KALAMATA, chief town of the modern Greek nomarchy of Messenia in the Morea, is situated on the left bank of the Nedon, about a mile from the sea. There is a suburb on the right bank of the stream. On a hill behind the town are the ruins of a mediieval castle ; but no ancient Greek remains have been discovered, although modern travellers have identified the site with that of the classical Pharm or Pheraa. It is the seat of a court of justice and of an archbishop. Kalamata is situated in a very fruitful district, of which it is the emporium. The roadsteads are safe in summer only ; in the winter months the fishing craft take shelter in the haven of Armyro. The value of the chief exports in 1879 and 1880 was as follows: - currants, £111,750 and £109,200; figs, £112,730 and £87,186; olive oil, £21,340 and £12,789; silk, £34,230 and £31,215. The population in 1870 was 6327.
Pherm, or Phere was founded, according to Pautanias, by Pharis, son of Hermes ; and the antiquity of its origin is still further assured by its mention in the Iliad (v. 543, ix. 151), and the Odyssey (iii. 490, xvii. 186). When Messene was captured (182 B. C. ) by the Achnans, Pharm became a distinct member of the Achman league. During the Middle Ages it was for a time a fief of the Villehardouins. In 1685 Kalamata was captured by the Venetians ; in 1770, and again in 1821, it was the revolutionary headquarters in the Morea. In 1825 it was sacked by Ibrahim Pasha.