Peloponnese
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The Peloponnese (), Peloponnesia, or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Pelopónnēsos, ) is a
peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connected to a mainland from which it extends. The surrounding water is usually understood to be continuous, though ...

peninsula
and
geographic region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the environment (environmental geography). Geographic reg ...
in southern
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical region of Europe Europe is a continent A contin ...

Greece
. It is connected to the central part of the country by the
Isthmus of Corinth An isthmus ( or ; plural: isthmuses or isthmi; from grc, ἰσθμός, isthmós, neck) is a narrow piece of land connecting two larger areas across an expanse of water by which they are otherwise separated. A tombolo A tombolo is a sandy is ...

Isthmus of Corinth
land bridge which separates the
Gulf of Corinth Image:Corinth Canal 2.jpg, Corinth Canal The Gulf of Corinth or the Corinthian Gulf ( el, Κορινθιακός Kόλπος, ''Korinthiakόs Kόlpos'', ) is a deep inlet of the Ionian Sea, separating the Peloponnese from western mainland Greec ...

Gulf of Corinth
from the
Saronic Gulf The Saronic Gulf (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 milli ...

Saronic Gulf
. During the late
Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the 5th to the late 15th centuries, similarly to the Post-classical, Post-classical period of global history. It began with the fall of the Western Roma ...
and the
Ottoman era The Ottoman Empire (; ota, دولت عليه عثمانيه ', literally "The Sublime Ottoman State"; Modern Turkish: ' or '; french: Empire ottoman) (''Osmanean Têrut´iwn'', meaning "Ottoman Authority/Governance/Rule"), Օսմանյան ...
, the peninsula was known as the
Morea The Morea ( el, Μορέας or ) was the name of the Peloponnese The Peloponnese () or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Peloponnesos, ) is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landfo ...

Morea
( grc-x-byzant, Μωρέας), a name still in colloquial use in its demotic form ( el, Μωριάς, links=no). The peninsula is divided among three administrative regions: most belongs to the
Peloponnese The Peloponnese (), Peloponnesia, or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Pelopónnēsos, ) is a peninsula and geographic regions of Greece, geographic region in southern Greece. It is connected to the central part of the country by the ...
region, with smaller parts belonging to the
West Greece Western Greece Region ( el, Περιφέρεια Δυτικής Ελλάδας, translit=Periféria Dhitikís Elládhas, ) is one of the thirteen Modern regions of Greece, administrative regions of Greece. It comprises the western part of Central ...
and
Attica Attica ( el, Αττική, Ancient Greek ''Attikḗ'' or , or ), or the Attic peninsula, is a historical region that encompasses the city of Athens, the capital city, capital of Greece and its countryside. It is a peninsula projecting into the ...
regions.


Geography

The Peloponnese is a peninsula located at the southern tip of the mainland, in area, and constitutes the southernmost part of mainland Greece. It is connected to the mainland by the
Isthmus of Corinth An isthmus ( or ; plural: isthmuses or isthmi; from grc, ἰσθμός, isthmós, neck) is a narrow piece of land connecting two larger areas across an expanse of water by which they are otherwise separated. A tombolo A tombolo is a sandy is ...

Isthmus of Corinth
, where the
Corinth Canal The Corinth Canal ( el, Διώρυγα της Κορίνθου, translit=Dhioryga tis Korinthou) connects the Gulf of Corinth in the Ionian Sea with the Saronic Gulf The Saronic Gulf (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or rela ...

Corinth Canal
was constructed in 1893. However, it is also connected to the mainland by several bridges across the canal, including two
submersible bridge A submersible bridge is a type of movable bridge that lowers the bridge deck below the water level to permit waterborne traffic to use the waterway. This differs from a lift bridge or table bridge, which operate by raising the roadway. Two subme ...
s at the north and the south end. Near the northern tip of the peninsula, there is another bridge, the Rio–Antirrio bridge (completed 2004). Indeed, the Peloponnese is rarely, if ever, referred to as an island. The peninsula has a mountainous interior and deeply indented coasts. The Peloponnese possesses four south-pointing peninsulas, the
Messenia Messenia or Messinia ( ; el, Μεσσηνία ) is a regional units of Greece, regional unit (''perifereiaki enotita'') in the southwestern part of the Peloponnese (region), Peloponnese Administrative regions of Greece, region, in Greece. Unt ...

Messenia
n, the Mani, the
Cape Malea Cape Maleas (also ''Cape Malea''; el, Ακρωτήριον Μαλέας, colloquially Καβομαλιάς, ''Cavomaliás''), anciently Malea ( grc, Μαλέα) and Maleae or Maleai (Μαλέαι), is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula f ...
(also known as Epidaurus Limera), and the Argolid in the far northeast of the Peloponnese. Mount
Taygetus The Taygetus, Taugetus, Taygetos or Taÿgetus ( el, Ταΰγετος, Taygetos) is a mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mount ...
in the south is the highest mountain in the Peloponnese, at . Οther important mountains include
Cyllene
Cyllene
in the northeast (), Aroania in the north (), Erymanthos () and Panachaikon in the northwest (), Mainalon in the center (), and Parnon in the southeast (). The entire peninsula is earthquake prone and has been the site of many earthquakes in the past. The longest river is the
Alfeios Alfeiós ( el, Αλφειός, also romanized as Alpheus, Alpheios) is the longest river in the Peloponnese, in Greece. The river is long, flowing through the regional units of Arcadia (regional unit), Arcadia and Elis (regional unit), Elis. Its ...
in the west (110 km), followed by the
Evrotas The Eurotas (Greek: Εὐρώτας) or Evrotas (Modern Greek: Ευρώτας) is the main river of Laconia and one of the major rivers of the Peloponnese, in Greece. The river's springs are located just northwest of the border between Laconia and ...
in the south (82 km), and also the Pineios, also in the west (70 km). Extensive lowlands are found only in the west, except for the Evrotas valley in the south and the Argolid in the northeast. The Peloponnese is home to numerous spectacular beaches, which are a major tourist draw. Two groups of islands lie off the Peloponnesian coast: the
Argo-Saronic Islands The Saronic Islands or Argo-Saronic Islands is an archipelago in Greece, named after the Saronic Gulf in which they are located, just off the Greek mainland. The main inhabited islands of this group are Salamis Island, Salamis, Aegina, Agistri, and ...
to the east, and the
Ionian
Ionian
to the west. The island of
Kythira Kythira (, ; el, Κύθηρα, , also transliterated as Cythera, Kythera and Kithira) is an Greek islands, island in Greece lying opposite the south-eastern tip of the Peloponnese peninsula. It is traditionally listed as one of the seven main Ion ...
, off the Epidaurus Limeira peninsula to the south of the Peloponnese, is considered to be part of the Ionian Islands. The island of
Elafonisos Elafonisos ( el, Ελαφόνησος) is a small Greek island between the Peloponnese The Peloponnese () or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Peloponnesos, ) is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "i ...

