How Athens was the better city-state.

Essay by TawnzHigh School, 11th grade November 2003

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Many historians of today debate which is the most prestigious city-state of Classical Greece - Athens or Sparta. The greatest city-state of all time was Athens from which we model our modern ways after. Their laws were humane and civilized which allowed citizens to think in a free manner. Athens was not just military based like Sparta, and were involved in other valuable and important ways of life. In addition, they had the first official democracy ever which set the trend for the rest of history.

The Athenian laws contained a general provision, and all decisions were made to benefit the Athenian society. For example, when two parties agreed to a sale, but the buyer could not pay the full purchase price, he could give the seller a 'down payment 'until he could come up with the rest of the cash. If he failed to make the full payment, the seller could keep the money as a penalization.

Children and babies were treated humanely in Athens. They were nurtured and cared for by their mothers and sometimes grandfathers, even if they were sick (unlike the Spartiates who left their babies outdoors if they were ill). Children went to school and usually took and interest to a specific subject. They had a choice if they wanted to continue their education after the age of 14. Athens was also more earnest when it came to slavery. Even though they had no rights, they were usually treated suitably and portrayed skillful chores. The slaves who were thieves were treated the way they deserved, being denounced and worked in mines. The slaves in Sparta however, had no rights or provisions, not even the Lacedaemon and Peloponnese - the first settlers of that region. The laws in Athens were made in the concern and care...