Free Essay

Greek Polis

In: Historical Events

Submitted By kingwes15
Words 339
Pages 2
When defining words that are used to describe ancient times we try to simplify the word into our everyday language as much as one can without taking away from its true meaning. Often one does this to make it seem not so complex to grasp what one is reading and or studying. This is no different for the ancient Greek word “polis” as we define as “city-state.”(Nagel pg 1) However does this simple definition fully define the true meaning of a polis? With city being portrayed as a large socialeconomically diverse urban center and with state suggesting a formal government, we are lead to wonder if these two words blended together begin to explain what a polis really is. It is never easy to answer the question “What is an ancient Greek polis?” because everyone had their own answer to the question. For instance Aristotle says a polis was a community of self-governing citizens.(Nagel pg 1) Aristotle was said to be the most important ancient analysis of the polis system, his most famous quote being “Man is a polis animal.” (Nagel pg 1) Aristotle tells us that politeia, today’s constitution, is not just a set of laws but cultural, economical, and social way of life. (Nagel pg 9)Homer author of the Iliad and Odyssey feels a polis is formed when villages in a community unite and become large enough to be self-sufficient.(Nagel pg 8) Herodotus of The Histories of Herodotus saw polesis as a body of citizens sufficiently numerous for Securing a self-sufficient existence. As we can see that throughout time we have many authors who each carry a different point of view on how to properly view a polis of Ancient Greece. Every author has an idea and facts to back this idea up which makes it impossible to properly state that one definition is more correct than the other. It seems that the definition of the polis can also be affect by what polis one is reading about.

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Common Elements Between Greek & Roman Societies

...mejorándolo. En este trabajo señalaremos varios elementos comunes entre ambas sociedades, como por ejemplo: política, religión y arquitectura entre otros. Cuando leemos sobre el aspecto político en la sociedad griega y en la romana, encontramos los orígenes de las ciudades – estado en Grecia. Esta sociedad estaba dividida, políticamente, en muchos reinados pequeños. En éstos, los nobles y los reyes eran los responsables de la toma de decisiones. Los artesanos, al igual que los campesinos, eran personas libres. Posteriormente, dichos reinados se desarrollaron en las llamadas polis o ciudades – estado. Estas ciudades se convirtieron en centro de comercio, al igual que de actividades sociales y políticas. En ellas, se construían grandes templos a los dioses griegos. Además, el rey y sus soldados protegían a los residentes cercanos de la acrópolis, colina donde vivía el primero. En estas polis el poder y la autoridad estaban concentrados en una sola figura. Atenas llegó a convertirse en la potencia naval más importante, gracias a expediciones que contribuyeron a una expansión que enfocó en Grecia la mayor parte de las transacciones de comercio en el...

Words: 1205 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Tallahassee vs Scottsdale

...Scottsdale, Arizona versus Tallahassee, Florida In general, people move to different cities throughout United States due to different circumstances, such as going to college, job transfer to family situations. This paper will compare and contrast the pros and cons between Scottsdale and Tallahassee, specifically, four broad categories: nightlife, climate, police presence, and beach access. Activities in a city or town make the city unique in its own way. First, the climate in Scottsdale, AZ is amazing during the peak time, which is in the summer. However, the summer won’t be too appealing for some people since it can get too hot, which causes people to stay indoors. Unlike Scottsdale, Tallahassee has all four seasons, and people enjoy the weather regardless if it’s raining or sunny than when compared to Scottsdale. Moreover, in Tallahassee, there are a lot of bugs that are present, which causes people to spray bug repellent in the summer time. Conversely, in Scottsdale, bugs are not a problem. However, both cities share…. Second, nightlife in Scottsdale is pretty significant, and people all around the Phoenix area come to enjoy the dance scene. Whether it’s hip hop, country to techno music, there are a wide variety of night clubs to participate in. On the contrary, the nightlife in Tallahassee is not as mainstream as Scottsdale. In Scottsdale, there are eleven clubs with restaurants/bars turning to a club after certain hours, which can push that number into......

Words: 630 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

My Name

...heroic values- the strength, skill, and valor of the dominating warrior. Such was the earliest meaning of arête, “excellence” or “virtue”, a term whose meaning changed as values changed during the course of Greek culture. To obtain arête- defined by one Homeric hero as “to fight ever in the forefront and outdo my companions”- and the undying fame that was its reward, men would endure hardship, struggle, and even death. Honor was the just reward for one who demonstrated arête, and the greatest of human injustices was the denial of honor due to a great hero. Homer makes such denial the theme of the Illiad,- the disastrous results of Achilles’s decision to withdraw from battle after he had been denied honor by King Agamemnon. P. 107 In fifth-century Athens, scholars estimate that one out of every four persons was a slave. Some were war captives and others were children of slaves, but most came from outside Greece through slave dealers. No large collections of slaves were used on agricultural estates. Small landowners might own one or more slaves, who worked in the fields alongside their masters. Those who owned many slaves often hired them out to private individuals or to the state, where they worked alongside Athenian citizens and received comparable wages. P. 113 The Greeks were the first to formulate many of the European culture’s fundamental concepts of politics, philosophy, science, and art. How was it that a relatively small number of people could leave such a great......

