In a state of backward agriculture and natural economy it will sometimes be more profitable for the conquerors as well as for the conquered to leave the dependent population in their own households and on their own plots, at the same time taxing them heavily in the way of tribute and services.
Their chief occupation was the cultivation of the shares (KAilpot) of the Dorian aristocracy, but they lived in households of their own and were considered as subjects rather of the Cretan commonwealths than of private men.
But the number of personal serfs was not large and they were principally to be met in the households of great people.
The full descriptions and entries relating to silver spoons in the inventories of the royal and other households point to their special value and rarity.
Gradually, however, the expenses of warfare, liberal donations to the clergy, and the maintenance of numerous and expensive households, compelled them to pledge these dues for sums of ready money.