Ancient Greece Essay

Topics: Sparta, Ancient Greece, Classical Athens Pages: 4 (903 words) Published: January 11, 2015

Ancient Greece Essay

Athens and Sparta were two Greek city-states that shared a bitter rivalry. Geographically they are very close to each other, near the southern part of Greece, yet they were very different in their life styles, government, education etc. Regardless, both Athens and Sparta hold great historic value for the world and Greece. In this time period of Classical Greece, Sparta protected the country with it’s outstanding army while Athens stood as a symbol for art, freedom, and democracy. When comparing Athens to Sparta, one can clearly see that in some aspects they were similar, such as in their religious beliefs, location, and social classes. Although looking at the big picture, Athens and Sparta seem to be much more different than similar; It differs in politics/government, role of women and its aspects of education. No wonder they were such rivals! In Ancient Greece, Athenian and Spartan societies were more different than similar.

Athens and Sparta differed in many things, but one aspect where they were almost opposites in was politics and government. First of all, Athens was a democracy, a direct democracy. In this form of government the power remains with the popular assembly of all voting citizens to make laws. The ruler of Athens was picked annually, unlike Sparta where rulers ruled until they died. In Athenian government was the council of 500, a group of 500 men who would propose laws and oversee foreign affairs and the treasury. On the other hand, Sparta was a militaristic society led by a system of checks and balances with having two kings as rulers, rather than one. Though Sparta had some elements of a monarchy, it was an oligarchy, rule by few. There was a council of elders which included the two kings, themselves and 28 men over 60 who decided on issues to be presented to the assembly of male citizens. This assembly composed of males over 30 elected 5 ephors to run society/government in Sparta for a one year term. These...
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