Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
Form: council of old men, Gerontes.
The supreme deliberative authority among the Spartans, according to the constitution of Lycurgus. It consisted of twenty-eight men of at least sixty years of age, called Gerontes, elected by the public assembly for life. The meetings of the Gerusia were presided over by the two kings, who had the right of voting. The number of the council therefore amounted to thirty. It was their duty to deliberate beforehand on all important affairs of state, and prepare preliminary resolutions upon them, to be voted upon by the public assembly. They had also jurisdiction in the case of all offences which were punishable by death or loss of civil rights. They satin judgment, if necessary, even on the kings, in later times associating the ephors with them in this function. Their authority, like that of the kings, suffered considerable restriction at the hands of the ephors. They had a similar position in the Cretan constitution, according to which only the members of the highest magistracy, called the Cosmoi, or regulators, could enter the council, and that after a blameless term of administration.
Type: Standard
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