Four years later he captured Caryae, ravaged the territory of the Parrhasii and defeated the Arcadians, Argives and Messenians in the "tearless battle," so called because the victory did not cost the Spartans a single life.
Tradition relates that, after some six years' fighting, the Messenians were forced to retire to the fortified summit of Ithome.
He was victorious in the pitched battle fought at the foot of Ithome in the fifth year of his reign, a battle in which the Messenians, reinforced by the entire Arcadian levy and picked contingents from Argos and Sicyon, defeated the combined Spartan and Corinthian forces.
Of other works only fragments and the titles have survived: Messeniakos, advocating the freedom of the Messenians and containing the sentiment that "all are by nature free"; a Eulogy of Death, in consideration of the wide extent of human sufferings; a Techne or instruction-book in the art of rhetoric; and a Fusikos lolos..
The town was built by the combined Theban and Argive armies and the exiled Messenians who had been invited to return and found a state which should be independent of Spartan rule.