How Did the City-State of Athens and Sparta Differ From Each Other


HowDid the City-State of Athens and Sparta Differ From Each Other

HowDid the City-State of Athens and Sparta Differ From Each Other?

Thetwo city states of Sparta and Athens are the most powerful and famousin ancient Greek history. During the axial age, the civilization ofGreek was experienced with philosophical and religious ideologiesthat redefined the history of Greek as it sought to find therelationship of man with the universe. Greek philosophers referred tothe story of the Jews in the bible and found that religion influencedthe legal and ethical system of the society. They proposed that Godwas the ultimate moral for goodness and justice. The philosophicalideologies contributed to the disagreements between Sparta andAthens, resulting in its collapse in the hands of the Persians(Fernandez,2009)

Spartawas built amidst mountains, making it difficult for enemies to invadeit while Athens was built down the hill on which the Acropolis stood.The economy of Athens highly depended on trade and agriculture. TheAthens’s law dictated that citizens must be offspring’s oflegally married Athens citizens. Male adults took part in religiousactivities besides fighting in wars. Women took care of householdchores and bore children. Athens was very innovative and recommendedproper educations for the boys (Module).

Athensexperienced political mayhem during the 7thcentury because of economical instability. Farmers were sold intoslavery because of their inability to repay loans. Solon anaristocrat was given full powers to handle the situation. Hecancelled all loans and abolished the use of humans as loan debtcollaterals. Although he did not succeed in solving the economicproblems, Athens prospered again in industrial and economic sectors.Solon’s political reforms failed to eradicate the aristocraticpowers, but paved way for the participation of the rich nonaristocratic members of the society. Solon failed to solve Athens’sinternal democracy and land distribution to the poor (Fernandez,2009)

Spartaencouraged boys to train as warriors because they were mandated tojoin the army. The people of Sparta were keen on wars. Sparta was ledby two kings who controlled the army. Spartans were persuaded not tostudy foreign philosophies, art, literature or religion as it wouldintroduce new ideas to their ideal ruling and art of war (Module).

Lycurgusinstituted reforms that made Sparta a military state. The boys stayedwith their parents until the age of seven when they were enrolled inclasses where they played and lived together. The most courageousboys were made captains whose orders were obeyed. The systemencouraged absolute obedience to leaders (Module).

Spartawas centered on war and obedience while Athens allowed creativity byallowing the boys to acquire education in sciences and arts. Duringthe axial age, pressure on humanity resulted in courage among Greeksas they became conscious of their rights. Axial philosophersadvocated for the elevation of humans, although the Spartansdisagreed on this ideology. This led to loopholes in the Greekgovernance, opening the way for the Spartans to invade (Fernandez,2009).

Spartaand Athens created two diverse societies that could not tolerate eachother. To enhance the sovereignty of Greek, Sparta campaigned againstassociations with Persia. On the other hand, Persia offered help toAthens and other states resisting the Spartan rule. This contributedto the fall of the Greek in the hands of Persia (Fernandez, 2009).

Duringthe Axial age, Sparta and Athens witnessed the evolution ofphilosophical and religious thinkers that suggested the political andphilosophical ideologies to the Greek society. Greek philosophersraised questions and solutions on the nature of humanity. The searchfor truth involved moral and political ideologies. Plato loatheddemocracy and supported the rule of logician kings, Socrates believedin the rule of the government while Aristotle believed in the rule ofthe judicious social elements of the majority. Each of the Greek cityStates supported moral practices besides formal, ritualistic normalas a means of regulating their relationships with the existing livingconditions. The Diversity in opinions alongside constant warsresulted in the fall of the Greek society.


FernandezA. F. (2009). TheWorld: A History Combined Volume.London: Penguin.