The Battle of the Great Foss occurred in 682 BC during the Second Messenian War (685 BC - 668 BC). The word 'foss' indicates a trench. According to ancient historian Pausanias the outcome of the battle was determined by trickery. The Spartans bribed Aristocrates, the king of the Arcadians, to withdraw his men just as the battle was beginning. This resulted in the slaughter of the Messenians.