Athens and Sparta

             The country of Greece, in 400-500 BCE was led to greatness by two city-states. These city-states, diverse in ideas and actions, were Sparta and Athens. Sparta and Athens were as different as night and day. Sparta glorified military tactics while Athens took relish in art and learning. These city-states served not only as rivals but also allies. Sparta and Athens, two city-states with nothing in common but the desire to make Greece a powerful, omnipotent nation, accomplished their goal through their unity, diverseness, and controversy.
             To better understand the interaction between Sparta and Athens and their desire for Greece to be a strong nation, it is imperative to know the situation of these two city-states in the early 400's BCE. At this point in time, another city-state of Greece, Ionia was under the control of Persia. The Ionian Greeks were dissatisfied by Persian rule. A Persian tyranny dominated Ionia at this time and Ionians begged Sparta and Athens to relieve them from the burden of Persia. Sparta declined to help but Athens decided their assistance would prevent the Persian tyranny from spreading in the direction of Athens, their home. Athens easily defeated Persia and freed the Ionians in the battle of Marathon in what is known as the Ionian Revolt. Margaret Killingray supports this in writing, "Athens, a tiny city, gloried in her victory over one of the world's largest empires" (Killingray 18). This defeat however, angered the Persian tyranny and thus war was declared on Greece, Persia's intentions being to conquer all of Greece and make it part of the Persian empire. Thus, in 490 BCE the Persian War began. Now that the threat of the Persians had intensified, Sparta was ready to fight Persia. Greek armies everywhere, including that of Athens who had an incredible naval fleet, united under the supreme military command of Sparta. The Persian's efforts were crushed by the Greek force; Sparta having led them ...

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Athens and Sparta. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 07:09, January 22, 2017, from