(In ancient Greece) a young man of 18-20 years undergoing military training.
- An ephebe describes a teenage boy in ancient Greece (but could also describe most of the male characters in the musical Grease).
- By the 330s, ephebes received a full year of training in hoplite fighting, archery, javelin-throwing, and catapult-firing, followed by a year of patrol duty.
- Finally, a Cretan youth was allowed only one garment, the Attic ephebe wore a black garment, and in certain mystery cults initiates were required to wear white clothing.
- Example sentences
- Athens went some way towards bridging the social and cultural gap between these types of fighting men by reforming ephebic training, but the gulf between Greeks and Macedonians remained wide.
- Another Athenian relief which shows Herakles next to his columnar shrine, and a boy in front of him, probably refers to the oinisteria and the ephebic introduction.
- You can't be too careful, with uncastrated, ephebic sophomore mules, wherever you go in the world.
Via Latin from Greek ephēbos 'adolescent boy', from epi 'near to' + hēbē 'early manhood'.
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