Plato called them ἀνδπάποδα (human-footed stock) and Aristotle said they were δουλοπρεπής απὀ τη φύση (servile by nature), but most slaves (δουλεἰα) were once free men and women that quickly found themselvesservants in a Greek democracy. Those that served as slaves were often repaying a debt, on the losing side of a war, or considered a slave by birth. In antiquity Athens was a city focused on knowledge and philosophy, yet they found slavery to be an acceptable institution defended by the philosophers themselves. Those that challenged slavery argued more for the unnatural aspects of the master/slave dynamic rather than opposing the institution outright. The question we should ask ourselves is how and why did the ancient Greeks defend the institution of slavery? The Platonic and Attic laws on slavery, Aristotle’s notion of the nature of slavery, and the reasons why slavery may have been a rational part of life for ancient Greece are ideas that should be considered.
"Platonic and Attic Laws on Slavery,"
The Compass: Vol. 1
, Article 7.
Available at: http://scholarworks.arcadia.edu/thecompass/vol1/iss1/7