Essay Sample on The Peloponnesian War: Sparta vs. Athens & the Ancient City's History

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1641 Words
Date:  2022-12-28


During the Peloponnesian war, Sparta was an enemy to Athens but initially emerged the winner through the conflicts lead to a significant loss of lives. Athens is one of the oldest cities in ancient Greece. The town is built in the Attica Basin, which is usually surrounded by four mountains namely; mount Pentilicus, mount Parnitha, mount Hymettus and install Aigaleo. Hills also encompass the city with the tallest of them being Lycabettus. Athens is generally referred to be the birthplace of Western civilization. The location of the town is 5 miles from the Bay of Phaleron which is an inlet of Aegean Sea. Classical Greece was a period that lasted for about 200 years. This was between the 5th and 4th centuries in the Greece culture. It comprised of the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece with that of the ancient Rome which was therefore called Greco-Roman world. The greeks were well known to make essential contributions towards mathematics, astronomy, medicine and also in of the most critical aspects in the ancient culture that largely influence modern culture is literature and theatre. During this period, the Greeks were well known for their sophisticated architecture and sculpture. The Greek culture had a significant influence on the Roman Empire and still has a substantial impact on modern society. The Greek community was compromised by several independent parties that shared the same religion.

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Nonetheless, every nation or individuals in a particular era and civilization have their effective and suitable ways in which they would like to be governed by the authority. For instance, as the time passed by the ancient Greek as well as their populations grew whereby most citizens' assembly became more powerful, and consequently, during the 5 B.C., most of the states became democratic. The term democracy is formed from a Greek word "demos" implying for ordinary people. Athens was the largest group and the most popular of all freedoms and their democracy significantly worked across all other nations. Concerning this, the chief aim of this research paper is to provide a critical overview of how the ancient Greek civilization answered the query regarding how they should be governed. Typically, the citizens gathered in a full assembly, but most of them mainly preferred to create a small council whose prominent role was to comprehensively discuss the important public matters before presenting them to the full assembly. The federal officials were then chosen by the majority apart from the military commanders who were officially elected. However, every citizen was liable for the membership or to hold a public office within the governing council for a minimum of one year. Based on this perspective, the majority of citizens had the opportunity to obtain experience of the government primarily because the office holding was continually rotating.

History of the Ancient Greek Civilization

Ideally, the Ancient Greek civilization came into the light of world history during the 8th century B.C. and was significantly considered as the end of Greece to be under the Roman Empire in 146B.C. Nonetheless, some of the significant Greeks or rather the Hellenistic as commonly termed by the contemporary scholars kingdoms existed for a more extended period beyond this. During the Greek Dark Ages which was the period before the archaic era people were scattered all through Greece and divided into small farming villages. As the population continued to grow, the villages evolved as well wherein some built walls, others constructed a market place and named it as "an agora" and a met place for the entire community. They also established their regimes and grouped their citizens into some set of rules and regulations or a constitution. They developed armies and collected taxes while everybody who belonged to these cities namely policies strongly believed that they were guided by a certain god or goddess to whom they greatly respected and valued. In spite of every Greek city-state including Sparta having significant differences, the citizens' shared similar speech, stock and some customs such as the religious rituals. The leaders, however, monopolized the political power and were against the ordinary citizens serving on the assemblies. The most resourceful farmlands were also controlled by the aristocrats and some highly claimed to have been chosen by gods. However, as a result of the gap that existed between the rich and the poor who were often enslaved to work for the rich and denied their political rights, there were conflicts all the time that involved both the nobles and the people.

