Debate Materials Athens & Sparta or Socrates, Plato & Aristotle

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  • Debate MaterialsAthens & SpartaorSocrates, Plato & Aristotle

  • SpartaCovered by hills and mountains, isolation contributed to the Spartans desire to be left alone.Education focused entirely on physical fitness and military training (men were full time soldiers from 20 to 30 years of age)Women were to bear children, but were also known for their wealth and indepenceAlmost no interest in the arts or philosophy

  • SpartaThe Spartan citizens were, in fact, the descendants of 9th century BC Doric invaders to the Peloponnese. Rather than exterminating or enslaving the native population, the Spartans hadfor whatever reasonmanaged to come to a unique arrangement with the conquered inhabitants.These continued to live and work in Laconia, enjoying distinctly different status and privileges from the Spartan citizens, or Spartiates, but far better than that of chattel slaves.

  • Sparta: PerioikoiThese peoples were divided into two broad categories: The residents of the pre-Doric towns, who enjoyed a free but dependent status as "Perioikoi," and the peasants, who enjoyed a far more restricted status as "helots." The Perioikoi had their own laws and customs, could pursue any profession or trade they liked, and had their own local officials and dignitaries.

  • Sparta: HelotsThe "helots" were tied to the land and were officially the property of the Lacedaemonian government.

    By the 6th Century B.C., helots probably outnumbered Sparta citizens by 10 to 1

    The large number of helots allowed the Spartans to cultivate their region efficiently, but also posed the threat of constant rebellion

  • Sparta: HelotsThe Spartan helotsif compared to slaves in other Greek city-stateswere very privileged indeed. Helots were not chattels. They could not be bought and sold by their "masters." They could marry who and when they willed. They even legally had parents and children. (In other Greek states, a slave was not allowed to marry, and offspring of sexual intercourse, regardless of the partner, "belonged" to the owner of the slave; parenthood was not recognized.)

  • Sparta: SpartiatesIn theory, all Spartans citizens were equalTo discourage economic and social distinctions, Spartans observed an extraordinarily austere lifestyle as a matter of policyNo jewelry, elaborate clothes, luxuries, or accumulation of great private wealthEven today, spartan meansPracticing great self-denialUnsparing and uncompromising in discipline or judgment Resolute in the face of pain or danger or adversity

  • What was it like to be a Spartan?Taken away from your parents at age 7, you lived a harsh and often brutal life in the soldiers barracks. You were beaten by older children who started fights to help make you tough and strong. You were often were whipped in front of groups of other Spartans, including your parents, but never cried out in pain. You were given very little food, but encouraged to steal food, instead. If caught stealing, you were beaten. To avoid severe pain, you learned to be cunning, to lie, to cheat, to steal, and how to get away with it!

  • Sparta: EducationWhat distinctions did exist in Spartan society were based not on wealth or social status, but on prowess, discipline, and military talentSpartan educational system cultivated such attributes from an early ageBoys left their homes at age seven to live in military barracks under a rigorous regime of physical trainingAt age 20 they took a test of Athletics and Leadership If they passed, they went into the military as citizens where they served until retirementIf they failed, they became part of the Perioikoi

  • Sparta: SpartiatesWomen married at age 18 or 20 but did not live with their husbandsThe men stayed in the barracks until about age 30 when they began to set up households with their wives and childrenWomen maintained strict physical regimes in the hopes of bearing strong children

  • Even after they were married, the men did not live with their wives and families. They lived in the barracks.Military service did not end until a Spartan male reached the age of 60. Only then could a Spartan soldier retire and live in their home with their family.

