Document Based Essay and directions Historical Context

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Document Based Essay and directions

Historical Context: Athens and Sparta were two ancient Greek city states. These city states developed in the same part of the world, this caused them to have similarities and differences in their society and government.
Task: Make sure to include all the necessary essay components: introduction (with Thesis Question), body paragraphs (with Topic Sentences) and a Conclusion. You must refer to two documents in your essay, as well as include outside supporting information. Using the documents and your own knowledge of this subject, write an essay that addresses both of the following tasks:
Task 1: Describe 3 parts of Athenian Society and why they were important

Task 2: Explain which was better Athens or Sparta for at least two of the following categories:

(government, education, military, treatment of women. )

Relevant Timeline:

7,000-3,000 B.C.E.  Ancient Greece was still in the Neolithic stage and had not developed a civilization yet.
3,000-2,000 B.C.E.  The Ancient Greeks begin to learn how to make metals such as bronze.
776 B.C.E.  First Olympic games
461-429 B.C.E.  Golden Age of Athens – Democracy in Athens
431 B.C.E.  Start of war between Athens and Sparta
404 B.C.E.  War between Athens and Sparta ends, Sparta wins
146 B.C.E.  Ancient Rome conquers Greece –Greece becomes part of Roman Empire

Short Answers and directions:

1. Base your answer ONLY on what is in the document

2. Answer in NO MORE than three sentences.
DOCUMENT 1- Education
Spartan Education Athenian Education

The military school in Sparta was designed not to teach reading, but teach fitness, obedience, and courage. From the age of 7 boys were taught survival skills, how to fight, how to stealing what they needed without getting caught, and, under certain circumstances, to murder helots (slaves). “The entire education these boys had was to make them strong soldiers that were prepared for war. Girls were also sent to school in Sparta, and were taught wrestling, gymnastics, and were taught how to fight in battle.

(pg. 63)The Constitutional Antiquities of Sparta and AthensGilbert ,Gustav Swan Sonnenschein & Co New York: Macmillan & Co 1893

“ the ability to read and to write was important to all Athenian people– , reading and writing was needed in order to be a citizen, and to carry out their duty..”, the Athenian citizen needed a basic knowledge of reading and writing in order to be a member of the government. Education was made available by the government. Only boy of citizens were sent to school. There they would learn about poetry, literature, math, and science) it was also about preparing citizens to be in the government. They went to private schools starting at the age of 6 to 17.

Mass and elite in democratic Athens : rhetoric, ideology, and the power of the people Ober, Josiah. Princeton University Press, 1990.

1a. Compare the Athenian education system to the Spartan education system.

1b. Which education system was better? Why?


DOCUMENTS 2- Ancient Athenian and Spartan Military A: shows an Ancient Greek military fighting style called the phalanx , both Athens and Sparta used this fighting style. B: shows a hoplite, which is the name for Greek soldiers, both Athens and Sparta had this type of soldier. C: describes the military training of Sparta and Athens.

Greek Hoplite: a soldier that used spears as their main weapon, were citizens.

(Both Athens and Sparta had this type of soldier)

Athens military training: in Athens boys were sent to school to learn reading, writing, math, and other things from the age of 6 to 17. When boys turned 18 in Athens they were required to go to military school and learn how to fight in battle. In Athens military training was only 2 years long, once boys turned 20 they graduated military school.
Spartan military training: Spartan boys were taken from their families at the age of 6 or 7, and were sent to live in a military school until they were 30 years old. When Spartan men got married they could not live with their wives until they reached 30. Even if they were married they had to live in military schools until they were 30. Their whole lives were about military training, even after 30 the Spartan boys were required to serve the military until they were 60.

2a: What are two similarities between Athenian and Spartan soldiers?

2b: Describe Spartan military training:

2c: Describe Athenian military training:

2D: Which military training was better and why?


Document #3 Athenian and Spartan Government


3 Kings: (archons)  leaders during war, but did not declare it ,elected by assembly and any citizen could become a king, only had power for one year.

Council of Five Hundred:  citizens over 30 years of age; chosen by lottery, proposed laws to the Assembly, served for only 1year

Assemblyall male citizens over 20 years of age; enjoyed full and final power. (declared war, made laws, determined who citizens were, made up of all males over 20, about 30,000, vote based on majority)


Five Leaders(called Ephors)unlimited power meaning they had the power over the other three parts of government shown below , declared war, only had power for one year, elected by the assembly and any citizen could become one of the five leaders only once.

Council of Old People:  28 people over 60 years of age; came up with ideas for laws but the Assembly voted to decide if the laws should be allowed, served for life.

Kings:  two kings elected by the Assembly; served for life, and leaders during war, could not declare war

Assemblyall citizens over 30 years of age;  elected government members and did not make laws but voted whether they should be allowed.

3a. How many people could declare war in Athens and who were they? ___________________________

3b. How many people could declare war in Sparta and who were they? ___________________________

3c. How long did a King have power in Athens? ____________

3d. How long did a King have power in Sparta? ____________

3e. Which part of the government voted on whether or not an idea should become a law in Athens? _________________________________________________________________________________

3f. Which part of the government voted on whether or not an idea should become a law in Sparta? _________________________________________________________________________________

3g. How did someone get into the Assembly in Athens? ____________

3h. How did someone get into the Assembly in Sparta? ____________
3i: Describe two positive/ or good things about Athenian government:

3j: Describe two negative / or bad things about Athenian government:

3k: Describe two positive/ or good things about Spartan government:

3j: Describe two negative / or bad things about Spartan government:

Document #4 Athenian Women

Ancient philosopher and teacher, Aspasia, was known for her freedom, as well as her relationship with Pericles a king of Athens. Because of her strong ideas and her relationship to the king she was able to become important to Athenian government. Aspasia's story is different than all other women of Athens. Women of Athens could own things such as clothes, jewelry, but they could not buy it on their own. Also Athenian women could not own a home, or land. The men of the family controlled her life. Athenian women had no voting rights, and were not allowed to leave their homes (unless they were with their husband, or father.)

-Aspasia 'First Lady of Athens'

4a. Describe Aspasia’s role in Ancient Athenian society.

4b. Describe the role of a normal woman in Ancient Athenian society.


To the right is a picture of Helen of Sparta, who was a Queen of Ancient Sparta. The lives that Spartan women had were differed from those of the women in Athens. This is because the men were always out either training for war, or fighting a war. Spartan women had greater freedom than Athenian women had. Different from Athens, Spartan women could own land just like the men could. In fact, they owned more than 1/3 of land in Sparta. Spartan women were expected to protect the city from attacks when the men were not home, for this reason they were also trained to fight in battle. The one bad thing for Spartan women was that at 18 they needed to pass a military strength test, if they did they would be set up to get married. If the women failed the test then they would not allowed to get married and would lose their rights as a citizen.
Document #5 Spartan Women

5. Describe the role of a woman in Ancient Spartan society.



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