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The Economic and Military Role of the Perioeci

Many people forget or undermine the importance of the periodic and the helots in their study of Sparta, dismissing both groups as only slaves or inferiors that later overthrew the Expatriates. In truth, the periodic and the helots both played an important role in the economic and military aspects of Spartan society, and contributed much to Sprat’s fame and military prowess. For the Spartan citizens, the other aspects of their life were left to the periodic and the helots.

Plutarch describes the periodic as the “dwellers round about”, a abstaining group of mixed origin who achieved their status in a number of ways, and that their “commercial and economic role must have become very important”.

Charles Macrame, in his Encyclopedia of World Slavery, tells us that the periodic became merchants, manufacturers and tradesmen, and made all of Sprat’s economic contacts with the outside world. Many of them owned land and engaged in farming, while others toiled as artisans, worked in the mines of the Etageres Mountains, or manufactured dyes for woolens, furniture and chariots.

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They also worked metal – skilled in embossing and crafting brass, and they made the arms for the Spartan warriors. The fact that the Spartan state used iron bars as a form of currency, as Plutarch tells us, leaves the periodic to use gold and silver to trade. Thus, the periodic also held at least some wealth. There is also evidence that they served as light infantry in the armies – Duchesses tells us of 5000 Expatriates and 5000 periodic hiplines that fought at Plates 479 BE.

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Agriculture in Sparta was the main field of the helots.

Plutarch describes them as the coal inhabitants of Laconic and Messing, owned by the Spartan State. Their principal obligation was to hand over to their Spartan masters a portion of the harvests – known as the pharaoh – and were allowed to keep any excess. According to the poet Trusses, this was one half of the produce, though Xenophobe says this amount is relaxed. The helots were called on to serve as light-armed troops in time of war, and were given a chance to exhibit bravery and loyalty to the state. Those who continuously distinguished themselves might be awarded with their freedom, though this is rare.

There is an example of the helots’ involvement in warfare in W. G. Forest’s A History of Sparta, where a force of 700 helots were armed as hiplines and sent to aid the Clinicians during the Peloponnesus War. Explain the economic and military role of the Periodic and Helots. By cohabit the economy and military life of Sparta. Without the periodic and the helots, the Spartan would not have been able to concentrate solely on honing their fighting skills, and Spartan society would certainly not have flourished as it did.

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The Economic and Military Role of the Perioeci. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

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