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Epitadeus was an early 4th-century BC Spartan ephor, who strengthened conservative class distinctions by allowing gifts of land to independent citizens (Spartiates). This 4th century rhetra allowed the Spartiatai to dispose of their private land at will rather than by conventional hereditary descent.[1] This information is derived from a passage Plutarch's Life of Agis, who describes Epitadeus as headstrong and violent, and changing the rule as the result of a quarrel with his son. Epitadeus is mentioned by no other ancient sources, and may well be a fictional character employed to explain the decline in the alleged equality of Sparta.[2][3][4][5]


  1. ^ Hazel, John. Who's Who in the Greek World, p. 96 (2000)
  2. ^ Roisman, Joseph & J.C. Yardley. Ancient Greece from Homer to Alexander: The Evidence, p. 420-21 (2011)
  3. ^ Michell, Humfrey Sparta, p. 215-18 (1964)
  4. ^ Isager, Signe Isager & Jens Erik Skydsgaard Ancient Greek Agriculture: An Introduction, p. 133 (1992)
  5. ^ Schütrumpf, Eckart. The Rhetra of Epitadeus: A Platonist’s Fiction, Greek, Roman and. Byzantine Studies 28, 441-457 (1987) (“the account in Agis 5 is a mere fiction in a Platonic spirit and is therefore historically useless”.)