Skip to main content
Select Source:

ephors

ephors (ĕf´ərz) [Gr.,=overseers], in ancient Greece, magistrates in several Dorian states. In Sparta they comprised an executive, legislative, and judicial board of five Spartan citizens. This annually elected board functioned from at least the 8th cent. BC until it was abolished (c.227 BC) by Cleomenes III. Later it was revived and lasted until AD 200. At its peak of authority the board of ephors was the organ of citizen control over the dual kingship of Sparta. Its members were elected in various ways at different times, but for the most part, apparently, by drawing lots. Their relation to the two kings was curious. The kings were recognized as the only authorized military commanders, but the ephors had full discretion in levying troops. During campaigns they had no voice in command, but they might bring the royal leaders to trial for alleged errors in conducting war. The ephors cast the deciding voice when the kings disagreed. Their decisions were the result of a simple majority vote.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"ephors." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"ephors." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ephors

"ephors." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved December 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ephors

ephor

ephor in ancient Greece, any of the five senior Spartan magistrates; the word comes from Greek ephoros ‘overseer’.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"ephor." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"ephor." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ephor

"ephor." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved December 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ephor

ephor

ephor Spartan magistrate. XVI. — L. ephorus — Gr. éphoros, f. EPI- + *For-, base of horân see.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"ephor." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"ephor." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ephor-0

"ephor." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved December 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ephor-0