Would you rather live in Athens or Sparta?

Would you rather live in Athens or Sparta? Prep Five spent last Wednesday exploring the different cultures of the two ancient Greek city states with our two Ancient Greek visitors.

Firstly, we explored boxes of artefacts relating to different aspects of Athenian life, including education, theatre, religion, the market, buildings and medicine. The medicinal leeches and the theatrical masks and wigs proved extremely popular! We also played an Athenian game which involved consulting the oracle to determine our futures; those of us who were destined to become rich ladies and gentlemen were pleased, while those who were destined to become slaves were less happy with our fate. Greek theatre was brought to life by the acting talents of Thea, dressed as the Minotaur and an equally ferocious David as Medusa. We learnt about Athenian democracy by voting how we should use profits from our silver mines; our decision to build warships proved fortuitous as the Persians were shortly to attack our coast.

Spartan life was very different. Mia, in her role as a Spartan mother, brought her baby to be inspected by Nyla, the wise Spartan elder. Fortunately, Nyla considered the baby robust enough to be allowed to live, as babies showing any signs of weakness were abandoned on the mountainside. At seven years old the baby, acted by a suitably strong and robust looking Hugh, was sent off to warrior school, to be trained to fight for Sparta; stealing and bullying were encouraged and the boys were toughened up by whipping. Spartan soldiers did like to look their best when they fought in case they died in battle, however, and Harper and Hugh demonstrated how they combed each other’s hair before fighting. Jaydon, playing the part of an enemy Persian spy, was fooled by the soldiers’ grooming, assuming they were too vain to be dangerous enemies. His mistake led the Persians to underestimate the Spartans – a mistake which cost the Persians dearly.

In the afternoon we enjoyed using clay to make Greek coins, using different Greek symbols including owls, temples and snakes. Next, we moved to the hall to perform a play about Demeter and Persephone. Everyone donned costumes and masks; in addition to the main characters, musicians and chorus played an important part in telling the story. The gates of Hades were guarded by a suitably fearsome three headed dog, played by Hari, Yasmeen and Moaed, while David was the sinister ferryman who took Persephone across the River Styx. Our day ended with Greek dancing, and then the decision had to be made – which of the two city states would be our preferred home? The class was divided into two halves, some preferring the war-like life of the Spartans, others favouring the more varied, democratic life of the Athenians.

After an excellent day of learning and fun, we returned somewhat reluctantly to our classroom and the twenty-first century. Our thanks go to the Makers of History for their energy, enthusiasm and expertise, which made the day so memorable, and to all our parents for providing costumes and their invaluable support.

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11 Responses to Would you rather live in Athens or Sparta?

  1. Aysha Rajpura says:

    I would rather live in Athens in Greece because in Athens you don’t get sent to military school at 7 years old (Spartans did that) and i would rather live as a male in Athens because you get proper education even though you get taught to read and write in Sparta they wouldn’t really care or focus on that.You get taught to steal in Sparta and that is not the right thing to do whereas in Athens you get to do the right thing and go to the Agora where we trade and hang out.In Athens you get mohave a proper good education for male so when you go to school you get to learn music, drama and reading and writing,In school in music you could play the lyre.In Sparta they would starve you alot and ladies were taught to wrestle and be fit, all you do is fight and wrestle and in Sparta in Athens you could fight and you could do many other things like being a poet, an actor..ect

    so that is my reason, from:Aysha

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  2. Yasmeen Abou-Ragheb says:

    It was so much fun! I loved it ! Even though I lost all the rounds, I still enjoyed it. I would rather live in Sparta because women get the right to fight, and you learn how to fight, wrestle and toughen up! I wish we could to do it again…

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  3. Tobias says:

    I would rather live in Sparta because you learn how to stand up for your self.But when you steal you better watch out,if you get caught you will be punished.So you better watch out.

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  4. Chun Ka Leong says:

    I would rather live in mighty Sparta because you can learn how to train as a strong army on a mountain, steal and find a shelter to survive. As you live in Sparta, the children need to learn how to be a thief because when times go by, they need to learn how to battle and be a agile thief and be a fierce fighter. But be careful, don’t let people know you are stealing at other people houses. Remember, if you want to live in Sparta, you must NEVER EVER GIVE UP. KEEP STRONG AND STAY STRONG.

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  5. Chun Ka Leong says:

    I would like to live in Sparta because I can train as a strong warrior and represent the country. I also can go to the mountain to fight , steal and find shelter to surive down or die. But Spartan people want to stealing while they are not caught in other people sight. If you want to live in Sparta, don’t forget to NEVER EVER GIVE UP in battle.

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  6. Harper Torkington says:

    The Greek day was fantastic, I learnt a lot about Athens and the mighty Sparta. I particularly enjoyed being an actor in the Greek theatre!

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  7. Anya Barooah says:

    It was an inspiration to how I thought Athens was much better for women, whereas women in Sparta get more rights than women in Athens don’t.

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  8. Hari says:

    I really enjoyed this ancient Greek day especially when we balanced peacock feathers on the palms of our hands.

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  9. Mia says:

    I loved Greek day it was fantastic I learnt a lot about the differences of Sparta and Athens and I would like to thank the lady and the man who came in to our class room.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    I really enjoyed Greek day because we made clay coins with a symbol on it.On my coin I put the
    Parthernon which is a Greek temple another thing I liked was learning about Sparta, an ancient Greek city state.

    By Thea.

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  11. Dravid Patel,Prep 5 says:

    I would rather live in mighty Sparta because you can learn to defend yourselves even your friends but remember when you are seven in Sparta you have to go to the mountains to fight, steal and find shelter to survive or DIE!! But be careful while stealing you don’t want to get caught. If you want to live in Sparta you remember to NEVER GIVE UP!!!

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