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Είλωτες (Heildtes)


test. dub. i
ννΈΓΘΜ * t-ι ι η n c
Σ Ar. Eq. 1225
μιμείται δέ τούς είλωτας, δταν στεφανώσι τον Ποσειδώνα
He imitates the helots when they garland Poseidon
Discussion Neil 1901 on Ar. Eq. 1225; Sommerstein 1980a. 51-3
Context A note on the words εγώ δέ τυ έστεφάνιξα κήδωρησάμαν (“And
I garlanded you and gave you gifts”; Doric dialect), which Demos addresses
to the Paphlagonian when he finally realizes that his slave has been taking
systematic advantage of him.
Interpretation Dindorf took the reference—which Holwerda reasonably
characterizes as “obscura’—to be not to the helots generally, complaining that
Poseidon has failed to honor requests they have made in cultic contexts, sc.
at Taenarum, but to Heildtes (cf. fr. 149). Were that true, the play would date
to 425 BCE or earlier.

Discussion Mueller 1832. 488-90 = 1847. 468-70; Meineke 1839 11.483; Kaibel
1907 p. 1234.37-44; Crusius 1910. 99-101; Wilamowitz 1921. 385-6; Geissler
1925. 27; Schiassi 1944. 22-5; Schmid 1946. 113 n. 9; Storey 1990. 7; Storey
2003. 174-9
Title Heilotes is presumably called after its chorus, representatives of an
enslaved population in Laconia (and perhaps Messenia as well) subject not to
individual Spartiates but to the Spartan state itself. For the helots, whose social
and political status remains poorly understood due in the first instance to a
shortage of ancient evidence, see Cartledge 1979. 160-95; Talbert 1989 (down-
playing helot suffering, on the one hand, and their sense of group-identity, on
the other); Ducat 1990; Cartledge 1991 (a reply to Talbert 1989); Luraghi 2002
(on the complexities of Messenian identity and the role helots may have played
© Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften