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The three officers chosen at Lacedaemon by the ephors to command the horsemen who formed the bodyguard of the kings.
EPHORS 100.00%
A boardof five members at Sparta, elected annually from all the citizens. It is said to have been established by Lycurgus or king Theopompus (770 B.C.). The original intention was that it should give decisions in private matters, and represent the absent kings in certain of their duties, especially the superintendence of the officials and of public discipline. But their circle of authority gradually widened, till it came to mean a superintendence over the whole commonwealth, including the kings. The ephors had the right of raising objections against their actions, calling them, like other officials, to account for their conduct, punishing them with fines and reprimands, and even prosecuting them before the senate, and threatening them with deposition and death. They were the only citizens who were not obliged to rise in the kings' presence, a fact which gives a good idea of the relative position of the two parties. Besides the duty of opposing everything which they thought adverse to the laws and interests of Sparta, they had from early times the right of summoning the deliberative and legislative assemblies, the Gerusia and Ecclesia, to make proposals to them, and take the lead in proceedings left to their management. Two of them regularly accompanied the kings on their campaigns. It is probable also that they had the superintendence of the public treasure. In their capacity of protectors of the public discipline their authority extended itself to the minutest details of private life. In regard to the Helots and Periceci it was still more alsolute. Even on a pericecus they could pass sentence of death without trial. (See PERICECI) On important occasions a majority of their votes was required. At the end of their annual office, on which they entered at the beginning of the Spartan year or at the time of the autumnal equinox, they were liable to be called to account by their successors. The year was dated by the name of the first Ephor on the board.
GERUSIA 66.30%
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.
A kind of police maintained at Sparta, with the principal object of watching the Helots. The service was manned by young Spartans appointed annually for the purpose by the Ephors, and their duty was to put dangerous or apparently dangerous Helots out of the way without more ado. A later and erroneous idea represented the Crypteia as a murderous chase of the Helots, annually conducted by the Spartan youth.
SCYTALE 40.85%
A staff, used especially in Sparta by the ephors for their secret despatches to officials, particularly to commanders, in foreign countries. A narrow strip of white leather was wound about a round staff so that the edges came exactly together; it was then written on crosswise, and sent to its destination after being unrolled again. What had been written could only be read when the strip was again wound round an exactly similar staff, such as was given to every official when going abroad on public service.
Properly the person after whom anything is named. This was in various Greek states the unofficial title of the magistrates after whom (in default of a generally received standard of chronology) the year was designated. In Athens this would be the first Archon, in Sparta the first Ephor, in Argos the priestess of Hera. When the ephebi, at Athens, were enrolled in the list of the citizens who could be called out for military service, the name of the first archon of the year was attached. And when the citizens of various ages were summoned to military service, a reference was made to the archon eponymos, under whom they had been originally enrolled. The ancient heroes who gave their name to the ten tribes of Clisthenes, and the heroes worshipped by the demes, were also called eponymoi. The statues of the former were in the market place, and it was near them that official notices were put up [Aristotle, Const. of Athens, 53].
The name of those inhabitants of the Spartan State who, unlike the serfs or helots (q.v.), had kept the possession of their lands and personal liberty after the Dorian occupation, but without having the citizenship. They too, like the helots, were at least twice as numerous as the ruling Spartiatae. Their name (lit. dwelling around) indicates that they lived on the plain in the neighbourhood of the chief city which was occupied by the Spartiatae. Probably they were more or less doricised by Dorian colonists sent into their towns, whereof as many as a hundred are mentioned. They were occupied partly in cultivating their farms (which, we learn, were smaller than those of the Spartiatae); partly in manufactures and industry, in which the ruling caste were forbidden to engage; partly in trade. Besides certain taxes, they were bound to military service, either as hoplites or as light-armed troops (as in the case of the Sciritoe or inhabitants of Sciritis, who formed a special body of light infantry, and were reserved for outpost duty when in camp, for advance and rearguard, and in battle for service on the left wing). After the Peloponnesian War they formed the chief strength of the army. (See WARFARE.) In the army they were also eligible as officers of the lower ranks; but from all civil offices they were excluded, as also from the popular assembly. They were completely subject to the orders of the Spartiatae; and when they made themselves troublesome, they could be put to death by the ephors without trial or conviction.
