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Athenian Democracy vs.

Spartan Oligarchy
Created By: Murali Shanmuga and
Benjamin Blum

Athenian Democracy & the Assembly

Democracy - Power of the citizens who hold political
The assembly was for all citizens who would vote on an
issue, of course discussing the issue first.
The citizens at the assembly were all free adult males.
Eventually, they payed citizens to come because some poor
citizens werent coming because they didnt want to take
time away from working.

Council of 500 & Citizenship

They Prepared the issues to be voted on by the assembly

They Enforced assembly decisions
The citizens were Chosen randomly by lottery
They Met together in circular Tholes.
Selected every year with small white and black marbles
Men only gained citizenship.
Women, slave, metics, and children weren't considered

The Juries

Minimum of 200 citizens, but, could go up to as much as

They held trials to decide if people were guilty for
something or not.
The citizens or juries were paid to participate
The Trials didnt last longer than a day
They used water clocks to keep track of the time of the

Spartan Oligarchy & the assembly

Oligarchy - A group of people that rule and hold political

Only the men who had finished the training up to the age
of 30 with no dishonor could attend the assembly.
The assembly was for electing Public officials (council of
elders) and passing laws .
But the only laws they could vote on, had to be suggested
by the council of elders.
The council of elders basically had total power over the
assembly, they could even change decisions of the
assembly that they determined were inappropriate.

Ephors & Kings

5 ephors are elected every year by the Assembly

Watched meetings of the Assembly and Gerousia
They can overrule kings
No man can serve more than once
They made sure that the kings and the military obeyed the
There were two kings incase one died, the other one can
replace the dead king
The kings come from two aristocratic families.
The king's family is not military trained.

Council of Elders and Spartan


Wrote laws for assembly and controlled the assembly in

Elected by the assembly
Most powerful element of spartan government
Made up of 28 men over the age of 60 and two kings
Elders serves for their whole life
They are usually men from rich families
Citizens were only males who completed the training
through the age of 30 without dishonor
Non-citizens were everyone else which includes women,
children, slaves, and males who didnt finish their
training through the age of 30

Athens and Sparta Both had an assembly. Sparta had two
kings but, Athens didn't have any kings because Sparta was an
Oligarchy but athens was a Democracy. So, there wouldnt be
kings because the people had the Political power. But, in
sparta, a group of people had the Political Power. The most
democratic part of the Athenian government is the assembly.
Thats because all of the citizens could participate. Everyone
single free male had a say in the issues passed on from the
council of 500.