Athens and Sparta Worksheet

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Athens and Sparta Worksheet
Ancient Greece wasn't one large empire but a collection of smaller city-states. The term the Greeks used was polis,
which means “city-state”. A polis was bigger than a city but smaller than a state. They were scattered throughout the
Mediterranean area. Some were sea-ports while others were more inland. The two most famous city-states were
Athens and Sparta. Although the people living in these city-states were all Greek, each city-state did different things
and had different beliefs. Let’s examine these differences by looking at two city-states.
Athens- was the most famous of all the city-states of ancient Greece.
Athens was located on Attica, allowing them to rely on fishing and trading to
drive their economy. It was the birthplace of democracy and home to great
philosophers like Plato and Socrates. It was also home to historians, scientists,
mathematicians, and other great thinkers. Athenian society was divided into
three classes: Freemen including all male citizens, Metics who were outsiders
who were not allowed to own land, and Slaves who could be bought and sold as
property. Athens was famous for its giant fleet or ships (navy), which they used
to help defeat the Persians. Athenians were polytheistic and believed in a
common Greek mythology that included the pantheon of gods such as Zeus. A
great rivalry with another city-state, Sparta led to the Peloponnesian War. This
war eventually ended in a victory for Sparta.
Sparta- had the strongest military of all ancient Greek citystates. Located inland on the Peloponnesian Peninsula, instead of
fishing and trading, the focus of this city-state was constantly on war.
They developed a military economy. Boys were expected to be trained
as soldiers, while girls were expected to grow up and bear children who
grew up to be soldiers. To make sure that the army got as many Spartan
soldiers as it needed, Sparta depended on slaves (called Helots) from
nearby settlement to do their manual labor. Spartan society was divided
into three classes: citizens who were males of the ruling class, Helots
who had been enslaved, and free people from neighboring provinces
under Sparta’s control. When the Greeks were at war with Persia, many
people turned to the Spartans to ensure their protection. Sparta’s
government was an Oligarchy, where a few powerful people made the
decisions. Like all Greeks, Spartans were polytheistic and believed in a
similar mythology as Athenians.
1. What were two important Greek city-states? a) _____________________, b) _____________________
2. What was the Greek word for city-state? ____________________
3. Athens was the birthplace of this important idea… ______________________
4. Who were two famous philosophers from Athens? a) __________________, b) __________________
5. Who won the Peloponnesian War? _____________________
6. What were the Spartans famous for? ___________________________________________
7. What were boys in Sparta expected to be when they grew up? ______________________________
8. Who did the Spartans depend on to complete their manual labor? _____________________
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