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No treatises are specifically devoted to the subject, and jurisprudence was interested in slavery only inasmuch as it provided a source of revenue.Greek comedies and tragedies represented stereotypes, while iconography made no substantial differentiation between slaves and craftsmen.There were some male slaves, especially in the Odyssey, a prime example being the swineherd Eumaeus.
Some writers in ancient Greece (including, most notably, Aristotle) considered slavery natural and even necessary.
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.
Slavery becomes prevalent at the very moment when Solon establishes the basis for Athenian democracy.
Classical scholar Moses Finley likewise remarks that Chios, which, according to Theopompus, was the first city to organize a slave trade, also enjoyed an early democratic process (in the 6th century BC).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.The ancient Greeks had several words to indicate slaves, which leads to textual ambiguity when they are studied out of their proper context.