Ancient Greece was made up of small city states, of which Sparta and Athens were two. Athens was celebrated as a center of wisdom and learning. The people of Athens were interested in arts, music, and intellectual pursuits. Sparta, on the other hand, was recognized for its brute military strength. The Spartans focus was on the state. They lived and died to serve the state. Although the competing city states of Sparta and Athens were seemingly polar opposites, as well as
governmentally diverse, they both managed to become dominating powers in Ancient Greece.
Athens became a democracy under the rule of Solon in 594 B.C. Under the democracy, Athens entered its golden age, becoming a center of understanding and knowledge. The Spartans also entered their golden age with the formation of their military state. This military state was established to control the people they had conquered, namely, the Messenians. The Spartans turned them into agricultural slaves, forcing them to work the land while they reaped the benefits. Thus, while Athens was liberating everyone by becoming a democracy, Sparta was
enslaving people for its own profit. Athenian children started their education at age seven. They learned to write, do simple arithmetic and learned to read through spoken
word. They were taught to value government, education, poetry and
music. They received physical training in wrestling and basic
strategic combat. However, the main focus of their education was to
prepare young men to one day lead a democracy. The goal was to become
influential through the use of politics and persuasion. In the
military, a soldier's rank was decided by his social or economic.
Defined by income, each class had a certain measure of political
responsibility. The wealthiest class, supplied the army with leaders.
The second class made up the Athenian cavalry. The third class, made
up the foot soldier. Finally, the poorest class, served either as
oarsmen for the Athenian...