The Apella (Greek: Ἀπέλλα) was the popular deliberative assembly in the Ancient Greek city-state of Sparta, corresponding to the ecclesia in most other Greek states. Every Spartan male full citizen who had completed his thirtieth year was entitled to attend the meetings, which, according to Lycurgus' ordinance, must be held at the time of each full moon within the boundaries of Sparta.[1]

Zeus Naucratis Painter Louvre E668

Zeus on his throne with his eagle

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Laws of Lycurgus
List of Kings of Sparta

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The word is derived from the Doric word apella (ἀπέλλα), which originally meant wall, enclosure of stones, and later assembly of people within the limits of the square.[2] It is derived from the Ancient Greek word pélla (πέλλα), "stone", which appears in some toponyms in Greece like Pella (Πέλλα) and Pallini (Παλλήνη). [3]The explanation is given by Hesychius: apellai (ἀπέλλαι), sekoi (σηκοί "folds"), ecclesiai (ἐκκλησίαι: popular assemblies).[4][5] The festival apellai was surely dedicated to the god Apollo (Doric form: Ἀπέλλων) and it was spread by the Dorians in central-Greece, as it is proved by the use of the month Apellaios (Ἀπέλλαιος). [6] [7]


The meetings had in all probability taken place originally in the Agora, but were later transferred to the neighbouring building known as the Skias.[8][1] According to Plutarch, a Great Rhetra[9] was given by Pythia to Lycurgus. The old aristocratic council, was substituted by the gerousia (thirty elders including the two kings). The meetings of the "apella" should take place from time to time, and the citizens should have the power to debate and take the decisions.[10][11] This right of the citizens was very soon limited. The kings Theopompus and Polydorus, probably during the 7th century BC, added to the "rhetra" that the kings and the elders (gerousia) could set aside any "crooked" decision of the people.[12][11]

The presiding officers were at first the kings, but in historical times the ephors, and the voting was conducted by assessing the loudness of shouting in the crowd; if the president was doubtful as to the majority of voices, a division was taken and the votes were counted.[1] Vote by shouting could be seen as the first type of range voting. [13] The apella simply accepted or rejected the proposals submitted to it. 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.[1]

There is a single reference[14] to a "small assembly" (ἡ μικρὰ καλουμένη ἐκκλησία) 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 μεγάλαι ἀπέλλαι.[1][5][15]

The apella was responsible for electing men to the gerousia for life. Candidates were selected from the aristocrats and presented before the apella. The candidate who received the loudest applause became a member of the gerousia.

The apella also elected the five ephors annually. Ephors presided over meetings of the gerousia and the apella. They could not run for re-election.

The Ephorate presented motions before the apella. The apella then voted on the motions. However, unlike the ecclesia in Athens, the apella did not debate; it merely approved or disapproved of measures. Moreover, the gerousia always had the power to veto the decision of the apella.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainTod, Marcus Niebuhr (1911). "Apella" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 160.
  2. ^ Spartan verb: ἀπελλάζειν, and the festival ἀπέλλαι, which surely belonged to Apollo: Nilsson, Vol I p. 556
  3. ^ Πέλλα / Pella, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek–English Lexicon
  4. ^ Ηeschych. ἀπέλλαι, σηκοί, ἐκκλησίαι, ἀρχαιρεσίαι: Nilsson, Vol I, p. 556
  5. ^ a b απελλάζω in Liddell and Scott's lexicon
  6. ^ Nilsson, Vol I, p. 556
  7. ^ Ἀπελλαῖος
  8. ^ Paus. iii. 12. 10
  9. ^ D. Ogden, Crooked speech: the genesis of the Spartan rhetra, JHS 114 (1994) 85-102.
  10. ^ Plut. Lycurg. VI, 1-2.
  11. ^ a b C. Mosse, p. 168-171
  12. ^ Plut. Lycurg. VI,4,5 [1]
  13. ^ [2]
  14. ^ Xen. Hell. iii. 3. 8
  15. ^ Le Bas-Foucart, Voyage archéologique, ii., Nos. 242a, 243


As listed in Tod 1911:

  • G. Gilbert, Constitutional Antiquities of Sparta and Athens (Eng, trans., 1895), pp. 49 ff.
  • Studien zur altspartanischen Geschichte (Göttingen, 1872), pp. 131 ff.
  • G. F. Schömann, Antiquities of Greece: The State (Eng. trans., 1880), pp. 234 ff.
  • De ecclesiis Lacedaemoniorum (Griefswald, 1836) [=Opusc. academ. i. pp. 87 ff.]
  • C. O. Müller, History and Antiquities of the Doric Race (Eng. trans., 2nd ed. 1839), book iii. ch. 5, §§ 8-10
  • Georg Busolt, Die griechischen Staats- und Rechtsaltertümer, 1887 (in Iwan Müller's Handbuch der klassischen Altertumsiuissenschaft, iv. 1), § 90
  • Griechische Geschichte (2nd ed.), i. p. 552 ff.
Apella (disambiguation)

The Apella was the popular deliberative assembly of Sparta.