Elafonisos
used to be part of the peninsula but was separated following the major quake of 365 AD. Since antiquity, and continuing to the present day, the Peloponnese has been divided into seven major regions:
Achaea Achaea () or Achaia (), sometimes transliterated from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its ...
(north),
Corinthia Corinthia ( el, Κορινθία ''Korinthía'') is one of the regional units of Greece The 74 regional units ( el, περιφερειακές ενότητες, ; sing. , ) are administrative units Administrative division, administrative unit ...
(northeast),
Argolis Argolis or Argolida ( el, Αργολίδα , ; , in ancient Greek and Katharevousa) is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the modern regions of Greece, region of Peloponnese (region), Peloponnese, situated in the eastern part of ...
(east),
Arcadia Arcadia may refer to: Places Australia * Arcadia, New South Wales, a suburb of Sydney * Arcadia, Queensland * Arcadia, Victoria Greece * Arcadia (region) Arcadia ( el, Ἀρκαδία) is a region in the central Peloponnese. It takes its name ...
(center),
Laconia Laconia or Lakonia ( el, Λακωνία, , ) is a historical and administrative region of Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10. ...
(southeast),
Messenia Messenia or Messinia ( ; el, Μεσσηνία ) is a regional units of Greece, regional unit (''perifereiaki enotita'') in the southwestern part of the Peloponnese (region), Peloponnese Administrative regions of Greece, region, in Greece. Unt ...

Messenia
(southwest), and
Elis Elis or Ilia ( el, Ηλεία, ''Ileia'') is a historic region in the western part of the Peloponnese The Peloponnese (), Peloponnesia, or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Pelopónnēsos, ) is a peninsula and geographic regions ...
(west). Each of these regions is headed by a city. The largest city is
Patras Patras ( el, Πάτρα, Pátra ; Katharevousa and grc, Πάτραι; la, Patrae) is Greece's List of cities in Greece, third-largest city and the regional capital of Western Greece, in the northern Peloponnese, west of Athens. The city is b ...

Patras
(pop. 170,000) in Achaia, followed by
Kalamata Kalamáta ( el, Καλαμάτα ) is the second most populous city of the Peloponnese peninsula, after Patras, in southern Greece and the largest city of the Peloponnese (region), homonymous administrative region. As the capital and chief port o ...

Kalamata
(pop. 55,000) in Messenia.


History


Mythology and early history

The peninsula has been inhabited since
prehistoric times Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study ...
. Its modern name derives from ancient
Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the Ancient Greece, ancient Greeks, and a genre of Ancient Greek folklore. These stories concern the Cosmogony, origin and Cosmology#Metaphysical cosmology, nature of the world, the lives ...
, specifically the legend of the hero
Pelops In Greek mythology, Pelops (; ) was king of Pisa (Greece), Pisa in the Peloponnesus region (, lit. "Pelops' Island"). His father, Tantalus, was the founder of the House of Atreus through Pelops's son of that name. He was venerated at Olympia, Gre ...

Pelops
, who was said to have conquered the entire region. The name ''Peloponnesos'' means "Island of Pelops". The
Mycenaean civilization Mycenaean Greece (or the Mycenaean civilization) was the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece, spanning the period from approximately 1750 to 1050 BC.. It represents the first advanced and distinctively Greek civilization in mainland ...
, mainland Greece's (and Europe's) first major civilization, dominated the Peloponnese in the
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age syst ...
from its stronghold at
Mycenae Mycenae ( ; grc, Μυκῆναι or , ''Mykē̂nai'' or ''Mykḗnē'') is an archaeological site near Mykines, Greece, Mykines in Argolis, north-eastern Peloponnese, Greece. It is located about south-west of Athens; north of Argos, Peloponnes ...

Mycenae
in the north-east of the peninsula. The Mycenaean civilization collapsed suddenly at the end of the 2nd millennium BC. Archeological research has found that many of its cities and palaces show signs of destruction. The subsequent period, known as the
Greek Dark Ages The Greek Dark Ages is the period of Greek history The history of Greece encompasses the history of the territory of the modern nation-state of Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country locate ...
, is marked by an absence of written records.


Classical antiquity

In 776 BC, the first
Olympic Games The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (french: Jeux olympiques) are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a multi-sport event, ...
were held at Olympia, in the western Peloponnese and this date is sometimes used to denote the beginning of the classical period of Greek antiquity. During
classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history between the 8th century BC and the 6th century AD centred on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ...
, the Peloponnese was at the heart of the affairs of
ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era was ...
, possessed some of its most powerful city-states, and was the location of some of its bloodiest battles. The major cities of
Sparta Sparta (Doric Greek Doric, or Dorian ( grc, Δωρισμός, Dōrismós) was an Ancient Greek dialect. Its variants were spoken in the southern and eastern Peloponnese as well as in Sicily, Epirus, Southern Italy, Crete, Rhodes, some ...

Sparta
,
Corinth Corinth ( ; el, Κόρινθος, Kórinthos, ) is the successor to an ancient city, and is a former municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of sel ...

Corinth
,
Argos Argos usually refers to: * Argos, Peloponnese Argos (; Greek language, Greek: Άργος ; Ancient Greek: Ἄργος ) is a city in Argolis, the Peloponnese (region), Peloponnese, Greece and is one of the List of oldest continuously inhabited ci ...
and
Megalopolis A megalopolis (), sometimes called a megapolis; also megaregion, city cluster or supercity, is a group of two or more roughly adjacent metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, ur ...
were all located on the Peloponnese, and it was the homeland of the
Peloponnesian League The Peloponnesian League was an alliance in the Peloponnesus The Peloponnese () or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Peloponnesos, ) is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surro ...
. Soldiers from the peninsula fought in the
Persian Wars The Greco-Persian Wars (also often called the Persian Wars) were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empi ...
, and it was also the scene of the
Peloponnesian War The Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) was an ancient Greece, ancient Greek war fought between the Delian League, which was led by Classical Athens, Athens, and the Peloponnesian League, which was led by Sparta. Historians have traditionally di ...

