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Comparing Athens And Sparta

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The Greek city states of Athens and Sparta were very different in terms of their governments. Athens was at first an oligarchy, however, later transitioned to a direct democracy. Sparta, in contrast, combined a monarchy with an oligarchy, including elements of democracy. The first difference was who held the most power. Athens had a Council of 500 and an Assembly; the Council of 500 proposed possible laws for Assembly consideration, however, the Assembly proposed, debated, and voted on laws, therefore it was the more powerful group. Sparta had a Council of Elders, five Ephors, and an Assembly. The Council proposed and debated laws, and the Assembly voted on them; since there was no debate or discussion in the Assembly, the Council of Elders…show more content…
Since Sparta was a military state, the primary purpose of education was to create soldiers who did what they were told. As soon as children born, it was determined if they would live or die. Greek historian and biographer Plutarch explains, “their [elders of the tribe] business it was carefully to view the infant, and, if they found it stout and well made, they gave order for its rearing...but, if they found it puny and ill-shaped, ordered it to be taken to what was called Apothetae, a sort of chasm under Taygetus; as thinking it neither for the good of the child itself, nor for the public interest,” (Doc J) Children were deemed unfit if they were “puny” or “ill-shaped” and could in no way benefit society. This is immensely foolish, however, to judge individuals as infants. Because these children are so young and still have so much potential, there is no telling what they may achieve in the future; even if the child is a puny infant, it may grow up to be a fine soldier. In another account, Plutarch emphasises, “...so that the whole course of education was one of continued exercise of a ready and perfect obedience...Reading and writing they gave them [Spartan boys] just enough to serve their turn; their chief care was to make them good subjects, and reach them to endure pain and conquer battle.” (Doc H) Spartan children started their education at age 7, and starting at such a young age allowed for immediate brainwashing. Creating soldiers was easy enough, however, they needed soldiers who were obedient, loyal to the state, who did not think for themselves. New ideas were highly discouraged, and children were stripped of individual identities. Spartan education turned young boys into fierce soldiers, and free thinking individuals into obedient subjects. Unlike Sparta, Athens was not a city-state for war, but it valued philosophy, literature, and the arts. Though schooling in Athens was not as
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