CHAPTER 22 Helotage and the Spartan Economy Thomas Figueira The system of servile labor at Sparta was nothing less than the central axis around which the social and economic structure of archaic and classical Lakōnikē was organized. The transfer of resources inherent in the system of helotage comprised – to change the metaphor – the alimentary canal of Laconian society. Classical Sparta was a brilliant realization of a state built to excel at warfare by a hoplite phalanx, with its polity embracing the damos (‘common people’), one that integrated an archaic vision of dikē (‘justice’) by suppressing intra‐communal anxieties over status differentiation (Figueira (2002a) 153–9). To appreciate the discussion below, some themes deserve emphasis. First, Spartan society had entered on a divergent evolutionary path by c.600. For those believing Sparta was an atypical polis, the challenge is not only to detail its deviations, but also to explain how Laconian development diverged from a shared Dark Age or early archaic order.1 This is complicated by the paradigmatic nature of classical Sparta as a counter‐model to democratic Athens, or point of departure for theoreticians. Complicating as well is the Spartan historical vision, where change was envisaged either as illicit departure from, or as restoration of, the Lykourgan political program. In turn, Lykourgos, a mythical prehistoric legislator (on whom see Nafissi, this work, Chapter 4), was held to have built on the nomoi (‘laws’) of a primordial Dorian community. Social evolution was, therefore, disguised as reversion to Sparta’s past, and significant divergences drop into silences in our record or become so transformed conceptually as to emerge in entirely different ideological registers. Second, interpreting Spartan society, while mindful of its divergence, requires us to muster the full body of source material (including the works of A Companion to Sparta, Volume II, First Edition. Edited by Anton Powell. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Published 2018 by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 566 Thomas Figueira Plutarch), which needs to be deciphered with care to avoid anachronism. Dealing with the Spartan ‘mirage’ (the idealizing image of Sparta in later works) demands adjustment of our perspective, rather than blanket rejection of later evidence as fabrication.2 Third, an important goal of archaic Spartan lawgiving was to homogenize differences of political and economic behavior. The famous austerity of the classical Spartans emerged from homogenization. Austerity increased over the late archaic period (after 600) as rules against the use of coinage were set, craftsmanship stagnated, and Lakōnikē (Spartan territory) became more isolated from international commerce. 22.1 Helotage: The Basic Features Helots were servile agricultural workers who supported Spartan full citizens, called Spartiates or Homoioi ‘peers’, freeing them from working or managing property.3 With the exception of the seventh‐century poet Tyrtaios, our sources derive from after the mid‐fifth century and from non‐Spartans. Authors (e.g., Herodotos, Thucydides) describe helots as historical actors (without, however, ever naming a single individual helot) only insofar as they involve Spartan policies and actions. Except for material derived contextually, our understanding of helotage is influenced by the works of Plutarch. Concerning the origins of the helots, our earliest commentators are fourth‐ century authors such as Hellanikos (FGrH 4 F 188), Ephoros (FGrH 70 F 117), and Theopompos (FGrH 115 F 13). Laconian helots were those enslaved first, many from southern Laconia in the eighth century, while Messenian helots were subjugated between 750 and 600, in struggles traditionally called the Messenian Wars. Cultural (and even status) variations between Laconian and Messenian helots can be hypothesized, although distinctions are elusive. Thucydides believed that their identity as Messenians was dominant (1.101.2). In the classical period, some helots undoubtedly self‐identified as Messenian and aspired to liberation; others manifested assimilation to Spartan culture and eventually aspired to elevation to free citizen status through military service (e.g., as Neodamōdeis). The helots, established on klēroi (‘allotments’), contributed rents; some sources indicate large amounts of natural products, and others 50 percent of production (e.g., Plut. Lyk. 8.7; Tyr. fr. 6W). Rents subsidized dues of the Spartiates to syssitia (‘common messes’), a prerequisite of citizenship. Helots were later described as lying between free and slave (e.g., Pollux 3.83), but it could also be concluded that the Spartiates were the most free of Greeks and helots the most enslaved (Kritias D‐K 88B37). Young helots, either favorites or the mixed progeny of Spartiates, were sometimes educated as Spartans and achieved citizenship as mothakes (e.g., Hesych. s.v. mothakes). Individual Spartiates did not own helots, but, as full citizens, enjoyed the prerogative of sharing their labor. Thus, despite anachronism, ancient commentators could call them public, not private, slaves (e.g., Strabo 8.5.4 C365; Paus. 4.20.6; cf. Aris. Pol. 1263a35–7). Helots could only be manumitted by the state; the best known freed helots were the soldiers called Neodamōdeis. As long as they fulfilled their obligation of labor and rents, helots enjoyed some protections. If a Spartiate attempted to take more than the monthly rent, he might be punished by a public curse (Plut. Mor. 239e). Helots were able to have families, and they could not Helotage and the Spartan Economy 567 be sold abroad. They were also allowed their own religious practices and asylum (Thuc. 1.128.1: the sanctuary of Poseidon at Cape Tainaron). Notwithstanding these protections, the helots were treated harshly, by being punished for getting fat or through having a number of blows prescribed for them annually (e.g., Myron FGrH 106 F 2). The citizen messes were one setting for degradation (e.g., Plut. Lyk. 28.8–9). Besides the customary rule that Spartiates should act as mutual protectors against the helots (e.g., Kritias D‐K 88B37), several mechanisms were implemented to check helot disaffection. The krypteia (‘seclusion’) was both most notorious and obscure (Plut. Lyk. 28.1–4). This institution had youths ending their agōgē (‘upbringing’) by being sent into the countryside with daggers and limited rations. Hiding themselves by day, they captured and killed helots whom they encountered at night, especially the most enterprising. Such police measures are correlated with the annual declaration of war on the helots by the ephors, so that those shedding their blood could escape pollution (Plut. Lyk. 28.4; Aris. fr. 543 Gigon). Thucydides (4.80) also records a brutal murder of 2,000 helots, ones freed and enfranchised for military service.4 They fell under suspicion because of their willingness to claim distinction. Although helotage freed Spartiates from work, Aristotle (Pol. 1269a34–b12) believed it a problematic system, and its probity was contested (cf. Alkidamas fr. 3A). Thucydides also emphasizes the centrality of the helot threat to Spartan policy‐making (4.80.2–3). Similarly, Plato (Laws 6.777c) observes the frequency of Messenian revolts, and Aristotle notes the intractability and vulnerability associated with the institution, stating that the helots lie in wait to exploit Spartan misfortunes (Pol. 1269a37–b12). The earliest revolt was perhaps c.660 in upper Messenia (i.e., the Second Messenian War); Plato (Laws 698d–e) implied a Messenian revolt in 490, preventing aid at Marathon (although the revolt is unmentioned by Herodotos). The most prominent revolt in c.465, sometimes called the Third Messenian War, followed directly on a devastating earthquake and perhaps lasted ten years. Helots of Laconia also joined, along with some perioikoi, second‐ class citizens, of southern Messenia. (On the perioikoi in general, see Ducat, this volume, Chapter 23). A requirement to suppress helot rebellion was a provision of the Spartan‐ Athenian alliance of 421 (Thuc. 5.23.3). Similar obligations may be suspected in the oaths of the Hellenic League (480) and constituent treaties of the Peloponnesian League. After Sparta’s defeat by Thebes at Leuktra in 371 and the foundation of the Arkadian Confederacy, Lakōnikē was invaded, and the independence of Messene established by the Theban leader Epameinondas. Whereas the conquest and continued subjection of Messenia secured for Sparta the material and human resources for its social regime, its liberation after 371 greatly reduced Spartan territory and servile labor force, and relegated Sparta to a second‐class power. Nonetheless, helotage in reduced form lasted into the Roman period. 22.2 Beginnings In the eighth century, the core of the Spartan state in the Eurotas valley, namely its four villages and outlying Amyklai, was quite like other early archaic southern Greek societies. Sites with access to sufficient land for population growth in situ underwent economic differentiation and growth in non‐agricultural production. Craft specialization could 568 Thomas Figueira proceed only where sufficient demand was concentrated. Thus, Sparta was well positioned to adopt polis organization, especially since sufficient smallholders retained enough social autonomy to force the elite to form institutions that included the common people. A larger population of smallholders offered the proto‐polis the possibility for a broadly based army. The hoplite phalanx emerged as a dynamic convergence of weapon technology, primitive tactics, and communal values and solidarity. Such a hoplite army was essential in preserving polis core territory. As on Euboia or at Argos or Corinth, the early polis attracted or compelled smaller, peripheral communities into its orbit. For Laconia,5 it helps for comprehending these circumstances that inhabitants of these communities were called perioikoi (lit.‘dwellers‐around’).6 Their slippage under domination naturally entailed territorial adjustments, surrender of rights of transit and access to resources like pasturage, neutralization as threats, and willingness to assist in protecting militarily the interests of the dominant center. If the Argolid and Euboia provide models, religious leagues could be vehicles for subordination. Subjugated communities tendered offerings and ‘tithes’ to a prestigious common cult. The estates of the Spartan kings in perioikic towns appear a vestige of such dispensation (Xen. Lak. Pol. 15.3). As the elite of the dominant community extracted or redistributed goods in a ritual setting, ‘cult’ leagues supported an aristocratic polity. Efforts to express regional domination over smaller communities generated captives not otherwise ransomed or redeemed (as in Homeric epic). The Laconian helots were douloi (‘slaves’) since the Greeks did not make the distinctions in forms of servitude that modern observers have proposed.7 Nonetheless, unfortunate Laconian perioikoi were not the main source of helots. Traditions on the origins of helot status are helpful in reaching this conclusion, even if not all that illuminating in establishing actual early history. We possess a series of origin accounts deriving from fifth‐ and fourth‐century authorities.8 These are not only contradictory, but also appear to be attempts, by the historians concerned, to evoke various phenomena that they associated with classical helotage. These traditions imagine the helots as prisoners of war, members of pre‐Dorian ethnicities, inhabitants of community margins, persons reduced in status for rebellion, populations of mixed extraction, and groups who failed in military obligations. Previous scholars applied a calculation of probabilities regarding these causations,9 choosing a likely scenario, or some combination, such as imagining a conquest and reduction to serfdom, by Dorians, of an Achaean relict population. While it is hard to replace such ancient hypotheses, they should be condemned for their literalism, in which ideological aspects of the later helot situation are transcribed into actual events; for instance, persons who are marginal in social status must derive from ancestors inhabiting geographical margins, the marshes of southern Laconia. In contrast to an unworkable single scenario for helot origins, it is more attractive to note other early archaic modes of exploitation (e.g., kidnapping, acquisition through barter, indebtedness) in order to supplement the traditional origins for helot lineages (e.g., conquest, status demotion, ethnic heterogeneity) because explications of the later institution cannot account for the origins of all its victims. A principle of economy of social control limits early Iron Age communities to one, or at most two, forms of exploitation, because prevailing levels of output cannot support structures for more variable exploitation. For example, helots were acculturated to inferiority by ritual Helotage and the Spartan Economy 569 degradation in the messes; they were policed by arbitrary cruelties of young men serving their year of the krypteia; they were probably rewarded for subservience by food recirculated through the messes. These and other methods of