Athens Is Better Than Sparta
AthensIs Better Than Sparta
Inthe ancient Greece, there were two bitter city rivals known as Athensand Sparta. The two cities were geographically located to each otherbut had a broad range of values, lifestyles, economic backgrounds,traditions, and even social cultures as depicted in this paper
TheAthens had a direct democracy and anybody could attend the Assemblywithout any limitations. They took part in the election of theofficials (Henderson, 122). They elected a total number of tengenerals, the magistrates, as well as other staff members. Athenscity had a council of about five hundred people whose role was toadminister the decisions made by the assembly. During the error ofthe Pericles, the citizens received the payment for the jury servicesto avoid exempting the poor people from participating (Meier, 289).
Onthe other hand, the Spartans practiced the oligarchy where the rulingwas in the hand of a few individuals, the kings ruled. Spartans hadtwo kings who were in charge of controlling the armies as well asperforming some of the religious duties. The Spartans also had atotal number of five overseers who were elected yearly to take partin the running of the day-to-day activities. They facilitated theruling made by the council. The council had a total of twenty-eightmen and two kings elected for the lifetime which took part in makingthe laws. Athens was, therefore, better (Meier, 289).
Accordingto Michell ( 242), the social structure of the Athens had freemen whowere all male citizens divided into several classes. The Aristocratsheld the top position and had large estates as well as the bigcavalry. The middle class consisted of the farmers while the lowestclass termed as the thetes. They allowed the people who came fromoutside the city, the Metics to run businesses and industries butcould not own lands. The lowest class composed of the slaves notharshly treated. The slaves had no rights (Strauss, 318). TheSpartans fell into three classes Spartiates, perioeci, and Helots.The Spartiates held the military professions and lived in thebarracks, they could take part in voting, and they served as armyofficers. Their serfs farmed their lands. The second group was theperioeci who were like the neighbors or the outsiders. They were thefreemen, and they included the merchants and the artisans. They neverenjoyed voting or serving in the army. The third group was the Helotswho acted as the serfs and were slaves. They gave part of theirproduce to the Spartans (Strauss, 318).
Accordingto (Powell, 139) the allies, the Athens had a Dalian league. Theytaxed as well as offering protection to the other city while theSpartans had a Peloponnesian League, where the Sparta were quitepowerful. The Athens had a strong military navy while the Spartansdid not have the active fleet, but they had the army. The Athens weretaught to participate in the building of the government which wastermed as the civic responsibility to improve their lifestyle whilethe children of the Spartans were not taught anything (Schnohr etal., 416).
Theeducation was practiced among the Athens the boys taught reading,writing, as well as mathematics, poetry, and sports. The Spartanstrained their boys the art of warfare at the age of seven. The Athenspracticed art, drama, architecture, medicine, and philosophy whilethe Spartans majorly participated in the military. The Athens enjoyedluxury foods while the Spartans were taught to dislike them. Athenshad a beautiful home while the Spartans did not have this as theirmen lived in the barracks. Indeed, Athens are better than theSpartan. (Schnohr et al., 416).
Insummary, can see that despite the two cities being geographicallylocated next to each other, the wide range of differences isindisputable. Yes, it is true there are structural and socialdifferences between the two cities, but I do not see this as a goodreason to become bitter arch rivals. What remains to be the bigquestion is what the two cities would have achieved if they resolvedtheir differences and cooperated towards achieving common goals.
Henderson,Bernard W. TheGreat War Between Athens and Sparta: A Companion to the MilitaryHistory of Thucydides.Pickle Partners Publishing, 2015.
Meier,Christian. Athens:A portrait of the city in its golden age.Metropolitan Books, 2015.
Michell,Humfrey. Theeconomics of ancient Greece.Cambridge University Press, 2014.
Powell,Anton. Athensand Sparta: Constructing Greek political and social history from 478BC.Routledge, 2016:
Schnohr,Peter, et al. "Dose of jogging and long-term mortality: theCopenhagen City Heart Study." Journalof the American College of Cardiology65.5 (2015): 411-419.
Strauss,Barry. AthensAfter the Peloponnesian War (Routledge Revivals): Class, Faction, andPolicy 403-386 BC.Routledge, 2014.
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