City of southwestern Peloponnese,
west of Sparta, in the district
of Messenia. Messenia
had been conquered by Sparta
during the VIIIth century B. C., and most of its population had become slaves
of Sparta, under the name
“Helots”, so that an earlier city by the name of Messene no longer
Some fleeing Messenian eventually ended up in Sicily, where they took over the city of Zancle and rebaptized it Messina in memory of their former city.
After Epaminondas, the Theban general, following his victory over Sparta at Leuctra (371), freed the Messenian Helots of Sparta's dominion, they rebuilt Messene at the foot of Mount Ithome.
Bernard Suzanne (page last updated 1998), ed.
This text is cited July 2003 from the Plato and his dialogues URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks.
At this time, it may be explained, the Lacedaemonians had finally overcome both the Helots and Messenians, with whom they had been at war over a long period, and the Messenians they had allowed to depart from Ithome under a truce, as we have said, but of the Helots they had punished those who were responsible for the revolt and had enslaved the rest.
...and Messene was destroyed by the Lacedaemonians but restored by the Thebans and afterward by Philip the son of Amyntas. The citadels, however, remained uninhabited.
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