Lycurgus (ca. 820-730 B.C.?)Lycurgus (ca. 820-730 B.C.?) - Another mysterious person in history, it is unclear whether or not Lycurgus actually even existed. Whether real or invented, he is known as Sparta's "lawgiver". That is, he is credited with being the founder of Sparta's rigid, militaristic, state-run reforms which the city-state adhered to for the next six centuries. What's so remarkable about Lycurgus is that he is recorded in the writings of some of the most famous historians of antiquity. Herodotus, Xenophon and, most notably, Plutarch, who wrote an entire biography called the Life of Lycurgus. The problem is that, except for the fact that he is universally recognized as Sparta's lawgiver, many of the other events of his life are in conflict. In fact, Plutarch plainly states at the beginning of his work that neither he nor anyone knows for certain who Lycurgus was or when he lived. Concerning his lasting legacy, the story is that he obtained his reforms from Apollo's famous Oracle at Delphi. The rhetra, as it's called, became the basis for Sparta's Constitution, or Politeia. But, another problem with who Lycurgus was or when he lived lies in the fact that he supposedly forbade any of these laws to be written down. They were simply adopted by the assembly and existed in oral form from then on. The rhetra, however, as it was said to have been spoken is recorded by Plutarch.