Athens and Sparta Coach Parrish OMS Chapter 7, Section 2 Living in Sparta Unlike Athens, life in Sparta was harsh and even cruel. The Spartans were a very tough group. The only similarity between Athens and Sparta during the 400s BC was the size of the military. Sparta became different from other Greek citystates in the 600s BC when a new government was formed out of external and internal wars. From these wars came the Spartan Rule: Always put the city’s needs above your own. Living in Sparta, cont. Early in its history, the Spartans conquered the land around their city. They turned the conquered people into helots – slaves owned by Sparta. Since there was more helots than Spartans, they treated them harshly in fear of a revolt. Growing up in Sparta The life of every Spartan was in the hands of the government from birth. Only the healthiest children were allowed to live because the Spartans wanted only the healthiest people in the city. The First Test Soon after birth, a child would be placed in a wine bath. The thought in Sparta was that a child placed in these conditions could only survive if they were tough. If a child passed, they was brought before a council where the elders checked the baby for defects. Passing this test = life. Growing Up Male For boys, training began early. At age seven, a Spartan boy left home to live in the barracks with other boys. Training lasted 13 years. By age 12, a boy had spent many hours using swords and spears. He had only one cloak and a thin mat to sleep on. Because they gave the boys so little to eat, they had to steal enough food to survive. Growing Up Male If the boys were caught stealing, they were severely punished. They were expected to take their punishments in silence to show toughness. When a Spartan turned 20 years old, they became a soldier. Men remained soldiers until they were 60 years old. At age 30, they were allowed to join the council, where government decisions were made. Growing Up Female Like the boys, the girls also trained in wrestling and spear throwing. Spartan women were expected to be fit because it was thought they would have fit children. Spartan women were allowed to own land and take part in business. They also typically oversaw the home because the men were gone to battle. Expanding Persian Empire Cyrus the Great founded the Persian Empire in the mid 500s BC. By 520 BC, the Persians had gained control of the Greek Colonies on the west coast of Asia Minor. Battle at Marathon In the fall of 490 BC, thousands of Persians landed in Greece. The Persians gathered at Marathon, a city 25 miles north of Athens. The Athenians put together a small army that was outnumbered 2 to 1 by the Persians. The two armies stared at each other for 2 days before fighting began. Suddenly, the Athenians rushed and attacked the Persians killing 6400 while only losing 192 soldiers themselves. Athens won the battle. Once the battle was over, a runner ran back to Athens to proclaim victory. He ran into Athens, yelled “Nike,” and dropped dead!! Conflict and the Athenian Empire More battles between Greece and Persia followed. With each win, the Greeks assumed they had pleased the gods. Athens emerged from the Persian wars the most powerful city-state in Greece. They formed the Delian League where other city-states bowed to them. This time in Athens was the Golden Age mentioned in Chapter 6. Sparta and Athens at War Athens had a democratic government, but it began to treat other city-states unfairly, especially those in the Delian League. Those city-states were making tribute payments to Athens for protection from the Persians. Athens moved the treasury from Delos to Athens and used the money to build the Parthenon and other projects. Peloponnesian War The Greeks began to resent Athenian power. They looked to Sparta to help protect them. Sparta formed the Peloponnesian League with city-states in southern Greece. In 431 BC, Sparta and its allies fought against Athens and its allies. This was called the Peloponnesian War – conflict between Sparta and Athens that lasted for 27 years. Peloponnesian War, cont. When Sparta attacked Athens, Pericles (leader of Athens) allowed people to move inside the city walls. The overcrowded conditions led to a plague – widespread disease. When the plague ended 5 years later, almost 1/3rd of the Athenians had died, including Pericles. Fall of Athens Athens never recovered from its losses during the plague. To make matters worse, Sparta allied itself with the Persians to use its mighty Navy. In 405 BC, the Spartans and Persians staged a blockade – action taken to isolate the enemy and cut off its supplies. The Spartans surrounded the harbor where Athens received supplies. Starving and beaten, Athens surrendered in 404 BC. The Spartans knocked down the city walls and decimated Athens. Athens never again dominated the Greek world.