Difference Between Athens and Sparta

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: October 16, 2023


Difference Between Athens and Sparta

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Athens and Sparta have been, at one point, the two most effective city-states in Ancient Greece. They got here into warfare within the Peloponnesian battle in 431 BC, which raged on for 28 years.

Athens officially became the main town in Ancient Greece in the first millennium BC, but people were dwelling there many years before this. Over the years, Athens has fluctuated in terms of electricity and affluence, but, overall, has been a prominent city throughout history.

During the Middle Ages, as an example, Athens went through a length of decline, which it only started to recover from beneath the Byzantine Empire. It became prominent all over again, then, all through the Crusades as Athens benefited substantially from Italian trade. The Ottoman Empire added approximately a period of decline for Athens that lasted a long term. The city did in the end recover, but, and came back at some point in the 19th century because of the capital of the independent Greek state.

It is thought that Sparta became at the start based by way of its first king, Lacedaemon, in around one thousand BC. Lacedaemon became the son of Zeus and Taygete and the town got its name from his wife, who became the daughter of Eurotas. The rise of Sparta took place after the Trojan War. Tradition tells us that, after this war, a set of human beings known as the Dorians commenced to migrate from the north, which would result in Sparta’s upward push for power. From this factor on, Sparta emerged as a large army energy, an opponent of the Persian Empire, and ultimately the conqueror of Athens.

Sparta underwent a period in which it conquered a variety of different kingdoms and commenced conflicts with diverse groups. This all culminated with Sparta becoming a main empire in around 400 BC. The upward push of Sparta became synonymous with the autumn of Athens, as the two most important empires fought it out within the Peloponnesian battle. The city of Sparta, notwithstanding conquering Athens in war, was subsequently destroyed during the medieval period by using a slew of invasions.

Athens v. Sparta

Athens and Sparta were powerhouses of Ancient Greek society. On one hand, Athens changed into, and nonetheless is, the capital town of Greece, and additionally the biggest town inside the country. Athens, as such, operated as a hub of the economic, political, monetary, and cultural affairs in Greece. The city changed into also symbolic of freedom, art, and democracy for the civilized global. Athens's picture of enlightenment and culture may be traced returned to the metropolis’s call, which originates from Athena, the goddess of understanding and understanding.

In contrast to this, Sparta changed into a much smaller metropolis. That was positioned near the river Eurotas, within the coronary heart of the Peloponnese in the south of Greece. Whilst Athens turned into the house of freedom, Sparta became the Dorian Greek navy country and was responsible for the protection of Greece. Sparta provided a big navy to guard Greece for several years.

