Differences Between Sparta and Athens in Ancient Greece

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The ancient civilization of Greece contained many different city-states; two of these city-states were Sparta and Athens. Sparta and Athens were different in their values, politics, and societies. Sparta was focused on their military, discipline, and to have a strong state. Athens was a democratic state that was peaceful and where women were open to culture and democracy. How do these two city-states differ? Sparta and Athens were formed in two different ways. Sparta was originally four small villages in Southwestern Peloponnesus that became unified into one polis. They conquered two neighboring areas known as Laconia and Hessenia. These people were then forced to work in Sparta. Athens had established a unified polis on the peninsula of Attica. The Lonians settled Attica and the unification came gradually and peacefully. The main focus of Sparta was their military. They became a military state to ensure control over their conquered helots. From the first day a Spartan child was born he or she was examined to make sure that they were healthy. It was important for the boys to be healthy so that they could grow to be strong healthy soldiers, and for all to be healthy citizens. When the Spartan boys reached the age of seven they were taken and taught to read, write, and to be disciplined. They did not come out of the military until they were 60. In Document A the statue represents the Spartan soldier and how military was everything to the Spartans. Athens did not focus on their military as heavily as Sparta did, but they did have an army of hoplites. They paid for their military service, and the military was open to every class. They fought only when it was necessary and died for the city, as it was the duty of all the citizens t... ... middle of paper ... ...men were given all the power in the household. The women had no part in the government. They learned how to spin, weave, sew, cook and to perform household jobs. For their whole lives they were controlled by their father and by their husband once they got married. In conclusion Athens and Sparta were both very different Greek city-states, so different in fact that they could not get along. Trade, democracy, foreigners, individualism, thought, and the arts were all a part of Athens. Contrasting was Sparta whose focus was on the state, achieving power and independence, and their military. They were not able to ever unite, because of their sociological and cultural differences. Geographically they were so close that they could not ignore one another but fought for the top position among the Greek city-states. For in the end, it was their differences drove them apart.

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