from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • Lycurgus fl. ninth century B.C. Spartan lawmaker who is considered the founder of the Spartan constitution.


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  • Hypsipile had left her infant charge, the son of Lycurgus, on a bank, where it was destroyed by a serpent, when she went to show the Argive army the river of Langia; and on her escaping the effects of Lycurgus’ resentment, the joy her own children felt at the sight of her was such as our Poet felt on beholding his predecessor Guinicelli.

    Purgatory. Canto XXVI

  • Just here she was interrupted by a procession of little boys who came to our back door dragging in Lycurgus, who was protesting with many howls.

    Three Girls in a Flat

  • a few Presents about us, we proceeded farther, and came to a Chief who I shall call Lycurgus; this man entertained us with broil'd fish, Cocoa

    Captain Cook's Journal During the First Voyage Round the World

  • He was a man of good fortune, (a Scotchman, I believe), who after living a tolerably gay life, had “conceived high thoughts, such as Lycurgus loved, who bade flog the little Spartans,” and determined to benefit the species, and immortalize himself, by founding a philosophical school at New Harmony.

    Domestic Manners of the Americans

  • The one thing that really interested him in connection with his parents was the existence somewhere in the east — in a small city called Lycurgus, near Utica he understood — of an uncle, a brother of his father’s, who was plainly different from all this.

    An American Tragedy

  • Presents about us, we proceeded farther, and came to a Chief who I shall call Lycurgus; this man entertained us with broil’d fish, Cocoa Nutts, etc., with great Hospitality, and all the time took great care to tell us to take care of our Pockets, as a great number of People had crowded about us.

    Captain Cook's Journal during his first voyage round the world

  • The delight we receiv'd in this place was more than can be exprest, tho 'Lycurgus's table was thrifty enough: The first thing was every one to chuse his play-mate: The fair Tryphœna pleas'd me, and readily inclin'd to me; but I had scarce given her the courtesie of the house, when Lycas storming to have his old amour slockt from him, accus'd me at first of under-dealing; but soon from a rival addressing himself as a lover, he pleasantly told me, I must repair his damages, and plyed me hotly: But Tryphœna having my heart, I could not lend him an ear.

    The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter

  • And indeed one of the greatest and highest blessings Lycurgus procured his people was the abundance of leisure which proceeded from his forbidding to them the exercise of any mean and mechanical trade.

    300 and Freedom, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Lycurgus, the great lawgiver of Sparta, realized that the desire for money was often a problem even in a warlike society — so he had Spartan coins minted out of iron: soft, ugly, not worth accumulating.

    Matthew Yglesias » Harkin Reintroduces Filibuster Reform

  • Solon, and Lycurgus, in preference to Romulus and Theseus.

    Chapter 15


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