This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
θυσίη ... δημοτελής: offered by the kings; cf. 56 n.; Xen. Rep. Lac. xv. 2. ἄρχεσθαι: sc. τοὺς νέμοντας, the attendants. For similar honours cf. Thuc. i. 25 “οὔτε Κορινθίῳ ἀνδρὶ προκαταρχόμενοι τῶν ἱερῶν” (Abbott). δίπλησια. οὐχ ἵνα διπλάσια καταφάγοιεν, ἀλλ᾽ ἵνα καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦδε τιμῆσαι ἔχοιεν, εἴ τινα βούλοιντο (Xen. Rep. Lac. xv. 4). Xerxes (vii. 103. 1) distinctly alludes to this custom. σπονδαρχίας: again a Homeric custom (Il. xii. 310 f.).
νεομηνίας. The first day of the month (‘new moon’) was everywhere sacred, and a day of offering to the gods (ἱερὰ ἐπιμήνια, ἔμμηνα: cf. viii. 41. 2); the seventh was the birthday of Apollo and specially dedicated to him (Hesiod, Ἔργα 770). For the accusative cf. i. 181. 5, 186. 3; vii. 50. 4, 203. 1. μέδιμνον. The old view that the Laconian or Aeginetan medimnus was half as much again as the Attic (Athenaeus, 141 C) is disproved by Ath. Pol. ch. 10 (Sandys, note; cf. G. F. Hill, Num. Chron. 1897, p. 284 f.). Probably the Pheidonian measures are equivalent to the Babylonian, and stood to the Solonian in the ratio of 12 : 13. Since the Attic medimnus contains nearly twelve gallons, the Pheidonian would be nearly eleven gallons. τετάρτη cannot be the Attic τέταρτον, which, being the quarter of the sextarius (ξέστη), belongs to Roman times and is far too small, being about a quarter of a pint. Since the monthly contribution of each Spartan to the Syssitia was a medimnus of meal and eight χόες of wine (Plut. Lyc. 12), this Laconian τετάρτη may be one of eight χόες, or about five and a half gallons; if, however, the proportion given in § 3 of one cotyle to two choenices be taken, it would be but two χόες. προεδρίας: concrete; cf. iv. 88. 1. For the abstract sense cf. i. 54. 2; ix. 73. 3. This custom is illustrated by the anecdote in ch. 67. προξείνους. Proxeni are usually citizens of a foreign city who undertook to watch over the interests of the community which they represented, e. g. Callias was Proxenus of Sparta at Athens (cf. viii. 136. 1; Xen. Hell. vi. 3. 4). The Proxenia in these cases seems to have been almost hereditary in character (Thuc. v. 43; vi. 89). It does not appear probable that the kings had the appointment either of these Spartan Proxeni abroad or of the representatives of foreign states in Sparta. Hence P. Monceaux has suggested that these proxeni nominated by the kings were special ones appointed to do the honours of the state to foreigners who had no ordinary representative at Sparta; for some late analogies cf. Smith, Antiquities, i. 978. Πύθιοι. The connexion of Sparta with Delphi was peculiarly close. Cic. de Divin. i. 95 ‘(Lacedaemonii) de rebus maioribus semper aut Delphis oraculum aut ab Hammone aut a Dodona petebant’. Cf. v. 63. 90; vii. 220. Other states employed θεωροί. σιτεόμενοι. Apparently they messed with the king at the Phiditia. Xen. Rep. Lac. xv. 5 ἔδωκε δ᾽ αὖ καὶ συσκήνους δύο ἑκατέρῳ προσελέσθαι οἳ δὴ καὶ Πύθιοι καλοῦνται.
The prisoners at Sphacteria were allowed two Attic choenices of meal and two cotylae of wine; their servants were given half this amount (Thuc. iv. 16).
τὰς μαντηίας: so Cleomenes carried off a collection from Athens (v. 90). μούνους: i. e. without the Ephors and Gerousia. πατρούχου. An only daughter was styled ἐπίκληρος (or in Doric ἐπιπαματίς or παμῶχος), which means not that she is the heiress, but that she passes with the inheritance. Aristotle (Pol. ii. 6. 11, 1270 a 26 f.) distinctly tells us that if a father died intestate leaving only a daughter, the heir, as guardian of the orphan daughter, chose her a husband, and that even the father had but recently acquired the right to dispose of his daughter's hand as he pleased. In the days of H. the kings dealt with the question, as did the Archon Eponymus at Athens. In so doing they clearly acted as judges merely determining to whom the ἐπίκληρος belonged by law. All this is explained by the primitive constitution of the GraecoRoman family. The inheritance, along with the household cults, and patria potestas, always passed to males. If, then, there were no sons but only a daughter, the ancient principle debarred her from heirship, but by custom she passed with the inheritance to the nearest male relative, whom she married (so Gorgo Leonidas, vii. 205; cf. also vi. 71; Plut. Agis 11). Apparently a father, if he gave an only daughter in marriage, must give her to the nearest relative, or to an adopted son. But adoption (§ 5) itself took place before the kings, and must have been subject to legal rules. If the father died without betrothing his daughter, the nearest male relative could claim both the inheritance and the hand of the daughter. If there were several claimants the kings decided between them. The same principles held good in Crete (cf. the Gortyna Code) and at Athens. Cf. Fustel de Coulanges, Nouvelles Recherches, pp. 97 f. ὁδῶν δημοσιέων. According to Stein and Gilbert, this refers only to the delimitation of roads and private estates, but the kings as leaders in war may have been charged with the care of roads.
παρίζειν. The words imply that the kings were not ex-officio presidents. Doubtless the Ephors both convened (Xen. Hell. iii. 3. 8) and presided over the Gerousia. Cf. App. XVII, § 2. δύο ψήφους τιθεμένους. There can be little doubt Thucydides refers to this passage (i. 20. 3) when he gives as an instance of popular errors the belief that each of the Spartan kings had two votes, not one only, since he corrects in the same sentence another supposed error in H. (ix. 53), πολλὰ δὲ καὶ ἄλλα ἔτι καὶ νῦν ὄντα καὶ οὐ χρόνῳ ἀμνηστούμενα καὶ οἱ ἄλλοι Ἕλληνες οὐκ ὀρθῶς οἴονται, ὥσπερ τούς τε Λακεδαιμονίων βασιλέας μὴ μιᾷ ψήφῳ προστίθεσθαι ἑκάτερον ἀλλὰ δυοῖν, καὶ τὸν Πιτανάτην λόχον αὐτοῖς εἶναι ὃς οὐδ᾽ ἐγένετο πώποτε. But H., though the expression is obscure, probably means not that each king had two votes, but that two votes were given for the two absent kings, and that the vote of the relative who acted as proxy for both was the third. He, however, overlooks the fact that the same person could not be the nearest relative of both kings, since the two houses were only related by a fictitious genealogy and never intermarried. Really there must have been two proxies, one for each king. H. Richards (Cl. R. xix. 343) would omit τρίτην δὲ τὴν ἑωυτῶν as a late insertion, and so get clearly the sense that the nearest relative of each king gave two votes, his own and that of the king his kinsman.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.