How Old Were Soldiers Trained In Athens

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The Athenians were located near the sea in a region of Greece called Attica. Because the Athenians were so close to the sea they became traders trading with other civilizations around the Mediterranean region. Also this encouraged Athens to build a strong naval fleet. Due to their constant travel around the Mediterranean Athens began to learn about other cultures along with learning new ideas while at the same time spreading their own culture and ideas.

Sparta: The Spartans were located on a plain between the mountains and the sea where they farmed on the fertile soil. The land on which they were located was called the Peloponnesus and was located a peninsula called the Peloponnesus.

The Spartans were built inland so they had no use for the sea.

Right next to them was a group of people called the Messenians. The Spartans conquered these people and forced them into slavery. Later the Messenians revolted against the Spartans and the Spartans could barely subdue them.After this all boys were trained to be soldiers for times of war or a Messinian (now called the Helots) revolt. The soldiers had to be well trained especially since the Helots outnumbered the Spartans 20-1.

Government Athens: Athens operated under a democratic government. All free Athenian men over 18 years old were considered citizens and only citizens could hold government positions.

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Women, children, foreigners, and slaves were not allowed government positions. There were three government groups.There was the assembly which included all Athenian citizens, there was the council of 500 which were Athenian citizens above the age of 30 were chosen by lottery, and there was the stategoi which were elected. The assembly composed of at least 6,000 citizens which had a meeting every 10 days.

Athens Vs Sparta Economy

The Assembly debated and voted on laws that were proposed by the council. When voting on yes or no issues the assembly members used rocks to vote. They would use a black rock to stand for no, and a white rock to stand for yes. The council ran the daily business of the government and proposed new laws.An interesting fact about the assembly is that if not enough citizens showed up for a meeting slaves would gather citizens using ropes dipped in red paint. Often men were embarrassed to arrive at a meeting with their clothes covered in red paint.

Finally the stategoi was a group of 10 citizens who ran and commanded the army. Since it was crucial to be selective in choosing good military leaders the strategoi were the only government officials to be elected. Sparta:  The Spartan government operated very differently than the Athenian government.To start off rather than being a democracy like Athens, Sparta had an oligarchic government or a government ruled by a few people. Like in Athens there were three branches but their roles would be much different. At the top of the pyramid were two kings who inherited their power.

One of the kings usually led the Spartan army. Next down on the list was the council of elders. This group was composed of 28 male citizens all of whom were older than 60 and came from a noble family. The council was elected by members of the assembly who many historians believe yelled for their favorite candidate.The candidate that received the most cheering was elected and once elected the councilors served for life. The council of elders held almost all of the power in Sparta, as they made laws for the assembly to vote on, could stop laws passed by the assembly and could overturn any ruling made by the assembly.

At the bottom of the government pyramid was the Assembly. Like in Athens the assembly was made up of all free male citizens but the similarities stopped there. To start off the assembly had very little power. Also the assembly could only vote on yes or no laws, and could not debate issues.Also if the assembly voted on a law and the council didn’t like the ruling they could simply overturn the law without the consent of the assembly. Economy Athens: The Athenian economy was primarily based on trade.

The land surrounding Athens could not provide enough food for all of the city’s citizens; however Athens was near the sea and had a good harbor. As a result the Athenians traded with other city-states along with a few other civilizations in the Mediterranean region. Some resources the Athenians required were wood from Italy, and grain from Egypt.In exchange the Athenians often gave items such as honey, olive oil, silver and pottery. The Athenians bought and sold their goods at a public marketplace called the Agora. At the Agora people could buy food, household items, clothes and slaves.

Some common foods bought at the Agora were lettuce, onions, wine, and olive oil. In addition Athenians also often also purchased pottery, furniture, jewelry and slaves. Athens along with some other city states also made its own coins. Coins made it easier to trade and were made of gold, silver, and bronze and reflected their actual value through the valuable metals.The coins were decorated with a picture of Athena, the patron goddess Athens on the front, and Athena’s representative bird, an owl on the back. Sparta: The Spartan Economy ran quite a bit differently than the Athenian Economy.

To start off instead of relying on trade the Spartans relied on farming and conquering. All the Spartan men were soldiers so the Spartans got other people to do the resource production for them. When Sparta was first founded the Spartans conquered the nearby region of Messenia and enslaved the natives which the Spartans called helots.The helots farmed for the Spartans and sent most of their goods to Sparta while keeping the extras for themselves. Non-citizens called perioikoi to manufactured goods for them. The perioikoi made garments, tools, weapons and pottery for the Spartans.

