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Athens Versus Sparta

            Athens and Sparta were both Greek city states, or otherwise known as acropolises, and they were just around 150 miles apart. Yet they were as diverse as they could be. Athens is in central Greece, just four miles from the Aegean Sea. Its area swayed Athenians to look outward as far and wide as possible past the city. Athenians jumped at the chance to travel. They were excited to spread their thoughts and to gain from others. Athens created great relationships with other city-states. In contrast, Sparta was more segregated. It was placed on a plain between the mountains and the ocean in the piece of Greece known as the Peloponnesus.
             Spartans were suspicious of outcasts. They developed much of what they required in Spartan soil. They taught their children and little girls to battle, and they developed them into soldiers. For the vast majority of their histories, the two city-states were severe adversaries. As you will see, their disagreements lead to big conflicts. Athens turned into a democracy around 500 B.C.E. but in contrast to modern governments, Athens permitted just free men to be nationals. All men older than 18 who were born in Athens were considered citizens. Women and slaves did not count.
             A very important part of life is an economy. The Athenian economy was focused around exchange. The area around Athens did not have enough food to feed all of the Athenian citizens. Anyway, Athens was close to the ocean, and it had a decent harbor. So Athenians exchanged with other city-states to get the goods that they required. A lot of people in Athens made their clothes at home. .
             At 18, Athenian men began their military training. After their army service, wealthy young men might study with private teachers. Unlike boys, most girls did not learn to read or write. Instead, girls grew up helping their mothers with household tasks. They were taught to cook, clean, spin thread, and weave cloth. Girls usually married around the age of 15.

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