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Rhetrae

ῥῆτραι). Specially the name of the ordinances of Lycurgus. The word ῥῆτρα means a solemn compact, either originally emanating from or subsequently sanctioned by the gods, who are always parties to such agreements. The rhetrae of Lycurgus emanated from the Delphian god; but the kings, senators, and people all bound themselves, both to each other and to the gods, to obey them. Plutarch mentions four rhetrae ( Lyc. 6 and 13), and describes them as relating to (a) the building of a temple to Zeus and Athené (b) the division of the people into φυλαί and ὠβαί; (c) the establishment of the Senate (γερουσία); and (d) the assemblage of the people at the time of the full moon.

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