The highest officer of the confederacy was the general (oTparnyos), who was assisted by a treasurer (raµias), while the chief magistrates of the several communities bore the title of ephors (g 4 opoc).
Together with the kings and ephors it formed the supreme executive committee of the state, and it exercised also a considerable criminal and political jurisdiction, including the trial of kings; its competence extended to the infliction of a sentence of exile or even of death.
4 The superintendents (variously entitled also archpriests, deans, provosts, ephors) of the Evangelical (Lutheran) Church, as established in the several states of Germany and in Austria, are not bishops in any canonical sense, though their jurisdictions are known as dioceses and they exercise many episcopal functions.
But Lysander's boundless influence and ambition, and the superhuman honours paid him, roused the jealousy of the kings and the ephors, and, on being accused by the Persian satrap Pharnabazus, he was recalled to Sparta.
The restored fugitives selected five "ephors," including Critias, to organize a revolution, while the radicals.
The presiding officers were at first the kings, but in historical times the ephors, and the voting was conducted by shouts; if the president was doubtful as to the majority of voices, a division was taken and the votes were counted.
In later times, too, the actual debate was almost, if not wholly, confined to the kings, elders, ephors and perhaps the other magistrates.
The apella voted on peace and war, treaties and foreign policy in general: it decided which of the kings should conduct a campaign and settled questions of disputed succession to the throne: it elected elders, ephors and other magistrates, emancipated helots and perhaps voted on legal proposals.
Aristotle says that the ephors of each year on entering office declared war on the helots so that they might be put to death at any time without violating religious scruple (Plutarch, Lycurgus 28), and we have a well-attested record of 2000 helots being freed for service in war and then secretly assassinated (Thuc. iv.
The war party in Sparta regained its strength under new ephors and negotiations began for an alliance between Sparta, Argos and Boeotia.
9.22), 7) vavapxla oxeSew 4ripa (3aotXda KaOEUT11KEP. He was subject only to the ephors, who, if he proved incompetent, could depose him (Thuc. viii.
There is no evidence for the theory that originally the ephors were market inspectors; they seem rather to have had from the outset judicial or police functions.
Restored the royal power by murdering four of the ephors and abolishing the office, and though it was revived by Antigonus Doson after the battle of Sellasia, and existed at least down to Hadrian's reign (Sparta Museum Catalogue, Introd.
In historical times the ephors were five in number, the first of them giving his name to the year, like the eponymous archon at Athens.
The ephors were elected annually, originally no doubt by the kings, later by the people; their term of office began with the new moon after the autumnal equinox, and they had an official residence (Oop€Iov) in the Agora.
The ephors summoned and presided over meetings of the Gerousia and Apella, and formed the executive committee responsible for carrying out decrees.
There was a monthly exchange of oaths, the kings swearing to rule according to the laws, the ephors undertaking on this condition to maintain the royal authority (Xen.
The ephors, again, exercised a general guardianship of law and custom and superintended the training of the young.
Finally, the ephors were supreme in questions of foreign policy.
They possessed personal freedom and some measure of communal independence, but were apparently under the immediate supervision of Spartan harmosts (governors) and subject to the general control of the ephors, though Isocrates is probably going too far in saying (xii.
181) that the ephors might put to death without trial as many of the perioeci as they pleased.
After twice defeating the forces of the Achaean League in Arcadia, near Mount Lycaeum and at Leuctra,he strengthened his position by assassinating four of the ephors, abolishing the ephorate, which had usurped the supreme power, and banishing some eighty of the leading oligarchs.
The institution was under the supervision of the ephors, who, on entering office, annually proclaimed war against the helots (serf-class) and thus absolved from the guilt of murder any Spartan who should slay a helot.
It was instituted primarily as a precaution against the ever-present danger of a helot revolt, and secondarily perhaps as a training for young Spartans, who were sent out by the ephors to keep watch on the helots and assassinate any who might appear dangerous.
P. 633) emphasizes the former aspect, but there can be little doubt that, at all events after the revolt of 464 (see Cimon), its more sinister purpose was predominant, as we may gather from the secret massacre of 2000 helots who, on the invitation of the ephors, claimed to have rendered distinguished service (Thuc. iv.