Words: 970 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

History of Greece

...ANCIENT GREECE: FROM PREHISTORIC TO HELLENISTIC TIMES SHAWKY MAROGI JR. HIST 1500 MARCH 26, 2013 My report on Ancient Greece revolves around the book Ancient Greece: From Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times, Thomas R Martin, Yale University, 1996. There have been thousands of books written touching upon the history of Greece, but few take the time to paint the reader a picture of how everyday men, women, and children’s lives were affected daily from the Prehistoric all the way up to Hellenistic times. Martin begins at the Stone Age in the fourth century and covers everything up to Alexander the Great and a bit beyond. If there is another book that paints a picture so well of the day to day struggles that took place during the Stone Age and continued all the way through Hellenistic times I would be shocked. The overall message seems to be that things never improved for the poorer social classes through out these times. Firstly, Thomas Martin has a very distinct point of view throughout the entire book that the poorer classes who were not soldiers were never able to improve their quality of life. Martin maintains that the back bone of the many battles over land and resources would not have been possible without the lower classes supporting the soldiers from their cities by crafting goods, growing crops, and forging items like weapons. The author decided against making any arguments against what is presented to us as fact, and instead focused on......

Words: 1596 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Research Proposal

...The growth of one individual alongside of the other And together with the growth of both Love is..., the source of success Love is... The excitement of planning things together The excitement of doing things together Love is..., the source of the future Love is... The fury of the storm The calm of the rainbow Love is...., the source of passion Love is... Giving and taking in a daily situation being Patient with each other’s needs and desires Love is... the source of sharing Love Knowing that the person Will always be with you regardless of what happens Missing the other person when they are away But remaining near in heart at all times Love is... the source of security Love is... the source of life Susan Polis...

Words: 262 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Alexander: Truly Great

...One may look at his many accomplishments to decide if he deserves the title. Sometimes character is the test of determining if a man is great. Alexander meets both standards with his philosophic background, conquering abilities, victories in battle, and outstanding accomplishments; therefore, he truly meets his title as Alexander the Great Alexander was born in 356 B.C. to King Philip II f Macedon, and Olympias, princess of Epirus. King Philip was one of Alexander’s main influences. Philip was a man of action: he built cities, navies, roads, armies, conquered Athens, and created the League of Corinth, which he treated fairly. At age 13, Alexander’s father hired Aristotle to tutor his son. Aristotle’steachings encompassed all aspects of Greek life: art, poetry, science, and philosophy. Aristotle would become Alexander’s second greatest influence in life, one that would inspire him to live a good, moral life. Another tutor of Alexander’s, before Aristotle, was the Acarnian Lysimachus. He created a game with Alexander in which he would pretend to be the great hero Achilles. Alexander believed Achilles was the true example of a great aristocratic warrior, and he modeled himself after him. Later in life, Alexander would carry with him a copy of Homer’s Iliad and traded his armor for, what he believed to be, Achilles’ armor. When King Philip was assassinated, Alexander was elected commander of the League of Corinth. Soon, the Thebans revolted, refusing to surrender to......

Words: 1443 - Pages: 6

Free Essay


...Alexander was born to Philip II of Macedonia and Olympias, in 356 B.C. Phillip II was the king of Macedonia until he was assassinated in 330 BC. Phillip knew that one day Alexander would succeed him so he did much to prepare him for a military and political future. Alexander became king in 336 b.c. when Phillip was assassinated. More importantly, Alexander did many things in his life to deserve the great status. Firstly, Alexander is recognized for his period of conquest and his ability to fight and rule over larger armies than his own. Secondly, Alexander’s legacy and what he left behind for his son and half brother to continue his work. Thirdly, the legend of Alexander from sources such as the bible and both modern and ancient cultures define Alexander’s ability and rank of great. Lastly, one of the main reasons for Alexander’s recognition of greatness is because of his conquest in battle. However, Alexander made decisions with his impulses and immediate reaction, and in the sheer bravery and courage observed in Alexander, it is evident that Alexander the Great set trends among his people. It is also evident in the innovations he contributed to military strategies, and in the spread of his trends to all the lands that he conquered. Alexander was not a product of the society that he lived in, but a trendsetter. Alexander was an impulsive man of immediate action, and it reflected on the decisions he made. Clearly then, Alexander was the one who led society,......

