In the course of about four centuries, both during and after the Peloponnesian war, the Spartan oligarchy was enriched more and more by the spoils of victorious wars, and by the importation of slaves as war prisoners from other Greek and from barbarous nations. Then the difference between the rich and poor was more striking, and the eternal process of oppressing the poor, seizing upon their property, or buying them out, was busily and cheerfully pursued. Then Laconia was held by comparatively few Spartan slaveholders—부산오피
but there were no more heroes of[Pg 111] Thermopylæ. Citizens and freemen were a scarcity during the Augustan period; but slaves, the property of a few wealthy owners, actually covered Lacedemonia and Sparta. Domestic slavery undermined and destroyed the Spartan nation in precisely the same manner as it did others before and since. The enslaved Helots and Greeks, and many of the descendants of the enslavers, became, in their turn, slaves of the Romans, then of the Slavic invaders, afterward of the Crusaders, till finally all of them, masters and slaves, groaned under the yoke of the Osmanlis. The traveller can now scarcely find the few mouldering ruins of the once proud and enslaving city. Spartan history covers nearly a thousand years: and for centuries the destructive disease was at work. Some of its symptoms, in the course of half a century, are already highly developed in the South.