Ancient Greece: --An Illustrated History-- by Managing Editor: Tim Harris

By Managing Editor: Tim Harris

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When land was allocated to a Spartan citizen, it came complete with helots, and he was not allowed to sell or release them. The state determined the percentage of the harvest that the helots had to hand over to their masters. The helots were allowed to keep the remainder of the food for themselves. A Spartan father could adopt any children he had by a helot mother, making the children Spartan citizens. From the fifth century BCE onward, helots could earn the status of freeman by fighting with the Spartans as full-fledged soldiers in wartime.

Some of the daggers featured entire scenes, including hunts and battles, depicted in inlay work. The hilts of the daggers were often made of wood or bone to which reliefs of hammered gold were applied. The deceased were not only provided with weapons, however. A number of other splendid objects have also been found in the burial shafts. These objects include vases, dishes, golden rhytons (an ornate type of drinking vessel), beautifully crafted diadems, earrings, hairpins, necklaces, and bracelets, as well as hundreds of tiny gold disks, which were probably used to decorate clothes.

Doric spread to Anatolia as Dorian speakers settled there in the ninth century BCE. D The non-Doric dialects were Ionic, Aeolic, and Arcado-Cyprian. Ionic was the language of Attica and the island of Evvoia, while Aeolic was spoken in the northeast and center of mainland Greece. Arcado-Cyprian, the dialect spoken in Arcadia on This portrait from a Roman mosaic is believed to depict the poetess Sappho, who wrote in the Aeolic dialect. This affinity to Linear B may be due to the fact that there was little migrant influence in the wild and rugged Arcadian region and that Cyprus had served as a haven for refugees from the mainland during the time of the invasions.

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