ephoral, adj.ephorate /ef"euh rayt', -euhr it/, ephoralty /ef"euhr euhl tee/, n.
/ef"awr, ef"euhr/, n., pl. ephors, ephori /-euh ruy'/.
one of a body of magistrates in various ancient Dorian states, esp. at Sparta, where a body of five was elected annually by the people.
[1580-90; < L ephorus < Gk éphoros overseer, guardian, ruler (Compare EPHORÂN to look over, equiv. to ep- EP- + horân to see, look)]

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(Greek ephoros) Title of the five highest Spartan magistrates.

With the two kings of Sparta they formed the state's executive wing. The list of ephors dates back to 754 BC. Every male citizen was eligible for election to the ephorate, which conducted meetings of the gerousia and apella and executed their decrees. The ephors' extensive police powers allowed them to declare war on the helots annually, with legal license to attack and kill them if necessary. In an emergency they could even arrest and try a king.

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▪ Spartan magistrate
      (Greek ephoros), title of the highest Spartan magistrates, five in number, who with the kings formed the main executive wing of the state. In antiquity, time periods were recorded by the names of the ephors on a list that dated back to 754 BC. The origins of the ephorate are uncertain, however, being variously ascribed to the reforms of Lycurgus and to the necessity of maintaining state authority in the absence of the kings during the Messenian Wars.

      Every adult male citizen was eligible for election, which was annual. In classical times an oath was sworn monthly: by the kings that they would observe the laws; by the ephors on behalf of the city that on this condition they would maintain the king's authority. The ephors presided over meetings of the council of elders, or gerousia, and assembly, or apella, and were responsible for the execution of their decrees. Their extensive police powers allowed them to make the annual declaration of war on the helots and, in emergency, arrest, imprison, and participate in the trial of a king. The most famous of them was Chilon in the middle of the 6th century BC, one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ephor — 〈m. 16; im antiken Sparta〉 einer der fünf vom Volk jährlich gewählten obersten Beamten [<grch. ephoros „Aufseher“] * * * Ephor, der; en, en [lat. ephorus < griech. éphoros = Aufseher] (hist.): einer der fünf jährlich gewählten höchsten… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Ephor — Eph or, n.; pl. {Ephors}, L. {Ephori}. [L. ephorus, Gr. ?, fr. ? to oversee; ? + ? to see: cf. F. [ e]phore.] (Gr. Antiq.) A magistrate; one of a body of five magistrates chosen by the people of ancient Sparta. They exercised control even over… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ephor — der; en, en <über lat. ephorus aus gr. éphoros »Aufseher« zu ephorãn »auf etwas sehen«> einer der fünf jährlich gewählten höchsten Beamten im antiken Sparta …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • ephor — 1580s, Spartan magistrate, from Gk. ephoros overseer, from epi over (see EPI (Cf. epi )) + horan to see (see WARRANT (Cf. warrant)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Ephor — Ephor, der; en, en <griechisch> (einer der fünf höchsten Beamten im alten Sparta) …   Die deutsche Rechtschreibung

  • ephor — [ef′ôr΄] n. pl. ephors or ephori [ef′ō rī΄] [L ephorus < Gr ephoros, overseer < ephoran < epi , over + horan, to see < IE * woros, attentive < base * wer , to heed > WARN] in ancient Sparta, any of a body of five magistrates… …   English World dictionary

  • Ephor — An ephor (Classical Greek Polytonic|Ἔφορος ) (from the Greek polytonic|ἐπί, epi , on or over , and polytonic|ὁράω, horaō , to see , i.e. one who oversees ) was an official of ancient Sparta. There were five ephors elected annually, who swore each …   Wikipedia

  • ephor —   n. magistrate of Sparta.    ♦ ephoral,    ♦ ephoric, a.    ♦ ephorate, n. office of ephor; whole body of ephors …   Dictionary of difficult words

  • ephor — noun Etymology: Latin ephorus, from Greek ephoros, from ephoran to oversee, from epi + horan to see more at wary Date: 1579 1. one of five ancient Spartan magistrates having power over the king 2. a government official in modern Greece;… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Ephor — Ephoren (griech. ἔφορος, „Aufseher“) waren Beamte im antiken Sparta. Die Funktion des Ephorates ist nicht genau bekannt. Die Posten der Ephoren wurden wahrscheinlich auf Drängen der Apella geschaffen, um der Macht der Gerusia und der Könige etwas …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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