Sparta Vs Athens Essay

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Ancient Greece during the archaic and the classical period consisted mainly of small towns that were called “Polis”. The majority of these “Polis” or towns controlled small regions of land and were populated by some hundreds of citizens. However, the two largest “Polis” known as Athens and Sparta were much more powerful and influential than the rest. In a nutshell, Athens was a democratic and trade focused government while on the other hand Sparta was a military focused society with an oligarchy government. In this article major differences between Athens and Sparta will be examined.

Focusing on the government and on the public life the condition on the two “polis” was diametrically opposιte in many cases while the high-level structure was
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In terms of Government both cities had a similar structure in terms that an assembly took the decisions. The main difference was that in Athens anyone could participate (even with a monetary incentive) and get elected for an officer position. On sparta the elected positions were far less(e.g. 5 Ephors originating from military positions mainly in comparison to over 900 citizens elected annually in Athens for different positions) and the decisions were taken by 35 citizens were even the kings had limited power. A strong similarity was the power of the military force. Both cities government tried to ensure a great military power with the difference that Athens had far more advanced navy. The fleet power of Athens gave them a strong advantage in trade that was core part of their economy. Sparta government, on the other hand did not focus its economic growth on trading. Important to note at this point, is the fact that both cities used slavery where slaves did not have any rights and were at the bottom of the social structure. On both cities however, military men were at the top of the social structure. In the case of Athens moreover, the wealthiest were also the military leaders. Concluding, it is important to underline the difference on the position of the women. In Athens, women had limited social life and no rights at all in comparison to the male citizens. On Sparta

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