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Listed 35 sub titles with search on: Information about the place for wider area of: "TRIFYLIA Province MESSINIA" .


Information about the place (35)

Commercial WebSites

KYPARISSIA (Small town) MESSINIA

Educational institutions WebPages

PYLOS (Ancient city) MESSINIA

The Pylos Project

Site of the University of Minnesota.


The Regional Archaeological Project of Pylos

Site of the University of Michigan.


The Pylos Regional Archaeological Project

University of Cincinnati


Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)

AMFIGENIA (Ancient city) KYPARISSIA

  Eth. Amphigeneus. One of the towns belonging to Nestor (Horn. Il. ii. 593), was placed by some ancient critics in Messenia, and by others in Macistia, a district in Triphylia. Strabo assigns it to Macistia near the river Hypsoeis, where in his time stood a temple of Leto.


AVLON (Ancient city) TRIFYLIA

Aulon

Aulon. A valley in the north-west of Messenia, upon the confines of Elis and Messenia, and through which there was a route into the Lepreatis. Pausanias speaks of a temple of Asclepius Aulonius in what is called Aulon, which he places near the river Neda; but whether there was a town of the name of Aulon is uncertain. The French Commission suppose that there was a town of this name, near the entrance of the defile which conducts from Cyparissia to the mouth of the Neda, and believe that its position is marked by some ruins near the sea on the right bank of the river Cyparissus.

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


DORION (Prehistoric settlement) TRIFYLIA

Dorium

  Dorium (Dorion), a town of Messenia, celebrated in Homer as the place where the bard Thamyris was smitten with blindness, because he boasted that he could surpass the Muses in singing. (Hom. Il. ii. 599.) Strabo says that some persons said Dorium was a mountain, and others a plain; but there was no trace of the place in his time, although some identified it with a place called Oluris (Olouris) or Olura (Oloura), in the district of Messenia named Aulon. (Strab. viii. p.350.) Pausanias, however, places the ruins of Dorium on the road from Andania to Cyparissia. After leaving Andania, he first came to Polichne; and after crossing the rivers Electra and Coeus, he reached the fountain of Achaia and the ruins of Dorium. (Paus. iv. 33. § 7.) The plain of Sulima appears to be the district of the Homeric Dorium. (Leake, Morea, vol. i. p. 484; Curtius, Peloponnesos, vol. ii. p. 154.)

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


EIRA (Ancient fortress) MESSINIA

Ira

  A mountain in Messenia, which the Messenians fortified in the Second Messenian War, and which Aristomenes defended for ten years against the Spartans. It was in the north of Messenia, near the river Neda. Leake places it at no great distance from the sea, under the side of the mountain on which now stands Sidheroskastro and Marmaro; but there are no ancient remains in this spot. More to the east, on the left bank of the Neda, near Kalkaletri, are the remains of an ancient fortress, which was, in all probability, Eira; and the lofty mountain above, now called Tetrazi, was probably the highest summit of Mount Eira.

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


ERANI (Ancient city) FILIATRA

Erana

(he Erana). A town in Messenia, mentioned by Strabo as lying upon the road between Cyparissia and Pylos. It was, probably, near the promontory Cyparissium. According to Strabo, it was erroneously identified by some with the Homeric Arene.


KYPARISSIIS (Ancient city) KYPARISSIA

Cyparissia

Cyparissia. Kuparissia, Kuparisseeis, Kuparissiai, Kuparissai, Kuparissos, Eth. Kuparissieus, Kuparisseus. A town on the western coast of Messenia, situated a little south of the river Cyparissus, upon the bay to which it gave the name of the Cyparissian gulf. (Plin. Mela, ll. cc.) This gulf was 72 miles in circuit according to Pliny, and was bounded by the promontory of Ichthys on the north, and by that of Cyparissium on the south. Cyparissia was the only town of importance upon the western coast of Messenia between Pylus and Triphylia. It is mentioned in the Homeric catalogue (Il. l. c.), and appears to have been inhabited from the earliest to the latest times. It was beautifully situated upon the sides of one of the offshoots of the range of mountains, which run along this part of the Messenian coast. Upon the narrow summit of the rocks now occupied by a castle built in the middle ages, stood the ancient acropolis. There is no harbour upon the Messenian coast north of Pylos; but Leake remarks that the roadstead at Cyparissia seems to be the best on this part of the coast; and in ancient times the town probably possessed an artificial harbour, since traces of a mole may still be seen upon the sea-shore. This was probably constructed on the restoration of Messene by Epaminondas; for it was necessary to provide the capital of the new state with a port, and no spot was so suitable for this object as Cyparissia. Hence we find Messene and the harbour Cyparissia mentioned together by Scylax. Pausanias found in the town a temple of Apollo, and one of Athena Cyparissia. The town continued to coin money down to the time of Severus. In the middle ages it was called Arkadia, a name which was transferred from the interior of the peninsula to this place upon the coast. It continued to bear this name till its destruction by Ibrahim in 1825, and when rebuilt it resumed its ancient name Cyparissia, by which it is now called. Some remains of ancient walls may be traced around the modern castle; and below the castle on the slope of the hill, near the church of St. George, are some fragments of columns. On the south side of the town, close to the sea-shore, a fine stream rushes out of the rock and flows into the sea; and a little above is a basin with a spring of water, near which are some stones belonging to an ancient structure. This is the ancient fountain sacred to Dionysus, which Pausanias perceived near the entrance of the city, on the road from Pylus.
  Stephanus calls Cyparissia a city of Triphylia, and Strabo (viii.) also distinguishes between the Triphylian and Messenian Cyparissia, but on what authority we do not know.

