Top-Rated Free Essay

The Citizenship System: Athens vs. Rome

Good Essays
Athens
DBQ Essay
Citizenship in Athens and Rome: Which is the better system?

Citizenship in Athens and Rome

Today, we take for granted our citizenship in the United States. As long as we were born here, we're a citizen. It wasn't always like this in the world. Athens and Rome both had certain systems of citizenship they followed. It wasn't nearly as easy as it is today. A big question, though, is which system was the best. I believe that both Athens and Rome had their strengths and weaknesses in their systems. As to which I think is better, I can't choose. The Roman Republic was more tolerant of whom they allowed to be citizens, but that's not always a good thing. Athens had a better way of election, but was random. Both had good ideas about the judgment of citizens, but in both someone could take advantage of their power. The Roman Republic was more generous in granting citizenship than Athens. They allowed free, native-born adult males, as long as their parents were married in certain areas of the Roman Empire. They allowed free, native-born adult females, but with limited rights. Both female and male children were considered citizens as long as their parents were citizens. Also sons of freed slaves could access citizenship. The only ones that were granted citizenship in Athens were free, native-born adult males. Rome's system was more equal, but in the end could cause problems with conflicts between everyone, trying to get what they want. Apart from who they allowed to be citizens, their ways of election were also different. In Athens, they had election by lottery meaning that every person had an equal chance. This was fairer than Rome's inheritance of their position in the Senate, but it was completely random, and the most ineligible person could be chosen. In order to make important decisions like laws or ostracisms, there needed to be a minimum of six thousand. Rome only needed three hundred to form the senate. Another thing was their judgment of citizens. In Athens, they would perform an ostracism in which the citizens would write the name of the person whom in their opinion had the most power to destroy the government. The person with the most ostraka would be exiled for 10 years. Rome, on the other hand, would rank the citizens into different classes according on their wealth, heritage, marital status, physical and moral fitness, ect. This determined what they got to do, how much they had to pay, and other things like that. If they didn't meet the standards, they weren't given as many privileges. Both could be taken advantage of if someone of higher status was intimated by another or in other similar situations. All they had to do was vote and get a large number of others to try and exile him in Athens or lie about the standards someone has to meet in order for them to be demoted in Rome. As you see, both Athens and Rome had very flawed systems that could cause conflict. That might even be the reason for their fall.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    Rome vs. Athens

    • 2657 Words
    • 11 Pages

    Beaudoin Professor Paul Western Civilization II 12 December 2012 The Roman republic and Athenian polis were two great experiments in political philosophy in the ancient world. These two distinctly different methods of running a nation in both Athens and Rome have one similarity – that they were founded on the intent to give common law and justice to the people. That aside both of the nations, which will be discussed in this essay, was culturally, economically and historically quite different and approached…

    • 2657 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Athen vs Rome

    • 1007 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Christopher Hyun Western Civilization 1 Professor Kincheloe 5/30/2013 “Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge” (Plato). Such a great philosopher like Plato, he strives to educate the people of Athens on behalf of Socrates. With the passion of various ideas on philosophy and political science, Plato pushes through his learning to teach our people. The former philosopher Socrates, Plato had gained the knowledge of the various meanings and the strive after…

    • 1007 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Ancient Rome Vs Athens

    • 906 Words
    • 4 Pages

    anywhere. Ancient Rome and Greece are excellent examples of this fact. Ancient Rome was a global superpower that believed with enough determination and motivation, they could go anywhere. Let a successful civilization be defined be defined as equal, reformed, and similar to modern societies today. Ancient Greece and Rome were similar in terms of military values and feats between the Greek city-state Sparta and the Roman Empire, however, in terms of government structure, the city-state Athens was more successful…

    • 906 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Athens Vs. Athens

    • 158 Words
    • 1 Page

    relatively poorer than The Athens. Sparta was developed as a state of warriors and their public life, work, marriage, love and everything was controlled by the state. While the Social, economic and daily life in Athens was much better than the Sparta. And as a result, The Athens attracted many foreigners to live with them. Athenian citizens had more political right than Spartans. Unlike modern day Republic system Athenians directly governed themselves (Blackwell, 2003). Athens was culturally developed…

    • 158 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Sparta vs Athens

    • 1101 Words
    • 5 Pages

    existed, democracy and oligarchy. The city-states of Athens and Sparta are the best representatives of democracy and oligarchy, respectively. The focus of the times was directed towards military capabilities, while the Athenians were more interested in comfort and culture. It was the oligarchy in Sparta that put a war-like attitude as its first priority and best met the needs of Ancient Greece. These factors empowered Sparta and led to Sparta Vs Athens In Ancient Greece there were two different major…

    • 1101 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Athens vs. Sparta

    • 464 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Athens vs. Sparta Reflection Essay As all civilizations do, Athens and Sparta have provided many things for the modern world. And as everything else, both have their strengths and weaknesses. Athens focused more on education and the arts while Sparta revolved around military strength and battle. Because Sparta had such a massively influential military, we use tactics and strategies derived from them even today. They invented the Phalanx; a military formation of standing closely packed and…

    • 464 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Athens VS Sparta

    • 674 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Athens VS Sparta Athens and Sparta were two of the greatest Greek city states ever. Not only do these two cities have many differences but they also have some things in common too. But only one could be the best, was it Sparta or Athens? Many people think that Sparta and Athens were completely different, but this is not true, they had many similarities. To start off they were both two of the most powerful and important city states in ancient Greece. Sparta with…

    • 674 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Athens Vs Melians

    • 285 Words
    • 1 Page

    December 2014 Athenians vs Melians 1. The Athenians want the Melians to join them. They say that the Melians should join a world power such as themselves. Athens needs more power incase rival countries such as Sparta tries to conquer them. Athens says that they are being nice to the Melians and offering for them to join rather than destroying their country. They say that the only way they can trust the Melians is if they join Athens, because an Island like them is likely to rebel. Athens responds to the…

    • 285 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Athens Vs Euphiletos

    • 1453 Words
    • 6 Pages

    On balance, in the case of The People of Athens vs. Euphiletos of Oea the court should rule in the affirmative. On all three arguments (1.a, 1.b, 2.a) made in the case, the side of the defense has won. In the first argument, we can prove the Section 11 of the Law of Athens permits one to lawfully kill a seducer. In the second argument, the fact that one can lawfully kill a seducer will help to justify the death of Eratosthenes of Oea. In the final argument, the defense can prove that the Laws of…

    • 1453 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Athens vs. Sparta

    • 1140 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Danielle Palawasta Athens vs. Sparta Persuasive Research Paper Henry/Lih- LA/SS- Per. 3/7 Due: 3/22/13 Envision a world where the people are ravenous and yearning for any remnant of food they could obtain, where the society is overrun and no one has a free say. This is the type of society the ancient Spartans would have lived like unlike the ancient Athenians. The Athenians lived a far more diverse life if compared to Sparta. Ancient Athens was better to live in than ancient Sparta due to its…

    • 1140 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays