A Compare And Contrast Essay On Sparta Vs Athens

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Sparta vs. Athens

To begin with, Athens and Sparta were both famous in antiquity for their legend, cultures and the character of the people. On the one hand, the two poleis share certain obvious affinities, such as language, geographical scope, a common Greek ancestry etc. On the other hand, they were polar opposites in many aspects, from social spheres, political structures, to military might, which I believe there are some hidden depths in these city-states. Hence, let’s look at how did their people obtain the right to participate in public life and make decisions affecting the community, and who held public office first.

As various studies suggested, ancient Athens pursued permissiveness and democracy, which its form of government was the antecedent of nowadays 'rule by the people '. After toppling the dictator Hippias in 510 BC, Athenian demos not only took power, but also introduced electoral system that "with no single ruler. A public assembly of male citizens met 40 times a year to vote on state decisions. The agenda was set and decrees carried out by a 500 strong council, chosen by lot to serve one year each"(Finley, 1983). In my view, the authority was no longer centralized in the hands of one administrator, more ordinary people got a say in running the
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To an extant, their governments never really achieved the idea of all are equal before the law. Apart from these parallels, they have many differences, for instance, Athens was heading towards ‘one man one vote’ which reflects its social progress and its right direction in becoming a democratic state. However, “The Sparta system combined elements of apartheid, oligarchy, monarchy, militarism, terroistic secret police…and democracy all
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