Words: 598 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Alexander the Great

...Alexander the Great By the end of the fifth century Macedonia started emerging as a kingdom of importance amongst the greek world. Its ruler Phillip II had built an efficient army which turned Macedonia into a military force that defeated the Greek's at the battle of Chaeronea in 338 B.C.E. Now Phillip was free to focus his ambition's on conquering Persia. He would never have that opportunity, Phillip was assassinated before he could undertake the invasion of Asia. Alexander the Great was only twenty when he succeeded his father Phillip as king of Macedonia. It would have been very tempting for Alexander to relax and enjoy the spoils of his new kingdom. Instead, he quickly asserted his authority and turned his attention to achieving his father's dream, the invasion of the persian empire. This was a huge risk and one that almost cost Alexander his life at the first battle which took place at the Granicus River in 334 B.C.E. However, Alexander survived and won a major victory which help lead to Alexanders control of the entire western half of Asia Minor. Alexander continued his conquests and by the winter of 332, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt were under his control. He took the title of Pharaoh and founded several cities which he named after himself. Alexander did not rest on his accomplishments. He soon turned his attention to conquering the territory of the ancient Mesopotamian kingdoms. Alexander fought many brutal battles and ultimately took control of Babylon,......

Words: 405 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Greco-Roman Influence

...The cultural fundamentals of Greek philosophy helped shape the Roman Republic and the empire they ruled. Under both the Greeks and the Romans, the Mediterranean basin became much more tightly integrated than before as both societies organized commercial exchange and sponsored interaction throughout the region ( Bently, Ziegler & Street 2008). The Mediterranean basin, North Africa, parts of Asia and much of Europe was dominated by the Romans at the height of their rule. Five hundred years before B.C.E., until five hundred years after C.E., the Roman Empire was one of the most flourishing empires of its time and era. The Greeks and the Roman government differed greatly. One difference was that the Romans shared their citizenship and became alliances with conquered countries, which allowed them to trade with Rome, have roman spouses and even become citizens of Rome. They also allowed them to run their internal government without the Roman government taking over. These types of well-liked changes allowed Rome to become the most powerful influences of their time. The Roman government, the wars they fought and the religion they believed in, all had influences on their territories and the world as it is today. Shaping of Wars Wars have always been a part of shaping countries. Wars that the Greeks and the Romans ran throughout their empires and conquering territories, helped shape the world as they knew it. Around the fifth century B.C.E, the Greek Peninsula began wars with......

Words: 769 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Greeks and Helenistic Empire

...How were the Greeks similar and different to the Hellenistic empire? The Greeks and the Hellenistic empire were similar in dependence on slave labor, where in Hellenic era, “ virtually every household had a few” (Sherman & Salisbury, 2013), and “every household had one or two domestic slaves, and most manufacturing and other labor was done by slaves” (Sherman & Salisbury, 2013), which in both eras, “it was customary to enslave losers in battle” (Sherman & Salisbury, 2013). On the other side, the differences could be found in the status of women living in either era. As the textbook suggests in the Greece chapter: “While respectable women stayed carefully indoors, some women – slaves or foreigners – who had no economic resources or family ties became prostitutes and courtesans who shared men’s public lives at dinners and drinking parties” (Sherman & Salisbury, 2013). The Hellenistic World chapter, “It suggests that women worked and earned money instead of staying carefully guarded within the home. It also shows a loosening of the tight family ties that had marked the Greek poleis and the ancient Middle East civilizations” (Sherman & Salisbury, 2013). Athens supposedly experienced “a developing democratic form of government… that allowed them to run and control the growing city” (Sherman & Salisbury, 2013), while during Hellenistic era, ”Society, economy, and politics all played out on a larger scale, and kings, rather than citizens, now ruled… It indicates people’s view......

Words: 490 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Alexander the Great

...battles and took over many cities from the time he became King in 336 B.C. until his death in 323 B.C. Alexander’s army became stronger with each defeated city that joined his empire. Alexander and his army eventually created the Macedonia Empire, the largest Western Empire. The Macedonia Empire was created from battles that included Greece, Asia, Persia, Egypt, Iran and India. Alexander also became known as the King of the Four Quarters of the World in 331 B.C. Alexander died in 323 B.C. and did not name another King of Macedonia. The Macedonian Empire disappeared after his death. Alexander made an impact on history by conquering what was called the Civilized World. Alexander wanted one empire with the same beliefs. He brought Greek ideas and culture to all the countries he conquered. Alexander respected traditions, customs and the people in the countries he was in. Alexander treated the wife and children of the ruler of...

