The legends of Aristomenes, hero of the Messenian resistance to Sparta, were designed to excite, gratify and amuse. Yet they remain almost unkwn even to specialist ancient historians. This book, the first mograph to be devoted to Aristomenes, redirects attention to his adventures, which at times resemble those of King Arthur, Robin Hood and even Sinbad the Sailor. Famously, Sparta tried to suppress the identity and self-confidence of its Messenian helots. Yet here are stories which give access to the imagination of this long-muted by ultimately liberated people.