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The city was founded in the winter of 370 BC-369 BC by the Theban general Epaminondas, after his victory over the Spartans in the battle of Leuctra and the invasion of Laconia. Epaminondas liberated Messina from the Spartan influence and chose the foot of Mount Ithomi to build the capital of the free Messinians. The town was named after the mythical Queen Messina, daughter of the king of Argos Triopian. The city remained the cultural centre of Messinia until 395, and after the invasion of the Goths the city was abandoned. The city centre was located below the place where village Mavrommati is placed today, which has been renowned as Ancient Messina. Mavrommati Ithomi had formerly a rural folk bank, an agricultural credit centre, an agricultural cooperative supplier and a boarding (1924 - 1938) and elementary school (1853). Today the Ancient Messina has 180 inhabitants.


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