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Sparta: The City That Was Better Than Athens

Sparta: The City That Was Better Than Athens

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Published by Sean Joudry
A report on the culture in Sparta, and why it was a greater city than its rival, Athens. There are various topics discussed throughout the paper.
A report on the culture in Sparta, and why it was a greater city than its rival, Athens. There are various topics discussed throughout the paper.

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Published by: Sean Joudry on Jun 07, 2008
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07/25/2013

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Sparta was the greatest Greek polis in ancient times. For reasons why, read thefollowing. Once you are done reading, you too will agree.The Spartans trained their whole life to become military soldiers and fight. Somemay criticize them for this, saying that they focused too much on military rather than theintellectual side of life. The ancient times was a very tough period of life. You had todefend yourself or risk being destroyed. Instead of wasting time writing, the Spartanstrained, so that they could both defend themselves, and attack others. If Athens invented anew popcorn machine, and the Spartans wanted it, all they would have to do is marchover, fight them, and then seize it. The mind may be power today, but back then, strengthcould get you anything that you wanted. And that is why Spartan society thrived.Whatever Athens had, Sparta could get through military strength.In all of Greece, women were treated with no respect, except for Sparta that is. If you went to Athens, women would be at home, cleaning the house, doing whatever their husbands told them to do. In Sparta, young girls went to school to learn how to read andwrite. And they also had a mind of their own. No, they would not get into large fightswith their husbands, but they did say something if they had a statement on their mind.Women were also psychically trained to that they would stay in shape, they did this bylearning gymnastics. In other Greek states, women had to stay indoors at all times, unlessthey were specifically told to go outside by their husband. That was no the case in Sparta,where women had much more freedom to go where they wanted to. Sparta was one of thefirst societies to give treat women with a fair amount of respect.Homosexuality was very common in Sparta. Many believe that this was the samecase for all of Greece, but it was only widely spread in a small number of Greek states.The men of ancient Sparta were largely homosexual, or bisexual. This may be becausemen grew up with the same group of males throughout their entire life. From when theystarted training at the age of 7, to when they died in battle alongside of them in war.Bisexuality was also fairly common between women. Females would commonly haveaffairs with unmarried, young women.Sparta was a big stickler for perfection, especially when it came to their militaryand soldiers. They believed that if a soldier died in training, that it was for the best because they would never make a good soldier. To separate the strong from the weak,soldiers were trained for over 10 years in sometimes very dangerous tasks. When a childwas born, he or she was check out by a council of advisors. They would look for physicalimperfections on the baby. If they found any, then they would take the child and leavehim in the woods or the mountains. Both men and women were physically trained to havea perfect body. Obesity was not allowed and was rare in Sparta. To be Spartan meant to be perfect.
 
In modern times such as present day, the Spartan government would be greatlycriticized. This is mainly because the people of the Sparta did not have a lot of say of what happens. Because of the grip that the leaders of Sparta had over their polis, theywere able to counteract a rebellion constructed by the helots. The Spartan leaders realizedthat they needed a new reputation, they needed to be taken seriously. So Sparta turnedinto somewhat of a warlike boot camp. Here young men were trained at a young age tofight. These men then became legendary fighting machines. Even though the Spartanarmy was not much bigger than other polis’s armies, they were more feared. The Spartanshad a reputation of being ruthless enemies and city-states feared that they would beattacked by the great Spartans. The Spartans gained respect throughout Greece throughtheir dedication to the art of war, and their skill in it. The Spartan form of governmentmay not be a good form in present day, but in ancient Greece, their government wasmuch more efficient than the Athenian democracy. It was a time of war back then, and theworld was still new. If you were not taken seriously and looked on with respect, youwould perish.The word “Spartan” means ‘bare bones’, or ‘minimal’. This same word can beused to describe the ancient city of Sparta, along with their people. Spartans did not needfood on a regular basis, they did not need a strong iron sword, they made due with whatthey had. It helped that they were trained to do this at such a young age. Athens may still be around present day, but Sparta had enough influence over the world to create its onadjective.The Spartans were descendants of the ‘Dorians’. They were a very warlike race back in their time. The Spartans were very proud of their heritage, and were a stickler for having Dorian blood flowing through them, and this was for a good reason. The Dorianswere reckless and great soldiers. These characteristics are shared among all Spartans. TheSpartans came from a great warriors, what about the Athenians?It was important in Spartan society to produce a son. If a man did not have a son,actions were taken in order to pressure the man into doing so. These men who did nothave sons were called “Agamoi”. These men were excluded from a main Spartan festivalcalled “Gymnopaidai”. This was an important event that the soldiers looked forward to.They were also treated with little respect in society. At public gatherings, they would beforced to give their seats to both younger men, all because they did not have a child. Thiswas good for the Spartan polis, because if men did not continue to have children, theywould soon run out of soldiers. Athens did not have a rule such as this, allowing men toslack off and not contribute to Athenian society if they wished not to.The most important fact about the Spartans is that without them, Greece would bea dead civilization. Back in ancient times when the Persians attacked Greece, Spartafought off around a million troops from Asia. With their immense training, they destroyedthe oncoming Persian threat. If it was not for them, all of Greece would have been

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Rebeka Charles added this note
and athens suck
Rebeka Charles added this note
u r right i loooooooooooooooooooove sparta
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