"As the object of the Spartans was to increase the number of lots of land for their citizens, many of the conquered Messenians (those who did not manage to leave the area) were reduced to the condition of Helots. Servitude was hard, though their plight might have been harder, for they paid to their lords only one-half of the produce of the lands which they tilled.” (Bury and Meiggs, “A History of Greece” 4th edition) The Athenians, however, developed the first true democracy. “ Assembly was the regular gathering of male Athenian citizens (women also enjoyed the status of “citizen,” but without political rights) to listen to, discuss, and vote on decrees that affected every aspect of Athenian life, both public and private, from financial matters to religious ones, from public festivals to war, from treaties with foreign powers to regulations governing ferry boats.” (Christopher W.
Shantae Edwards Ms. Royal Global Studies 8th Period Sparta Political Structure Sparta had a highly unusual system of government. Two Kings ruled the city, but a 28-member ‘council of elders’ limited their powers. These men were recruited from the highest social class, the aristocratic Spartiates. Rather like medieval knights, the Spartiates were a class of military professionals who lived most of their lives in communal barracks. Rarely seeing their wives and children, their lands were farmed by slaves, leaving them free to pursue to the arts of war.
There were different social classes, they consisted of six groups: - male citizens - female citizens - the slaves - the metics - the thetes - the aristocrats also known as the nobles. These social classes were ranked according to their wealth and their social statuses. Athenian Society was mainly broken up between free citizens and slaves, who were owned by the free people. A primary source, an extract from a decree in 401-400 BC, quoted by Ferguson & Chrisholm, shows that Athenians seemed to be a secluded city that wanted only their own kind to be involved in their citizenship, and also the people that helped there city thrive were granted equal laws as the Athenians in return. To be a male citizen you had to have citizen parents, be free-born and be over 18 years old.
From the days of Solon, its first lawgiver, the Athenians like the rest of the Greeks had a deep respect for what they called the golden mean, which meant that they avoided extremes in politics. There are various arguments for and against the democracy in Ancient Greece. In Pericles’ famous ‘Funeral speech’, the advantages of the Athenian Democracy were summarized as the following: The power is in the hands not of an elite or a minority but of the whole people Everyone is equal before the law The Athenian democracy gave freedoms that no other
Although Spartan women were not active in the military, they were educated and enjoyed more status and freedom than other Greek women. Because Spartan men were professional soldiers, all manual labor was done by a slave class, the Helots. Despite their military prowess, the Spartans’ dominance was short-lived: In 371 B.C., they were defeated by Thebes at the Battle of Leuctra, and their empire went into a long period of decline. The Spartan Military Unlike such Greek city-states as Athens, a center for the arts, learning and philosophy, Sparta was centered on a warrior culture. Male Spartan citizens were allowed only one occupation: solider.
The troops were citizens known as the Spartiates, the superior social class of Sparta; the others were the Helots, who were slaves and the Perioeci who were the upper-slave-class. Spanning over the late archaic period and classical Greece, the Spartan army fought in phalanx formation with very little support until 404 BC, when they were formed into a cavalry corps. The first reference there is of the Spartans at war is the Illiad. Archeology has shown many important areas of it to be true. It shows the Spartans as chariot warriors, and infantry who fought for glory.
The government was once ruled over by kings, but then changed into a democracy. Wisdom was thought to be the most important aspect in forming a successful city-state. They believed knowledge was everything. Both Athens and Sparta are Greek city-states. This means that the religion, language, and culture are alike in both.
The Citizens or πολίτες were considered the best class in Athenian society. Citizens were protected by Athenian law, had the right to vote and had the right to own land. Most citizens got to be on the council of 500 and serve as the head of the council for one day. All Athenians were trained for two years as a soldier in case if Athens needed them to battle when they were older. Athenians would often buy their own armour and weapons and proudly showcase it in their house.
This idea eventually led to war between the Greeks. (Knights, A. 2007) A lot of historians overlook the fact that both communities actually had a few things in common. The Athens and Spartans were both thinkers. They worshipped their gods and respected all people and nature.
The Spartans took up a strong need in a military force, and war became a typical lifestyle for them. Men began to train as young as seven years old as they were required to join the army. Only strong belligerent men could serve in their army. Military force became the Spartans lifestyle, as creative inventions and art were unimportant. Named after Goddess of Athena, Athens were quite dynamic people who studied philosophy, science, and art.