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 (ĕf′ôr′, -ər)
n. pl. eph·ors or eph·o·ri (-ə-rī′)
One of five elected magistrates exercising a supervisory power over the kings of Sparta.

[Latin ephorus, from Greek ephoros, from ephorān, to oversee : ep-, epi-, epi- + horān, to see; see wer- in Indo-European roots.]

eph′or·ate′ (-ə-rāt′, -ə-rĭt) n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n, pl -ors or -ori (-əˌraɪ)
(Historical Terms) (in ancient Greece) one of a board of senior magistrates in any of several Dorian states, esp the five Spartan ephors, who were elected by vote of all full citizens and who wielded effective power
[C16: from Greek ephoros, from ephoran to supervise, from epi- + horan to look]
ˈephoral adj
ˈephorate n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈɛf ɔr, ˈɛf ər)

n., pl. -ors, -or•i (-əˌraɪ)
one of a body of magistrates in ancient Dorian states, esp. at Sparta, where a body of five was elected annually by the people.
[1580–90; < Latin ephorus < Greek éphoros overseer, guardian, ruler (compare ephorân to look over =ep- ep- + horân to see, look)]
eph′or•al, adj.
eph′or•ate (-əˌreɪt, -ər ɪt) n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The ephors, Sparta's powerful governing board of overseers, would authorize this state terror by annually declaring "war on the helots, employing the young men of the krupteia to eliminate the obstreperous and those menacingly robust." Sparta's internal political and institutional makeup resulted in one of history's most highly militarized communities.
In this Rebel Belle (Penguin, 2014/VOYA April 2014) sequel, Harper faces tests dictated by the Ephors, an ancient Greek society that wants to control the world.
(13) Plutarch treats the ephorate as a later addition, albeit one deeply continuous with Lycurgus' constitutional reforms: 'the first ephors were appointed in the reign of Theopompus' about 'one hundred and thirty years after Lycurgus' (7.1).
To this he contrasts Sparta's political history as an oligarchy transformed by Lycurgus' reforms into an anomalous "police" state whose mixed constitution included a dual kingship, board of five ephors ("overseers"), council of elders, and citizen assembly (40-47).
Over the following century, the assembly established broader powers to overrule the elders and annually appoint their own officials, Ephors who presided over civil cases, conducted foreign policy and came to exercise executive power (Forrest 1980: 77).
1 Which ancient Greek city-state had five annually-elected ephors, whose powers included the right to arrest their kings for misconduct in war?
Spartan youths appearing before the ephors, nude dancers in the theatres, Phryne bathing at the Eleusinian games, and exercises in the gymnasia are some of Winckelmann's examples: "There one could study the movement of the muscles and body [...] The nude body in its most beautiful form was exhibited there in so many natural and noble positions and poses not attainable today by the hired models of our art schools" (Reflections 12ff.).
I would like to thank the Greek Archaeological Service, and especially the ephors, past and present, of the Argolid, Aikaterini Dimakopoulou, Phani Pachianni, Elisabet Spathari, Alexandros Mantis, and Zoe Aslamantzidou, for permission to carry out my work on the site.
The first act of the Spartans' chief board of annual officials, the five Ephors, on taking office was to declare war in the name of the Spartan state on the Helots collectively, the enemy within.
In Lacedaemonia two brothers had a lawsuit; the ephors charged the father to settle it and thus punished him for not having inspired in his sons more disinterestedness and more mutual love.