Comparing and Contrasting Classical Athens and Sparta
The classical Greek civilizations of Athens and Sparta showed some similarities, yet also showed a large number of differences. For example, these city-states had completely different views about women and their rules on female freedoms show this. Athenian women, like most of the women in other Greek city-states, were considered to be useful only for child-bearing and domestic jobs. Sparta, however, was the oddball out, giving the women of their civilization many more rights and freedoms. “Teaching a woman to read and write? What a terrible thing to do! Like feeding a vile snake on more poison.” (“Contrasting Patriarchies in Athens and Sparta”).
Athens and Sparta were two of the most powerful and recognizable ancient city-states in Greek history. These two civilizations showed a majority of differences over similarities, although some similarities showed such as gender relations and slavery. Athenian women had little to no rights in the society, staying mostly indoors and only being referred to as someone’s wife or someone’s mother. Sparta, while still having many more freedoms for women than Athens, also considered women to be only useful for childbearing. Both Athens and Sparta had slaves, and treated them well compared to slaves in the United States. They also both trained their boys for war, although Sparta started the training at a much earlier age.
The magnificent city-states of Sparta and Athens, being similar in not many ways, showed boundless differences in areas such as technology, architecture, labor systems, government, and gender relations. The high points of Spartan technology were their military
inventions including spears, short swords, and bronze armor. They also created a three-decked sailing vessel called the trireme which could ram other fleets and deliver soldiers to the battle. Athenians, however, were mainly known for their excellence in architectural innovations. The...
Cited: Bowra, C.M. Periclean Athens. New York: The Dial Press, 1971. Print.
“Spartan Ruins.” Google Image Search. Web. 28 Sep. 2013
This Search gave me a picture of what Sparta looks like today.
Stancheva, Tina. Culture and Technology in Athens and Sparta. Feb. 2003. Web.
Strayer, Robert W. Ways of the World. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. Print.
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