controlling the exploited expended scarce resources, including not least Spartan time and energy. Consequently, the origin of exploited persons is less significant than their social placement. One might decide to add to the ancestors of classical helots persons from other vulnerable groups, such as debt bondsmen. People deriving from outside Lakōnikē, e.g., captives in conflicts, gifts from allies, and persons received in trade – people becoming chattel slaves almost everywhere – could perhaps become helots at Sparta. Thus we turn from particular ancient theories of origination to analyzing the value of helotage for the exploiting class. It is helpful to distinguish between perioikoic‐land and perioikoi and also between helot‐land and helots. By observing the placement of perioikic towns vis‐à‐vis helot holdings, it is manifest that the latter were generally sited on more fertile land than the former (Figueira (1984a) 102–4; (2003b) 203–7). Intensive exploitation of servile labor (as here, where payments were 50 percent of cereal production) is only viable in favorable ecological settings. As some perioikoi possessed productive land, however, there were likely other conditions defining territory cultivated by helots. The communities of those reduced to helotage had been relatively delayed in developing polis structures, one reason for which was the distance of southern Laconia and Messenia from external models that might be discovered through connections between archaic elites.10 Nonetheless, the Spartans probably distinguished between the targets of eighth‐century raiding: poorer victims were enlisted as allies while victims with superior access to productive assets became helots. Mere vulnerability was not, however, the only major characteristic of those who became helots. The elites of perioikic communities were also characterized by a capacity for achieving détente with the Spartans. The perioikoi were skilled in using resource sets typical of second‐tier agrarian sites (like those at higher elevations), of places with extractive activities (like mining, timbering, and associated crafts), or of sites like Gytheion where the sea provided subsistence. Moreover, no evidence exists of administration of helot labor – for example, how workers were matched with necessary tasks – and we have no trace of any officials, procedures, or institutions managing helot‐ land. Encouragement of migration by perioikoi and helots to territories suitable to their respective utilization served in the absence of actual management. Therefore, a churning of the demographic components of Lakōnikē is likely. Finally, our distinction between helot‐land and helots is also enlightening because it promotes skepticism over whether specific helots in the classical period were the descendants of the initial inhabitants of their home fields. The Penestai of Thessaly or Hektēmoroi of Attike illustrate one characteristic of archaic rural servile populations: indenture to an elite of wealthy landowners. A singularity of Spartan society is that the class of beneficiaries was expanded to the entire primary civic body of Spartiates. Many scholars envisage that a distribution of conquered land occurred,11although they differ as to its scale and how far the resultant property system deviated from elsewhere in Greece. It is improbable that conquered land was equally distributed when Dorian war bands first entered the Eurotas valley in the tenth century, perhaps enticed by uncultivated descendants of vast Mycenaean plantings of olives. Sparta could mean ‘sown [land]’,12 suggesting that the area had been so 570 Thomas Figueira systematically cultivated in the Mycenaean period that barley fields continued to grow naturally. To infiltrating Dorian bands, provision of olive production and grain crops without human intervention would have seemed providential, the basis for a sacral contract with gods and ancestral heroes. The myth of an early allocation became central to the later history of property in Lakōnikē. The transition to a ‘special’ property regime occurred by stages. The distribution of the Peloponnese among Heraklid kings was relevant as an allocation between aristocratic lineages and their armed bands (Luraghi (2008) 48–61). That it entailed equal division among Dorian tribesmen, which in the fourth century Isokrates (6.20; 12.179, 259) and Plato emphasize (Laws 3.684D–E; 5.736C–E), seems an anachronism that was formulated under the influence of the tradition of Spartan equality. While not indicative of tenth‐century reality, these references establish the classical association between Spartan land tenure and equality (Figueira (2004b) 52–3). Eighth‐ century Laconia probably experienced a Homeric‐style distribution, in which basileis (‘kings’) received a disproportionate share, approximating preferential shares of plunder, elite estates in conquered communities, and exactions made for cults at the disposition of priestly families. Under this regime the Spartans first seized territory in the Eurotas valley and began to raid Messenia, drawing income thence. Claiming heroic descent, their elite fashioned a mythological pedigree for exploitation of weaker populations by citing Herakles’ rights over the lineages of Neileus and Hippokoon.13 Tyrtaios (late seventh century) visualizes his audience as Herakleidai when he exults in helot subservience and mourning over their masters’ deaths (fr. 2.12–13, 11.1–2W). In classical Sparta, the right to govern as Herakleidai and compulsory helot mourning are reserved for the royal dynasties (Hdt. 6.58.2–3). That narrowing of privilege is significant. Archaic Sparta saw an elevation both of the royal dynasties as the genuine embodiment of Heraklid legitimacy and of the common Spartiate as full participant in the allocation of the communal assets.14 Scale was an essential feature of classical helotage. The conquest of Messenia was a watershed in establishing its viability. This large territory could only be secured by driving off the resistant groups. The Spartans acted to disrupt existing Dark Age settlements, like Nichoria in lower Messenia.15 In Messenia, canonical helotage entailed successive depopulations (Figueira (2003b) 221–5). Remaining helot workers in any locale were remnant populations after protracted resistance played itself out (the so‐called Messenian Wars: traditionally c. 735–715, c.668–625 or 660–600). Although the Messeniaka, local histories of the region, are notoriously untrustworthy as factual documentation, they do offer traditions of resistance punctuated by the departure of various intractable groups.16 The Spartan conquest of the Messenians was contemporaneous with the Greek colonial movement – notably both Spartiate holdings, cultivated by helots, and the land granted to colonists were called klēroi (‘allotments’). The existence of colonies such as Zankle in Sicily (a known destination17) as possible refuges for the most resistant Messenians spared Sparta from confronting die‐hards for whom no other options for survival existed. Sometimes scholars have envisaged these displacements as removal of the Messenian elite, whom some would imagine as Dorians ruling a pre‐Dorian or Achaean common people. Such a view, however, may require a more settled cultural matrix than is likely for late eighth‐ or seventh‐century Messenia. Helotage and the Spartan Economy 571 22.3 The Helot Allotments and Rents The foundation of the Spartan social system lay in the klēroi ‘allotments’,18 that comprised arable land and the helots to cultivate it. One assumes the klēroi were named on analogy with allotments made in apoikiai (‘colonies’) and in other occupations of conquered land.19 Our evidence seems to vouch for a principle of equal shares among peer colonists.20 The same principle of equal division of the Spartan politikē khōra (‘land of the polis’) is specified by Polybios,21 and Spartan equality is a well‐attested tradition (Figueira (2004b) 49–51). The ultimate origin of the klēroi may well have existed in lands given to Laconian aristocrats in eighth‐century raids in the lower Eurotas valley and Messenia. The size of the late archaic or early classical klēroi has been a matter for scholarly speculation, but c.14.4–17.2 ha. is a likely magnitude.22 Therefore, the huge territory of Lakōnikē permitted an agrarian regime in which klēroi exceeded the estates of average farmers elsewhere (c.3.6–5.4 ha.). Klēroi not only exceeded median Attic landholdings, but they also generated output surpassing that of Athenian Zeugitai (notional hoplites), or 200 agricultural measures, and approximating that of Hippeis (‘Knights’) at Athens (300 measures). All Spartiates possessed holdings comparable to the lower range of the affluent elite in other poleis. No other mechanisms are known from Greek evidence for sustaining this high mean in property distribution other than the sort of limitations on alienation (i.e., sale or conveyance to someone else) that our testimonia attribute to Sparta. Furthermore, the disincentives to productivity and inefficiencies of servile labor ensure that the klēros‐system can only have been implemented on unusually productive land. My reconstruction of the klēroi endeavors to account for the full range of evidence on the Spartan regime of subsistence and includes the indications that Sparta had an atypical property system for a Greek polis. This picture reflects the account of Polybios and the traces of a ‘constitutional’ tradition on Sparta that begins with Aristotle and his students and is preserved in Plutarch, not only in his Lykourgos, but also in his Agis, Instituta Lycurgi, and Dicta Lycurgi.23 Our sources speak of the creation of thousands of klēroi (3,000, 4,500, 6,000, 9,000) by Lykourgos and perhaps also by King Polydoros, and imply various divisions of klēroi between Laconia and Messenia (Plut. Lyk. 8.5–6; Agis 8.2). The number of 4,500 klēroi associated with the third‐century reforms of Agis IV suggests an equal split between Laconia and Messenia. That seems unlikely when one considers the extent of the two regions and their number of perioikic communities. That Polydoros created an additional 3,000 to a Lykourgan 6,000 might indicate the creation of a second 3,000 in Messenia to supplement an earlier 3,000/3,000 interregional division. Estimates of arable land put at least two‐thirds of the klēroi in Messenia (Figueira (1984a) 101–2; (2003b) 203–11). Nevertheless, all the ancient figures for the klēroi merely render as design or hold as canonical the number 9,000. The testimony of Aristotle and Herodotos (on the mobilization for the battle of Plataia, in 479) indicates a highest level for the Spartiates c.9,000– 10,000 (Aris. Pol. 1270a36; Hdt. 7.234.2, 9.10.1, 28.2). Consequently, the 9,000 klēroi represent an estimate of a maximum number of adult male Spartiates that was reached 479–466. At some point in archaic Spartan history, the primordial Dorian occupation of Laconia started to be considered a distribution of equal shares, probably under the influence of contemporary equal allocations in the colonies. Perhaps the archaic (late 572 Thomas Figueira seventh‐century?) agrarian reform tried to accommodate 2,000 Spartans as klēros holders, contending that this was the size of the Dorian host occupying Laconia. Isokrates reports this traditional figure.24 If this hypothesis is valid, the ascent of the Spartiates from c.2,000 to c.10,000 from perhaps 630 to 465 (at the extremes) would stand as a remarkable testimony to the vitality of Spartan social arrangements. In envisaging the klēros‐system, anachronistic categorization must be avoided. Klēros‐ land constituted the politikē khōra (‘land of the polis’) of Sparta (Polyb. 