Apella may also refer to:

Apellai, a Doric family-festival


Apellai (Greek: ἀπέλλαι), was a three-day family-festival of the Northwest Greeks similar with the Ionic Apaturia, which was dedicated to Apollo (Doric form:Ἀπέλλων).

The fest was spread in Greece by the Dorians as it is proved by the use of the month Apellaios (Ἀπελλαῖος or Ἀπελλαιών in Ionic Tenos).

Black-striped capuchin

The black-striped capuchin (Sapajus libidinosus), also known as the bearded capuchin, is a capuchin monkey from South America. It was the first non-ape primate in which tool usage was documented in the wild, as individuals have been seen cracking nuts by placing them on a stone "anvil" while hitting them with another large stone. Adaptations to carrying large stones and fruit include strengthened back and leg muscles that permit the monkey to walk on its hind legs while carrying stones. The black-striped capuchin has traditionally been considered a subspecies of the tufted capuchin. On the contrary, the southern population here included in S. libidinosus has sometimes been considered another species, Azaras's capuchin (S. cay) (syn. S. paraguayanus).The black-striped capuchin is found in the Caatinga, Cerrado, and Pantanal of Brazil. Some confusion surrounds the taxon juruanus, here included as a subspecies of the black-striped capuchin. It has been considered to occur from the upper Juruá River east and south to Mato Grosso, or alternatively entirely restricted to the region near the upper Juruá River. In the latter case, its range would be surrounded by C. apella, leading to doubts over its true taxonomic status.Groves (2005) recognizes four subspecies:

Cebus libidinosus libidinosus

Cebus libidinosus pallidus

Cebus libidinosus paraguayanus

Cebus libidinosus juruanusIn 2011, Jessica Lynch Alfaro et al. proposed that the robust capuchins such (formerly the C. apella group) be placed in a separate genus, Sapajus, from the gracile capuchins (formerly the C. capucinus group), which retain the genus Cebus.

Blond capuchin

The blond capuchin (Sapajus flavius) is a species of the capuchin monkeys group, the genus Sapajus. This critically endangered species was rediscovered in 2006. It is endemic to northeastern Brazil, and only an estimated 180 individuals remain.

Bread upon the Waters

"Bread upon the Waters" is a short story by Rudyard Kipling, which first appeared in the London Graphic in December 1895. It was later published in The Day's Work (1898). The title derives from Ecclesiastes 11:1 - "Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days". It was originally illustrated by Sir Frank Brangwyn.

Brendan McGonigle

Brendan O. McGonigle (18 May 1939 – 29 November 2007) was a reader in psychology at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He received a BA (in 1961) and a PhD (in 1964) from Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland. In 1964 he did his postdoc at Durham University, moving in 1965 to lecture in experimental psychology at Oxford University. Following a stint as an assistant professor and NIH Research Associate at the Animal Behaviour Lab, Pennsylvania State University, he moved to the University of Edinburgh in 1969. Brendan died on 29 November 2007..

Brendan's main interest was in characterising the growth and dynamics of intelligent systems. Research on this involved comparative psychology, developmental psychology, robotics, and cognitive modelling, all integrated within one programme. Research with squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus), capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella), and young children studied pre-linguistic competencies. Monkeys provided inspiration for robotic models of complex primate intelligence. A central focus was the search for cognitive tasks which could be used in animals and humans.

Brendan's work was borne from the animal learning culture of the 1960s, but he pioneered the study of more complex relational rule learning in animals by moving away from the simple two-choice discrimination paradigm characteristic of associationistic approaches to animal minds. A well known study with Margaret Chalmers published in Nature adapted a test of transitive reasoning for monkeys and showed that monkeys were capable of performing on these tasks at comparable levels of success to young children. The authors argued that both species were evincing rational choice based on linear ordering of information and later confirmed this using reaction time measures.In his research, Brendan was concerned to allow monkeys long-term learning opportunities comparable to that available for children, and so his subsequent work with Cebus apella was a long and staged programme in which the monkeys were trained to seriate by size and classify by shape and colour up to 12 objects on a touch screen – a level of ordering competence that only emerges in human development at around 6/7 years of age and had never before been demonstrated in a non-human species.

