Compare and Contrast Athens and Sparta

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Compare and Contrast Athens and Sparta

By | May 2013
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John Mulderig
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Athens and Sparta: Opposites do not Attract
Athens and Sparta, two civilizations of equal power, yet unequal mindsets: their societal views caused these two great empires to face a divide unlike any other in history. Sparta, with their cold iron and colder hearts left enemies in ruin. Athens was intelligent, yet militaristically inferior to Sparta. Allies during the 1000 years war, the two faced increasing animosity that eventually climaxed in ancient Greece and the time honored test of brawn versus brain was carried out in the flesh. It was time to truly find if the pen was mightier than the sword, or if iron and wood could bludgeon and cut intellect to its bones. Sparta was an oligarchic society, their culture being run by a small group of individuals in power. Serfs and peasants tilled the fields, afraid to revolt for fear of Sparta’s harsh punishments, often leading to death. Sparta is very comparable to the Third Reich in Pre-WWII Germany. Hitler sought to breed humans in order to make a perfect DNA strand, purebred humans that were superior to others in every way. Sparta, although not educated in what DNA was, understood that an imperfect child was a weak link, and often times children that were born weak or with defects were cast off a cliff and presumed dead. In Sparta, marriage was reserved for those above the age of sixteen, which is an important factor to how physically superior their civilization was. Just a few miles from the robust civilization of Sparta laid the bustling trade center of Athens. Famous for its educational possibilities, its philosophers, and its libraries, Athens definitely sought after education over military might. Athens found their knowledge of the world to drive their civilization; they believed their understanding of mathematics and sciences would one day make their city the capitol of the entire known world. Athens was a democracy, where the citizens controlled the government as they...