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25/10/2007

Roman period in Laconia:

Prefectural Administration of Lakonia

After the fall of Corinth [146 BC] and the subjugation of Greece to the Romans, Sparta and the Peloponnesian League did not lose their freedom and were able to keep many of their privileges as allies of Rome. In 22 BC, the Peloponnesian League was renamed the League of Free Laconians. From then until the middle of the 3rd century AD, Sparta and the cities that belonged to the League of Free Laconians enjoyed a period of great prosperity (e.g. at Gytheion there survive the remains of buildings with mosaic floors, aqueducts, baths and a theatre from the Roman era, and at Sparta and other cities archaeological finds testify to this period of prosperity). We have few historical sources for the period of late antiquity. We know that the Roman emperor Caracalla created two military companies of Laconians. After the division of the Roman Empire, Laconia and the rest of the Peloponnese passed into the jurisdiction of Constantinople. Barbarian raids and pillaging began in the 3rd century AD in Laconia, and those of the Goths of Alaric in the 4th. Along with the horrific earthquake of AD 375, these led to the complete destruction of Sparta and the Hekatompolis of Laconia. A Christian city was built on the ruins of ancient Sparta in the 5th century AD, with the name Lacedaemona or Lacedaemonia, which was the seat of a bishopric and was referred to as the Metropolis of Lakoniki at the conference of Hierocles.

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