Definition: A slave belonging to the Spartan state. The Helots, rather than belonging to individual owners as in the slavery of the modern west, were an entire state owned class of unfree workers who formed their own communities. This has often led them being called serfs. Sparta's first helots were probably the Messenians, whom they conquered.
Having lost the war, the population of Messenia were turned into helots and made to serve their new Spartan masters.