Greek Culture and History: A Comparison of Sparta and Athens

Good Essays
The age of Greece was a wonderful time for immense accomplishments and discoveries in science, literature, art, language, philosophy, and many other fields of knowledge. Even the alphabet that we use today is derived from the ancient Greek alphabet that was developed from the Phoenicians, who emerged in history around 1150 BC. The Greek culture was developed through periods of time such as Minoan, Mycenaean, Archaic, Hellenic, and Hellenistic ages. "By the beginning of the Archaic Age, the Greeks emerged from their long years of stagnation and moved into an era of political innovation and cultural experimentation."(Matthews and Platt 38) Really, the isolated farming community had developed into the polis, city-state. Of hundreds of polis that enveloped during the Archaic Age, Sparta and Athens were the two major city-states which stood out because of their vivid, contrasting government organization, styles of life and the different roles and status of women.

Indeed, one of the differences between those two city-sates is government and political organization. Athenian government has usually been classified as a "limited democracy", in which the Assembly, open to all eligible citizens, made policy decisions and passed laws while meeting at the foot of the Acropolis. At the next step of the Athenian government, the Council of 500 would have the responsibility of administering the decisions made by the Assembly. Nine archons, or rulers, were nobles and aristocrats elected to run the country. The archons were loosely held in check by the Assembly. In contrast, Spartan government has been classified as an "oligarchy" (rule by a few), and it also had elements of monarchy (rule by a king), democracy through the election of council/...

... middle of paper ...

...anges have distinctly different tastes, textures and flavors; and both major cities have very different forms of government, life style and roles of women. Really, there is no doubt that the difference between two major polis, which stood for the subsequent Greek history, made the Greek culture and history have become one of the most vivid and wealth in the world culture and history.


Text Book, Roy T. Matthews and F. Dewitt Platt, Volume 1: Beginnings through the Renaissance, Mayfield publishing company,">
Get Access