Sparta and Spartan Society Came Essay

Submitted By Trish-Tran
Words: 531
Pages: 3

Social Structure
Spartiates, perioeci, ‘inferiors’, helots

Origins of Spartan Society
Came from the Dorian migration into the
Peloponnese around 10th C BC
They expanded into neighbours territory
Non-Dorian inhabitants were enslaved as helots - agricultural slaves
Dorian inhabitants were absorbed by the
Spartiates as peioicoi - dwellers around about. Perioici - carried out important trade and manufacturing functions
8th C BC Messenians were enslaved as helots to work the land when Messenia was conquered
After the 640 BC revolt by the Messenians and the resulting war, the Spartans created a new social and political system to control the helots who outnumbered the Spartans
Sparta was a militaristic society - unlike any other in Greece.

The Helots
Original inhabitants of Laconia and Messenia
Worked the land so Spartans could concentrate on military
After giving set amount to masters the Helots could retain the surplus
“helots tilled their ground for them, and paid them yearly in kind the appointed quantity”

Owned by the state, but under control of the Spartiate that controlled the kleros on which they worked
Could not be bought and sold needed master’s permission to marry and travel could be beaten or killed for errors

Messenian helots were worst treated main threat to Sparta
Laconian helots were mostly loyal to
Spartans “constantly take most of their decisions with a view to precautions against the helots” Thucydides

They were sometimes used to supplement declining numbers of soldier Spartans. eg: 35 000 serve as light infantry in the battle of Plataea
700 fight in Thrace against the
Athenians in 422 BC

Lived in towns and villages outside Sparta in self governing communities
Were of Dorian origin had more autonomy than helots played a vital economic role in Sparta monopolised all trade, business and professions miners and metal workers - made armour and weapons Could use gold and silver currency unequal relationship with the Spartans did not have full rights in Spartan society could be tried in Spartan courts and served in Spartan military service as troops
Contributed greatly to the length of Spartan rule due to