A general. Among the Lacedoemonians, it was a special designation of leaders of those armies which were not commanded by the kings. They were appointed by the public assembly, or by the ephors commissioned thereby. At Athens, there was annually elected, by show of hands (cheirotonia) in the public assembly, a board of Ten Generals, who had the superintendence of all military affairs. Only those were elected to this high and influential office who were lawfully married, and who possessed landed property in Attica. In earlier times they superintended operations both by land and sea, and assumed the actual command in turn on successive days, while they held a council of war in common. In later times no more were sent to the seat of war than were deemed sufficient for the purpose; and, from the time when the Athenians carried on their wars mainly by means of mercenaries, soldiers of experience, who did not belong to the board, were not unfrequently entrusted with the command, and were called strategi during the continuance of the war. Those strategi who remained at home, besides seeing that the country was protected against hostile invasion, had the control of the war-taxes and the trierarchia, the selection and equipment of the troops and the jurisdiction affecting all the law-suits connected with the war-taxes and trierarchy, as well as all the military offences which had not been punished by the general at the seat of war. Their chamber of office was called the strategion, and bore they dined together at the expense of the State. [The office of strategos was not created by Clisthenes, but was at least as old as the time of Dracon (Aristotle, Constitution of Athens, 4). In the 4th century we find the strategi no longer elected from each of the ten phyloe, but from the whole body of citizens without distinction of phyle (ib. 61).] The highest officer of the Aetolian and the Achaean league, who was not only a commander of the federal army, but also president of the council and assemblies of the league, also bore the title of strategus.
Of all the official systems established among the Greeks, that in vogue among the Athenians is the best known to us. The qualifications for public office at Athens were genuine Athenian descent, blameless life, and the full possession of civic rights. If religious duties were attached to the office, physical weakness was a disqualification. No one was allowed to hold two offices at a time, or the same office twice or for a longer period than a year. The nomination was made in some cases by election, in others by the drawing of lots. Election took place by show of hands in the ecclesia, or, on the mandate of the ecclesia, in the assemblies of the several tribes. (See CHEIROTONIA, ECCLESIA.) In election by lot [on the introduction of which see Note on p. 706) the proceeding was as follows. The Thesmothetoe presided in the temple of Theseus. (See THESMOTHETAe.) Two boxes or vessels were placed there, one containing white and coloured beans, and the other the names of the candidates, written on tablets. A tablet and a bean were taken out at the same time, and the candidate whose name came out with a white bean was elected. Before entering on his office (whether he had been chosen by lot or election), every official had to undergo an examination of his qualifications (dokimasia). If the result was unfavourable, a substitute was appointed, either by a simultaneous casting of lots in the manner described, or (if the office was elective) by a new election. During their term of office the officials were subject to constant supervision, and were liable to suspension or deposition by the Ecclesia, through the proceeding called epicheirotonia (a new show of hands). On the expiration of his term, every official was bound to give an account of himself (euthyna). The regular officials, had each a place of office (archeion). If the officials formed a society, as in the majority of cues, the business was (so far as joint administration was possible) distributed among the members. If the society appeared in public as a whole, one of the members presided as prytanis. (See PRYTANIS.) In the cases at law which came under their jurisdiction, it was incumbent on the officials to make the necessary arrangements for the trial, and to preside in court. They received no salary, but their meals were provided at the public expense, either at their residences or in the Prytaneum. The emblem of office was a garland of myrtle. The offence of insulting an official in the performance of his duty was punishable with atimia. (See, for details, APODECTAe, ARCHONTES, ASTYNOMI, EPIMELETAeE, COLACRETAe, POLETAeE, STRATEGI, TAMIAS.) There were numerous attendants on the officials (hyperetai), who received a salary, and their meals at the public expense. Such were the clerks (grammateis) and heralds (kerykes). For Sparta, see EPHORS for Rome, MAGISTRATUS, ACCENSI, LICTORS, APPARITOR.
