Athenians and Spartans : Difference in Values

Topics: Sparta, Athens, Ancient Greece Pages: 4 (1369 words) Published: September 10, 2008
How and why did the values of Athenians differ from that of the Spartans?

Ancient Greece provided the rudiments of Western civilisation; it has had a colossal influence on language, politics, educational systems, philosophy, science, and arts. In the following several pages I hope to demonstrate explicitly, the bold differences between the two provinces, and to suggest the relativity, of Ancient Greece conventions, to modern times. In doing this I will bring upon wars, economic stances, and most importantly, previous historians point of view on the events. I decided to pinpoint were the long standing quarrel originated. It traces back to 1000B.C; to both the cities ancestors. According to Herodotus, the ancestors were part of the prominent tribes of Ancient Greece: the Ionians, the Dorians, and the Aeolians. Spartans believed they descended from the Dorians, and the Athenians believed they descended from the Ionians .Both the tribes were very similar, in both politics and morals. After many years, the two tribes reached a crucial turning-point: they could either abolish slavery, and introduce land reforms, or continue enslaving their own citizens. The Spartans, led by Lycurgus, chose to uphold the laws; basing their whole society on repression .Whilst the Athenians, led by Salon, decided to eradicate the longstanding rules.

The Athenian and Spartan political stances were quite the contrary; both developed as a result of the internal stability they achieved. Spartan political matters, most of the time, were not to public objection; they, according to Thucydides, were an oligarchy - although, some decisions were made democratically, such as whether to go to war. In the fashion of most oligarchies, the power was distributed between the wealthy .The diagram above explains the structure of the Spartan and Athenian governments; it demonstrates the distribution of power throughout the governments. The City of Athens was a revolutionarily democratic city which...

Bibliography: Estensen, M, (1997), Understanding Ancient worlds, Science press.
Powell,A,(2003),Athens and Sparta, Routledge publishing .
Meiggs,R,(1986),A history of Ancient Greece, MacMillan education publishing.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athenian-democracy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycurgus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycurgus
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/179408/education/47467/Athens
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