City States and Greek Culture
What is a polis?
Towns joined with nearby villages and farms
forming a city-state, or polis.
What did the
Greeks build to
Greek communities built forts on the tops of hills to
protect themselves from invaders. Later the fortress,
or acropolis, became the center for daily life in
in an agora?
What type of
People met in the open market, or agora, to
exchange goods, news and ideas.
A king, or tyrant, ruled each city-state and made all
of the political decisions.
•Located in southern Peloponnesus.
What are some
•Used military strength to rule. They lived in fear
that the slaves, helots, would rebel.
•Boys left their families at 7 years of age for the
military. Boys continued to train until they were 18
and had to serve until they were 30.
•Girls stayed at home and learned to manage the
household. They were encouraged to play sports.
•Spartans were not allowed to travel outside of
Sparta, and trading was discouraged for fear of
•Ephors and senators held most governing power in
Sparta. This rule by a small group is called an
•Athens required men to serve in the army
only in times of war.
What are some
•Athens had a democracy, or rule by the
people. All decisions were made by
•Athenian democracy did not include
everyone. Only men, over 20, that were
citizens, could participate in the government
•Encouraged new ideas, thinking, art, travel,
How did the Greeks
did all Greek citystates have?
Greeks identified themselves by their citystate rather than their country.
They did feel a cultural identity with one
•All were descendants of Hellenmythological hero.
•Common written/spoken language