History of the Malea peninsula

Archaeological evidence confirms human habitation of the Malea peninsula in Paleolithic as well as Neolithic (5th-4th millennia BC) times, at outdoor locations and in caves. 

During the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC), evidence points to an increase in population and the number of settlements.

Excavations at burial grounds of the Late Bronze Age (Mycenaean Era, second half of the 2nd millennium BC) confirm the existence of flourishing settlements.

In the 8th and 7th centuries BC, both the peninsula and Kythera were under the rule of Argos.

In the mid-6th century BC, all of the Malea peninsula, together with the island of Kythera, were under the control of Sparta, under a characteristic system which allowed Spartan subjects to be free non-citizens.

In classical times (5th century BC), the Malea peninsula followed in Sparta’s footsteps both politically and culturally. Still, ancient sources lead us to the conclusion that the significance the area had for the Spartan state was considerable.

In the 4th and 3rd centuries BC, the settlements of the peninsula’s eastern coast found themselves yet again the focus of the land disputes between Sparta and Argos.

In 195 BC, following the defeat of Spartan tyrant Nabis by Roman Proconsul Titus Flamininus, Sparta lost its coastal cities and the League of the Lacedaemonians was founded.

In 22 BC, the League underwent changes and, in August of that year, regrouped into the League of the Free Laconians.

In the centuries that followed the Malea peninsula was under Roman rule.