Profiling a “polis” The Greek City-State • Polis – the Greek word for a city-state. – Started as a fort, the city grew up around it. • Ancient Greeks were loyal to their polis. – Represented Greek identity • Each polis was independent and selfsufficient. – Competed economically and politically. The Greek City-State (cont.) • Characteristics: – Covered a small area of land – Most had a population of fewer than 10,000 people (most were slaves) – Only free adult males had rights (were citizens) – Original fort was built on an acropolis (hill) • Temples were also built on the acropolis. – Each city-state had an agora (marketplace). The Greek City-State (cont.) • Agora: – Main public meeting place – Citizens met to discuss issues here • Greeks placed great value on independence for each city-state. – Own government, laws, calendar, money and system of weights and measurements. The Greek City-State (cont.) • Similarities: –Spoke same language –Non-Greeks were barbarians (uncivilized) –Shared same religious ideas, same holidays and participated in festivals together.