Words: 383 - Pages: 2

Free Essay


...mission in the world. The UN-established “green line” divides Cyprus into two parts, the lower 2/3 of the island known as the Cypriot Republic, is almost exclusively populated by denizens whose ethnic identification is classified as Greek. The northern third of the island, occupied by self-avowed Turkish Cypriots, recognizes itself as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The only other country in the world that recognizes the TRNC is Turkey, while the Republic of Cyprus is recognized internationally. While the international community recognizes the Republic of Cyprus as having jurisdiction over the island as a whole, in fact the Republic’s authority stops at the green line, a fact which has led at a number of confusing international issues, including Cyprus’ and Turkey’s EU accession bids. The Beginnings of Cypriot History Cyprus is an island state that has only recently achieved sovereignty. Inhabited for well over two thousand years, it has a four hundred year colonial history of shared culture, language, and mores between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots that populate its scenic mountains, plains, and beaches. These shared mores and sense of culture will prove essential to my discussion of how to best address the current conflict between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. The island’s strategic location approximately 40 miles south of Turkey and 400 miles east of Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean, at the crossroads of three continents, coupled with its expansive......

Words: 11014 - Pages: 45

Free Essay

Xyz Xyz

...of a specific market. The company offers masala wafers to cater to the Gujarati palate, chaat masala for the Maharashtra market and a range of spicy snacks for Rajasthan. Here, it scores over Jagilram's, which too has flavours to cater to the North Indian palate, by a better understanding of the Gujarati consumer. Bajrangi's pampers the Gujarati's sweet tooth by keeping its khatta-meetha less spicy. Bajrangi‘s product mix is just right. Bajrangi’s share of the local potato and vegetable chips market grew to 13.7% from 9.5%, while LasyCo’s share fell from 69.7% to 56.8%. Bajrangi also dominates in the western market with a share of 70%. In its home state, it has a share of 90%. The Greco-Persian wars This case can be related to the Greeks mainly the Sparta who were able to win over the mighty Persians. Having raised a vast army operating on the limits of supply and command...

Words: 977 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Hellenistic Age

...The Hellenistic Age or Hellenistic World was an age where Greek and conquered cultures integrated together. It made a huge impact on society by the spreading and diffusion of cultures, the East meeting the West. The important lesson in this era was the lesson in change and continuity. It was also a period of uncertainty which the Greeks slowly learned to adapt to. However, Alexander the Great's conquests had remarkable effect on the civilizations during this time as well. Alexander, along with his leading generals swept across Egypt, in the Middle-east, and Persia's into India becoming key players in the spread of Hellenistic culture. There various type of changes that occurred during Hellenistic age. It brought about new political and philosophical concepts. Epicureanism held that people could achieve happiness only by withdrawing from public life and, through the exercise of reason, freeing themselves from all sources of anxiety, including a belief in gods.  Epicureanism also opened philosophical activity to all despite gender or social condition.  Stoicism did so as well through its idea of a world society bound by a shared search for harmony with the Logos.  Everyone could achieve this harmony by their passions through reason.  Stoicism also encouraged participation in public life to foster harmony throughout world society.   Skepticism denied that there is one true path to happiness.  In its most sophisticated form, it insisted on the limits of reason, encouraging......

Words: 723 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

This Paper Will Be Using Sculptural and Ceramic Illustrations Provided by Soltes, Explain the Evolution from Geometric Greek Art Into Classical Greek Art, Culminating with the Construction and Decoration of the

...using sculptural and ceramic illustrations provided by Soltes, explain the evolution from Geometric Greek art into Classical Greek art, culminating with the construction and decoration of the Parthenon (The Temple of Athena). It will discuss what social, cultural/historic events accompanied and promoted this evolution. Greek art and sculpture has had a profound effect throughout the ages. Many of the styles have been reproduced and copied by some of what the modern day audiences would class as some of the finest artists to have ever lived. The Greeks used many different types of materials in their sculptures including stone, marble and limestone as these were abundant in Greece. Other materials such as clay were also used but due to their brittle nature very few have survived. Greek sculptures are very important as the vast majority of them tell us a story about Gods, Heroes, Events, Mythical Creatures and Greek culture in general. Many of the statues that have survived are actually of Roman origin. Like many people today the Romans had a deep respect for Greek sculptures and many were copied. If the Romans had not made these copies, many of the Greek Legends and stories that we know today would have been lost to antiquity. Geometric Art was a dramatic transformation that led to the establishment of primary Greek institutions such as the Greek city and the Greek alphabet. Although primarily visual, transformation is a concept which moves it way through......

Words: 711 - Pages: 3