Athenians and Spartans : Difference in Values

Better Essays
How and why did the values of Athenians differ from that of the Spartans?

Ancient Greece provided the rudiments of Western civilisation; it has had a colossal influence on language, politics, educational systems, philosophy, science, and arts. In the following several pages I hope to demonstrate explicitly, the bold differences between the two provinces, and to suggest the relativity, of Ancient Greece conventions, to modern times. In doing this I will bring upon wars, economic stances, and most importantly, previous historians point of view on the events.
I decided to pinpoint were the long standing quarrel originated. It traces back to 1000B.C; to both the cities ancestors. According to Herodotus, the ancestors were part of the prominent tribes of Ancient Greece: the Ionians, the Dorians, and the Aeolians. Spartans believed they descended from the Dorians, and the Athenians believed they descended from the Ionians .Both the tribes were very similar, in both politics and morals. After many years, the two tribes reached a crucial turning-point: they could either abolish slavery, and introduce land reforms, or continue enslaving their own citizens. The Spartans, led by Lycurgus, chose to uphold the laws; basing their whole society on repression .Whilst the Athenians, led by Salon, decided to eradicate the longstanding rules. The Athenian and Spartan political stances were quite the contrary; both developed as a result of the internal stability they achieved. Spartan political matters, most of the time, were not to public objection; they, according to Thucydides, were an oligarchy - although, some decisions were made democratically, such as whether to go to war. In the fashion of most oligarchies, the power was distributed between the wealthy .The diagram above explains the structure of the Spartan and Athenian governments; it demonstrates the distribution of power throughout the governments. The City of Athens was a revolutionarily democratic city which



Bibliography: Estensen, M, (1997), Understanding Ancient worlds, Science press. Powell,A,(2003),Athens and Sparta, Routledge publishing . Meiggs,R,(1986),A history of Ancient Greece, MacMillan education publishing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athenian-democracy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycurgus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycurgus http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/179408/education/47467/Athens

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Spartans and Athenians

    • 415 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Tyler Hyde AP World History Mr. Russom Hr. 1 The Spartans and Athenians had some similarities but also some vast differences. Athens was constantly changed because of their die hard democracy, while Spartan had a Cultural tradition like no other. The Athenians strived on trade while the Spartans fought. Both were similar on their religion. The Greek city states have been in quarrels for years but had to emerge at some point to save their lands. Cyrus the Great is arguably the greatest ruler…

    • 415 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    directly involved not only in government matters but also in matters of justice, as there was no separation of powers in ancient Athens. <br> <br>Unlike the Athenian government the Spartans didn't use tyranny or any form Athenian democracy. Sparta did not like the way tyranny worked so they produced a different form of government. The Spartans formed a very complex government mixing democracy and oligarchy, and this form of government was a model for other poleis. The government was made up of three…

    • 298 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    A Comparison of Spartan and Athenian Governments University of the People Student University of the People A Comparison of Spartan and Athenian Governments While both were large poleis in Greece, Athens and Sparta had different ways of governing. Sparta was an oligarchy where all Spartan men could participate in the government, but aristocrats held almost all the power. Sparta was ruled by two kings from two different royal families. However, the kings did not have the control they would in a…

    • 557 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Athenian Values

    • 181 Words
    • 1 Page

    If I were present in the Athenian society, and were of course a male, I would be on the nature side. When I look at the things I value in my life compared to the values of both sides, I have more in common with the men on the nature side. I believe that having money and power will not make you happy; sure having these things may take away the stress that come with life but money and power will not give you warmth in your heart. I believe that being surrounded by people that love and care for you…

    • 181 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Spartans vs. Athenians Can you imagine four-thousand spartans charging down a hill while three-thousand Athenians ready their bows and release them all simultaneously while the string whips in the hard rain? The Peloponnesian War was one of the most fierce wars in Greece because many people fell in battle. From the South were the Spartans. Their forces had never been stronger with a reformed, military-based government. From the North was the Athenians who had just been through a war that had…

    • 1309 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Athenian women had a husband while Sparta women were open to have several husbands. The aspect of marriage is that the women of Athens could only have one husband during their entire life while the Spartan women could have more than one partner in their lifetime due to various reasons. After the abduction, Goff (38) articulates that the Spartan women were supposed to shave their heads and put on the men’s attire. The ritual was the main reason for both the men and women of Sparta to have more than…

    • 129 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    more freedom, had a better education, and had more respect in Sparta. Spartan women were seen as the ones to make the citizens’ lives better by taking care of the home, family, and city-states power. The Spartan females certainly had the best lives and most power out of all the other ancient civilizations. Athenian women never had a say in whom they were going to marry, or what age they wanted to wed at. Although Spartan women still did not get to choose who they married, they…

    • 1002 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    were some similarities. I will compare the daily life of Spartans and Athenians based on my impressions from our studies. Spartan life was quite different than other ancient Greek poleis with their warrior mentality. It appears that everything was thought out for the benefit of the Spartan state rather than individuality. We find evidence of infanticide, which the Gerousia determined whether or not a baby was “fit” to be a Spartan warrior or woman. If a baby was judged inferior they…

    • 752 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    shows us that women had much more liberty in Sparta than in Athens. In fact, the democracy of Athens was available only to free men who were citizens of Athens. Moreover, to claim citizenship, an Athenian had to prove that both his parents were "astoi." For the father, being "astos" meant that he was an Athenian citizen, but the mother could not be a citizen. Women were never citizens, but only able to transmit the rights of citizenship to their sons (Perry, et al, 1992, pp.60-61). The political structure…

    • 2276 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    But Athenian democracy demanded more equality than simply the possession of a ‘minimum kit’ in the form of a common sense of justice and shame. Fully participatory democracy breaks down once factionalism breaks out. Every democratic decision will leave dissatisfied the minority who voted against the decision. If that minority is always made up of the same people, then problems arise. A tyrannous majority, which pursues factional interests at the expense of a minority, renders hollow any claim to…

    • 113 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays