Education, Military, and Governments in Ancient Greece Essay

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Athens and Sparta were two most powerful states in Ancient Greece. Athens was known for its undying focus on infrastructural development while Sparta had an unmatched military prowess. As such, Sparta was the most powerful Greek state. Although the two states are very close geographically, they do have contrasting lifestyles, governance structures, military strength and economic systems (Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Greece. 1998).


Unlike Athens, which was a democracy government, Sparta was an Oligarchy system of government. This means the state was ruled by a few individuals. Two kings acted as leaders who were accompanied by five Ephors. The Kings passed on their crowns to their sons. The Ephors and Kings would attend the general assembly to develop and pass motions, decrees legislations and make civil decisions (Blackwell, 2003).


In Sparta, the goal of education is to yield a well-disciplined and well-drilled marching army. These people believe in a life of self-denial, simplicity, and discipline. Spartans are extremely loyal to their government. In fact, the females and males were expected to be in a perfect body. Boys were taken to military school from the age of six. During training, they ate, slept, lived and continued to train in their unity barracks (Adams, 2010). Here, they were taught survival skills and any other skills crucial for being a great soldier.

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Often, school courses were painful and very hard. Although Spartans were taught to write and read in school, these skills were not actually important in the Ancient Sparta. To them, warfare was the most important thing. Spartan males aged 18 and above had to pass a difficult test of leadership skills, fitness, and military ability. Those who passed became full citizens and Spartan soldiers. As for the citizens, they were prohibited from dealing with money. Only the middle class could touch money. Soldiers spent most of their time with their fellow soldiers. Spartan girls were also sent to school at the age of six. They ate, slept, lived and continued to train in their sisterhood barracks. Unlike Spartan girls, Athenian girls did not attend school but most of them learned to write and read at home (A History of Ancient Greece: Sparta, 2010).

Military strength

The stark lifestyle in Sparta contrasts the Athenian focus on learning and thinking. Whereas in Athens people spent much of their time studying arts, literature, and music, Spartans focused on training to be soldiers.….....

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Works Cited

A History of Ancient Greece: Sparta. (2010). from

Adams, J. P. (2010). Materials for the Study of Ancient Sparta. From

Blackwell, C. W. (2003). The Development of Athenian Democracy. From

Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Greece. (1998). from

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