Which Was The Dominant Greek City-State, Athens And Sparta?

Submitted By janiceetta2
Words: 708
Pages: 3

Janice Etta
Essay Which was the dominant Greek city-state, Athens or Sparta?

The two cities Athens and Sparta (500 bc- 350bc) were bitter rivals in ancient Greece. The fierce rivalry and influence that they have, often been the subject of comparison. Geographically close but totally different in their values, lifestyle, styles and culture. Athens was the more dominant city-state due to their styles in raising children, government, and overall excellene.
Both were very military like but the Athenians did not take boys from their homes at age seven to be in the army for almost fifty years, like Sparta did. Athenians encouraged education, music, science, and philosophy while Spartans taught their children to lie, to cheat, and to steal. Athens fostered an environment so rich in education that People like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle flourished there. In Sparta, when young boys were born, and if they were not one hundred percent, they would be left out to die.

Spartans took boys from age seven to be in the military and to train for war. They also taught the boys to steal from local markets, yet if they were caught, they would be whipped. Boys most likely never got to see their mothers, sisters, or grandmothers. Where as in Athens, boys go to school and get an education, which they believed was very important in life. Athenian men were required to do two years or more of combat training to make them physically strong in addition to being mentally strong. Although in the rest of the ancient world strong fighters earned all the glory, in Athens, intelligent men and thinkers were honored the most.

Spartans also taught their children to lie, and cheat, to be rude, and to steal, but were conversely punished if they were caught. They believe it did not matter what they were doing, as long as they were not caught. Athenians tried to teach their children to be as honest as possible. When young boys were born in Sparta, if they were not one hundred percent, the Spartans would leave them to die.

In 480 B.C. the Spartans declared the Peloponnesian War because they feared that Athens was expanding their empire too much and was going to take over all of Greece. The Spartans went to Athens and waited outside of the city for the Athenians to come out and fight. The Athenians waited patiently hoping the Spartans would leave, but the Spartans began to burn all the crops around Athens, hoping they would starve and be obligated to admit defeat. This was an unfair war tactic, and not something people within the same country should do to each other. Unfortunately for Sparta, the Athenian navy escorted ships to Athens, bringing plenty of food for the Athenians, and the Spartans were