SPARTA - Social Structure

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  • Social Structure
    • Hierachy
      • 1 - Spartan men and Spartan women
      • 2 - Inferiors
      • 4- Helots
      • 3 - Perioeci
    • The Perioeci
      • They were allowed to have a self-government, however it was limited.
      • They had to obey Spartan orders and could not form their own policy on war and foreign relations
      • If Sparta went to war, the perioeci were called up as an auxiliary force
      • The perioeci were the traders and craftsmen for the Spartan.
        • They made things like clothes, shoes, furniture, storage jars and various metalwork for the Spartans.
        • Some of them were fishermen or shipbuilders
    • Helots
      • Ration between helots and Spartans was between 10:1 to 20:1
      • Helots were those who loved in Sparta before the Dorians, and so were also Greeks.
        • Other Greek states thought it was barbaric to make other Greeks your slaves, and so Spartans were seen as barbaric.
      • Had 3 main roles
        • Farmers
          • Every farm had to produce enough each year, because everyone ate in Mess Halls and shared food. Helots were allowed to keep or profit from any extra goods that were produced.
        • Household slaves
          • They were house hold slaves for Spartiates. Helot women were famous for their nursing skills.
        • Baggage handlers and Skirmishers in times of war
          • This meant that they carried everything for the soldiers in time of war However, they could not be trusted completely, and everyone had to keep an eye on them.
      • Their treatment was usually brutal. They were forbidden to leave a defined area without government permission and were always under suspicion.
      • At the beginning of each year, the Ephors declared war on the Helots.
      • However, the helots were not owned privately. The state owned them and distributed them to Spartiates, who had limited power over them. Only the state could decide when to kill a helot. Moreover, the helots were allowed to live with their family rather than with their masters. And they had the freedom of religion.
    • Inferiors
      • The inferiors were neither slaves nor citizens. They were made up of four categories.
        • Partheniai
          • Child of Spartiate father and helot mother.
        • Mothaces
          • Sons of helots who were often adopted as playmates for Spartan boys. They participated in the education system.
        • Neodamôdeis
          • helots who had won their freedom by their courage in battle.
        • Tresantes
          • Spartiates who had been deprived from their citizenship for acts of cowardice.
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