THE SPARTAN SYSTEM (Agoge)
- EUNOMIA: "Good Order" The Spartan name for their way of life (constitution)
- AGOGE "Training" The Spartan name for their system of physical, social, intellectual and moral education of the citizen.
- Lacedaemonians: The inhabitants of the territory belonging to the Spartan state, the valley of the Eurotas River in s. central Peloponnese and other conquered territory (Messenia). `Lacedaemonian' sometimes means any inhabitant, but sometimes is also used loosely to mean `real' Spartan full citizens, Spartiates: A Spartiate IS a Lacedaemonian, but not every Lacedaemonian is a Spartiate.
- Spartan: Technically, an inhabitant of the POLIS called "Sparta", which was really an amalgamation (SYNOECISM) of five villages or townships inside the geographical area called Lacedaemonia. When used loosely, the term Spartan meant a Spartiate, full citizen.
- Spartiate: The word used to refer to a full citizen of the polis of Sparta, who had gone through the AGOGE and was serving in the Spartan military (also his female relatives). Not every Spartan was a Spartiate. The total number of Spartiates was never more than 9,000 in a population of 225,000+ Lacedaemonians and subjects. By the 4th cent. B.C. the number was down to around 750. The Great Earthquake (ca. 465) and the Great Peloponnesian War (432-404) had a great deal to do with this.
- PERIOIKOI: `Those dwelling round about': natives of Lacedaemonia who did not have full citizen rights; farmers and merchants mostly perioikoi.
- HELOTS: conquered subjects used as serfs, both in the Eurotas valley and in Messenia to the west; legally they were enemies of the State and subject to arbitrary brutal treatment. They were the property of the Spartan State.
TWO kings! Two royal families (Agiads, Eurypontids), [Archagetai
] both claiming descent from HERAKLES, the cultural hero and ancestor of the Dorians. Kings served for life, and the office was hereditary; but kings had to be trained in the Agoge
- -MILITARY figures: leaders of the army (after a famous dispute in 508 B.C. two kings were not allowed to go out with the same military force).
- -POLITICAL figures: presiding officers in the GEROUSIA, the Spartan Senate, kings also had veto power over the doings of the Spartan Assembly (Apella)
- -RELIGIOUS figures: priests of special cults of certain gods (Zeus Hellenios and Athena Hellenia)
The "Old Men": 28 Spartiates over the age of 60 (that is, beyond the age for military service) + the two kings (= 30). The Gerontes (Senators) were elected by the Assembly of Spartiates for life. In fact they controlled much of the public business and decided on what the Assembly could discuss (the PROBOULEUTIC function); they could also veto actions taken by the Assembly
5 Spartiate "Overseers", elected (?) annually by the Assembly. The only source on this point says that they were "selected" (haireisthai). Any Spartiate could be EPHOR
. They had financial, judicial, and administrative powers--even over the Kings and Gerontes! Two Ephors always went with a king on campaign to control arrogance and to protect the interests of the whole State. They manage a kind of teen-Gestapo called the KRYPTEIA
the Spartiate Assembly, men above 18; could only vote YES or NO, (by making noise); were subject to veto. Could only meet on summons, and only discuss what was submitted to them.
See: H. Michell, Sparta (Cambridge 1952), Chapters 4-6.
January 26, 2010 1:48 PM
John Paul Adams, CSUN