The Spartan Constitution

  • Created by: Ggpop
  • Created on: 28-01-17 22:39


Key features:

  • TWO Kings - one form each of the leading families in Sparta (Agiads and Eurypontids, claiming to be decendents from Heracles)
  • Hereditary succession
  • The two Kings had equal powers - a check on the other's power and keep each other in line
  • One King would command the army whilst on campaign while the other would supervise the domestic matters in Sparta
  • The Kings were maintained by the state

POWERS of the Kings:


Military was one of their main powers.

  • "The power of declaring war on whom they please" (Herodotus 6.56)
  • "On service, the Kings go first and return last" (Herodotus 6.56)
  • "It is their duty to select and appoint the officials who see to the entertainment of foreign visitors" (Herodotus 6.57)
  • "They sit with the twenty-eight Elders in the Council chamber." (Herodotus 6.57)
  • "Cast two votes" (Herodotus 6.57)
  • "Leads the way to the frontiers of the state" (Xenophon XIII)
  • "The King is leading the army, if no enemy appear, nobody marches in front of him except the Skiritai and cavalry outriders" (Xenophon XIII)
  • "The King takes the first company of the first regiment" (Xenophon XIII)
  • "They decide that it is time to camp, the King is in charge" (Xenophon XIII)
  • "The King is left with no duties on campaign except those of a priest in the religious field and a general  in human affairs" (Xenophon XIII)
  • "Lead the army on any foreign campaign" (Xenophon XV)


Religion was one of their main powers.

  • "Two priesthoods, of Zeus Lacedaemon and of Zeus Uranius" (Herodotus 6.56)
  • "No Spartan may atempt go oppose their decision, under pain of sacrilege" (Herodotus 6.56)
  • "Allowed for their own use as many cattle as they wish" (Herodotus 6.56)
  • "Make the first ceremonial libation" (Herodotus 6.57)
  • "On the first and seventh days of every month each King is given a full grown animal to offer in sacrifice in the temple of Apollo" (Herodotus 6.57)
  • "Each of them nominates two 'Pythians' - officials, that is, whose duty it is to visit Delphi when occasion arises" (Herodotus 6.57)
  • "They are responsible for the safekeeping of all oracles" (Herodotus 6.57)
  • "He sacrifices in Sparta to Zeus the Leader and the gods associated with him" (Xenophon XIII)
  • "The King sacrifices again to Zeus and Athena" (Xenophon XIII)
  • "Whenever the King sacrifices, he starts the rites before dawn, wishing to obtain the favour of the gods before the enemy" (Xenophon XIII)
  • "The King should make


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