Classically Educating Disciples for Christ

Samuel Fuller School News

Greek City-States

Oct 31, 2016

In October, we had our first City-State Competition. All the students in the school are divided into four city-states: Athens, Corinth, Thebes and Sparta, and these teams compete in different activities throughout the year. Our first activity was a charades game. Each City-State received a list of things to act out and whichever team guessed them them all first won. Sparta won this game and is currently in the lead. But October’s Reading Marathon minutes, which count toward city-state points, will be calculated soon. Who will be in the lead then?



















The City-States are led by our 8th grade students and each have colors, virtues, and mascots. Athens is led by Brady Severance, and its color is green with the virtue of Wisdom and a black panther mascot. Liam Kenney leads Corinth whose color is orange, its virtue is Charity, and its mascot is a tiger. Noelle Vincze leads Thebes with Justice for its virtue, purple its color, and a hippo as its mascot. And Sparta, with the virtue Courage, is led by Ariana Hamilton who chose blue for its color and a grizzly bear as its mascot.


The City-State Competition culminates at the end of the year with Olympic Week, which includes dress-up days, games, and events. On the final day of the year, members of all teams participate in athletic competition, including the standing broad-jump, marathon, and discus throw. Before these games begin, our headmaster reads these descriptions of the students’ City-States.


Sparta: You are a Spartan! Be proud! You have endured unbelievable pain and hardship to become a superior Spartan soldier and citizen! Taken away from your parents at age 7, you lived a harsh and often brutal life in the soldiers’ barracks. You were beaten by older children who started fights to help make you tough and strong. You were often were whipped in front of groups of other Spartans, including your parents, but never cried out in pain. You were given very little food, but encouraged to steal food instead. If caught stealing, you were beaten. To avoid severe pain, you learned to be cunning, to lie, to cheat, to steal, and how to get away with it! Some of you are members of the Spartan secret police and enjoy spying on slaves. If you find a slave who is showing signs of leadership, you have orders to kill them immediately. You are fierce, capable, and proud of your strength. You know you are superior and are delighted to be Spartan! Above all, you Spartans desire to beat your archrival, those silly Athenians!


Athens: You are an Athenian! Be courteous. You have been superbly educated in the arts and the sciences, and trained to be extremely productive and capable in times of peace or war. You are an achiever. Until age 6 or 7, you were taught at home by your mother, or by a male slave. From age 7‐14, you attended a day school in the neighborhood where you memorized Homeric poetry and learned to play that magnificent instrument, the lyre. You learned drama, public speaking, reading, writing, math, and perhaps even how to play the flute. You attended four years of higher school, and learned more about math and science and government. At 18, you attended military school for two additional years! You are proud to be an Athenian! Famed for its literature, poetry, drama, theatre, schools, buildings, government, and intellectual superiority, you have no doubt that your polis, Athens, is clearly the shining star of all the Greek city‐states.


Corinth: You are a Corinthian! As a coastal city‐state, you have a glorious history as a cultural and trade center. Although your schools are not as fine, perhaps, as those of Athens, you have been educated in the arts and the sciences. As a child, you were taught at home by your mother, or by a male slave. From age 7‐14, you attended a day school near your home where you memorized poetry and studied drama, public speaking, reading, writing, math, and the flute. You attended a higher school, if your parents could afford it. You also went to military school for at least two years. Your polis is famous for its bronze statues, pottery, and vase painters. You are creative problem‐solvers. To solve the problem of foreign money pouring into your coastal polis, your city‐state created its own coinage, forcing traders to convert their coin at your banks (for a fee!). To solve your problem of unemployment, you created a huge and successful public works program. Literature, culture, art, and businesses thrive in your city‐state. You are proud to be a practical, productive Corinthian!


Thebes: You are a Thebian! Your great King Cadmus started your city by planting serpent teeth in the ground and from them sprang up the might Spartoi, the ancestors of your nobility. Your city is the birthplace of that great man, Hercules! In the many wars between Greek cities, you have picked which ever side you wanted, sometimes fighting for the Persians or battling those proud Athenians and Spartans. But they have nothing to be proud of. You defeated those wimpy Spartans at the Battle of Leuctra and set many Spartan slaves free, and later Philip of Macedon studied your powerful military tactics went he was imprisoned in Thebes. He knew he must become as powerful as his captors. Athens and Corinth and Sparta should shake in their sandals when they see you coming.