magistrates established by Cleomenes III. at Sparta in his reformed
constitution, when he abolished both the γερουσία
and the ephorate, and set up the πατρονόμοι
to exercise, as it were, a paternal control over
the whole state (Paus. 2.9
). His constitution came to an end after the battle of Sellasia,
B.C. 221; and we find ephors and γερουσία
again (Paus. 3.11
), but with diminished powers; for the πατρονόμοι
were retained as the chief magistrates (called
συνάρχοντες τῆς πατρονομίας,
C. I. G.
1356). Apparently they were six in number; the
chief, or πρέσβυς τῶν πατρονόμων,
of the state,--that is, he
gave his name to the year, which the first ephor had formerly done. (Compare
Philostr. Vit. Apoll.
4.32; Plut. An seni sit resp.
24; Gilbert, Staatsalterth.