Athens and Sparta are the most well- known city-states of Ancient Greece. Sparta was known for its military might and prowess, as well as its equality. Women were able to receive an education, have property, and as girls were trained in group exercises and agility. (Beckman, 2016, 116). The source of power for Sparta was found in the military, where boys enroll at eighteen years of age and they serve for ten years in the military. According to History.com, their training starts at seven years of age, where the boy is taken from his mother and lived in a Spartan training camp.
This training intensifies as the boy grows older, then enrolls into the military when he reaches eighteen years of age. (History.com). One thing that Sparta had that the other city-states didn’t was order and discipline. By law, a father could beat his son for misconduct. Sparta also had a goal to have fit and disciplined citizens to keep the barbarians at bay. While the Spartans were more disciplined and materialistic, Athens was more democratic, and introduced the concept of voting to the Western world. (History.com) Athens was also the oldest city-state in Ancient Greece. Free men were able to hold positions in the Assembly and the council and were able to vote. Both were denied to women and slaves, since women were considered legal property to their fathers and later their husbands, and slaves were property of their masters. (Beckman,2016, 123).
While both Athens and Sparta faced a formidable foe in the Persian empire, one fell while the other stood. I think Sparta is superior, because of its military might, equality and its ability to keep Persia at bay. Sparta was well known for their military might, and are studied in history books for their feats in the present day. The reasons why they had such a good military were: 1). They spent all their time training, and 2). They disciplined their youth. Youth in Sparta grew up learning about order and discipline, through military training and rules enforced by beatings. The second reason why Sparta is superior is equality. Unlike Athens, women were able to own their own property as well as learn to read and write in addition to their domestic duties.
This helped them contribute to society, as well as guard their homes when the men went off to war. Another reason why Sparta was so successful was that Sparta had an equal community. Men fought wars while women did domestic chores and raised children, but no gender was considered more superior or more important in Spartan society. The last reason is the most important: they withstood the Persian Empire. According to Beckman, Athens had the will and drive to fight but didn’t have the army or the resources to defend their home. It was Sparta who was the stronghold in the Persian war, holding off the Persian military at Thermopylae for three days. (Beckman, 2016, 125-126). This helped Greece defeat the Persians, causing Persia to fully retreat from Greece, leading to Greece winning the Persian war. This is why Sparta is more superior than Athens, and the most powerful city-state of Ancient Greece.