from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • An ancient region of southwest Greece in the Peloponnesus on the Ionian Sea. It fought a series of wars against Sparta c. 736 to 371 B.C. The Romans conquered the area in 146 B.C.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A region in southwestern Peloponnese which has its modern capital at Kalamata. The original capital was at Messene.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • From the top is an extensive view over the island of Sphacteria, the port, with the town of Navarino to the south, and a considerable tract of the territory anciently called Messenia on the east, with the conic hill, which, though some miles from the shore, is used as a landmark to point out the entrance of the port.

    The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 10, No. 284, November 24, 1827

  • His name was Dionysius and he hailed from the Greek city of Messenia, near Sparta.

    Alexander the Great

  • Whatever the origins of helotism and its relation to slavery, it is reasonably certain that when the Spartans conquered Messenia in the southwest of the Peloponnese (probably in the eighth or seventh century), the native population became helots.

    OpEdNews - Diary: Palestinians in Gaza, the Modern Helots

  • In 371, the Theban commander Epaminondas defeated the Spartans at Leuctra, and later, he invaded the Peloponnese, where he liberated the helots of Messenia.

    OpEdNews - Diary: Palestinians in Gaza, the Modern Helots

  • In fact, the creation of a great number of helots in Messenia caused great problems and led to the introduction of a strict military discipline among the Spartans, who became a specialized military class.

    OpEdNews - Diary: Palestinians in Gaza, the Modern Helots

  • After the conquest of Messenia this class was very numerous.


  • Naupactus, regarding the place as their native land (for Pylos is situated in the territory which was once Messenia), sent thither some of themselves, being such troops as were best suited for the service, who ravaged Laconia and did great harm, because they spoke the same language with the inhabitants.

    The History of the Peloponnesian War

  • As king of Pylus and Messenia, [Nestor] led his subjects to the Trojan war, where he distinguished himself among the rest of the

    Note: "Nestors"

  • In this expedition, they united all Arcadia into one body, and, expelling the Spartans that inhabited Messenia, they called back the old Messenians, and established them in Ithome in one body; — and, returning through Cenchreae, they dispersed the Athenians, who designed to set upon them in the straits, and hinder their march.

    The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans

  • Both were tried for their lives, because they did not deliver up their command in the first month, Bucatius, as the law required, but kept it four months longer, in which time they did these memorable actions in Messenia, Arcadia, and Laconia.

    The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans


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