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ephebe

[ih-feeb, ef-eeb] /ɪˈfib, ˈɛf ib/
noun
1.
a young man, especially an ephebus.
Origin
1690-1700
1690-1700; < Latin ephēbus < Greek éphēbos, equivalent to ep- ep- + -hēbos, derivative of hḗbē manhood
Related forms
ephebic, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for ephebe

ephebe

/ɪˈfiːb; ˈɛfiːb/
noun
1.
(in ancient Greece) a youth about to enter full citizenship, esp one undergoing military training
Derived Forms
ephebic, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Latin ephēbus, from Greek ephēbos, from hēbē young manhood
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for ephebe

in ancient Greece, any male who had attained the age of puberty. In Athens it acquired a technical sense, referring to young men aged 18-20. From about 335 BC they underwent two years of military training under the supervision of an elected kosmetes and 10 sophronistai ("chasteners"). At the end of the first year each ephebus received a sword and shield from the state; probably at this stage he took the ephebic oath. During their service, ephebi were exempt from civic duties and deprived of most civic rights. During the 3rd century BC, ephebic service ceased to be compulsory and the duration was reduced to one year. The ephebia became an institution for the wealthy classes only. By the 1st century BC foreigners were admitted, and the curriculum was expanded to include philosophic and literary studies, although the military character of the ephebia was not wholly lost. The system began to decay late in the 3rd century AD. In other Hellenistic cities the term ephebi was applied to youths aged 15-17.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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