In the Code of Hammurabi, used in Mesopotamia, almost every law that was broken was punishable by death. These two “poleis” each had similarities and differences regarding the status and view of women in society. Their ideas, habits, and daily activities were majorly impacted by the community they lived in. Elaborate and expensive jewelry, complemented by luscious clothing were worn for seductive, and other purposes. How did the political systems in Athens and Sparta differ? Athens is the capital and the largest city of Greece. As various studies suggested, ancient Athens pursued permissiveness and democracy, which its form of government was the antecedent of nowadays 'rule by the people '. Edit. HIST 1421 They were disallowed from wearing any types of cosmetics or makeup, which were abolished. Athens is the symbol of freedom, art, and democracy in the conscience of the civilized world. Both Athens and Sparta hold historic value for Greece and the world. They did not always agree, and there was often discord within the Spartan governmental structure. On the contrary, Athenian women were judged heavily on their artificial beauty. History. Greece developed many political tools that aimed to spread decision making to the collective whole or representatives of the collective whole. Both forms of government ensured that every person was within the law, none could escape. The most glaring difference is that Sparta did not have a democracy, while Athens did, though it was not total. 17 times. Discuss the political systems of Athens and Sparta. The Ancient Greek “oligos” translates to “few”, while “archia” means “rule” – ‘rule by the few’. Neither could attend the “palaestra” to exercise. Democracy is what we have today, where one person is the main leader, but there are three branches that do different things with the law to decide if it is okay. Why was there such a wide difference between the two city-states? This type of … An excellent question indeed ! Others were chosen by a method called ‘lot’ voting. (Brand, P.J. The process by which this was undertaken was by a simple shouting of ‘yes’ or ‘no’. HIST 1421: GREEK AND ROMAN CIVILIZATION Democracy refers to a system of government in which every person has the right to participate. The main difference being Sparta’s focus being on war and employing a two king system to oversee the army as well as policy at the same time. On the one hand, the two poleis share certain obvious affinities, such as language, geographical scope, a common Greek ancestry etc. This was important in shaping their social status and even their life in some cases. Government is Greece took extraordinary diverse forms across different city-States for centuries, political power could rest in the hand of one single individual which will be referred to as Monarchies or Tyranny, rule by small group of people referred to oligarchy or aristocracy. Nevertheless, affinities between the Spartan and Athenian views and roles of women are evident, as Xenophon tells us. This was an area close by to the markets and social centre of Athens, the “agora”. There were over a thousand city-states at one time. Both took part in activity and took measures in order to look their best for the men of society. (S) The Athenian City (polis) and the Spartan empire. Prominent among the states that never experienced tyranny was Sparta, a fact remarked on even in antiquity. Other Greek city states had an almost all militia army. A public assembly of male citizens met 40 times a year to vote on state decisions. The agenda was set and decrees carried out by a 500 strong council, chosen by lot to serve one year each"(Finley, 1983). Athenians voted for their leaders who came from the upper class. By the time of Aristotle, the Greek laws were far less harsher than those of Babylon. Athens vs. Sparta In Greece, Sparta and Athens society was very different in many ways. Abstract Athens allowed all people to have a voice in the government; Sparta didn't. Each kept the other under check, enabling no one to gain absolute power. The Greek civilization was an exciting period and also today people talk about it. Thus, one should not disregard the People, for they can be. In principle, they can occur and that put the general laws of the state, it was all Athenian citizens were eligible to vote. Each would take charge for about a month, and ten generals were automatically elected due to their experience. A. Athens didn't have hereditary kings; Sparta did. Five Ephors were elected annually, accompanied by two kings, who passed on the crowns to their chosen sons. Athens used a form of limited democracy, where members of society served as leaders of the people. Ares … Three men paved the way to democracy for Athens – firstly Solon, followed by Pisistratus, and then finally Cleisthenes. Sparta vs. Athens University of the People Political institutions of Sparta: Lycurgus: The founder of the political institution of Sparta is Lycurgus. The Life and Governmental Structures of the People of Athens and Sparta Most of the Ancient Greek city-states practice democracy as their system of government although only Athens is well-known for it democracy. Athens, being a democracy, used the masses as well as nobles, aristocrats and generals as a part of their government. These two cities were both powerful and famous but significantly different. Sparta was an “Oligarchy”. This differed from Sparta, which did not allow its citizens any say in state matters (Knights, 2007). On the other hand, Athens was seen as the birthplace of democracy, meaning that it was ruled by the people who had a say in state affairs (history.com, n.d.). The differences are what set the two apart while the things that they shared in common are what united them as Greek city-states. Athens allowed women to vote; Sparta didn't. While Sparta and Athens both developed formidable land and sea forces at different stages in their history, each dominated in one particular arm of the military. The Spartans and the Persians, who had slightly similar military power, were in the same geographic region which put Athens … Sparta and Athens… Sparta’s governance was centered around warfare and warriors, while Athens was centered around … they killed people. 