his incursions more than once into the heart of the Lacedaemonian territory, surprised Amyklae and Pharis, and even penetrated by night into the unfortified precinct of Sparta itself, where he suspended his shield, as a token of defiance, in the temple of Athene Chalkioekus. Thrice was he taken prisoner, but on two occasions marvellously escaped before he could he conveyed to Sparta: the third occasion was more fatal, and he was cast by order of the Spartans into the Keadas, a deep, rocky cavity in Mount Taygetus, into which it was their habit to precipitate criminals. But even in this emergency the divine aid was not withheld from him. While the fifty Messenians who shared his punishment, were all killed by the shock, he alone was both supported by the gods so as to reach the bottom unhurt, and enabled to find an unexpected means of escape. For when, abandoning all hope, he had wrapped himself up in his cloak to die, he perceived a fox creeping about among the dead bodies: waiting until the animal approached him, he grasped its tail, defending himself from its bites as well as he could by means of his cloak; and being thus enabled to find the aperture by which the fox had entered, enlarged it sufficiently for crawling out himself. To the surprise both of friends and enemies, he again appeared, alive and vigorous, at Eira. That fortified mountain on the banks of the river Nedon, and near the Ionian sea, had been occupied by the Messenians, after the battle in which they had been betrayed by Aristokrates, the Arcadian; it was there that they had concentrated their whole force, as in the former war at Ithome, abandoning the rest of the country. Under the conduct of Aristomenes, assisted by the prophet Theoklus, they maintained this strong position for eleven years. At length, they were compelled to abandon it; but, as in the case of Ithome, the final determining circumstances are represented to have been, not any superiority of bravery or organization on the part of the Lacedaemonians, but treacherous betrayal and stratagem, seconding the fatal decree of the gods. Unable to maintain Eira longer, Aristomenes, with his sons, and a body of his countrymen, forced his way through the assailants, and quitted the country,—some of them retiring to Arcadia and Elis, and finally migrating to Rhegium. He himself passed the remainder of his days in Rhodes, where he dwelt along with his son-in-law, Damagetus, the ancestor of the noble Rhodian family, called the Diagorids, celebrated for its numerous Olympic victories.

Such are the main features of what Pausanias calls the second Messenian war, or of what ought rather to be called the Aristomeneis of the poet Rhianus. That after the foundation of Messene, and the recall of the exiles by Epameinondas, favor and credence was found for many tales respecting the prowess of the ancient hero whom they invoked in their libations,— tales well calculated to interest the fancy, to vivify the patriotism, and to inflame the anti-Spartan antipathies, of the new inhabitants,—there can be little doubt. And the Messenian maidens of that day may well have sung, in their public processional sacrifices, how “Aristomenes pursued the flying Lacedaemonians down to the mid-plain of Stenyklerus, and up to the very summit of the mountain.” From such stories, traditions they ought not to be denominated, Rhianus may doubtless have borrowed; but if proof were wanting to show how completely he looked at his materials from the point of view of the poet, and not from that of the historian, we should find it in the remarkable fact noticed by Pausanias. Rhianus represented Leotychides as having been king of Sparta during the second Messenian war; now Leotychides, as Pausanias observes, did not reign until near a century and a half afterwards, during the Persian invasion.

