Classical Quarterly 39 (3-4):106-112 (1945)

Plutarch in his Life of Agis describes the plots by which Lysandrus the ephor contrived to depose King Leonidas II. He meant to use against him one of the Spartan laws which forbade a member of the royal houses from begetting children by a foreign woman, and another by which he who went out of Sparta with a view to settling abroad was liable to the death penalty. But though apparently a case could be made out against Leonidas under these charges, Lysandrus did not simply proceed with the prosecution. After instructing confederates who would bring the case, he with his fellow ephors ‘waited for the sign’. What this meant Plutarch explains in these words: στι δ τοινδε· δι' τν1 ννα1 λαβντες ο οροι νκτα καθαρν κα σληνον, σιωπ καθζονται πρς τν ορανν ποβλποντες. ν ον κ μρους τινς ες τερον μρος στρ διξ, κρνουσι τος βασιλες, ς περ τ θεον ξαμαρτνοντας, κα καταπαουσι τς ρχς, μχρις ν κ Δελν ἢ λυμπας χρησμς λθτος λωκσι τν βασιλων βοηθν.
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