Whereas in the government of Sparta, the members of the gerousia had to be from noble families, all Spartiates were eligible for the office of Ephor. There were 5 ephors each year, one of whom may have given his name to the year. It appears no one was ephor more than once. The ephors could influence the king, summon the assembly and the gerousia. They had judicial and punitive powers, and could bring other officials to trial and sentence non-Spartiates to death. They supervised military life and received booty.

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