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PERIOECI 100.00%
The name of those inhabitants of the Spartan State who, unlike the serfs or helots (q.v.), had kept the possession of their lands and personal liberty after the Dorian occupation, but without having the citizenship. They too, like the helots, were at least twice as numerous as the ruling Spartiatae. Their name (lit. dwelling around) indicates that they lived on the plain in the neighbourhood of the chief city which was occupied by the Spartiatae. Probably they were more or less doricised by Dorian colonists sent into their towns, whereof as many as a hundred are mentioned. They were occupied partly in cultivating their farms (which, we learn, were smaller than those of the Spartiatae); partly in manufactures and industry, in which the ruling caste were forbidden to engage; partly in trade. Besides certain taxes, they were bound to military service, either as hoplites or as light-armed troops (as in the case of the Sciritoe or inhabitants of Sciritis, who formed a special body of light infantry, and were reserved for outpost duty when in camp, for advance and rearguard, and in battle for service on the left wing). After the Peloponnesian War they formed the chief strength of the army. (See WARFARE.) In the army they were also eligible as officers of the lower ranks; but from all civil offices they were excluded, as also from the popular assembly. They were completely subject to the orders of the Spartiatae; and when they made themselves troublesome, they could be put to death by the ephors without trial or conviction.
A body of light infantry in the Spartan army, consisting of the perioeci (q.v.) of the district Sciritis.
A board consisting of twenty members, at Sparta; probably a kind o higher police, whose duty it was to maintain a supervision over the districts inhabited by the perioeci. After the Peloponnesian War the name was given to the officials who were sent into the conquered cities to command the garrisons, and to see that the oligarchical constitution was maintained.
In Sparta the ruling class of those who had the full rights of citizens, as distinguished from the subject Perioeci and Helots (q.v.). They were the descendants of the Dorians, who had formerly conquered the land under the leadership of Aristodemus. As to the manner in which they were divided, see PHYLE. Their number is said never to have exceeded 10,000, and, as they were utterly opposed to the admission of foreign elements, it was constantly decreasing. At the time of the Persian wars it still amounted to 8,000, about 320 B.C. to little more than 1,000. They were called homoioi (men sharing equal rights), with reference to the equality established amongst them by the legislation of Lycurgus, (1) in their education (q.v.), which was exclusively directed towards fitting them for service in war; (2) in their way of living, especially in the meals which they had in common (see SYSSITIA); (3) in their property; (4) and in their political rights. To every family of Spartiatoe an equal portion of land was assigned by Lycurgus, with a number of helots who had settled upon it, who had to cultivate the property and deliver the produce to its possessor. The Spartiatoe themselves were not allowed to engage in a handicraft, or in trade, or in agriculture; their whole life had to be devoted to the service of the State, and therefore they had their abode in Sparta itself. The allotted land and the helots were accounted State property, and the possessors had no kind of right to dispose of them. Families which were dying out were preserved by adopting sons of families related to them, and similarly heiresses were married to men without inheritance of their own. If a family consisted of several male members, then the eldest was considered as head of the family, and had to support his brothers. The original equality of property came to, an end, partly through the extinction of many families and the transference of their lot of ground, partly by the silent abrogation of the old law, which did not allow the Spartiatoe to possess silver or gold, but chiefly after the law of Epitadeus, by which the free disposal of land was allowed , if not by sale, at least by gift during lifetime and by will. But the principle of aristocratic equality long continued inform; and only those who did not fulfil the conditions attached to the equality of rights, or who did not obey the injunctions of Lycurgus as to the education of the young, and as to the life of adult citizens, or who did not contribute to the common meals, suffered a diminution of their political rights. This involved exclusion from the government and administration of the State, as well as from the right of electing or being elected to office; but the punishment affected the individual only, and did not descend to his children, nor did it touch his position in personal law.
HELOTS 13.05%
This name was given at Sparta to those among the original inhabitants of Laconia who lost their land and freedom at the Dorian conquest . (For the others, see PERIOECI.) It is not certain what the word originally meant. Some scholars have explained it as "prisoners of war"; others have derived it from Helos, the name of a city supposed to have been conquered in consequence of an insurrection. This view was held in antiquity. The Helots were slaves of the state, which assigned them to individual citizens to cultivate their lands. Their employers had no power to kill them, to sell them, or to set them free. The law fixed a certain proportion of the produce in barley, oil, and wine, which the Helots were bound to pay over to the landowner. The rest was their own property, and a certain degree of prosperity was therefore within their reach. A Helot was liable to be called upon for personal service by any Spartan, even if not attached to his estate; but no authority save that of the state could either set him free or remove him from the soil to which he was bound. In war, the Helots were employed sometimes as shield-bearers to the heavy-armed troops, sometimes as archers and slingers, sometimes in other subordinate capacities. After Sparta had become a naval power, they were used as pilots and marines; but they were seldom admitted to the ranks of the heavy-armed infantry. For distinguished merit in the field they might be set free, and a special class called Neodamodeis was formed of these liberated Helots. The Neodamodeis, however, had no civil rights; and indeed it was but seldom that a Helot ever became a Spartan citizen. The children of Spartan fathers and Helot mothers, called Mothakes, were free, and brought up with the young free Spartans. In many cases, through a species of adoption on the father's part, they obtained the citizenship. The Helots formed a very numerous body, amounting to more than half of the whole Lacedaemonian population (400,000). As they were in a state of chronic discontent, they were, in times of danger, a source of anxiety to the Spartans, and the object of constant vigilance. Hence the institution of the Crypteia, which used to be erroneously represented as a chase of the Helots. The fact is that, before being admitted to military service proper, the young Spartans were annually commanded by the ephors to scour the country, seize on any objects of suspicion, and, in particular, to keep an eye on the Helots, and put any Helot, whom they had reason to distrust, out of the way with-out more ado.
