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EPEUNACTI

EPEUNACTI or--AE (ἐπεύνακτοι, ἐπευνακταί), a class of citizens at Sparta who are said to have been the offspring of slaves and the widows of Spartan citizens. Theopompus tells us (ap. Ath. vi. p. 271 c) that in the Messenian war, in consequence of the great losses which the Spartans sustained, they married the widows of those who were slain to helots, and that these helots were admitted to the citizenship under the name of ἐπεύνακτοι. Diodorus (viii. fr. 21) also calls the partisans of Phalanthus ἐπευνακταί [PARTHENIAE]. (Thirlwall, 1.353; Grote, ch. 22, 2.544; Müller, Dor. 3.3.5; Gilbert, Staatsalterth. 1.18.)

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