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Flashcards in Spartan Political System Deck (11):

Why were the two kings constitutionally equal?

It prevented one having more power than the other
One remained to govern while the other fought in battle


Who were the two royal families?

The Agiads and Eurypontids. They were descendants of Heracles, a descendant of Zeus. Their attributes were strength, courage and bravery.


How did they decide who would become king?

The most popular son from each of the royal families became kings.


What were the roles of the kings?

The led the army, and were chief commander on military campaigns
They were priests of Zeus and led religious ceremonies
They were only responsible for the adoption of children, marriages of orphaned heiresses, and control of public highways


What were the privileges of the kings' sons?

They didn't have to go through the agoge, and were home tutored
It was perceived as an honour for the kings' sons to be in your syssistion - they ate first
There was 10 days of mourning decreed when they died.


What were the roles of the ephors?

Ensured the kings didn't become corrupt
2 ephors accompanied the king in battle
If people complained about the king, they would alert the ephor and the king would be deposed
Presided over the ecclesia and supervised performance of the kings
Presided in the courts and acted as judges
Met foreign ambassadors
Yearly declared war on the helots and killed some of them to keep them in their place.
Chose/selected members of the krypteia
Ran the education system and chose the paidonomos (teachers)


How many ephors were elected? How often?

5 new ephors elected for the assembly (ecclesia) each year.
They could only serve office once in a lifetime, because Spartans feared corruption


What was the gerousia composed of?

2 kings and 28 Spartiates. It was the Council of Elders. Members (except for the kings) had to be 60+.


What were the roles of the gerousia?

Advised the kings
Decided on bills/motions to be brought before and voted for by the ecclesia, e.g foreign policy/war and peace/changes in the law - although they could disagree and veto the vote
Tried criminal cases, and decided on banishments, execution, and public flogging
Levied fines


How would new members be recruited?

A group of five people would stand in front of the ecclesia one by one in an order decided by lot
A group of Spartiates in another room would listen to what was happening
The candidate with the loudest cheer was elected


What was the ecclesia?

The ecclesia could also be called the apella
It was the assembly
Members had to be 30+
They met monthly