1447 C. Athens allowed women to vote; Sparta didn't. Five Ephors were elected annually, accompanied by two kings, who passed on the crowns to their chosen sons. The Ancient Greek “oligos” translates to “few”, while “archia” means “rule” – ‘rule by the few’. Sparta and Athens shared similarities and differences in their systems of government, militaristic focuses, judgment and views of women. Sparta, on the other hand, was ruled by five men with help from a council of elders. The Spartiates were the only full citizens and they owned the majority of the fertile land in Laconia and later Messenia which the helot… Authoritarian government to a person or a small group of people from the state government's decision is the type of system. Copyright © 2020 IPL.org All rights reserved. Other purposes of the general assembly were to vote on and pass legislation and make civil decisions. (n.d)). The reason women were scrutinized so heavily on their fitness and physical state relates to the Spartan’s equivalent of the “master race” concept. I will talk about how these two city-states (Athens and Sparta) were similar in governmental structures and also address how they differed and in what ways. Spartan society and Athenian society had many difference and similarities in terms of various aspects of everyday life, military, women and other aspects. This enhanced the prestige of Sparta. C: The mountainous topography resulted in the isolation of these city-states. Even today, the achievements of Athenians in terms of architecture are much appreciated. Physical training was not unheard of though, and an Athenian woman exercising was not uncommon. Sparta took the leadership in war. Sparta was an “Oligarchy”. Athens was the centre for arts, learning and philosophy while Sparta was a warrior state.   Athens is considered the birthplace of democracy because of the way they chose to run their city. How did the treatment of women d … iffer between Athens and Sparta? The Pnyx was a hill where the Athenian Ekklesia would meet, with a speaker's platform called the "Bema", A Spartan phalanx at the Battle of Plataea. Hence, let’s look at how did their people obtain the right to participate in public life and make decisions affecting the community, and who held public office first. Women in Sparta are very typical of what one may have imagined a woman of Sparta to have been like. Commonly referred to as the “Spartans”, the warrior class, even caste, of Lacedaemon was but a small fraction of its total population. Government Differences While similar in that both cities utilized an assembly elected by the people, the two cultures also had some key differences in the form of governments they used. Rule by all the male citizens referred to as democracy, which is regarded as Greeks greatest contribution to modern day civilization (Democracy). The first main difference between them was that Athens was more famous for its culture and civilization while Sparta was known for its warrior nature and had a fearsome reputation in those days. In my view, the authority was no longer centralized in the hands of one administrator, more ordinary people got a say in running the governmental affairs through suffrage, and obtained their official posts as well as participated in policy-making, though the majority of them were still upper-class populace. The people of Athens and Sparta were different in many aspects of their political, government and society set up and this showed in the basic way that they conducted their everyday lives. A group of scholars are of the opinion that Rome held a “democratic system, identical to the Athenian”, yet historians like Morstein dispute this theory. In summary, Sparta and Athens may have been in great divergence to each other at their peaks during and around the Golden Age of Greece, but they possessed many parallel relationships in society. It is a center for economic, political, financial and culture life in Greece. 3 years ago. Women were judged on their physique and physical and athletic prowess. In addition, the people of Athens elected generals to lead the military. mspamelalev. On the other hand, they were polar opposites in many aspects, from social spheres, political structures, to military might, which I believe there are some hidden depths in these city-states. Both were centred around the concept of citizenry : a set of free men that have the right to have material possession, to defend their families and their land and to form the elite of the society. As a whole, the five Ephors had the power to overrule the Kings, but tended to keep to religious and militaristic duties. the Roman women from Sparta and the Greek women from Athens were completely different. Also, neither employed the fundamental idea of autocracy – a sole, omnipotent ruler. Then, the people (only male citizens back then) voted and had a huge impact on the resulting laws. In those 1,430 years, one can conclude that politics and laws would have advanced since the time of Babylon. With this in mind though, the structures of Athens’s and Sparta’s governments were not totally dissimilar. Of course, Spartan women did this to a far greater extent to Athenians. The Athenian assembly, known as the “ekklesia”, sat to discuss political, militaristic and social matters and agendas in the pnyx. Greece was truly the leader of political ingenuity due to the many laws, ideas, trade, people, and conflicts. 1. a series of five Ephors were elected by the people and exercised a substantial degree of political power.Women had no rights in either polis, although they enjoyed more freedom in Sparta than in Athens. Key Difference – Athens vs Sparta Athens and Sparta refer to two of the greatest cities of Greece between which many differences can be identified in terms of the lifestyles and value systems. As per the legends of Greece, after the death of his father and then elder brother, the political horizon of Sparta became clouded. Which do you believe gave their citizens more freedom and participation in government? 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