Athens vs. Sparta

Topics: Sparta, Ancient Greece, Battle of Thermopylae Pages: 3 (1218 words) Published: February 24, 2014
Athens Vs. Sparta
Throughout the ancient world there were two dominating empires. (S) The Athenian City (polis) and the Spartan empire. These two cities were both powerful and famous but significantly different. However, the city of Athens was by far a much more influential and powerful city-state in comparison to Sparta. Although both the city-states had their own strengths such as their government, social structure and their military tactics, Athens was a pivotal city that still to this day effects our way of life. On the other hand all of the Spartan traditions have been lost and forgotten. The two cities, although extremely close in location (S) as seen on the map, had completely different ways of governing and running their cities. (S) Sparta was an “Oligarchy”. The Ancient Greek “oligos” translates to “few”, while “archia” means “rule” – ‘rule by the few’ (Bernard, 2010, 2). Sparta had two rulers, one to rule the city and another to look after and run their army. This way of leadership worked well for Sparta for a period of time, however, this type of monarchy eventually failed because it was not an effective way to rule a nation. Athens on the other hand has been referred to by University professor, Richard plus many others as the (S) “birthplace of democracy” (Richard, 2008, 7). Although Athens went through difficult times dealing with years of tyranny and dictatorships, (S) Solon, an Athenian statesman and lawmaker was given unlimited power, with the intention to save Athens from falling. Solon put into place the first ever form of democracy (Richard, 2008, 7). Although in the short term, this did fail, as he was not in power for long enough to fully promote this way of governing. (S) In the long run it has been one of the most successful forms of government today. When considering the governing style of Sparta and Athens, without a doubt Athens was a far better and more important city-state, as it played a pivotal role in setting up the basics for...
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