Short Essay on the History of Athens
He allows all citizens, regardless of wealth, a voice at local level where the demos (effectively the town or village) becomes the heart of political life. He gives an increased role to the ecclesia, which every Citizen can attend as a participating member. These reforms establish the principle of democracy in Athens.
It seems a good omen that when the aristocratic Spartans return, in 506, they are soundly defeated in battle by the Athenian democrats.
In 480 the threat from Persia brings Sparta and Athens together, with most of the other city-states of mainland Greece, in a rare show of unity. During the Greco-Persian wars the leading position of Sparta is acknowledged by all.
By the time the Persians withdraw at the end of 480, soundly defeated, Sparta’s military reputation has been enhanced at Thermopylae and Plataea. The Athenians, by contrast, have lost their city, laid waste by the Persians. Yet on balance it is the Athenians who emerge stronger.