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Encyclopedia > Lycurgus (Sparta)

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Lycurgus
Lycurgus

Lycurgus (Greek: Λυκοῦργος, Lukoûrgos; 700 BC?–630 BC) was the legendary lawgiver of Sparta, who established the military-oriented reformation of Spartan society in accordance with the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi. He is referred to by ancient historians Herodotus, Xenophon, and Plutarch. It is not clear if this Lycurgus was an actual historical figure (Bertrand Russell states that he is mythical person of Arcadian origin - his name meaning 'He who brings into being the works of a wolf'); however, many ancient historians[1] believed Lycurgus was responsible for the communalistic and militaristic reforms which transformed Spartan society, the most major of which was known as The Great Rhetra. Ancient historians place him in the first half of the 7th century BC. Image File history File links Lycurgus. ... Image File history File links Lycurgus. ... Centuries: 9th century BC - 8th century BC - 7th century BC Decades: 750s BC 740s BC 730s BC 720s BC 710s BC - 700s BC - 690s BC 680s BC 670s BC 660s BC 650s BC Events and Trends 708 BC - Spartan immigrants found Taras (Tarentum, the modern Taranto) colony in southern Italy. ... Centuries: 8th century BC - 7th century BC - 6th century BC Decades: 680s BC 670s BC 660s BC 650s BC 640s BC - 630s BC - 620s BC 610s BC 600s BC 590s BC 580s BC Events and Trends 637 BC - Josiah becomes king of Judah. ... For other uses see Sparta (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Pythia (disambiguation). ... Herodotus of Halicarnassus (Greek: HÄ“rodotos Halikarnāsseus) was a Greek historian from Ionia who lived in the 5th century BC (ca. ... Xenophon, Greek historian Xenophon (In Greek , ca. ... Mestrius Plutarchus (Greek: Πλούταρχος; 46 - 127), better known in English as Plutarch, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist. ... Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970), was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, advocate for social reform, and pacifist. ... This article discusses Arcadia, a region of Greece. ... The Great Rhaetra was one of the two greatest bodies of classical Greek direct democracy, the other being the Athenian assembly. ... (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) The 7th century BC started on January 1, 700 BC and ended on December 31, 601 BC. // Overview Events Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria who created the the first systematically collected library at Nineveh A 16th century depiction of the Hanging Gardens of...


Biography

According to ancient sources, Lycurgus was a war veteran who, with the support of his comrades, managed to become regent or tutor to the Spartan King Charilaus. He gained an eye in a fight with a political opponent; the opponent was sentenced to serve as his servant for a period of time and became one of Lycurgus' biggest supporters. Lycurgus is often referenced to throwing the extra eye at political opponents in order to win debates and he often did. Among the reforms attributed to Lycurgus are the abolition of gold and silver coinage (probably apocryphal, since coins did not come into use until the 500s BC) and the substitution of iron money, the requirement of eating in commons and living (for men under the age of thirty) in rough-hewn barracks, the destruction of the city walls to promote martial skill, re-dividing Spartan land and forcing it to be worked by Helots, and the system of government that divided power between king, the Spartan citizenry, the gerousia, and the ephors. For other uses, see Monarch (disambiguation). ... Charilaus, also given as Charillus, was a legendary king of Sparta in the early-mid 8th century BC. He is generally shown as the successor of his grandfather Eunomus, though Pausanias implies that Charilaus father Polydectes preceded Charilaus[1]. Charilaus is perhaps best known as the ward and pupil of... In Judeo-Christian theologies, apocrypha refers to religious Sacred text that have questionable authenticity or are otherwise disputed. ... Helots were Peloponnesian Greeks who were enslaved under Spartan rule. ... For other uses see Sparta (disambiguation). ... The Gerousia was the Spartan senate. ... An ephor was an official of ancient Sparta. ...


He is likewise credited with the Spartan educational system known as the agoge, in which juvenile militia units were responsible for raising children (and intentionally underfeeding them so that they'd learn how to steal food, a practice akin to military survival training). One of the foundations of the agoge was pederasty, which required all men to attend a boy in a (possibly chaste) erotic mentorship, one requested by the boy himself. The agoge was a rigorous education and training regime undergone by all Spartan citizens (with the exception of future kings [1]). It involved separation from the family, cultivation of loyalty to ones group, loving mentorship, military training, hunting, dance and social preparation. ... Survival skills are skills that may help one to survive dangerous situations (such as storms or earthquakes), or in dangerous places (such as the desert, the mountains, and the jungle). ... Pederastic courtship scene Athenian black-figure amphora, 5th c. ...


