Compare and Contrast Sparta and Athens

As a modern woman who is used to having political rights, can freely express my opinions and would be able to pursue a career and be financially independent it would be hard to go back in a time when I would be seen as an inferior being. I chose to write compare and contrast Sparta and Athens essay to share personal viewpoint whether where I would like to live. 

However, if I had to choose between Sparta and Athens I would live in Athens, specifically in the Age of Pericles roughly between 416 and 429 BCE. I would choose Athens because I think it would be interesting to see the city which has influenced the political structure of the western-world. Thanks to Pericles efforts to promote art and literature Athens got the reputation of being the educational and cultural center of Ancient Greece (Wikipedia, n.d.) and I would be able to witness first hand its beauty and glory. From an educational point of view to be able to participate in Athenian schools and to learn their way of thinking and their prospective of life would be priceless.

Pericles is known for promoting a direct democracy where the common people had access to political life (National Geographic, 2019). However, after his death his system causes Athens to fall apart. If I were to go back in Athens I would see how Pericles was able to give the people a say in politics without causing destruction. Living in Athens would give me access to the way of life and I would acquire so much information about that period. If I were part of their world I would see and gain more insight on Athenian democracy.

History is recorded from the prospective of the privileged, the rich and the educated but if I were to live in Ancient Athens I would also know history from the prospective of the masses and those who could not be part of political life.

To sum up, I would not choose to live in Sparta whether I was a man or a woman, because of its system which promotes “blind” obedience. The most unappealing thing for me about Sparta is that how everything is already decided for the citizens starting from birth and in my opinion the system puts people in chains from birth till death. The fact that men were trained to be soldiers from the age of 7 and women were trained to be strong so that they can have children makes their lives predictable and limited. Although in Sparta only the helots were technically the slaves the system which Sparta followed in a certain sense it also enslaved the Spartan citizens as their whole lives where controlled by the system.


  • National Geographic. 2019. Pericles.
  • Wikipedia. N.d. Pericles. 
  • Brand, P. J. N.d. Athens & Sparta: Democracy vs. dictatorship. 
21 November 2022
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