Difference between Athens and Sparta in Tabular Form

Basis of DifferenceAthensSparta
Population& MapApproximately 140,000; Approximately forty, thousand  40,000 men have been residents; and slaves (approximately forty,40,000). By 432 BC, Athens had emerged as the most populous metropolis-kingdom in Hellas. In Athens and Attica, there have been as a minimum 150,000 Athenians, around 50,000 aliens, and more than hundred,100,000 slaves.Approximately 8,000 Spartiates (adult male citizens) ruled over a populace of hundred,000enslaved and semi-enslaved humans.
Government and political organizationsAthenian Government Usually labeled as a "direct democracy"(due to the fact anyone, no longer just politicians attended the Assembly), Athens claims to be the “birthplace of democracy".Elected officials including10 generals (strategus),magistrate (archons), and others.The Council of 500 became charged with administering decisions made by using the Assembly.The Assembly is open to all residents (all citizens were eligible to attend such conferences and speak up). They surpassed laws and made policy decisions. The Assembly met on the Hill of Thanx at the foot of the Acropolis.During the time of Pericles, citizens had been paid for jury careers so not the wealthy could participate. Women did not take part in the political lifestyles of Athens.Spartan Government: Usually categorized as an "oligarchy" (rule through some), but it had elements of the monarchy (rule by kings), democracy (through the election of council/senators), and aristocracy (rule by the top elegance or land-owning elegance).Two kings who have been generals in command of the armies and with some religious duties.Five overseers (ephors) elected annually ran the everyday operations of Sparta. They ought to veto rulings made via the councilor meeting.Council or Senate (paella) of 28 councilmen (guys over 60 and elected for life via the citizens) and the two kings. They acted as judges and proposed legal guidelines to the citizens' assembly. The An assembly of all Spartan males aged 30 or over could help or veto the council’s recommendations by shouting out their votes.Women did not participate in the political life of Sparta.
Social StructureFreemen were all male citizens: divided into several instructions: at the pinnacle were aristocrats who had huge estates and made up the cavalry or captained triremes; center ranks were small farmers; the lowest  class changed into the thetas (city craftsmen and trireme rowers).Metrics- individuals who came from outside the town; they have been not allowed townland, but could run industries and businesses.Slaves had the lowest magnificence but were less harshly dealt with than in most different Greek towns. Slaves had no rights, and a proprietor should kill a slave. Slaves various in repute: some were given important roles in Athens, like policemen. The video player is presently gambling on an ad. Women were rarely visible outdoor the home and had no rights within the Athenian democracy.Social Structure of Sparta: Three instructions: Spartans (military professionals who lived often in barracks and whose land was farmed through serfs; they served inside the army and voted).Peri oeci or "friends/outsiders" who were freemen; they blanketed artisans, craftsmen, and merchants; they could not vote to serve within the military; foreigners would be in this class.Helots (serfs descended from those peoples who had resisted subjugation by Sparta and who were continuously rebelling. They had been handled like slaves and gave 1/2 of their produce to the Spartiate citizens who owned the land. Women had few rights but were more independent in Sparta than elsewhere in Greece
Military strengthStrong army.A strong navy, quality, and most feared fighters on land.
Lifestyle and valuesDemocratic values for residents. They believed in participation in authorities as a civic responsibility. Athenians believed in the cultural superiority of their position in an empire and benefiting from alternate. (See Pericles' Funeral Oration showing these values.) "Further, we provide many approaches to refresh the mind from the burdens of business. We preserve contests and offer sacrifices all year round, and the elegance of our non-public institutions forms a day-by-day source of satisfaction and allows us to power away sorrow. The magnitude of our town attracts the produce of the world into our harbor so that to the Athenian the culmination of different international locations are as acquainted a luxury as the ones of his own."Spartan subculture: Militaristic values. Children of citizens had been raised to be "Spartan”, and taught to get in conjunction with almost not nothing. Spartiate residents were not authorized to own gold silver or luxuries. Spartan children have been taught to recognize the elderly, girls, and warriors. [The strict separation of classes and the militaristic system was put into place by Lycurgus in the 7th century BC.]Spartan mothers might say to their sons, “Either come again with your defines or on it"(which means return triumphant or die preventing). This lifestyle change into praised by Xenophon, a historical historian c. 375 BCE.
EducationBoys: Schools taught studying, writing mathematics, song, poetry, recreation, and gymnastics. Based upon their beginning and the wealth of their mother and father, the duration of education was from the age of five to fourteen, for the wealthier five -18 and once in a while right into a scholar's mid-twenties in an academy wherein they would also study philosophy, ethics, and rhetoric (the ability of persuasive public speak me). Finally, the citizen boys entered a military training camp for two years, till the age of twenty. Foreign meticas slaves have been not anticipated to attain anything but a simple schooling in Greece, however have been not excluded from it either. Girls: Girls obtained little formal schooling(except perhaps within the aristocrats' homes through tutors); they were generally stored at home and had no political electricity in Athens. The education of a lady involved spinning, weaving, and other domestic art.Boys: Boys have been taken from dad and mom at age seven and educated inside the artwork of warfare. They have been best providing a cloak - no footwear or other garments, and now not sufficient food so they had to scouse borrow (to study survival capabilities). At age 20 they had been positioned into better ranks of the navy. To age 30 they have been dedicated to the state; then they may marry but still lived in barracks with different infantrymen. They were educated in choral dance, reading, and writing, but athletics and navy training were emphasized.Girls: Girls were educated at age 7 in analyzing and writing, gymnastics, athletics, and survival abilities. Could take part in sports; dealt with more as equals.
Role of womenAthenian girls:  Athenian girls and girls had been saved at home Spartan ladies and the role of Spartanladies:with no participation in sports activities or politics. Wives were taken into consideration the assets of their husbands. They had been answerable for spinning, weaving, and other home arts. Some women held high posts inside the ritual events and religious lifestyles of Athens (where the goddess Athena changed into the purchaser). Prostitutes and courtesans were not limited to the house. Some have become influential inclusive Aspasia (see 'Character Stories section of this Web web page).Girls were knowledgeable in analyzing and writing and could take part in sports activities; they were treated extra as equals to guys. The goal was to supply ladies who might produce strong healthy infants. At age 18 she would be assigned a husband and go back domestic. Citizen women had been loose to transport around and enjoyed a remarkable deal of freedom. Domestic arts (weaving, spinning, and so on.)were usually left to the alternative classes. Spartan women should own and manage their property. In instances of war, the spouse was expected to supervise her husband's property and to shield it in opposition to invaders and revolts until her husband again.

