The Role of the Ephorate

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  • Topic: Ephor, Sparta
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  • Published : July 31, 2010
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The Ephorate
1.What was the origin of the Ephorate?
The origin of the ephorate is unknown, although historians have debated over several theories. 1. The ephors were originally priests and astrologers
2. The ephorate were created by the kings to fulfil their roles whilst they were away. However, the most highly believed theory is that the ephors originally came from five separate villages, and were probably chiefs whom advised the kings. 2.How was membership decided?

They were elected by the assembly annually, or each year. Unlike the gerousia and kingship, the ephors were not required to be from ‘noble families’ and any FULL Spartiate citizen over the age of 30 was eligible to run for a position in the ephorate. Aristotle wasn’t favourably of the minimum requirements “Its five members are chosen from among all the people, with the result that very often men who are not at all well-off find themselves holding this office, and their lack of means makes them open to bribery.” 3.Outline the functions of the Ephorate?

They were responsible for keeping the helots under control. They were also in control of all Spartan youth, and gave them regular physical check up’s. They dealt with foreign issues. Their biggest function, however, was to keep check on the kings. They were expected to make sure the kings were acting constitutionally, whilst both at home and abroad. 4.What are the rights and privileges of being an Ephor?

The ephors were treated with the highest respect both while around the street and at meetings or court. They didn’t have to stand when the kings entered the room because of the importance of their powers and the holy role they earned throughout their functions. Didn’t have to answer to anybody. Had the right to decide which members of the army did, and did not, go to war. 5.Are there any limitations of being an Ephor?

There were few limitations involving being an ephor. They were only elected for one year. During campaigns they had no voice...
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