Peloponnesian War
of 431–404 BC. The entire Peloponnese with the notable exception of Sparta joined Alexander's expedition against the Persian Empire. Along with the rest of Greece, the Peloponnese fell to the expanding
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the ancient Rome, classical Roman civilization, run through res publica, public Representation (politics), representation of the Roman people. Beginning with the Overthrow of the ...
in 146 BC, when the Romans razed the city of Corinth and massacred its inhabitants. The Romans created the province of
Achaea Achaea () or Achaia (), sometimes transliterated from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its ...
comprising the Peloponnese and central Greece. During the Roman period, the peninsula remained prosperous but became a provincial backwater, relatively cut off from the affairs of the wider
Roman world The culture of ancient Rome existed throughout the almost 1200-year history of the civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratification, a form of gover ...

Roman world
.


Middle Ages


Byzantine rule

After the partition of the Empire in 395, the Peloponnese became a part of the
East Roman or Byzantine Empire
East Roman or Byzantine Empire
. The devastation of Alaric's raid in 396–397 led to the construction of the
Hexamilion wall The Hexamilion wall ( el, Εξαμίλιον τείχος, "six-mile wall") was a defensive wall A defensive wall is a fortification usually used to protect a city, town or other settlement from potential aggressors. The walls can range from ...
across the Isthmus of Corinth. Through most of
late antiquity Late antiquity is a periodization Periodization is the process or study of categorizing the past into discrete, quantified named blocks of time.Adam Rabinowitz. It’s about time: historical periodization and Linked Ancient World Data'. Insti ...
, the peninsula retained its urbanized character: in the 6th century, Hierocles counted 26 cities in his ''
Synecdemus The ''Synecdemus'' or ''Synekdemos'' ( el, Συνέκδημος) is a geographic text, attributed to Hierocles (author of Synecdemus), Hierocles, which contains a table of administrative divisions of the Byzantine Empire and lists of their cities. ...
''. By the latter part of that century, however, building activity seems to have stopped virtually everywhere except Constantinople, Thessalonica, Corinth, and Athens. This has traditionally been attributed to calamities such as plague, earthquakes and Slavic invasions.Kazhdan (1991), p. 1620 However, more recent analysis suggests that urban decline was closely linked with the collapse of long-distance and regional commercial networks that underpinned and supported late antique urbanism in Greece, as well as with the generalized withdrawal of imperial troops and administration from the Balkans.


=Slavic invasion, settlement and decline

= The scale of the Slavic invasion and settlement in the 7th and 8th centuries remains a matter of dispute, although it is nowadays considered much smaller than previously thought. The Slavs did occupy most of the peninsula, as evidenced by the abundance of Slavic
toponyms Toponymy, also toponymics or toponomastics (from grc, τόπος / , 'place', and / , 'name') is the study of ''wikt:toponym, toponyms'' (proper names of places, also known as ''place name'' or ''geographic name''), their origins and meanings ...
, but these toponyms accumulated over centuries rather than as a result of an initial "flood" of Slavic invasions, and many appeared to have been mediated by speakers of Greek, or in mixed Slavic-Greek compounds. Fewer Slavic toponyms appear on the eastern coast, which remained in Byzantine hands and was included in the '' thema'' of Hellas, established by
Justinian II Justinian II ( gr, Ἰουστινιανός, Ioustinianos; la, Flavius Iustinianus Augustus; 668 – 11 December 711), surnamed Rhinotmetos or Rhinotmetus (, "the slit-nosed"), was the last Byzantine emperor of the Heraclian dynasty, reigning f ...
c. 690. While traditional historiography has dated the arrival of Slavs to southern Greece to the late 6th century, according to Florin Curta there is no evidence for a Slavic presence in the Peloponnese until after c. 700 AD, when Slavs may have been allowed to settle in specific areas that had been depopulated. Relations between the Slavs and Greeks were probably peaceful apart from intermittent uprisings. There was also a continuity of the Peloponnesian Greek population. This is especially true in Mani and
Tsakonia Tsakonia ( ell, Τσακωνιά) or the Tsakonian region () refers to the small area in the eastern Peloponnese The Peloponnese (), Peloponnesia, or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Pelopónnēsos, ) is a peninsula and geographic r ...
, where Slavic incursions were minimal, or non-existent. Being agriculturalists, the Slavs probably traded with the Greeks, who remained in the towns, while Greek villages continued to exist in the interior, governing themselves, possibly paying tribute to the Slavs.Fine (1983), p. 61 The first attempt by the Byzantine imperial government to re-assert its control over the independent Slavic tribes of the Peloponnese occurred in 783, with the
logotheteLogothete ( el, λογοθέτης, ''logothétēs'', pl. λογοθέται, ''logothétai''; Med. la, logotheta, pl. ''logothetae''; bg, логотет; it, logoteta; ro, logofăt; sr, логотет, ''logotet'') was an administrative title o ...
Staurakios Staurakios or Stauracius ( el, Σταυράκιος, links=no; early 790s – 11 January 812AD) was Byzantine Emperor from 26 July to 2 October 811. He was born in the early 790s, probably between 791 and 793, to Nikephoros I Nikephoros I ...
' overland campaign from Constantinople into Greece and the Peloponnese, which according to
Theophanes the Confessor Theophanes the Confessor ( el, Θεοφάνης Ὁμολογητής; c. 758/760 – March 12, 817/818) was a member of the Byzantine aristocracy who became a monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Lati ...
made many prisoners and forced the Slavs to pay tribute. From the mid-9th century, following a Slavic revolt and attack on
Patras Patras ( el, Πάτρα, Pátra ; Katharevousa and grc, Πάτραι; la, Patrae) is Greece's List of cities in Greece, third-largest city and the regional capital of Western Greece, in the northern Peloponnese, west of Athens. The city is b ...

Patras
, a determined
Hellenization Hellenization (other British spelling Hellenisation) or Hellenism is the historical spread of Ancient Greece, ancient Greek Ancient Greece#Culture, culture, Hellenistic religion, religion, and, to a lesser extent, language over foreign peoples c ...
process was carried out. According to the '' Chronicle of Monemvasia'', in 805 the Byzantine governor of
Corinth Corinth ( ; el, Κόρινθος, Kórinthos, ) is the successor to an ancient city, and is a former municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of sel ...

