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A comparison between democracy and oligarchy in athens and sparta

Brief Comparison between Sparta and Athens Ancestry The basic distinction between the two cultures is the ancestry so while the Spartans were descendants of the Dorian invaders, Athenians were of Ionian descent. Form of Government There were two existent forms of government in Ancient Greece, democracy and oligarchy. Sparta was ruled by two kings and a council of 28 elders.

Similarities and Differences between Spartan and Athenian society

Apart from this a group of 5 members, known as ephors, were responsible for education of children and conduct of a citizen. This form of oligarchical government was elected by Spartan citizens who were over thirty years of age. Athens, on the other hand, shaped democracy in ancient Greece. It was ruled by a council of 500 members who were elected by the citizens. This council would meet and vote to decide the laws of the state.

Check Out This Informative Sparta Vs. Athens Comparison Chart

Athenian democratic government was elected and ruled by an upper class male population. Culture and Beliefs There was a drastic difference in the cultures of the two cities.

Difference between Athens and Sparta

Sparta became a military stronghold by emphasizing only on expanding their power and gaining control over other kingdoms, while the Athenians grew in the fields of infrastructure and culture. The Spartan belief of total loyalty to the state was the sole reason for their existence.

  • Generally, the average evening would be composed of leisurely enjoyment, socializing, story telling and riddles and laughs;
  • Rather, the culture and spirit of Athens was allowed to live on, as long as the Athenians no longer desired to rule their fellow Greeks;
  • The people of Athens and Sparta had different set of values and were unique in their own way;
  • Even after getting married, a Spartan soldier would continue staying in the army barrack;
  • Each would take charge for about a month, and ten generals were automatically elected due to their experience;
  • Athens is credited for being the cradle of Western civilization.

Athenians and Spartans had different ideologies and goals. Athens always wanted to conquer and rule as much land as possible, while Spartans always kept to themselves unless they were under attack or their army was needed. However there were some things in Athens and Sparta which had striking similarities such as the worship of Greek gods and goddesses and the bravery on the war-front. Lifestyle and People The stark lifestyle of Sparta was a contrast to the Athenian focus on thinking and learning.

While the Athenian people spent a considerable amount of their time studying literature, art, and music, Spartans were training to be soldiers.

  1. Athenian life was a creative wonderland.
  2. Athenian women were confined to their homes and were given limited freedoms.
  3. Conclusion In summary, Sparta and Athens may have been in great divergence to each other at their peaks during and around the Golden Age of Greece, but they possessed many parallel relationships in society. However there were some things in Athens and Sparta which had striking similarities such as the worship of Greek gods and goddesses and the bravery on the war-front.
  4. In contrast, Spartan women were literate and allowed to hold properties.

Spartans were brilliant at warfare and their warriors were considered to be among the best in the world. The rigorous training that began at birth hardened the Spartan soldiers such that they never lost a battle in the bloody conflicts that raged almost constantly between the small city-states of ancient Greece. The people of Athens and Sparta had different set of values and were unique in their own way.

Both men and women enjoyed different privileges in Sparta and Athens. It is believed that in Sparta, the elders tested a newborn baby for deformities and if the baby was deemed unlikely to become a strong soldier, he was tossed into a gorge.

For the rest, the training was rigorous. At the age of 7, the child was taken from the mother and put under control of the state. Here they were trained and enrolled in the regular army at the age of 20. Even after getting married, a Spartan soldier would continue staying in the army barrack. At the age of 30 a Spartan was entitled to vote and would be allowed to stay at home.

Spartan women were independent and enjoyed freedom to the fullest which was not common elsewhere in Greece. They were encouraged to exercise and train so that their baby would be fit for the army.

The Athenian lifestyle was a creative wonderland where the male members of the society had access to good education and were free to pursue any of the several kinds of arts or sciences. However, women had limited rights and were not considered important. Only men were given the title a comparison between democracy and oligarchy in athens and sparta. A citizen would have a say on how the state would run. Unlike Sparta, men were not forced to join the army, they had the freedom to do anything that they desired.

Economy While Spartans relied on agriculture for maintaining their economy, Athens became the foremost trading power of the Mediterranean by the 5th century BC and was thus, considerably richer.

Spartan citizens were pure warriors and would spend all the time in training. They would rely solely on helots slaveswho would manage their farm and provide them with food supplies.

Military and Defense Strategy On the military front, Sparta's famed soldiers held the advantage on land, while Athens made up the difference with its might in the sea. Sparta was surrounded by mountains. In case of an attack, they used these mountains for their defense and relied completely on their army.

  1. Timber resources were also abundant to the Athenians. The rigorous training that began at birth hardened the Spartan soldiers such that they never lost a battle in the bloody conflicts that raged almost constantly between the small city-states of ancient Greece.
  2. Athenian and Spartan fought side by side in the Battle of Plataea , which ended Persian invasions of Greece. Dictatorship, Retrieved June 20th 2013, https.
  3. This was the Peloponnesian War.

On the other hand, Athens did not have a very strong army, their expertise was in the navy. Athens used walls for their defense against other city-states.

Such infrastructure was not seen in Sparta. While the two great city states of Ancient Greece had a number of differences, they were also similar in certain ways. Education was compulsory for the men. Although in Sparta it was restricted to military training, in Athens boys were educated in a range of subjects.

  • A citizen would have a say on how the state would run;
  • They reflected Spartan society — discipline, order and responsibility;
  • Spartan and Athenian women would compete in exercise and sports such as discus, gym and wrestling.

Both the city states had strong soldiers, and they needed slaves or helots to make their lives easier, or work in their farms. Irrespective of their differences and similarities, Athens and Sparta represented the two superpowers of Ancient Greece.