LACEDAEMON, in historical times an alternative name of Laconia.
Lacedaemon is now the name of a separate department, which had in 1907 a population of 87,106.
After a long and happy life in Lacedaemon, Menelaus, as the son-in-law of Zeus, did not die but was translated to Elysium (Homer, Odyssey, iii.
The district has been divided into two departments (nomes), Lacedaemon and Laconia, with their capitals at Sparta and Gythium respectively.
Heracles, whom Zeus had originally intended to be ruler of Argos, Lacedaemon and Messenian Pylos, had been supplanted by the cunning of Hera, and his intended possessions had fallen into the hands of Eurystheus, king of Mycenae.
Argos fell to Temenus, Lacedaemon to Procles and Eurysthenes, the twin sons of Aristodemus; and Messene to Cresphontes.
The Heraclidae ruled in Lacedaemon till 221 B.C., but disappeared much earlier in the other countries.
Meanwhile other writers from the 4th century onwards claimed to discover them in Boeotia, west Acarnania (Leucas), and later again in Thessaly, Euboea, Megara, Lacedaemon and Messenia.
In Messenia they were reputed immigrant founders of Pylos, and were connected with the seafaring Taphians and Teleboans of Homer, and distinguished from the Pelasgians; in Lacedaemon and in Leucas they were believed to be aboriginal.
But in Lacedaemon [Footnote: Lacedaemon (_pro_. las e de'mon).] there is a good and noble man named Chilon.[Footnote: Chilon (_pro_. ki'lon).] He loves his country, he loves his fellow men, he loves learning.
But when they came into Lacedaemon, they heard his praises on every side.