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First, identify the structures of society and of government in Classical Athens (590-404 BC), Classical Sparta (ca. 650-ca. 370 BC), Classical Persia (559-330 BC), and the Classical Hellenistic Empire (330-ca.134 BC); then, second, discuss the distinctions between the Classical Athenian, Spartan, Persian, and Hellenistic forms of government and society; then, third, assess which you feel was most effective and why/by what definition of "effective". Then, once you've considered all these Classical societies, please identify the structures of society and of government in the Roman Republic (509-31 BC) and the Roman Empire (31 BC-ca. 476 AD), differentiating between different eras in the Republic and Empire as you see fit; then compare the Roman Republic and Roman Empire to Classical Athens and Sparta and, again, assess which you feel was most effective and why/by what definition of "effective"; then, finally, evaluate which of these Classical World societies you feel has had the greatest impact on our modern 21st Century American government and society and why. Feel free to relate these societies to our contemporary society and current events - especially given the 2016 election and its results
On analysing to the societies of classical Sparta, classical Athens, classical Persia and the classical Hellenic empire, citizens and non-citizens had classes having the Peloponnesian allies that had the large percentage in the army and also enjoyed some rights under the Spartan government. This Spartan government had two kings who were responsible for administrating it in times of war and celebrations. The actions of these kings were closely monitored by a council of elders which comprised of those aged from sixty years and above. The council was responsible for reviewing the actions and check whether they ruled according to the Spartan divine rule of these kings.
In Athens it was a very different case where democracy was observed and every citizen had one vote except for women and slaves who did not take part and this made them to own the government. The government was so cautious in bequeathing power to one man thus it was made in a way that no man could take total power. With Hellenic kingdoms their government was monarchical in a way that the kings had total control over the kingdom in terms of governance and military affairs and this made it possible for them to mistreat citizens who were their subjects. In Persia they had both monarchical and a decentralized form of government which was widespread to locals. These government was institutional based with different arms as those of majority modern governments.
In comparing and contrasting these kingdoms Athens, Persia, Sparta and the Hellenic kingdoms, Hellenic kingdoms emerge to be flexible of all in a way that they recognised the foreigners and the non-Greeks and they leaders held absolute powers and no controls and checks upon them. Both Sparta and Athens had a council of elders which checked and monitored the actions of these kings. These governments also did not recognize foreigners and deemed them from becoming citizens and part of their society. The differences that existed between Sparta and Athens is that Athens was very relaxed in terms of culture while Spartans were very strict. Athens was also under leadership of one leader who came from the noble class while Sparta had two kings from the two families who were under control of the council. Athens had a democratic form of government where they elected their leaders. The Persian society differed from the others in a way that it had a totally different form of administration that comprised of both monarchical with a decentralized administration.
In the Roman republic there came the end to Roman kingdom as this was the era of classical roman civilisation which was followed by the establishment of the Roman Empire. It was at this time that Rome became stable and expanded its boundaries. Thus Roman Empire was the most effective as it brought prosperity in Rome and expanded its territories.
The Roman Empire together with the Sparta had a monarchical system of government where administrative duties were deliberated from the kings. In Athens there was a democratic form of government in which citizens had a right to vote for their leaders.
These forms of administration have a direct impact with the current events in American government and society. This is so because America is a land of immigrants which have mixed culture from some of these kingdoms. In America the government is headed by an elected president who is under the checks and control by legislature and judiciary just like in Sparta where the kings were contained by the council. Like America the president is democratically elected by citizens though in a representational democracy rather than direct one as in Athens.
Fellowing. Student’s comment
1. Great point comparing Roman Empire with Sparta and today’s America, but it seems like American presidents are not being elected but selected.
Yes, I agree with you in Athens it was democracy，was observed and every citizen had one vote except for women and slaves who did not take part and this made them to own the government. The assembly is the highest organ of power in Athens. When the assembly is held, each citizen makes his or her own proposal. The highest judicial organ in Athens is the jury court, which consists of 6,000 associate judges.
I think you make a good point about how our society is really a blend of certain factors in these societies. Like you said our president is checked by the legislature like in Sparta, and we get democracy from Athens. We also have local and state governments that in a way resemble the satrapies of the Persian empire. Not to mention the major influence the Roman Republic also had on our system of government. I never really noticed that until now.
Fellowing student’s discussion 1.
Classical Athens (590-404 BC), The assembly is the highest organ of power in Athens. When the assembly is held, each citizen makes his or her own proposal. The highest judicial organ in Athens is the jury court, which consists of 6,000 associate judges.