6.45.3–4). Yet to describe it as public property is erroneous, because this could only invoke private property as its counterpart. The creation of the klēros‐system preceded the emergence of private property, as the individual as an economic actor had not fully separated himself from his lineage, nor had a market in land developed. The klēroi were collective property as the common acquisition of the community, but no public apparatus existed to exert control over or to manage them. Quite different are the collective farms of modern communism that adapt either the work regimen of nineteenth‐century European factories or of Asian village communes of subsistence farmers. Rather the klēroi were only ‘political’ for their falling within the authority of the community to establish the suitability of their holders and set the rules for their transfer. Similarly, Strabo (8.5.4 C365) describes the helots as dēmosioi (‘public [property]’), a revealing expression although it introduces again an anachronistic distinction between ownership of public and private property. Certain landholdings were excluded from this politicized regimen, and this exemption was realized within a conventional early archaic social structure.25 Sparta never became a completely egalitarian community; the distinction between aristocrats and damos continued. Tempted to denominate land held apart from reallocation as private property, we again recall that such a category was not yet viable. Original holdings, however, which were not perceived as conquests of the proto‐polis acting collectively, appear to have been excluded from the klēros‐system. This land was presumably concentrated in the core territory of the Spartan villages and Amyklai. This reservation much favored the traditional aristocracy because it perpetuated an early archaic agrarian regime. The failure of an early market in land to develop meant that reserved land was also inalienable. There may even have been helots working such estates, the descendants of people subjugated before Sparta’s great expansion (from the late ninth and early eighth centuries). Thus, features of the Spartan polity, such as the choice of the gerontes (‘senators’) from a few families, were natural outgrowths of the preservation of an early archaic aristocracy. Hence came Sparta’s international athletes, its dedicators at panhellenic sanctuaries, and the wealthy lineages with whom the kings intermarried. Yet remarkably at Sparta, the physical appurtenances of landed wealth and the manifestations of behavioral differentiation accorded the rich elsewhere were denied to descendants of the old landed elite. This homogenization created the Homoioi (‘peers’), full Spartan citizens or Spartiates, who were isodiaitoi (‘equal in lifestyle’) (Thuc. 1.6.4–5). Yet, notwithstanding its concessions in behavioral opportunities, the old elite survived. The success of the klēros‐system is demonstrated by the expansion of Sparta. Such success probably turned the old core territory into a mosaic of estates and tiny plots of non‐klēros‐land. By intermarriage and dowering, the elite would try to preserve its estates just as wealthy landholders did in Attike and elsewhere. Limits on elite display and consumption, by excluding many misadventures that befell the wealthy elsewhere, promoted stability. The stability for the privileges of the elite excluded the necessity for expensive Helotage and the Spartan Economy 573 patronage that might otherwise have led aristocrats to squander their estates. In contrast, the archaic Spartan damos grew unrestrictedly because the state assured possession of klēroi to all who completed the agōgē.26 Thus, ever smaller holdings of the damos in non‐klēros land – plots too small to manage through family planning and marital status strategies – would have been created through partible inheritance, so that many ordinary Spartiates must have come to possess a klēros as their only significant holding.27 As long as Lakōnikē was free from rebellion and external attack and helot numbers were rising, the heavy dependence of common Spartiates on their klēroi was not problematic. The social order would later come under stress only when manpower shortages afflicted Lakōnikē.28 Tradition reports two sorts of levy or rent from the helots – in kind, naturally, in the Spartan barter economy – a proportion of 50 percent (Tyrtaios fr. 6W; cf. Paus. 4.14.4–5; Ael. VH 6.1), and a fixed number of medimnoi (‘bushels’) of barley (Plut. Lyk. 8.4, 12.2; cf. Myron FGrH 106 F 2), 72 for the Spartiate and 12 for his wife,29 and scholars have generally chosen one of these alternatives. However, the 50 percent levy and a fixed rent were possibly aspects of a single system (Figueira (2003b) 199–203). The one‐half exaction embodies a Dark Age pattern of even division between a superior and an inferior group, as confirmed by test of battle (Figueira (2003b) 199; Link (2004) 2–4). The fixed amounts, however, ensured generous support for a Spartiate soldier. Enough grain to support about 4–8 people at subsistence was left after the Spartiate paid his mess dues. Spartan officials, perhaps even the ephors, allocated helots and land to Spartiates by observation of their productivity, with an eye toward estimating a klēros in which 50 percent of the output of a particular group of helots on a certain extent of land approximated the needed amount of the main crop of barley.30 The focus on the grain yield probably left some incentive for the helots to produce certain products (like livestock?) that may not have been subject to the 50 percent rule. That the relations between Spartiate and helot were not monetized until the Hellenistic period reveals the archaic and conservative character of Spartan exploitation. This absence of monetary exactions occurred within the framework of a barter economy. Perhaps the Spartans also had a rough formula by which to reckon the number of helot males appropriate for supporting a single Spartiate. In the mobilization for the Plataia campaign in 479, each mustered Spartiate brought along seven helots (Hdt. 9.10.1, 9.29.1). These 35,000 helots were a significant proportion of all male helots. The rationale behind this levy was the security of Lakōnikē, because a mass of untrained and potentially disloyal followers had little military value.31 The justification of the ratio of seven to one might lie in a preexisting rule of thumb about administering the klēroi rather than in some strategic or demographic calculation. Once the Spartiate’s income from this main constituent of his diet was assured, products other than grain were either subject to their own specific rents (unfortunately unknown) or left to the 50 percent rule. Allocating production of the grain crop was thus consequential for klēros demarcation. Hence we appreciate the anecdote in which Lykourgos supposedly first viewed reordered Lakōnikē at harvest time, comparing it to an inheritance divided equitably between brothers (Plut. Lyk. 8.4; cf. Mor. 226B). Let us recall that the Spartans are never described as managing the helots or klēroi. Such a commitment of time would have worked at cross‐purposes with their exclusion from ordinary economic involvements. It would have introduced status differentiation, as 574 Thomas Figueira their individual managerial skills would have varied considerably. The klēros‐system was truly absentee ‘ownership’, initially without direct supervision. Supervision would have entangled the economic fortunes of single Spartiates with their own individual helots and transformed helotage into a congeries of dependent relationships, rather than the balanced confrontation of two economic castes as presented in our sources. Such an agrarian regime is reconcilable with the absence of a state administration for supervising the helots. Annual review during harvests sufficed. As the helot population rose through natural increase, the number of klēroi could rise accordingly. An ample stock of fertile land, especially in Messenia, permitted the helots to increase numbers by allowing them to cultivate idle fields around their holdings and vacant tracts or to farm more intensively land already under cultivation.32 The evidence for holding possible klēros‐land in reserve is provided by the Thyreatis after its seizure from Argos in c.546, because it was left sufficiently vacant to accommodate several settlements of the fugitive Aiginetans in 430 (Thuc. 2.27.2, 4.56.2). Most distributed klēros‐land lay in the interior of Lakōnikē and was insulated by perioikic towns from the northern border and from some points of best access to the sea. Helot losses to war and flight were probably low. Thus, personal security from hostilities was another incentive toward helot compliance. As the klēros‐system expanded, the Spartans possessed another powerful tool for maintaining helot cooperation. They could offer young helot males early and risk‐free opportunities to marry and form their own oikoi without their waiting to inherit. As already noted, Spartan control of Messenia had only been solidified through successive depopulations that left behind the more tractable. Surplus production of the main products of the klēroi was probably not left for appropriation by their helot producers, but was subject to the 50 percent levy. Even if this rent could not be practically raised on all output, it served as an important buttress of the Spartan class system, since it minimized licit opportunities for helot upward mobility. An ambitious, successful helot could not amass resources openly and permanently.33 Unlike at Athens or elsewhere, land tenure with ‘private’ property and equal partition among heirs did not prevail on klēros‐land, but a dispensation where a Spartiate’s connection with particular fields and with certain helots was more conditional and communally determined. Hypothetically, the simplest mechanism is that vacant klēroi, intact and indivisible, passed to sons and nearest heirs without klēroi. Any males not thus afforded klēroi, like younger sons of klēros‐holders and those with surviving antecessors, were given new klēroi, created by demarcation. The record of military power and the human resources underwriting its success tend to corroborate this reconstruction, because they indicate that Sparta had a strikingly different social order from contemporary poleis. Nonetheless, this reconstruction depends admittedly on an indispensable postulate, namely that a redistribution of land and dependent laborers had occurred sometime in the archaic period. In this social reconfiguration, there was no total restructuring, because core land holdings of the Spartiates were apparently preserved, and an early archaic wealth and status disparity between elite and damos was maintained. The accessions to the communal core, acquired by collective action of the politai, i.e. mainly territory in the lower Eurotas valley and in Messenia, were now equally divided in principle among all Spartiates as Homoioi. During the late‐seventh‐ century suppression of the Messenians, affording equal shares may have constituted a pledge tendered by the Spartiates to each other. With the gradual subjection of Messenia, this pledge was implemented in an emplacement of the klēros‐system over several decades. Helotage and the Spartan Economy 575 We should therefore seek the inauguration of the klēros‐system in the so‐called Second Messenian War. Aristotle noted that the poems of Tyrtaios – remember that he had a more complete dossier than our survivals – reveal political pressure for land redistribution (Pol. 1306b26–1307a2 with fr. 1W). Our reconstruction proposes that such an anadasmos (‘re‐division’) actually took place outside the field of view now offered by the Tyrtaian corpus. Tyrtaios seems to show a polis dependent on a hoplite army, but one with a more conventional aristocratic elite, self‐identifying as Heraklids, who interrelated in symposia and did not yet interact with the damos in syssitia. The helots already existed, the klēros‐system may not have. Some citizen fighters were not hoplites, as gumnētai (‘light armed troops’) also fought in the Spartan army (POxy #3316). Tyrtaian exhortations to young fighters in the forefront of the phalanx or even in its vanguard (sometimes perhaps as mounted infantry in a corps of Hippeis: (Figueira (2006) 67–70) reveal tensions between age groups that the educational system would later address (Tyr. 10.1, 21, 30; 11.4, 12; 12.16, 23W). If we accept the implication of Aristotle that Tyrtaian poetry resisted agitation toward redistribution, such poetic gestures would harmonize with the generally conservative and conciliatory thematic of the corpus. At the same time, Tyrtaios reveals a strong impetus toward a hoplite polity and a more austere regimen. The klēros‐system was, then, a creation of the late seventh or early sixth century, not a vestige of a primordial Dorian order or the result of the legislation of a mythical Lykourgos before 750. Its prehistory represents fabrication of earlier history in order to consolidate a false collective memory. While the klēros‐system was created in an interlocking group of changes, Spartan austerity was not legislated in a single program. Rather, the strong tendency toward egalitarianism and against elite ostentation inherent not only in the klēros‐system but also in the messes suppressed conspicuous consumption by stages. Recourse to the practice of xenēlasia (‘expulsion of foreigners’) and prohibition on residence abroad accentuated inhibitions against outward expression of different grades of material status. These manifestations of xenophobia decoupled the Spartans symbolically from elite mores prevalent elsewhere and practically from trade exchanges supporting conspicuous consumption (Figueira (2003a) 62–6). The existence of a barter economy, where open ownership of gold and silver had been prohibited (probably in the sixth century), protected the evolution toward austerity (Figueira (2002a) 153–5). The Sparta of my reconstruction does not possess a tendency toward demographic decline unlike the Sparta which others have surmised. For instance, Hodkinson has imagined a large body of equal klēros‐holders, the size and number of whose estates declined under the influence of differential procreation that was filtered through partible inheritance.34 That would entail an impossibly large hoplite army for c.600 (or whenever one supposes that the klēroi were created). It is better to hypothesize a relatively small complement of initial klēros‐holders that grew steadily into the fifth century until the Great Earthquake of c.465. Concomitant with our hypothesis is the existence of some mechanism that acted against the division of the klēroi. Such a prohibition against division and alienation was a provision of the ‘communist’ system of land tenure in the Lipari islands c.560 (Diod. Sic. 5.9.3–5; see Figueira (1984b)) and was certainly a feature of fifth‐century Athenian klēroi that were held by cleruchs (Figueira (1991) 176–85). In some form, it may have been a feature of much early colonization as well (cf. Aris. Pol. 1319a10–11). 