After graduating from the Agoge, a boy had to get elected to a common mess.
Military ability wasn’t enough to ensure citizenship; a boy had to prove himself socially as well by securing a place in a common mess. These dining messes were more than just a place to eat. They were more like fraternities or clubs. Some were more exclusive and desirable than others, and the most exclusive were the ones where the Kings dined. If a youth failed to get elected to a common mess by the time he reached twenty, he would lose his citizenship.
Tune in next week for more about the Spartans!