to Kalamat-. urkivui. 40. Route. 383
the agora is the ancient Bathyllos, near whose source stood the
temples of Hera Teleia and Athena Polias. — As we return we may
follow the path diverging to the right (W.) about 5 min. to the S.
of the bridge, to visit some Roman mosaic pavements exhumed in
1901. On one of them is the figure of Megale Polis, the goddess
of the town.
From Megalopolis to Sparta, see R. 39; to Karytaena and Andritsaena,
R. 42; to Phigalia, R. 43.
Beyond Bilali the railway crosses the Xerillas (p. 380), near the
(28 M.) station of Dede-Bey. Not far from the hamlet of Panagiti is
a mass of ruins, perhaps those of the ancient Kromoi or Kromnos,
from which the surrounding mountain - district took the name of
Kromitis. — 30'/2 M. Kourtaga.
From this village the high-road leads over the wooded hills to the S.
of the Makriplagi Pass (see below) to (1 hr.) the Khans of Makriplagi
(155S ft.) and thence to the Khans of Sakona, situated at the foot of the
mountains. About lJ/2 hr. from the latter is the Palaeokastro of Kokla,
where there are both ancient and mediaeval ruins. The former probably
belong to the town of Ampheia, captured by the Spartans in the first
Messenian War; the latter probably represent Gardiki, where the in¬
habitants of Leondari in vain sought a refuge from the Turks in 1460. —
From Sakona a route leads via, the villages of Philid and Trypha to the
railway-station of Desylla (see below).
The railway now crosses the Makriplagi Pass (1970 ft.), the
main channel of communication between Arcadia and Messenia, and
then descends towards the N. in a wide curve round the valley of
one of the head-streams of the Pamisos (p. 408).
Beyond (34 M.) Chrdni we enjoy a magnificent view of the
Messenian plain (see below) as far as the sea, with the mountains
of Ithome and Eira (pp. 409, 398) rising on its W. verge. The line
descends in wide curves, and in the gorge below us we see its con¬
tinuation. Two tunnels. — 3672 M. Issari, a village with 1930 in¬
habitants. — Beyond two more tunnels the railway enters the
'upper' Messenian plain (7 M. long, 31/2 M. wide), which, hardly
inferior in fertility to the vaunted 'loweT' plain itself (p. 384), was
named after the town of Stenyklaros (p. 408), the site of which was
unknown even to the ancients. This fertile and well-watered ex¬
panse, sheltered from the N. and E. winds by screens of lofty hills,
is covered with luxuriant groves of orange-trees, fig-trees, olives,
and mulberries, interspersed with a few date-palms. The vineyards
and corn-fields are surrounded with impenetrable hedges of cactus,
and in the villages the aloe attains the dimensions of a tree.
Before reaching (43^2 M.) Desylla we observe a little above the
line, on a mountain-spur to the right, some ancient Greek ruins,
now known as Helleniko or Kastro.
Cnrtius has identified these as the remains of Andania, the ancient
residence of the Lelegsean kings (p. 408) and the birthplace of Aristo-
menes (p. 408), though other authorities locate this town in the plain farther
to the S.W. The outer and inner faces of the walls are carefully built of
polygonal blocks, the space between being filled with small stones and