Examples of handicraft applied to the ordinary needs of life occur in the mythical ages of Greece. Among the gods of Olympus, Hephaestus represents this kind of industry, and the oldest craftsmen are represented as divine beings appearing on earth, as in the instance of the Idaean Dactyli and the Telchines in Crete. In the Homeric poems, which are the production of an age fairly advanced in culture, the number of craftsmen properly so called is very small. (See DEMIURGI.) The only ones mentioned are builders, carpenters, potters, and workers in leather and metal. The development of the mechanical arts inGreece was immensely indebted, in ancient times, to foreign influence, especially that of the East; for Eastern civilization was far older than Hellenic. The greater part of the trade carried on in Greek waters was in the hands of the Phoenicians, and it was, consequently, Phoenician manufacture which the Hellenes took as a model for imitation, so soon as they thought of widening the sphere of their own industries, and bringing them to perfection. Since the 6th century B.C., or thereabouts, the definite impress of Asiatic manufacture disappears, and Greek trade, supported by a rapidly developing art, takes its own time. Not that it lost all contact with foreign work, for not only did the colonies keep up an active communication with the non-Hellenic world, but foreign craftsmen took up their permanent residence in Greek towns, such as Athens and Corinth. Manual labour, like every lucrative occupation, was generally held in low esteem among the Greeks, and especially among the Dorian tribes. But this state of opinion must have grown up comparatively late, as there is no trace of it in Homer or Hesiod. On the contrary, the Homeric princes do not think it beneath them to undertake the work of craftsmen. In later times we find the free citizens of many states entirely declining all manual labour. In Sparta, for instance, the handicrafts were only practised by the perioeci and helots, and mechanics were excluded from civic rights. At Athens all citizens were equal in the eyes of the law, and it was expressly forbidden to reproach a man for the character of his vocation, whatever it might be. The poorer citizens were compelled by law to practise some trade or other, and it was quite usual to engage in commerce. But still, in the opinion even of the wisest statesmen, mechanical labour was physically, intellectually, and morally prejudicial. The petty anxieties which it involved were held to be incompatible with the tone, and culture demanded by the active life of the citizen, with the qualities which would enable him to join in deliberation on great affairs of state, and conduct public business with hones and intelligence. It was thought, in fact, that all manual labour should be left to slaves and freedmen. Much of the mechanical industry of Athens was, accordingly, in the hands of slaves, freedmen, and resident aliens. The slaves worked sometimes on their own account, paying a certain amount of their earnings to their master; sometimes entirely for the profit of their masters, the latter taking no active part in the business; sometimes they acted as assistants to the citizens and resident aliens who carried on a business of their own. But in industrial cities the great mass of slaves was employed in factories, the owners of which left the superintendence of the work to a head man, usually himself a slave or freedman, reserving for themselves only the general management and the financial control of the business. The immense masses of slaves kept at Athens and Corinth, and in Aegina and Chios, show how numerous the factories were in industrial cities. The manufacture of metal wares, pottery, and other objects which could not be made at home, was the most extended of all. The division of labour kept pace with the development of trade and manufacture. This fact may partly explain how it is that, in spite of the comparative simplicity of their tools, the Greek craftsmen attained, especially in works of art, such admirable perfection of technical detail. In ancient Greece it would appear that there were no trade-guilds and corporations in the proper sense. But among the Romans these societies were an institution of old standing, the foundation of which was attributed to king Numa, like that of many others which had existed from time immemorial. The guilds of craftsmen (collegiaopificum), included flute-players, goldsmiths, coppersmiths, carpenters, fullers, dyers, potters, and shoemakers. There was originally a ninth collegium, which embraced all not included in the other eight; but in later times these, with the new industries that gradually arose, combined into special guilds. The object of the guilds undoubtedly was to maintain an unbroken tradition, and to watch over the common interest. But there seems to have been no compulsion exercised to make men join a guild. The Romans, like the Greeks, seem to have thought that there was something objectionable in mechanical labour; but it is uncertain whether the prejudice was of really old standing. It must be remembered that the Servian constitution threw the burden of military service entirely upon the landowners. Thus the craftsmen, who as a rule had no landed property, were practically, though not legally, excluded from the army. From this circumstance may have arisen the low estimation in which manual industry was consequently held. It was partly owing to this state of opinion that peasants, when they lost their land, were unwilling to win their bread as mechanics, and preferred to adopt the dependent position of clients livin on public alms and the bribes of candidates at elections. In Rome, as in Greece, the handicrafts tended more and more to pass into the hands of strangers, freedmen, and slaves. In wealthy houses most of the necessary manual work was done by slaves, whose talents were often, as in Greece, turned to account by their masters. They were often employed in manufactures, and specially in such branches of industry as could be combined with agriculture, tilemaking for instance, pottery, dying, tanning, felt-making, etc. No social stigma attached to manufacture in Rome any more than in Greece; indeed in the imperial age even the emperors and the members of the imperial household would, without scruple, invest their private capital in industrial undertakings of this sort. After the fall of the republic, and throughout the imperial age, Rome was the centre of the whole commercial activity of the ancient world, though the Romans made no special contribution to industrial progress. Having in former ages been dominated by Etruscan influence, Roman industry was in later times dependent on the art of the Eastern world, and especially of Greece.
Type: Standard
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