Essay on Athenians and Spartans : Difference in Values

1382 Words Sep 1st, 2008 6 Pages
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
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It is one of the very first known democracies; no other was as powerful, effective, stable – and as well-documented.
The information population and distribution of wealth in Athens is imprecise, but does still give us a roughly consistent picture. It is describe by Herodotus, explaining the events of the 490s BC, that a diplomat boasted he could prevail upon “30 000 Athenians”. Gomme also described the figure as being 30 000 Athenians. The size of the Spartan citizen population is also quite an obscure subject; however, the declining citizen numbers in the period 479-371BC is agreed upon by scholars. Aristotle, writing somewhat after the period, claimed that Spartans were not able to field even 1000 citizen soldiers.
New wealth, generated by lucrative campaigns against Persia and deriving from allies and subjects of Athens, caused the population to vastly increase. Proof of the Athenians burgeoning wealth was their ability to buy Hoplite armour, which was far from cheap. According to Aristotle, citizens of intermediate wealth did not yearn to posses other people’s property, in the same manner as the poor did. You may be thinking: why? Recent important studies have shown us that the citizens would have to have contributed very generously - almost nine times the usual amount. According to Aristotle, the Spartans fell victim to spatial inequality – some exceedingly rich, while others were intolerably poor. Under the Spartan rules, money was the main

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