HELOTS 14.37%
This name was given at Sparta to those among the original inhabitants of Laconia who lost their land and freedom at the Dorian conquest . (For the others, see PERIOECI.) It is not certain what the word originally meant. Some scholars have explained it as "prisoners of war"; others have derived it from Helos, the name of a city supposed to have been conquered in consequence of an insurrection. This view was held in antiquity. The Helots were slaves of the state, which assigned them to individual citizens to cultivate their lands. Their employers had no power to kill them, to sell them, or to set them free. The law fixed a certain proportion of the produce in barley, oil, and wine, which the Helots were bound to pay over to the landowner. The rest was their own property, and a certain degree of prosperity was therefore within their reach. A Helot was liable to be called upon for personal service by any Spartan, even if not attached to his estate; but no authority save that of the state could either set him free or remove him from the soil to which he was bound. In war, the Helots were employed sometimes as shield-bearers to the heavy-armed troops, sometimes as archers and slingers, sometimes in other subordinate capacities. After Sparta had become a naval power, they were used as pilots and marines; but they were seldom admitted to the ranks of the heavy-armed infantry. For distinguished merit in the field they might be set free, and a special class called Neodamodeis was formed of these liberated Helots. The Neodamodeis, however, had no civil rights; and indeed it was but seldom that a Helot ever became a Spartan citizen. The children of Spartan fathers and Helot mothers, called Mothakes, were free, and brought up with the young free Spartans. In many cases, through a species of adoption on the father's part, they obtained the citizenship. The Helots formed a very numerous body, amounting to more than half of the whole Lacedaemonian population (400,000). As they were in a state of chronic discontent, they were, in times of danger, a source of anxiety to the Spartans, and the object of constant vigilance. Hence the institution of the Crypteia, which used to be erroneously represented as a chase of the Helots. The fact is that, before being admitted to military service proper, the young Spartans were annually commanded by the ephors to scour the country, seize on any objects of suspicion, and, in particular, to keep an eye on the Helots, and put any Helot, whom they had reason to distrust, out of the way with-out more ado.
Greek. The distinctively warlike people among the Greeks were the Spartans, whose whole life from early youth to advanced age was spent in the continual practice of martial exercises. Even the meals shared in common by all Spartans who had attained the full rights of citizens, were arranged with reference to military service. (See SYSSITIA.) Owing to constant practice in military exercises of every possible kind, the Spartan army possessed a dexterity in the handling of weapons, and a tactical education, which, combined with their lofty sentiment of military honour, for a long period ensured their supremacy over the other Greek races. The duty of service, which began with the twentieth year, and admitted of no exceptions, did not terminate until capacity for service came to an end; but with his sixtieth year the soldier became exempt from foreign service. Originally the heavy-armed infantry, or hoplites, consisted solely of Spartans; but even at the time of the Persian Wars, side by side with the Spartans, whose troops in their larger divisions were termed lochoi, the periaeci also served as soldiers, but in separate divisions. The helots who accompanied the army served as personal attendants to the hoplites (see HYPASPISTAe), and as light-armed troops in battle. A picked corps of the hoplites, specially employed as a royal body-guard, were those known as hippeis (horsemen) composed of 300 Spartans under thirty years of age, who were selected by the three hippagretae, and commanded by them. A peculiar corps of lighter infantry was formed from the Sciritae (the inhabitants of the district of Scirits), who were specially employed on the out-post service of the camp; they were used as scouts on the march, and in battle had their position assigned them on the left wing. The Spartans also kept up a fleet, in which the helots were employed as marines and oarsmen; in cases of great emergency they were transformed into heavy-armed soldiers and served in the army, after which they received their freedom. (See NEODAMODEIS.) From the end of the 5th century B.C. the Lacedaemonian army was divided into six moroe, each commanded by a polemarch. Owing to their steadily decreasing numbers the Spartans only formed the nucleus of the battalions, which were brought up to their full complement by the addition of periaeci. The officers, however, were exclusively Spartans, and the place of honour was always reserved for that body. In military expeditions the troops often consisted of periaeci, neodamodeis, allies, and mercenaries, while the Spartans acted only as officers (see XENAGOS) and members of the royal staff. On the cavalry, which only played a subordinate part among the Spartans, see