The Springtime of the People: The Athenian Ephebeia and Citizen Training from Lykourgos to Augustus


In The Springtime of the People: The Athenian Ephebeia and Citizen Training from Lykourgos to Augustus Thomas R. Henderson provides a new history of the Athenian ephebeia, a system of military, athletic, and moral instruction for new Athenian citizens. Characterized as a system of hoplite training with roots in ancient initiation rituals, the institution appears here as a later Lykourgan creation with the aim of reinvigorating Athenian civic culture. This book also presents a re-evaluation of the Hellenistic phase of the ephebeia, which has been commonly regarded as an institution in decline. Utilizing new epigraphic material, the author demonstrates that, in addition to rigorous military training, the ephebeia remained an important institution and played a vital and vibrant part of Athenian civic life.

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Thomas R. Henderson, Ph.D. (2012), Florida State University, is an independent scholar whose research interests include the history of Athens, Greek epigraphy, and Athenian civic life and culture in the Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods.
''[Readers] will benefit from reading this book which marks a real progress in our knowledge of the Athenian ephēbeia and will henceforth be a reference work for anyone who wants to be informed either on this institution in general or on its particular aspects.'' Andrzej S. Chankowski, in Bryn Mawr Classical Review (05.13.2022)
List of Abbreviations
List of Epigraphical Conventions

part 1: Preliminaries

1 What Was an Ephebe?
 1 ἥβη and ἡβάω in Homer
 2 ἥβη and ἡβάω in Athenian Tragedy
 3 ἥβη and ἡβάω in Athenian Social Life
 4 ἡβάω and ἐφηβάω
 5 ἔφηβος Prior to the Age of Lykourgos: the Kyropaideia of Xenophon
 6 ἔφηβος Prior to the Age of Lykourgos: the Oath of the Ephebes
 7 ἔφηβος Prior to the Age of Lykourgos: the Military Service of Aiskhines
 8 ἔφηβος in the Age of Lykourgos
 9 New Citizens and New Soldiers
 10 Conclusion

2 The Origin of the Athenian Ephebeia
 1 Epikrates and the Law of the Ephebes
 2 The Political Character of Athens in the Fifth and Early Fourth Centuries BCE
 3 The Silence of the Literary Sources
 4 The Silence of the Epigraphical Sources
 5 Conclusion

3 The Purpose of the Athenian Ephebeia
 1 The Purpose of the Ephebeia: Hoplite Training?
 2 The Purpose of the Ephebeia: “Problems on the Border?”
 3 Citizen Training: εὐταξία, πειθαρχία, and σωφροσύνη
 4 Citizen Training: Xenophon, Isokrates, Plato
 5 Citizen Training: The Age of Lykourgos
 6 Conclusion

part 2: The Lykourgan Ephebeia

4 Organization
 1 The Organization of the Ephebeia: Officials and Magistrates
 2 The Organization of the Ephebeia: the Ephebic Tribe
 3 The Khlamys as a Symbol of Membership in the Ephebeia
 4 Conclusion

5 Paideia
 1 Ephebic Military Service
 2 Ephebic Trainers and Training
 3 Conclusion

6 Religion
 1 Tour of Sanctuaries
 2 The Oath Ceremony
 3 Oath of the Ephebes
 4 Panathenaia
 5 Amphiaraia
 6 Nemesia
 7 Torch-Races
 8 The Eutaxia Competition
 9 Conclusion

part 3: The Hellenistic Ephebeia

7 The Late Fourth Century BCE
 1 The Lamian War and the Ephebeia
 2 The Oligarchy of Demades and Phokion (321/0–319/8 BCE)
 3 Democracy’s Brief Return (319/8–318/7 BCE)
 4 The Tyranny of Demetrios of Phaleron (317–307 BCE)
 5 Between Freedom and Dependency (307–287 BCE)
 6 The Tyranny of Lakhares and Regime of Demetrios Poliorketes
 7 Conclusion

8 Organization, Training and Service (268/7‒31 BCE)
 1 Participation and Manpower
 2 Financing the Ephebeia
 3 Who Joined the Ephebeia?
 4 Organization of the Hellenistic Ephebeia
 5 Military Service
 6 Trainers and Training
 7 Honors and Awards
 8 Conclusion

9 Ephebeia and Athenian Religious Life (229‒31 BCE)
 1 Ephebes and Religion in the Age of Eurykleides and Mikion
 2 Initiation, Bull-Lifting and the Ephebeia
 3 Festivals, Cultural Memory and the Ephebeia
 4 Territory, Cult and the Ephebeia
 5 Conclusion

10 Philosophers, Foreigners and Rome (128/7‒31 BCE)
 1 Ephebes and Athens’ Philosophers
 2 Athenian Ephebes and Foreign Youth
 3 Ephebes and the Apantesis
 4 The Mithridatic War and the Athenian Ephebeia
 5 The Final Years of the Hellenistic Ephebeia
 6 Conclusion


Catalogue of Ephebic Inscriptions
 Lykourgan Age
 Hellenistic Era

A Selection of Ephebic Documents

1 Participation Totals for Hellenistic Ephebeia by Year
2 Catalogue of Ephebes: 267/6‒230/29 BCE
3 Demographic Data of Ephebes: 267/6‒230/29 BCE
4 Participation of Foreign Ephebes (2nd Century BCE)

Index of Sources
General Index
All who are interested in the history of Athens, Greek epigraphy, Athenian civic culture in the late Classical and Hellenistic periods. Any who research military, physical and ethical instruction of new citizens.
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