Corinth
went to war with the Slavs, exterminated them, and allowed the original inhabitants to claim their lands. They regained control of the city of Patras and the region was re-settled with Greeks. Many Slavs were transported to
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while be ...

Asia Minor
, and many Asian, Sicilian and Calabrian Greeks were resettled in the Peloponnese. By the turn of the 9th century, the entire Peloponnese was formed into the new ''thema'' of
Peloponnesos The Peloponnese () or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Peloponnesos, ) is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connected to ...
, with its capital at Corinth. The imposition of Byzantine rule over the Slavic enclaves may have largely been a process of Christianization and accommodating Slavic chieftains into the Imperial fold, as literary,
epigraphic Epigraphy () is the study of inscriptions, or epigraphs, as writing; it is the science of identifying graphemes, clarifying their meanings, classifying their uses according to dates and cultural contexts, and drawing conclusions about the writin ...
and
sigillographic Sigillography, also known by its Greek-derived name, sphragistics, is the scholarly discipline that studies the wax, lead, clay, and other seals used to authenticate archival documents. It investigates not only aspects of the artistic design an ...
evidence testify to Slavic ''archontes'' participating in Imperial affairs. By the end of the 9th century, the Peloponnese was culturally and administratively Greek again, except for a few small Slavic tribes in the mountains such as the
Melingoi The Melingoi or Milingoi ( el, Μηλιγγοί) were a Slavs, Slavic tribe that settled in the Peloponnese in southern Greece during the Middle Ages. In the early decades of the 7th century, Slavic tribes (Sclaveni) settled throughout the Balkans f ...
and Ezeritai. Although they were to remain relatively autonomous until Ottoman Empire, Ottoman times, such tribes were the exception rather than the rule. Even the Melingoi and Ezeritai, however, could speak Greek and appear to have been Christian. The success of the Hellenization campaign also shows that the Slavs had settled among many Greeks, in contrast to areas further north in what is now Bulgaria and the former Yugoslavia, as those areas could not be Hellenized when they were recovered by the Byzantines in the early 11th century. A 2017-human genetics study showed that the Peloponnesians have little admixture with populations of the Slavic homeland and are much closer to Sicilians and southern Italians. Apart from the troubled relations with the Slavs, the coastal regions of the Peloponnese suffered greatly from repeated Arab raids following the Arab capture of Crete in the 820s and the establishment of a Emirate of Crete, corsair emirate there.Kazhdan (1991), p. 1621 After the island was recovered by Byzantium in 961 however, the region entered a period of renewed prosperity, where agriculture, commerce, and urban industry flourished.


Frankish rule and Byzantine reconquest

In 1205, following the destruction of the Byzantine Empire by the forces of the Fourth Crusade, the Crusaders under William of Champlitte and Geoffrey I of Villehardouin, Geoffrey of Villehardouin marched south through mainland Greece and conquered the Peloponnese against Battle of the Olive Grove of Koundouros, sporadic local Greek resistance. The Frangokratia, Franks then founded the Principality of Achaea, nominally a vassal of the Latin Empire, while the Republic of Venice, Venetians occupied several strategically important ports around the coast such as Pylos, Navarino and Koroni, Coron, which they retained into the 15th century. The Franks popularized the name ''
Morea The Morea ( el, Μορέας or ) was the name of the Peloponnese The Peloponnese () or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Peloponnesos, ) is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landfo ...

Morea
'' for the peninsula, which first appears as the name of a small bishopric in Ancient Elis, Elis during the 10th century. Its etymology is disputed, but it is most commonly held to be derived from the mulberry tree (''morea''), whose leaves are similar in shape to the peninsula. In 1208, William I founded a commission at Andravida consisted of Latin bishops, two bannerets and five Greek magnates and chaired by himself, to assess the land and divide it, according to Latin practice, in fiefs. The result was divide the country into twelve feudal barony, baronies, mostly centred around a newly constructed castle—a testament to the fact that the Franks were a military elite amidst a potentially hostile Greek population. The twelve temporal barons were joined by seven ecclesiastic lords, headed by the Latin Archbishop of Patras. Each of the latter was granted a number of estates as knightly fiefs, with the Archbishop receiving eight, the other bishops four each, and likewise four granted to each of the Military order (society), military orders: the Templars, Hospitallers and the Teutonic Knights. Shortly after 1260, a thirteenth barony, that of Barony of Arcadia, Arcadia (modern Kyparissia) was established, which was also a personal fief of the Villehardouins.Setton (1976), p. 31 The barons retained considerable powers and privileges, so that the Prince was not an absolute sovereign but rather a "first among equals" among them. Thus they had the right to construct a castle without the Prince's permission, or to decree capital punishment. Since Salic Law was not adopted in Achaea, women could also inherit the fiefs.


= Despotate of Morea and Ottoman incursions

= Frankish supremacy in the peninsula, however, received a critical blow after the Battle of Pelagonia, when William II of Villehardouin was forced to cede the newly constructed fortress and palace at Mystras near ancient
Sparta Sparta (Doric Greek Doric, or Dorian ( grc, Δωρισμός, Dōrismós) was an Ancient Greek dialect. Its variants were spoken in the southern and eastern Peloponnese as well as in Sicily, Epirus, Southern Italy, Crete, Rhodes, some ...

