helot

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

Latin Helotes, from Ancient Greek Εἵλωτες (Heílōtes), possibly from ἁλίσκομαι (halískomai, to be captured, to be made prisoner).

Noun[edit]

helot (plural helots)

  1. An individual of the ancient Spartan class of serfs.
    • 1942, George Rawlinson, transl., “Erato”, in The Persian Wars[1], translation of original by Herodotus:
      [] when one of their kings dies, not only the Spartans, but a certain number of the country people from every part of Laconia are forced, whether they will or no, to attend the funeral. So these persons and the helots, and likewise the Spartans themselves, flock together to the number of several thousands, men and women intermingled; and all of them smite their foreheads violently, and weep and wall without stint, saying always that their last king was the best.
  2. A serf; a slave.
    • 1911: Ameen Rihani, The Book of Khalid, p.16
      A man who conceives and writes a great book, my friend, has done more work than all the helots that laboured on these pyramidal futilities.

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Finnish[edit]

Noun[edit]

helot

  1. Nominative plural form of helo.

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