Sparta

Article

July 3, 2022

Sparta (ancient Greek Σπάρτη, lat. Sparta) or Lacedaemon (ancient Greek Λακεδαίμων, lat. Lacedaemon) is an ancient state in Greece in the Laconia region in the south of the Peloponnese peninsula, in the Evrota valley.

State structure

Ancient Sparta is an example of an aristocratic state, in which, in order to suppress the discontent of the huge mass of the forced population (helots), the development of private property was restrained and equality among the Spartans was successfully maintained. The organization of political power among the Spartans was typical of the period of the collapse of the tribal system: two tribal leaders (perhaps as a result of the unification of the Achaean and Dorian tribes), a council of elders, and a national assembly. In the VI century BC. e. the so-called "Lycurgus system" was formed (the establishment of a helotia, strengthening the influence of the Spartan community by equalizing them economically and politically and turning this community into a military camp). At the head of the state were two archagetes, who were chosen every year by divination by the stars. The army was subordinate to them, and they had the right to most of the military booty, they had the right to life and death in campaigns. Positions and authorities: Apella - the people's assembly (all full-fledged male Spartans who have reached the age of 30). Kings of Sparta - Sparta has always been ruled by two kings from two dynasties: the Agiades and the Eurypontides. Both dynasties descended from King Aristodem. In case of war, one of the kings went on a campaign, while the other remained in Sparta. Ephors - elective positions in whose hands the judicial power was concentrated (there were 5 ephors in total, two of which accompanied the king on a campaign in case of war). Gerusia - the highest government body in Sparta, the council of elders. Gerousia consisted of 30 people (28 gerontes over the age of 60, elected for life, and 2 kings). Navarch is one of the highest military positions in Sparta. The navarch commanded the Spartan fleet and had very wide powers, sometimes even going beyond the purely military (Aristotle called the power of the navarch “almost a second royal power”). Navarch was, for example, one of the most famous Spartan commanders - Lysander. Hippagretes - three 30-year-old youths chosen by ephors, and hippei, "horsemen