The sequences achieved by Cebus apella have significance for the evolution of human language. Although the monkeys were trained on a core spine such as square, circle, triangle, they transferred to extended versions such as "touch all the stars, then all the triangles, then all the hexagons" with an ease that could not be predicted by simple association learning. They also nested size relations within these classes, choosing for example large star, middle sized star, small star, large hexagon, middle sized hexagon, etc. At the end of their training the monkeys were able to simultaneously maintain 4 different sequences that randomly alternated on different trials: 9 stars ordered by size, 9 hexagons ordered by size and 9 triangles ordered by size, as well as a 9 item set composed of all three shapes – also ordered by size. This is the first example of the acquisition of a complex hierarchical structure by a non-human primate and has been cited by Hauser and McDermott (2003) as a possible exception to the claim that only humans have "infinite productivity".

Capuchin monkey

The capuchin monkeys ( or ) are New World monkeys of the subfamily Cebinae. They are readily identified as the "organ grinder" monkey, and have been used in many movies and television shows. The range of capuchin monkeys includes Central America and South America as far south as northern Argentina. In Central America, they usually occupy the wet lowland forests on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and Panama and deciduous dry forest on the Pacific coast.


The Cebidae are one of the five families of New World monkeys now recognised. Extant members are the capuchin monkeys and squirrel monkeys. These species are found throughout tropical and subtropical South and Central America.

Crested capuchin

The crested capuchin or robust tufted capuchin (Sapajus robustus) is a species of robust capuchin monkey. It is endemic to Brazil. It was formerly considered a subspecies of the black capuchin but is now considered by some to be a separate species.


The Gerousia (γερουσία) was the Spartan council of elders, which was made up of men over the age of sixty. It was created by the Spartan lawgiver Lycurgus in the seventh century BC, in his Great Rhetra ("Great Pronouncement"). According to Lycurgus' biographer Plutarch, the creation of the Gerousia was the first significant constitutional innovation instituted by Lycurgus.

Golden-bellied capuchin

The golden-bellied capuchin (Sapajus xanthosternos), also known as the yellow-breasted or buffy-headed capuchin, is a species of New World monkey.

Although there are differences between individuals as well as between the sexes and across age groups, S. xanthosternos is described as having a distinctive yellow to golden red chest, belly and upper arms. Its face is a light brown and its cap for which the capuchins were first named is a dark brown/black or light brown. Formerly thought to be a subspecies of tufted capuchin (S. apella), it was elevated to the status of species. Despite this previous classification, S. xanthosternos does not have very evident tufts, as they are oriented towards the rear of the skull and are hardly noticeable. A band of short hair around the upper part of the face with speckled colouring contrasts with the darker surrounding areas. The limbs and tail are also darkly coloured.

Populations of S. xanthosternos are restricted to the Atlantic forest of south-eastern Bahia, Brazil, due possibly to high degrees of interference from humans. Historically they probably would have inhabited the entire area east of, and north to, the Rio São Francisco.The largest continuous area of forest in its known range, the Una Biological Reserve in Bahia, is estimated to contain a population of 185 individuals. As of 2004, there were 85 individuals in zoos and breeding facilities in Europe and Brazil.

Lac Doré Vanadium Deposit

The Lac Doré Vanadium Deposit is a vanadium deposit first discovered by the Government of Quebec at Lac Doré. The closest mining town to the site is Matagami. In 1998, its control was transferred to the Société générale de financement du Québec, and its wholly owned subsidiary SOQUEMIn 2002, McKenzie Bay International announced it had taken the first step towards development of the deposit since the completion of a feasibility study by SNC Lavalin (PR 16 April 2002). Entraco, a Montreal based environmental consulting firm, was contacted to help out with the environmental impact study and secure necessary permits to construct a mine, refinery and product manufacturing facilities at Lac Doré. Entraco was instructed to apply the same high environmental standards established in previous cases, to minimize environmental issues later on.No action was taken until 21 August 2007 when claims covering the renowned deposit expired. Apella Resources and SOQUEM both staked their claims that day. In 2009 Apella Resources received the rights to the stake in a preliminary ruling. In December 2009 assaying found the ore to have from 0.46% to 0.64% of V2O5.The Lac Dore Vanadium Deposit is one of 18 claims that Apella has in the area. Combined their area is 300 hectares.