What is Sparta?

Sparta started as a metropolis-nation of farmers. As the population grew, Spartans wished for greater land to farm. To get greater, they invaded their neighbors, the Messenians. After an extended warfare, they finally conquered the rich land of Messenia in 715 and made the Messenians their slaves. The Messenians outnumbered the Spartans by 10–1. Treated brutally, the Messenians rose in rebellion in 650. It took almost 30 years for the Spartans to put down the rebellion. The riot changed  Sparta forever. Spartans felt that they had to control the Messenians.

They noticed the best manner to try this: They constructed a sturdy army, which every male Spartan needed to be a part of. The education lasted nearly a lifetime. At birth, unfit babies were left to die. At age 7, boys left home and lived in barracks. They underwent education to make them robust and fearless. They made their very own clothes and prepared their very own meals. They found out how to fend for themselves.

At age 20, they went inside the navy. For the next 10 years, they remained in barracks as soldiers. They needed to get married at 20 but did not stay with their wives until age 30. They remained inside the army until 60. Older men inspired the younger men. If duty is known as they replied. The Spartan military changed into the fiercest in Greece.

Since the guy’s most effective activity was to fight, this left a maximum of the opposite paintings to slaves and ladies. Slaves (and some loose non-Spartans) tended the fields and did chores. Because Spartans feared another slave rise, they did not allow slaves to exit at night

With the men away for see you later, the girls took rate. As in other Greek city-states, they could not vote or keep a workplace. But they might own land and even visit court docket. Women-owned about one-0.33 of Spartan land. They married older (age 18) than different Greeks. They have been acknowledged for status up to their husbands. A well-known Greek creator said that “the men of Sparta usually obeyed their wives.”

Another Greek idea Spartan girls were shameless. They went out in public, talked with other people, and did not cover their legs. They exercised difficult and competed in sports.

Like their husbands, they dedicated their lives to Sparta. They wore no jewelry or fancy clothes. They married to have kids who would fight for Sparta. It turned into saying that Spartan moms had a simple message whilst their sons left for war: “Come domestic with your project or upon it.” In other words, return with the navy alive or be killed in battle. Life in Sparta was tough and stupid. Even the food tended to be equal daily. One outsider after tasting Spartan meals stated, “Now I recognize why Spartans don’t fear death.”

The authorities of Sparta consisted of a Council of 30. The council had 28 elders, who served for existence, and two kings. The kings led the military. A citizen meeting elected five leaders, called “ephors,” every year. The ephors had general strength at some stage in their time in office. They should even arrest the kings or elders.

What is Athens?

Athens became specific in nearly every way. Spartans did as they had been told. Athenians loved their freedom. Sparta was dominated by way of a pick few. Athenians were their very own rulers.

They debated and voted on laws in the Assembly. In their democracy, Athenians had obligations. They needed to obey the legal guidelines, serve in the army, assist in running the town, pay taxes, and serve on juries. A jury consisted of 500 or more citizens. If an Athenian broke the law or failed to stay as much as his obligations as a citizen, he may be ostracized. This meant that he was forced to depart Athens for 10 years.

The land around Athens became tough to farm. Athenians grew olive timber and grapes, however needed to import meals from other places. They constructed a trading society, selling olives, grapes, wine, pottery, and different goods. Athenians had been referred to as pleasant craftsmen and artisans.

The town of Athens impressed every person. Its buildings and statues are nevertheless famous nowadays. Homes of the rich had courtyards and large rooms. Most humans, however, lived in simple houses. Men spent most of the daytime outdoors in the house. They worked.

They went to the market. They frolicked in the streets. They performed sports activities and talked in the gym. They went to the theatre and saw plays. When it was dark, they went home to consume and sleep.

Women had been predicted to live at home and do housework. They cleaned, cooked, and wove fabric. When a husband had guests, the wife changed into imagined to disappear into any other part of the house. If girls ventured out of the residence, they protected themselves and wore veils to hide their faces. Rich women seldom left the house. Poorer ladies had to work outdoors the home.

Like most of the historical world, Athens had slaves, who were captured in wars. About one hundred,10.000 male and female slaves made up about a third of the population. Almost every home had as a minimum one slave. The rich may have 50. Even so, different Greeks complained that Athenians dealt with their slaves as equals.