576 Thomas Figueira The reconstruction of equivalent helot‐cultivated klēroi that were not initially divisible greatly differs from the treatment of Spartan land tenure in the Politics of Aristotle (1264b6–1271b19). Viewed in terms of historiography, this confrontation embodies two forms of political inquiry among the Peripatetics, the school of Aristotle. One form can be called the ‘constitutional’ tradition as it was presented in the Politeiai (constitutional treatises on Sparta) of Aristotle and his pupil, Dikaiarchos (Figueira (2016, 15–17)). In contrast, the treatment in the Politics conveys observations on the social realities of mid‐fourth‐century Sparta. Both modes of interpretation imbibed the essentially achronicity of Spartan historiography, as the constitutional treatises presented a system legislated by Lykourgos while the Politics cite an anonymous lawgiver. The dimension of time needs to be added to both forms of Peripatetic investigation to create a coherent social evolution. Accordingly, we might synthesize these visions of Sparta by offering a de‐idealized form of the ‘constitutional’ picture as an archaic social order and by accepting the testimony of the Politics as reflecting an altered set of arrangements affecting Sparta’s agrarian regime in the classical period. As seen below, the period after the Great Earthquake of c.465 will be proposed as the tipping point for the revisions of the archaic economic dispensation. 22.4 Messes and Dues The other pole of the axis of production in Lakōnikē comprised the syssitia (‘messes’), which played a unique role in the Spartan economy.35 The messes existing at Tiryns and in Crete differed significantly, despite a common origin.36 At Tiryns, the meals were more elite gatherings than at Sparta. The scale of such transfers was limited by number of recipients or by the occasions for the transfers. On Crete messes did include the body of citizen families, but the messes were supported directly from public revenues (including income from dependent communities). At Sparta, however, a vast engine for the cycling of production was established. Tendering of the mess contributions and membership in a mess were prerequisites for the maintenance of full citizenship, so that commensality encompassed the entire civic body. Embodying egalitarianism, and bound with strict rules limiting displays of wealth‐based status differentiation, the messes inculcated a regimen of austerity. The messes were the focus of male life, and daily attendance was mandatory. The dues were set high, as seen from the enumerations of their components in Plutarch’s Lykourgos (12.3) and in Athenaeus (Athen. 4.141; cf. ΣPlato Laws 633A.), who cites Dikaiarchos’ Tripolitikos (fr. 72 [Wehrli]). These authorities may have used different sources, but clearly the dues were an element in the constitutional treatises of Aristotle and Dikaiarchos. The monthly amounts were 1.5 Attic medimnoi or 1 Laconian medimnos of alphita (‘barley groats’), eight Laconian or 11/12 Attic khoes (‘quarts’) of wine, five mnai (mna = c. 431 gr.) of cheese, two‐and‐a‐half mnai of figs, and opsōnion (‘side‐dishes’) worth 10 Aiginetan obols. The use of a monetarily‐denoted amount is incongruous because using coinage was forbidden to Spartiates. Therefore, this practice was probably first adopted as a military procedure on campaign, where Spartans dealt with merchants conducting business in Aiginetic standard currency. The quota of 10 obols in the messes at home was an act of ‘domestication’ of the military messes of the army on campaign. Helotage and the Spartan Economy 577 Indeed the syssitia themselves institutionalized the syskēnia (‘military messes’) by importing into life at home the simplicity and shared lives of infantrymen serving in the field (Hdt. 1.65.5; Polyain. 2.3.11). The late archaic and early classical Spartan army used the civic messes as basic units. Since mess membership was virtually limited to men who passed through the agōgē and was a criterion of citizenship (Aris. Pol. 1271a26–37; 1272a13–16), the high dues threshold practically tied retention of citizenship to the possession of a klēros and support by helot workers. The definition of klēros rents and the enumeration of dues were thus conjoined acts of social design. Furthermore, mess dues far exceeded the foodstuffs necessary to sustain a well‐nourished man in his daily main meals (being five to six times minimum annual subsistence).37 This superfluity is especially striking in the surplus of dues in wine, since Spartiates were notoriously abstemious about wine consumption in their messes.38 Some recipients of this additional wine were helots, who were permitted to imbibe to intoxication and to embarrassment for their buffooneries, which indignities were staged before the Spartiate mess members.39 The messes were, then, a mechanism that acculturated Spartiates to superior sociopolitical roles and helots to their status of social and moral inferiority. I have wished to go further and theorize that this dispensation of wine was part of a broader usage of the messes as channels for redistribution, for giving back to the helots a portion of the helot rents they paid in kind.40 An exaction of 50 percent of production is at the upper limit of practical rents among near‐subsistence agriculturalists. Such rents diverted so much output of foodstuffs that they left the helots particularly susceptible to an incentive mechanism that offered food as a reward for displays of compliance.41 Wine as a foodstuff and an intoxicant is especially relevant in food recirculation, since it was universally in demand, readily consumable, and relatively portable (even for transferring large amounts of calories). Just as Appalachian farmers converted surplus grain into moonshine whiskey to transport agricultural output in mountainous terrain, wine recirculated in the messes avoided some costs of a redistributive system. Furthermore, another argument in favor of the hypothesis of considerable redistribution to the helots is that some such mechanism is needed to reconstruct a viable demographic and economic model for Lakōnikē (Figueira (1984a) 100–4; (2003b) 217–20). The exemption from gainful labor of the entire Spartiate population built into Spartan agriculture a shortage of manpower. Without redistribution, it is hard to posit appropriate amounts of helot labor to man the klēros‐system and to provide the required mess dues. Also difficult is explaining how 35,000 male helots were available for the expeditionary force to Plataia in 479. At that time, Spartiate adult males (18+) exceeded 8,000 and total holders (or potential holders) of klēroi approximated 10,000. Estimates of the arable land in Lakōnikē sharpen this dilemma as they imply that Laconia and Messenia were fully utilized to support 10,000 klēroi. The lack of managerial or administrative structures for the system of klēroi reveals why the syssitia were the context for food redistribution in the archaic Spartan economy. Spartiates may well have bartered with fellow Homoioi, perioikoi, and helots, but keeping recirculation in the quasi‐public setting of the mess discouraged individual Spartiates from developing multifaceted relationships with the helots supporting them, interactions in which the Spartiate might provide incentives for higher output of which the helot might receive a share. Rather, the communal setting of the mess linked material advantage 578 Thomas Figueira for the helot with acceptance of abuse. Thus the incentives toward cooperation did not serve the interests of the individual Spartiate, but engendered compliance with the whole civic body. Indeed, analysis of the helots as a class often fails us because Spartan practice acted to forestall the emergence of intra‐class integration not only through incentives (noted above), but also through threats. In conjunction, these means constitute a policy of ‘divide to rule’. Thus, beneficiaries of recirculation could not be numerous at any one time. Rather the few favored were well positioned to act as patrons of the other helots through allotting food to those cooperative toward the Spartiates and themselves. The shadowy mnoionomoi, described as arkhontes (‘leaders’) of the helots, may be relevant in this connection (Hesych. s.v.). The ‘carrot’ of recirculated food was balanced by the ‘stick’ of repressive measures. The ephors declared war on the helots annually (Aris. fr. 543 Gigon with Plut. Lyk. 28.4); the helots submitted to a regimen of arbitrary abuse with a quota of blows (Myron FGrH 106 F2); and the youths of the krypteia meted out extra‐legal violence toward the helots as though enemies (Plut. Lyk. 28.1–4 with Aris. fr. 543; Aris. apud Heracl. Lembos 373.10D; Myron FGrH 106 F2). Nevertheless, after the Spartiate population declined so that a smaller civic body had access to more land, it may well be that inhibitions against management of the klēroi weakened. Increased opportunities for specific supervision may have devolved upon Spartan women. 22.5 Population and Land Tenure The wealth and military power of Greek poleis are often a direct reflection of population growth.42 The analysis of the Spartan pattern of dependent labor outlined above indicates how Sparta emerged as one of the most powerful archaic poleis through demographic vitality (Figueira (1986) 170–5). Spartan control over Messenia could only be achieved through a series of depopulations in which those most resistant to reduction to helotage were driven into exile, and a remnant population remained as helots. When the klēroi‐system consolidated in the late seventh century, the klēroi perhaps only numbered a few thousand. Then Spartan power was restricted by the limit of helot workers and not by shortages of fertile land. As late as the struggle with Tegea in the 570 s, it was labor and not land for which Sparta made war. The Spartans brought fetters for the Tegeans to symbolize reduction to servitude, although they doubtless expected to annex for klēroi the best arable Tegean land (Hdt. 1.66.1–4). The resistance offered by the Arkadians, based on their linguistic, ethnic, and political solidarity, rendered vain this dream of a new stock of subject laborers. Hence the decision to bind the Spartans’ neighbors by a series of alliances had as its internal corollary opting for a policy of slow growth in the complement of Spartiates. Notably this shift can also be traced for the perioikoi, because no further groups of refugees from elsewhere in Greece were accommodated before the Peloponnesian War. Sparta experienced steady growth over the sixth century. As noted above, the Spartans could offer young helot males an early, easy opportunity to form their own households, because there was still much good land available when the Spartiates numbered but a few thousand. Some helot flight may have occurred but fugitives had to run a gauntlet of perioikic towns and allied poleis (as suggested by the treaty with Tegea: SVA #112), as Helotage and the Spartan Economy 579 well as to defy the vigilance of the kryptoi. Compared to the losses of young men for other poleis in war and invasion, reduction of helot laborers through flight was probably insignificant. If suppositions about the mixed origins of the helots are correct, the Spartans may even have supplemented their natural increase through importation of captives and slaves. The Spartiates themselves had little motivation toward family limitation. A klēros was guaranteed each male who completed the agōgē. While partible inheritance probably prevailed over non‐klēros land, possessing a little more or less of it had no practical effect on social standing when compared with success in the agōgē and on campaign. The granting of dowries was probably forbidden (Plut. Mor. 227F), a provision which excluded a tool of social mobility used elsewhere, and the kings awarded heiresses on the basis of Spartiate aretē (Hdt. 6.57.4). Access to the aristocracy was barred by custom and lacked the cachet of exclusivity known elsewhere, since conspicuous expression of elite status was suppressed. The annual high office of the ephorate was open to the entire damos: this was a powerful compensation balancing the retained privileges of the old elite. It is inconceivable that an early Greek polis could have a population policy. Rather, the Spartans created conditions where the number of helots grew; thus there was a growing reservoir of helot workers to support a rising number of Spartiates. This buoyancy is illustrated by various events. Circa 546, the Spartans were willing to risk, and, in the event, sacrifice, their entire corps of elite troops, the Hippeis, in a duel with the Argives (Hdt. 1.82.1–8). As the sixth century advanced, Sparta became more aggressive, ranging farther afield militarily to the Isthmos and to its north, and even sallying into the Aegean to strike at Naxos and Samos. Dorieus, brother of