posted by bill .
Which one of these governemts were better for its people Athens(democracy) or Sparta (oligarchy)
Wouldn't one need to define better? And define the role of government? And did people include slaves and other resident non-citizens? And did it include women? Does better mean provide for cultural growth (archetecture, art, music)? Better is a matter of opinion: Just listen to how Republicans in the US claim life is better under them, and Democrats are happy to point out lack of universal healtcare, drugs, consumer safety, food safety, environmental safety, and so on. Better for the people depends on a complex point of view.
One cant just make a general statement on what is "better". Of course, politicians and preachers love to do it, but thinking folks know it is somewhat more complex.
BobPursley is exactly right... "better" has to fit the needs of the people at a particular time. Did the govt. of Athens meet the needs of the people? Did the govt. of Sparta meet the needs of the people? What you need to do is look at the situation and then make a judgement as to which most fulfilled the needs of its citizens
Bobpursley and GuruBlue are right -- better is a subjective concept, and you'd need alternatives plus LOADS of research on those particular societies to prove whatever point you care to make. You'd also need to decide if you are focusing on these city-states in 5th century BCE or earlier or later.
Consider that Socrates, an Athenian, thought democracy and oligarchy, among others, were not good forms of government BECAUSE OF "the human tendency to corruption by power ... "
Plato's Republic is very interesting to read for many reasons, one of which involves forms of government. Other topics are education of children and how humans perceive the world around them (allegory of the cave). Plato, by the way, wrote down what Socrates taught.
Happy researching and deciding.