Assembly and Gerousia

Information on the Assembly and the Gerousia


Assembly (Plutarch 6)

When did they meet?

From season to season, or to apellaze (call of the assembly).

"Every season or from time to time"

Where did they meet?

Between the River Cnacion and the Babyca Bridge

What role did they have?

Elders/Kings would propose an idea to the ASsembly and they would discuss whether to pass it or not. However, their decision could be canceledif the Elders/Kings  dismissed them for a reason e.g. altering the proposal that was put forward to them.

"put aside crooked choices"

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Assembly (Thucydides I:87)

What was their role in 450BC?

To excite and unite the population. The wanted everyone to agree to g to war. THey preteneded tyhey could no the acclamation so made everyone agree go to one side ad everyoen who was opposed go to the other. IMPLIES THAT THEY VOTED ON WHETHER TO GO TO WAR OR NOT AND THAT IT WAS NOT JSUT THE KINGS CHOICE.

Assembly member had to be 'homoioi', the equals. They were men who were fullmess member s and not barred from society for any reason e.g. illegitimacy, cowardice. IT IS THEREFORE UNLIKELY THAT THE ASSEMBLY CAN THEREFORE HAVE EXISTED EFORE 575BC WHICH IS WHEN THEIR 'ARMY' WAS FULLY DEVELOPED.

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Gerousia (Plutarch 26)

Lycurgus said that the Gerousia should be made up of 30 men (including the 2 kings) who were at least 60. Once elected, they were members for life.

"Whenever an Elder died his place sould be taken by the man over sixty whose merits were regarded as the most outstanding"

"as the best and wisest of the good and wise"

"a lifelong reward for his merits would have in effect sweeping authority in the state"

"control over death and loss of citizen rights"

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Relationship between Kings and Gerousia (Plutarch

That the kings are estemed by the Gods and care for Sparta so are in charge of the Elders but they have the same power over the assembly. Thye had in same areas equal power,

"permitted noone but the Elders and Kings to make a proposal"

"if the people should make a crooked choice, the elders and founder-leaders (Kings) are to set it aside"

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