Kleomenes, may have taken as many as 1,000 Spartans off as colonists c.514–512 (Hdt. 5.42.2). The Laconia Survey vouches for at least one new perioikic community being founded at Sellasia through deliberate occupation by internal settlers.43 In the small clusters of helots scattered on klēros‐land, it would not have been feasible to match young men and women or to ensure that their most likely places for living were in the vicinity of kinsmen. Spartan ritual activities were exposing the helots to the dominant Spartiate culture, and helot rural cult practices were bringing them into contact with their fellows. Therefore, two kindred cultural processes were advancing: all inhabitants of Lakōnikē were converging in fundamental behavior, such as common dialect, religious practices, and high culture, and there was a churning of demographic components, as intermarriage and exogamy between families and among small communities, as well as internal colonization, affected both perioikoi and helots. In particular, the helots felt integrative and differential cultural forces, as illustrated by a later episode from the Theban invasion of Lakōnikē (370). Captured, or is that ‘liberated’?, helots refused to perform the poetry of archaic Spartan poets Terpandros, Alkman, and Spendon, on the grounds that their masters forbade it (Plut. Lyk. 28.5). However, it appears that they could have done so; they knew the poetry in question. As Sparta entered the fifth century, its population was reaching its apogee. The expeditionary corps that appeared at Marathon (490) looks like a picked force of the first ten age classes.44 Leonidas faced the loss of his expeditionary force of three hundred Spartiates at Thermopylai (480) with relative equanimity.45 The 5,000 Spartiates at Plataia (479) were perhaps the normal two‐thirds levy (men aged twenty to forty‐nine) out of a complement of men aged twenty to sixty exceeding 8,000. At that time, then, all male Spartiates totaled c.10,000. Yet it is in fact difficult to accommodate 10,000 klēroi on the 580 Thomas Figueira arable land of Laconia and Messenia. With so many Spartiates, it is also hard to explain how the 35,000 helots conscripted for the Plataia campaign were fed. Indeed, if, on the basis of the arable land of Laconia and Messenia, we calculate the upper limits of the klēros‐system to provide food, high estimates for helot numbers, common in earlier scholarship, become doubtful.46 The number of helots, male and female of every age, lay between 85,000 and 115,000. Even these numbers probably entail the existence of channels (in my view, through the messes) by which food was recirculated to the helots. Nonetheless, the servile population of Spartan territory was very large ([Plato] Alcib. 1.122d; Plut. Solon 22.2), as confirmed by its comparison with the Chian slave population by Thucydides (8.40.2). Circa 479, therefore, in its utilization of Laconia and Messenia, the klēros‐system was reaching its practical limit, which was not only imposed by available land, but also by the challenge of mobilizing a sufficient labor force under a 50 percent rent. However, Sparta possessed additional land in the Thyreatis, later granted to Aiginetan refugees, but still available for creating klēroi in 479. Potentially, the Spartans also possessed a powerful tool for extending the ability of any number of klēroi to support Spartiates: a delay after birth in initial assignment of klēroi made 9,000–10,000 klēroi, for example, support a larger population because mortality was heavy in the first years of life and boys could easily be supported by their parents up to age seven, the beginning of the agōgē (Figueira (1984) 96–7, and n. 26 above). Therefore, any attempt to model flows of output in the Spartan economy inevitably works from this ‘snapshot’, one which reflects the demographic highpoint of the political economy of Lakōnikē.47 This is the demographic profile of a self‐confident power, one not unduly troubled by Attic promotion of the Delian League, however unwelcome the transfer of the hegemony at sea appeared. During the 470s, this Sparta saw off threats to its Peloponnesian supremacy in Arkadian dissension and a revived Argos. Nevertheless, the homogenization and mixture of elements of the helot population, which expansion and even the basic operation of the klēros‐system entailed, nurtured the seeds of challenge for Sparta’s social order. Because Spartan ideology necessitated that helot cultural identity manifest the converse of civic identity, it is unsurprising that the helots fashioned a self‐image in an inversion of Spartan myth‐history that embodied aspirations to escape from their exploited status. Their raw material comprised folk memories of early resistance to Sparta that accreted around the charismatic hero Aristomenes and a peasant religiosity that encompassed fertility rituals.48 A central theme was a purported descent from the citizens of a subjugated polis, Messene, which had occupied the region west of Mt. Taygetos until destroyed by Sparta. Thucydides states that the helots were generally called Messenians by virtue of the descent of their majority from the ancient Messenians (1.101.2).49 Thus, if they chose a path of resistance regarding their status, the helots throughout Lakōnikē could claim that they were Messenian (and not entirely unreasonably on our hypothesis of demographic mixture). This Messenian persona, however, was not adopted by all helots. Some staked their aspirations on cooperation with the Spartiates and sought opportunities for upward mobility within the dominant ideological system and not in opposition to it. The next stage of Spartan demography is punctuated by an exogenous event of enormous impact. In c.465, an earthquake convulsed Lakōnikē, its epicenter near Sparta itself. Perhaps 20,000 free Laconians perished and Sparta was laid waste. This natural Helotage and the Spartan Economy 581 disaster was understood by many helots as a providential signal for armed resistance. The ensuing revolt lasted ten years, although the Spartans soon pacified Laconia itself and later confined the rebels to the environs of Mt. Ithome in Messenia. The Spartan victory came only at the cost of a further loss of manpower in which the surviving rebels with their families were accorded the right of withdrawal. When the Spartan army is next glimpsed during the Peloponnesian War, it is substantially smaller. Rather than accept an inexplicable change in procreative patterns, one should assign this reduction of 50–60 percent of all Spartiates to the effects of the earthquake and rebellion.50 Thucydides notes the presence in 431 of a large number of Peloponnesian young men who were both without experience of war and enthusiastic for hostilities (2.8.1). If Sparta was included in this phenomenon, as appears likely, a large cohort of men had matured since the Thirty Years Peace of 446/5, the oldest of whom had been sired right after the earthquake. Thus Sparta had probably returned during the years 465–31 to its typical demographic growth of the archaic period. However, the earthquake permanently changed Sparta (Figueira (2004b) 51–2.). The more fearful community of 431 is clearly a legacy. But more important for our purposes is a hypothetical change in land tenure. Aristotle speaks of a situation where land sale was discouraged but other transfers by gift, dowry, and testament were possible (Pol. 1270a18–21). Another tradition refers to an arkhaia moira (‘ancient portion’) that could not be alienated.51 As Myron of Priene implies, this moira was not merely land, but included obligations from the helots bound to that land. Another tradition, which appears in Plutarch’s Agis (5.3), describes a one‐heir system in which klēroi descended from fathers to single sons in unbroken succession. That was a biological impossibility, but its likely appearance in Peripatetic and Stoic constitutional writing about Spartan traditions may indicate its role in classical Spartan discussion about how to manage inheritance. In interpreting these testimonia, one should envision where land tenure must have stood after the earthquake and helot revolt (Figueira (1986) 184–7). Klēros‐land was damaged significantly by the death or flight of its helots. Losing helot men threatened the Spartan economy, because the high rents at 50 percent of output kept the labor needs for cultivation of the klēroi dangerously near a level of insufficiency (Figueira (1984) 104–6). Subsistence agriculture is always dependent on work inputs from adult males, those most likely lost in rebellion. Moreover, there were now many vacant klēroi because their beneficiaries had died. It is perhaps inevitable that such klēroi passed to the next in line of property succession. That was the easiest means to handle a stock of vacant klēroi, some with insufficient labor, and it guaranteed that any uneven distribution of helots was offset by multiple klēros‐holdings for many Spartiates. The original klēros of each Spartiate, apparently called the arkhaia moira, was declared indivisible and inviolate. These provisions were perhaps enacted during the revolt itself, 465–55, when rent extraction and worker availability were most unpredictable. The Spartans may still have felt obligated to provide a klēros for anyone completing the agōgē. The growing reservoir of helot laborers that had once allowed such provision had vanished, however. Spartiates could only provide for younger sons out of land acquired through the deaths of so many fellow citizens during the earthquake and revolt. Concomitantly, the treatment of heiresses changed as the nearest kinsman played a central role. That he was called a klēronomos (usually ‘inheritor’ but here probably ‘guardian’) implies that his function was to 582 Thomas Figueira preserve a klēros, probably the arkhaia moira, of the heiress’ father (Aris. Pol.1270a26–9). Furthermore, a manipulation of communal memory served to promote the ‘single‐heir’ system (Plut. Agis 5.3 cf. [Plut.] Mor., Comm. in Hes. 37). The ‘single‐heir’ system placed the onus on the individual Spartiate to procreate his heir, but also discouraged fragmentation of holdings through engendering multiple male successors, who might be a challenge to equip with sufficient estates. Such policy defied procreative reality, where families failing to raise sons to adulthood must be offset by those with multiple sons. The single heir appears as ‘Lykourgan’ legislation in later historiography, admittedly an impossible designation, so that the important questions become the date of its inception and its purpose. It belongs to a moment when family planning was a sensitive issue. Did the single‐heir practice originate in the period after the earthquake and revolt, as patriotic exhortation for ordinary Spartiates? In politicized economies, invocations of civic duty, relying on high degrees of conformity, clash with opportunistic behavior. Yet the demographic situation of Sparta after the withdrawal of the rebels from Mt. Ithome to Naupaktos in 455 was not desperate. Sparta still had many Spartiate hoplites, comparable to mid‐sixth-century levels, and its perioikic levy was much less affected by earthquake and revolt. The perioikoi were vulnerable only to catastrophic and military casualties, and not to an economic threat of losing servile laborers. What differed, after hostilities with Athens in the First Peloponnesian War ended (446), was the balance between social gradations within the Spartiate class. The massive reallocation of property and helots attendant upon a 45+ percent fall in the Spartiate population must have been quite uneven in its incidence. Some of those unlucky in the deaths of their kinsfolk became lucky in inheritance. Were there not families that suddenly found themselves heirs to land and labor equivalent to three or four klēroi? If so, Sparta may have confronted for the first time non‐elite persons who possessed holdings approximating those of members of its old aristocracy. Such persons might now have aspired to leading places. Nonetheless, the Spartan economy appears to have stabilized. Thucydides vouches for a mass of young men in 431 eager for war. Spartiate numbers had probably been growing, and there was no sign of an inability either to extract sufficient rents from the klēros‐land or to tender the required mess dues. We may date after the Thirty Years Peace (446/5) an initiative Thucydides notes, ostensibly intended to reward helots who had aided Sparta ‘in the wars’.52 Two thousand eventual honorees who made a circuit of Laconian sanctuaries – presumably entering the damos and freed from their servile obligations – were then secretly eliminated by the Spartans. Thucydides notes that the Spartans especially feared the neotēs (‘young of military age’) and plēthos (‘large number’) of the helots (4.80.3). This affair indicates that the available helot labor force had again achieved a satisfactory level. Eliminating workers by elevation, followed by assassination, seems inexplicable if many Spartiates possessed non‐viable klēroi. The Peloponnesian War, however, brought disastrous changes (Figueira (1986) 175–87). There were naturally attritional casualties, possibly not replaced by maturing youths in the war’s early