Mycenaean Greece The first reference to the Spartans at war is in the Iliadin which they featured among the other Greek contingents. Like the rest of the Mycenaean-era armies, it was depicted as composed largely of infantry, equipped with short swords, spears, and Dipylon -type "8"-shaped simple round bronze shields. This was the Golden Age of Warfare. Each opposing army tried to fight through the other line on the right strong or deep side and then turn left; wherefore they would be able to attack the vulnerable flank.
Notes Introduction Spartan and Athenian society were very different in many aspects. However, at the same time, the two shared a myriad of characteristics in common.
The differences are what set the two apart, while the things they shared in common are what united them as Greek city-states. Sparta and Athens shared similarities and differences in their systems of government, militaristic focuses, judgment and views of women. In addition to this, the social gatherings of Athenians and Spartans both had affinities and contrasts.
Structure of Government Possibly the most characteristic divide between these two great powers of the Ancient Mediterranean is their differing systems of government. Five Ephors were elected annually, accompanied by two kings, who passed on the crowns to their chosen sons.
Other purposes of the general assembly were to vote on and pass legislation and make civil decisions. As a whole, the five Ephors had the power to overrule the Kings, but tended to keep to religious and militaristic duties.
Each would take charge for about a month, and ten generals were automatically elected due to their experience. The Pnyx was a hill where the Athenian Ekklesia would meet, with a speaker's platform called the "Bema" Athens is seen as the birthplace of democracy — where a large number of the population had a say in state affairs and proceedings.
Both forms of government ensured that every person was within the law, none could escape. Also, neither employed the fundamental idea of autocracy — a sole, omnipotent ruler.
Athens, being a democracy, used the masses as well as nobles, aristocrats and generals as a part of their government. Sparta countered the idea of a autocrat by putting two kings in place, and an overseeing body of five Ephors. Each kept the other under check, enabling no one to gain absolute power.
Three men paved the way to democracy for Athens — firstly Solon, followed by Pisistratus, and then finally Cleisthenes. The systems and structure of government in Sparta and Athens did have a degree of disparity, but shared many things in common too.
Militaristic Focuses While Sparta and Athens both developed formidable land and sea forces at different stages in their history, each dominated in one particular arm of the military.
Sparta was in the Peloponnesus, south of Athens. The Spartan hoplite endured rigorous training from the age of 7, to become a part of one of the finest type of warriors of the ancient world.
One reason Sparta had such a militaristically based society was its need to maintain and exercise control of the helots, slaves from Messenia Greece. The helots far outnumbered their Spartan masters, so a check had to be kept on them, through scare tactics. The Spartan army became so formidable, to ensure no uprisings occurred.
Bronze body armour was worn by the hoplite, and consisted of leg and arm greaves, a breastplate and a helmet. The characteristic red cloak was often worn too. During the Persian Wars, Sparta headed the land forces operations.
A Spartan phalanx at the Battle of Plataea Athens on the hand was famed for its navy.
While at certain stages, especially under Demosthenes, the Athenian army grew to a monumental strength, almost matching the Spartans, overall it was inferior.
The Trireme was a revolutionary ship, an addition to the earlier Bireme. Comprised of oarsmen, as well as soldiers, sailors and a captain, the Trireme was exceptionally fast and maneuverable, owing its in-battle ferocity to this, and the bronze ramming beak on the front.
Athens was in charge of countering the Persian threat at sea during Xerxess invasion of Greece. The primarily Athenian navy ended up defeating a much larger Persian force in the Bay of Salamis, to repel the Persian invasion of BC. The domination of Sparta and Athens in their respective arms of the military was to gain them a firm standing amongst powers in the Classical Mediterranean.
Both developed impressive, some may say grandiose, naval and land-based forces, which commanded respect by their adversaries. Timber resources were also abundant to the Athenians.
The domination of Athens at sea, and Sparta on land, may differ, but in retrospect, both were the superpowers of their day, especially for the size of their states. Women in Sparta are very typical of what one may have imagined a woman of Sparta to have been like. They were disallowed from wearing any types of cosmetics or makeup, which were abolished.
Women were judged on their physique and physical and athletic prowess. Women in Sparta had designated arenas in which they would exercise and compete in athletic tournaments, usually secluded from the men who were out training.
Healthy and fit women would produce fit offspring, continuing the military tradition of Sparta. On the contrary, Athenian women were judged heavily on their artificial beauty.
Elaborate and expensive jewelry, complemented by luscious clothing were worn for seductive, and other purposes. Physical training was not unheard of though, and an Athenian woman exercising was not uncommon.Jul 01, · Spartan Hegemony In his introduction to Persian Fire Tom Holland argues that “Sparta’s greatness rested upon the merciless exploitation of her neighbors.” The sentence made me initiativeblog.com: Helena P.
Schrader. About the book. A Short History of the Ancient World begins with the Bronze Age and ends with the collapse of the Roman Empire.
Rather than restricting his analysis to the Greek and Roman experience, Rauh introduces students to ancient Africa, Israel, Egypt, Iran, China, and the Indian subcontinent. Classical Greek civilization The Persian Wars. Between and bc Persia was for the policy-making classes in the largest Greek states a constant preoccupation.
(It is not known, however, how far down the social scale this preoccupation extended in reality.). The Spartan Hegemony was the second period of dominance by a specific Greek city-state during the Classical era. For over thirty years Sparta enjoyed martial dominance over Greece as well as being the major political initiativeblog.comges: Greek.
During the Spartan hegemony in Athens there is evidence of criticism of democracy. A document in the s BC by a political writer known as the " Old Oligarch " . New offensive of the Persian army left behind under the command of Mardonius.
It retakes Athens, once again deserted by its inhabitants (Herodotus, IX, ).The Athenians decide the Spartan to intervine and an army placed under the command of Pausanias, .