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


PYLOS (Ancient city) MESSINIA

Pylus

  Pulos: Eth. Pulios. A town in Messenia, situated upon the promontory Coryphasium, which forms the northern termination of the bay of Navarino. According to Thucydides it was distant 400 stadia from Sparta (Thuc. iv. 3), and according to Pausanias (v. 36. § 1) 100 stadia from Methone. It was one of the last places which held out against the Spartans in the Second Messenian War, upon the conclusion of which the inhabitants emigrated to Cyllene, and from thence, with the other Messenians, to Sicily. (Paus. iv. 18. § 1, iv. 23. § 1.) From that time its name never occurs in history till the seventh year of the Peloponnesian War, B.C. 424, when Demosthenes, the Athenian commander, erected a fort upon the promontory, which was then uninhabited and called by the Spartans Coryphasium (Koruphasion), though it was known by the Athenians to be the site of the ancient Pylus. (Thuc. iv. 3.) The erection of this fort led to one of the most memorable events in the Peloponnesian War. Thucydides has given a minute account of the topography of the district, which, though clear and consistent with itself, does not coincide, in all points, with the existing locality, Thucydides describes the harbour, of which the promontory Coryphasium formed the northern termination, as fronted and protected by the island Sphacteria, which stretched along the coast, leaving only two narrow entrances to the harbour, - the one at the northern end, opposite to Coryphasium, being only wide enough to admit two triremes abreast, and the other at the southern end wide enough for eight or nine triremes. The island was about 15 stadia in width, covered with wood, uninhabited and untrodden, (Thuc. iv. 8.) Pausanias also says that the island Sphacteria lies before the harbour of Pylus like Rheneia before the anchorage of Delos (v. 36. § 6), It is almost certain that the fortress erected by the Athenians stood on the site of the ruins of a fortress of the middle ages, called Paleo-Avarino, which has been changed into Navarino by the habit of using the accusative case, eis ton Abarinon, and by attaching the final v of the article to the substantive. The distances of 400 stadia from Sparta and 100 stadia from Methone, given respectively by Thucydides and Pausanias, are the correct distances of Old Navarino from those two ancient sites. (Leake, Peloponnesiaca, p. 191.) Sphacteria (Sphakteria is now called Sphagia, a name which it also bore in antiquity. (Sphagia, Strab. viii. p. 359; Plat. Menex. p. 242; hai Sphagiai, Xen. Hell. vi. 2. 31; tres Sphagiae, Plin. iv. 12. s. 25.)
  The chief discrepancy between the account of Thucydides and the existing state of the coast is found in the width of the two entrances into the bay of Navarino, the northern entrance being about 150 yards wide, and the southern not less than between 1300 and 1400 yards; whereas Thucydides states the former admitted only two triremes abreast, and the latter only eight or nine. Therefore not only is the actual width of the two entrances very much greater than is stated by Thucydides, but this width is not in the proportion of the number of triremes; they are not as 8 or 9 to 2, but as 17 to 2. To explain this difficulty Col. Leake supposes that Thucydides was misinformed respecting the breadth of the entrances to the harbour. But to this a satisfactory reply is given by Dr. Arnold, that not only could no common false estimate of distances have mistaken a passage of nearly 1400 yards in width for one so narrow as to admit only eight or nine ships abreast, but still less could it have been supposed possible to choke up such a passage by a continuous line of ships, lying broadside to broadside, which Thucydides tells us the Lacedaemonian commanders intended to do. Moreover the northern entrance has now a shoal or bar of sand lying across it, on which there are not more than 18 inches of water; whereas the narrative of Thucydides implies that there was sufficient depth of water for triremes to sail in unobstructed. The length of 17 stadia, which Thucydides ascribes to Sphacteria, does not agree with the actual length of Sphagia, which is 25 stadia. Lastly Thucydides, speaking of the bay of Pylus, calls it a harbour of considerable magnitude (limeni onti ou smikroi); an expression which seems strange to be applied to the spacious Bay of Navarino, which was not only the largest harbour in Greece, but perfectly unlike the ordinary harbours of the Greeks, which were always closed artificially at the mouth by projecting moles when they were not sufficiently land-locked by nature.
  In consequence of these difficulties Dr. Arnold raised the doubt whether the island now called Sphagia be really the same as the ancient Sphacteria, and whether the Bay of Navarino be the real harbour of Pylus. He started the hypothesis that the peninsula, on which the ruins of Old Navarino stand, is the ancient island of Sphacteria converted into a peninsula by an accumulation of sand at either side; and that the lagoon of Osmyn-Aga on its eastern side was the real harbour of Pylus, into which there was an opening on the north, at the port of Voidho--Kilia, capable of admitting two triremes abreast, and another at the south, where there is still a narrow opening, by which eight or nine triremes may have entered the lagoon from the great harbour of Navarino. Upon this hypothesis Col. Leake observes, that in itself it is perfectly admissible, inasmuch as there is scarcely a situation in Greece on the low coasts, near the mouths of rivers, where, by the operation of waters salt or fresh, or both united, some change has not taken place since the times of ancient history; and that in the present instance, therefore, there is no great difficulty in imagining that the lagoon may be an ancient harbour converted into a lagoon by an accumulation of sand which has separated it from the sea. But, among the many difficulties which beset