Ephor


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Related to Ephor: Gerousia
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ephor

 

a member of a collegium of supreme officials in Sparta, in ancient Greece. Five ephors were elected annually by the assembly of citizens.

The collegium of ephors was established in the mid-eighth century B.C The ephors convened and presided over meetings of the Gerousia (council of elders) and the Apella (popular assembly); they managed the state treasury, announced troop call-ups, appointed military commanders, and handled legal matters. The ephors supervised the activities of the kings and officials; they also watched over the behavior of citizens and of the dependent population—the Perioeci and the Helots. The ephors were the bulwark of the oligarchic regime that existed in Sparta.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Arimnestos returns to Sparta with word of his father the ephor's death.
An Ephor is "one of five ancient Spartan magistrates having power over the king." Merriam-Webster, http://www.merriam- webster.com/dictionary/ephor (last visited Nov.
Thucydides has made a sophisticated point in the contrast between Archidamus's speech and that of the ephor, but he has not spelled it out for the reader.
When, for instance, the Greek historian Thucydides, at the beginning of his History of the Peloponnesian War, wanted to identify the precise year in which the war broke out, he stated that hostilities began `fourteen years after the capture of Euboea, forty-seven years after Chryses became priestess of Hera at Argos, in the year when Aenesias was ephor at Sparta, and in the year when Pythodoros was archon (or magistrate) in Athens'.
It seems that Alcibiades did exploit `in unsporting fashion the (to an Athenian) surprising availability of Spartan wives for extra-marital sex,'(97) and in making the Epops thus ingenuously display his wife's charms, Aristophanes draws graphic attention to Agis's cuckoldom, albeit Agis was king not Ephor.
(1.) I would like to thank the following individuals for granting me permission to see objects and otherwise facilitating my research: former ephor Ismene Trianti and Christina Vlassopoulou of the Acropolis Museum; director Charalambos Kritzas and Chara Karapa-Molisani of the Epigraphical Museum; and director John Camp and Jan Jordan of the Athenian Agora Excavations.
Here Greek archaeologist and new Ephor of Antiquities for eastern Crete, Nikos Papadakis, has discovered a twelve-tier stone amphitheatre capable of seating 1,000 people.
The ephors, Sparta's powerful governing board of overseers, would authorize this state terror by annually declaring "war on the helots, employing the young men of the krupteia to eliminate the obstreperous and those menacingly robust." Sparta's internal political and institutional makeup resulted in one of history's most highly militarized communities.
In this Rebel Belle (Penguin, 2014/VOYA April 2014) sequel, Harper faces tests dictated by the Ephors, an ancient Greek society that wants to control the world.
(13) Plutarch treats the ephorate as a later addition, albeit one deeply continuous with Lycurgus' constitutional reforms: 'the first ephors were appointed in the reign of Theopompus' about 'one hundred and thirty years after Lycurgus' (7.1).
To this he contrasts Sparta's political history as an oligarchy transformed by Lycurgus' reforms into an anomalous "police" state whose mixed constitution included a dual kingship, board of five ephors ("overseers"), council of elders, and citizen assembly (40-47).