An attempt to throw off the yoke resulted in a second war, conducted by the Messenian hero Aristomenes; but Spartan tenacity broke down the resistance of the insurgents, and Messenia was made Spartan territory, just as Laconia had been, its inhabitants being reduced to the status of helots, save those who, as perioeci, inhabited the towns on the sea-coast and a few settlements inland.
Spartiates were absolutely debarred by law from trade or manufacture, which consequently rested in the hands of the perioeci (q.v.), and were forbidden to possess either gold or silver, the currency consisting of bars of iron: but there can be no doubt that this prohibition was evaded in various ways.
His social reforms included a redistribution of land, the remission of debts, the restoration of the old system of training (6,ycoy17) and the admission of picked perioeci into the citizen body.
PERIOECI (rEpioucoc, those who dwell around, in the neighbourhood), in ancient Laconia the class intermediate between the Spartan citizens and the serfs or helots.
The term, however, came to denote not a nationality but a political status, and though the main body of the perioeci may have been Achaean in origin, yet they afterwards included Arcadians on the northern frontier of Laconia, Dorians, especially in Cythera and in Messenia, and Ionians in Cynuria.