HIPPEIS. The ephors had the command of the veterans in time of war. In the earlier times the kings divided the supreme authority; but after 512 B.C. one alone commanded, unless the circumstances of the case required more than one general. The fleet was commanded by nauarchoi. Among the Athenians the citizens of the first three classes were alone eligible as hoplites, and they were chosen, according to Solon's law, from the pentacosiomedimni, hippeis, and zeugitae; the fourth class, the thetes, were freed from service, and were only exceptionally employed at sea, but sometimes as light-armed troops on land. They were very rarely heavily armed, and were always remunerated at the expense of the State. The age of military service extended from the eighteenth to the sixtieth year; there were thus forty-two classes of age, and every man was mustered in a certain list (katalogos) under the name of the archon eponnymus under whom he had first attained the age of service.[1] The first two of these classes were only employed (as peripoloi) to patrol the frontiers. Foreign service began in the twentieth year. From these classes, which were on each occasion called out by a special vote of the people, only so many as were absolutely necessary were taken out of each of the ten phylae or tribes. The members of the Council and probably all other officials, were exempt from service. The men who were levied were enrolled, according to their phylae, in ten battalions, taxeis (see TAXIARCHUS), which are sometimes called phylae, while their subdivisions are called lochoi. On the occasion of a levy the troops were sometimes equipped by the aid of the aliens resident in Attica (see METOECI), and also, in the days of the earlier Attic confederation, by means of the contingents contributed by the allies. It was the hoplites who were benefited by this equipment. From the time of Pericles, and during the Peloponnesian War, the cavalry received pay and maintenance money, usually amounting in all to 4 obols (5 1/3 d.) a day. The State also allowed pay and maintenance for the horseman's personal attendant. On the Athenian cavalry, which was more important than the Lacedaemonian, see HIPPES. As to the fleet, on which Athens mainly relied in time of war, the Council (see BOULE) had to see that a certain number of vessels of war were built annually. The supervision of the ships in the docks (neoria) was exercised by a special board, the ten epimeletae of the neoria. It was their duty to consign the vessels, with the equipments allowed by the State, to the trierarchs (see LEITOURGIA), wealthy citizens who undertook to complete the equipment of the vessels, to provide sailors and oarsmen, and to take the command over them; while the marines, the epibatai, were under their own commanders. The strategoi (q.v.) held the chief command over the fleet as well as over the land forces. In most of the other Greek states the hoplites, consisting of wealthy citizens, formed the main strength of the army, and generally helped to turn the scale in engagements in which the light-armed troops and the cavalry played a subordinate part. They fought in the phalanx (q.v.), in closely serried lines eight deep. The pick of the troops were stationed on the right wing as the post of honour, to advance to meet the foe amid the singing of the poean. When at a distance of about 200 yards, at the signal of a trumpet, they raised the battlecry (alala) and charged either at a run or at quick march. It was only the Spartans who slowly advanced at an even pace and to the sound of flutes. Requesting permission to bury the dead was the formal admission of defeat. The enduring token of victory was a trophy composed of the armour captured from the defeated side. It was usual to join battle on ground which was suitable for the phalanx. The Peloponnesian War was the means of introducing many innovations, including the formation of a regular force of light infantry, called peltastae (q.v.). Still more decisive in the transformation of the general system of Greek warfare was the famous retreat of the Ten Thousand, the first important mercenary army among the Greeks which tried to make the phalanx of hoplites suit the ground better, and to utilize at the same time the light infantry, or peltasts, and the gymnetes (spearmen, bowmen, and slingers). Iphicrates, the first distinguished general of mercenary troops, introduced a lighter equipment by substituting a small pelta, for the heavy shield, adopting a longer sword and spear, lighter shoes, and a linen corslet. In the course of the 4th century B.C. the army composed of civilians gave way more and more to the mercenary army, which, by its intimate knowledge of the use of its weapons gained an immense advantage in actual war. (See MERCENARIES.) An important novelty was oblique battle-order, the discovery of Epaminondas. In this the great mass and strength of the hoplites was drawn up in considerable depth on one of the two wings, without any expansion of the front. The hoplites could thus make a vigorous attack on the centre of the enemy's wing, whilst the true centre and other wing of the assailants was held in reserve, with a view to advancing later to crush the enemy.
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