My House in Greece

Methoni

Methoni (Greek: Μεθώνη, Italian: Modone, Venetian: Modon) is a village and a former municipality in Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality of Pylos-Nestoras, of which it is a municipal unit. The municipal unit has an area of 97.202 km2. Its name may be derived from Mothona, a mythical rock. It is located 11 km south of Pylos and 11 km west of Foinikounta. The municipal unit of Methoni includes the nearby villages of Grizokampos, Finikouda, Foiniki, Lachanada, Varakes, Kainourgio Chorio, Kamaria, Evangelismos and the Oinnoussai Islands. The islands are Sapientza, Schiza and Santa Marina; they form a natural protection for Methoni harbour. The town is also known by the Italian name Modone, which it was called by the Venetians. Its economy is dominated by tourism, attracted by its beaches (including Tapia, Kokkinia and Kritika) and its historical castle.

Methoni has been identified as the city of Pedasus, which Homer mentions under the name "ampeloessa" (of vine leaves), as the last of the seven εὐναιόμενα πτολίεθρα (eunaiomena ptoliethra) (well-peopled cities) that Agamemnon offers Achilles in order to subdue his rage. Pausanias knew the city as Mothone, named either after the daughter of Oeneus or after the rock Mothon, which protects the harbour, and mentioned a temple to Athena Anemotis there. The Oinoussai complex of islands protected the port of Methoni from the turbulent sea. Along with the rest of Messenia, the town gained its independence from the Spartans in 369 BC. Like other Mediterranean coastal settlements, Methoni was probably heavily affected by the tsunami that followed the earthquake in AD 365. Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus wrote that as a result of the earthquake some ships had been "hurled nearly two miles from the shore", giving as an example a Laconian vessel that was stranded "near the town of Methone". During the Byzantine years Methoni retained its remarkable harbor and remained one of the most important cities of the Peloponnese, seat of a bishopric.

By the time of the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence in 1821, the town was inhabited by Turks, some 400 to 500 fighting men, who also owned most of the land in the area. Outside the walls, the region was populated almost exclusively by Greeks. When the Greek revolution broke out, Methoni was put under siege, along with Koroni and Navarino. In July 1821, the Ottoman fleet succeeded in reprovisioning the town, but not Navarino, which on 8 August capitulated to the Greeks. The garrison of Methoni had set out to aid them, but were stopped by the Greek rebels en route. Thereafter, the Greek pressure on Methoni slackened, and the town remained in Ottoman hands throughout the conflict, albeit only thanks to frequent reprovisioning by the fleet. Consequently, the town was one of the main bases for Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt's expedition against the Greeks in 1825–28. The fortress surrendered to the French Morea Expedition on 8 October 1828, and in 1833 the departing French turned over its control to the newly established Kingdom of Greece.