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- Rhymes: -ɛlət
helot (plural helots)
- (historical) A member of the ancient Spartan class of serfs.
- 1942, George Rawlinson, transl., “Erato”, in The Persian Wars, 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.
- A serf; a slave.
- 1910 January 12, Ameen Rihani, “Probing the Trivial”, in The Book of Khalid, New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead and Company, published October 1911, OCLC 6412012, book the first (In the Exchange), pages 10–11:
- 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.
- 1959, Anthony Burgess, Beds in the East (The Malayan Trilogy), published 1972, page 611:
- All wore a costume suggestive of a more tranquil and prosperous age than this — Dame Clara Butt singing, in a voice not quite so deep as Arumugam's, 'Land of Hope and Glory', the gold squeezed from tropical helots enhancing the upper-class comforts of a cold climate.
serf, slave — see slave
- Nominative plural form of helo.