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Lycurgus

( lawgiver of Sparta)

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Biography Lycurgus
photo Lycurgus
Lycurgus (IX-VIII centuries. BC) - the legendary lawgiver of Sparta. Ancient tradition has brought to us contradictory information about his life. Thus, according to Plutarch, he was the youngest son of the Spartan king Eunomia and came from a kind Evripontidov. When he died his elder brother Polydectes, king of Sparta, Lycurgus became the guardian of his infant son Harilaya (according to Herodotus, Leobota). The enemies and detractors have accused him of seeking to usurp power. In order to avoid the snares Lycurgus left Sparta and went to travel. For a long time he lived in Crete, visited Egypt and the Greek cities in Asia Minor. On returning home he began to reform the state system of Sparta.

According to the laws written by Lycurgus, full citizens of Sparta were considered only the Spartans - the descendants of the Dorians, invaded the Peloponnese in the XII-XI centuries. BC. The second group of the population were perieki - personally free, but deprived of political rights of the people, their main occupations were craft and trade. The third group consisted of slaves from among the conquered Helots Dorians residents of Laconia and Messenia. All the fertile land was divided in 9000 CLAIR (plots), which were distributed Spartans. On the territory of each Clair multiple occupancy helots, which provided all the necessary Spartans and his family.

. To maintain the operation of forced austerity population Lycurgus Spartans turned the community into a military camp, whose members were subject to harsh discipline
. According to the laws of Lycurgus, without exception Spartans were carrying military service. From the age of 7 to 20 years, boys were public education. They are united in agely (herd); educators were subjected to constant drill, teach military affairs, accustomed to endurance, ruggedness, cunning, brutality and strict discipline. From the age of 20 Spartans became a full member of the community and up to 60 years, was obliged to serve in the army. Adults Spartans compulsorily participate in the monthly sissitiyah (public meals), which supported their team spirit. With the same purpose Spartans united in Enomoto - military units of 25-36 people, bound by mutual oath, and triakady - units in 30 people.

. Legislation of Lycurgus had made substantial changes in the organization of public administration
. Were retained functions of the national assembly (Appeals), which was attended by all age Spartans. There is still a community Spartans drove two kings, who commanded troops during the war and were ministers of religion. Lycurgus established Gerus (council of elders), which consisted of both the king and 28 of the most influential Spartans have reached the age of 60. Gerousia considered the supreme authority in Sparta. Along with Gerousia Lycurgus established the post of Eforie, who were elected People's Assembly for a year in the amount of 5 people. Ephor possessed great power: they have the right to convene Gerousia and Appeals, were in charge of the affairs of foreign policy, to perform judicial functions, and supervised the conduct of Spartans, ensuring the strict implementation of laws. Eforie could even overrule the Spartan kings.

According to tradition, Lycurgus withdrawn from circulation the gold and silver coin, replacing it with heavy and uncomfortable iron obols. He also imposed a strict ban on the production and consumption of luxury goods and outlawed the importation of Sparta goods from other countries.

Lycurgus lived to a ripe old age. He died outside the country, it remains have been moved to Sparta, and later the Spartans built a temple to him and respected him as a god. Laws of Lycurgus in Sparta remained effective for 500 years.

. Polybius of Lycurgus and his laws:

. "I think, . that the established laws of Lycurgus, and its measures were excellent for the unanimity of citizens, . for the protection of Laconia, . Finally, . settled, for a lasting freedom in Sparta, . so that his case, . I think, . rather divine mind, . but not human,
. Equality land, . simplicity and commonality of life must have been good manners to enter into private relations of citizens, . and the state to protect from the rivalries, . On the other hand, . difficult and dangerous exercises were supposed to make people strong and courageous,
. When the soul whether one person, or within one state will unite together such qualities as courage and good conduct, it is difficult to engender a scourge among the citizens, it is difficult and foreign enemies to conquer them. Here's what measures and how state structure Lycurgus prepared for lasting security for the whole of Laconia, and by the Spartans secured freedom for a long time. However, it seems to me he was not bothered about the adaptation of their state, both in general and in particular, to the conquest of the foreigners to rule over them and generally to enhance the external domination. Therefore, making people self-sufficient and to refrain in private life, he would take care of that and the general mood of the state was self-sufficient and reasonable. Now the Spartans by Lycurgus in private life and in relations to the laws of his city completely free of ambition and highly sensible are in relation to the rest of the Greeks.


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