Athens and Sparta
Sparta
• Located on the southern tip of the Peloponnesus.
• Sparta was a military, or warlike city-state.
• It had little trade with other city-states and did not set up
colonies.
– It gained wealth by conquering city-states around it.
• The Spartans were cruel to the people they conquered.
– The conquered people were forced to become slaves called
helots.
– Helots had to farm the land and honor the Spartan polis (citystate).
– The Spartans had absolute power.
• In order to avoid a revolt by the Helots, the Spartans
created a powerful and strong army.
• They adopted a harsh code of laws designed to protect
themselves from the large helot population.
Spartan Soldier
Life in Sparta
• Life was harsh.
– Everything was controlled by the military government.
• The government wanted only the best people in Spartan
society.
– Warriors would examine Spartan babies to see if they were
strong or weak.
– If the child was considered strong it would live, if not it would die.
• Spartan boys began military training at the age of seven.
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They learned to use spears and swords.
They did not wear clothing or shoes.
Their beds were piles of straw.
They ate plain food.
• Spartan girls wrestled and played sports.
– They were trained to defend the city-state.
– They ran the estate when their husbands served.
– Women had many rights, but were not allowed to vote.
Spartan Women
Athens
• Athens is on the peninsula of Attica.
• Its location near the sea helped it grow as a
center for trade.
• Artisans flocked to Athens to practice their crafts.
• Athenians were skillful sailors.
• The Athenian polis became an exciting place to
be.
– New ideas were welcome.
– Freedom was cherished in this city-state.
• Athenians believed that life was empty unless
people tried to gain new knowledge and live
freely.
Life in Athens
• Shops, temples, and government buildings
surround the agora.
• Children would explore the fruit stands while
young men waited for their teachers.
• Merchants from all over the world gathered in
the agora to sell their goods.
• Tables are piled high with vegetables and fruits.
• Beautiful pottery is sold as well as fine jewelry
and sweet perfumes.
The Acropolis
• The people of Athens built one of the world’s
most magnificent landmarks of civilization.
• This structure had a special, religious purpose.
• The Parthenon is the largest building on the
Acropolis.
– It was a temple dedicated to Athena, the goddess of
wisdom and the protector of Athens.
The Acropolis
The Parthenon