Battle of Senyclarus - 465 B.C.

It seems with the final crushing victory at the Battle of Eurymedon, and the removal of Persian threat from Hellas, that it instigated the Messenians to try their chance again at wedging themselves clear of Spartan dominace.

One battle early on we know took place was this one, the Battle of Senyclarus.

Date:

The battle is not properly dated, but as scholars date the Third Messenain War between the years 465BC to 461BC, it seems this unlikely Messenian win happened in the early stages of the revolt and may even have instigated the whole war.

Herodotus tells us that the famous Spartan Aeimnestrus, the man who killed Mardonius at the Battle of Plataea 479BC, fought in this battle as well. And that this battle 'came after the struggle with the Mede' (Persians). [1].

 


The above is an image that shows the valley that seperates the state of Loconia and the city of Sparta from the state of Messene and the city of Messini. Click on the image to see larger versions of it.

Battle:

Herodotus mentions the battle in such a way:

"Mardonius was slain by Aeimnestus, a man famous in Sparta - the same who in the Messenian war, which came after the struggle against the Medes, fought a battle near Stenyclerus with but three hundred men against the whole force of the Messenians, and himself perished, and the threee hundred with him." [1].;

Location:

It's exact location is unknown, but the area of Senyclarus is originally mentioned in Homers' The Illiad and Strabo [2] that a Messenian king concentrated his population at Stenyclarus, which was to be his royal city in the centre of the country. So this capital we might suggest must be 'in the centre of the country', as the name Messene in english means 'midland'. Scholars believe the area is in the below vicinity.

 

 


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Reference:

  • *1 'Histories' by Herodotus (9.64)
  • *2 'Geography' by Strabo (8.4.7)

 

 


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