), the Equals,
were those Spartans who possessed the full rights of citizenship, and are
opposed to the ὑπομείονες
or those whose
position was in some degree subordinate (Xen.
Rep. Lac. 10
, § 7;
3.3.5; Aristot. Pol.
= p. 1306 b, 30 ; cf. p. 1308 a, 12). This distinction
seems to have rested not so much upon law as upon custom: the state of the
case is well put by Schömann (Antiq.
1.217 E. T.):
“As far as legal right was concerned, all Spartiatae, rich and
poor, cultivated and uncultivated, formed a body of citizens in the
possession of equal rights, a demos of ὅμοιοι,
which, in contrast with the subject classes of
Perioeci and Helots, represented a ruling and privileged nobility. But
within this ennobled demos of ὅμοιοι
again there were two distinct classes,--a minority of rich, influential,
and cultured citizens, who to a certain extent claimed a kind of
superior nobility, and a majority of poor and uncultivated members, who,
though equal in the eye of the law, were in reality in an inferior
position,” and might be described in contrast to them as ὑπομείονες
or subordinate. The distinction
appears to have grown up in later times, as it is not mentioned by any
writer before Xenophon: when Aristotle, in the passage just referred to,
speaks of the Partheniae as belonging to the Homoei, he probably commits an
anachronism. The requisites for full Spartan citizenship, which did not
begin before the age of thirty, were (1) ascertained Spartiate birth, (2)
education on the Spartan system and a life in conformity with it, (3)
payment of subscriptions to the syssitia. Whoever failed in any one of these
particulars was excluded from the Homoei. In the institutions ascribed to
Lycurgus, every citizen had a certain portion of land: the impoverishment of
many through the loss of their lands seems to have been the chief cause of
the dangerous discontents which prevailed after the Peloponnesian war, and
showed themselves in the conspiracy of Cinadon (ὅρος
δὲ τῆς πολιτείας οὗτός ἐστιν αὐτοῖς ὁ πάτριος, τὸν μὴ
δυνάμενον τοῦτο τὸ τέλος φέρειν
[i. e. the syssitia]
μὴ μετέχειν αὐτῆς,
Aristot. Pol. 2.6.21
= p. 1271 a,
35). Other passages show the insistence upon the Spartan training, and the
disqualification attached to a self-indulgent or cowardly neglect of it
(Xen. Rep. Lac.
l.c.; Plut. Inst. Lac.
238 E; Teles ap. Stob. Floril.
xl. p. 233). Plutarch here
tells us that some say (ἔνιοί φασιν
who underwent the Spartan
discipline, “according to the intention of Lycurgus,” were
accounted citizens; a vague statement, which is contradicted by all we know
of the real facts of the Spartan constitution. The Homoei were probably
represented in the select bodies called ἔκκλητοι
and μικρὰ ἐκκλησία
]; the contention
of Thumser that the ὑπομείονες
share in the popular assembly (ἁλία
) is contrary to the general
opinion of scholars, as he himself admits. The Homoei, however, gradually
obtained possession of almost all political power. Kopstadt (ap. Gilbert,
1.42 n.) thinks that the Homoei alone were enrolled in the three
genealogical tribes, the Γ̔λλεῖς,
in the local tribes only
p. 914 a
]. (Schömann, Antiq.
1.217-221 E. T.; Gilbert, Staatsalterth.
1.41 f.; Busolt,
Die Laked. u. ihre Bundesgenossen,
1.116; Thumser, Staatsalterth.
p. 170 in