Athens vs. Sparta - Comparative Essay

Topics: Ancient Greece, Classical Athens, Sparta Pages: 2 (624 words) Published: October 16, 2011
Athens vs. Sparta

The two rivalries of ancient Greece that made the most racket and created many of the traditions were Athens and Sparta. These two were so close to each other on the map, yet they were so far apart in the way they valued and approached life. These two city-states had few similarities but were contrasted in many, many ways. The biggest matter in both of these city-states were politics, economics, and their social statuses, however, they had their own ideas when it came down to these 3 ideas. Athens and Sparta were two different political parties, Athens was a democracy, and Sparta was an oligarchy. Even though they were different they were still very alike. The power in Athens was held by the people, and in Sparta there were two kings and 5 Ephors who made laws. However, Athens and Sparta both went to Assembly where citizens could vote for laws and talk about fixing problems. In Athens not many people got to vote though because you had to be an upper class man and had to be over the age of 30. In Sparta very rarely did citizens get a say in anything that was being done. In reality, both places citizens didn’t play a big role in politics. The Athenian democracy wasn’t very fair. The oligarchy did a better role of sticking to the ways an oligarchy actually works. Economically the two city-states had different outlooks and ideas on what was important. Athens was a commercial port. Athens used their rapid growth of olives and grapes at an advantage and shipped it out to bring in the corn, grain and other things they needed. They were very agricultural. Athens was also very into the arts, like dance, music, and theater. Sparta was also agricultural but they cared way more about warfare than they did anything else. Sparta had one of the greatest militaries because of these but sometimes they put more into their military than they did food. Instead of trading like Athens, Sparta conquered some neighboring city-states to meet their food needs....
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