ephors


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Related to ephors: acropolis, Gerousia

ephors

(ĕf`ərz) [Gr.,=overseers], in ancient Greece, magistrates in several Dorian states. In Sparta they comprised an executive, legislative, and judicial board of five Spartan citizens. This annually elected board functioned from at least the 8th cent. B.C. until it was abolished (c.227 B.C.) by Cleomenes III. Later it was revived and lasted until A.D. 200. At its peak of authority the board of ephors was the organ of citizen control over the dual kingship of Sparta. Its members were elected in various ways at different times, but for the most part, apparently, by drawing lots. Their relation to the two kings was curious. The kings were recognized as the only authorized military commanders, but the ephors had full discretion in levying troops. During campaigns they had no voice in command, but they might bring the royal leaders to trial for alleged errors in conducting war. The ephors cast the deciding voice when the kings disagreed. Their decisions were the result of a simple majority vote.
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References in periodicals archive ?
(18.) The ephors combined their influence with a very extensive political power, since they convoked the assemblies of the people, received ambassadors, etc.
Althusius argued that actual government is constituted when a covenant is made between the supreme magistrate and the ephors (inferior magistrates).
T.'s main concern in all this is to trace constitutional developments narrowly defined, that is to say, the changing roles of kings, elders, and ephors, as well as the minor magistracies, down to the Peloponnesian War.
Furthermore, although it was once believed that decision-making power was concentrated in the hands of the five Ephors and the Gerousia, or Council of Elders, it appears that the public assembly, open to all adult male Spartans, "had the ultimate decision on matters of legislation and policy."(72) The importance of public discourse, and the power of the assembly, are clearly apparent in Thucydides' account of the famous Debate at Sparta, where the congregated Spartans heard and debated the moral claims of their disgruntled allies and the defensive Athenians, ultimately deciding to launch the Peloponnesian War.(73)
The substantial problem, however, is whether the ephors used the present imperative (`shave regularly') or the aorist, which would imply that the Spartans were not normally clean-shaven.
Gauthier and Hatzopoulos present the first fully authoritative text Of this important inscription, whose publication history they call "etonnante." Discovered by the Macedonian ephors B.
413); this disaster caused the Athenians to attempt a retreat by land, but they were pursued and forced to surrender (413); he wished to spare the Athenian commanders Nicias and Demosthenes, but was overruled; returned to Sparta (411); entrusted with a large sum of money by King Lysander to deliver to the ephors (Spartan magistrates), he embezzled it and fled into exile when his crime was revealed.
I call such practices "Taigetian" because of the Taigetos mountain chain near Sparta, where newborn babies not found strong enough by the Ephors of the State were left to die.
The most powerful magistrates at Sparta, the de facto rulers,(75) were the Ephors, five annually elected Spartan officials before whom `foreign envoys to Sparta were brought .
Because he seemed to be accomplishing nothing, the ephors then ordered him to leave Larisa and campaign against Karia, where he was replaced by Derkylidas.
(3)Xenophon makes it seem that the envoys from Acanthus and Apollonia to Sparta in 382 were made by the Ephors to address the Spartan assembly and their allies at the same time (Hell.
The rest of Three's first issue concerns an ephor and his son Arimnestos imposing themselves on the hospitality of a group of helots at a farm (including our three heroes, Klaros, Damar and Terpander).