    Sparta: Spartiates

  • Sparta: GovernmentHighly unusual government that contained elements of democracy, timocracy, monarchy, and oligarchy

    King Leonidas ca. 530 BC-480 BC

  • Sparta: GovernmentOligarchyRule by a fewPower was in the hands of five men called Ephores who were elected annually by the Council of Elders

    TimocracyGovernment by people of honorAll Ephores were over the age of 60 and had completed their military career The Ephores controlled all daily life in Sparta

  • Sparta: GovernmentMonarchyRule by a hereditary sovereignUnder the five Ephores there were two Kings that came from the two noble families of Sparta With divine approval, shown in an oracle or an omen, the Ephores had the power to force the Kings abdicationDemocracyElection based on numerical majorityUnder the Kings were the Council of the Elders. The council passed laws and elected the five EphoresBeneath them were the rest of the free Spartan men who voted for the Council of Elders

  • SpartaOligarchy is dominant governmentMilitary strength most importantHarsh treatment of their slavesFarming Economy

  • Life in the PolisLife centered around agora (marketplace)Divided into three groupsAdult men: citizens with political rightsFree people (women, children and resident foreigners: no political rightsSlaves: prisoners of war or for debtGirls were considered economic liabilities since they had to be provided with dowries before they could get married

  • Law codes Laws were enforced by aristocrats and ruled as they saw fitDemands grew to force the aristocrats to codify, or write down, the customary laws and procedures governing the citiesAs the laws were made public for all to see the rule of the aristocrats was brought to an end

  • Tyrrany: Solon the Lawgiver Social unrest leads to new systemSolon canceled debts and abolished enslavement for debt.Citizenship based on wealthPublic office was open to the three upper classesFourth class was ineligible for public officeProblems for poor farmers continued

  • Peisistratus & CleisthenesPeisistratus the TyrantWielding sole political power in violation of the established law, but with the support of the peopleBeautified the city and increased the sense of being a Athenian by civic festivals Cleisthenes democracyMixed different tribes in hope to destroy the regional power of the aristocracy Created Council of Five HundredDirect democracy: all legislative and electoral power remained with the popular assembly, made up of all voting citizens

  • Women in AthensWomen did not have citizen rights. They could only go out to weddings, funerals, religious festivals and to visit female friends.In wealthy families girls were educated to run the household of servants and slaves, and were usually married by the age of 13.In poorer families women worked alongside men, farming in the fields or running the family business.

  • Education in AthensUntil age 6 or 7, boys were taught at home by their mother or by a male slave. They boys learnt the poetry of Homer and how to play the lyre. Their teacher, who was always a man, could choose what other subjects he wanted to teach. He might choose to teach drama, public speaking, government, art, reading, writing, maths and the flute.Books were expensive and rare, so lessons were read out-loud, and the boys had to memorize everything.

  • They were taught to read and write the Greek alphabet. They didnt have books to write in. Instead, they use a wax tablet, and wrote on this with a metal 'pen'. The pen had a sharp end and a rounded end. They wrote with the sharp end, and then rubbed out the work with the rounded end.

  • At 14 boys attended a higher school for four more years. When they turned 18, they entered military school for two additional years. At age 20, they graduated. Girls were not educated at school, but many learned to read and write at home.

  • What it was like to be an AthenianBe polite. You have had a good education. Until age 6 or 7, you were taught at home by your mother, or by a male slave. From age 7-14, you attended a day school in the neighborhood where you memorized poetry and learned to play the lyre. You learned drama, public speaking, reading, writing, math, and perhaps even how to play the flute. You attended four years of higher school, and learned more about math and science and government. At 18, you attended military school for two additional years! You believe you are better than any other city, and are proud to be an Athenian!

  • AthensDemocratic governmentEducation valuedTrade Economy

  • How was order maintained in Greece?GovernmentSpartaMilitary meansAthensDemocratic meansCorinthTyrants

  • Greek PhilosophyAthens sophisticated and wealthy society provided time for thoughtAll the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.Several great thinkers tried to construct a consistent system of philosophy based purely on human reasonRationally understand human beings and human behaviorSocrates, Plato, Aristotle

  • Socrates (469 to 399 B.C.)Turned the course of philosophical enquiry around--from its earlier focus on natural science, to a focus on ethics or public moralityKeenly interested in such subjects as justice, beauty, and goodness Optimistic Knowing the truly good would necessarily direct a person to act in line with this knowledge Human beings can lead honest lives

  • Socrates (469 to 399 B.C.)Insisted on the need


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