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popular assembly in Sparta. Formally, the Apella was the highest governmental body. It met monthly and decided on the major affairs of the state (courts, foreign policy, and election of officials); in fact, it could merely confirm or reject proposals submitted by the Gerousia and ephors. The Apella had no right to debate. At the beginning the Apella was summoned by the kings or the Gerousia, later by the ephors. The Gerousia or the king could annul Apella decisions they considered harmful to the state. All full citizens of Sparta who had reached the age of 30, owned a plot of land, and made payments to the syssitia were members of the Apella. They met under the open sky; everybody stood; and voting was by acclamation.