Athens and 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
– 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 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
– 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.
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 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
– 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
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
– It was a temple dedicated to Athena, the goddess of
wisdom and the protector of Athens.
The Acropolis
The Parthenon