Sparta
to a resurgent Byzantium. At this point, the emperor concluded an agreement with the captive prince: William and his men would be set free in exchange for an oath of fealty, and for the cession of Monemvasia, Grand Magne, and Mystras. The handover was effected in 1262, and henceforth Mystras was the seat of the governor of the Byzantine territories in the Morea. Initially this governor (''kephale (Byzantine Empire), kephale'') was changed every year, but after 1308 they started being appointed for longer terms. Almost immediately on his return to the Morea, William of Villehardouin renounced his oath to the emperor, and warfare broke out between Byzantines and Franks. The first Byzantine attempts to subdue the Principality of Achaea were beaten back in the battles of Battle of Prinitsa, Prinitsa and Battle of Makryplagi, Makryplagi, but the Byzantines were firmly ensconced in Laconia. Warfare became endemic, and the Byzantines slowly pushed the Franks back. The insecurity engendered by the raids and counter-raids caused the inhabitants of Lacedaemon to abandon their exposed city and settle at Mystras, in a new town built under the shadow of the fortress. While Mystras served as the provincial capital from this time, it became a royal capital in 1349 CE, when the first despot was appointed to rule over the Morea. The Byzantine Emperor John VI Kantakouzenos, reorganized the territory in 1349 to establish it as an appanage for his son, the Despot (court title), Despot Manuel Kantakouzenos. Around that time, the Ottoman Turks began raiding the Peloponnese, but their raids intensified only after 1387 when the energetic Evrenos Bey took control. Exploiting the quarrels between Byzantines and Franks, he plundered across the peninsula and forced both the Byzantine despots and the remaining Frankish rulers to acknowledge Ottoman suzerainty and pay tribute. This situation lasted until the Ottoman defeat at the Battle of Ankara in 1402, after which Ottoman power was for a time checked.Bées & Savvides (1993), p. 237 From 1349 until its surrender to the Ottoman Turks on 31 May 1460, Mystras was the residence of a Despot (court title), Despot who ruled over the Byzantine Morea, known as the "Despotate of the Morea". For the larger portion of his reign, Manuel maintained peaceful relations with his Latin neighbors and secured a long period of prosperity for the area. Greco-Latin cooperation included an alliance to contain the raids of the Ottoman Sultan Murad I into Morea in the 1360s. The rival Palaiologos dynasty seized the Morea after Manuel's death in 1380, with Theodore I Palaiologos becoming despot in 1383. Theodore I ruled until 1407, consolidating Byzantine rule and coming to terms with his more powerful neighbours—particularly the expansionist Ottoman Empire, whose suzerainty he recognised. Subsequent despots were the sons of the Emperor Manuel II Palaiologos, brother of the despot Theodore: Theodore II, Constantine, Demetrios, and Thomas. As Latin power in the Peloponnese waned during the 15th century, the Despotate of the Morea expanded to incorporate the entire peninsula in 1430 with territory being acquired by dowry settlements, and the conquest of
Patras Patras ( el, Πάτρα, Pátra ; Katharevousa and grc, Πάτραι; la, Patrae) is Greece's List of cities in Greece, third-largest city and the regional capital of Western Greece, in the northern Peloponnese, west of Athens. The city is b ...

Patras
by Constantine. However, in 1446 the Ottoman Sultan Murad II destroyed the Byzantine defences—the
Hexamilion wall The Hexamilion wall ( el, Εξαμίλιον τείχος, "six-mile wall") was a defensive wall A defensive wall is a fortification usually used to protect a city, town or other settlement from potential aggressors. The walls can range from ...
at the
Isthmus of Corinth An isthmus ( or ; plural: isthmuses or isthmi; from grc, ἰσθμός, isthmós, neck) is a narrow piece of land connecting two larger areas across an expanse of water by which they are otherwise separated. A tombolo A tombolo is a sandy is ...

Isthmus of Corinth
. His attack opened the peninsula to invasion, though Murad died before he could exploit this. His successor Mehmed II "the Conqueror" Fall of Constantinople, captured the Byzantine capital Constantinople in 1453. The despots, Demetrios Palaiologos and Thomas Palaiologos, brothers of the last emperor, failed to send him any aid, as Morea was recovering from a recent Ottoman attack. Their own incompetence resulted in the Morea revolt of 1453–1454 lead by Manuel Kantakouzenos against them, during which they invited in Ottoman troops to help them put down the revolt. At this time, the Greeks, Greek ''archons'' made peace Mehmed. After more years of incompetent rule by the despots, their failure to pay their annual tribute to the Sultan, and finally their own revolt against Ottoman rule, Mehmed came into the Morea in May 1460. Demetrios ended up a prisoner of the Ottomans and his younger brother Thomas fled. By the end of the summer the Ottomans had achieved the submission of virtually all cities possessed by the Greeks. Ottoman incursions into the Morea resumed under Turahan Bey after 1423. Despite the reconstruction of the Hexamilion wall at the Isthmus of Corinth, the Ottomans under Murad II breached it in 1446, forcing the Despots of the Morea to re-acknowledge Ottoman suzerainty, and again under Turahan in 1452 and 1456. Following the occupation of the Duchy of Athens in 1456, the Ottomans occupied a third of the Peloponnese in 1458, and Sultan Mehmed II extinguished the remnants of the Despotate in 1460. A few holdouts remained for a time. The rocky peninsula of Monemvasia refused to surrender, and it was first ruled for a brief time by a Catalan corsair. When the population drove him out, they obtained the consent of Thomas to submit to the Pope's protection before the end of 1460. The Mani Peninsula at the south end of the Morea resisted under a loose coalition of the local clans, and that area then came under Venice's rule. The last holdout was Salmeniko, in the Morea's northwest. Graitzas Palaiologos was the military commander there, stationed at Salmeniko Castle. While the town eventually surrendered, Graitzas and his garrison and some town residents held out in the castle until July 1461, when they escaped and reached Venetian territory. Only the Republic of Venice, Venetian fortresses of Methoni, Messenia, Modon, Koroni, Coron, Pylos, Navarino, Monemvasia,
Argos Argos usually refers to: * Argos, Peloponnese Argos (; Greek language, Greek: Άργος ; Ancient Greek: Ἄργος ) is a city in Argolis, the Peloponnese (region), Peloponnese, Greece and is one of the List of oldest continuously inhabited ci ...
and Nauplion escaped Ottoman control.


= Albanian migration, settlement and relocations to Italy

= The same period was also marked by the migration and settlement of Eastern Orthodox Church, Christian Albanians to parts of Central Greece and the Peloponnese, a group that eventually become known as the Arvanites The Albanians settled in successive waves, often invited by the local rulers. They start appearing more frequently in the historical record from during the second part of the 14th century, when they were being offered arable land, pasture and favorable taxation in exchange for military service. One of the larger groups of Albanian settlers, amounting to 10.000, settled the Peloponnese during the reign of Theodore I Palaiologos, first in
Arcadia Arcadia may refer to: Places Australia * Arcadia, New South Wales, a suburb of Sydney * Arcadia, Queensland * Arcadia, Victoria Greece * Arcadia (region) Arcadia ( el, Ἀρκαδία) is a region in the central Peloponnese. It takes its name ...
and subsequently in other regions around
Messenia Messenia or Messinia ( ; el, Μεσσηνία ) is a regional units of Greece, regional unit (''perifereiaki enotita'') in the southwestern part of the Peloponnese (region), Peloponnese Administrative regions of Greece, region, in Greece. Unt ...

