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see SpartaSparta
, city of ancient Greece, capital of Laconia, on the Eurotas (Evrótas) River in the Peloponnesus. Spartan Society

Sparta's government was headed by two hereditary kings furnished by two families; they were titular leaders in battle and in religion.
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, Greece.



the farm population of ancient Sparta, conquered by the Dorians.

Like the Thessalian penestai and the Cretan klarotai, the Helots were considered to be the property of the state, and they were bound to the cleruchial land sections owned by individual Spartans, who were members of the Spartan community. The Helots differed from slaves in that they owned the means of production needed to work the land and had their own farms. The owners of the land sections could neither sell nor kill Helots. The payment in kind (apophora) established by the state, which the Helots paid to their masters, amounted to approximately half of the crop; the remaining portion belonged to the Helots. The Helots greatly outnumbered their Spartan conquerors. They were not included in the Spartan community and did not enjoy any rights whatsoever. Unbridled exploitation and constant terror by the Spartans caused uprisings among the Helots, the most important of which was the so-called Second Messenian War (during the seventh century B.C.). In order to prevent Helot uprisings, the Spartans introduced the system of Kryptiai, who led periodic punitive expeditions against the Helots.


Lotze, D. “MetaxÝ eleuthérōvkái dúlōn.” Studien für Rechlsslellung unfreier Landbevölkerungen bis zum 4 Jh. v. Chr. Berlin, 1949.


References in periodicals archive ?
Bert helot showed his skill just before half time, turning a David Hannah free-kick round the post.
The erstwhile enemies duly formed a fifty-year alliance pledging to wage war and make peace together and committing Athens to help Sparta put down Helot rebellions if they occurred.
15) The non-Spartan inhabitants of Laconia and Messenia can be divided into two groups: helots and perioikoi.
First, it was meant to keep the oppressed horde of Helots and Perioeci under control and, second, to provide a powerful military capability with which to increase the power and prominence of Sparta throughout Greece.
Helots and their masters in Laconia and Messenia: histories, ideologies, structures.
The queen thinks about it, as if she's being asked to take on some afternoon work tutoring helots.
In his principal economic treatise, Ueber das dermalige Missverhaltnis der Vermogenslosen oder Proletairs zu den Vermogen besitzenden Klassen der Sozietat, von Baader criticized capitalism as reducing the condition of the workers to a slavery worse than that of the helots of ancient Greece.
It addresses issues analyzed in his previous publications; such as the concepts of diaspora, the helots labor regime, and identities.
It was almost certainly one of those helots who took the video of his talk.
When she added her unique voice to the anti-lynching crusade, for example, she declared, "Never since the days of the Spartan Helots has [sic] history recorded such brutality as has been ever since the war and as is now being perpetrated upon the Negro in the South.
Epaminondas hoped to permanently squelch Lacedaemon's efforts to enslave their rebellious helots and to politically and economically dominate Greece.
To places along the coast (for there the Salaminia would be able to pick them up like Alkibiades); (10) to Lepreon in Elis (where the Spartans had just settled a colony of Helots fighting under Brasidas) (Dunbar 1995:182); to Opous in Lokris (for the population there was so anti-Athenian that a military garrison had to be stationed there).