|Population statistics (as of 2001)|
|- Area:||301.8 km2 (117 sq mi)|
|- Density:||9 /km2 (23 /sq mi)|
|Time zone:||EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)|
|Elevation (center):||580 m (1,903 ft)|
|Postal code:||230 64|
Oinountas (Greek: Οινούντας) is a former municipality in Laconia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Sparti, of which it is a municipal unit.
The name originates from the Oinountas, a small river that traverses the municipality, oinos being the ancient Greek word for wine. It covers the area between the northeastern part of the Evrotas valley up to the ridge of Parnon Mountain.
It was first established in 1835, the seat of administration being Vamvakou, then Vresthena in 1840. It was abolished in 1912. It was then re-founded by law 2539/1997 (Kapodistria Plan) in 1998, including a slightly different set of settlements and villages and a different seat of administration, the village of Sellasia (named Vroulia before 1929).
Sellasia is on the Greek National Road 39 between Sparta and Tripoli. It is located 10 km N of Sparta, about 60 to 70 km E of Kalamata, about 100 km S of Tripoli, 38 km N of Gytheio and about 50 km N of Areopoli.
The municipal unit Oinountas is subdivided into the following communities (constituent villages in brackets):
- Koniditsa (Koniditsa, Kopelia, Kouremenos)
- Theologos (Agios Ioannis Theologos, Kalyvia Theologou)
- Vamvakou (Vamvakou, Megali Vrysi)
- Vasaras (Vasaras, Veria)
The hills with farmlands dominate the areas while the Evrotas River is to the east. Olive groves and pastures along with some fruits and vegetables are common in the area. The Oenus river is situated near Sellasia It is also has a tributary with the Gorgylus. The Taygetus mountains where most of its forests are located lie to the west. Agios Konstantinos and Palaiologos and ancient walls remained preserved.
In ancient times, Sellasia controlled the entrance to Laconia from the north.
Underneath the city on a surface between the Macedonian king, Antigonus III Doson and the Achaean League on the other and Sparta under Cleomenes III in which he choose to fight between the narrow hills near Sellasia. In 222 BC, Antigonus crushed Cleomenes at Sellasia and took Corinth as a reward. Afterwards, Sellasia was destroyed and the population was sold as slaves. In the 2nd century, Pausanias mentioned the city.
In 146 B.C. Sellasia became part of the Roman Empire. When the empire divided into east and west, it became part of the Eastern Roman Empire now referred to as the Byzantine Empire. Sellasia exchanged hands with the Frankish Empire after the 4th crusade in 1204. It passed back into the Byzantine empire after 1260. It was part of the Ottomans after 1460 until it joined an independent Greece after the Greek War of Independence (1821 to 1827). The next conflict that Sellasia encountered was World War II quickly followed by the Greek Civil War. Sellasia's population declined and saw its residents moving to larger towns and cities as well as the developed countries outside of Greece.
The area around Sellasia saw an enormous forest fire that ravaged on August 15, 1988 destroying all of its olive, citrus and other crops around the area. Around tens of square kilometres of land were burnt, about 25 homes were destroyed and 2 people died. Houses were later repaired, and in 1998, olive trees were replanted but remain at half its previous level. The village decided to add a festival dedicated to olives which attracts up to 15,000 people. It features delicacies that includes olives including olive oil, olives and Greek traditional music. ERT broadcast several documentaries about Sellasia including its history, its geography, the forest fire, and its festival.
Sellasia has a school which is located in the south and the central part, a church, a small post office and a square (plateia). It is also the birthplace of Panathinaikos' BC owners Pavlos and Thanasis Giannakopoulos and the place of origin of the tennis player Pete Sampras.
- De Facto Population of Greece Population and Housing Census of March 18th, 2001 (PDF 793 KB). National Statistical Service of Greece. 2003.
- Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)