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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.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Further and even more importantly, Thucydides writes that the Spartans were happy to have an excuse to send out helots from the Peloponnese, since the occupation of Pylos was thought to have increased the chances of a helot revolt.
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." She argued that it was effortless for Americans to travel to Russia and "drop a tear of sympathy over the persecuted Jew." If Americans would "step across Mason's and Dixon's line," she continued, they would witness scenes of horror "before which those of Russia, bad as they are, pale into insignificance!
He took the scathing New York Daily Times expose of his self-reviewing dishonesty ("It is an act that the most degraded helot of literature might blush to commit.
In the middle of the ceremony the Tannenberry women held the broom, cheering as the happy helot couple jumped over it, kissing in midair, landing in matrimony.
Returning to medicine, with Dr Helot of Rouen, he developed a lightweight battery-powered forehead lamp, the 'photophore', for surgeons and dentists, then a portable electric safety lamp for miners, firemen and underwater divers in the Suez Canal.
Anil asked for answers to two Silverman Kickshaws: the only three crash words to satisfy the scores already recorded are BLACK WHITE GREEN; the Stinky Pinkies in question are fervent servant, prosaic mosaic, truculent succulent, granite planet, raucous caucus, dire choir, puerile mural, saline praline, helot zealot and fecund second.
Some others had crossed over before in successive parties, but these last, the ones cut off, were 420 in number and their helot attendants.
Captain David Hannah went closest for County and another of Raith's January arrivals, French keeper David Bert helot, tipped his free-kick round the post just before half-time.
Keeper David Bert helot replaced Ramiro Gonzalez with Joaquin Bornes, Juan Nieto and giant striker Sebastian Ferrero also landing starting places.