this hypothesis, there are two which seem quite fatal to it; one of which has been stated by Mr. Grote and the other by Col. Leake. The former writer remarks that, if the peninsula of Old Navarino was the real ancient Sphacteria, it must have been a second island situated to the northward of Sphagia; and that, consequently, there must have been two islands close together and near the scene. This, as Mr. Grote observes, is quite inconsistent with the narrative of Thucydides, which presupposes that there was only one island--Sphacteria, without any other near or adjoining to it. Thus the Athenian fleet under Eurymedon, on first arriving, was obliged to go back some distance to the island of Prote, because the island of Sphacteria was full of Lacedaemonian hoplites (Thuc. iv. 13); whereas, if the hypothesis of Dr. Arnold were admitted, there would have been nothing to prevent them from landing on Sphagia itself. It is true that Xenophon (Hell. vi. 2. § 3) speaks of Sphagiai in the plural, and that Pliny (iv. 12. s. 25) mentions tres Sphagiae; but two of them appear to have been mere rocks. The objection of Col. Leake is still more fatal to Dr. Arnold's hypothesis. He calls attention to the fact that the French Commission observed that the walls of the castle of Old Navarino stand in many parts on Hellenic foundations, and that in some places three courses of the ancient work remain, consisting of a kind of masonry which seems greatly to resemble that of Messene. Besides these remains of middle Hellenic antiquity, some foundations are traced of a more ancient inclosure at the northern end of the peninsula, with a descent to the little harbour of Voidho - Kilia by means of steps cut in the rock. Remains of walls of early date are to be seen likewise towards the southern extremity of the hill, among which is a tumulus; - all tending to prove that the entire peninsula of Navarino was occupied at a remote period of history by an ancient city. This peninsula could not, therefore, have been the ancient Sphacteria, which never contained any ancient town. The only way of reconciling the account of Thucydides with the present state of the coast is to suppose, with Mr. Grote and Curtius, that a great change has taken place in the two passages which separate Sphagia from the mainland since the time of Thucydides. The mainland to the south of Navarino must have been much nearer than it is now to the southern portion of Sphagia, while the northern passage also must have been both narrower and clearer.
  It is unnecessary to relate here the events which followed the erection of the Athenian fort at Pylus, and which terminated with the capture of the Spartans in the island of Sphacteria, as they are given in every Grecian history. The following extract from Col. Leake illustrates the description of Thucydides in the most satisfactory manner: The level and source of water in the middle where the Lacedaemonians encamped, - the summit at the northern end to which they retired, - the landing-places on the western side, to which the Helots brought provisions,- are all perfectly recognisable. Of the fort, of loose and rude construction on the summit, it is not to be expected that any remains should now exist; but there are some ruins of a signal-tower of a later age on the same site. The summit is a pile of rough rocks ending in a peak; it slopes gradually to the shore on every side, except to the harbour, where the cliffs are perpendicular, though here just above the water there is a small slope capable of admitting the passage of a body of men active in climbing among rocks and difficult places. By this pass it is probable the Messenians came upon the rear of the Lacedaemonians on the summit; for just at the southern termination of the pass there is a passage through the cliffs which border the greater part of the eastern shore of the island, so that by this opening, and along the pass under the rocks to the northward of it, the Messenians had the means of passing unseen from the centre of the island to the rear of the Lacedaemonians on the summit. Though this hill slopes gradually from its rocky peak to the shore on every side except towards the harbour, it does not admit of a landing at its foot, except in the calmest weather; nor is it easily assailed on any side by land, on account of the ruggedness of the summit, except by the means to which the Messenians resorted; so that the words of Thucydides respecting it are perfectly accurate (ek thalasses apokremnon kai e, tes ges hekista epimachon). The southern extremity of the island is rocky, steep, and difficult of access, and forms a separate hill; in every other part the ground slopes from the cliffs on the side of the harbour to the western shore, which, though rocky, is low; so that when the weather is calm it is more easy in face of an opponent to land, and to make way into the island on that side than on the eastern shore, where the cliffs admit of an easy access only in two places, one towards the northern end, the other in the middle of the island, where an opening in the cliffs leads immediately into the most level part of it; exactly in the opening stands a small church of the Panaghia. There are also two small creeks adjacent to each other, near the southern end of the eastern side of the island, opposite to Neokastro: near these creeks there is a well. The principal source of water is towards the middle of the island, at an excavation in the rock 20 feet deep, which seems to be more natural than artificial; for below a shallow surface of soil, in which there is a circular peristomium of modern masonry, the excavation in the rock is irregular and slanting. In one or two places there are groves of high bushes, and there are low shrubs in every part of it. It often happens, as it did in the seventh summer of the Peloponnesian war, that a fire, occurring accidentally or of intention, clears the face of the island during the droughts of that season: the northern hill exhibits at this moment recent marks of a similar conflagration. (Morea, vol. i. 408, seq.)