years. Our first demographic conclusion depends on calculating the size of basic military units (enōmotiai, ‘platoons’) during the Pylos campaign (425).53 A likely size‐range for the enōmotia indicates a whole army smaller by 22–9 percent. This decline had been restricted to the Spartiates, now 45 percent fewer and only 38–41 percent of the army (50 percent at Plataia). This shows the lingering effects of the much earlier earthquake and revolt. Population decline had necessitated a major army reorganization. Helotage and the Spartan Economy 583 The mobilization for Pylos also allows a comparison with the Spartan army at Mantineia (418). Yet the size and organization of Spartan forces there is a notorious crux because Thucydides’ order of battle (5.68.2–3) appears to yield a smaller force than the circumstances and other evidence permit. Our solution is to double the size of the whole army by inserting morai (‘regiments’) above Thucydides’ lokhoi (‘battalions’). Thus the Spartans at Mantineia number 35 percent less overall than at Plataia and the Spartiates 58 percent fewer (considering the same ages). If one does not correct Thucydides, his smaller Spartan army at Mantineia would mean that the continuing damages from earthquake and revolt amounted to c.71 percent of total Spartan manpower. Even with Thucydides corrected, the reduction from Pylos to Mantineia was significant at c.18–25 percent.54 This reconstruction does coincide with other evidence from Thucydides, who stressed the damage of Attic raids and Messenian forays from Pylos, later from Kythera, and still later from Cape Malea.55 The strong Spartan desire to achieve peace with Athens reflects this economic crisis.56 Beyond direct damage to the productivity, the main effect of these raids was to draw off vigorous helot workers, especially young men, indispensable for the workload of the klēros‐ system. So long as the traditional rents (for grain, at least, at the 50 percent rate) had to be levied to pay for Spartiate mess dues, the klēros‐system did not have a large safety margin (Figueira (1984a) 105–6). Mantineia also reveals another negative trend, increasing dependence on the perioikoi: rising from 47–50 percent at Plataia to 72 percent at Mantineia. Inasmuch as their conditions of service approximated the Spartiates, perioikic infantrymen bore heavier burdens than hoplites in other poleis. A higher proportion of perioikoi meant that some had to stand further forward in the phalanx. As Sparta began to mobilize more year‐classes for more intense service, perioikic hoplites had greater costs and dangers to bear without helot labor subsidizing them. Aristotle notes how Spartiates lost their status on failure to pay their mess dues (Pol. 1271a26–37; 1272a13–16). Such disfranchised persons were termed hypomeiones (‘inferiors’).57 Disruption of agricultural production was the principal cause for such arrears in mess contributions. The Spartiates appear adamant in their determination not to relax these requirements. One cause was perhaps the tendency in servile economies to trace problems with laborers to inadequacies of individual masters rather than to systemic flaws in dependency. If that were operative at Sparta after Pylos, it would suggest how far, under the influence of mid‐fifth‐century changes in land tenure, relations between helots and the owners of klēroi had evolved beyond the depersonalized exploitation described above. Second, our surviving sources are mute on what happened to the helots of persons losing mess membership and Spartiate status. Hypomeiones probably did not retain their helots, because that would breach the monopoly of the Homoioi, earned by martial aretē, over benefits from land and laborers. If their klēros‐land and helots passed to their heirs, one can envisage why the less vulnerable disregarded the plight of the downwardly mobile. Those sympathetic would presumably have intervened to help tender mess dues of their kindred and friends before the crisis of default, so that those falling into arrears had already lost the safety net offered by others. Furthermore, Sparta began to use liberated helots as hoplites during the Archidamian War, not only to supplement manpower, but also as surrogates for citizens whom it preferred not to risk overseas.58 Thus, for each Hypomeiōn there were potential Neodamōdeis, as manumitted 584 Thomas Figueira ex‐helot soldiers were eventually called, no matter whether these soldiers were enrolled from helots released by Hypomeiones or from volunteers from their masters’ most devoted, strongest dependents, who were replaced by the helots of degraded Spartiates. Some such hypothesis is required to explain how Sparta in the 420s could be short of helot workers and yet at the same time be enlisting helots as soldiers.59 Hypomeiones were potentially a dangerous component of the community, as illustrated by the conspiracy in c.399 of Kinadon, a Hypomeiōn of considerable ability who continued to serve the state after his degradation (Xen. Hell. 3.3.4–11). The Hypomeiones were probably ranked lower than perioikoi as second‐class citizens, since the latter preserved rights in their communities, but the Hypomeiones could serve militarily, perhaps for compensation. Unknown is the scale of Kinadon’s plot, which was uncovered by an informant in Kinadon’s recruiting efforts.60 Clearly he hoped to establish a political order with full participation by a wider circle than the Spartiates and with improved status for the helots, whom he expected to assist him. Another controversy involves the rhētra (‘law’) of the ephor Epitadeus, a legislative act that supposedly freed Spartans from restrictions in alienation and bequest of property.61 Some consider it a fabrication (being in my view too skeptical).62 Plutarch mentions the rhētra as a cause for the social crisis prevailing (244–42) during the reign of a reforming Hellenistic king, Agis IV. Plutarch derived his treatment from a Hellenistic politeia of Sparta, perhaps that of the Stoic Sphairos.63 Epitadeus’ proposal is accorded a selfish motivation, estrangement from his son, and Plutarch correlated the rhētra with an upsurge in self‐interested behavior, including intensified competition for status differentiation. A ‘single‐heir’ system was supposedly discarded. Such lack of fidelity toward traditional mores and self‐aggrandizement brought Sparta down. In the naive view that the causes of Spartan decline ran current with their most dramatic manifestations, some scholars date the rhētra to the fourth century. Yet a fourth‐century rhētra cannot explain the problems of disfranchisements and of accelerating inequality in late‐ fifth‐century Sparta. The only Epitadas (the Laconian variant of Epitadeus) known is a Spartan commander who fell at Pylos in 424.64 Yet a personalized explanation for the rhētra fails to account for its passage. Fathers disowning sons can never have been a substantial factor in the crisis. The ‘single‐heir’ system of succession was a fantasy. It could only have been a dangerous aspiration – if applied, a chief result could have been a lowered birthrate – and never a genuine recollection of past ‘family planning’. Rather than precipitating the decline of the klēros‐system and the Lykourgan order, the rhētra of Epitadeus was probably meant as a remedy to early manifestations of inequality of property in the generation before Pylos. The rhētra served to free Spartiates to deploy their assets so as to ensure the status of all of those in affinity with them by managing division of inheritances, by dowering, or by gift giving. The practice of mentoring of poorer citizens as mothōnes also occurred in this period.65 The size of dowries may already have been perceived as problematic, as Aristotle would later note (Pol. 1270a24–6). The social competition expressed by increasing dowries was the result of contention for the most elite husbands by upwardly mobile Spartiates, who benefited from the huge shift of assets after the earthquake (c.465) and ensuing rebellion. Not only was the rhētra of Epitadeus a failure as a reform, but it may also have sharpened the emergent contention for upward mobility by putting more utensils in the Helotage and the Spartan Economy 585 toolkit of the ambitious (Figueira (1986) 193–5). Such aspirations toward upward mobility were out of harmony with the rigidity of the klēros‐system. The Peace of Nikias (421) and the shift of Athenian energies elsewhere, first in offense to Sicily and then defensively in the Aegean, superficially brought respite to Sparta. The army mobilized at the Battle of the Nemea River in 394 retrospectively illuminates Spartan losses after 421 (Figueira (1986) 199–206). That force indicates a 12 percent decline in Spartan numbers, a substantial reduction but one reflecting a slowing of the damage to the Spartan economy as Athens also weakened. The early fourth century saw intense military activity in the Greek homeland, so that many indications exist of deployments that illuminate the size of various units and their battle order. A major reorganization halved the number of enōmotiai, basic units, from 192 to 96 (Figueira (1986) 200–1), because Spartan numbers were inadequate for manning the larger number and carrying out a full range of tactical dispositions. The reorganization and preserved evidence on the size of Spartan morai (‘regiments’) are consistent with a period of stability followed by accelerated decline owed to fourth‐century attrition. The Messenians – the liberated helots and their descendants – suffered a corresponding disaster, since they were uprooted not only from the Athenian‐controlled enclaves in Lakōnikē, but even from Naupaktos, a haven since 455. They were scattered around Greece, with some withdrawing to Sicily. The account by Xenophon of Spartan forces at Leuktra (371) is particularly valuable for containing an enumeration of the total forces and of the Spartiates in the four morai present.66 The twenty‐three years since the Nemea River marked another major decline in Spartan numbers, 36 percent since 394. The years after Mantineia (418) reveal a Spartiate decline of an astounding 58 percent. This reduction necessitated that five more age‐classes were regularly mobilized. It turned the army into a force largely composed of perioikoi (about 70 percent), although the soldiers from the perioikoi were themselves much fewer, dropping 37 percent between Mantineia and Leuktra.67 Manifestly, the early fourth century witnessed a continuation of Spartiate degradations, presumably through the widespread failure to tender mess dues. To achieve stability Spartiates not only needed to produce enough male offspring to replace themselves, but also to match that next generation with a sufficient supply of two inputs, land and helot workers, that themselves had to balance each other. And this goal had to be achieved without an administrative superstructure and without the application of management techniques. Attrition from continual fighting played its role in the absence of any single disaster. Yet the acceleration of decline exhibits another demographic trend. The rate of Spartiate decline increases c.390 at just the point at which the proportion of men born after 424 exceeded 50 percent of all males of an age for service. Thus Spartan family limitation probably factored alongside casualties and loss of citizenship (Figueira (1986) 203–4; (2003b) 224–7). Spartan parents may have feared for their sons’ prospects in a Lakōnikē under Attic pressure. Whether deliberately or instinctively, they reacted by applying the ‘single heir’ rule, of which the result was a population incapable of replacing itself. Any cushion that was provided by money and precious metals accumulated during the Ionian and Corinthian Wars would now have been exhausted. Simultaneously, the Spartans were using perioikoi more intensively, exposing them to greater mortality and damaging them economically. Naval war with Athens also affected the perioikoi since they suffered losses as trireme crews and marines. Population loss almost always means output loss in 586 Thomas Figueira ancient poleis. The shrinkage of perioikic economies inevitably harmed even the more affluent of those bearing hoplite duties. Moreover, some helots were freed and elevated in status for naval service (Myron FGrH 106 F 1). Leuktra was a battlefield manifestation of the manpower shortage that was affecting Lakōnikē (oliganthro ̄pia: Aris. Pol. 1270a34; cf. Xen. Lak. Pol. 1.1) and included its servile population. Our only datum on helot numbers is the 35,000 helots marched off to Plataia over a century earlier. In light of continuous reductions during the next hundred years through earthquake, revolt, withdrawal, flight, battle losses, and enfranchisements, the helots probably never again approached their acme of 479–65. The Theban general Epameinondas prevailed against a smaller Spartiate contingent in a smaller Spartan army at Leuktra (371), and would hardly have won at all or, at least not decisively, against the Spartans of Mantineia (418), let alone Plataia (479). So too his establishment of Messene would have had to surmount the resistance of many more Spartans, and he would have been challenged to integrate a larger