What Did Slaves Do in Ancient Greece?

Slavery was an integral part of Ancient Greek society, with many individuals being forced into servitude and made to work for their masters. Slaves in Ancient Greece were typically individuals who had been captured in battle or sold into slavery as a result of debt or other forms of economic hardship. In this article, we will discuss what slaves did in Ancient Greece and the various roles they played within society.

What Did Slaves Do?

Slavery was a common practice in Ancient Greece, and slaves were employed in a wide range of occupations. Some slaves worked as farmers, while others were employed as domestic servants or laborers. The duties of a slave varied depending on their role and the needs of their master.

Farm Work

One of the most common roles for slaves in Ancient Greece was as agricultural workers. These slaves would work on farms, tending to crops and livestock. They also helped with planting and harvesting crops, making sure that the fields were properly irrigated and that the animals were taken care of.

Domestic Servants

Another common role for slaves in Ancient Greece was as domestic servants. These slaves would work within the household, performing tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and taking care of children. They were often responsible for maintaining the household’s cleanliness and ensuring that everything was in working order.


In addition to working on farms or within households, some slaves in Ancient Greece were employed as laborers. These individuals would work in factories or mines, producing goods such as pottery or metalwork.

The Treatment of Slaves

Despite being an integral part of society, slaves in Ancient Greece were often treated poorly by their masters. Many were subjected to physical abuse and forced to work long hours under harsh conditions. However, some masters treated their slaves well and even allowed them to earn their freedom.


In conclusion, slavery was a common practice in Ancient Greece, and slaves were employed in a wide range of roles. From working on farms to serving as domestic servants or laborers, slaves played an important role in society. While many were treated poorly by their masters, some were able to earn their freedom and achieve a measure of independence.