(In ancient Greece) one of five senior Spartan magistrates.
- There was a Council of Elders, an assembly, and the five ephors.
- The ephor was a magistrate of Sparta who contained and controlled the kings.
- But his view was in the minority: the majority were in favour of it, influenced by the opinion of an ephor, Sthenelaïdas, that the Spartans would win.
- Example sentences
- He interceded with his son Agesipolis I to save the democratic leaders at Mantinea in 385, and wrote a pamphlet which seemingly accused his enemies of violating traditional Lycurgan laws and advocated abolition of the ephorate.
- He was a Spartan commander during the Peloponnesian wars who first came to notice in 431 BC when he saved Methone from an Athenian seaborne attack, and this may have led to his election to the ephorate that autumn.
From Greek ephoros 'overseer', from epi 'above' + the base of horan 'see'.
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