Classical Sparta (ca. 650-ca. 370 BC), Sparta practiced the system of two Kings. The five consuls of Sparta were to be put to a referendum every year by the people; their power was over that of the king; they were to uphold the laws of the land; they were to supervise all the public and private powers of the state; and they were to convene the senate and the national assembly. But the consuls serve only one year, There were five consuls who would help the king with his affairs, and the senate would decide. Although in practice the senate has real power, all important matters are nominally subject to the approval of the general assembly
Classical Persia (559-330 BC), The sassanid kingdom was a highly centralized empire, with zoroastrianism as its state religion. The people were divided into four classes: priests, soldiers, scholars and civilians. Catholicism was persecuted and nestorianism developed.
The Classical Hellenistic Empire (330-ca.134 BC); Greece experienced the evolution of aristocracy, democracy, oligarchy and autocracy. In particular, the democratic political system of ancient Greece was one of the earliest attempts of ancient people to direct democracy, which had a profound influence on later generations The inhabitants of ancient Greece were complex, including peasants, merchants, government officials, craftsmen, artisans and slaves. Most of the people who lived in the ancient Greek city-states were farmers. Some ancient Greek city-states, like Sparta, practiced monarchy and centralized the sovereignty in the hands of the king.
leading to a society that is fairly easy to organize, by contrast to the individualist Greeks. New culture of the city. All 12 were self-governing city-states like the Greek poleis, which shared a loose religious unity, but more often that not, the Etruscan cities fought with each other
The distinctions between the Classical Athenian, Spartan, Persian, and Hellenistic forms of government and society：In their place, the Romans used the existing Senate to set up a Res Publica, or system of rule by the people, which we call a republic. To avoid allowing any one man to seize supreme power, the Romans created two executives, called consuls, granted them imperium, and placed them in a position of power-sharing with the Senate – a system that, on the surface, resembles the Spartans with their two kings and Gerousia council of elders. Some ancient Greek city-states, like Sparta, practiced monarchy and centralized the sovereignty in the hands of the king.
I think Athenian democracy is the most effective. Athenian democracy can be seen as an experiment in direct democracy -- because the voters do not elect representatives of the people but vote directly on legislative and executive bills.
Fellowing student’s discussion 2.
The Classical World was broken down into serval different eras in the Greek civilization. There was first, the Classical Athens, then the Classical Spartans, followed by the Classical Persia, and the Classical Hellenistic Empire which all had different structures of society and government. Classical Athens structure of society was hierarchical which the birth and gender will be the determining factors in the hierarchy. The Athens form of government was a democracy after the reforms of Cleistenes. Classical Sparta’s structure of society enslaved the Helots like workers on a plantation. Their form of government places power in three bodies: 2 kings, 28-man council, and an assembly of all male citizens. Classical Persia’s structure of society was a patriarchal system based on families forming tribes. Their government was an Oligarchic system that had the head of the tribes to make all large decisions for the society. The Classical Hellenistic Empire’s structure of society and government was mainly into war and conquering other lands for expansion. It is also a northern backwater which has seen no cultural achievement or real link to classical Greece. Their military and political tactics were to defeat the weak and marry into the families of the equally powerful.
I believe that the structures of society and government that was most “effective” would be of the Classical Athens. Even though the hierarchy portion is something that I do not agree with, the type of government (democracy) is something that can be deemed to be successful. This is an effective for the Athens because of the success that they had to bring about its superior civilization. Also, a democracy should be too bad of a government especially since if it one of the two political parties that we have.
The Roman Republic’s structures of society consisted of aristocrats (patricians), consuls, and a senate. The form of government that they had was called the Res Publica. The Roman Empire’s structures of society consisted of the emperor the top, then patricians and senators, underneath were the equestrians, followed by the plebeians, then freemen/soldiers, and at the very bottom the salves. Their form of government was a mix of republic and democracy, similar to what we have today in the United States.
I believe that the structures of society and government that was most “effective” would be of the Roman Empire. The structures of society may need a bit of a change, but the type of government is spot on. It is proven to be the more effective because for one, it is the longest lasting of these Greco-Roman civilizations. Even more so, that our founding fathers have made this type of government, the government of the United States. The Roman Empire’s society definitely made the greatest impact on our modern 21st Century American Government. If we had only a democratic government like the Athens, we would probably have the other candidate as president and the country would not have the type of success that it is having today (i.e. lowest employment, lowest number of minorities employed, etc...). But because we have a Democratic Republic along with the Electoral College, the United States is able to have the success that we see today with this president.
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