Spartan Oligarchy

Topics: Sparta, Ancient Greece, Battle of Thermopylae Pages: 3 (1110 words) Published: April 7, 2013
Superior Spartan Oligarchy

Superiority is defined as being of higher grade or quality. And while the Athenian democracy has been able to become somewhat of a staple in modern society, in its time, it was the Spartan’s oligarchic system that allowed them to create such a strong society. It was a society that thrived on its strong political system based around a strong military. It is undeniable that in the time in which they both existed, the Spartan Oligarchy was superior to the Athenian Democracy. The evidence is clear through the system of checks and balances and the Spartan military, as well as the faults of the Athenian democratic, proving that the Spartan oligarchy was superior to Athenian democracy.

“[In government] the constant aim is to divide and arrange the several offices in such a manner as that each may be a check on the other- that the private interest of every individual may be a sentinel over the public rights” (James Madison, Federalist #51) Much like the American political system, the Spartan oligarchy had a system of checks and balances. Although it was not as intricate as the system in place in the United States it served much of the same purpose. There would be a group of thirty called “the elders” or gerousia, made up of 28 men over sixty years old as well as two kings, who would be responsible for creating policy that would then be sent to an assembly of all free adult males. (Spartan Oligarchy) Although they were supposed to amend the proposals made before them they were more of a customary body and rarely would reject the proposals it was presented. There was another group elected annually made up of five “overseers”, called ephors. This body was created to counterbalance the powers of the kings and the gerousia, because it allowed for them to overrule any policies put in place as well as allowing them to charge the king as well as place him in jail until a trial could be held. (Spartan Oligarchy)This system of checks and...
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