Sparta was ruled by two kings. These kings would lead the army in times of war. In addition to the kings, there were five ephors (magistrates) that were elected from aristocratic families. Sparta also had a council that created laws. The council was made up of the two kings and twenty-eight elders. The elders had to be sixty years old or older to qualify for the position. These leaders took the laws to an assembly made up of citizens for an up–or-down vote without discussion or alterations. The only way to become a citizen of Sparta was to be a descendent of the original Doric invaders who settled the city. This requirement caused the number of citizens usually to not exceed six or seven thousand at any time. Non-citizens outnumbered citizens, but they were kept in check by the strong military that the Spartan government had created.
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