  The peninsula of Coryphasium is a precipice on the eastern side or towards the lagoon; while on the western side or towards the open sea it slopes gradually, particularly on the SW., where Demosthenes succeeded in preventing the landing of Brasidas and the Lacedaemonians. The promontory is higher at the northern end. Below the ruined fortress at the northern end there is a fine cavern, called Voidho-Kilia (Boido-koilia), the ox's belly, which gives name to the small circular port immediately below it, which has been already spoken of. This cavern is 60 feet long, 40 wide, and 40 high, having a roof like a Gothic arch. The entrance is triangular, 30 feet long and 12 high; at the top of the cavern there is an opening in the surface of the hill above. This cave was, according to the Peloponnesian tradition, the one into which the infant Hermes drove the cattle he had stolen from Apollo. It is mentioned in the Homeric hymn to Hermes as situated upon the sea-side (v. 341); but in Antoninus Liberalis (c. 23) it is expressly said to have been at Coryphasium. In Ovid (Met. ii. 684) Mercury is represented as beholding from Mt. Cyllene the unguarded cattle proceeding into the fields of Pylus. The bay of Voidho-Kilia is separated by a low semicircular ridge of sand from the large shallow lagoon of Osmyn-Aga. As neither Thucydides nor Pausanias says a word about this lagoon, which now forms so striking a feature in the topography of this district, we may confidently conclude, with Leake, that it is of recent formation. The peninsula must, in that case, have been surrounded with a sandy plain, as Pausanias describes it; and accordingly, if we suppose this to have been the site of the Homeric Pylus, the epithet emathoeis, which the poet constantly gives to it, would be perfectly applicable.
  The Athenians did not surrender their fortress at Pylus to the Lacedaemonians in accordance with the treaty made in B.C. 421 (Thuc. v. 35), but retained possession of it for fifteen years, and only lost it towards the close of the Peloponnesian War. (Diod. xiii. 64.) On the restoration of the Messenians to their country by Epaminondas, Pylus again appears in history. The remains of the walls already described belong to this period. On more than one occasion there was a dispute between the Messenians and Achaeans respecting the possession of this place. (Liv. xxvii. 30; Polyb. xviii. 25.) It was visited by Pausanias, who saw there a temple of Athena Coryphasia, the so-named house of Nestor, containing a picture of him, his tomb, and a cavern said to have been the stable of the oxen of Neleus and Nestor. He describes the latter as within the city; which must therefore have extended nearly to the northern end of the promontory, as this cave is evidently the one described above. (Paus. v. 36.) There are imperial coins of this city bearing the epigraph Pulion, belonging to the time of Severus. (Eckhel, vol. ii. p. 277.) It would appear from Leake that the restored city was also called Coryphasium, since he says that at the time of the Achaean League there was a town of Coryphasium, as we learn from a coin, which shows that Coryphasium was a member of that confederacy. (Peloponnesiaca, p. 191.)
  The modern name Avarino, corrupted, as already said, into Navarino, is probably due to the Avars, who settled there in the sixth century of the Christian era. The mediaeval castle was built by the widow of the Frankish chieftain William de la Roche. Her descendants sought a more convenient place for their residence, and erected on the southern side of the harbour the Neokastro or modern Navarino. It commanded the southern end of the harbour, which became more and more important as the northern entrance became choked up. Containing, as it does, the best harbour in the Peloponnesus, Navarino constantly appears in modern history. It was taken by the Turks in 1500. In 1685 it was wrested from them by the Venetian commander Morosini, and remained in the hands of the Venetians till 1715. In more recent times it is memorable by the great battle fought in its bay, on the 20th of October, 1827, between the Turkish fleet and the combined fleets of England, France, and Russia. (Curtius, Peloponnesos, vol. ii. p. 181.)
  It remains to speak of the site of the Homeric Pylos. According to a generally received tradition, Neleus, the son of Poseidon, migrated from Iolcos in Thessaly, and founded on the west coast of Peloponnesus a kingdom extending westward as far as that of the Atridae, and northward as far as the Alpheius, or even beyond this river. Neleus incurred the indignation of Hercules for refusing to purify him after the murder of his son Iphitus. The hero took Pylus and killed Neleus, together with eleven of his twelve sons. But his surviving son Nestor upheld the fame of his house, and, after distinguishing himself by his exploits in youth and manhood, accompanied in his old age the Grecian chiefs in their expedition against Troy. Upon the invasion of Peloponnesus by the Dorians, three generations after Nestor, the Neleids quitted Pylus and removed to Athens, where they obtained the kingly power. The situation of this Pylus - the Pulos Neleios, as it was called - was a subject of much dispute among the Grecian geographers and grammarians. Strabo (viii. p. 339) quotes a proverbial verse, in which three towns of this name were mentioned - esti Pulos pro Piloio Pulos ge men esti kai allos,- of which the former half - Esti Pulos pro Puloio - was at least as old as the time of Aristophanes, when Pylus became famous by the capture of the Spartans at Sphacteria. (Aristoph. Equit. 