Compare And Contrast Sparta And Athens

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Sparta and Athens were the main polis of Greece during the archaic and classical period. They were different, but both were so important that even today they are one of the most studied subjects in all schools. Sparta was an oligarchy, in which a small circle of people possessed political power. In particular, in Sparta, the most important political figures were: the two kings, coming from two different families (Le Agiadi and the Erypontidi), the Ephors, the Gerousia and the popular assembly. The two kings, unlike what is generally thought, didn't have much influence, and were flanked by the Ephors in the performance of executive functions. The Ephors, were five magistrates, elected by the people, who remained in office for a year. The Ephors had been created to balance the powers of kings, but in many cases they dominated. In addition, they dealt with judicial affairs, military organization, international relations and convened the Gerousia. This latter was an elite senior council, and was made up of 30 members, who were elected by the popular assembly between Spartan aristocrats, who were at least 60 years old. The Gerousia judged betrayal and the most serious crimes of blood, imposed fines…show more content…
Women and all other men, whether they were slaves or foreigners, did not have the opportunity to participate in the political life of the cities, except in extraordinary cases. Another similarity concerns the popular assembly, which exists in both Sparta and Athens. However, it does not have the same powers in both. Another dissimilarity between the two cities concerned the role and importance of citizens. In fact, Athens represented the state at the service of the individual, while in Sparta, it was the individual who was at the service of the homeland

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