Exploitation is no simple matter, however, nor have all possible angles been explored in this twisted relationship of ruler and ruled, feeder and fed. A tendency to consider the helots from a ‘central’ perspective, to view them solely as if through Spartiate eyes, has resulted in an emphasis on the manipulation and utilization of these people, or on the effect the system of helotage had – for good or ill – upon the Spartan state and its ‘national security’. To date, fewer attempts have been made to understand the internal workings of the helots – the nature of their social organization, communication networks, survival strategies, or notions of collective identity – all of which in turn might add to our understanding of connections to their masters. Reasons for this particular ‘spin’ on helot studies are not hard to find. Most basically, it is a product of our extant textual accounts which are often fragmentary, usually late, always written by observers concerned with Laconian affairs, and never by helots themselves. Scholarly fascination with Sparta and the ‘Spartan mirage’ (Ollier 1973) has proved a vigorous force eclipsing the helots, a fascination itself part and parcel of a long-standing (if by no means universal) classical tradition of preferring study of the exploiters to that of the exploited.