Sparta was a society built entirely around military life. Spartan citizen males were taken at the age of seven to be trained as warriors. They were expected to spend their time in military training, and live in communal barracks. Meanwhile their farms were run by the woman and the slaves.
In Athens, all citizen males were expected to do two years military training from the age of eighteen, and they were expected to be ready to go to war at any time, but they were not entirely devoted to military purposes. Athens, like Sparta, was a slave-based economy, 50% of the population were slaves.
Athens was a democracy, male citizens would gather in an assembly where they would elect officials, and vote on various issues. Sparta had two kings, both hereditary, but there were five ephods, elected by the citizen assembly, who oversaw and had veto power over the kings, so it was an interesting mixture of oligarchy and democracy.
In Athens, women would generally marry at quite an early age, around twelve to fourteen. They were expected to stay at home most of the time, and busy themselves spinning and weaving, and supervising the slaves. Women of the lower classes would go out and about more, as they would have to work for a living, and would not have slaves to do things like fetching water etc. Women took no part in political life, but they did participate fully in religious life, taking part in festivals, joining the mystery cults etc.
In Sparta, women were expected to exercise and keep fit like men, so that they would bear healthy children. They generally married later than Athenian women, at around eighteen. The women were mostly left to run things while the men were away, which gave them more freedom on the whole than Athenian women had.
The arts were more important in Athens than they were in Sparta. Athens produced many notable philosophers, writers, mathematicians, etc., whereas in Sparta military glory was everything. Even their poets were martial. Early...