Athens VS Sparta Essay Example

Ancient Greece was a land divided up into many regions and city-states called Polis. A Polis, like Athens, had a government, ruler, and multiple laws to go along with it. Of course, most had the same religions and languages but otherwise were complete opposites from each other.   Naturally, the two most known, controversial, and influential Polis were Athens and Sparta. Many people debate the topic of which city-state was more preferable to inhabit, and if someone had the choice to live in one of the two, they should choose Athens. Athens is significantly more superior to Sparta because of its education, government, and its architecture and creativity within the city. 

Education is one of the most substantial problems that a government has to face. Many education systems aren’t the greatest and don't have the most adequate motives and ideas. Take Sparta, for example. Sparta, out of hunger for power, devoted its entire education to training soldiers. Less than half an hour a day was spent even learning in Sparta and produced one of the dullest yet fierce civilizations ever. On the other hand, in Athens, the school was devoted to making somebody a worthy citizen and good person. To portray a clearer picture, a statistic on suggests that in Athens, a great majority, ( somewhere around 90%) of the education was devoted to learning about math, writing, and social studies, while in Sparta, only around a mere 5% of the education was about that. Though not proven in a study, most also suggest that over half the children in Athens attended school, while in Sparta only around a third went to school, calculating to a total of 80,000 students in Athens to a measly  15,000 in Sparta. You can argue that warriors are more important than learning, but when it comes to real-life skills, it’s not the case. With good enough education, you can become anything, even a soldier. Though most take it out of the category when comparing Athens and Sparta, education is one of the most important things civilizations have to flourish in and Athens evidently has a more diverse and invested education system. 

Every building that you see today is architecture. From the tallest buildings to the small shops around your house. Many Greek cities displayed this in their buildings too. In Athens, for example, the Parthenon is the architectural masterpiece that was built. With its cylindrical blocks holding it up, and carvings of all the gods and goddesses, it’s a sight to behold. On the other hand, let's look at Sparta. I beguile you not, there is only one significant creative and architectural building in the entire place. It’s the assembly hall, for the soldiers and generals. You could dispute that it is essential, but really, it just displays the difference in beauty between Athens and Sparta. Even when we look at the ways Sparta and Athens made their houses and walls you can tell the difference. In Sparta, mostly cobble and brick were used. In contrast, Athens used bricks, cobblestone, marble, even mud! The differences in the general diversity and creativity that the Athenians have from the Spartans stand out and emphasize the true colors (did I just make a pun?) of each city-state. 

Governments arguably have the hardest jobs out of the hundreds composed in a city. Needless to say, no one civilization can ever be fully pleased, and the government has to keep up with it at all times. In Ancient Greece, it was like this all the time, and governments were overthrown constantly. There was one city-state that stood out from the pack, though: It was Athens. Athens had everything, their government-controlled the trades, the wars, the money, etc. More importantly, their government was a democracy. And not just any democracy. One of the first known democracies of the world, inspiring even the American government to be developed around the key Athenian ideas. In the Athenian’s eyes, everyone was equal, and most citizens were allowed to vote and run freely without judgment. Unlike Athens, Sparta had an oligarchy, where only the top of the top could run and become officials. Sparta, of course, granted more freedom to women and that is nothing to sleep on, but had a way of running the government that didn’t work, as it only included generals and had no real say from the people.  In summary, Sparta did have more rights for people of all genders but was at a huge disadvantage in everything else in the government when in comparison to Athens.

In conclusion, Athens demonstrates the true fortitude of an ethical and capable society, with its government, architecture, and education, towering over Sparta in all aspects, and proving itself to be better in multiple ways throughout history.


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