Essay On Spartan Culture

1086 Words 5 Pages

Even though Athens and Sparta were two cities in Greece (ca 800-323 BCE), the democratic government and open culture of the of Athens stood in stark contrast to the government and society of Sparta (Brand, n.d., p.1). The primary objective of the Spartan society was making warriors of the young men (males), everything else seemed secondary. Athens’ culture, however, was not as one sided as that of Sparta, it seemed to be more people friendly.


Because Sparta was a warrior society, only warriors participated in political life. There were several groups of people within Spartan society. The group known as Periokoi- were free men not slaves who enjoyed a degree of local autonomy in their domestic affairs, but were
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One king would lead his army into battle while the other would stay at home. In battle, the king was more powerful than at home. Along with the two kings, the Ephors were the “executive branch” of the Spartan government. The duties of the Ephors included judicial affairs, military organization and foreign relations. Ephors also convened meetings of the Gerousia and the assembly and set the legislative agenda. One annual duty of the Ephors was to formally declare war on the entire Helot population so that Sparta was eternally at war with this subject class. There were only 30 members of the Gerousia serving at one time but they would serve for life. The two kings were automatically members of the Gerousia. Any law or issue to be brought before the popular assembly must first be approved by the Gerousia and Ephors. Only free male citizens of Sparta were members of the popular assembly. The assembly met monthly and had electoral rights to choose the annual Ephors and new members of the Gerousia when spots were vacant. The assembly passed laws and made decisions about war. However, the council had limited power because the Ephors and Gerousia decided what matters would be brought before it and who could veto those

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