Athens vs Sparta: Difference and Comparison

One of the two significant rivals of ancient Greece is Athens and Sparta. Most of the present-day western current traditions are attributed to these two regions.


Law Quiz

Test your knowledge about topics related to law

1 / 10

Tender is an?

2 / 10

An agreement made without free consent is

3 / 10

A promise made without intention to perform is

4 / 10

What type of law deals with environmental protection and conservation?

5 / 10

What type of law governs the regulation of trade and commerce?

6 / 10

___________ consists in the omission of that diligence which is required by the nature of the obligation.

7 / 10

What is the legal definition of arrest?

8 / 10

_______ is a rule of conduct, just, obligatory, and laid down by a legitimate power.

9 / 10

What is the term used in evidence law to describe evidence that is not admissible in a court of law?

10 / 10

_______ is the agreement of the will of one contracting party with that of another or others, upon the object and terms of the contract

Your score is


Key Takeaways

  1. Athens was an ancient Greek city-state known for its focus on democracy, arts, philosophy, and education, fostering a culture of intellectual growth and creativity.
  2. Sparta was an ancient Greek city-state recognized for its militaristic society, strict discipline, and emphasis on physical strength and combat training.
  3. The primary difference between Athens and Sparta lies in their political systems, societal values, and cultural focus, with Athens prioritizing democracy and intellectual pursuits. At the same time, Sparta emphasized military strength and discipline.

Athens vs Sparta

Athens was home to some renowned philosophers, such as Socrates and Plato. Sparta had a unique social structure where a select group held great power and influence. The citizens of Sparta were required to serve in the military until 60 years of age.

Athens vs Sparta

However, the above is not the only difference. A comparison between both the terms on specific parameters can shed light on subtle aspects:


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonAthensSparta
MeaningAthens is the capital city of GreeceOne of the cities in Greece
Is it the capital city?YesNo
Is it the most populous city in Greece?YesNo
What is the population?3,153,355 (in 2020)Around 17000 (in 2011)
What is the region in which the city is located?AtticaLaconia
What is the type of climate?Hot summer Mediterranean climateSunny warm Mediterranean climate
How was the government based in ancient times?DemocraticMilitary
Ruled by whom in ancient times?Nine chief magistrates had to undergo annual electionsKings who either died or were thrown out from kingship
What was the type of ancient culture?ProgressiveRelaxed and easy-going
Whether the military was mandatory in ancient times?NoYes
Whether girl education was the norm in ancient times?NoYes
What was the status of women in ancient times?Less freedom and status with more focus on household workMore freedom and status even receiving physical training similar to that of men
What was the most important aspect from a defence perspective?Powerful navyMilitary soldiers
What was the economy dependent on in ancient times?Commerce and farmingAgriculture, wars
Why did they become famous?Civilization, Commercial development and intelligenceMilitary prowess
What was the most important focal point in ancient times?Education and developmentBuilding military


What is Athens?

Athens is an ancient city in Greece. It can be considered one of the world’s prominent olden and traditional cities, with inhabitation dating back to more than 3000 years.

Athens is considered to have laid the structure and beginning of western civilization’s progress.

Athens is an originator of literature, intellect, arts, architecture, and modern culture. Athens has given birth to prominent creative and imaginative people in diverse fields such as mathematics, sciences, history, etc.

Athens has been a house to exceptionally talented writers, thinkers, and philosophers such as Socrates, Democritus, Hippocrates, Pindar, Phidias, Plato, and Aristotle, to name a few.

Athens is also considered a pioneer in modern infrastructural development as many temples and buildings signifying beauty and sophisticated architecture were built over time.

Athens displayed such incredible architecture that even Spartans who once defeated Athens were amazed by the region’s beauty. Though they captured the city, they did not destroy the artefacts.

Athens had a form of democratic government. Athens’s economy ran on commerce and trading in the sea as agriculture was not prominent due to the soil’s non-availability and suitability.

Athens did not have a significant military power but a commendable naval warship which led to the defeat of the Persians in multiple wars.


What is Sparta?

Sparta is also known by the name “Lacedaemon.” Sparta is located in the southern region of Greece known as Laconia. The word Sparta means simple and economical.

The spartan tradition was based on military prowess. At a very young age, the boys were compulsorily being made to take military education and become paid soldiers.

Sparta, at the forefront of philosophy, professed discipline and battles.

Right from the time the child was born till the person turned old, endurance exercises were made compulsory, such as leaving the child on a mountain overnight to test its strength and severely punishing small children for unruly behaviour. Men even served in the army after the age of 60 years.

Spartans used to capture fellow Greeks and turn them into slaves. These slaves used to help the Spartans complete their daily activities such as farming, labour, etc.

The slaves were maltreated by the Spartans, even killing them on occasion. However, Sparta women had more freedom than their counterparts in other cities.

Sparta had an oligarchy form and had a classic military or autocratic rule. The main occupation was agriculture, and people did not possess a forward-looking outlook nor significantly devoted time to intellect, ideas, and philosophy.

Sparta, at one stage, defeated Athens in the Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.).

Thebes defeated Sparta at the Battle of Leuctra in 371 B.C., ultimately leading to their decline.

Further battles led to the freedom of slaves. Somewhere in the early 1820s, the Greece King founded the modern city of Sparta.


Main Differences Between Athens and Sparta

  1. Athens is considered to be the home of western civilization. Sparta is not considered home to any modern civilization.
  2. Athens was based on a democratic government where people were elected annually. Sparta was based on an oligarchy and had two rulers.
  3. Athens’s core ideals were based on development, trade, intellect, and wisdom and did not force people to join the military. Sparta’s philosophy was based on creating military power and making joining the military compulsory.
  4. Athens believed in having strong family relationships. Sparta did not believe in such a mindset though women possessed multiple rights.
  5. Athens’s economy was based on trade. Sparta‘s economy was based on agriculture.
  6. Athens is considered a centre of arts and learning. Sparta is not considered such a centre.
Difference Between Athens and Sparta
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want to save this article for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own articles box!