At the forefront of Western Civilization stood Ancient Greece and her two most prized City-States, Athens and Sparta. Although the two developed relatively alongside each other, many cultural and ideological differences arose as time spanned itself. While Athens flourished with art, intellectuality, individualism and democracy, Sparta became a stagnant isolationist military society bound to the oligarchical state from birth until death. The differences which existed between the two societies eventually led to a major series of conflicts, the Peloponnesian Wars, and directly led to the downfall of Athens. A study of these differences as a cause of the inevitable clash between Athens and Sparta is essential to understanding in a historical context what happened.
[...] Luxuries were to be no more in the society as dictated by Lycurgus' law which went to lengths as extreme as requiring all citizenry to eat in a common mess hall creating a sense of equality amongst fellow Spartans.17 Sparta's dual kingship eventually dissolved into a figurehead as true power now lied in the hands of a council of elders, much in the way the basileus of Athens had lost power to the Areopagus and eventually to the Assembly of people. [...]
[...] The formation of alliances throughout the areas which were the Delian League were the foundation for the first Peloponnesian War as we shall see, for Sparta had grown a deep concern and suspicion of Athenian motives most notably after its formation of an alliance with Megara; a city-state that lied between the route of Athens and Sparta.14 Sparta has its origins within a group of people named the Dorians. The Dorians originated from Macedonia and Northern Greece and had founded locations in the Peloponnesus as well as the Aegean Sea. [...]
[...] During this time Sparta was under the control of a dual kingship, a mixture of monarchy and oligarchy. This is believed to have been because of the idea that neither king would be able to overstep the power of the other, thus creating a balance of authority between two halves.15 Under this dual kingship, Spartan soldiers were lead over the Taygetus Mountains and into the land of Messenia, a rival Greek city-state which had the highly sought after fertile lands needed by the Spartans. [...]
[...] had been unsuccessful as each side made the claim that the other was to blame although Athens had come across most successfully as a victim in claiming that Sparta intended to provoke war no matter what and had no means of finding third-party mediator to quell the matter. It was in fact the Athenian leader Perikles who seems to have invoked war the most though, as a bid made in 431 B.C. by Sparta for peace was rejected most likely due to Perikles' clout over Athenians. [...]
[...] This inefficiency ran parallel to the profit being made by nobility (the Eupatridae) who controlled the influx of wheat being imported at the same time as well as income from prosperous wine and olive oil crops. Due to debts arising out of the inability to produce enough crops, common farmers were forced into a drastic form of payment because of the new Archon Eponymous, or Chief Archon, Draco.2 Draco came into the office of Archon Eponymous in the year 621 B.C. [...]
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