Describe the Social, Cultural and Political Features of Classical Athens and Ancient Sparta

2311 Words Jun 5th, 2013 10 Pages
Greece in ancient times had many social, political and cultural features, including: religion, society, government and warfare. Two powerhouses of Ancient Greece were the cities of Athens and Sparta, who led Greece in many of their endevours.

Early Sparta and Athens was a building process with many ups and down of which they learnt how to run their cities. Early Sparta did not have enough land to support it's growing population, so they conquered the neighbouring state of Messinia and doubled the amount of land that they had control of. Sparta then experienced a period of great wealth and power in the Greek region until, the Messinian people who had been enslaved by the Spartans revolted wanting their freedom and land back. It took
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In opposition to the Spartans, Athenians lived very social lives. They spent there days in the agora; to meet family and friends, wander around to see foreign foods or go to the boarder to gossip. Other actives include; exercise in the 'palestra', relaxing in public baths, festivals and parties. Gambling and drinking however, were the chief activities in the night such as cock fighting and games of dice. Socially, Sparta and Athens had many things in common however, they also came into conflict about many aspects of social life.

Citizenship in Athens and Sparta had their similarities however, were in-fact quite different. Citizenship in Sparta was generally only for males but not all men living in the city state could be citizens. In order to be accepted as a full Spartan citizen one had to; show that both parents were descended from the original Dorian's, completed all six stages of the 'agoge', which was the Spartan military and educational system and be a member of the 'syssitia' a military club. Spartan citizens were called 'homoioi' meaning peers or equal and were full-time soldiers, forbidden to do any other work. Total loyalty was expected to the state and authority. Other requirements included: being physical fit and prepared for war, they were expected to attend the assembly to vote on issues and any man would much rather prefer death that defeat in war. In Athens, to prove citizen eligibility, an