1059.) The claims of the Eleian Pylus to be the city of Nestor may be safely set on one side; and the choice lies between the towns in Triphylia and Messenia. The ancients usually decided in favour of the Messenian Pylos. This is the opinion of Pausanias (iv. 36), who unhesitatingly places the city of Nestor on the promontory of Coryphasium, although, as we have already seen, he agrees with the people of Elis that Homer, in describing the Alpheius as flowing through the land of the Pylians (Il. v. 545), had a view to the Eleian city. (Paus. vi. 22. § 6.) It is however, much more probable that the land of the Pylians was used by the poet to signify the whole kingdom of the Neleian Pylus, since he describes both Thryoessa on the Alpheius and the cities on the Messenian gulf as the extreme or frontier places of Pylus. (Thruoessa polis . . . neate Pulou emathoentos, Il. xi. 712; neatai Pulou emathoentos, Il. ix. 153.) In this sense these expressions were understood by Strabo (viii. pp. 337, 350). It is curious that Pausanias, who paid so much attention to Homeric antiquities, does not even allude to the existence of the Triphylian Pylus. Pindar calls Nestor the Messenian old man. (Pyth. vi. 35.) Isocrates mentions Messenia as his birthplace (Panath. § 72); and Pherecydes (ap. Schol. ad> Hom. Od. xi. 289) and Eustathius (ad Od. iii p: 1454) describes the Messenian Pylus as the city founded by Peleus. This was also the opinion of Diodorus (xv. 66), and of many others. In opposition to their views, Strabo, following the opinion of the Homerikoteroi, argues at great length that the Triphylian Elis was the city of Nestor. (Strab. viii. pp. 339, seq., 348, seq.) He maintains that the description of the Alpheius flowing through the land of the Pylians (Il. v. 545), which, as we have already seen, was the only argument which the Eleians could adduce for their claim, is applicable to the Triphylian Pylus; whereas the poet's mention of Nestor's exploits against the Epeians (II. xi. 670, seq.) is fatal to the supposition of the Messenian city being his residence. Nestor is described as making an incursion into the country of the Epeians, and returning thence with a large quantity of cattle, which he safely lodges by night in the Neleian city. The third day the Epeians, having collected their forces on the Alpheius, Nestor marched forth from Pylus, and at the end of the first day halted at the Minyeius (subsequently called the Anigrus), where he passed the night; starting from thence on the following morning, he arrived at the Alpheius at noon. Strabo argues that neither of these events could have taken place if Nestor had marched from so distant a city as the one at Coryphasium, while they might easily have happened if the Neleian city had been situated at the Triphylian Pylus. Again he argues from the Odyssey that the Neleid Pylus could not have been on the sea-coast, since Telemachus, after he had disembarked at the temple of Poseidon and had proceeded to Pylus, sent a courier to his ship to fetch his companions (Od. iii. 423); and on his return from Sparta to Pylos, he desired Pisistratus to turn off to the sea-side, that he might immediately embark, as he wished not to be detained in the city by Nestor. (Od. xv. 199, seq.) These arguments, as well as others, adduced by Strabo, have convinced K. O. Muller (Orchomenos, p. 357, seq.), Thirlwall (Hist. of Greece, vol. i. p. 96), and several modern scholars; but Leake, Curtius, and others have adhered, with much greater probability, to the more common view of antiquity, that the Neleian Pylus was situated at Coryphasium. It has been shown that Pylus was frequently used by Homer to signify the Neleid kingdom, and not simply the city, as indeed Strabo himself had admitted when arguing against the claims of the Eleian Pylus. Moreover, even if it should be admitted that the account of Nestor's exploits against the Epeians agrees better with the claim of the Triphylian Pylus, yet the narrative of the journeys of Telemachus is entirely opposed to this claim. Telemachus in going from Pylus to Sparta drove his horses thither, without changing them, in two days, stopping the first night at Pherae (Od. iii. 485); and he returned from Sparta to Pylus in the same manner. (Od. xv. 182, seq.) Now the Messenian Pylus, Pherae, and Sparta, lie in a direct line, the distance from Pylus to Pherae being about 35 miles by the road, and from Pherae to Sparta about 28 miles. On the other hand, the road from the Triphylian Pylus to Sparta would have been by the valley of the Alpheius into that of the Eurotas; whereas Pherae would have been out of the way, and the distance to it would have been much more than a day's journey. Besides which, the position of the Messenian Pylus, the most striking upon the whole western coast of Peloponnesus, was far more likely to have attracted the Thessalian wanderers from Iolcos, the worshippers of the god Poseidon, than a site which was neither strong by nature nor near the coast.
  But although we may conclude that the Messenian Pylus was the city of Nestor, it may admit of doubt whether the city itself existed on the promontory Coryphasium from the earliest times. The Greeks rarely built a city in the earliest period immediately upon the coast, and still more rarely chose a site so badly supplied with water as Coryphasium, of which the Athenians experienced the inconvenience when they defended it in the Peloponnesian War. There seems much probability in the account of Strabo (viii. p. 359) that the ancient Messenian Pylus was situated at the foot of Mt. Aegaleos, and that upon its destruction some of its inhabitants settled at Coryphasium. If then we suppose the city of Nestor to have stood a little way inland, and Coryphasium to have been its port-town, the narrative of Telemachus' return becomes perfectly clear. Not wishing to lose time at the royal residence, he drives straight to the port and goes quietly on board. Hence, one of Strabo's most serious objections to the Messenian Pylus disappears. Strabo was justified in seeking for a separate site for the city and the port, but he seems to have forgotten the existence of the Old Pylus inland, which he had himself mentioned. (Leake, Morea, vol. i. p. 416, seq.; Curtius, Peloponnesos, vol. ii. p. 174, seq.)

