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Originally appearing in Volume V02, Page 160 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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APELLA, the official title of the popular assembly at Sparta, corresponding to the ecclesia in most other Greek states. Every full citizen who had completed his thirtieth year was entitled to attend the meetings, which, according to Lycurgus's ordinance, must be held at the time of each full moon within the boundaries of Sparta. They had in all probability taken place originally in the Agora, but were later transferred to the neighbouring building known as the Skias (Paus. 12. so). The presiding officers were at first the kings, but in historical times the ephors, and the voting was conducted by shouts; if the president was doubtful as to the majority of voices, a division was taken and the votes were counted. Lycurgus had ordained that the apella must simply accept or reject the proposals submitted to it, and though this regulation fell into neglect, it was practically restored by the law of Theopompus and Polydorus which em-powered the kings and elders to set aside any " crooked " decision of the people (Plut. Lycurg. 6). In later times, too, the actual debate was almost, if not wholly, confined to the kings, elders, ephors and perhaps the other magistrates. The apella voted on peace and war, treaties and foreign policy in general: it decided which of the kings should conduct a campaign and settled questions of disputed succession to the throne: it elected elders, ephors and other magistrates, emancipated helots and perhaps voted on legal proposals. There is a single reference (Xen. Hell. iii. 3. 8) to a "small assembly" (i) l.LLKpa KaXouµEvn EKKXnvia) at Sparta, but nothing is known as to its nature or competence. The term apella does not occur in extant Spartan inscriptions, though' two decrees of Gythium belonging to the Roman period refer to the ueyfXaL it rOtXae (Le Bas-Foucart, Voyage archeologique, ii., Nos. 242a, 243). See G. Gilbert, Constitutional Antiquities of Sparta and Athens (Eng. trans., 1895), pp. 49 ff. ; Studien zur altspartanischen Geschichte (Gottingen, 1872), pp. 131 ff. ; G. F. Schumann, Antiquities of Greece: The Slate (Eng. trans., 188o), pp. 234 ff. ; De ecclesiis Lacedaemoniorum (Griefswald, 1836) 1=Opusc. academ. i. pp. 87 ff.]; C. O. Muller, History and Antiquities of the Doric Race (Eng. trans., 2nd ed. 1839), book iii. ch. 5, §§ 8-1o; G. Busolt, Die griechischen Steals- and Rechtsaltertumer, 1887 (in Iwan Muller's Handbuch der klassischen Allertumswissenschaft, iv. I), § 90; Griechische Geschichte (2nd ed.), i. p. 552 ff. (M. N. T.)
End of Article: APELLA

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