To the great champion of Messenia, during this war, we may oppose, on the side of Sparta, another remarkable person, less striking as a character of romance but more interesting in many ways, to the historian,—I mean, the poet Tyrtaeus, a native of Aphidnae in Attica, an inestimable ally of the Lacedaemonians during most part of this second struggle. According to a story,—which, however, has the air partly of a boast of the later Attic orators,—the Spartans, disheartened at the first successes of the Messenians, consulted the Delphian oracle, and were directed to ask for a leader from Athens. The Athenians complied by sending Tyrtaeus, whom Pausanias and Justin represent as a lame man and a schoolmaster, despatched with a view of nominally obeying the oracle, and yet rendering no real assistance. This seems to be a coloring put upon the story by later writers, but the intervention of the Athenians in the matter, in any way, deserves little credit. It seems more probable that the legendary connection of the Dioskuri with Aphidnae, celebrated at or near that time by the poet Alkman, brought about, through the Delphian oracle, the presence of the Aphidnaeaun poet at Sparta. Respecting the lameness of Tyrtaeus, we can say nothing: but that he was a schoolmaster (if we are constrained to employ an unsuitable term) is highly probable,—for in that day, minstrels, who composed and sung poems, were the only persons from whom the youth received any mental training. Moreover, his sway over the youthful mind is particularly noted in the compliment paid to him, in after-days, by king Leonidas: “Tyrtaeus was an adept in tickling the souls of youth”. We see enough to satisfy us that he was by birth a stranger, though he became a Spartan by the subsequent recompense of citizenship conferred upon him,—that he was sent through the Delphian oracle,—that he was an impressive and efficacious minstrel, and that he had, moreover, sagacity enough io employ his talents for present purposes and diverse needs; being able, not merely to reanimate the languishing courage of the baffled warrior, but also to soothe the discontents of the mutinous. That his strains, which long maintained undiminished popularity among the Spartans, contributed much to determine the ultimate issue of this war, there is no reason to doubt nor is his name the only one to attest the susceptibility of the Spartan mind in that day towards music and poetry. The first establishment of the Karneian festival, with its musical competition, at Sparta, falls during the period assigned by Pausanias to the second Messenian war: the Lesbian, harper, Terpander, who gained the first recorded prize at this solemnity, is affirmed to have been sent for by the Spartans pursuant to a mandate from the Delphian oracle, and to have been the means of appeasing a sedition. In like manner, the Kretan Thaletas was invited thither during a pestilence, which his art, so it is pretended, contributed to heal (about 620 BC) ; and Alkman, Xenokritus, Polymnastus, and Sakadas, all foreigners by birth, found favorable reception, and acquired popularity, by their music and poetry. With the exception of Sakadas, who is a little later, all these names fall in the same century as Tyrtaeus, between 660- 610 BC. The fashion which the Spartan music continued for a long time to maintain, is ascribed chiefly to the genius of Terpander.

The training in which a Spartan passed his life consisted of exercises warlike, social, and religious, blended together. While the individual, strengthened by gymnastics, went through his painful lessons of fatigue, endurance, and aggression, the citizens collectively were kept in the constant habit of simultaneous and regulated movement in the warlike march, in the religious dance, and in the social procession. Music and song, being constantly employed to direct the measure and keep alive the spirit of these multitudinous movements, became associated with the most powerful feelings which the habitual self-suppression of a Spartan permitted to arise, and especially with those sympathies which are communicated at once to an assembled crowd; indeed, the musician and the minstrel were the only persons who ever addressed themselves to the feelings of a Lacedaemonian assembly. Moreover, the simple music of that early day, though destitute of artistical merit, and superseded afterwards by more complicated combinations, had, nevertheless, a pronounced ethical character; it wrought much more powerfully on the impulses and resolutions of the hearers, though it tickled the ear less gratefully, than the scientific compositions of after-days. Farther, each particular style of music had its own appropriate mental effect,—the Phrygian mode imparted a wild and maddening stimulus; the Dorian mode created a settled and deliberate resolution, exempt alike from the desponding and from the impetuous sentiments. What is called the Dorian mode, seems to be in reality the old native Greek mode, as contradistinguished from the Phrygian and Lydian,— these being the three primitive modes, subdivided and combined only in later times, with which the first Grecian musicians became conversant. It probably acquired its title of Dorian from the musical celebrity of Sparta and Argos, during the seventh and sixth centuries before the Christian era; but it belonged as much to the Arcadians and Achaeans as to the Spartans and Argeians. And the marked ethical effects, produced both by the Dorian and the Phrygian modes in ancient times, are fads perfectly well-attested, however difficult they may be to explain upon any general theory of music.