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


Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities

AVLON (Ancient city) TRIFYLIA

Aulon

A district and town on the borders of Elis and Messenia with a temple of Asclepius.


DORION (Prehistoric settlement) TRIFYLIA

Dorium

A town of Messenia, where Thamyris the musician challenged the Muses to a trial of skill. Pausanias (iv. 33) notices this ancient town, of which he saw the ruins near a fountain named Achaia.


Coryphasium

A promontory in Messenia, enclosing the harbour of Pylos on the north, with a town of the same name upon it.


KYPARISSIA (Small town) MESSINIA

Cyparissia

A town in Messenia, on the western coast, on a promontory and bay of the same name.


PYLOS (Ancient city) MESSINIA

Pylos

   In the southwest of Messenia, was situated at the foot of Mount Aegaleos on a promontory at the northern entrance of the basin, now called the Bay of Navarino, the largest and safest harbour in all Greece. This harbour was fronted and protected by the small island of Sphacteria (Sphagia), which stretched along the coast about 1 3/4 miles, leaving only two narrow entrances at each end. Pylos became memorable in the Peloponnesian War, when the Athenians under Demosthenes built a fort on the promontory Coryphasium a little south of the ancient city, and just within the northern entrance to the harbour (B.C. 425). The attempts of the Spartans to dislodge the Athenians proved unavailing; and the capture by Cleon of the Spartans who had landed on the island of Sphacteria was one of the most important events in the whole war.

This text is cited Sep 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Links

Pylos

  City of Messenia, along the southwestern coast of Peloponnese, east of Sparta.
  Pylos was founded by Neleus, the son of Tyro and Poseidon who was raised in Iolcos at the court of Tyro's husband Chreteus with his twin brother Pelias. He had to move to Messenia when Pelias took the throne of Iolcos from Aeson, Jason's father. There, he married Chloris, the only surviving daughter of Amphion and Niobe, from whom he had a daughter, Pero, and twelve sons. Pero was very beautiful, and Neleus was reluctant to marry her, even to his nephew Bias, the son of his brother Amythaon. He put as a condition for the marriage that Bias bring him back the herds of Phylacus, the father of Aeson's wife Alcimede, that were kept by a very fierce dog. Bias succeeded with the help of his brother Melampous and married Pero with whom he had, among other, a son named Talaus, who was the father of Adrastus, the king of Argos who led the expedition of the Seven against Thebes at the request of Polynices, Oedipus' son.
  With his sons, Neleus had to sustain a war against Heracles, either because Neleus had refused tu purify him after the murder of Iphitus, or becase Neleus has sided with adversaries of Heracles in an earlier campaign waged by the hero. Anyway, in that war, all of Neleus' sons, except the youngest, Nestor, were killed, and maybe even Neleus himself (some traditions say that he survived and later died in Corinth). Nestor was endowed by Apollo, guilty of having massacred the brothers and sisters of his mother Chloris, with a very long life. He succeeded his father on the throne of Pylos, and is shown old in the Iliad playing a leading role as the wise advisor of the Greeks.

Bernard Suzanne (page last updated 1998), ed.
This extract is cited July 2003 from the Plato and his dialogues URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks.


