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 …show more content…
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
Sparta, on the other hand, was an oligarchy, with power concentrated in the hands of a few select citizens. Spartan society valued militarism and the subjugation of personal interests to the greater good of the state (Cartledge & Spawforth, 2001). Conclusion In terms of citizen engagement, selection of public office holders, and basic ideals, the governmental structures of Athens and Sparta demonstrated stark disparities.
For starters, the Spartans lived a frugal, non-luxurious lifestyle, devoting most of their time to the military, while the Athenians lived a more simple, peaceful lifestyle. The second difference between Spartans and Athenians are that Athenians focused on transforming the citizens into educated individuals while the Spartans focused on transforming the citizens into strong, courageous individuals. The third difference is that men only had to serve in the military for 2 years in Athens while men in Sparta basically served in the military for thirty years of their life, training as soldiers before they were even a teenager. The fourth and final difference is all about the rights women had at Sparta and Athens. At Sparta, women were a bit more independent.
Sparta was about fitness, survival, and war while Athens was about public speaking, debate, and music. As you may see, Sparta and Athens may seem like two whole different worlds, and it’s clear that they deemed each value of theirs’ important, but which city-state would go to great length to preserve that value? Sparta was more committed to their cultural value than Athens. Spartans valued military power. For instance, “Their whole lives were about military training even after 30 the Spartan boys were required to serve the military until they were 60” (Document 2).
In this essay, I would like to answer and discuss the following questions: How did the people in Athens and Sparta obtain the right to participate in public life and make decisions affecting the community? Who held public office? What rules governed the selection of public office holders? How were two city-states similar in their governmental structures and how did they differ with each other? For the Spartans the right to participate and made important decisions from the entire community were only exercised by the adult and legitimate male citizens of Sparta.
Athens used a form of government called a Democracy, ruled by the people. Since the people of Athens may have different opinions, leading to arguments fights and making family go against family in their own homeland. Yet, Sparta was ruled by few people so the Spartans could avoid all the tension. Therefore, oligarchy was the best form of government for the Spartans. Furthermore, Sparta was focused on their military.
Athens, located in southern Greece, experienced an expansion in culture and education during the years between the Persian War and Peloponnesian War (477-431 BC) which set the stage for future expansions of culture in civilizations like Ancient Rome and Europe during the Renaissance. Although Athens was very prosperous, innovative and ruled by strong leaders during their Golden Age, they still didn’t have a perfect government or social structure which puts into question how successful this period actually was. 1st Paragraph (Outline) Pericles 's had great success in beautifying Athens and increasing its culture, through innovative art and architecture, as well advances in theater, which created a Golden Age because the people of Athens experienced
There were many cases of bribery in the government that wasn't taken seriously by the court. In Sparta power was given to citizens through the assembly which consisted of all male citizens in Sparta, but in theory anyone could participate. The government had an elaborate system of checks and balances to make sure that no branch had more power than another. Also contrary to popular belief the Spartans treated there slaves bette than the Athenians. The slaves in Sparta were actually known as helots who were lower class citizens.
Athens was better than Sparta because, it had a better government, education system, and had more cultural achievements. One element of Athens that made it the better city-state was the government. While in Sparta they had an oligarchy, a form of government in which the government power resides in the hands of select few; however in Athens they had a direct government. Direct government is where all the citizens participate directly in the government, by voting on laws, placement of public works, etc. Instead of a few individuals having a say in what happens, everybody can be heard and have an equal say.
Unlike the Romans, Athenians had a strict but fair schedule that allowed them to enjoy citizenship equally. Equally, hard workers have brought Athens power just as much as hereditary leaders. According to Document B all citizens should be allowed to speak their opinion and have a share in election because of the hard work they do to make the city powerful. Athenians allowed poor and common men to win a position in government which was a transition from the wealthy having power to everyone having power.
3. Compare and contrast the idea of democracy in Ancient Greece and Rome. Which system was more democratic and why? Democracy is the modern day standard for governmental systems. However up until 500 BCE, the concept of Democracy was a foreign concept, and the great civilizations of that era were run by monarchs, aristocrats, and religious leaders of sorts.
The Spartan Empire Spartan Government: An oligarchy system was adopted in Sparta. In the oligarchy system, few people has the power to rule. Sparta also had an assembly just like Athens, but the main decisions were taken by the “Council of Elders” with two kings and twenty-eight other men as its members. The two kings where born within the royal family while the twenty-eight man where elected by the assembly. For men to be elected to the Council of Elders, they had to be at least 60 years old and approaching from a noble family.
This essay will focus on the differences and their significance of political standing and govern in Ancient Athens and Sparta. It will bring up similarities and differences in social status and consequently in gaining and holding public and political status as well as depict the respective governing style of Athens and Sparta in comparison. Thought both poleis were a great city, and albeit having many similarities there were as many differences within many places of their society, which would eventually add to their quarrel with each other. In both city-states, the only way to any form of status within the society was through being native-born.
In Athenian society there was a sort of democracy, the first in recorded history, but political rights and the power to vote was held by a relatively small group. Only free adult males with Athenian parents were eligible. While this also seems like an oligarchy today, it gave voice to a much larger portion of society than any of its contemporaries.(Brand,