Large-headed capuchin

The large-headed capuchin (Sapajus macrocephalus) is a species of robust capuchin monkey from South America. It is found in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. It is regarded by some authorities as a tufted capuchin subspecies, Sapajus apella macrocephalus.

Polydorus of Sparta

Polydorus (Polydoros) (Greek: Πολύδωρος; reigned from c. 700 to c. 665 BC) was the 10th Agiad dynasty king of Sparta. He was succeeded by king Eurycrates.

Polydorus is known for supposedly supplementing the 'Great Rhetra' of Sparta. According to the Greek biographer Plutarch (writing roughly 700 years after the Spartan king), Polydorus and his co-king Theopompus changed the constitution of Sparta so that the Kings and the Gerousia (28 chosen men above the age of 60) could veto decisions made by the Spartan Apella (the male citizen body).Pausanias, another Greek writing under Roman rule, gave a detailed account of the First Messenian War, a conflict between Sparta and their neighbors who would soon become their slaves. He tells us that Polydorus was in charge of the left side of the Spartan forces at Ampheia, and that his co-king Theopompus was in command of the right flank (more influential for Spartan offensive tactics).

Robust capuchin monkey

Robust capuchin monkeys are capuchin monkeys in the genus Sapajus. Formerly all capuchin monkeys were placed in the genus Cebus; Sapajus was erected in 2012 by Jessica Lynch Alfaro et al. to differentiate the robust (tufted) capuchin monkeys (formerly the C. apella group) from the gracile capuchin monkeys (formerly the C. capucinus group), which remain in Cebus.

Spartan Constitution

The Spartan Constitution, or Politeia, refers to the government and laws of the Dorian city-state of Sparta from the time of Lycurgus, the legendary law-giver, to the incorporation of Sparta into the Roman Republic: approximately the 9th century BC to the 2nd century BC. Every city-state of Greece had a politeia at all times of its sovereign life, including the preceding Achaean Sparta and the subsequent Roman Sparta. The politeia of Dorian Sparta, however, was noted by many classical authors for its unique features, which supported a rigidly layered social system and a strong military.

Spin That Wheel

"Spin That Wheel" is a song by Belgian group Technotronic released under the name "Hi Tek 3 featuring Ya Kid K" in 1990. Hi Tek 3 are listed as Kovali, El Sati and Yosef.

Tufted capuchin

The tufted capuchin (Sapajus apella), also known as brown capuchin, black-capped capuchin, or pin monkey is a New World primate from South America. As traditionally defined, it is one of the most widespread primates in the Neotropics, but it has recently been recommended considering the black-striped, black and golden-bellied capuchins as separate species in a new genus, thereby effectively limiting the tufted capuchin to the Amazon basin and nearby regions.The tufted capuchin is an omnivorous animal, mostly feeding on fruits and invertebrates, although it sometimes feeds on small vertebrates (e.g. lizards and bird chicks) and other plant parts. It can be found in many different kinds of environment, including moist tropical and subtropical forest, dry forest, and disturbed or secondary forest.

Like other capuchins, it is a social animal, forming groups of 8 to 15 individuals that are led by an alpha or dominant male.

Wedge-capped capuchin

The wedge-capped capuchin or weeper capuchin (Cebus olivaceus) is a capuchin monkey from South America. It is found in northern Brazil, Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname, Venezuela and possibly northern Colombia. The genus Cebus is divided into several different species. However, taxonomists argue over the specific divisions within the genus, which are uncertain and controversial. Cebus olivaceus is known to dwell in tall, primary forest and travel over long distances during the day.These primates are medium-sized monkeys with distinctive "wedge cap" markings on their head and slightly longer limbs than other capuchins for jumping through the forest canopy. Similar to other capuchin monkeys, the diet of wedge-capped capuchin primarily consists of fruits, invertebrates, other plant parts, and on rare occasions small vertebrates. They have also been known to rub millipedes against their fur, especially in the rainy seasons, as a potential means of mosquito repellent. Although this species is classified as an animal of least concern by IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, it falls prey to many predators in South America ranging from vultures to jaguars.

Cebus olivaceus is a polygamous species that lives in groups anywhere from 5-30 individuals, with a female biased sex ratios. The group is organized according to a pre-determined hierarchal system of dominance for both males and females. Although biological lineage is less of a factor of dominance for males than it is for females, due to male migration between groups. Wedge-capped capuchin partake in several behavioral mechanisms to assert and maintain dominance within the group including: infanticide, when an infant is deliberately killed; grooming, used to facilitate social rapport; and alloparenting, which is when members of the group care for offspring that are not their own.

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