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"The Maniots and the Spartans" Topic

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643 hits since 25 Oct 2017
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Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member25 Oct 2017 9:08 p.m. PST

Descendants of the Spartans?


I admit I never heard of this "King Lelegas" though. And he doesn't show in the usual lists of Spartan kings. Is the waiter telling a tall tale or did the reporter mishear something?

MichaelCollinsHimself25 Oct 2017 11:36 p.m. PST

Thanks, this is interesting !

TKindred Supporting Member of TMP26 Oct 2017 3:26 a.m. PST

Interesting indeed. Thanks for that link.

Grelber26 Oct 2017 4:41 a.m. PST

In his book, Mani, Patrick Leigh Fermor tells a similar story. His variant would have many of the Spartans fleeing to the Mani by barbarian invasions.
I understood it wasn't so much independent prior to the 1800s as too much trouble. If you wanted to collect taxes, you'd have to gather an army and invade a rugged, mountainous district, full of tough fighters, and then the taxes paid wouldn't cover the cost of the expedition. It did serve to keep the inhabitants from getting too rowdy, though.


Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member26 Oct 2017 7:32 a.m. PST

Yes, I was thinking of Fermor's writings on the Mani as I read this article.

I'd like to visit this fascinating area someday. It's widely recorded that the Mani retained their paganism for centuries, too. Real throwbacks.

The connections with the ancient Spartans may be overstated, but it's not unreasonable to expect that many Laconians of the Eurotas valley may well have taken to the hills to escape Alaric's Visigoths in the late 4th century, or the Slavic invaders of the 6th and 7th. Lots of former perioeci and helots as well as townspeople of Sparta.

I've read that nearby Mistras drew on ancient Sparta for much of its building materials, too (could be one reason so little remains to be seen of the ancient city). I wonder if a thorough archaeological study of this has ever been made?

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