Comparing Ancient Sparta And Athens Essay example

Comparing Ancient Sparta And Athens Essay example

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There was once an era when Greece was one of the most powerful empires intellectually and physically. Ancient Sparta and Athens, being two of the most popular city-states in Greece, were rivals. These two powerful states had different trademarks; “. . .Athenians boasted of their art and culture, Spartans valued strength and simplicity” (Frey 260). One contrast between the two city-states was the way they treated slaves. In Constitution of the Athenians, Pseudo-Xenophon wrote, “. . . they let the slaves live luxuriously.” The staff of wrote, “Spartans, who were outnumbered by the Helots, often treated them brutally and oppressively in an effort to prevent uprisings. Spartans would humiliate the Helots by doing such things as forcing them to get debilitatingly drunk on wine and then make fools of themselves in public.” Both ways of treating slaves portrays the difference of character. The Spartans were known for their military prowess and their bellicose ways. With their military strength, the Spartans struck fear into their enemies. The Athens were known for their intellectual superiority. Although the Athens were known for their wisdom, their military was quite impressive. This military did not fight simply for the pleasure.
For the Spartans, their military was the focal point of almost all their actions. Even the rulers of Sparta focused mainly on their military. Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian proclaimed, “These are the royal right which have been given by the Spartans to their kings, namely, two priesthood--of Zeos Spata and Zeos Uranios--and the right of making war against whatsoever and they please, and that no man of the Spartans shall hinder this right, or if he do, he shall be subject to the curse. . ....

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... which lasted nearly thirty years. This war was amongst Athens along with its empire and the Peloponnesian League which was led by the Spartans. Athenian historian, Thucydides, claimed that the reason of the war “. . . was the rise of the Athens to greatness, which made the Spartans fear for their own position.” The Spartans were the ones who declared war. Additionally, the Spartans had a superior army while the Athens had the advantage of its navy. The turning point of the war was not part of the battle; it was the plague which resulted in the death of one-third to two-thirds of Athens 's population. Ultimately, the Spartans won this war against the Athens. Unlike the Greco-Persian War, the Spartans and Athens did not gain the same powerful militaries they once had. The Peloponnesian War left the Athens completely ruined and found themselves bankrupt and demoralized.

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