Western Civilization to 1689
17 April 2016
Technological and Cultural Advancement in Athens and Sparta
Culture, defined as “collective manifestations of human intellectual achievement and arts” (“Culture”), is fundamental to technological growth. The interests of a society will determine which direction they will progress as a whole. Likewise, civilizations with dissimilar interests that exist in the same time period can progress at different rates despite living in similar conditions. Athens and Sparta, both city-states in ancient Greece, serve as excellent examples of how technology and the advancement of a society is determined, mainly, by the interests of its people.
Despite being two of the most powerful city-states during the classical age of Greece, Athens and Sparta were very different civilizations. Athens was governed by a democracy which allowed the public a say in government. They were also prominent in the arts, and seen as the epicenter of intellectual ability. Sparta on the other hand was run by an oligarchy, “a small group of people having control of a country, organization, or institution” (“Oligarchy”), and attaining citizenship was impossible for those who were not of Spartan ancestry. Unlike the Athenians whose social life targeted knowledge and art, the Spartan’s aligned their lives with enhancing their military strength. Likewise, the Athenians had the opportunity to innovate. Their education system was centered on creating intellectuals, artists, and warriors. Young Athenian boys were educated in their homes until they reached the age of seven. Afterwards, they were sent to school where they began to exercise and learned to play games that would increase their strength. As they...
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...cal growth. The dissimilar standards of these civilizations prove that technology and the advancement of a society is determined, mainly, by the interests of its people.
Chant, Colin, and David C. Goodman. Pre-industrial Cities & Technology. London: Routledge in Association with the Open U, 1999. Print.
"Culture.” Oxford English Dictionary. 2005. n. pag. Oxford English Dictionary. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
"Oligarchy.” Oxford English Dictionary. 2005. n. pag. Oxford English Dictionary. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
Pomeroy, Sarah B. Ancient Greece: A Political, Social, and Cultural History. New York: Oxford UP, 1999. Print.
Powell, Anton. Athens and Sparta: Constructing Greek Political and Social History from 478 BC. London: Routledge, 2001. Print.
Stancheva, Tina. "Human Nature, Technology & the Environment." Human Nature, Technology & the Environment. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
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