Four years later he captured Caryae, ravaged the territory of the Parrhasii and defeated the Arcadians, Argives and Messenians in the "tearless battle," so called because the victory did not cost the Spartans a single life.
Tradition relates that, after some six years' fighting, the Messenians were forced to retire to the fortified summit of Ithome.
He was victorious in the pitched battle fought at the foot of Ithome in the fifth year of his reign, a battle in which the Messenians, reinforced by the entire Arcadian levy and picked contingents from Argos and Sicyon, defeated the combined Spartan and Corinthian forces.
Of other works only fragments and the titles have survived: Messeniakos, advocating the freedom of the Messenians and containing the sentiment that "all are by nature free"; a Eulogy of Death, in consideration of the wide extent of human sufferings; a Techne or instruction-book in the art of rhetoric; and a Fusikos lolos..
The town was built by the combined Theban and Argive armies and the exiled Messenians who had been invited to return and found a state which should be independent of Spartan rule.
His prowess contributed largely to the Messenian victory over the Spartan and Corinthian forces at "The Boar's Barrow" in the plain of Stenyclarus, but in the following year the treachery of the Arcadian king Aristocrates caused the Messenians to suffer a crushing defeat at "The Great Trench."
He restored Messana, peopling it with motley settlers, among whom were some of the old Messenians from Peloponnesus.
Dionysius therefore moved his Messenians to a point on the north coast, where they founded Tyndaris.
Meantime Demosthenes had formed the plan of planting the Messenians of Naupactus in Messenia - now Spartan territory - and obtained permission to accompany the expedition.
But the fertility of the soil, the warm and genial climate, the mingling of races and the absence of opposition, combined to render the Messenians no match for their hardy and warlike neighbours of Sparta.
War broke out - in consequence, it was said, of the murder of the Spartan king Teleclus by the Messenians - which, in spite of the heroism of King Euphaes and his successor Aristodemus ended in the subjection of Messenia to Sparta (c. 720 B.C.).
Two generations later the Messenians revolted and under the leadership of Aristomenes kept the Spartans at bay for some seventeen years (648-631 B.C., according to Grote): but the stronghold of Ira (Eira) fell after a siege of eleven years, and those Messenians who did not leave the country were reduced to the condition of helots.
After the battle of Leuctra (371 B.C.) Epaminondas invited the exiled Messenians scattered in Italy, Sicily, Africa and elsewhere to return to their country: the city of Messene was founded in 369 to be the capital of the country and, like Megalopolis in Arcadia, a powerful check on Sparta.
In 146 B.C. the Messenians, together with the other states of Greece, were brought directly under Roman sway by L.
25 by Tiberius and the Senate in favour of the Messenians (Tac. Ann.
The annihilation of the Apharetidae in the legend indicates the subordinate position held by the Messenians after the loss of their independence and subjugation by Sparta, the Dioscuri being distinctly Spartan, as the Apharetidae were Messenian heroes.
On Epaminondas' fourth expedition Sparta was again within an ace of capture, but once more the danger was averted just in time; and though at Mantinea (362 B.C.) the Thebans, together with the Arcadians, Messenians and Argives, gained a victory over the combined Mantinean, Athenian and Spartan forces, yet the death of Epaminondas in the battle more than counterbalanced the Theban victory and led to the speedy break-up of their supremacy.
Under Alcamenes and Theopompus a war broke out between the Spartans and the Messenians, their neighbours on the west, which, after a struggle Messenian lasting for twenty years, ended in the capture of Wars.
G Y Y P the stronghold of Ithome and the subjection of the Messenians, who were forced to pay half the produce of the soil as tribute to their Spartan overlords.
Arcadia and Argos had vigorously aided the Messenians in their two struggles, and help was also sent by the Sicyonians, Pisatans and Triphylians: only the Corinthians appear to have supported the Spartans, doubtless on account of their jealousy of their powerful neighbours, the Argives.