The perioikoi also ran some of the city’s trade. However the Spartans discouraged trade because they believed that as a result there would be new ideas which would lead to corruption and weaken the government. Also even if the Spartans wanted to trade it would have been difficult since instead of using coins as their form of money the Spartans used huge iron bars.This system was formed since a long time ago a Spartan leader thought that if they used heavy iron bars it would prevent theft since to steal an amount of value a thief would need a wagon to carry the iron away. However this led to the other city states not being too excited to trade with the Spartans due to receiving iron bars in exchange for their goods. Education: | Athenian Male| Spartan Male| Athenian Female| Spartan Female| Birth | Olive Leaf used to Represent Birth| Tested at birth for signs of weakness.

Would be left to die if he had any weaknesses| Represented birth with sheep’s wool| Checked to see if she was strong.Would be left to die if she was weak| Early Childhood| Raised by mother or Slave until age 6| Would be raised by parents until the age of 7| Taught by mother until age of 13| Received physical training to have strong children| Education | Received a well rounded education in school from ages of 6-14. Learned academics along with physical training| Would go to the barracks at the age of 7 and begin military training| Did not go to school, learned to do housework| Exercised to stay fit| 13-17| No formal education. Could learn a trade from his father. Would continue to train at the barracks| Would have an arranged marriage with| Would participate in Hereia festival in honor of Hera. Festival would be made of athletic events| 18| Would begin military training and service| Would be elected into a mess| Would live with her husband| Would marry a husband in secret| 30| Would marry a younger woman| Could live at home with his family| Live the rest of her life with her husband| Would live with her family| Athens: The Athenians received a very well rounded education.Due to the fact only boys would grow up to become citizens male and females in Athens were educated very differently.

An Athenian boy would be taught at home either by slaves or their mothers until the age of 6 or 7. Then the boys would go to school and learn reading, writing, literature, and arithmetic until they turned 14. During this time the boys also learned wrestling and gymnastics to make sure the boys were strong along with learning how to play the lyre and sing. When the boy turned 18 he began his military training.After serving the boy, who was now a man would study with private teachers before starting work on a trade of the boys choice. Girls on the other hand had a very different training.

Their mothers would teach the girls to clean, cook, weave cloth and to spin thread. A few girls also learned ancient secret songs and dances for religious festivals. Around the age of 15 girls married a man much older than the woman. Girls from wealthy families often had arranged marriages with men of a higher class, while girls from poorer amilies usually had more choice. Sparta: The Spartan education revolved around the one thing that the Spartans valued above all else, war.

Similar to in Athens male and female children went through different education. A boy would be taught a home until the age of 7. At the age of 7 a Spartan boy went to the barracks to receive military training. At the barracks Spartan boys learned fighting skills such as running, boxing, wrestling and racing. The Spartan boys also learned to read and write but the Spartans did not consider such skills important.During their training the Spartans were subjected to harsh conditions such as going barefoot and having very little to eat.

The Spartan boys in fact were given so little to eat that they were encouraged to steal. However if they were caught stealing they would be punished. This was not because the boys were caught stealing- but because they were careless enough to get caught! at the age of 18 a few boys who excelled in training were selected to be trained as part of the “secret service brigade”. This select group trained in the wild with no support which was supposed to make them especially tough.When the boys turned 20 they were considered men and were elected into messes. In a mess the men ate together to make them become close to one another to make them fight together and united in battle.

The men would then fight in the army until the age of 60 when they could retire. Conclusion: The Spartans and Athenians were 2 very different groups of people. The Spartans were militaristic people who valued strength and simplicity. They ran under and oligarchic government and were the military superpower of Greece. They relied on farming and conquering.The Athenians on the other hand had a strong culture and a well rounded society.

They ran the first democracy in the world, and were proud of their art and culture. The Athenians relied on trade. These two city-states were great civilizations and working together they could have achieved more than we could imagine. However this would never happen and greed, jealousy, and the lust for power would put to 2 superpowers of ancient Greece head to head in ferocious civil war and lead to the end of Greece. Greece’s map Athen’s Athen’s map Sparta’s map

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How Old Were Soldiers Trained In Athens
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