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
Its impact on man, his society and culture should not be underestimated or ignored. As such, this essay will explore the concept that war was fundamental to social and political organisations of the ancient world of Greece and also examine the concept of ideology or necessity as the driving forces behind their motivation toward war. The ancient Greek worlds were independent both socially and politically. This along with the elements of interacting trade interests, land, economic and population needs assist in the explanation of the ancient Greek world’s motivation/s for war. It should be noted, in antiquity there was not a nation of Greece as such.
were a volatile time for the Persian Empire. Its struggles with the Greek city-states resulted in general chaos as the two great spheres of power in the ancient world met in battle. The first historian, Herodotus, chose this war as his main topic of interest. This site introduces this pivotal rivalry in world history. Report broken link Persian Architecture This site is packed with information on the unique style of Persian architecture.
He also believed that no one’s contribution to the democracy should be effected as a result of their poverty. He believed that Athens at this time in history was a good representation of what a democratic government really was, as every individual was just as interested in the affairs of the state as they were in their own affairs, so each person therefore took pride in the state. He said that even people who are consumed by their own interests are still actively involved in the politics, and if there is a man that usually minds his
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 great Athenian Empire was formed through the important actions of individuals and events. Whilst no one individual can take the credit for the formation on the Empire; certainly influential people such as Themistocles, Aristides, Cimon, Pausanius, Miltiades and Pericles all play very important roles in the formation of the Athenian Empire. Other factors, such as the coastal Greek states choosing Athens (contrary to Thucydides’ belief) over Sparta and the Persian threat helped keep the allies in line and enabled Athens to steadily take over. Whether it be through political reforms or military campaigns, these individuals played a crucial part in the formation of the powerful Athenian Empire. When assessing the individuals during the pentacontaetia, it seems logical to start with Miltiades.
Both Lysander and King Pausanias actions demonstrated their incapability to lead Sparta which consequently resulted in the ineffective leadership of Sparta as hegemon of Greece. Lysander was the dominant figure in Spartan politics presiding the fall of the Athenian Empire in 404 BC, and his and Sparta’s aim was a far as possible to secure Greek hegemony allowing for Spartan Imperial expansion. The ‘anomaly’ of Lysander’s dominance within Sparta’s military and political enterprises, traditionally governed by the Kingships, saw him exploit his foreign policy across the populas of the Aegean much to their discontent “The Spartans reckoned that they themselves, having defeated the Athenians, would now securely dominate the whole of Greece” (Thucydides 8.2.4). Lysander installed a brutal pro-Spartan oligarchy (known as ‘The Thirty Tyrants’) on Athens, reciprocating this system of government in other Greek states in order to suppress prevailing democracies. Installed to govern were pro-Spartan Harmosts, all supported by a garrison of troops who served under the orders of Lysander.
Sparta thrived under its' geographic isolation. Perhaps it was their physical isolation that led to their disdain upon interacting with other societies as well as their rigid social structure of order and discipline. Athens on the other hand, thoroughly depended on their trade and relationships with neighboring societies. Due to their constant sea-to-sea travel, their navy was the best in the world at the time. Athenians were not required to join the military, although they were always given the choice.
Athens vs. Sparta Sparta and Athens was very different in many aspects. However, at the same time, the two shared many characteristics in common. The differences are what set the two apart, while the things they shared in common are what united them as Greek city-states. Sparta is an ancient city in southern Greece. It is the capitol of Laconia and the chief city of Greece: famous for strict discipline and training of soldiers.