Helots and Their Masters in Laconia and Messenia: Histories, Ideologies, Structures

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Overview

The name "Helots" evokes one of the most famous peculiarities of ancient Sparta, the system of dependent labor that guaranteed the livelihood of the free citizens. The Helots fulfilled all the functions that slaves carried out elsewhere in the Greek world, allowing their masters the leisure to be full-time warriors. Yet, despite their crucial role, Helots remain essentially invisible in our ancient sources and peripheral and enigmatic in modern scholarship.

This book is devoted to a much-needed reassessment of Helotry and of its place in the history and sociology of unfree labor. The essays deal with the origins and historical development of Helotry, with its sociological, economic, and demographic aspects, with its ideological construction and negotiation.

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Editorial Reviews

Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Altogether, these papers provide a stimulating overview of the major questions, debates, and methodologies in current scholarship on helotage in one accessible volume. This collection of engaging and often provocative papers should realize its editors' interest in promoting future research on the history of the helots.
— Ellen G. Millender

Bryn Mawr Classical Review - Ellen G. Millender
Altogether, these papers provide a stimulating overview of the major questions, debates, and methodologies in current scholarship on helotage in one accessible volume. This collection of engaging and often provocative papers should realize its editors' interest in promoting future research on the history of the helots.
Bryn Mawr Classical Review
Altogether, these papers provide a stimulating overview of the major questions, debates, and methodologies in current scholarship on helotage in one accessible volume. This collection of engaging and often provocative papers should realize its editors' interest in promoting future research on the history of the helots.
— Ellen G. Millender
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674012233
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2003
  • Series: Hellenic Studies Series , #4
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Nino Luraghi is Professor of the Classics at Harvard University.

Susan Alcock is John H. D'Arms Collegiate Professor of Classical Archaeology and Classics at the University of Michigan.

Paul Cartledge is Professor of Greek History at Clare College, Cambridge.

Thomas J. Figueria is a Professor at Rutgers University.

Jonathan M. Hall is Professor of Ancient Greek History at the University of Chicago.

Stephen Hodkinson is Professor of Ancient History at the University of Nottingham.

N. M. Kennell is a Senior Associate Member of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Greece.

Kurt A. Raaflaub is Professor of Classics and History at Brown University, and Joint Director of the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C..

Walter Scheidel is Associate Professor of Classics at Stanford University.

Hans van Wees is Professor at the University College London.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Reasearching the helots: details, methodologies, agencies 3
2 Raising hell? The Helot Mirage - a personal re-view 12
Pt. I Helotic histories 31
3 Conquerors and serfs: wars of conquest and forced labour in archaic Greece 33
4 Agreste genus: Helots in Hellenistic Laconia 81
Pt. II Ideologies 107
5 The imaginary conquest of the Helots 109
6 The Dorianization of the Messenians 142
7 Freedom for the Messenians? A note on the impact of slavery and helotage on the Greek concept of freedom 169
Pt. III Structures 191
8 The demography of the Spartan Helots 193
9 Helot numbers: a simplified model 240
10 Spartiates, helots and the direction of the agrarian economy: towards an understanding of helotage in comparative perspective 248
Conclusion 287
11 Reflections on helotic slavery and freedom 289
Index 311
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