According to the legend found in Plutarch's Lives and other sources, when Lycurgus became confident in his reforms, he announced that he would go to the oracle at Delphi to sacrifice to Apollo. However before leaving for Delphi he called an assembly of the people of Sparta and made everyone, including the kings and senate, take an oath binding them to observe his laws until he returned. He made the journey to Delphi and consulted the oracle, which told him that his laws were excellent and would make his people famous. Being satisfied by this he starved himself to death instead of returning home, forcing the citizens of Sparta by oath to keep his laws indefinitely.[2] Michelangelos rendering of the Delphic Sibyl The Delphic Sibyl was the priestess presiding over the Apollonian Oracle at Delphi, a Greek colony, located in a plateau on the side of Mount Parnassus. ... Marcus Aurelius and members of the Imperial family offer sacrifice in gratitude for success against Germanic tribes: contemporary bas-relief, Capitoline Museum, Rome For other uses, see Sacrifice (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Apollo (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Delphi (disambiguation). ... For other uses see Sparta (disambiguation). ... For other uses see Sparta (disambiguation). ... This article is about law in society. ...


Depictions

Bas-relief of Lycurgus in the U.S. House of Representatives chamber.
Bas-relief of Lycurgus in the U.S. House of Representatives chamber.

Lycurgus is depicted in several U.S. government buildings of his legacy as a lawgiver. Lycurgus is one of the 23 lawgivers depicted in marble bas-reliefs in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives in the United States Capitol.[3] Lycurgus is also depicted on the frieze on the south wall of the U.S. Supreme Court building.[4] Image File history File links Lycurgus_bas-relief_in_the_U.S._House_of_Representatives_chamber. ... Image File history File links Lycurgus_bas-relief_in_the_U.S._House_of_Representatives_chamber. ... For other uses, see Marble (disambiguation). ... Bas relief is a method of sculpting which entails carving or etching away the surface of a flat piece of stone or metal. ... The United States Capitol is the capitol building that serves as the location for the United States Congress, the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. ... Type Bicameral Speaker of the House of Representatives House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Steny Hoyer, (D) since January 4, 2007 House Minority Leader John Boehner, (R) since January 4, 2007 Members 435 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political groups Democratic Party Republican Party... The United States Capitol is the capitol building that serves as the location for the United States Congress, the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. ... Frieze of the Tower of the Winds. ... Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. The buildings facade underwent renovation during the summer of 2006. ...


Notes

  1. ^ Plutarchus, Mestrius. Parallel Lives, Chs.Lycurgus and Lycurgus and Numa Compared.  Plutarch lists Eratosthenes, Apollodorus, Timæus, and Xenophon, among others as sources.
  2. ^ see the biography of Lycurgus in Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans, available online at http://classics.mit.edu/Plutarch/lycurgus.html
  3. ^ "Relief Portraits of Lawgivers: Lycurgus." Architect of the Capitol. [1]
  4. ^ "Courtroom Friezes: North and South Walls: Information Sheet." Supreme Court of the United States. [2]

Mestrius Plutarchus (Greek: Πλούταρχος; 46 - 127), better known in English as Plutarch, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist. ... This article is about the Greek scholar of the third century BC. For the ancient Athenian statesman of the fifth century BC, see Eratosthenes (statesman). ... Apollodorus was a common name in ancient Greece. ... Xenophon, Greek historian Xenophon (In Greek , ca. ...

References

  • Woodhouse, S.C. English-Greek Dictionary: A Vocabulary of the Attic Language (1910) http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/efts/Woodhouse/
  • Rousseau, Jean-Jacques The Social Contract (1762)
  • Descartes, "Discours de la méthode" (1637)

See also

For other uses see Sparta (disambiguation). ... The agoge was a rigorous education and training regime undergone by all Spartan citizens (with the exception of future kings [1]). It involved separation from the family, cultivation of loyalty to ones group, loving mentorship, military training, hunting, dance and social preparation. ... Zephyrus and Hyacinthus Hyacinthus, beloved of Apollo was a patron hero of pederasty in Sparta. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Plutarch in Greek Plutarchs Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans is a series of biographies of famous men, arranged in tandem to illuminate their common moral virtues or failings. ... rome hotel According to legend, Numa Pompilius was the second of the Kings of Rome, succeeding Romulus. ...

External links

  • Plutarch: Life of Lycurgus

  Results from FactBites:
 
The Internet Classics Archive | Lycurgus by Plutarch (5826 words)
Lycurgus was of opinion that ornaments were so far from advantaging them in their counsels, that they were rather an hindrance, by diverting their attention from the business before them to statues and pictures, and roofs curiously fretted, the usual embellishments of such places amongst the other Greeks.
Lycurgus, so far from being daunted and discouraged by this accident, stopped short and showed his disfigured face and eye beat out to his countrymen; they, dismayed and ashamed at the sight, delivered Alcander into his hands to be punished, and escorted him home, with expressions of great concern for his ill-usage.
Lycurgus allowed a man who was advanced in years and had a young wife to recommend some virtuous and approved young man, that she might have a child by him, who might inherit the good qualities of the father, and be a son to himself.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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