Notes of sparta and athens compare

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Notes of sparta and athens compare

Early life[ edit ] Most information about Lycurgus comes from Plutarch's "Life of Lycurgus" part of Parallel Liveswhich is more of an anecdotal collection than a real biography. Plutarch himself remarks that nothing can be known for certain about Lycurgus, since different authors give different accounts of almost everything about him.

Separating the Spartans

The dates of Lycurgus have been given by ancient and modern authorities as being as early as the tenth century BC and as late as the sixth century BC. Some scholars think the most plausible date is indicated by Thucydides, who said that in his time the Spartan constitution was over four hundred years old; this would imply a date for Lycurgus, or at least for the reforms attributed to him, of the last quarter of the ninth century BC.

With his father deceased, he was offered the throne. Lycurgus' brother, however, had died with a pregnant wife. When this child was born, Lycurgus named the child, Charilaus "joy of the people" and transferred his kingship to the baby. After that, Lycurgus was said to be a man who could lay down the supreme power easily out of respect for justice, so it was easy for Lycurgus to rule the Spartans in his capacity as the guardian of his nephew Charilaus.

Spartan Society

However, the young king's mother and her relatives envied and hated Lycurgus. Among other slanders, they accused Lycurgus of plotting the death of Charilaus.

Travels[ edit ] Lycurgus finally decided that the only way that he might avoid blame in case something should happen to the child would be to go travelling until Charilaus had grown up and fathered a son to secure the succession.

Therefore, Lycurgus gave up all of his authority set out on a celebrated, though no doubt legendary, journey. His first destination was Cretelike Sparta a Dorian land, where he studied the laws of Minos.

Spartan and Cretan institutions did indeed have common characteristics, but, though some direct borrowing may have occurred, such similarities are in general more likely to be because of the common Dorian inheritance of Sparta and Crete rather than because some individual such as Lycurgus imported Cretan customs to Sparta.

Notes of sparta and athens compare

Some say that Lycurgus subsequently traveled as far as Egypt, Spain, and India. Lycurgus compiled the scattered fragments of Homer and made sure that the lessons of statecraft and morality in Homer's epics became widely known. According to Plutarch, the Egyptians claim that Lycurgus visited them too, [a] and that he got from the Egyptians the idea of separating the military from the menial workers, thus refining later Spartan society, in which Spartans were not allowed to practice manual crafts.

As they admitted, only Lycurgus was really a king in their heart, although others wore a crown and claimed the title.

He had the true foundation of sovereignty: Even the Spartan kings wanted Lycurgus to return because they saw him as one who could protect them from the people.

Lycurgus had already decided that some fundamental changes would have to be made in Sparta. When he returned, he did not merely tinker with the laws, but instead followed the example of the wisest ephors to implement incremental change. First, however, Lycurgus went to the Oracle at Delphi to ask for guidance.

The Oracle told Lycurgus that his prayers had been heard and that the state which observed the laws of Lycurgus would become the most famous in the world. With such an endorsement, Lycurgus went to the leading men of Sparta and enlisted their support.

He began with his closest friends, then these friends widened the conspiracy by bringing in their own friends. When things were ripe for action, thirty of them appeared at dawn in the marketplace, fully armed for battle.

At first, Charilaus thought they meant to kill him, and he ran for sanctuary in a temple, but eventually he joined the conspirators when he found out that all they wanted was to make sure there would be no opposition to the reforms Lycurgus had in mind.

Death[ edit ] According to the legend found in Plutarch's Lives and other sources, when Lycurgus became confident in his reforms, he announced that he would go to the oracle at Delphi to sacrifice to Apollo. However, before leaving for Delphi he called an assembly of the people of Sparta and made everyone, including the kings and Gerousia, take an oath binding them to observe his laws until he returned.

He made the journey to Delphi and consulted the oracle, which told him that his laws were excellent and would make his people famous. He then disappeared from history. One explanation was that being satisfied by this he starved himself to death instead of returning home, forcing the citizens of Sparta by oath to keep his laws indefinitely.

Lycurgus is said to have been the originator of the Spartan "Homoioi," the "Equals," citizens who had no wealth differentiation among them, an early example of distributisminsofar as the citizens not the Helots were concerned.

Notes of sparta and athens compare

This radical lifestyle differentiated the Spartans once again from other Greeks of their time. A new council between the people and the kings[ edit ] The first reform instituted by Lycurgus involved establishing a Gerousia of twenty-eight men, who would have a power equal to the two royal houses of Sparta.

The people had the right to vote on important questions, but the Gerousia decided when a vote would be taken. As Plutarch puts it, a Gerousia "allays and qualifies the fiery genius of the royal office" and gives some stability and safety to the commonwealth, like the ballast in a ship.

Before, Sparta had oscillated between the extremes of democracy and tyranny: With the addition of the Gerousia, which resisted both extremes, the government became stable and the people and their rulers respected each other.

Land reforms[ edit ] To accomplish this equality, Plutarch, in his Life of Lycurgus, attributes to Lycurgus a thoroughgoing land reform, a reassignment and equalizing of landholdings and wealth among the population, For there was an extreme inequality among them, and their state was overloaded with a multitude of indigent and necessitous persons, while its whole wealth had centered upon a very few.

To the end, therefore, that he might expel from the state arrogance and envy, luxury and crime, and those yet more inveterate diseases of want and superfluity, he obtained of them to renounce their properties, and to consent to a new division of the land, and that they should all live together on an equal footing; merit to be their only road to eminenceAthens and Sparta Athens and Sparta were two of the mightiest, most prominent, and famous city-states in Ancient Greece.

Within these two city-states there were very many similarities and differences whether that is culturally, politically, or generally. Plutarch (cc AD) was a writer and thinker born into a wealthy, established family of Chaeronea in central received the best possible education in rhetoric and philosophy, and traveled to Asia Minor and Egypt.

Later, a series of visits to Rome and Italy contributed to his fame, which was given official recognition by the emperors . This book by Paul Cartledge (for the piece on Hellenistic Sparta) and Antony Spawforth (for the one on Roman Sparta) is the continuation of Paul CArtledge's excellent Sparta and Lakonia.

The two sides will be labeled Athens or Sparta. The two groups will then be responsible for learning and becoming experts on that city-state. I explain that a city-state is like a state is to us. One of the most widely grown apple varieties in the world, and a mainstay of the supermarket apple selection - not least because it is available year round from northern and southern hemisphere suppliers.

The Spartan army stood at the center of the Spartan state, whose citizens trained in the disciplines and honor of a warrior society. Subject to military drill from early manhood, the Spartans became one of the most feared military forces in the Greek world.

At the height of Sparta's power – between the 6th and 4th centuries BC – it was commonly .

Myth, Philosophy, Why the Greeks?, Parmenides, Greek History