Information about the place METHONI (Small town) MESSINIA - GTP - Greek Travel Pages

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Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)

Methone

METHONI (Ancient city) MESSINIA
  Methone, Mothone, Eth. Mothonaios, Methonaieus (Steph. B. s. v.: Mothoni, Modon). An ancient town in the SW. corner of Messenia, has always been an important place, both in ancient and in modern times, on account of its excellent harbour and salubrious situation. It is situated at the extreme point of a rocky ridge, which runs into the sea, opposite the island Sapienza, one of the group called in ancient times Oenussae. Off the outer end of the town, is the little insulated rock which Pausanias (iv. 35. § 1) calls Mothon, and which he describes as forming at once a narrow entrance and a shelter to the harbour of his time: it is now occupied by a tower and lantern, which is connected by a bridge with the fortification of Mothoni. A mole branches from it, which runs parallel to the eastern wall of the town, and forms a harbour for small vessels. It seems to be exactly in the position of the ancient port, the entrance into which was probably where the bridge now stands. (Leake.) According to the unanimous testimony of the ancient writers (Strab. viii. p. 359; Paus. iv. 35. § 1), Methone was the Homeric Pedasus, one of the seven cities which Agamemnon offered to Achilles. (Hom. Il. ix. 294.) Homer gives to Pedasus the epithet ampeloessa, and Methone seems to have been celebrated in antiquity for the cultivation of the vine. The eponymous heroine Methone, is called the daughter of Oeneus, the wineman (Paus. l. c.); and the same name occurs in the islands Oenussae, lying opposite the city. The name of Methone first occurs in the Messenian wars. Methone and Pylus were the only two places which the Messenians continued to hold in the second war, after they had retired to the mountain fortress of Ira. (Paus. iv. 18. § 1, iv. 23. § 1.) At the end of the Second Messenian War, the Lacedaemonians gave Methone to the inhabitants of Nauplia, who had lately been expelled from their own city by the Argives. (Paus. iv. 24. § 4, iv. 35. § 2.) The descendants of the Nauplians continued to inhabit Methone, and were allowed to remain there even after the restoration of the Messenian state by Epaminondas. (Paus. iv. 27. § 8.) In the first year of the Peloponnesian War, B.C. 431, the Athenians attempted to obtain possession of Methone, but were repulsed by Brasidas. (Thuc. ii. 25.) Methone suffered greatly from an attack of some Illyrian privateers, who, under the pretext of purchasing wine, entered into intercourse with the inhabitants and carried off a great number of them. (Paus. iv. 35. § § 6, 7.) Shortly before the battle of Actium, Methone, which had been strongly fortified by Antony, was besieged and taken by Agrippa, who found there Bogud, king of Mauretania, whom he put to death. (Dion Cass. 1. 11; Strab. viii. p. 359; Oros. vi. 19.) Methone was favoured by Trajan, who made it a free city. (Paus. iv. 35. § 3.) It is also mentioned by Mela (ii. 3), Pliny (iv. 5. s. 7), Ptolemy (iii. 15. § 7), and Hierocles.
  Pausanias found at Methone a temple of Athena Anemotis, the storm-stiller, and one of Artemis. He also mentions a well of bituminous water, similar both in smell and colour to the ointment of Cyzicus, but of which no trace is now found. In 1124 Modon was conquered by Venice, but did not become a permanent possession of the republic till 1204. In the middle of the old Venetian piazza there still stands the shaft of an ancient granite column, about 3 feet in diameter and 12 feet high, with a barbarous base and capital, which appear to have been added by the Venetians, when they fixed upon the top of it, in 1493, a figure of the Lion of St. Mark. Five years afterwards it was taken by the Turks, and remained in their hands till it was recaptured by Morosini. In 1715 the Turks again took possession of it, and retained it till the last Greek revolution, when it was wrested from them by the French in 1828. Like other places in Greece, which have been continuously inhabited, Modon contains few ancient remains. Some Hellenic foundations may be traced in the city-walls, and ancient sepulchres may be seen above the suburb.

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited June 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Local government WebPages

Methoni

METHONI (Small town) MESSINIA
  Methoni is at the southwest part of Messinia and is one of the most historical cities of the Peloponnese. During the domination by the Eneti(1209-1500 and 1685-1715), it constituted the main commercial and naval centre of the East, with Koroni, where you could find a boat to travel anywhere you wanted. Methoni is the continuation of the homeric city Pegasos and, according to some, it got its name from the Methona Litho (=stone) a rock in the sea, on which Bourtzi is built as a part of its medieval castle.
  From Methoni the Messinians, beaten by the Spartans at the end of the Second Messinian war (640-610 B.C), immigrate to metapontio of Lower Italy and consequently the Spartans brought settlers from Nafplio and put them in Methoni.
  During the roman years (31 B.C - 330 A.D) it was a flourishing city, while its greatest prosperity was met during the Middle Ages under the rule of the Eneti from 1209 to 1500. In 1500 it was conquered by the Turks of the sultan Vagiazit B’ who destroyed it completely. In the mid-16th century it was taken over by the Maltan knights and later by Eneti (1686-1715). The second period of turkish rule was from 1715 to 1828 when it was liberated by the army of the French general Maizon.
  Today, Methoni has excellent touristic infrastructure with hotels, campsites and rooms to rent while in its tavernas you can enjoy an abundance of fresh fish. The visitor can enjoy the sun and the sea on its golden beach with its granular sand. One can also visit the medieval castle, the church of St. Onoufrios, which is built in a cave 4 Km away from the city, as well as the catacombs on the hill of St. Nikolaos 1 Km away from the city. During the first Monday of Lent revives the custom of «the Marriage of Koutroulis» which dates back to the IE΄ century and it’s about two men who dress up as a bride and a bridegroom, go to the central square and get married. There is a priest and a best man and, after the marriage settlement is read in the presence of the crowd, there is a feast.

This text is cited March 2003 from the Messenia Prefecture Tourism Promotion Commission URL below, which contains image.


The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites

Methone

METHONI (Ancient city) MESSINIA
Methone (Mothone, Modon) Messenia, Greece. A town on the site of Homeric Pedasos at the SW tip of the Messenian peninsula. A mole, first built in the 2d c. A.D., reinforced the bar which runs out to the rocky islet of Mothon and protects the natural harbor; the islet is now occupied by the ruins of a mediaeval fort. There are ancient blocks in the town wall on the side toward the harbor as well as in the foundation of the bridge which provides the only approach from the land side. The acropolis was more than 2 km to the E. Pausanias reported seeing a Temple of Athena Anemotis and a Shrine of Artemis, as well as a spring of water mixed with pitch, but none of these has been identified. Marble fragments and coins from the area attest to the continued existence of the town and its status as a free city in the time of Trajan. In 1962, some of the many wrecks off Methone were investigated by underwater archaeologists; the material brought up by the divers was taken to the Pylos museum.

M. H. McAllister, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Sep 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains 8 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


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