During the early centuries prior to the birth of Christ, Athens and Sparta were the two most well-known Greek city-states.Since both Athens and Sparta resided in Greece, one could come to the conclusion that their societies and the culture of their city-states might be largely similar.Surprisingly enough, this is not the case.Though certain aspects of their cultures were alike, on the whole their cultures were unexpectedly unalike.
Before the Spartan culture can be discussed it is essential for one to have a basic understanding of the history that made the culture what it was following sixth-century BC.The eighth-century Mycenaean War was a large determining factor in the way the Spartans ran their city-state.Prior to the Mycenaean War, Sparta was a monarchy just like all of it's neighboring city-states.Their population was growing at such an alarming rate that they no longer occupied the land necessary to support their people.As a result they formed an army to annex the particularly fertile bordering city-state of the Mycenaean's.The annexation was a success, and the Spartans found themselves content with their newly-conquered territory.Just as the Spartans began to feel comfortable, the Mycenaean's got the city-state of Argos to aide them in revolting to get their land back.
This revolt was nearly successful, but the Spartans managed to come out on top.But the fight was not over yet for the Spartans, as the Mycenaean's had the Spartans outnumbered ten to one; it was only a matter of time before the Spartans would no longer have control over the Mycenaean's and the land would be lost.Thus the Spartans created for themselves an entirely new political system, and made their state "tightly organized, militaristic, [and] land-based" [Sherman 34].
This massive change that took place in Sparta gave the Spartans the stability that had been threatened during the Mycenaean&ap…