Local government Web-Sites

FILIATRA (Municipality) MESSINIA

Municipality of Filiatra


GARGALIANI (Municipality) MESSINIA

Municipality of Gargaliani


Local government WebPages

CHORA (Small town) MESSINIA

Chora

The city of Chora is built on the green basin which separates Pylia from Trifylia and where the kingdom of the homeric King Nestoras was located. During the byzantine era its name was Ligouditsa and with the communities of Kavelargia and Tsifliki the contemporary city of Chora was formed. The name means «head village» - commercial centre. The city is very important in terms of transportation and is a financial centre, as well. It is both a historical and aarchaeological place, while the museum of the city exhibits 4000 archaeological findings which are visited every year by a host of people. In the area of Eglianos, 4 km south of the city, there is the palace of king Nestoras as well as the domed tomb attributed to Nestoras. In the east of Chora there is Maniaki, which is the place where the hero and one of the leaders of the Greek Revolution of 1821, Papaflessas was killed while heroically fighting with a few others against Ibrahem Pasha on the 20th May 1821. .

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


FILIATRA (Small town) MESSINIA

Filiatra

The city of Filiatra nowadays constitutes an important agricultural and commercial centre, built on a plain of olive groves and vineyards. The area has been inhabited since the Prehistoric Υears while in the area of St. Kyriaki (=Sunday) was the ancient city Erana with the areas Arini and Aliartos. During the domination by the Eneti(1685-1715) the area around Filiatra belonged to the district of Kallithea(Belvedere), as the area from Methoni to Filiatra was called, while during the second period of the domination by the Turks (1715-1821) Filiatra had developed into an important commercial centre of the area.


After the Revolution of 1821, products like oil and raisins were exported directly to the markets of the West, creating a state of wealth for the inhabitants until 1886 when the city was destroyed by an earthquake, while it got its name from the abundance of wells, the filiatra that existed in the area. There are byzantine monuments that are saved in the area which prove unmistakingly the prosperity of the hellenic-christian civilization, like St. Sotira of Christians (=the saviour of Christians), the Monastery of St. Christoforos, the Church of Vlaherna, St. Dionysios of Morenas, the Church of the Resumption and the Blessed Virgin Mary of Agriliotissa etc. The beaches at Lagouvardo, St. Kyriaki the Stomio and Agrili have golden sand and clean seas and are visited by many tourists every year.

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


GARGALIANI (Municipality) MESSINIA

  The Municipality of Gargaliani is located in the southwest of the Peloponnese, stretches on the west axis of Messinia Prefecture and it is one of the largest Municipalities of the Prefecture with a total area of 122,680 m².
  The bas-relief of the area varies and is considered flat from the seashore on the areas west of the Municipality, the town of Gargaliani until the commune of Pirgos inclusive, while on the east there is the mount Aegaleo, at the foot of which there is the commune of Mouzaki, a semi-mount area with extremely beautiful local beauty. The natural scenery of the area of the Municipality is mainly full of olive-trees and forest areas.   During the summer the population of the Municipality increases considerably due to ex-residents' of the Municipality choice to spend their holidays at their place of birth and also due to the increasing tourism (both Greek and foreign). It has been estimated that the number of people - both tourists and residents- during High season is approximately 15,000 people.

This text is cited Oct 2003 from the Municipality of Gargaliani URL below


GARGALIANI (Small town) MESSINIA

Gargaliani

Gargaliani constitute an important financial centre for west Messinia nowadays, and can be found on a plateau 300 km high, and have a dense olive grove. They have a very «healthy» climate and a view of the Ionian Sea which is 7 km away. The area was inhabited from the Protohellenic Era (2600-2200 B.C.) on the basis of the findings at Anemomyli, Tsoukna, Kanalos and Lagos. During the venetian rule (1685-1715)it belonged to the area of Arkadia of the province of Methoni while during the years of the Orlofikon events (1770) it was looted by Moustapha Pasha of Larisa. During the Revolution of 1821, many fighters from the area were recruited to confront Ibrahem Pasha, while Tellos Agras set out from Gargaliani to reinforce the Macedonian struggle against Bulgary in 1905.

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


KYPARISSIA (Small town) MESSINIA

Kyparissia

  Kyparissia is the capital of the area of Trifylia and stretches between the Ionian sea and the mountain «Psichro(=cold)», of the Kontovounion mountain range, on the narrowest part of the valley of Trifyllia. It is a much-praised City with splendid sunsets on the blue background of the Ionian Sea.
  Kyparissia took part in the Trojan War under the guidance of King Nestoras, and in the historical years its bay is referred to as «Kyparissies». During the classical years, when the Thebans of general Epaminondas ruled, it meets with great financial prosperity. It was also a member of the Achaic Confederacy during the Roman years and because of its position it became a commercial and financial centre. In the 10th century A.D. it is named «Arkadia» and during the Frank rule (1205-1430) it is driven into decline. In 1432 it is passed on to the Byzantines and stays like that until 1460, when the Turks become the lords of the area. The Turkish rule lasted until 1821 with a pause during the years 1685 to 1715, the rule by the Eneti, when the city prospered again. It was one of the first cities which took part in the Greek Revolution of 1821 and it was destroyed by Ibrahem Pasha in 1825 and 1827.
  The city, today, has 5500 inhabitants and is an admistrative and financial centre for Northwest Messinia which looks like two cities from high up. One seems to be wedged down at the feet of the Frank castle with its old paths, the old mansions and the proud old castle. The other city seems to stretch comfortably on the coastline of the bay which is sandy and bright on the resplendent wave of the Ionian Sea.

