, or γυμνῆτες
) were a class of bond-slaves at Argos, who may be
compared with the Helots at Sparta (Steph. Byz. s. v. Χίος
: Pollux, 3.83). Their name shows that they attended
their masters on military service in the capacity of [p. 1.931]
light armed troops, but no particulars are known about them
1.133, E. T.; Gilbert,
2.74). Müller (Dor.
3.4.2) remarks that it is to these gymnesii that the
account of Herodotus (6.83
) refers, that 6000 of
the citizens of Argos having been slain in battle by Cleomenes, king of
Sparta (Id. 7.148), the slaves got the government into their own hands, and
retained possession of it until the sons of those who had fallen had grown
to manhood. Afterwards, when the young citizens had grown up, the slaves
were compelled by them to retire to Tiryns, and then after a long war, as it
appears, were either driven from the territory, or again subdued. (Cf.
Müller, op. cit.
1.172, E. T.)