Ancient Historians: Sparta.

Topics: Sparta, Government, Democracy Pages: 2 (665 words) Published: November 27, 2012
Ancient historians reveal that Spartan society was something to be envied. (DISAGREE).

Many ancient historians can agree that the Sparta, was an overall strong, well disciplined, sound governed, equal society, with hard working citizens and incredibly structured military forces. Some ancient historians, such as Thucydide and Plato, admired many aspects of the Spartans good order, and praised how well the Spartans system appeared to be working, whilst other historians, such as Aristotle, were extremely crucial of the Spartan system, and criticised their structure in many of their individual writings.

Many claim Spartans system of government included monarchical, and democratic components,although it is acknowledged as being primarily oligarchy. The government structure consisted of, two kings, and unlike most kings, these two did not have absolute power as they shared the power with each other and they also had to answer to a council of elders, or the Gerousia. The Gerouisa was made up of 28 male citizens, all over the age of sixty, who once elected served for live. Below the Gerousia, was another assembly, the Apella. The Apella consisted of male citizens over the age of thirty. To complete the system of checks and balances, the Spartans created a judicial position called ephor. At any given time, there were five citizens serving in this role. Ephors were citizens over the age of thirty. They were elected to serve one-year terms. Ephors possessed considerable clout. An ephor could bring charges against anyone in Sparta—including one the city-state’s kings. Whilst some historians believed this government system to be efficient, and a sure way to keep matters, and laws fair through-out Sparta, Aristotle disagreed with one judicial position in particular, the Euphors. On them he said ‘The Lacedaemonian constitution is defective in another point; I mean the Ephoralty. This magistracy has authority in the highest matters, but the Ephors are chosen from the whole...
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