Athens and Sparta were superpowers in Ancient Greece. In some ways the two city-states were similar, and in some ways they were different. However, in terms of society and government, Athens was superior. Athens gave it's citizens greater freedoms, had a more modern form of government, and influenced western civilization far more than the Spartans ever did.
The people of Athens enjoyed more freedoms than the people of Sparta did. Spartan culture was centred around it's military. According to The Complete Idiot's Guide to Ancient Greece, all Spartan males were forced to join the military at age seven. Those who showed any signs of weakness or deformity were killed. Children were often beaten or starved in order to gain strength. As part of their military training, young Spartan males were sent out into the wilderness with inadequate clothing, very little food, and a dagger. They were encouraged to steal from and murder innocent helots, who were the slaves of Sparta. Spartans also lived simple and isolated lives compared to the Athenians. They wore simple white clothing, and used metal bars as currency instead of precious metals. In Athens, military service was optional. According to the web page “Athens vs Sparta,” Athenians were allowed to get an education, and pursue careers in the arts and sciences. Athenians had a more elaborate lifestyle in comparison to the Spartans. They very artistic as shown in their pottery, jewellery, and architecture. Family was more important in Athens than it was in Sparta, as the men there were often too busy training to be with their families. Slaves were treated with respect in Athens, whereas the helots of Sparta were treated brutally, and were often murdered so the young men in Sparta's military could survive their training. Sparta had a brutal, thug-like society, whereas Athens had a much more calm and open one, making it a much greater place for its people to live.
Athens had a greater, and more modern form of government...
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