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.
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.
The strategos Nicias leased a thousand slaves to the silver mines of Laurium in Attica; Hipponicos, 600; and Philomidès, 300.
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.
No treatises are specifically devoted to the subject, and jurisprudence was interested in slavery only as much as it provided a source of revenue.
Greek comedies and tragedies represented stereotypes, while iconography made no substantial differentiation between slaves and craftsmen.