The Grand Athenian

The Official Newspaper of Athens


Sparta vs. Athens

For years the war has been going on in the heads of all Greeks: Who's better, Athens or Sparta? "Sparta of course!" people say because of the strength of their army. Yes, we will give that to Sparta. They have quite the army, but what use is a bunch of mindless, - I feel like the word for them has not been thought of yet! If their leader tells them to jump off a cliff, will they?

Here in Athens, however, we encourage personal thoughts and creativity. All eligible men are welcome to become a part of our government, or democracy, as a part of the Council of Five Hundred. That is, if you are chosen to be a part of it. Here, the individual is more important than the state! If you have a great idea or new invention, share it with someone! Everyone here in Athens is ready to learn and accept new ideas. The only idea that we will never accept is that Sparta is better!



Today we stand under the rule of our third great reformer, Cleisthenes. He has expanded our democracy further than both Solon and Draco. He has also increased the power of the assembly. Cleisthenes created the Council of Five Hundred as well.

The Council of Five Hundred was made to propose laws and advise the assembly. All five hundred members of the council are chosen by lot. This way, everyone has an equal chance of being on the council. That is, if you are not a slave, foreigner, or woman. Only about 20% of our population is made up of citizens eligible to be on the Council of Five Hundred. That means if you are a citizen, you have a pretty good chance of impacting our government! Cleisthenes has certainly made our democracy extremely strong!


None of our Athenian power would ever have been possible without Draco. Draco was our first leader. As our first lawgiver, he was quite strict. He published a series of, well, strict, laws that many believed were overly harsh. Almost all crimes were punished by death.

Because Draco's laws were strict, order was brought to our city of Athens. He prevented civil war from breaking out. Draco's severe law system also encouraged the growth of Athens. Unfortunately, the people grew tired of his harsh laws. He also began our first democracy, even though it was weak.


Our second great reformer was Solon. He repealed most of Draco's laws to give our people more freedom and leniency. He instituted a bunch of legal reforms designed to improve Athenian economy and society. These reforms were also what gave us freedom from Draco's extremely harsh laws.

Solon refused to serve for life and only ended up leading for 22 years, encouraging a democracy. He stepped aside to let others rule Athens. However, some of his reforms included cancelling all debts and freeing those in slavery due to debt, directing all farmers to grow grapes and olives, as the soil was unfit for grain, and requiring all father's to teach their sons a trade to allow good balance in the community. All male citizens were also required to attend assembly and vote. Solon greatly strengthened our wonderful economy.

About Us

This is our first and final edition of the Grand Athenian! We hope you enjoyed it!

-The Editor