Athens and Sparta
Similarities and Differences
By Mike Mizov
One of the greatest city states of all time was the city state of Athens from
which we take many of our modern ways. Their government was a full
democracy in which they had an assembly was all male citizens over 25 years
old, they had the council of five hundred which was chosen by lot of people over
30 and they proposed laws to the assembly. Then there was the court where
there were no judges and the juries were very large, the archons which were the
nine people with the most power before the assembly took it away from them.
The Athenians descended from the Ionians in the attica region. Their city
was mainly located on acropolis'. They had all around education which meant
everyone was entitled to education not just the rich. They were also concerned
with money and they also had unproductive soil which meant they would have to
find other ways to make money, so they became sea traders.
Unlike Sparta their slaves had legal rights which meant they could be
freed if the owners of them thought to do so. They also had Draconian laws
which were pretty tough laws and sometimes unfair. Since they had slaves they
had a lot of time to pursue cultural interests and led their society forward
intellectually, so they got into making dramatic plays for their enjoyment.
There were three classes of people in Athens the first class were Citizens
which were above age 19, then there were Metics which were considered the
middle class. Then there were slaves which was about as low as you could go.
So all in all you will see Athens is a lot different then Sparta which I will
tell you about now.
Sparta government was a lot different then Athen's they had the five
ephors who were overseers and were the real rulers of Sparta. Then came the
council of Elders which was made up of 28 men over 60 and they proposed laws
to the assembly. Then there were kings who were elected by the assembly and
served as high priests, judges, and army commanders. Then came the Assembly
which were all citizens over 30 who elected officials and voted on major policies.
Their government was Totalitarian.
The Spartans descended from the Dorians and were located in the
Laconia region. Their city was built in a valley and had no walls because they
said they could defend from an invaders. Unlike the Athenians their soil
supported farming but they were culturally backward, which means we never got
anything out of their society's way of life. They had no real family life and were
very militaristic. They spoke in Laconic phrases which meant they answered or
spoke in as little words as possible (ex. yes, no, maybe, etc.). They were forced
to marry at 30 so they could produce as many children as possible and
unhealthy children were left to die.
The society of Sparta was composed of citizens which were the direct
descendants of the Dorians then there were neighbors which were people from
other cities and nationalities living inside their cities who weren't as accepted as
the citizens. Then thereare the Healots which were their slaves, compared to
Athens their slaves were treated less then dirt. The smart and strong slaves
were put to death because of the fear of revolt because slaves outnumbered
citizens there. So you can see how culturally oppisate these two people are.