Ancient History HSC > Greece: Spartan Society to the Battle of Leuctra 371BC


The helots were initially Laconians that Sparta defeated and conquered. They were fellow Greeks. This was not considered in a favourable light by other Greek city-states. The enslaved Messenians formed the bulk of the helots.

Helots were owned by the state. They lived in the household of their master but unlike ordinary slaves, their master could not declare them free. They worked as domestic, agricultural and military servants.

Please explore the following Internet sites and write a small report on the helots using the seven questions that follow. Email your report to your teacher or utilise this template and submit your report in person.

Helots are served excessive alcohol by the Spartans so that their drunken behaviour
serves as an object lesson for Spartans.


1. Definitions of helot@ (i) Wikipedia (ii) (iii) 1911

2. Social Class - Helots. "Straightforward little web apge about the helots at the University of Sydney somewhere.

3. An article about helots by Jona Lendering. This article contends that the helots were a different ethnic group to the Spartans. I wonder how different?

4. Helots. An article about the helots at the Baldwin Project web site.

5 . Economy: Spartiate, Perioikoi and Helots. An article that considers the importance of the helots to the Spartan economy.

6. Spartan values. Some info on the helots here.

7. Mini quiz on Sparta. Can you correctly answer all five questions?

8 . The Helots. A band in Phildalelphia, USA. There are five mp3s to download.

9 . The Spartans. A nice little site at Channel 4 in Great Britain. Pdf version.

10 . The University of Arkansas Classics Club Home Page. They like to dress up.

11. The Evil Empire. This article looks at those members of Spartan society subject to the controls of the state. [It is not an article about the United States of America.}

12 . Inquiry into the Decline of Spartan Society until the Battle of Leuktra 371 BC. This article looks closely at the role of the helots in the economy of Sparta.

13. How was Spartan Strategy after the Persian Wars geared towards preventing a helot revolt?

1. How do you think Spartans felt about the Helots?

2. How did the poet Tyrtaeus portray the Helots? Listen to his work here.

What were the tasks of the Helots?

4. How did they survive or earn a living?

5. What was the extent of their standing in the community?

6. What role did the Helots play during times of war?

7. Why do you think the Spartans "feared" the Helots?

8. What did the following writers have to say about the Helots?

9. What was the role of the Krypteia in relation to the Helots?