Talk:First Messenian War

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Causes[edit]

The causes don't fly. The editor has the Messenians "laying the groundwork" for a war a whole lifetime of young soldiers later. But, these Lestrades of ancient history don't start the war, instead the "overpopulated" Spartans do.Dave (talk) 13:18, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

The overpopulation[edit]

I was able to look at p 95 in Dunston. He does not say the Spartans expanded from overpopulation. He says the other states of Greece handled their population problems by colonizing but Sparta did not colonize it conquered. I suppose the implication is there that Sparta was over-populous but it seems to me this half-page by Dunstan does not make the point. Sparta was notoriously underpopulated. Underpopulation was the cause of its ultimate demise. So, the point needs theory and some figures, not an implied speculation by Dunstan. He does mention the wealth. Excavation of the temple of Artemis turned up some finer stuff and imports. He feels this is indicative of wealth resulting from conquest. I don't see it. He does not give a date for this wealth only says that it ceased by 600. Well, that is whole century and a quarter after the First War. One might expect a shrine to have foreign wealth. That does not mean Sparta was wealthy. Again, too much ground in too few pages. And finally, Dunstan has a somewhat wider view of the war: 735-715. Really? What, he does not like Pausanias' well-established dates but wants to go off on his own? He offers no arguments, notes no footnotes, cites no events, defines no definitions. I think we can safely ignore him. Since the editor has chosen this source I will present his wealth theory but only as his. For the implied population theory, forget it. This war is about hate and conquest of the Peloponnese by traditional warriors. I'm following Pausanias here. I do plan to do more lookups so maybe something substantial will turn up, something better than a half-page of speculations by a historian of the whole ancient world all by himself in three volumes. I don't think he is up to Grote but that is neither here not there.Dave (talk) 13:26, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

Dorian Invasion[edit]

The introductory paragraph mentions the Dorian Invasion as if it were an established fact, which it is not. Portraying the Messenian War as merely the last chapter in a long process may be temptingly tidy, but there are considerable authorities who are skeptical. The statement should be qualified--if only for the sake of imprudent undergraduates. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 153.18.100.118 (talk) 18:31, 26 October 2011 (UTC)