indigenous population of liberated helots; instead Laconia seemed ‘deserted’ at the time of the first Theban invasion (Xen. Hell. 6.5.23, 25). Some Messenian helots and perioikoi rallied to refounded Messene, but Epameinondas gathered ‘Messenians’ and ordinary volunteers from abroad.68 By the time of Leuktra, the natural, barter‐based economy of archaic and early classical Lakōnikē lingered as nothing more than an ideological fiction. The Spartans managed logistics in Aiginetic coins that had even infiltrated the mess dues. Sparta had administered the costly Ionian War in monetary terms, largely Attic owls and associated coins of Attic allies (Figueira (1998) 469–76). After victory, the Spartans decided to maintain a state treasury for hegemonic purposes.69 The notorious avarice exhibited by Spartan commanders and harmosts abroad was associated by observers such as Xenophon with the breakdown of the traditional ‘Lykourgan’ diaita, the self‐denying and egalitarian pattern of consumption fostered by the traditional mess system (Xen. Lak. Pol. 14.1–7). Yet acquisitiveness overseas was a logical response to the uncertainties of the domestic servile economy, where inequalities of land holding and access to laborers could be complicated by helot flight and noncompliance (Figueira (1986) 202). Spartiates were barred from licitly accumulating income by gainful activities within Lakōnikē, and were practically unable to work to supplement the production of their klēros‐land. Reserves of coined money provided status insurance for themselves, sons, relatives, and friends. The reference by Theopompos (FGrH 115 F 178) to a xenēlasia in the 340 s serving to remedy a crop failure demonstrates that a single market for foodstuffs had replaced the old politicized distributive system (Figueira (2003a) 68–70). Spartiates were using coins and other goods in an informal or ‘black’ economy, to cope with mess dues which were largely expressed in agricultural measures. Leuktra imposed heavy casualties70 and opened the path for the Thebans to attack Laconia, maul the klēros‐system, and liberate many Messenian helots. Paradoxically, however, this catastrophe did not signify an immediate decline in manpower. The economic impact of an independent Messenian state lay not in further curtailment in Spartiate numbers, but rather in setting a ceiling for any demographic recovery (Figueira (1986) 207–10). The immediate reduction in Spartan forces after Leuktra was around 10 percent, and Sparta appears to have recouped in available troops in the next few years. This demographic resilience may be owed to the existence of many Hypomeiones, who continued to reside in Lakōnikē. With the loss of many Spartiates at Leuktra, these Helotage and the Spartan Economy 587 ‘Inferiors’ regained sufficient land to resume payment of mess dues and recover active citizenship. The components of the Spartan army facing Thebans and Arkadians in the years down to Second Mantineia (362) are not well attested. Yet Sparta apparently mounted forces comparable to its pre‐Leuktra mobilizations. Sparta settled into the role of a secondary power after Mantineia, and focused on maintaining its boundaries with Argos, Arkadia, and Messene. Its overarching aspiration was to recover Messenian klēros‐ land. Reoccupying central Messenia, an enormous enterprise, would not, however, have permitted reinstallation of thousands of klēroi there, as fourth‐century conditions would not have provided an appreciable mass of laborers. The great reservoir of helot labor of archaic and early classical Sparta was irrecoverable. The mid‐fourth century provides a backdrop for Aristotle’s negative remarks in the Politics. His criticism of the conditions of land tenure and arrangements for subsidizing the messes (where he contrasts the Cretan practice of drawing on public revenues) misses how the traditional system had integrated the agōgē, rents, mess dues, and redistribution (1270a15–39, 1271a26–37). Yet his critique was surely valid for the fourth‐century messes, where loss of civil rights accompanied an invidious game of upward mobility for the survivors amid intensifying inequality. Aristotle criticized the laxness of rules controlling the alienation of property. He does not reflect that contemporary arrangements were probably designed, albeit unsuccessfully, to compensate for the unevenness both in access to and control of klēros‐land and in the supply of helot workers. Disequilibrium emerged when the archaic agrarian regime was unbalanced by the Great Earthquake (c.465). Aristotle cites the scale of dowries and competition for heiresses, observing that 40 percent of Spartiate property was in women’s hands. He stressed the oliganthrōpia (‘shortage of manpower’) of a state with vast arable lands which he thought capable of supporting 1,500 cavalry and 30,000 hoplites, but which in his day sustained a tiny population of less than 1,000 citizens (1270a29–31) (cf. Cawkwell (1983)). Certainly, high fourth‐century mortality in battle was a factor here. It generated many female inheritors in high demand by suitors. Nonetheless, it is also conceivable that other factors promoted a movement of property into women’s hands. Except for the mess dues, no evidence survives on the mechanisms by which the Spartan government assigned taxes and liturgies based on agricultural production. Some advantage for female property holders may well have existed.71 Women did not pay mess dues, so that they did not risk loss of citizenship over arrears. If helots were stripped from those dropping out of the messes, women could have safely preserved their holdings. Aristotle puts much blame on Spartan women for the decline of Lykourgan austerity. In terms of our reconstruction, they were important agents in the sharpening drive for upward mobility that started in the mid‐fifth century. The tools for this competition probably included family limitation, amassing and pursuing large dowries, and marriage politics. The later fourth century saw Sparta continue on its downward spiral. Its kings adopted the pretensions of Hellenistic monarchy; they presided, with a small elite, over a community comprising various strata of the disfranchised, including helots. Only seven hundred adult male citizens remained, of whom only one hundred eventually possessed a klēros by the period of Agis IV (Plut. Agis 5.4). That meant sufficient land and helots to contribute traditional mess dues. The traditional syssitia no longer operated, and their Hellenistic counterparts were mechanisms by which the elite patronized the 588 Thomas Figueira impoverished damos with subsidies (Phylarchos FGrH 81 F 43) (Figueira 2004b.57–59). Each ephor may have presided over one of a handful of large messes. There is some evidence that the kings exercised special control of the helots, whom they could grant to foreign allies for the cultivation of gift estates (Stephanos, fr. 1, PCG 8.614–15). This was the situation in the 240s when Agis IV was contemplating his reforms (Marasco (1981/83) 1.211–16). 22.6 Conclusion The Spartan sociopolitical dispensation has wielded enormous influence over western ideas on constructing a just social order. Despite our admiration for Spartan accomplishments, it is probably fairer to judge this influence a pernicious legacy, deserving a place alongside chattel slavery. One needs, however, to transcend a ready, if justified, condemnation of Spartan cruelty toward, and exploitation of, the helots to appreciate this fully. In the late seventh century, the Spartans created an innovative polity that dealt with prevailing tensions over the social and political predominance of an inherited aristocracy, over how far different social groups might vary in their lifestyles, and over the legitimacy or even feasibility of social mobility. Their response was to suppress differentiation, re‐stage mobility in the circumscribed social spaces of the agōgē, messes, and army, and politicize acquisition and consumption. The Spartans integrated their body politic by reducing material life to formulae of extraction and redistribution. Klēroi were allotted and reallocated, rents collected from the helots, contributions paid into syssitia, and surplus food either circulated from the messes or were used to barter in a vast exercise in suppressing manifestations of individualistic and opportunistic behavior. Through the creation of the Peloponnesian League, this system was progressively insulated politically from more differentiated, less static societies emerging elsewhere, and isolated economically through prohibition of precious metals, iron money, and the recourse to xenēlasia (‘expulsion of foreigners’). When Sparta was crowned with an unlikely total victory over Athens in 404, the stage was set for its empire in political theory. That hegemony over theory distorted contemporary political options and tainted recollection of archaic social integration. It lasted much longer than the military hegemony won at Aigospotamoi in 405, for it appeared to have conquered not only the Athenians, but homo oeconomicus himself. Helotage inspired Plato and Aristotle to favor polities with caste‐like divisions, between those fulfilling merely economic roles and the military and political segments of society. Theorists were accordingly less welcoming of the market economy, economic differentiation and integration, democracy, and more individually‐centered visions of civic life. Furthermore, theorists could promote their more truly communistic systems by adducing the communally mediated flows of material goods in Lakōnikē, the public‐spiritedness of the earlier Spartans, and the principle of interchangeability in which any citizen could be replaced by his fellow. Such hints fell on fertile soil among modern thinkers. Naturally, the technological and social circumstances differed so radically between Sparta’s politicized economy and Marxist, Leninist, and Maoist command economies that the real relevance of ancient Sparta to these modern totalitarian regimes may be slight. Sparta does, however, provide some important parallels in its defiance of Helotage and the Spartan Economy 589 market forces and its masking of incentives toward more efficient uses of resources. Finally, it is in the politicization of Spartan life and not in ‘communism’ per se that the grounds to explore such convergences may be found. A careful reading of Spartan demographic history indicates that the injuries dealt Sparta in the 420s by Athenian military activity, coming as they did only a generation after the shocks of the earthquake and helot revolt, mortally wounded this political economy. The process of disfranchisement amid intense conflict was promoted by a reignited struggle for upward mobility. Modest initiatives toward liberalization of the Spartiate oikonomia, however intended, such as the rhētra of Epitadeus, were bound to fail as half‐measures because they adjusted a thoroughly politicized economy only at its margins. Sparta was unlucky in having Athens as adversary, because any opening toward reform threatened a plunge toward a democratic, money‐based society. Disfranchisement worsened the oliganthrōpia that rendered Sparta incapable of sustaining hegemonic ambitions. That the Athenians failed to discern the extent of the wounds they had dealt and subsequently embarked on foreign policy adventures (not only profoundly risky, but also extraordinarily unlucky) qualifies as one of history’s great ironies. However, it must stand alongside another irony that the final assessment of helotage charts its impact most clearly on the Spartiates, not on the helots themselves. That historiographical displacement is a product of the exploitation that left them nameless and largely unattested, save for the record of their victimization and the inverted image of the Spartiate ethos that was imposed on them. Those helots who found voice for themselves did so through an exercise in ethnogenesis as Messenians. Those who achieved liberation from servility through elevation as Spartans are totally mute. ‘Lykourgan’ Sparta was, nevertheless, a remarkable social experiment, albeit an outlier in Greek institutionalization, and one that proved a dead end in terms of applied paradigm. Laconizers may well have paraded their adherence to Spartan values and behavior and on the level of the individual such imitation had psychological relevance. But such Laconism was a contradiction in terms, because true adaptation could only be enacted on the polis level, and not on that of the individual politēs. One could never truly be individually Spartan. Moreover, the archaic Spartans would have had little in common in spirit with the anti‐democratic partisans who were the most ardent supporters of classical Sparta, such as the factionalists so vividly portrayed in Thucydides’ description of the stasis on Kerkyra or the die‐hards among the followers of the Thirty Tyrants at Athens. What common ground exists here would lie between those exploiting earthquake and revolt to climb upward or the greedy harmosts and the allied extremists whom Lysandros installed as decarchs. NOTES 1 Figueira (2004b) 47, 66 (n. 1). For those envisaging a Sparta that diverged from the institutions of other city‐states, see, e.g., Manso (1800–5) 1.118–28; Toynbee (1969) 201–2, 223–5, 230–3, 301–9. For those who emphasize Spartan convergences with other poleis, see, e.g., Grote (1872) 2.310–36; Hodkinson (2000) 187–208. 