history of Asopos and Molaoi
History of Asopos:
According to one theory, the name Asopos derives from the name of a hero who came to the area with the Heraclides; another links it to the river that runs through the plain. The latter is the most likely, since the name Asopos is given to other rivers in Greece, such as those in Corinth, Attica, Boeotia.
The town was prosperous during the Roman period, when along with 18 other coastal towns in Laconia it belonged to the League of Free Laconians.
Near the village of Finiki are the ruins of the temple of Apollo Hyperteleatum, considered the most important temple in the Free Laconian League.
The town enjoyed considerable autonomy (for example it was self-governing and issued its own coins), although not fully independent.
Asopos also played a large role during the Byzantine period, but this ended when Laconia was overrun by the Turks in 1461 AD.
During the Venetian-Turkish war in 1669, a large number of Cretans settled there, as evident by the many Cretan surnames ending in “-akis” among the population. The latter called the village Conte-Vianika, referring to the Cretan place name of Vianos. Around 1821 many inhabitants moved out of Asopos to found the neighbouring village of Papadianika, named after the large Papadakis family.
The site of the village of Daimonia has been identified as the place where ancient Kotyrta once stood; According to one theory it was the town of Aphrodisias, whose inhabitants helped found the ancient town of Boeae.