Greek and Persian Cultures in the Sixth Century Bc

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Greek and Persian Cultures in the Sixth Century BC In the sixth century BC, two massive cultures lay on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea(Herodotus li). The Greeks, known as the Hellenes, were spread through much of lower Europe(Herodotus 210), while the Persian empire occupied modern day Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and the surrounding areas(Herodotus 225, The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, 41). Although these great peoples dwelt on the shore of the same sea, they differed in everything from government, military, religion, and education, to morality and social structures. These two cultures have made it in to the history books, novels, television programs, and movies as some of the greatest cultures of all time. The Greeks and the Persians both possessed amazing societies. The two cultures were linked by land, and by the common shipping area of the Mediterranean, but despite their close proximity, the nations differed in a multitude of ways. Perhaps the most obvious differences between the two was the structure of their governments. The Greek government was made up of a variety of city-states all with separate forms of lordship and all with a loose loyalty to one another(Part 1: The City-State and Sparta). Athens, one of the strongest city-states, was known as the first democracy, and was ruled by the people(Lecture 10: the beginnings of democracy). Sparta, another leading city-state, was an oligarchy ruled by two kings, who were supported by twenty-eight members of what was known as the Gerousia(Greece: Spartan Society to the Battle of Leuctra 371BC). Persia, however, was a monarchy, or a nation governed by one man.(Persian Culture(700-332 BC). Another stark difference between the two great nations of the sixth century was the way in which they conducted their military excursions. The Greeks and their relatively small army prided themselves on strategic

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