Strengths & Weaknesses
- Good defensive unit
- Low damage but average armour penetration
- Average attack
- Normal morale
- Very vulnerable when not in phalanx
The ‘dwellers around’, the periokoi were a free, but non-citizen class of Sparta. As the Spartans themselves could pursue no profession other than that of the warrior, the periokoi fulfilled the roles of artisans and merchants in the Lacedaemonian state, eventually taking on the roles in the Spartan army considered unsuitable for true citizens, such as skirmishing and cavalry. Living along the coast and in the many hill towns surrounding the fertile valleys of Eurotas and Pamisos, they acted as a barrier between the Spartan citizens and the rest of Greece - a barrier that also kept in the helots, the Spartans' slaves that farmed the valleys below the city. Like other Greeks, the periokoi were expected to purchase and maintain their own arms and armour, each town contributing to the Spartan war machine when required. Even though they were allowed their own laws and customs, as non-citizens periokoi could not influence or vote on Spartan foreign or military policy.