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EIREN (εἴρην, ἴρην), the third class of Spartan youth with regard to age; the series being: παῖδες (aged 7-18), μελλίρανες (18-20), ἴρανες (20-30). The last were distinguished again as πρωτίρανες or σφαιρεῖς, according as they were near the lower or upper limit. (Plut. [p. 1.708]Lye. 17; πρωτ. = οἱ περὶ εἴκοσι ἔτη παρὰ λάκωσι, Phot., Hesych. ed. Schmidt, s.v. σφ. = οἱ ἐκ τῶν ἐφήβων εἰς ἄνδρας ἀρχόμενοι συντελεῖν, Paus. 3.14, 6, and C. I. G. 1386, 1432, &c.) The boys and youths forming a βοῦα or ἴλα chose as their leader (βουαγόρ) the wisest and bravest of the ἴρανες (Plut. ib.; Xen. Rep. Lac. 2.1. 1). These leaders excepted, the ἴρανες partook with their elders of the common meal (ἀνδρεῖα). The ἰρένες mentioned as buried in a separate tomb at Plataea (Hdt. 4.85) must have been the officers of all ranks, not young men: Amompharetus, who was one of them, was in command of a λόχος (Stein ad loc.). (Müller, Dorians, 2.315; Gilbert, Staatsalterth. i. pp. 68, 71; on the form of the word, see Kuhn's Zeitschr. 8.53; Philol. 10.431; Curt. Stud. 4.1, 116.)

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