In the 8th century BC, Sparta conquered [PDF] a neighbouring territory Messenia, rich with agricultural land. It was also rich with a labour force, that later came to be known as the helots. Now the helots outnumbered the Spartans 10:1 but were unarmed . Spartans were known for their military prowess and it is not an urban legend that their newborn male children were subject to physical scrutiny for its continued life. Spartans killed malformed male babies, most likely because of their male privilege I’m sure.