“Ancient Greece in 431 BC was not a nation. It was a large collection of [autonomous] rival city-states located on the Greek mainland, on the west coast of Asia Minor, and on the many islands of the Aegean Sea. Most of the city-states had become allied with one or the other of the leading military powers, Athens and Sparta” (thinkquest). Athens was an imperialist state that had colonies in Asia Minor, along the coastlines of the Black Sea as well as in the Western Mediterranean it was also the most populated city-state within Greece. Democratization of Athens began in 507 BC, Athenian government did away with their primordial form of governance in which tyranny was prevalent, and adopted the current position of having a democratic government. Each month, 500 individual Athenian citizens were chosen to form councils in order to discuss and decide on political matters. Under the leadership of Pericles, Athens formed alliances with numerous Grecian city-states. “Author historian Donald Kagan says the members [of the Delian League] included about 20 members from the Greek islands, 36 Ionian city-states, 35 from the Hellespont, 24 from around Caria, and 33 from around Thrace, making it primarily an organization of the Aegean islands and coast” (Gill). This alliance in which Athens claimed its spot at the top, was referred to as the Delian League. Spartan’s fear of the spread of Athenian supremacy escalated when the Delian League later became known as the Athenian Empire. Unlike Sparta, Athens had the most powerful naval force throughout all of Greece and as a result was respected by those inferior to Athenian supremacy.
Sparta’s government on the other hand, was an oligarchy. During this particular point in time, Sparta was “ruled by two kings, an assembly of elders, and an assembly of