A prominent and easily fortified mountain rising isolated in the Messenian plain, was the natural rallying point of the Messenians in their struggles for independence against Sparta and, in 369 bc, site of the new city of Messene. In the first Messenian War (late 8th cent. bc) they held it for 20 years; on its fall they lost their freedom. In the rising of the helots against Sparta in the late 460s it was fortified and became a chief centre of resistance.
Subjects: Classical Studies.