Social Struggle between the Helots and Spartan

1011 WordsFeb 20, 20184 Pages
In the military state of Lacedaemon, generally referred to as Sparta, the social struggle between the helots and Spartiates caused a system of slavery unlike that of any other city in ancient Greece . Rather than individually owned, the Spartan helots were conquered Greeks who were owned collectively by the Spartan government; since no one Spartan owned a helot, helots could not be sold and were able to live in their own separate communities this causing the helots to be in an in between status of “free and un-free” . According to Critias of Athens the “distinction between slave and free was greatest in Sparta” , this due to that the helots preformed all the mundane agricultural and economic labor, which was considered uneducated work , thus allowing the Spartiate elite class to fully dedicate their efforts to military training. While this use of forced labor provided the foundation which would permit the Spartans to become the greatest warriors in ancient Greece, the helots were given frequent reminders that they were at the bottom of the social structure. Aspects such as labor, rights and treatment, and roles in war were all elements of the helot’s enslavement which caused not only hatred between the two classes but a necessary arrangement. The origins of the helots is debated throughout ancient sources; while it is commonly except that the helots were pre-Dorian’s conquered in the Messenian war , Antiochus of Syracus and Ephorus of Cyme had different theories.

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