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


Marathoupolis

Next to Golden Sand beach of Galgaliani and opposite the island of Proti is Marathoupoli, which is a small village with an excellent view; a fishing village with an abundance of fresh fish which tends to become very popular among tourists as there's the appropriate foundation (hotels, rooms, camping e.t.c.)

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


TRIFYLIA (Province) MESSINIA

Mountainous Trifylia

takes up the northwest part of Messinia from the Gulf of Kyparissia to Mount Lykaeo and from Ithomi to the river Neda. The mountains of Kyparissia, Tetrazio and Lykaeo have a lot of natural beauty and an abundance of waters while on their area as well as in the areas of Malthi(homeric Dorio), Peristeria, Aeto, Dorio, Kakaletri and Sklirou developed a civilization dating back to the Neolithic Era(7000-3000 B.C). At Malthi and Aetos, judging from the archaeological findings like domed tombs and the acropolis, it is proved that there was a civilization from the Neolithic Era while during the Mycaenean Period the findings at Peristeria, Aetos, Malthi and Dorio show that the area was prospering.


  Mountainous Trifylia takes up the northwest part of Messinia from the Gulf of Kyparissia to Mount Lykaeo and from Ithomi to the river Neda. The mountains of Kyparissia, Tetrazio and Lykaeo have a lot of natural beauty and an abundance of waters while on their area as well as in the areas of Malthi(homeric Dorio), Peristeria, Aeto, Dorio, Kakaletri and Sklirou developed a civilization dating back to the Neolithic Era(7000-3000 B.C).
  At Malthi and Aetos, judging from the archaeological findings like domed tombs and the acropolis, it is proved that there was a civilization from the Neolithic Era while during the Mycaenean Period the findings at Peristeria, Aetos, Malthi and Dorio show that the area was prospering. In the area of Kakaletri there was the area of ancient Ira, in the fort of which, Messinians were besieged for eleven years by the general-emperor Aristomenis during the third Messinian War(500-489 B.C), while on the slopes of Mount Lykaeo, in the area Sklirou, there is still today the temple of Epicurean Apollo, the Parthenon of the Peloponnese, a work of art attributed to the architect Iktinos.
  During the domination by the Turks, Aetos, Dorio and Psari were the headquarters of the guerrilla fighters who were fighting against the turkish invader. These fighters included Dredes, Papatsonis, Kolias Plapoutas, Gritzalis Soulimiotis etc.
  Today, Dorio, Psari, Kopanaki and Aetos are financial and commercial centres of the area with a host of services while visitors do not forget to visit the sources of the river Neda, the river which separates Messinia from Elia.

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


Maps

GARGALIANI (Municipality) MESSINIA


Names of the place

KYPARISSIIS (Ancient city) KYPARISSIA

Cyparissoe, Cyparissa, Cyparissius, Cyparissaea


Perseus Project index

PYLOS (Ancient city) MESSINIA

Present location

ALIARTOS (Ancient city) GARGALIANI

Vryssomylos

The town is mentioned only by the geographer Claudius Ptolemeus (3,14) and was probably located 5kms to the SW of Gargaliani.


AMFIGENIA (Ancient city) KYPARISSIA

Ellinikon, to the E of the Mouriatada village

It is the most probable location after the excavations conducted by professor S. Marinatos in 1960, whose findings date from the ceramic to the late-mycenaean periods.


DORION (Prehistoric settlement) TRIFYLIA

Malthi hill

At the top of the hill there are still ruins of the ancient Dorion.


The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites

PYLOS (Ancient city) MESSINIA

Pylos

  The Classical town occupied Mt. Koryphasion, a rocky promontory at the N end of the Bay of Navarino. It is chiefly known as the camp fortified by the Athenians in 425 B.C. prior to the battle with the Spartans on the island of Sphakteria. There are traces of Greek walls of various types of masonry both earlier and later than those assigned to the Athenians; some served as foundations for the 13th c. Frankish castle. Also ancient are cisterns and rock-cut steps and the remains of a breakwater at the S tip of the cape. Pausanias (4.36.1-5) mentions a Sanctuary of Athena Koryphasion, unknown today, and within the city a house, tomb, and cave, all supposedly of Nestor. This last has been found to contain sherds dating from Mycenaean to Roman times, but the Mycenaean palace of Nestor has been excavated at Epano Englianos, 10 km to the N.

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 26 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


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