Messenia
,
Argolis Argolis or Argolida ( el, Αργολίδα , ; , in ancient Greek and Katharevousa) is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the modern regions of Greece, region of Peloponnese (region), Peloponnese, situated in the eastern part of ...
, Elis and Achaia. Around 1418, a second large group arrived, possibly fleeing Aetolia, Acarnania and Arta (regional unit), Arta, where Albanian political power had been defeated. The settling Albanians lived in tribes spread out into small villages, practicing nomadic lifestyles based on pastoralism and animal husbandry. By the mid-15th century, they formed a substantial part of the population of the Peloponnesus. Military sources of the era (1425) report about 30,000 Albanian men who could carry arms in the Peloponnese. The Greeks tended to live in large villages and cities, while Albanians in small villages. Following Ottoman conquest, many Albanians fled to Italy, settling primarily in nowadays Arbereshe people, Arbereshe villages of Calabria and Sicily. On the other hand, in an effort to control the remaining Albanians, during the second half of the 15th century, the Ottomans adopted favorable tax policies towards them were adopted, likely in continuation of similar Byzantine practices. This policy had been discontinued by the early 16th century. Throughout the Ottoman–Venetian wars, many Albanians died or were captured in service to the Venetians; at Nafpaktos, Nafplio,
Argos Argos usually refers to: * Argos, Peloponnese Argos (; Greek language, Greek: Άργος ; Ancient Greek: Ἄργος ) is a city in Argolis, the Peloponnese (region), Peloponnese, Greece and is one of the List of oldest continuously inhabited ci ...
, Methoni, Messenia, Methoni, Koroni and Pylos. Furthermore, 8,000 Albanian stratioti, most of them along with their families, left the Peloponnese to continue their military service under the Republic of Venice or the Kingdom of Naples. At the end of the Ottoman–Venetian wars, a large number of Albanians had fled from the Peloponnese to Sicily. In the second half of the 19th century, out of the approximately 730,000 (per the Greek census of 1879) inhabitants of the Peloponnese, and the three neighboring islands of Poros, Hydra and Spetses, Arvanites numbered 90,253 (or 12.3%) in total according to Alfred Philippson; while in a critical response to Philippson's study the same year, Christos Koryllos supported 50,352 (or 6.9%) for the Peloponnese and 20,685 for the three aforementioned islands, totalling 71,037 (or 9.7%).


Ottoman conquest, Venetian interlude and Ottoman reconquest

The Venetian fortresses were conquered in a series of Ottoman-Venetian Wars: the Ottoman-Venetian War (1463-1479), first war, lasting from 1463 to 1479, saw much fighting in the Peloponnese, resulting in the loss of
Argos Argos usually refers to: * Argos, Peloponnese Argos (; Greek language, Greek: Άργος ; Ancient Greek: Ἄργος ) is a city in Argolis, the Peloponnese (region), Peloponnese, Greece and is one of the List of oldest continuously inhabited ci ...
, while Methoni, Messenia, Modon and Koroni, Coron fell in 1500 during the Ottoman-Venetian War (1499-1503), second war. Koroni, Coron and
Patras Patras ( el, Πάτρα, Pátra ; Katharevousa and grc, Πάτραι; la, Patrae) is Greece's List of cities in Greece, third-largest city and the regional capital of Western Greece, in the northern Peloponnese, west of Athens. The city is b ...

Patras
were captured in a crusading expedition in 1532, led by the Genoese admiral Andrea Doria, but this provoked Ottoman-Venetian War (1537-1540), another war in which the last Venetian possessions on the Greek mainland were lost.Bées & Savvides (1993), p. 239 Following the Ottoman conquest, the peninsula was made into a province (''sanjak''), with 109 ''ziamets'' and 342 ''timars''. During the first period of Ottoman rule (1460–1687), the capital was first in Corinth (Turk. ''Gördes''), later in Leontari, Arcadia, Leontari (''Londari''), Mystras (''Misistire'') and finally in Nauplion (Tr. ''Anaboli''). Sometime in the mid-17th century, the Morea became the centre of a separate ''eyalet'', with
Patras Patras ( el, Πάτρα, Pátra ; Katharevousa and grc, Πάτραι; la, Patrae) is Greece's List of cities in Greece, third-largest city and the regional capital of Western Greece, in the northern Peloponnese, west of Athens. The city is b ...

Patras
(''Ballibadra'') as its capital.Bées & Savvides (1993), p. 238Birken (1976), pp. 57, 61–64 Until the death of Suleiman the Magnificent in 1570, the Christian population (counted at some 42,000 families c. 1550) managed to retain some privileges and Islamization was slow, mostly among the Albanians or the estate owners who were integrated into the Ottoman feudal system. Although they quickly came to control most of the fertile lands, Muslims remained a distinct minority. Christian communities retained a large measure of self-government, but the entire Ottoman period was marked by a flight of the Christian population from the plains to the mountains. This occasioned the rise of the ''klepht''s, armed brigands and rebels, in the mountains, as well as the corresponding institution of the government-funded ''armatoloi'' to check the ''klephts'' activities. With the outbreak of the "Great Turkish War" in 1683, the Venetians under Francesco Morosini Morean War, occupied the entire peninsula by 1687, and received recognition by the Ottomans in the Treaty of Karlowitz (1699). The Venetians established their province as the "Kingdom of the Morea" (It. ''Regno di Morea''), but their rule proved unpopular, and when the Ottomans Ottoman-Venetian War (1714-1718), invaded the peninsula in 1715, most local Greeks welcomed them. The Ottoman reconquest was easy and swift, and was recognized by Venice in the Treaty of Passarowitz in 1718.Bées & Savvides (1993), p. 240 The Peloponnese now became the core of the Morea Eyalet, headed by the ''Mora valesi'', who until 1780 was a pasha of the first rank (with three tugh, horsetails) and held the title of vizier. After 1780 and until the Greek War of Independence, the province was headed by a ''muhassil''. The pasha of the Morea was aided by several subordinate officials, including a Christian translator (''dragoman''), who was the senior Christian official of the province. As during the first Ottoman period, the Morea was divided into 22 districts or Anatolian beyliks, beyliks. The capital was first at Nauplion, but after 1786 at Tripoli, Greece, Tripolitza (Tr. ''Trabliçe''). The Greeks of the Peloponnese rose against the Ottomans with Russian aid during the so-called "Orlov Revolt" of 1770, but it was swiftly and brutally suppressed by bands of Muslim Albanian mercenaries hired by the Ottomans. Referred to by the local Greek populace as "Turk-Albanians", those forces had also destroyed many cities and towns in Epirus during the 1769–70 revolt there. The Peloponnese suffered more than any other Greek inhabited area by irregular Albanian gangs during the decades following. In
Patras Patras ( el, Πάτρα, Pátra ; Katharevousa and grc, Πάτραι; la, Patrae) is Greece's List of cities in Greece, third-largest city and the regional capital of Western Greece, in the northern Peloponnese, west of Athens. The city is b ...

