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The ephors were a council of five elected annually who swore "on behalf of the city", while the kings swore for themselves. It may have arisen from the need for governors while the kings were leading armies in battle. The ephors were elected by the popular assembly, and all citizens were eligible for election.
They were forbidden to be reelected.
They provided a balance for the two kings, who rarely cooperated with each other. Plato called them tyrants who ran Sparta as despotswhile the kings were little more than generals.
Up to two ephors would accompany a king on extended military campaigns as a sign of control, and they held the authority to declare war during some periods in Spartan history.
It was the two kings and the 5 which were elected.
According to Plutarch every autumn, at the crypteiathe ephors would pro forma declare war on the helot population so that any Spartan citizen could kill a helot without fear of blood guilt.
The ephors did not have to kneel down before the Kings of Sparta and were held in high esteem by the citizens, because of the importance of their powers and because of the holy role they earned throughout their functions.
Since decisions were made by majority vote, this could mean that Sparta's policy could change quickly, when the vote of one ephor changed e. This was a complete turn around to the politics of Lysander.
Although Sparta fell under Roman rule in BC, the position existed into the 2nd century AD, when it was probably abolished by the Roman emperor Hadrian and superseded by Imperial governance as part of the province of Achaea.
Legal power[ edit ] The ephors held numerous duties including legislative, judicial, financial, and executive duties. Historians Paul CartledgeBury and Huxley agree that the ephors attained powers as great as the kings during the 7th century BC.
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WASHINGTON LIFE MAGAZINE is the D.C. Metro area's premier guide to luxury, power, philanthropy & style. The ephors were leaders of ancient Sparta and shared power with the two Spartan ashio-midori.com ephors were a council of five elected annually who swore "on behalf of the city", while the kings swore for themselves.
Herodotus claimed that the institution was created by Lycurgus, while Plutarch considers it a later institution.
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