Greek Polis Research Paper

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The Greek polis is often translated as “city-state.” The word “political” and the suffix “polis” come from this word. The polis began as agricultural villages or towns. A polis was a city or town and its surrounding land. By the 5th century, poleis were surrounded by walls. They included an acropolis, or elevated place, with temples, alters, public monuments, and dedications to the gods. They also included a public square or marketplace called an agora. The polis depended on citizen soldiers for protection and the chief source of wealth was its agricultural land. Each polis was a self-governing political unit with its own legal system, yet they were also a community of relatives. Every citizen of a polis was descended from a common ancestor;…show more content…
The polis preserved memory and honored descendants after death. It was considered as the ruler and the molder of citizens. The polis was basically a small, transparent political organization with its own set of beliefs. It required the citizens to serve in public office, attend political and religious events, and military service. The polis was a form of political process, assembly, and public meeting, which involved everyone in the polis. Decisions were made based on these processes. There was a sharing of political powers and military duties. There was also a shared culture of art, theater, music and religion shaping the identity of the polis. The polis had a wide range of involvement in everything, but women and foreigners did not have political representation. The polis initially was successful, but because the separate polis were weak, in the long run they were a failure. The different polis did not work with the other polis to protect their citizens and land. The separate polis found it difficult to work together to protect against foreigners and enemies. The individuality of each polis created fear, suspicion and distrust among other city-states and there was no way to regulate the power between two or more city-states. This would result in their eventual demise. The polis did however create a concept of a public political process and involvement in the

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