Ancient Greece: Athens and Sparta

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Ancient Greece was a land made up by a series of city-states. The two most well-known of those city-states were Athens and Sparta. Traditionally, Athens is viewed as a peaceful place where learning and culture were the main activities of its citizens while Sparta was considered an aggressive culture determined to be the military power in the Greek area. Unlike the typical Athenian who spent his days reading and learning the typical Spartan concerned himself with the activities of the state and preparing himself for war or so tradition says. Both Athens and Sparta became city-states at relatively the same time but developed differently (McDowell, 1986). Under the rule of their enlightened ruler, Solon, Athens formed a democracy that would become a model for all subsequent democracies. Athens was ruled by its citizens and, as indicated earlier, became a world center for culture and learning. In Sparta, a different approach was adopted. The Spartan city-state developed as a military-state and began the process of enslaving as many other people in the area as possible. The Spartan citizenry spent little time on matters concerning culture or learning; instead, all Spartan young men were expected to enter military school at a young age and dedicate themselves to a life characterized by discipline and obedience. Living in a violent age it was not possible for Athenians to completely ignore military affairs but the Athenian military was much different than the Spartan
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