Patras
nearly no one was left alive after the Turkish-Albanian invasion. The city of Mystras was left in ruins and the metropolitan bishop Ananias was executed despite having saved the life of several Turks during the uprising. A great number of local Greeks were killed by the Albanian groups, while children were sold to slavery. The Ottoman government was unable to pay the wages the Albanian mercenaries demanded for their service, causing the latter to ravage the region even after revolt had been put down. In 1774 the Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774), Russo-Turkish War ended with the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca which granted general amnesty to the population. Nevertheless, attacks by Muslim Albanian mercenaries in the region continued not only against the Greek population but also against Turks. The extensive destruction and lack of control in the Peloponnese forced the central Ottoman government to send a regular Turkish military force to suppress those Albanian troops in 1779, and eventually drive them out from Peloponnese. As a result of the invasion by those mercenary groups the local population had to found refugee in the mountains of Peloponnese to avoid persecution. The total population decreased during this time, while the Muslim element in it increased. As such Greek resistance in the peninsula was reinforced and powerful groups of klephts were formed under the clans of Zacharias, Melios, Petmezas and Kolokotronis. Klephtic songs of that era describe the resistance activities. Nevertheless, through the privileges granted with the Treaty of Kuchuk-Kainarji, especially the right for the Christians to trade under the Russian flag, led to a considerable economic flowering of the local Greeks, which, coupled with the increased cultural contacts with Western Europe (Modern Greek Enlightenment) and the inspiring ideals of the French Revolution, laid the groundwork for the Greek War of Independence.


Modern Greece

The Peloponnesians played a major role in the Greek War of Independence – the war began in the Peloponnese, when rebels took control of
Kalamata Kalamáta ( el, Καλαμάτα ) is the second most populous city of the Peloponnese peninsula, after Patras, in southern Greece and the largest city of the Peloponnese (region), homonymous administrative region. As the capital and chief port o ...

Kalamata
on March 23, 1821. The Greek insurgents made rapid progress and the entire peninsula was under Greek control within a few months, except for a few coastal forts and the main Turkish garrison at Tripoli, Greece, Tripolitsa. The fighting was fierce and marked by atrocities on both sides; eventually the entire Muslim population was either massacred or fled to the forts. The Siege of Tripolitsa, capture of Tripolitsa in September 1821 marked a turning point. Rivalries among the insurgents eventually erupted into civil war in 1824, which enabled the Ottoman Egyptian vassal Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt, Ibrahim Pasha to land in the peninsula in 1825. The Peloponnese peninsula was the scene of fierce fighting and extensive devastation following the arrival of Ibrahim's Egyptian troops. Partly as a result of the atrocities committed by Ibrahim, the UK, France, and the Russian Empire decided to intervene in favor of the Greeks. The decisive naval Battle of Navarino was fought in 1827 off Pylos on the west coast of the Peloponnese, where a combined British, French and Russian fleet decisively defeated the Turko-Egyptian fleet. Subsequently, a Morea expedition, French expeditionary corps cleared the last Turko-Egyptian forces from the peninsula in 1828. The city of Nafplion, on the east coast of the peninsula, became the first capital of the First Hellenic Republic, independent Greek state. By the conclusion of the war, the entire Muslim population of the newly independent Greek state, including the Peloponnese, had been exterminated or had fled.William St Clair, That Greece Might Still Be Free, Open Book Publishers, 2008, p.104-10
ebook
/ref> During the 19th and early 20th century, the region became relatively poor and economically isolated. A significant part of its population emigrated to the larger cities of Greece, especially Athens, and other countries such as the United States and Australia. It was badly affected by the Second World War and Greek Civil War, experiencing some of the worst atrocities committed in Greece during those conflicts. Living standards improved dramatically throughout Greece after the country accedes to the European Union in 1981. The
Corinth Canal The Corinth Canal ( el, Διώρυγα της Κορίνθου, translit=Dhioryga tis Korinthou) connects the Gulf of Corinth in the Ionian Sea with the Saronic Gulf The Saronic Gulf (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or rela ...

Corinth Canal
was completed in the late 19th century, linking the Aegean Sea with the Gulf of Corinth and the Ionian. In 2001, the Rio-Antirio Bridge was completed, linking the western Peloponnese to western Greece. In late August 2007, large parts of Peloponnese 2007 Greek forest fires, suffered from wildfires, which caused severe damage in villages and forests and the death of 77 people. The impact of the fires to the environment and economy of the region are still unknown. It is thought to be one of the largest environmental disasters in modern Greek history.


Regional units

*
Arcadia Arcadia may refer to: Places Australia * Arcadia, New South Wales, a suburb of Sydney * Arcadia, Queensland * Arcadia, Victoria Greece * Arcadia (region) Arcadia ( el, Ἀρκαδία) is a region in the central Peloponnese. It takes its name ...
– 100,611 inhabitants *
Argolis Argolis or Argolida ( el, Αργολίδα , ; , in ancient Greek and Katharevousa) is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the modern regions of Greece, region of Peloponnese (region), Peloponnese, situated in the eastern part of ...
– 108, 636 inhabitants *
Corinthia Corinthia ( el, Κορινθία ''Korinthía'') is one of the regional units of Greece The 74 regional units ( el, περιφερειακές ενότητες, ; sing. , ) are administrative units Administrative division, administrative unit ...
– 144,527 inhabitants (except municipalities of Agioi Theodoroi and most of Loutraki-Perachora, which lie east of the
Corinth Canal The Corinth Canal ( el, Διώρυγα της Κορίνθου, translit=Dhioryga tis Korinthou) connects the Gulf of Corinth in the Ionian Sea with the Saronic Gulf The Saronic Gulf (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or rela ...

