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"Spartans: Disgrace at Sphacteria Island" Topic


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370 hits since 4 Oct 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP05 Oct 2018 11:59 a.m. PST

"The Bay of Pylos (now Navarino Bay) is a well sheltered anchorage on the southwest coast of the Peloponnese; in the region known as Messenia. It is enclosed from the Ionian Sea to the west by a long, narrow island: Sphacteria. The bay can be entered through channels both north and south of Sphacteria. The narrow northern channel is bounded on the northern side by the rocky Pylos promontory. Here, in the Bronze Age, had been the citadel of the Trojan War leader, Nestor. In 1827 it was the site of the Battle of Navarino, where a British, French, and Russian coalition fleet defeated the Ottoman Turks

It was here in 425 B.C., in the 6th year of the Peloponnesian War that the innovative Athenian general, Demosthenes, with a fleet of 40 triremes bound for Corcyra was forced by bad weather to land.

Ever one to recognize a strategic opportunity, Demosthenes used the crews at his disposal to fortify Pylos; and when the fleet continued on to Corcyra, he remained behind with 5 triremes and their crews (about 1,000 men; less than 100 of which were likely hoplites). He was soon reinforced by another 40 Messenian-exile hoplites from Naupactos, an Athenian base on the Gulf of Corinth. None hated the Spartans more than these Messenians….."
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