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They believed in participation in government as a civic responsibility. Athenians believed in their cultural superiority and in their role in an empire and benefiting from trade. See Pericles' Funeral Oration showing these values. We hold contests and offer sacrifices all the year round, and the elegance of our private establishments forms a daily source of pleasure and helps to drive away sorrow.

History of Ancient Sparta | Live Science

The magnitude of our city draws the produce of the world into our harbor, so that to the Athenian the fruits of other countries are as familiar a luxury as those of his own. Spartan culture: Militaristic values. Children of citizens were raised to be "Spartan", taught to get along with almost nothing. Spartiate citizens were not permitted to own gold or silver or luxuries. Spartan children were taught to respect elderly, women, and warriors. This lifestyle was praised by Xenophon , an ancient historian c.

Boys: Schools taught reading, writing and mathematics, music, poetry, sport and gymnastics. Based upon their birth and the wealth of their parents, the length of education was from the age of 5 to 14, for the wealthier 5 - 18 and sometimes into a student's mid-twenties in an academy where they would also study philosophy, ethics, and rhetoric the skill of persuasive public speaking.

Greek City-States

Finally, the citizen boys entered a military training camp for two years, until the age of twenty. Foreign metics and slaves were not expected to attain anything but a basic education in Greece, but were not excluded from it either. Girls: Girls received little formal education except perhaps in the aristocrats' homes through tutors ; they were generally kept at home and had no political power in Athens. The education of a girl involved spinning, weaving, and other domestic art.

Ancient Greece

Boys: Boys were taken from parents at age seven and trained in the art of warfare. They were only give a cloak - no shoes or other clothes, and not enough food so they had to steal to learn survival skills. At age 20 they were placed into higher ranks of the military. To age 30 they were dedicated to the state; then they could marry but still lived in barracks with other soldiers.

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They were educated in choral dance, reading and writing, but athletics and military training were emphasized. Girls: Girls were educated at age 7 in reading and writing, gymnastics, athletics and survival skills. Could participate in sports; treated more as equals.

Role of women. Athenian women: Athenian women and girls were kept at home with no participation in sports or politics. Wives were considered property of their husbands. They were were responsible for spinning, weaving and other domestic arts. Some women held high posts in the ritual events and religious life of Athens where the goddess Athena was the patron. Prostitutes and courtesans were not confined to the house. Some became influential such as Aspasia see the 'Character Stories section of this Web site. Spartan women and the role of Spartan women : Girls were educated in reading and writing and could participate in sports; they were treated more as equals to men.

The goal was to produce women who would produce strong healthy babies. At age 18 she would be assigned a husband and return home. Citizen women were free to move around and enjoyed a great deal of freedom.

The ancient Greeks at war

Domestic arts weaving, spinning, etc. Spartan women could own and control their own property. In times of war the wife was expected to oversee her husband's property and to guard it against invaders and revolts until her husband returned. Their rivalry lead to the Peloponnesian War , which almost tore Greece apart!

For one thing, they were both Greek city-states.


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In addition, they had powerful governments from which they excluded women, slaves, and non-Greeks from. They also spoke the same language and followed the same religion. Athens and Sparta also both kept slaves. Along with Athens and Sparta, there were also other city-states. CORINTH Corinth was a coastal city-state known as a cultural and trade center where literature, culture, art, and businesses flourished.

Because of its unfertile soil, it was hard to grow food. After finishing school Megarians attended to military school. It has textiles and its own coinage. Geography plays a critical role in shaping civilizations, and this is particularly true of ancient Greece. The Greek peninsula has two distinctive geographic features that influenced the development of Greek society. First, Greece has easy access to water. The land contains countless scattered islands, deep harbors, and a network of small rivers.

This easy access to water meant that the Greek people might naturally become explorers and traders.

Athens and Sparta: Two Greek City-States

Second, Greece's mountainous terrain led to the development of the polis city-state , beginning about B. The high mountains made it very difficult for people to travel or communicate. Therefore, each polis developed independently and, often, very differently from one another. Eventually, the polis became the structure by which people organized themselves. Athens and Sparta are two good examples of city-states that contrasted greatly with each other. The city-state of Athens was the birthplace of many significant ideas. Ancient Athenians were a thoughtful people who enjoyed the systematic study of subjects such as science, philosophy, and history, to name a few.

Life in Sparta was vastly different from life in Athens. Located in the southern part of Greece on the Peloponnisos peninsula, the city-state of Sparta developed a militaristic society ruled by two kings and an oligarchy, or small group that exercised political control. Early in their history, a violent and bloody slave revolt caused the Spartans to change their society.

A Spartan, Lycurgus, drafted a harsh set of laws that required total dedication to the state from its people. The laws' goal was to train citizens to become hardened soldiers so that they could fight off potential enemies or slave revolts. The result was a rigid lifestyle unlike any seen in Greece at the time. The devotion of Spartans to developing a military state left little time for the arts or literature.

A Spartan baby had to be hardy and healthy. To test a baby's strength, parents would leave their child on a mountain overnight to see if it could survive on its own until the next morning. By age seven, Spartan boys were taken from their families and underwent severe military training.


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  8. They wore uniforms at all times, ate small meals of bland foods, exercised barefoot to toughen their feet, and were punished severely for disobedient behavior.