Xenophon indicates that they received one obolus per slave per day, amounting to 60 drachmas per year.
It is difficult to estimate the number of slaves in ancient Greece, given the lack of a precise census and variations in definitions during that era.
It is certain that Athens had the largest slave population, with as many as 80,000 in the 6th and 5th centuries BC, on average three or four slaves per household.
Slave labour was prevalent in mines and quarries, which had large slave populations, often leased out by rich private citizens.
The strategos Nicias leased a thousand slaves to the silver mines of Laurium in Attica; Hipponicos, 600; and Philomidès, 300.
In the 5th century BC, Thucydides remarked on the desertion of 20,890 slaves during the war of Decelea, mostly tradesmen.
The lowest estimate, of 20,000 slaves, during the time of Demosthenes, a general census of Attica, which arrived at the following figures: 21,000 citizens, 10,000 metics and 400,000 slaves.
The ancient Greeks had several words to indicate slaves, which leads to textual ambiguity when they are studied out of their proper context.
In Homer, Hesiod and Theognis of Megara, the slave was called The names of common slaves show that some of them came from Kythera, Chios, Lemnos or Halicarnassus and were probably enslaved as a result of piracy.
There were some male slaves, especially in the Odyssey, a prime example being the swineherd Eumaeus.
The slave was distinctive in being a member of the core part of the oikos ("family unit", "household"): Laertes eats and drinks with his servants; Solon (c.
There is no continuity between the Mycenaean era and the time of Homer, where social structures reflected those of the Greek dark ages.