This turned into not actual, however, they did deal with them better than the Spartans handled their slaves. Every 12 months, Athenians held many fairs and contests. The wealthy paid for his or her fees. One competition venerated Dionysus, the god of wine and consumption. Among different merrymaking at this pageant, Athenians watched performances and judged which changed into great tragedy and comedy. The Theatre of Dionysus held 17,000 human beings. The performers wore massive masks and a chorus of actors spoke many strains.

As a trading metropolis, Athens despatched its guys to sea. To guard its ships, it built an army. In time, it evolved into the finest naval power in Greece. It slowly gained manipulate over different town-states.

Difference between Athens and Sparta in Points

Beliefs and Culture

Both Athens and Sparta had very exceptional relationships with the alternative empires in Greece at the time. Despite having a reputation because of the extra unstable of the 2, Sparta changed into happy enough to offer the empires with their army every time they wished. This is why Sparta has become known as the protector of Greek human beings. Athens, on the other hand, changed into strength-hungry and wanted to take as lots control over Greece as they may. This preference led them to have an opposing relationship with the alternative Greek empires. It turned into this bold attitude that led to war among the Greeks.

A factor of similarity between Athens and Sparta was that they were both known as extraordinary ‘thinkers’. Both empires worshipped their respective gods and promoted a tradition of recognition among their people. The way of life of Athens and Sparta also shared some similarities. The empires shared a love of beauty, tune, literature, drama, philosophy, politics, artwork, and sports activities.

The primary distinction between the two empires lies in their political values. Whilst the Spartans had a militaristic approach to politics, the Athenians operated on a democratic gadget of the presidency. In Sparta, the most essential aspect was to benefit and manage the kingdoms of Greece and make their power as an awful lot as feasible. However, for the Athenians, the emphasis became also on developing the infrastructures of their town.


Life in Athens and Sparta was an area wherein the two empires differed significantly.

The Spartans led a simple lifestyle, in which the army emphasis would be felt through each member of society. Boys, for example, would be compelled to enroll in the navy at a younger age, and all other styles of schooling have been forgone. Spartan society revolved around developing and developing the navy strength of the empire. Sparta turned into also a completely insular kingdom, and interplay with the outside global became, as such, very confined. In the evaluation of this, Athens was an area of excellent subculture and cutting-edge wondering. Athenians placed an awful lot much less significance on the military, and other styles of training had been no longer just to be had, however, advocated. Children in Athens had entry to several different kinds of arts and science schooling, which is why the city produced so many revolutionary pupils.


Athens and Sparta are both in Greece, so the climate didn’t range an excessive amount, but there have been some key variations between the 2. Athens became domestic to Mediterranean weather, in which there would be a giant quantity of rainfall. On the turn side, Sparta had reasonably temperate weather, but it was extraordinarily dry. For this purpose, water becomes sparse in Sparta.

Women in Athens and Sparta

The position of ladies in Athens and Sparta was very one-of-a-kind. In Athens, the family was of extraordinary importance, and ladies were predicted to be legally dependent on the guys in their existence, first their father, and then their husband. This brought about many regulations over Athenian girls’ lives, such as the reality that they could not own any belongings of their own.

In contrast, in Sparta, girls had rights that other girls in Greece did not have. Spartan girls had been considered as robust, impartial people and, as such, did not have to depend on the men of their lives. This also intended that, unlike Athenian ladies, they could personal their very own belongings.


Comparing Two City-States Its area close to the ocean made it easier for Athens to develop relationships with different metropolis-states. Sparta’s inland place and its subculture made it more remote than Athens. The human beings of Athens valued art, tradition, and schooling. The people of Sparta valued electricity, simplicity, and navy talents.

Government Athens became a democracy, although the handiest unfastened men may want to participate in authorities. Sparta became primarily a military nation. Its government became an oligarchy wherein a few men held most of the energy.

Economy The economy of Athens depended on change with different town-states and numerous foreign lands. The Spartan financial system relied on farming and conquest. Sparta trusted slaves and other noncitizens to provide for a lot of its wishes. Education In Athens, boys were knowledgeable enough to be correct citizens. Education balanced book getting to know and bodily training. Girls learned abilities for dealing with the household. In Sparta, boys and girls alike have been knowledgeable to shield the city-state. Spartan boys started their army schooling at age 7, and men served in the military till age 60. Women and Slaves In Athens, girls and slaves had a ways fewer rights than men had. Spartan girls had greater rights than different Greek ladies, including owning belongings.


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"Difference Between Athens and Sparta." Diffzy.com, 2024. Fri. 19 Jul. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-athens-and-sparta>.

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