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594-593 BC) forbade slaves from practising gymnastics and pederasty.
By the end of the period, references become more common.
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.
Modern historiographical practice distinguishes between chattel slavery (personal possession, where the slave was regarded as a piece of property as opposed to a mobile member of society) versus land-bonded groups such as the penestae of Thessaly or the Spartan helots, who were more like medieval serfs (an enhancement to real estate).
The extent to which slaves were used as a labour force in farming is disputed.The tablets indicate that unions between slaves and freemen were common and that slaves could work and own land.It appears that the major division in Mycenaean civilization was not between a free individual and a slave but rather if the individual was in the palace or not.The domestic's main role was to stand in for his master at his trade and to accompany him on trips. The female slave carried out domestic tasks, in particular bread baking and textile making.Only the poorest citizens did not possess a domestic slave.