City-States of Ancient Greece Struggle of the City-States of Greece (2023)

The wordPoliticsIt comes from the Greek word for city-state called poleis. We know that ancient Greece had no centralized government or authority. Greece was not a single country but a collection of numerous Greek city-states.

After the Middle Ages in Greece, the cities began to unite and gradually developed into the independent city-states of Greece. Although the Greeks were a people practicing the same culture and religion, each city-state had its own government, laws, and customs.

Greece was divided into the following ancient Greek cities:

1. Peloponnese the peninsula at the southern end of the Balkan Sea. It was connected to the Greek island by the isthmus ofCorinth. The Peloponnese was further divided into seven ancient Greek cities: Achaea, Arcadia, Corinthia, Elis, Achaea, Messenia, Laconia, Argolis.

2. Central Greece: Central Greece consisted of the following ancient cities: Aenia, Attica, Boeotia, Doris. Euboea, Locris, Malis, Megaris, Oetaea and Phocis.

3. Old Western GreececitiesWestern Greece includes Acarnania, Aetolia, Aparentia and Dolopia.

4. Thessalische Städte vie Achaea Phthiotis, Magnesia, Histiaoetis, Panagiotis, Perrhaebia, Thessaliotis fall in the day Region of Thessalien.

5. Epirus includes the following cities of ancient Greece Athamania, Chaonia, Dassaretia, Molossia, Thesprotia, Paraguay and Tymphaea.

6. Macedonia or Macedonia was aold kingdomfrom Greek, which included the ancient Greek city of Pelagonia.

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emergence of city-states

The city-state, or poleis as the Greeks called it, arose around the Classic period of Ancient Greece. It arose when tribal systems collapsed during an economic downturn. These fragmented tribal groups established themselves as independent states as their populations grew.

Due to the geography of ancient Greece, the states with the sea as the main means of communication became quite distant, leading to the emergence of different types of cultures in different city-states with their own governmental and political forms.

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characteristics of a city-state

Ancient Greece had nearly 1,000 city-states, each with its own form of government, laws, customs, and interests.

But each city-state was organized with a central urban area and a surrounding countryside with a wall surrounding the urban area. In the central area of ​​the city, on a hill, was a citadel or acropolis, as it still stands in Athens today. It consisted of important buildings and temples in general.

Aristocracy in the city-states of ancient Greece

The Greek city-state was ruled by a group of elite or aristocratic families in its earlier phase. They owned vast amounts of land and controlled the political system. It was only in the middle of the 7th century BC. C. that tyrants began to rise where an aristocrat rose with public support to monopolize political power before the final transition to democratic systems.

Population of the Greek city-states

The approximately 1000 ancient Greek city-states consisted of a population of about 7.5 to 10 million people in their Hellenized cities and colonies, while mainland Greece had a population of 4 to 6 million people.

Battle of the Greek City-States

The Greek city-states banded together to fight a common enemy. During the second Persian invasion of Greece, the unity of these city-states was obvious. But this unity was temporary because they often fought among themselves.

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Everycity-stateit had its own system of government. Some states were monarchical, while in other states business was conducted democratically. Between 2000 and 1200 BC C. almost all Greek city-states had a monarchical form of government.

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Although ancient Greece consisted of hundreds of city-states, the most important among them were Athens, Sparta, Corinth, Megara and Argos.

The city-state of Athens

Athens is famous for its contribution to the idea ofdemocracyto the world. He created the world's first democratic government. It was not only the birthplace of democracy but also of great philosophers like Plato. Athens grew rapidly as an independent city-state after the Greek Middle Ages. Athena was the patron goddess of the Athenians.

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Around 753 BC C. Athens fell from hereditary magistracy to elected archon and then to tyranny. That was after that tyrannyAtheniansHe experimented with the democratic system of government. It was also a direct democracy, characterized by men meeting to discuss problems and find solutions.

Although citizens had political rights in Athens, slaves and foreigners had no such rights. The concept of citizenship was important in ancient Greece.Trainingit was also important to the Athenians, although the distinction between men and women was clearly visible in all areas.

The city-state of Sparta

The city-stateSpartait was a state in the Peloponnese region and had an oligarchic system of government. The state was ruled by a small group of warriors. Sparta was famous for its military strength. The Spartans were brave and capable warriors. Unlike Athens, it was not a center of art and philosophy.

The most important feature of Sparta is the importance given to itGuerraand military training and is considered the best of its time. Children were trained from the age of 7. Children were whipped and encouraged to small fights to make them skilled warriors. Even the women were warriors. Spartan women were comparatively more independent.

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The city-state of Corinth

Corinth was characterized by monarchical rule. It was a cultural and commercial center. The city-state of Corinth implemented public works programs, built great aqueducts, and created its own currency.Megarait was a coastal city-state.

They had good schools and a well-developed educational system. Megara had beautiful temples, magnificent statues, and open-air theaters. They also founded new cities. Argos, a monarchy, was the center of trade and commerce. They had great ones toosculptures.

The city-state of Thebes

Thebes was a bitter rival of Athens and Sparta as it was a major military power, even siding with the Persians during the Greco-Persian War.

It was known as a busy industrial city famous for its trading activities and silk production. It had an outstanding literary culture, taking center stage in stories like Cadmus, Oedipus, Dionysus, Hercules.

The city-state of Syracuse

Syrachid was a prosperous metropolis on the southeast coast of Sicily in ancient times. It had many temples dedicated to Greek gods such as Zeus, Apollo and Athena, funded by its wealthy aristocrats.

He had also established a democratic form of government that attracted citizens from all over the Greek world. He had also built a theater with a capacity for 15,000 people, decorated with a terrace and stone statues.

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The city-state of Megara

Megara was a highly regarded city in the ancient Greek world. It was ruled by a monarch and even had public programs that created jobs.

It was primarily a trading city based on a thriving economy known for its colorful and beautifully designed fabrics. They had a fearsome army that almost rivaled Sparta.

There were also other very powerful and important city-states like Aegina, Argos. Rhodes. Elis, Eretria etc.

Modern division of the Greek island:

Modern Greece or Hellas or the Hellenic Republic was founded by Ottoman rulers in 1830 after its liberation. The modern civilization of Greece preserves many of its ancient cities and states. Many of the ancient Greek cities in the Peloponnese region exist along the coasts of the Aegean and Ionian Seas.AthensOne of the most famous ancient cities of Greece is the current capital of Greece.

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In ancient Greek history, Athens andSpartaThey were the most powerful and progressive states among most states. They were the first cities in ancient Greece with democratic governors. Modern Greece also has a strong Roman influence, as the Romans formed the Byzantine Empire around Constantinople and ruled Greece for a long time.

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During the First World War a massivePopulationExchange took place between Greece and Turkey. The plains of Thessaly, Central Macedonia and Thrace are the most fertile soils in this region, contributing to the country's agricultural products. Thus, even in modern times, the history of the ancient Greek cities is alive on its soil.


1. Ancient Greeks and The City State
2. Ancient Greek City States
(Bud Morefield)
3. Polis: The Greek City-State 800 BC-AD 600
4. The Fall of Ancient Greece
(The Sound Of Bosphorus)
5. Geography and Early Greece
(Mr. Corwin)
6. Chapter 5 2 Lesson Warring City States
(Matthew Witt)
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