Classical Athens Vs Sparta

668 Words3 Pages
Ancient Athens and Sparta were about as different as Greek city-states could be. Athens was rich with culture, paving the way for theater, music, poetry and democracy. Alternatively, Sparta was strictly militarized, spent no time on the arts, and was governed by an oligarchy. But despite their differences, their governments did have some similarities. To be able to participate in public life and pass the legislature in Athens was a bit easier than it was in Sparta. Cleisthenes tries to establish a system of equality within Athenian government. This system of legal equality was called "Isonomia.” This meant that not just the aristocracy had the right to pass legislature, but all free male citizens of Attica could participate. There were, however,…show more content…
This assembly was called the Ecclesia. Though this system was not perfect at first. Cleisthenes started to make changes to the "boule”, which was in charge of passing or rejecting legislature. According to Dr. Brand (n.d.), "Before 507 BCE, even this power…show more content…
Nearly all of the Spartan males were born and raised to become disciplined soldiers. This strict lifelong training left little time, as the life expectancy wasn't much longer than 35 years old, to become politicians.This didn't mean there was no government. But unlike Athens, Sparta was under the control of the aristocratic few. "True power was in the hands of an "elder council” of men over 60 called the Gerousia and five magistrates called Ephors who were elected annually and served for one year terms in office” (Brand, n.d. page, 9). There were also two kings that came from royal families with two famous lineages. They ruled separately, as one stayed in Sparta while the other followed Sparta's armies out on the battlefield. While the Ephors was mostly made up of aristocrats, there was opportunity for non-aristocratic males to become an Ephor. However, they were often useless politicians and under the thumb of their richer counterparts. While they were reelected every year, the Gerousia were in political power for life after their election at 60. All legislatures had to pass in front of the exclusive and elite group of

More about Classical Athens Vs Sparta

Open Document