We explain that what is the difference between Athens and Sparta in tabular form. One of the two major rivals of ancient Greece is Athens and Sparta. Most of the current western traditions are attributed to these two regions.
Although Athens and Sparta were quite similar in certain aspects, such as territorial proximity and defense objectives; however, both also had their own values and customs.
The main difference between Athens and Sparta is that Athens had a formal democratic arrangement rooted in the philosophy of art and learning, while Sparta had an organization where a small group of people had control of the region with a military mindset.
However, the above is not the only difference. A comparison between both terms on certain parameters can shed light on subtle aspects:
Comparison table between Athens and Sparta
Comparison parameter Athens Sparta
|Sense||Athens is the capital of Greece||One of the cities of Greece|
|Is it the capital city?||Yes||Not|
|Is it the largest city in Greece?||Yes||Not|
|Is it the most populous city in Greece?||Yes||Not|
|What is the population?||3,153,355 (in 2020)||Around 17000 (in 2011)|
|What is the region in which the city is located?||Attica||Laconia|
|What is the type of weather?||Warm summer mediterranean climate||Warm and sunny Mediterranean climate|
|How was the government based in antiquity?||Democratic||Military|
|Ruled by whom in ancient times?||Nine chief magistrates who had to submit to annual elections||Kings who died or were expelled from royalty|
|What was the type of ancient culture?||Progressive||Relaxed and calm|
|Was the army compulsory in ancient times?||Not||Yes|
|Was the education of girls the norm in ancient times?||Not||Yes|
|What was the status of women in ancient times?||Less freedom and status with more focus on domestic work||More freedom and status even receiving a physical training similar to that of men|
|What was the most important aspect from a defense perspective?||Mighty navy||Military soldiers|
|What did the economy depend on in ancient times?||Trade and agriculture||Agriculture, wars|
|Why did they become famous?||Civilization, business development, and intelligence||Military prowess|
|What was the most important focal point in ancient times?||Education and development||Military building|
What is Athens?
Athens is an ancient city in Greece. It can be considered as one of the most important ancient and traditional cities in the world with a population dating back more than 3000 years. Athens is considered to have laid the structure and the beginning of the progress of Western civilization.
Athens is considered a creator of modern literature, intellect, arts, architecture, and culture. Athens has given birth to outstanding creative and imaginative people in various fields such as mathematics, science, history, etc.
Athens has been the home of exceptionally talented writers, thinkers, and philosophers such as Socrates, Democritus, Hippocrates, Pindar, Phidias, Plato, Aristotle, to name a few.
Athens is also considered a pioneer in the development of modern infrastructure, as for some time a large number of temples and buildings were built that signify beauty and sophisticated architecture.
Athens displayed such marvelous architecture that even the Spartans who once defeated Athens were in awe of the beauty of the region that, although they captured the city, they did not destroy the artifacts.
Athens had a democratic form of government. The economy of Athens was based on trade and commerce at sea, as agriculture was not prominent due to the lack of availability and/or suitability of the soil. Athens, however, did not have significant military power but did have a commendable naval warship that led to the defeat of the Persians in multiple wars that emerged as a major naval power in the region of Greece.
What is Sparta?
Sparta is also known as “Lacedaemon.” Sparta is located in the southern region of Greece known as Laconia. The word Sparta means simple and inexpensive.
The Spartan tradition was based on military prowess. At a very young age, the boys were forced to receive military education and become paid soldiers. Discipline and battles were at the forefront of the philosophy professed by Sparta.
From the time the child was born until the person aged, resistance exercises became mandatory, such as leaving the child on a mountain overnight to test their strength and punishing young children very severely for their rebellious behavior. . The men even served the military after age 60.
The Spartans used to capture their fellow Greeks and turn them into slaves. These slaves used to help the Spartans complete their daily activities such as farming, work, etc. The slaves were mistreated by the Spartans, even killing them on occasion. However, the women of Sparta had more freedom compared to their counterparts in other cities.
Sparta had a form of oligarchy and had a classic military or autocratic regime. The main occupation was agriculture and the people did not have a vision of the future and did not dedicate much time to the intellect, ideas, and philosophy. At one stage, Sparta defeated Athens in the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC).
Sparta was defeated by Thebes at the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC. C., which finally led to its decline. More battles led to the freedom of the slaves. Somewhere in the early 1820s, the King of Greece founded the modern city of Sparta.
Main differences between Athens and Sparta
- Athens is considered the home of Western civilization. Sparta is not considered the home of any modern civilization.
- Athens was based on a democratic form of government in which the people were elected annually. Sparta was based on the oligarchy and had two rulers.
- The central ideals of Athens were based on development, commerce, intellect, and wisdom, and did not force people to join the army. The philosophy of Sparta was based on the creation of military power and forced to join the army.
- Athens believed in having strong family relationships. Sparta did not believe in that mentality, although women had multiple rights.
- The economy of Athens was based on trade. Sparta’s economy was based on agriculture.
- Athens is considered a center of art and learning. Sparta is not considered such a center.
Athens and Sparta are some of the most distinguished cities in Greece. Each had its strengths and weaknesses and even shared some common patterns, such as stable economies and defense architecture.
Although during ancient times, Athens and Sparta were fighting battles with each other, the situation slowly changed. In the Greco-Persian battles, Athens partnered with Sparta to defeat the Persians who drove them out.
In modern times, in addition to many other things that signify strong friendly ties between these two cities, there is a sporting event entitled “Spartathlon” that takes place every year starting in Athens and ending in Sparta with athletes from the global community who participate in the event…