Sparta and Athens are a pair of the most recognizable cities in the history of the ancient Greece. The two city-states were close synchronically on the map but exhibited significant differences in their values and the way they lived their lives.
What is Sparta?
This was a city-state in ancient Greece, which rose to become the dominant military land-power in the region. The states’ military was mighty to the extent of being considered as the overall leader of the combined Greek military forces during the Greco-Persian Wars.
What is Athens?
This is one of the most significant city-states of all time, which we take many of our modern ways. This city had a government with an assembly comprising of male citizens over 25 years old. Besides, the city-state had a court that was used to solve disputes among people and between people and government.
What are the similarities between Sparta and Athens?
- Similarities Between Sparta and Athens in terms of “Government and Leadership”
One of the main similarities between Sparta and Athens is that each city-state had a government that had the responsibility of checking on the welfare of its citizens. In addition to their governments, the two cities had a democratically elected assembly whose members people elected. For Sparta, two kings who ruled until they died while for Athens, archons ruled the city-state for a term of one year upon which elections were conducted to elect new leadership ruled the state.
- Similarities Between Sparta and Athens in terms of “Military Power”
Secondly, both Sparta and Athens had an active military that was highly regarded in the entire region. For Sparta, the strength of the military highly rested on the army, which was comprised of the best-trained and most mighty warriors of ancient times. The power of the Athenian military was in its navy, which was highly advanced and is regarded to have been the dominant force in the Mediterranean Sea. It is important to highlight that the two militaries clashed during the Peloponnesian war where Sparta military won though at a significant cost of lives lost.
- Similarities Between Sparta and Athens in terms of “Slavery”
Both Athens and Sparta condoned slavery, which was highly practiced at this time. Both city-states had substantial number of slave populations. It is estimated that each city-state had about 100,000 slaves. More importantly, the slaves ranked bottom of the social order in both cities while military men ranked the top of the social order. Some of the privileges allowed to the military men included voting and land ownership among other benefits. On the other hand, slaves were not allowed to vote and conducted most of the manual duties in the community.
- Similarities Between Sparta and Athens in terms of “Economy”
Before the emergence of Rome as the most reliable economy in the region, both Sparta and Athens city-states had the most significant economies upon which other states in the region highly depended on. Trade and agriculture were the backbones of the economy. Some of the items traded by the savings included apples, grapes, citrus fruits, ornaments, animals, and weapons among others. It is also worth noting that slave trade was at its highest at this period.
- Similarities Between Sparta and Athens in terms of “Women”
In both societies had a negative perception of women in that women were confined to house duties while serving their men who were mostly based in military camps. Men had unquestionable authority over women and treated women as their subjects. Moreover, women were encouraged to give birth with a high preference for a male child so that they can be brought up to join the army. Furthermore, women were not allowed to vote in both societies.
Take home message on Sparta and Athens
- In brief, Sparta and Athens may have been insignificant difference to each other at their heights throughout and around the Golden Age of Greece, but they owned many parallel relationships in their communities.
- Spartan nation and Athenian society had many difference and similarities regarding various aspects of everyday life, military, women, and other issues.
- Additionally, it cannot be disputed that both city-states have had significant influence in influencing the modern life. For example, the advancement in technology, military, and democracy can highly be attributed to the two cities of ancient Greece.
Author: Jecinta Morgan
Jecinta is an experienced writer who has been writing for more than three years and she has a degree in Finance and Accounting.