helot

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Related to Helots: acropolis, Lycurgus

hel·ot

 (hĕl′ət)
n.
1. Helot One of a class of serfs in ancient Sparta, neither a slave nor a free citizen.
2. A person in servitude; a serf.

[From Greek Heilōtes, pl. of Heilōs, Heilōt-.]

Helot

(ˈhɛlət; ˈhiː-)
n
1. (Historical Terms) (in ancient Greece, esp Sparta) a member of the class of unfree men above slaves owned by the state
2. (Historical Terms) (usually not capital) a serf or slave
[C16: from Latin Hēlotēs, from Greek Heilōtes, alleged to have meant originally: inhabitants of Helos, who, after its conquest, were serfs of the Spartans]

hel•ot

(ˈhɛl ət)

n.
1. (cap.) a member of a class of serfs in ancient Sparta who were bound to the land and owned by the state.
2. a serf or slave.
[1570–80; < Latin hēlōtēs (pl.) < Greek heílōtes]
hel′ot•ry, n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.helot - (Middle Ages) a person who is bound to the land and owned by the feudal lordhelot - (Middle Ages) a person who is bound to the land and owned by the feudal lord
Europe - the 2nd smallest continent (actually a vast peninsula of Eurasia); the British use `Europe' to refer to all of the continent except the British Isles
cottier, cotter - a medieval English villein
thrall - someone held in bondage
Dark Ages, Middle Ages - the period of history between classical antiquity and the Italian Renaissance
References in classic literature ?
He was a helot in the great hunt of helots that the masters were making.
Besides, he makes the husbandmen masters of property upon paying a tribute; but this would be likely to make them far more troublesome and high-spirited than the Helots, the Penestise, or the slaves which others employ; nor has he ever determined whether it is necessary to give any attention to them in these particulars, nor thought of what is connected therewith, their polity, their education, their laws; besides, it is of no little consequence, nor is it easy to determine, how these should be framed so as to preserve the community of the military.
I mastered the notion of their communism, and approved of their iron money, with the poverty it obliged them to, yet somehow their cruel treatment of the Helots failed to shock me; perhaps I forgave it to their patriotism, as I had to forgive many ugly facts in the history of the Romans to theirs.
A helot of Agesilaus made us a dish of Spartan broth, but I was not able to get down a second spoonful.
Next day, when I saw the directress, and when she made an excuse to meet me in the corridor, and besought my notice by a demeanour and look subdued to Helot humility, I could not love, I could scarcely pity her.
We can immediately see that a sizeable minority of disenfranchised helots will contaminate the atmosphere of any state.
To distract these wretched helots, each bicycle has its own giant screen offering an array of entertainment channels, each more vulgar and garish than the last.
In fact, the post-apocalyptic time of a severe food shortage would reinforce this notion rather than weaken it, and for most people the pigoons would remain walking repositories of food--thus no longer "the hoplites of ham," as Jimmy describes them just before the battle with the painballers (MaddAddam 424), but rather "the helots of ham," or just "ham"--again.
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.
These unfortunates were dubbed helots. Historian Jacob Burkhardt, recounting the history of Sparta in his History of Greek Culture, noted that the "rise of Sparta was especially hard on the peoples it subjugated.
On one side, they confronted a deeply hostile population of helots, whom they ruled with a ruthlessness that still echoes through the ages.
In Sparta, in sharp contrast, the tradition of allowing citizens to kill Helots (slaves) without retribution during certain days each year was preserved.