That the impression produced by Tyrtaeus at Sparta, therefore, with his martial music, and emphatic exhortations to bravery in the field, as well as union at home, should have been very considerable, is perfectly consistent with the character both of the age and of the people; especially, as he is represented to have appeared pursuant to the injunction of the Delphian oracle. From the scanty fragments remaining to us of his elegies and anapaests, however, we can satisfy ourselves only of two facts: first, that the war was long, obstinately contested, and dangerous to Sparta as well as to the Messenians; next, that other parties in Peloponnesus took part on both sides, especially on the side of the Messenians. So frequent and harassing were the aggressions of the latter upon the Spartan territory, that a large portion of the border land was left uncultivated: scarcity ensued, and the proprietors of the deserted farms, driven to despair, pressed for a redivision of the landed property in the state. It was in appeasing these discontents that the poem of Tyrtaeus, called Eunomia. “Legal order,” was found signally beneficial. It seems certain that a considerable portion of the Arcadians, together with the Pisatae and the Triphylians, took part with the Messenians; there are also some statements numbering the Eleians among their allies, but this appears not probable. The state of the case rather seems to have been, that the old quarrel between the Eleians and the Pisatae, respecting the right to preside at the Olympic games, which had already burst forth during the pre­ceding century, in the reign of the Argeian Pheidon, still continued. Unwilling dependents of Elis, the Pisatae and Triphylians took part with the subject Messenians, while the masters at Elis and Sparta made common cause, as they had before done against Pheidon. Pantaleon, king of Pisa, revolting from Elis, acted as commander of his countrymen in cooperation with the Messenians; and he is farther noted for having, at the period of the 84th Olympiad (644 BC), marched a body of troops to Olympia, and thus dispossessed the Eleians, on that occasion, of the presidency: that particular festival,—as well as the 8th Olympiad, in which Pheidon interfered,—and the 104th Olympiad, in which the Arcadians marched in,—were always marked on the Eleian register as non-Olympiads, or informal celebrations. We may reasonably connect this temporary triumph of the Pisatans with the Messenian war, inasmuch as they were no match for the Eleians single-handed, while the fraternity of Sparta with Elis is in perfect harmony with the scheme of Peloponnesian politics which we have observed as prevalent wen before and during the days of Pheidon. The second Messenian war will thus stand as beginning somewhere about the 33d Olympiad, or 648 BC, between seventy and eighty years after the close of the first, and lasting, according to Pausanias, seventeen years; according to Plutarch, more than twenty years.

Many of the Messenians who abandoned their country after this second conquest are said to have found shelter and sympathy among the Arcadians, who admitted them to a new home and gave them their daughters in marriage; and who, moreover, punished severely the treason of Aristokrates, king of Orchomenus, in abandoning the Messenians at the battle of the Trench. That perfidious leader was put to death, and his race dethroned, while the crime as well as the punishment was farther commemorated by an inscription, which was to be seen near the altar of Zeus Lykaeus, in Arcadia. The inscription doubtless existed in the days of Kallisthenes, in the generation after the restoration of Messene. But whether it had any existence prior to that event, or what degree of truth there may be in the story of Aristokrates, we are unable to determine: the son of Aristokrates, named Aristodemus, is alleged in another authority to have reigned afterwards at Orchomenus. That which stands strongly marked is the sympathy of Arcadians and Messenians against Sparta,—a sentiment which was in its full vigor at the time of the restoration of Messene.

The second Messenian war was thus terminated by the complete subjugation of the Messenians. Such of them as remained in the country were reduced to a servitude probably not less hard than that which Tyrtaeus described them as having endured between the first war and the second. In after-times, the whole territory which figures on the map as Messenia,—south of the river Nedon, and westward of the summit of Taygetus,— appears as subject to Sparta, and as forming the western portion of Laconia; distributed, in what proportion we know not, between Perioekic towns and Helot villages. By what steps, or after what degree of farther resistance, the Spartans conquered this country, we have no information; but we are told that they made over Asine to the expelled Dryopes from the Argolic peninsula and Methone to the fugitives from Nauplia. Nor do we hear of any serious revolt from Sparta in this territory until one hundred and fifty years afterwards, subsequent to the Persian invasion,—a revolt which Sparta, after serious efforts, succeeded in crushing. So that the territory remained in her power until her defeat at Leuktra, which led to the foundation of Messene by Epameinondas. The fertility of the plains,—especially of the central portion near the river Pamisus, so much extolled by observers, modern as well as ancient,—rendered it an acquisition highly valuable. At some time or other, it must of course have been formally partitioned among the Spartans, but it is probable that different and successive allotments were made, according as the various portions of territory, both to the east and to the west of Taygetus, were conquered. Of all this we have no information.

