Greek City States Vs. Modern Greece

1244 Words Nov 9th, 2015 5 Pages
Greek city-states are perfect examples of historian Peter Stearn’s definition of classical civilizations. At the height of its power between the 5th and 4th centuries, Greece’s land included “Asia Minor (in modern Turkey), southern Italy, the island of Sicily, and the Greek islands.” (Hornblower) Most of these territories were independently governed and had strong political systems primarily democracy which was born in Athens and became the basis for modern democratic governments in the United States, France and other nations. Many Greek city-states also developed core traditions in the arts and sciences that endure today. All these factors distinguished Greek city-states from river valley civilizations as Stearns states, but like every society in history, each city-state had its strengths and weaknesses.
For example, there was a wide range of military power because Greek city-states held different views on its importance. During ancient times, Sparta built one of the strongest armies in classical Greece. At the age of seven, all boys were moved from their homes to government barracks where they were trained to be soldiers for 23 years. After that, they were expected to serve in the army for 30 years until they retired at age 60. Sparta had an insatiable appetite for battle and aggressively went after the territories of other city-states, especially the land of its arch-rival Athens.
Like Sparta, Athens was one of the largest and most formidable city-states, but military…
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