Athens’ economy also suffered because of the loss of men. After the war very few men returned, and those who did not r... ... middle of paper ... ...ut when Greece finally decided to try and conquer Persia Phillip II of Macedonia decided to invade them. Both Athens and Sparta were affected by the Peloponnesian War, but Athens was left in worse shape than Sparta. Athens was affected economically, politically, and militarily. Sparta on the other hand was also affected politically, and militarily but to a lesser effect.
Underlying this humor is a scary truth, most likely ignored by the congregations witnessing this play. How many times has a character in a tragedy been so willing to contradict the gods? Dominant characters like Creon and Prometheus have blatantly disobeyed the gods. The alternative explanations serve a hidden truth in the hearts of many of the Athenian people. This truth is always again repressed by the end of each play, tragedy or comedy; because their was too great of a fear to upset the higher beings.
These self interested populist leaders with personal gain in mind established extensive internal political instability "...by quarrelling among themselves [and] began to bring confusion into the policy of the state." (Thucydides). Repeated opportunities to accept terms of peace after the battles of Pylos (425), Arginusae (406) and Aegospotami (405) were ignored by the inefficient Athenian demos eventually resulting in the devastation of the once dominant city-state. Internal political strife can also be attribu... ... middle of paper ... ...ericles had lived, he may have actually hindered Athenian attempts to find some way out of the stalemated war." (http://www.warhorsesim.com/epw_hist.html).
There is much is to be praised regarding Classical Greece for their courage, their progressive thinking and the birth of democracy. However, I think it is important to remember that in both cases, Athens and Sparta were able to sustain their lifestyle on the backs of countless slaves, non-citizens and women and that there is a darker and less romantic side to the past. Discussion: In Sparta, only citizens could be members of the assembly. Sparta’s assembly was not a democracy it was a dictatorship. Sparta was a unique dual kingship, one king went to war and the other king stayed home.
As these city-states formed interest shifted from nature to social living; questions of law and convention and civic values became paramount. This change gave a little instability in their government because they did not yet have any professional politicians, lawyers or judges. Greece was not a unified nation because control of the country was divided between the number of independent city-states, which often formed shifting alliances with each other or fought to expand or preserve their spheres of influence. Each state maintained an army of citizens who could be called on to fight at any moment; the citizens each provided their own armor and fought together in massed formation, a military tactic which is much more effective than hand-to-hand combat by individuals. Each polis maintained its own religious rituals, but individual citizens rather than a class of priests performed it Ancient Greeks were very loyal to their city-states.
Like Athens, lower class people are at a large disadvantage in these countries. Athens and Sparta have set examples that some countries still follow today. The poleis Sparta and Athens had many different ideas on how to run their societies. They overcame their differences and fought off the Persian invasion to defend their homeland. Without this victory our history would look very different.
Athens vs. Sparta During the times of Ancient Greece, two major forms of government existed, democracy and oligarchy. The city-states of Athens and Sparta are the best representatives of democracy and oligarchy, respectively. The focus of the times was directed towards military capabilities, while the Athenians were more interested in comfort and culture. It was the oligarchy in Sparta that put a war-like attitude as its first priority and best met the needs of Ancient Greece. These factors empowered Sparta and led to the development of an authoritative and potent state.
In the fifth-century BC, Athens emerged as one of the most advanced state or polis in all of Greece. This formation of Athenian ‘democracy’ holds the main principle that citizens should enjoy political equality in order to be free to rule and be ruled in turn. The word ‘democracy’ originates from the Greek words demos (meaning people) and kratos (meaning power) therefore demokratia means “the power of the people.” The famous funeral speech of Pericles states that “Our constitution is called democracy because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the whole people.” However, only citizens (free adult men of Athenian descent) could participate in political matters. Women and slaves held no political rights, although they were essential in order to free up time for the citizens to participate in the matters of the state. The development of Athenian democracy has been fundamental for the basis of modern political thinking, although many in modern society UK would be sceptical to call it a democracy.
The pathway to achieving a government of social equality in Greece was not without difficulties and deviations. Breaking aristocratic power and influence and giving power to the common people was a process full of many obstructions and difficulties. As J.M Roberts put it ¡¥democracy emerged out of Athens unexpectedly and at first almost unobserved¡¦ (Roberts, J.M, 2002 p. 196). The changes that took place in their politics were gradual and therefore it was influenced by many rulers, events and mistakes. Although steps were taken backward in the course of democracy, the people of Athens learnt from these mistakes and strived for a better way of ruling their state.
One of those traits is that although Athenian citizens and soldiers live a more leisurely life and are not trained as rigorously as the Spartans in land warfare, Athenians’ natural courage makes up for that (Thucydides pg. 42). Athens was definitely the dominant naval power in Greece at the time, but the Athenians’ devaluing of land warfare led to a stalemate in the first phase of the Peloponnesian War before the Peace of Nicias in which Sparta ravaged Athens’ countryside and forced its citizens to be holed up in the city walls and to live in close quarters, making them susceptible to the plague. Another trait of Athens that can be argued as not a positive factor is its institution of democracy. Athenian democracy was quite limited in the modern sense since its citizenry only included ethnic Athenian males over the age of 20, but it was remarkable in the ancient world for the amount of civic participation it allowed of those that it considered citizens.