Kings of Sparta

Essay by DobbadobHigh School, 12th gradeA+, July 2014

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Kings of Sparta

By Yaron Sarusi

Ancient History

Assessment Task #4 Year 12

Research report and Oral Presentation

Question: With reference to the source below and other sources, explain the role of the kings during this period.

The Spartan state of Ancient Greece was a prominent military city-state which was always lead by two kings due to Sparta's constitution, the Great Rhetra. The constitution was created by legendary lawgiver Lycurgus, whom used the ideals of moderation, unity and harsh discipline in order to incorporate a militaristic approach in training the finest fighters of the ancient world. Historians such as A. H. M. Jones believe though it was a collection of Spartans through the generations who wrote the constitution, as he states Lycurgus was a "Mythical Figure". One of the Spartan kings came from the Agiad family, while the other from the Eurypontid family. The result of the two kings working in partnership was that they would share their duties and keep the other king honest by ensuring the other would not abuse or obtain a large amount of power which could be used in selfish ways.

This dual kingship allowed the kings to undertake the many significant roles and duties that they were expected to execute or fulfil for the state. These involved political, religious and military duties, which made their role as king quite significant.

The Spartan kings were also known as the Lawgivers, as they had a major influence in the political system. In the political system of Sparta, power was divided among the two kings, Ephors, the Gerousia and the Ekklesia. The kings had seats on the Gerousia, also known as the council of elders. This body consisted of 28 over-60 years of age males who held the position for their lifetime. The Gerousia led...