Ancient History of Sparta and Olympia


By: Devo, Alexandra, and Becca


Not much can be found about the government of Olympia, but some things were certain. Olympia was a rural center that was located on a border between conflicting groups. It served as the first meeting place for the leaders and chiefs of western Greece citys. Later it became neutral ground for citizens of different Greek city-states to meet, create friendships, form treaties, resolve disputes, and trade products and technology.

Sparta had the most stable government in the history of ancient Greece. At the top of government was the monarchy; which was a dual monarchy. Below the monarchy was a council composed of the two kings plus twenty-eight nobles. The council debated and set legislative and foreign policy, and was the supreme criminal court. Below the council was an assembly of all the Spartiate males that selected the council and approved or vetoed council proposals. Above them all was a small group of five men known as the ephorate. These five men led the council, ran the military, ran the educational system, ran the infant selection system, and had veto power over everything coming out of the council or the assembly. They even had power to depose the king; however, they needed powerful proof to exercise this power. Sparta’s government was considered as a monarchy and a democracy.


Olympia was on Mountain Olympus. Olympia is a place for the Titans, or the gods. Later it became a place for the people to worship the gods. The Olympic Games were also held at the Olympus Mountain.

Sparta's religion is very central and is not based on beliefs but on myths. These myths consisted on gods, goddesses, heros, how they created the world and what they did before humans were in the world. The worshiped all the gods and built many temples and altars for them.


Olympia's economy was mostly based on trading. Olympians made various things to trade and make money. they traded metal and metal makings, pottery, wheat and some spices but not that many. Also some people made money by winning the olympic games.

Sparta was mainly an agricultural state because of its island location.They would mostly export wine and olive oil, and the most imports were metals, lumber, and wheat. You could trade labor for goods. People would go to war or be at the kings service and get goods such as metals, and wheat.


There were many different types of buildings and architecture in Olympia. Some of the buildings found in Olympia were The Palaestra, The Temple of Zeus, The Temple of Hera, the Hippodrome, the Bouleuterion, and the Phillippeion. Most of the buildings’ architecture was temple like, made from marble or stone, and had ionic columns. Other buildings were made to be circular for things like award ceremonies or dinners for the Olympic Games.

Sparta doesn’t have many splendid temples or large impressive constructions. When looking at it from an above view, it mainly resembles a group of villages. Sparta isn’t known for its artwork; however some statues and sculptures have been found there.


Olympia made great advances in technology, and their main focus was on the arts. They focused on details, and how to build things. Through technology, the olympians built the first ever olympic stadium. They had a well built society because they were so advanced. They also made great advances in medicine as well.

Most advances that Sparta made in technology were in warfare. They invented things like the Phalanx, triremes and catapults. These were all used during war. They were also able to make ships and improved their knowledge on artillery technology. These advances were helpful in the development of the most organized military the world had seen. The Spartans were also pretty advanced in medicine. Actually, they were so advanced that some people couldn't keep up.


Education in ancient Olympia was at first limited to only boys. By the 4th century b.c. all 18-year old males were required to spend two years in a gymnasion, a state school devoted to overall physical and intellectual development. More advanced education was was available to the aristocracy. Although girls received no education in literary arts, many of them were taught to read informally in their homes.

Even though writing was reintroduced from the later 8th century BC, there is no evidence of schools until at least the mid-7th century BC. Up to then, training was given to certain parts of the community in numeracy, poetry and religious ritual. A militaristic type of education "agoge" was established focusing entirely to maintaining military strength. The 3 main branches for education were writing, music and gymnastics. Girls and boys received the the same sort of education, but it is unclear if they attended the same schools. Most girls were denied any sort of education other than the running of a household.

Social lives-

Olympia's social life was mainly based around the Olympic Games. thats when the most people came together, to watch the games and to the altar of Zeus. The olympic games was held because of the god Hercules, he was believed to be the most athletic god so they created the olympic games for him. Men were mostly focused on work and school and bringing back food for the family and the boys were to go to school. Women were to take care of the kids and cook the food, clean the house, and teach their daughters because girls did not go to school. So most of the day men and women were split up but in the mornings, lunch and dinner they were together.

Sparta's life was fairly communal. Men from ages 7-30 lived in Barracks-like buildings and went to communal meals. Men were really into fitness and being in shape and being able to go to the army whenever needed. Women of Sparta lived more in homes. Women exercised in the morning and went to a later breakfast and did mostly what you would think men would do. while men were preparing for the army women would make sure their land and property was in good shape and went to find jobs to help support their families. Slaves would do most of the manual parts of fixing the land. Women would go and cheer on the men while they were working out and then just have girl time at the end of the day and then go to bed.


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