What does evidence reveal about the roles of the kings in Spartan Society?…
What does evidence reveal about the roles of the kings in Spartan Society? (15 marks)
Thesis statement: Evidence reveals that the kings, representative of the diarchy, had numerous roles and duties in religious, military and judicial aspects of Spartan society.
para 1: religious roles
upheld through their divine lineage as descendants of heracles
Topic Sentence: evidence indicates that the two kings occupied fundamental roles in religious practices, which were justified by their claim of divine lineage from Herakles
chief priests of the priesthoods to Zeus Lakadaemon and Zeus Uranios
Safe keepers of oracles and prophecies from Delphi along with the Pythians
monthly sacrifices to Apollo and before war
xenophon 'the king should make all public sacrifices for the state because of his divine descent'
para 2: military roles :
they were supreme military commanders of the army
Topic Sentence: Evidence further confirms that the kings had crucial military roles, most notably as commanders-in-chief of the Spartan army.
Xenophon said that it was the kings's duty to 'command the army wherever the city sends him'
Aristotle 'the Spartan kingship [was] a perpetual hereditary generalship'
Source R: statue of Leonidas wearing a battle helmet
the bust of a Spartan warrior thought to be king Leonidas, one of the more well known kings, was shown bare-chested but wearing a Spartan military helmet, illustrating his military prowess.
para 3: judicial roles
Topic Sentence: Evidence also suggests that the kings had a clear role in several significant judicial aspects of spartan society, including legal matters involving adoption, inheritance of unmarried heiresses and the maintenance of public highways.
were part of the gerousia
Herodotus 'certain definite legal matters are left to their sole decision... if a girl inherits her father's estate and has not been betrothed by him to anybody, the kings decide who has the right to marry her; secondly, all matters connected with the public roads are in their hands; and, thirdly, anyone who wishes to adopt a child must do it in the king's presence'
handled decisions of inheritance
handled all matters pertaining to public highways
handled legal matters of adoption