Imperfectly as these two Messenian wars are known to us, we may see enough to warrant us in making two remarks. Both were tedious, protracted, and painful, showing how slowly the results of war were then gathered, and adding one additional illustration to prove how much the rapid and instantaneous conquest of Laconia and Messenia by the Dorians, which the Herakleid legend sets forth, is contradicted by historical analogy. Both were characterized by a similar defensive proceeding on the part of the Messenians,—the occupation of a mountain difficult of access, and the fortification of it for the special purpose and resistance,—Ithome (which is said to have had already a small town upon it) in the first war, Eira in the second. It is reasonable to infer from hence, that neither their principal town Stenyklerus, nor any other town in their country, was strongly fortified, so as to be calculated to stand a siege; that there were no walled towns among them analogous to Mycenae and Tiryns on the eastern portion of Peloponnesus; and that, perhaps, what were called towns were, like Sparta itself, clusters of unfortified villages. The subsequent state of Helotism into which they were reduced is in consistency with this dispersed village residence during their period of freedom.

The relations of Pisa and Elis form a suitable counterpart and sequel to those of Messenia and Sparta. Unwilling subjects themselves, the Pisatans had lent their aid to the Messenians,—and their king, Pantaleon, one of the leaders of this combined force, had gained so great a temporary success, as to dispossess the Eleians of the agonothesia or administration of the games for one Olympic ceremony, in the 34th Olympiad. Though again reduced to their condition of subjects, they manifested dispositions to renew their revolt at the 48th Olympiad, under Damophon, the son of Pantaleon, and the Eleians marched into their country to put them down, but were persuaded to retire by protestations of submission. At length, shortly afterwards, under Pyrrhus, the brother of Damophon, a serious revolt broke out. The inhabitants of Dyspontium, and the other villages in the Pisatid, assisted by those of Makistus, Skillus, and the other towns in Triphylia, took up arms to throw off the yoke of Elis; but their strength was inadequate to the undertaking. They were completely conquered; Dyspontium was dismantled, and the inhabitants of it obliged to flee the country, from whence most of them emigrated to the colonies of Epidamnus and Apollonia, in Epirus. The inhabitants of Makistus and Skillus were also chased from their abodes, while the territory became more thoroughly subject to Elis than it had been before. These incidents seem to have occurred about the 50th Olympiad, or 580 BC; and the dominion of Elis over her Perioekic territory was thus as well assured as that of Sparta. The separate denominations both of Pisa and Triphylia became more and more merged in the sovereign name of Elis: the town of Lepreum alone, in Triphylia, seems to have maintained a separate name and a sort of half-autonomy down to the time of the Peloponnesian war, not without perpetual struggles against the Eleians. But towards the period of the Peloponnesian war, the political interests of Lacedaemon had become considerably changed, and it was to her advantage to maintain the independence of the subordinate states against the superior: accordingly, we find her at that time upholding the autonomy of Lepreum. From what cause the devastation of the Triphylian towns by Elis, which Herodotus mentions as having happened in his time, arose, we do not know; the fact seems to indicate a continual yearning for their original independence, which was still commemorated, down to a much later period, by the ancient Amphiktyony, at Samikum, in Triphylia, in honor of Poseidon,—a common religious festival frequented by all the Triphylian towns and celebrated by the inhabitants of Makistus, who sent round proclamation of a formal truce for the holy period. The Lacedaemonians, after the dose of the Peloponnesian war, had left them undisputed heads of Greece, formally upheld the independence of the Triphylian towns against Elis, and seem to have countenanced their endeavors to attach themselves to the Arcadian aggregate, which, however, was never fully accomplished. Their dependence on Elis became loose and uncertain, but was never wholly shaken off.