Peloponnese History

Information about the History of Peloponnese, in Greece but also information about the history of many locations of the region: History in Ancient Times, Byzantine and Ottoman Times, Independence

History in Ancient Times

Peloponnese history: the island of Pelops (the hero who is said to have conquered the area, according to the ancient Greek mythology), has been inhabited since the paleolithic years. The descendants of Pelops reigned in Mycenae and Sparta, and along with Tiryntha and Pylos, they were centers of Mycenaean civilization during the period 1600 BC and 1100 BC.

Gradually many cities developed in the area of Peloponnese, Sparta being the most important, then Argos, Corinth, and Ancient Messini. The constant war conflicts between the cities and the internal issues have been the main reason for the beginning of the colonization in a large part of the Mediterranean with a high interest in south Italy and Sicily.

The inhabitants chose the armistice during the athletic events that were displayed for the first time in Peloponnese. The Olympic Games, Nemea, and Isthmia were the most important athletic events in ancient times which marked the history of Greek civilization and the athletic spirit. In the Persian Wars (5th century BC), Peloponnese had an active role in the confrontation of the enemy with the strong army of Sparta, which was the strongest army in ancient times. Their military discipline offered them a glorious victory against the Athenians.

Peloponnese played a major role in the existence of Christianity. Corinth and Patra are the most important cities at that time, where Apostle Andrew was martyred. The area will suffer many invasions and raids, especially between 3rd and 6th century AC. One of the most important battles in Greece was given in Patra at the end of the 6th century, contributing to the destruction of the huge threat for the Roman State and the Greeks.

Byzantine and Ottoman Times

After the fall of the Byzantine state, in 1204 from the Crusades, Peloponnese founded the Principality of Achaia which will gradually be replaced from 1261 by the Despotate of the Morea with Mystras as the headquarters. During the Frankish rule, the authority is at the hands of the local eminent of the Paleo-Byzantine origin. The Despotate broke down in 1460 by the Ottomans. After the long-drawn-out presence of the Venetians in the area (1687-1715), Peloponnese passed again in the hands of the Turks.


Finally, in 1821, Peloponnese became the cradle of the Greek Revolution. The most important battles for liberation took place there and even after the liberation, the Greek state used the area, the Cyclades and a part of Sterea. The first capital of the new Greek state was Nafplion town.

In the whole course of Greek history, Peloponnese is the protagonist so much in the Hellenistic period, the Roman times, with the arrival of Apostle Pavlos in Corinth as in the Byzantine years highlighting the period of domination the Despotate of Mystras. The history counts on significant wars and conquests being the protagonist in several periods of Greek history.

Discover the History of each region

Information about the history of the regions of Peloponnese: