The Greek City-States of Athens & Sparta

Greek city-states were loosely aligned but fairly distinct in terms of cultural makeup. This was true in terms of military, political, economic and social structures. In ancient civilization, "Athens...was the most important Greek city-state" (Athens, 2003, 1). Unlike Sparta, Athens would survive military defeat and create a thriving city-state whose political structures would influence all of Europe. As one historian notes, "Sparta was in many regards the opposite pole of Athens from a cultural perspective" (Culture, 2003, 1). If we make a comparison and contrast of Athens and Sparta, despite their distinctions we see many facets of Greek civilization that were typical of city-states, from a focus on military pursuits to experimentation with different political forms.

Sparta and Athens were rivals for supremacy in the region that would eventually be known as Greece. Unlike the island and sea city-states of Greece (including Athens), Sparta was essentially landlocked and, more significantly, "kept



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