Corinth Canal
) *
Laconia Laconia or Lakonia ( el, Λακωνία, , ) is a historical and administrative region of Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10. ...
– 100,871 inhabitants *
Messenia Messenia or Messinia ( ; el, Μεσσηνία ) is a regional units of Greece, regional unit (''perifereiaki enotita'') in the southwestern part of the Peloponnese (region), Peloponnese Administrative regions of Greece, region, in Greece. Unt ...

Messenia
– 180,264 inhabitants *
Achaea Achaea () or Achaia (), sometimes transliterated from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its ...
– 331,316 inhabitants *
Elis Elis or Ilia ( el, Ηλεία, ''Ileia'') is a historic region in the western part of the Peloponnese The Peloponnese (), Peloponnesia, or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Pelopónnēsos, ) is a peninsula and geographic regions ...
– 198,763 inhabitants * Islands (regional unit), Islands (only the municipality Troizinia and part of Poros)


Cities

The principal modern cities of the Peloponnese are (2011 census): *
Patras Patras ( el, Πάτρα, Pátra ; Katharevousa and grc, Πάτραι; la, Patrae) is Greece's List of cities in Greece, third-largest city and the regional capital of Western Greece, in the northern Peloponnese, west of Athens. The city is b ...

Patras
– 170,896 inhabitants *
Kalamata Kalamáta ( el, Καλαμάτα ) is the second most populous city of the Peloponnese peninsula, after Patras, in southern Greece and the largest city of the Peloponnese (region), homonymous administrative region. As the capital and chief port o ...

Kalamata
– 62,409 inhabitants *
Corinth Corinth ( ; el, Κόρινθος, Kórinthos, ) is the successor to an ancient city, and is a former municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of sel ...

Corinth
– 38,132 inhabitants * Tripoli, Greece, Tripoli – 30,912 inhabitants * Aigio – 26,523 inhabitants * Pyrgos, Elis, Pyrgos – 25,180 inhabitants *
Argos Argos usually refers to: * Argos, Peloponnese Argos (; Greek language, Greek: Άργος ; Ancient Greek: Ἄργος ) is a city in Argolis, the Peloponnese (region), Peloponnese, Greece and is one of the List of oldest continuously inhabited ci ...
– 24,700 inhabitants * Sparta (modern), Sparta – 19,854 inhabitants * Nafplio – 18,910 inhabitants


Archaeological sites

The Peloponnese possesses many important archaeological sites dating from the Bronze Age through to the Middle Ages. Among the most notable are: * Bassae (ancient town and the temple of Epikourios Apollo and Greece's first UNESCO World Heritage Site) *
Corinth Corinth ( ; el, Κόρινθος, Kórinthos, ) is the successor to an ancient city, and is a former municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of sel ...

Corinth
(ancient city) * Epidaurus (ancient religious and healing centre and UNESCO World Heritage Site) * Koroni (medieval seaside fortress and city walls) *
Kalamata Kalamáta ( el, Καλαμάτα ) is the second most populous city of the Peloponnese peninsula, after Patras, in southern Greece and the largest city of the Peloponnese (region), homonymous administrative region. As the capital and chief port o ...

Kalamata
Acropolis (medieval acropolis and fortress located within the modern city) * Messene (ancient city) * Methoni, Messenia, Methoni (medieval seaside fortress and city walls) * Mystras (medieval Byzantine fortress-town near
Sparta Sparta (Doric Greek Doric, or Dorian ( grc, Δωρισμός, Dōrismós) was an Ancient Greek dialect. Its variants were spoken in the southern and eastern Peloponnese as well as in Sicily, Epirus, Southern Italy, Crete, Rhodes, some ...

Sparta
and UNESCO World Heritage Site) * Monemvasia (medieval Byzantine fortress-town) *
Mycenae Mycenae ( ; grc, Μυκῆναι or , ''Mykē̂nai'' or ''Mykḗnē'') is an archaeological site near Mykines, Greece, Mykines in Argolis, north-eastern Peloponnese, Greece. It is located about south-west of Athens; north of Argos, Peloponnes ...

Mycenae
(fortress-town of the Mycenaean Greece, eponymous civilization and UNESCO World Heritage Site) * Olympia (site of the Ancient Olympic Games and UNESCO World Heritage Site) *
Sparta Sparta (Doric Greek Doric, or Dorian ( grc, Δωρισμός, Dōrismós) was an Ancient Greek dialect. Its variants were spoken in the southern and eastern Peloponnese as well as in Sicily, Epirus, Southern Italy, Crete, Rhodes, some ...

Sparta
* Pylos (the Palace of Nestor and a well-preserved medieval/early modern fortress) * Pavlopetri (the oldest underwater city in the world, located in Vatika Bay, dating from the early Bronze Age 3,500 BCE) * Tegea (ancient religious centre) * Tiryns (ancient fortified settlement and UNESCO World Heritage Site) * Diros caves (4000 – 3000 BC)


Cuisine

Specialities of the region: * ''Goges/Goglies'' (type of pasta) * ''Giosa'', lamb or goat meat * ''Hilopites'' * ''Kalamata (olive)'' * ''Kolokythopita'' (pumpkin pie) * ''Piperopita'' * ''Syglino'' (pork meat) (Mani Peninsula) * ''Regali'', lamb soup (Mani) * ''Diples'' (dessert) * ''Galatopita'' (dessert) * Tentura drink * Gournopoula (or Bouziopoula), pork Several notable Peloponnese Greek wine, wines have Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status. The Mantineia region makes a white wine made from Moschofilero, the Nemea wine region makes renowned red wines from the Agiorgitiko grape, and fortified red wine is made in the region around the city of Patras from Mavrodafni grapes.


See also

* Geography of Greece * List of Greek place names#Π, List of Greek place names


References


Further reading

* * * * * Miller, W. (1964). The Latins in the Levant: A history of Frankish Greece (1204-1566). Cambridge: Speculum Historiale. * * *


External links


Britannica.com

Official Regional Government Website


* {{Coord, 37, 20, 59, N, 22, 21, 08, E, region:GR_type:isle, display=title Peloponnese, NUTS 2 statistical regions of the European Union Peninsulas of Greece Territories of the Republic of Venice