1. The Polis is a community of free persons making up a town. Each polis is a political and cultural unit, but is a distinct “Greek” culture. The two poleis that dominated Greek life and politics in the classical age were Athens and Sparta but differed greatly in their conceptions of the good life for their citizens. Athens was the center of Greek educational, artistic, and scientific activity, and was the birthplace of democracy. Sparta was a militaristic, authoritarian society that held the arts and intellectual life in contempt and dreaded the extension of freedom to the individual or community. Greeks admired the Spartan way of life.
Greek city states came off as “Democratic” and rule by the people, but in reality it was not a real democracy. In Athens when someone didn’t agree, they enforced the will of the majority without resorting to bloodshed but the idea of ostracism, the “pushing out” of a citizen who would not conform to the will of his neighbors. An ostracized person had to go into exile and lost all rights of a citizen for normally ten years. People would rather commit suicide then go into exile at this time. I think Athens decline in democracy occurred because there was so much resistance to the idea that an ordinary man or woman was capable of governing wisely and efficiently. I feel it also declined because it wasn’t a true democracy, you were basically being forced to agree with the ideas of others or be forced to live basically without a cause.
3.The Civilization of Rome began in Italy. Rome grew from a small city into an economic and military power. In 509 B.C. the romans overthrew Etruscan rule and established a republic. Rome was a republic for almost 500 years. After many years of war and following the destruction of the Carthaginian Empire, Rome took control of the Mediterranean region.Since the Romans did not want one man to make all of the laws, Polybius decided to balance the...