To a first-timer, it may sound rather strange why both Sparta and Athens keep on getting mentioned in the study of Greek and Roman cultures for ancient times. However, the nature of the position which they both occupied as the duo megapolis in ancient Greek times shouldn’t be a surprise any longer. They were both city-states and the two biggest city-states in ancient Greece. More so, Greece is famous for academia especially Philosophy and the Hellenization of the Mediterranean world, and there is so much to learn from these histories that we cannot pretend to ignore. Therefore, we can only learn from their mistakes so as to prevent them from occurring in our present existence.
Describing the communal existence and resolution determinants which impacted society in Sparta and Athens alongside those who occupied public office. The authority in Sparta compared to that of other Greek city-states varied exceedingly. It was about the aristocrats who were the privileged class in society. They ran oligarchies and enforced the access to take part in communal life. These aristocrats were resolution determinants in the land. It comprised of the Gerousia which was an elder council of a solely male breed that had men who were beyond 60 of age each and the Ephors, alternatively known as magistrates or judges that were only 5 in number. They were voted in yearly and their time in office would last only 1 year. The unusual rulership was of double regality. There were two kings in Sparta. One of the kings would go to war while the other king would stay at home to oversee the affairs of the Spartan state. The Gerousia held public positions due to their affluence. Both the Gerousia and the Ephors determined what would be amended and how indigenous problems would be visited and eventually solved and without them, no transformation could be made in the land.
For Athens conversely, it was in ancient Greece between 800-500 BCE that democracy became conventional in the Athenian soil in about 507 BCE. The aristocrats partnered to dominate the steering of society. It was the same plutocrats who adjured the authority concerning the resource of the state (affluence). They were aided alongside prominent landlords of the time. It was so bad that households lost track of real estate to their names. In most cases, these households could only gain freedom by servitude to the aristocrats. The situation seemed unending which led to the discovery of democracy.
Cleisthenes refurbished the bureaucratic scene. He established a governmental system called demokratia, a consortium owned by the people for the sake of the people. This would be a milestone achievement that changed the course of democracy forever because everyone had a say and consequently no government could be empowered without the firmest choosing of the masses. Therefore, it was the Athenian nationals — the Ekklesia or the People’s Assembly – that could enjoin in driving this sort of choice as well as served as resolution determinants which impacted society while public positions were held by members of the Council or Boule.
The administration of Sparta annually voted in 5 Ephors per year. These Ephors were to stabilize the kingship control. Their jurisdiction included legal matters, combatant affiliations, and consular affairs. They were also the medium by which uninfluential members of the Spartan state could get to the corridors of power. 60 was the eligible age for service in the Gerousia. After induction, membership would be for life, and the council comprised only 30 members. The only 2 persons that could join the council without getting to the age of 60 requirements and also without contention too were the 2 kings. For Athens, on the other hand, it was the Boule also known as the legislative council that was required to address the law-making manifesto. They selected annually councilors in the count of 500 members and this was established by choosing these candidates across Attica, 50 members per tribe.
Sparta and Athens had a number of things in common. They were individual city-states talking about both Sparta and Athens. They had a common ground in terms of the language in which they spoke. They both spoke Greek. They were both steeped into idolatry so religious-wise they were indistinguishable. Their society at the time gave no authority to any of the women, serfs, or foreigners except men. It was a purely masculine-bred society with regard to authority and power. Politics was left to the men also. Additionally, both were rich in the culture that they esteemed themselves in. Lastly, they both had a sense of dignity in their established city-states alike.
Athens was found in Attica while Sparta was located in Laconia in the south of Greece. Meanwhile, Athens was rich in academia, while becoming a soldier wasn’t mandatory but learning was exclusive to the males alone. Sparta, on the other hand, was not about academia, becoming a soldier was compulsory for all men and the women from this site in the south could learn, unlike other Greek women. Furthermore, while Athens ran a democracy, two kings ruled over Sparta in a government type known as an oligarchy.
In conclusion, after all said and done, we are back to where we started off all over again- we are back to Sparta and Athens in ancient times. There are similarities in comparisons and we compare just because we want to see differences. These differences we then realize would benefit us in establishing better patterns today for success in our government and society. Sparta and Athens were two different civilizations, two different city-states, and had two different administration types. It may seem queer to outline both similar and dissimilar patterns delineating the different governance types between the two but a proper analysis would facilitate in ameliorating both our governments and administrations which we create by all standards today.