helot

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n helot (Middle Ages) a person who is bound to the land and owned by the feudal lord
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Helot A slave in ancient Sparta; a Spartan serf; hence, a slave or serf. "Those unfortunates, the Helots of mankind, more or less numerous in every community."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n helot One of a class of serfs among the ancient. Spartans who were owned by the state, were bound to the soil under allotment to landholders, and fulfilled all servile functions. The Helots paid their masters a fixed proportion of the products of the ground cultivated by them. They served as light-armed troops in war, and in great emergencies bodies of them were organized as regular or heavy-armed troops, in which case they might be manumitted as a reward for bravery. They were descendants of captives of war, most of them probably of the conquered Achean aborigines of Laconia; and they were very cruelly treated, and often systematically massacred, to keep down their numbers and prevent them from organized revolt.
    • n helot Hence A serf or slave, in general; a servile person; one subject, to the orders and caprices of another.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Helot hē′lot or hel′ot one of a class of slaves among the ancient Spartans
    • ***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. Helotes, Hilotae, pl., fr. Gr. E'e`lws and E'elw`ths a bondman or serf of the Spartans; so named from 'Elos, a town of Laconia, whose inhabitants were enslaved; or perh. akin to e`lei^n to take, conquer, used as 2d aor. of
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr.; said to be derived from Helos, a town in Greece, reduced to slavery by the Spartans.

Usage

In literature:

The Helots had their one short, joyous festival in their long year of labour; life may leave us ours.
"Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida" by Ouida
Who cares for villains, or barbarians, or helots?
"A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume I (of II)" by Augustus De Morgan
They sent for one of the meanest Helots or slaves, and purposely gave him plenty of wine.
"The Story of the Greeks" by H. A. Guerber
Good-by to yore whole dog-goned outfit of tyrants and helots.
"How Doth the Simple Spelling Bee" by Owen Wister
And shall we then emancipate our Irish Helots?
"The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 2" by George Gordon Byron
These Spartans, with their helots or slaves, made up his own share of the numbers, but all the army was under his generalship.
"Children's Literature" by Charles Madison Curry
They were to be soldiers only, and the Helots were to supply them with food.
"Historic Tales, vol 10 (of 15)" by Charles Morris
The women among the Indians of America are what the Helots were among the Spartans, a vanquished people obliged to toil for their conquerors.
"Sketches of the Fair Sex, in All Parts of the World" by Anonymous
I will not be Captain Winstanley's helot.
"Vixen, Volume II." by M. E. Braddon
The Helots were a rural people dwelling on the lands of the Spartans which lay about the capital or in the Laconian towns.
"Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 3 of 8" by Various
***

In poetry:

Lo! the magic of the wine
From far marsh of Amyclae!
Bier'd upon the ruddy vine,
Spartan dust and Helot lay!
"The Helot" by Isabella Valancy Crawford
Low the sun beat on the land,
Purple slope and olive wood;
With the wine cup in his hand,
Vast the Helot herdsman stood.
"The Helot" by Isabella Valancy Crawford
Day was at her chief unrest--
Red the light on plain and wood
Slavish ey'd and still of breast,
Vast the Helot herdsman stood:
"The Helot" by Isabella Valancy Crawford
Lo! the tyrant's iron might!
Lo! the Helot's yokes and chains!
Slave-slain in the throbbing light
Lay the sole child of his veins.
"The Helot" by Isabella Valancy Crawford
"Knit great thews--smite sinews vast
Into steel--build Helot bones
Iron-marrowed:--such will last
Ground by ruthless Sparta's stones.
"The Helot" by Isabella Valancy Crawford
Cold the thin lipp'd Spartan smiled:
Couch'd beneath the weighted vine,
Large-ey'd, gaz'd the Spartan child,
On the Helot and the wine.
"The Helot" by Isabella Valancy Crawford

In news:

Fresh Fredericksburg peaches at the Helotes Farmers Market tomorrow.
Alan Ames meets with a crowd at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Helotes Monday.
Newaygo County 27th Circuit Judge Terrence R Thomas on Tuesday ordered Bruce Lee Willis Jr, 33, of Helotes, Texas, to prison for three to 15 years.
Woosley Jr, 91, of Helotes, Texas, formerly of Texarkana, Texas, died Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012, at his home.
Ira Hale, Jr, 89, of Helotes, Texas, went to be with the Lord on Nov 13, 2012, surrounded by his family.
"The Helot household," we read, "rested on a crest of ta...
Helotes, TX Floores Country Store.
Becca Payne, one of the young ramrods at John T Floore Country Store in Helotes, said that on Saturday night.
***