Did Ancient Greece Have Kings and Queens?

Ancient Greece is often viewed as the cradle of Western civilization. It was a time of great innovation, art, and philosophy.

However, there is one question that often perplexes people – did Ancient Greece have kings and queens? The answer to this question is not a straightforward one.

The Early Greek Period

In the early Greek period, there were no kings or queens. Instead, city-states were governed by aristocrats or oligarchs who held political power. These aristocrats were usually wealthy landowners who controlled the resources of the city-state.

The Archaic Period

During the Archaic period (800-500 BCE), things began to change. Greece saw an increase in population and trade, which led to an expansion of city-states. As a result, there was an increase in political power struggles.

Some city-states began to form monarchies where a king ruled over the people. However, these kings did not have absolute power like modern-day monarchs. They were limited by laws and customs that had been established by the aristocrats.

The Classical Period

The Classical period (500-323 BCE) saw a continuation of monarchies in some city-states. However, it also saw the rise of democracy in Athens. In Athens, citizens had more political power than in any other city-state at the time.


In conclusion, Ancient Greece did have kings and queens during certain periods in its history. However, these monarchies were not absolute and were limited by laws and customs established by aristocrats or oligarchs. The Classical period saw the rise of democracy in Athens which paved the way for modern-day democracy.

  • Key Takeaways:
  • Ancient Greece did have monarchies during certain periods.
  • Monarchies were limited by laws and customs established by aristocrats or oligarchs.
  • Athens saw the rise of democracy during the Classical period.


  • https://www.ancient.eu/Greek_Monarchy/
  • https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-greece/greek-democracy