Additionally, the conquest of Philip of Macedon of the Greek city-states is historically perceived as overthrowing Classical Greece and making way for the Hellenistic age, which entails the defeat of Alexander the great and brings to an end the various distinct states by the Rome between the period of 146 B.C. and 31 B.C. The Greece civilization history is mainly divided into four categories including the archaic period that was represented by a considerable growth of the many features of civilizations and only lasted from the 8th to the6th centuries B.C. The other division is the classical Greece, which thrived between the 5th and the 4th centuries B.C. and was primarily characterized by the Persian Wars. Thirdly there was the Athens Golden Age that was later in 404 and 338B.C. followed by the Classical era. In effect, the ancient Greek civilization enormously influenced the Roman Empire as it is emphasized mainly by the present scholars that the Roman epoch was typically a continuation of a similar culture that was given the name Greece-Roman. However, the conquest of the Roman Empire carried away numerous features that market the Greece civilization to many other parts like Western Europe and the Mediterranean and as a result of the mediation of the Romans, the ancient Greek culture formed a critical basis of the Western civilization.

The Greco-Persian Wars

Historically, Greco-Persian Wars is one of the most significant events in the history of Greeks that lasted from 431-404 BCE. The fight was primarily a prolonged battle amongst the two dominant Greek city-states of Classical Greece, the Athens, and Sparta. The classical Greek civilization never had a ruling empire or a government, but instead, is comprised of small independent communities known as city-states that regularly caused political fragmentation, conflict and in the long run, war. Therefore, the city-states of Greece ruled themselves, and they enormously competed with each other when it came to matters with cultural influence, sporting, warfare, as well as trade competitions. According to the contemporary Greek historian namely Thucydides, the principal reason that factored to this war was the growing tension between the two first states whereby the Spartans feared the rising power of the Athens. The Greco-Persian Wars can significantly be categorized into three distinct phases that include the declean war, the archidamian war, and the Sicilian expedition.

At the end of the Greco-Persian Wars, the Spartans emerged victorious whereas the Athens were left demoralized, bankrupt and exhausted. Consequently, this led to a direct rise of the authority for the Spartans, bringing to an end the Athenian naval as well as their political domination across the Mediterranean region. The devastating destructions from the wars that lasted for over ten years also deteriorated and led to a division of the city-states for many years, ultimately the Macedonians an opportunity to triumph over them during the mid-4th century BCE. Therefore, the Athens democracy was wholly conquered due to its poor participation or defeat on the Greco-Persian war. The citizens aggressively reacted toward the loss of Athens, pointing fingers at some of the democratic politicians like Cleophan and Cleon. In 404 BCE, after attaining the victory at the end of the war, the army from Sparta advocated for a rebellion that resulted in the creation of the thirty tyrants. Besides, Lysander who was the Spartan admiral and a commander of the Spartan taskforce played a prominent role in organizing the thirty dictators governing Athens for the few months they were in charge of power.

Nonetheless, during the regime of thirty tyrants' a lot of demoralizing and upsetting events occurred to the Athens whereby the democratic supporters of the Athenian population were exiled, a considerable percent murdered and millions of properties confiscated. The thirty's administration also selected a council comprising of five hundred individuals who were served with the responsibility of administrative tasks that were previously shared by all citizens. In spite of all this, approximately three thousand of the Athenian men were not denied of their human rights and were appointed by the thirty tyrants' rule to contribute to Athens's government. These men, whose names were continually revised regarding their loyalty to the regime, were allowed to own weapons, live within the city limits and most important entitled to jury trial. Eventually, the violence and brutality level of the thirty's regime was met with immense opposition mainly from rebels belonging to the Athenian population. As a result of the increased opposition, a revolt was formed that ensured that the thirty's regime was entirely overthrown, allowing the Athens to recover from the upheaval caused by the government in the following years. Therefore, in the aftermath, Sparta attempted their hand at governing all of Greece but was faced with more rebellions that led to other wars, which attracted even foreign invaders.

The consequences of the Greco-Persian Wars led to military losses and economic decline in classical Greece. On the international relations level, Athens which was deemed as the most prosperous city in Greece before the war began was exposed to strict subjection whereas Sparta rose as the most influential power of Greece. The overwhelming economy costs affected the entire Greek civilizations and poverty became prevalent across the Peloponnese, making Athens to be devastated completely never to re-claim its pre-war prosperity. The war also made it hard for the Greeks to cooperate and made any future unification almost impossi...

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Essay Sample on The Peloponnesian War: Sparta vs. Athens & the Ancient City's History. (2022, Dec 28). Retrieved from

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