2 See Figueira (2004a) and Figueira (2016), also see below. 590 Thomas Figueira 3 For brief overview, see de Ste. Croix (1972) 89–95. Ducat (1990) represents the most thorough assessment. 4 This massacre is often dated in the 420s: e.g., Harvey (2004) 200–2; for the period 451–47: Figueira (1986) 186; (2003b) 224–5. 5 For Sparta: Huxley (1962) 13–25; Kiechle (1963) 95–115. 6 See Ducat (this volume, Chapter 23). 7 E.g., Finley (1973) 63–4; Austin and Vidal‐Naquet (1977) 86–90; Wiedemann (1981) 36–44. 8Antiochos FGrH 555 F 14; Hellanikos FGrH 4 F 188 = 323a F 29; Ephoros FGrH 70 F 117; Theopompos FGrH 115 F 13, cf. F 122a; cf. Paus. 3.20.6; ΣPlato Alkib. I.122d; EM s.v. Eἵλωτες 300.7–15 Gaisford. 9 See, e.g., Chrimes (1949) 284–5; Huxley (1962) 75; Ducat (1990) 7–18; Cartledge 2002, 83–4. 10 Xenia ‘guest/gift friendship’ was the characteristic form of Dark Age/Early Archaic (850–600) inter‐community relations that were mediated through inherited friendships among elite males who visited or hosted each other and exchanged gifts as tokens of mutual honor. 11 E.g., Chrimes (1949) 285–7; Toynbee (1969) 199, cf. 210, 223–4; Hodkinson (1986) 388–89; Nafissi (1991) 99–108. 12From spartós ‘sown’, but with a change in accent. Compare the Spartoí (‘sown men’) who are known from Theban mythology as the aristocratic lineages arising from the earthborn men who grew from the dragon’s teeth sown by the founding hero Kadmos. The myth supported a claim of autochthonous or indigenous status for elite Thebans. 13Sosibios FGrH 595 F13 with Paus. 3.10.6, 3.15–2–9, 3.19.7; cf. 2.2.2, 3.26.6, 5.3.1, Apollod. Biblio. 2.7.3–4. Spartan kingship, however, was also legitimized from the pre‐ Dorian Atreidai as shown by the cult in the Menelaion. 14 That the non‐royal Heraklid Lysandros tried to open the kingship to all Heraklids (in one version), supporting himself on both traditional and fabricated oracular material, indicates that this elevation of the royal houses did not appear unassailable, even as late as the early fourth century (Plut. Lys. 24.4–26.4, 30.3–4, with Ephoros FGrH 70 F 207; cf. Plut. Ages. 8.3). 15 Cf. Lukermann and Moody (1978) 92–5; McDonald and Coulson (1983) 326; Spencer (1998). 16 Figueira (1999) 225–9. 17 Hdt. 6.23.2–24; Thuc. 6.4.6; Strabo 6.1.6 C257; Paus. 4.23.6–10. See Luraghi 2008, 147–72. 18 In general, see Kahrstedt (1919); Buckler (1977); Cozzoli (1979); Ducat (1983); Cartledge (1987) 166–74; (2002), 142–5; Papazoglou (1993); Lazenby (1995). 19 Figueira (2015); with (1991) 57–62, 73–4; (2008) 440–2. 20 Direct evidence is admittedly late archaic or classical, but does encompass not only democratic Athenians (e.g., Thuc. 3.50.2), but also oligarchic Corinthians (Thuc. 1.27.1–2, 29.1) and the Spartans themselves (Thuc. 3.92.4–5, 93.2; Diod. Sic. 12.59.3–5). 21 Polyb. 6.45.3–4, based on Ephoros (FGrH 70 F 148); cf. Just. 3.3.3. 22 Figueira (1984a) 100–2; (2003b) 199–201; cf. Hodkinson (2000) 131–45; Catling (2002) 161–3, 193–5. 23 We should not forget that Aristotle in his Politics offers a different understanding of Spartan land tenure. Its relation to the rest of the source material and how it enhances our treatment is discussed later in this chapter. 24 Isok. 12.255 with Figueira (1986) 170, (2003b) 223. 25 Figueira (2004b) 62–3. See also Ducat (1983) 145, 151; Hodkinson (2000) 74–81. 26 Plut. Mor. 238E (cf. Lyk. 16.1), which is derived from a constitutional work on Sparta (possibly that of the Stoic Sphairos) and ultimately descends from the work of Aristotle on the Spartan constitution. See Figueira (2004b) 51–2, 55–6. While passage of the agōgē constituted a requirement for klēros possession, Plut. Lyk. 16.1 places the initial allocation of the klēroi in infancy. 27 Figueira (2004b) 63–4. See also Hodkinson (2000) 400–5. Helotage and the Spartan Economy 591 28 I emphasize that the vulnerability of the system to disruption, as much as the threat of outright revolt, caused the famous Spartan anxiety over the helots. See Thuc. 4.80.2–4; Kritias fr. 37 DK; Plato Laws 698E; Aris. Pol. 1269a37–b5. Cf. Roobaert (1977); Baltrusch (2001). 29 Whether these measures are Attic or Laconian is uncertain (Figueira (2003b) 201–2). 30 Cf. Figueira (2003b) 216–220. 31 See Figueira (2003b) 219. Cf. Hunt (1997); van Wees (2004) 181–2, for the view that the helot muster did have military value. 32 For Messenia, see McDonald and Hope Simpson (1972) 144–5, maps 8–15–17; for possible traces of the evolution at Kelephina, see Catling (2002) 168, 249, with Cavanagh et al. (1996) 285. 33 Or to be more specific, a helot could not amass such resources before the third century, when Sparta had a monetary economy, as illustrated by the 6,000 helots prepared to pay 500 drachmas (a considerable sum) for their freedom in 223. 34 Hodkinson (1986). Cf. Figueira (2002b). 35 In addition to the authorities of n.18 above, note Ducat (1990) 61–2; Singor (1993) 45–6. 36 Crete: Aris. Pol. 1272a16–21; Dosiadas FGrH 458 F 2; Tiryns: Verdelis et al. (1975). See Figueira (1984a) 97–8. 37 Figueira (1984a) 91–5 suggests that annual mess dues were equivalent in value to 1278–1478 kg. of wheat. Figueira (2003b) 217 offers even higher estimates (up to 2880 kg. of wheat). 38 Kritias fr. 6W, FHG 2.68, fr. 2; Xen. Lak. Pol. 5.4, 7; Plut. Lyk. 12.14. 39Plut. Lyk. 28.8–9; Demetr. 1.5; Mor. 239A. Cf. Ducat (1974) 1455–8. 40 Figueira (1984a) 96–7; (2003b) 207–10. 41 Figueira (1984a) 103–4; Hodkinson (1992). 42 Other treatments: Busolt (1905); Ziehen (1933); Toynbee (1969); Lazenby (1985). 43 Cavanagh et al. (1996) 321–3; Catling (2002) 168–9, 183. 44 Hdt. 6.120; cf. Isok. 4.87. See Figueira (1986) 169. 45 Hdt. 7.202, 205.2 with Figueira (2006) 61–2. 46 Figueira (2003b) 217–20; cf. Grundy (1908) 81; Cartledge (1987) 174; Talbert (1989) 23. 47 The archaeological evidence is not sufficiently detailed to confirm the population figures implied by Herodotos for Plataia (Hdt. 9.10.1, 11.3, 28.2; cf. 7.103.3: 5,000 Spartiates, 5,000 perioikoi, 35,000 helots), but the conclusions of Catling (2002) 206–7 note the classical falloff in population in the Laconia survey area (cf. pp. 249–50 for changes at Chrysapha). 48 Figueira (1999) 225–32; cf. Figueira (2010). See also Alcock (1999); Luraghi (2001) 293–301; Luraghi (2008) 173–208. On the Messenian folk hero Aristomenes, see Ogden (2004). 49 Luraghi (2008) disputes this view, but note Figueira (1999) 211–13; Figueira (2010). 50 See Figueira (1986) 177–9, 181–7; Hodkinson (2000) 417–23. 51Aris. apud Herakleides Lembos fr. 12 (Dilts); Plut. Mor. 238E; cf. Myron FGrH 106 F2. Cf. Lazenby (1995); Lupi (2003). 52 Thuc. 4.80.3–4; cf. Plut. Lyk. 28.6; Diod. Sic. 12.67.3–4. See Figueira (1986) 186. 53 The critical assumption (widely accepted) is that the garrison at Sphakteria (420) was formed from one enōmotia (of 35) from each of 12 lokhoi. See Figueira (1986) 175–7, with full bibliography including Chrimes (1949) 388–91; Toynbee (1969) 319, 368–77; Lazenby (1985) 114. 54 The maximum number for the Spartiates at Pylos appears to be c.2755 and the Spartiate force at Mantineia (with Thucydides’ number of lokhoi doubled!) fell within a range c.2086–2251. 55 Thuc. 4.41.2–3, 6.1–2; 5.14.3, 56.2–3. See Powell (2001) 234–6. 56 Thuc. 4.81.2, cf. 4.108.7; 4.117.1–2, cf. 5.15.1–2; 4.119.9–10; 5.7–11, cf. 5.13.2; 5.14.3–4, cf. 5.15.1, 17.1. 57Xen. Hell. 3.3.6, 11; cf. Thuc. 5.34.2; also 4.41.3, 55.1. 58 Thuc. 5.34.1; also Xen. Hell. 3.3.6; Hesych. s.v. δαμώδεις; νεοδαμώδεις; ΣThuc.5.34.1; Poll. 3.83; Myron FGrH 106 F 1; Dio Chrys. 36.38. Previously helots were employed as hoplite attendants or as light skirmishers, as at Sepeia (492) or Plataia (479). In general, see Welwei (1974) 142–58. 592 Thomas Figueira 59 It is unlikely that the massacre of helots described in Thuc. 4.80. 2–4 belongs in the 420s, despite Thucydides’ mentioning it while discussing Spartan reactions to Pylos. See Figueira (1986) 186. For recent discussions, see Harvey 2004; Paradiso 2004. 60 Powell (2010) 117–21 sees the plot as a ploy by King Agesilaos to augment his authority, but Powell rightly points out to me that such a hypothesis would add credibility to the background details, which must have been fabricated for their plausibility. 61Plut. Agis 5.3. See Figueira (2004b) 50–1. 62 Contrast Ducat (1983) 159; Cartledge (1987) 167–9; Schütrumpf (1987); Hodkinson (2000) 93–4 with Toynbee (1969) 337–43; Christien (1974). 63 Figueira (2004a) 151–2; Figueira (2016) 28–9. 64 Thuc. 4.8.9, 31.2, 33.1, 38.1. 65Plut. Lys. 2.1–2; Ael. VH 12.43; Phylarchos FGrH 81 F 43; cf. Isok. 4.111. 66Xen. Hell. 6.4.12–15. Figueira (1986) 206–7. 67 Figueira (1986) 198–9; for later declines pp. 204–5. 68 Diod. Sic. 16.66.1, 3; Paus. 4.27.4–11, with Figueira (1999) 219–21; Luraghi (2008) 209–48. 69Plut. Lys. 17.5–6 with Ephoros FGrH 70 F 205; Theopompos FGrH 115 F332. See Figueira (2002a) 141–3. 70Xen. 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Nafissi, M. (1991), La nascita del Kosmos: Studi sulla storia e la società di Sparta. Naples. Ogden, D. (2004), Aristomenes of Messene: Legends of Sparta’s Nemesis. Swansea. Papazoglou. F. (1993),‘Sur le caractère communautaire de la propriété du sol et de l’Hilotie à Sparta: A propos d’une thèse de J. Ducat’, ZA 43: 31–46. Papenfuss, D. and Strocka, V.M., eds (2001), Gab es das Griechische Wunder?, Mainz. Paradiso, A. (2004), ‘The Logic of Terror: Thucydides, Spartan Duplicity and an Improbable Massacre’, in Figueira, ed., 170–98. Powell, A. (2001), Athens and Sparta: Constructing Greek Political and Social History from 478 bc2, London. Powell, A. (2010), ‘Divination, Royalty and Insecurity in Classical Sparta’, in Powell and Hodkinson, eds, Sparta: The Body Politic, Swansea, 85–135. Powell, A. and Hodkinson, S., eds (2002), Sparta: Beyond the Mirage, Swansea. Powell, A. and Hodkinson, A., eds (2010), Sparta: The Body Politic, Swansea. Rapp, G. and Aschenbrenner, S.E., eds (1978), Excavations at Nichoria. Volume I. Site, Environs, and Techniques. Minneapolis. Roobaert, A. (1977), ‘Le danger hilote?’, Ktema 2: 141–55. Sanders, J.M. ed. (1992), ΦIΛOΛAKΩN: Lakonian Studies in Honor of Hector Catling: London. Schütrumpf, E. (1987), ‘The Rhetra of Epitadeus: A Platonist’s Fiction’, GRBS 28: 441–57. Singor, H.W. (1993), ‘Spartan Land Lots and Helot Rents’, in De Agricultura: In memoriam Pieter Willem De Neeve. Amsterdam. 31–60. Spencer, N. (1998), ‘Nichoria: An Early Iron Age Village in Messenia.’ in Davis, ed., 167–70. SVA = Die Staatsverträge des Altertums. Zweiter Band. Die Verträge der griechisch‐römischen Welt von 700 bis 338 v. Chr.2, 1975. Munich. Talbert, R.J. (1989), ‘The Role of the Helots in the Class Struggle at Sparta’, Historia 38: 22–40. Toynbee, A. (1969), Some Problems of Greek History. Oxford. Tsetskhladze, G.R., ed. (2008), A History of Greek Colonisation and Settlement Overseas. Leiden. Van Wees, H. (2004), Greek Warfare: Myth and Realities, London. Helotage and the Spartan Economy 595 Verdelis, N., Jameson, M. and Papachristodoulou, I. (1975), ‘APΧAIKAI EΠIΓPAΦAI EK TIPYNΘOΣ,’ AE: 150–205. Welwei, K. (1974), Die Unfreie im griechische Kriegsdienst. Mainz. Wiedemann, T. (1981), Greek and Roman Slavery. New York Ziehen, L. (1933), ‘Das Spartanische Bevölkerungsproblem’, Hermes 68: 218–37. FURTHER READING For a basic view on the helots (and on fifth‐century Sparta), consider the discussion in G.E.M. de Ste. Croix, (1972), The Origins of the Peloponnesian War, London. The most systematic treatment is J. Ducat (1990), Les Hilotes, BCH Supp. 20, Paris, and useful also are the contributions in N. Luraghi and S. Alcock, eds (2003), Helots and their Masters in Laconia and Messenia: Histories, Ideologies, Structures. Washington, DC. On the roots of helotage, consider S. Link, ‘Snatching and Keeping. The Motif of Taking in Spartan Culture’ in Figueira, ed., Spartan Society, 2004, Swansea, 1–24. Paul Cartledge is the leading contemporary Anglophone student of Sparta: his Sparta and Lakonia: A Regional History 1300 to 362 bc2. 1st edn (1979), 2nd edn (2002), London and New York, is an important overview, and his (1987), Agesilaos and the Crisis of Sparta, London, is a detailed discussion of classical Sparta. I note three of my works on economics: (1984) ‘Mess Contributions and Subsistence at Sparta’, TAPA 114, 84–109; (1986) ‘Population Patterns in Late Archaic and Classical Sparta’, TAPA 116, 165–213; (2004) ‘The Nature of the Spartan Klēros’, in Figueira, ed., Spartan Society, Swansea, 47–76. A reconstruction along different principles is provided in S. Hodkinson (2000), Property and Wealth in Classical Sparta, Swansea and London. On the helot creation of a Messenian identity, see Figueira (1999), ‘The Evolution of the Messenian Identity’, in S. Hodkinson and A. Powell, eds, Sparta: New Perspectives, Swansea, 211–44; N. Luraghi (2008), The Ancient Messenians: Constructions of Ethnicity and Memory, Cambridge, MA. For the helots, Spartan religion, and state security: A. Powell (2010), ‘Divination, Royalty and Insecurity in Classical Sparta’, in S. Hodkinson and A. Powell, eds (2010), Sparta: The Body Politic, Swansea, 85–135.