Definition Of Superior Polis

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The Superior Polis: More Than Just a City-State

A simple definition to the term Polis is, “an independent Greek city state” and according to Aristotle, a Polis can be defined as “a natural association of rational human beings and an analysis and evaluation of the relationships between the various categories of individuals that compose the citizen body.” These two definitions offer an explanation as to what a Polis is considered to be on the surface however, do not capture what a Polis consists of to be thought as an ideal Polis. Sparta and Athens, two Greek city-states in their own, remembered by the legacy each left behind, both embody their own Polis. Sharing some similarities, but more so differing in the unclear definition of a Polis.
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Sparta was one of the Dorian city-states located far from the sea and had developed in a part of the Peloponnesus during the Dark Ages. Spartans were first and foremost, warriors of the state, demonstration one aspect of their ideal Polis. The sickly born infants were essentially weeded out, being abandoned and left to die if they seemed unhealthy or malformed and boys were trained to be soldiers very young, leaving their homes at the age of seven to begin their military training. The soul purpose of this process was to leave only the best men accessible for the front lines of war. It was a very collectivist type of living, the group priority over the individuals. The women of Sparta were just as involved in the military process as the men. Despite not being allowed on the front lines, girls were trained to be the mothers of warrior sons, eventually biding their husbands goodbye with the phrase, “Come back with your shield, or on it.” The Spartan military is a representation of the loyalty and devotion of all its citizens. These are key aspect in portraying an ideal Polis. Working together and working hard to benefit the society as a whole is how Sparta lives out their model Polis on a daily basis. The women and men of Sparta honored their duties to partake in the highly esteemed military, protecting and providing for the group. The participation in the military aspect of the Spartan society demonstrates one of the reasons as to why Sparta is thought to be the model Polis. As citizens, it is what they can contribute to their own way of life, not only how the Polis can do for

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