What Are Helots in Ancient Greece?

Helots were a class of people in ancient Greece who were primarily slaves or serfs. They were an important part of the Spartan society, and their role was largely based on their labor.

Who Were the Helots?

The Helots were a group of people who lived in ancient Greece, specifically in Sparta. They were primarily slaves who performed labor for the Spartans. The exact origins of the Helots are not clear, but it is believed that they were originally free people who lived in the areas that were conquered by Sparta.

What Was the Role of Helots?

The main role of Helots was to provide labor for the Spartan society. They performed various tasks such as agriculture, construction, and household chores. They also served as soldiers in times of war and fought alongside Spartans.

Despite their important role in Spartan society, Helots had no rights and were treated harshly by their masters. They could be beaten or killed at any time without any consequence for their masters.

How Were Helots Treated?

Helots were treated very poorly by the Spartans. They had no rights and could be killed or beaten at any time by their masters without any consequence. The Spartans saw the Helots as a threat to their way of life and would often use violence to keep them under control.

As a result, many Helots lived in fear and would attempt to escape slavery whenever possible. However, such attempts often resulted in severe punishment or even death.

The Role of Helots in Spartan Society

Despite being considered inferior by society, Helot labor was crucial to the success of Spartan society. Without their labor force, it would have been difficult for Sparta to maintain its military dominance over other Greek city-states.

In times of war, Helot soldiers fought alongside Spartans and played an important role in many battles. However, they were never given the same recognition or respect as the Spartan soldiers.


In conclusion, Helots were an important part of ancient Greek society, specifically in Sparta. They played a crucial role in providing labor for the Spartan society, but were treated poorly by their masters. Despite their contributions, Helots had no rights and were often subject to violence and abuse.