Did you know? (Various random facts about Mani and Maniots)

DID YOU KNOW?

* The Pyrrixios dance (war dance), originated from the town of Pyrrixos in Mani.

Over view: Pyrrhichios was named after Pyrra/Pyrros (alternative name of Neoptolemos), son of Achilles who was born in the town of Pyrrixos, Mani. Pyrrhichios was the first to dance the Pyrrichios dance and danced it after defeating Eurypylos, son of Telephos in battle, who fought on the side of the Trojans during the end of the Trojan War.

The ancestors of the Maniots, the Ancient Spartans, considered it a kind of light war training and so they taught the dance to their kids while still young.


*Modern Sparta is 20kms away from Ancient Sparta

Over view: The Ancient city of Sparta was sacked and eventually raised to the ground by the massive Slavic incursions into Greece. It was then rebuilt 20kms away from its original site. Modern Sparta and Ancient Sparta are two different site.

*Inhabitants of Modern Sparta and the Maniots

Over view: After the sacking and rasing to the ground of Ancient Sparta, large numbers of the original inhabitants of Ancient Sparta, the Ancient Spartans, did not move to the new site of Sparta (Modern Sparta), instead they moved further south, to live with the rest of the Spartans in Mani who had already been there since the Dorians first came into southern Greece. The true descendants of the Ancient Spartans, are not the people of Modern Sparta or even of Laconia as a whole region. The true descendants of the Ancient Spartans are the Maniots. The Maniots descend directly from the Ancient Spartans with an uninterupted blood line, where as the inhabitants of Modern Sparta and Laconia are not of the Ancient Spartan stock (exept a few), they are descendants of the Greek refugees who came from the Greek islands and other parts of Greece to repopulate "Modern Sparta".


*Maniot Surnames

Over view: Like other parts of Greece, Mani has its own "regional suffixes" added to the surnames of its inhabitants. Even though some theories say that some Maniot surnames ended in "akis", "akios" or "oulos", this is incorrect and there a number of other theories to disprove this. The Maniot surnames uniformly end in "-eas" in what is now the Messinian part of Mani, "-akos" in what is now the Laconian part of Mani and the occasional "-oggonas". The Maniot "-akos" is not to be confused with the Cretan "-akis", which was introduced into Mani by the first Cretan refugees who fled Crete once the Ottomans eventually fully occupied Crete in 1669 (although the towns of Sfakia and Zoniana, were autonomous under the Ottoman Empire). The Maniot "akos" denotes strength, power and masculinity as opposed to akis" which denotes weakness, being small, and being effeminate in nature. There are surnames that are found in Mani now days but they have no origins in Mani, they originate from other regions of Greece.

Examples:

Kondilis, but originates from the Greek islands

Karas/Karras, but originates from Smyrni (modern Izmir)

Letsis, but originates from the Greek islands

Skilkos, but originates from Macedonia in Northen Greece


*ONE REGION

Over view: Before the imposed reign of King Otto over Greece (Imposed by the Great powers at the time), Mani was one region and a "Messenian" and "Laconian" sides of Mani did not exist, Mani was one seperate region.
 Due to Otto being of a young age, his military council had convinced Otto to order the Maniots to destroy their Towers (in which they lived in) but the maniot refused. Knowing full well that to force the Maniots by force would be impossible, so in 1837, the provisional government of Nafplio had changed the regional and municiple areas of southern Greec and thus splitting Mani into between Messenia and Laconia. Today, slowly slowly, Mani is starting to regain it's name of Mani instead of Messenian or Laconian. 

* Theordoros Kolokotronis had Maniot blood

Over view: Theodoros Kolokotronis had family origins from Arcadia, Crete and other parts of Greece as well as Mani. There is a plaque in Greece showing his family geneology (in part), his Maniot heratige dates back to the 15th century  from Tsirginis Tryantafilakos (Ancestor year 1540).

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