previous next
[4]

According to Ephorus: Eurysthenes and Procles, the Heracleidae, took possession of Laconia,1 divided the country into six parts, and founded cities;2 now one of the divisions, Amyclae, they selected and gave to the man3 who had betrayed Laconia to them and who had persuaded the ruler who was in possession of it to accept their terms and emigrate with the Achaeans to Ionia; Sparta they designated as a royal residence for themselves; to the other divisions they sent kings, and because of the sparsity of the population gave them permission to receive as fellow inhabitants any strangers who wished the privilege; and they used Las as a naval station because of its good harbor, and Aegys4 as a base of operations against their enemies (for its territory5 bordered on those of the surrounding peoples) and Pharis as a treasury, because it afforded security against outsiders; . . . but though the neighboring peoples, one and all, were subject to the Spartiatae, still they had equal rights, sharing both in the rights of citizenship and in the offices of state, and they were called Helots;6 but Agis, the son of Eurysthenes, deprived them of the equality of rights and ordered them to pay tribute to Sparta; now all obeyed except the Heleians, the occupants of Helus, who, because they revolted, were forcibly reduced in a war, and were condemned to slavery, with the express reservation that no slaveholder should be permitted either to set them free or to sell them outside the borders of the country; and this war was called the War against the Helots. One may almost say that it was Agis and his associates who introduced the whole system of Helot-slavery that persisted until the supremacy of the Romans; for the Lacedaemonians held the Helots as state slaves in a way, having assigned to them certain settlements to live in and special services to perform.

1 Tradition places the Dorian Conquest as far back as 1104 B.C.

2 Cp. 8. 5. 5.

3 Philonomus (section 5 following).

4 Aegys was situated in northwestern Laconia near the source of the Eurotas.

5 Its territory included Carystus (10. 1. 6.)

6 Meineke and Forbiger transfer "and they were called Helots" to a position after "Helus" (following).

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (1877)
load focus English (H.C. Hamilton, Esq., W. Falconer, M.A., 1903)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1104 BC (1)
hide References (4 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: