Similarities And Differences Between Athens And Aristocracy

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Compare and contrast monarchy, aristocracy, tyranny, oligarchy, and democracy as forms of government in Ancient Greek city-states. Introduction I’m going to address the similarities and differences between Athens and Sparta’s societies in terms of their monarchy, aristocracy, tyranny, oligarchy and democracy. Monarchy During the late Bronze Age (2,000 - 1,200 BC) all Greek poleis had a monarch, however, this would drastically change after the Dark Age (1,200 BC) where Athens was left with only a palace and no king, it was the end of their monarchy. Sparta, managed to maintain a monarchy with two kings that descended from two royal families, the Agiads and Europontids (Carr, 2015). The kings didn’t hold complete power though, that belonged to the Ephors, the five magistrates. I see the Ephors as a wise council to the Kings who also had the authority to override decisions. I think a modern and similar example of this would be the British Monarchy that have Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state, she also has a Prime Minister who oversees and makes most of the political decisions with his government. Aristocracy Aristocracy was well established in both poleis, and had a strong influence on political decisions. In Athens the aristocrats were the “500 Bushel Men” they were the richest of course. These men had the power to influence and bribe some of the not so affluent men in public office into swaying political decisions in their favour (Brand, n.d. p. 29)

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