Scanned text contains errors.
the Seven against Thebes, and engaged in a contest with Amphiaraus, which was represented on the throne of Apollo at Amyclae (Pans. iii. 18. § 7 ; Apollod. i. 9. § 3). He is also mentioned among those whom Asclepius called to life again after their death. (Apollod. iii. 10. § 3 ; Schol. ad Find. PytJi. iii. 96, ad Eurip. Alcest. 1.)
4. A son of Pheres and Periclymene, a brother of Admetus, was king of the country about Nemeaj and married to Eurydice or Amphithea, by whom he became the father of Opheltes (Apollod. i. 9. § 14, iii. 6. § 4). His tomb was believed to exist in the grove of the Nemean Zeus. (Paus. ii. 15. § 3.)
5. One of the suitors of Hippodameia, was killed by Oenomaus. (Paus. vi. 21. § 7.)
6. A son of Eunomus, a mythical legislator of the Lacedaemonians. His son is called Eucosmus (Plut. Lye. 1), and he is said to have lived shortly after the Trojan times. But his whole existence is a mere invention to account for the chronological inconsistencies in the life of the famous: legislator Lycurgus, who himself scarcely belongs to history. [See below.] [L. S.]
LYCURGUS (AvKovpyos), the Spartan legislator. We cannot more appropriately begin the life of Lycurgus than by repeating the introductory remark of Plutarch, that concerning Lycurgus nothing can be said for certain, since his genealogy, his travels, his death, and likewise his laws and political arrangements, are differently told by different writers. Modern criticism has not been satisfied with such a simple statement of inextricable difficulties, but has removed them all at once, by denying the real existence of Lycurgus altogether. However, such hasty scepticism is warranted neither by conflicting and vague statements, which, in the case of a semi-historical personage, cannot well be otherwise ; nor even by the fact, that Lycurgus had a temple in Sparta, and was there worshipped as a hero. But although we do not deny the existence of Lycurgus, we cannot pretend to know any thing for certain beyond his bare existence. Hardly a single action, or a single institution, commonly attributed to Lycurgus* can be historically proved to belong to him. Of the real Lycurgus we know almost nothing ; and the one with whom we are acquainted is the Lycurgus of half historical fiction. Yet to his name are attached questions of the highest importance. To him is attributed the framing of the most peculiar, as well -as the most highly and universally extolled (Plut. Lye. 35) of the constitutions, which ancient Greece, like a, fertile soil, brought: forth with wonderful exuberance and unparalleled variety. We shall try therefore in the following article, l.to give an outline of what passes for the life of Lycurgus ; 2.. to point out the general features and the character of the Spartan constitution, while for the details we refer once for all to the respective articles in the Dictionary of Antiquities; and 3. to trace the origin of the Spartan constitution.
Aristotle makes Lycurgus to be a contemporary of Iphitus, who lived b. c. 884. In conjunction with Iphitus, Lycurgus is said to have established the sacred armistice of Olympia, which prohibited all wars during the Olympic festivals, and protected the territory of the Eleians for ever against all hostile attacks. (Muller, Dor. i. 7. § 7.) Xeno-phon differs widely from Aristotle in placing Lycurgus more than 200 years earlier, that is, at
the time of the Heracleids. (Xen. Rep. Lac. x. 8.) Timaeus, perhaps in order to remove the difficulty, assumed that there were two Lycurgi. (Plut. Lye.}.) It appears from these discrepancies that the name of Lycurgus did not occur in the list of Spartan kings, which belongs to the oldest documents of Greek history (Muller, Dor. i. 7. § 3.) Therefore it is intelligible how Herodotus could (i. 65) call Lycurgus the guardian of his nephew, Labotas, the Eurysthenid; whilst Simonides (Aelian, F. H. ix. 41) calls him the son of Pry-tanis, brother of Eunomus, the Proclid, Diony-! sius (ii. 49) makes him to be uncle to Eunomus ; and the common account (Plut. Lye. 2 ; Arist. Pol. ii. 7. I; Ephor. ap. Strab. x. p. 482) the son of Eunomus, and guardian of his nephew Charilaus.* Sparta was in a state of anarchy and licentiousness, perhaps in consequence of the conquest of Laconia, at a time when the victorious Dorians, finding themselves in a new position, in the midst of a conquered and subject population, and in a comparatively rich land, had not yet been able to accommodate their old forms of government to their new situation. There were conflicts between the kings, who aspired to tyranny, and the people, anxious for democratic reforms. (Arist. Pol. v. 8. § 4; Heracl. Pont. c. 2 ; Plut. Lye. 2.) At this juncture the king, Polydectes, the brother of Lycurgus, died, leaving his queen with child. The ambitious woman proposed to Lycurgus to destroy her yet unborn offspring if he would share the throne with her. He seemingly consented; but when she had given birth to a son, he openly proclaimed him king ; and as next of kin, acted as his guardian. But to avoid all suspicion of ambitious designs, with which the opposite party charged him, and which might seem to be confirmed by the imtimely death of the young king, Lycurgus left Sparta, and set out on his celebrated journey, which, ; almost like the wanderings of Heracles, has been magnified to a fabulous extent. He is said to have visited Crete, and there to have studied the wise laws of Minos,.and of his Dorian kinsmen. Thence he repaired to Asia Minor, where he derived not less instruction from comparing the dissolute manners of the lonians with the simple and honest hardihood of the Dorian race. lifere he is said to have met either with Homer himself, or at least with the Homeric poems, which he introduced into the mother country. But not content with the Grecian world, he is further said to have penetrated into Egypt, the land of mystery from the days of Herodotus to our own, and therefore duly entitled to claim the authorship of everything the origin of which was or seemed obscure ; and he is even reported to have been carried by his curiosity into Libya, Iberia, and India, and to have brought back to rugged Lacedaemon and his Spartan warriors the philosophy of the gymnosophists. It is useless for criticism to try to invalidate these accounts. Their very extravagance sufficiently proves their falsehood. The return of Lycurgus to Sparta was hailed by all parties, since he was considered as the man who alone could cure the growing diseases of the state. He undertook the task: yet before he
* On the chronology of Lycurgus, which is involved in almost inextricable confusion, see Hermann, Pol. Ant. § 23, 10 ; Muller, Dor. i. ch. 7, § 3 ; Clinton, Fast. Hell. vol. i. pp. 140—144 ; and Grote's History of Greece, vol. ii. p. 452, &c.