Edward Wrigley Malvern College

Entrance Examination
History

Subject: In Ancient Greece, what were the differences between Athens and Sparta, in terms of their social structure, economy, culture, military capacity and their foreign relations?

Athens and Sparta were both Greek city-states, but they had many differences, in terms of their social structure, economy, culture, military capacity,and their foreign relations.


In Ancient Greece, Athens was the richest and most powerful city-state, and was regarded as a model by most of the other city-states. It was where big concerns for the Greek population were treated. It was a cultural centre with many buildings to the benefit of the population, some with magnificent architectural style. Athens was mainly a democratic state, although it went through all the different political systems, from monarchy to anarchy.
This can beexplained by the fact that it contained many different types of life styles and casts with a particular contrast between upper classes and lower classes. The Athenian aristocrats, who called themselves Archons (“old nobles”), were the monarchs from around 600 BCE until 594 BCE. Nine of them would be elected every year by other nobles to rule the country, but this system and the successive ones would never satisfy all classes as there would always be one which would not agree with decisions or feelunfairly treated. Women in Athenian society were considered as their husband’s or their father’s property, and could not be in possession of any property. They could not go to court or make a contract – they were not part of society. They were only there for reproduction and household chores. Marriages were arranged and families were relatively small except for farmers. The infant mortality was high because of infanticide, but there was a great dedication to children. It was also quite [à continuer]

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