Lycurgus (700 - 630 B.C.) was the legendary lawgiver of Sparta who gave them their system that functioned so well for hundreds of years and kept them in a position of prominence in Greece and an army that was unparalled for its performance man for man. Ancient Greek writers were at odds to where the laws that Lycurgus laid down had come from. Herodotus says the Spartans believed that Lycurgus adopted them from Crete while Xenophon believed Lycurgus simply made them up and Plato postulated that the Oracle at Delphi gave Lycurgus the laws. The variance among ancient sources only adds to the mystique of Lycurgus and the Spartan system.