Comparing the Athenians and the Spartans

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The Spartans and the Athenians were very different, perhaps one of the reasons they were always falling out! Cut out the statements and sort them into Athenian or Spartan attributes. Don’t believe everything you read about the Spartans though – the Athenians wrote most of it!

We trade with lots of our neighbours, both from other Greek cities and further afield.

We don’t encourage luxuries – not food, clothing or houses! This teaches our citizens to be tough and resilient.

Girls must train alongside the boys so that they are fit – fit mothers produce strong warriors!

Boys do not have to learn to read and write – they must train to be warriors instead.

Our boys go to school to learn to read and write.

A woman can own property just as a man can.

We know how to enjoy the finer things in life – our homes are very comfortable.

We don’t like to encourage trade outside of our city.

If a boy chooses he can go into the army or navy.

Our city is run as a democracy where all citizens can have their say. Excluding slaves of course!

Boys live away from their parents and are not given enough food or clothing. We believe this teaches them how to survive, even if that is by stealing!

Only rich girls can be educated, but only at home – they can not attend school. We teach them about spinning and weaving.

Our boys must join the army!

A wife is the property of her husband.

Girls are taught to read and write.

Our kings (yes we have two of them) make up the rules of our city.

Decide whether each statement is a Spartan or Athenian attribute, and then stick them in the table!



Which would have preferred to be – an Athenian or a Spartan? There are advantages and disadvantages to both so use examples in your explanation.

Would you change your answer if you were a different gender? Why?

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