Sparta And Athens Essay Conclusion


No treatment of the main period of Greek civilization should end without emphasizing the continuity both with what went before and with what came after. Continuity is clearest in the sphere of religion, which may be said to have been “embedded” in Greek life. Some of the gods alleged to have been relatively late imports into Greece can in fact be shown to have Mycenaean origins. For instance, one Athenian myth held that Dionysus was a latecomer, having been introduced into Attica from Eleutherae in the 6th century. There is reference to Dionysus (or di-wo-no-so-jo), however, on Linear B tablets from the 2nd millennium bce.

Looking forward, Dionysus’s statue was to be depicted in a grand procession staged in Alexandria in the 3rd century bce by Ptolemy II Philadelphus. (The iconographic significance of the king’s espousal of Dionysus becomes clear in light of the good evidence that in some sense Alexander the Great had identified himself with Dionysus in Carmania.) Nor was classical Dionysus confined to royal exploitation: it has been shown that the festivals of the City Dionysia at Athens and the deme festival of the Rural Dionysia were closely woven into the life of the Athenian empire and the Athenian state. Another Athenian, Euripides, represented Dionysus in a less tame and “official” aspect in the Bacchae; the Euripidean Dionysus has more in common with the liberating Dionysus of Carmania or with the socially disruptive Dionysus whose worship the Romans in 186 bce were to regulate in a famous edict. The longevity and multifaceted character of Dionysus symbolizes the tenacity of the Greek civilization, which Alexander had taken to the banks of the Oxus but which in many respects still carried the marks of its Archaic and even prehistoric origins.

Simon Hornblower

Women, Slaves, and Other Non-Citizens in Athens and Sparta

Athens: In Athens, non-citizens, which included women and slaves, had few rights. Non-citizens could not hold government positions or own property in any way.

Usually women in Athens stayed at home, did housework, and supervised slaves. A few women could become priestesses, but that was as far as she could go professionally.

Slaves lived various different lives in Athens. Some slaves were trained as craftsmen, while others worked in factories or farms. A few slaves worked as clerks, and the unluckiest had to work in silver mines. People could become slaves by being born into slavery, being prisoners of war, or having to sell themselves into slavery due to farm debts.

Sparta: In Sparta non-citizens were women, slaves (called the helots), and Perioikoi (free men, usually foreigners).

Spartan women were very different from women in other parts of Greece because they received tough physical training. This was because the women were expected to look after their husbands property during times of war against invaders or a slave revolt. They also did not wear jewelry or perfume, since those items were seen as corrupting. Another way Spartan women differed from women from the other city-states was that the Spartan women had many rights women from other city-states did not have. The Spartan women could own property, speak with their husband's friends, and even marry another man if their husbands had been away at war for too long.

Spartan slaves, called, helots, did all the farming for the Spartans. The helots had the right to choose who they married, to sell extra crops after filling their quotas, and to buy their freedom if they had saved up enough money from the surplus crops. However, even with these rights, a helot’s life was not pleasant. Because the helots outnumbered the Spartans 20 to one, the Spartans feared the helots would revolt against them one day. Because of this, the Spartans treated the helots harshly. Once a year the Spartans declared war on the helots and freely killed them, so the helots would be scared of the Spartans and wouldn't rebel.

The final non-citizen class in Sparta was the periokoi, who were free men who were not citizens of Sparta. The periokoi might serve in the army, but they could not hold government posts. The perioikoi primarily manufactured goods for the Spartans including cloaks, shoes, weapons, and pottery. The periokoi also conducted some of Sparta’s trade.

Conclusion: The Primary Similarities and Differences between Athens and Sparta

The Spartans and Athenians were very different groups of people. The Spartans were militaristic people who valued strength and simplicity. They ran under an oligarchic government, were the military superpower of Greece, and relied on farming and conquering.

The Athenians, on the other hand, had a strong culture and a well-rounded society. They ran the first democracy in the world, were proud of their art and culture, and relied on trade. These two city-states were great civilizations, and working together they could possibly have achieved more than we can imagine. However this would never happen because greed and jealousy pitted the two superpowers of ancient Greece head-to-head in ferocious civil war and led to the end of Greece as it once was.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *