The city-states of ancient Greece were the birthplace of Western civilization. These city-states were organized in a unique way, with each city-state functioning as an independent entity with its own government and laws.
The Greek word for city-state is ‘polis’, which was the basic unit of Greek political organization. Each polis had its own government, laws, and customs. The polis was made up of three parts: the acropolis (a fortified hill), the agora (a marketplace where people would gather), and the asty (the main residential area).
The government of each polis varied depending on its location and size. Some city-states were ruled by a king or queen, while others were ruled by an oligarchy (a small group of people) or a democracy (where all citizens had equal say in government).
In an oligarchy, power was held by a small group of wealthy citizens. These citizens would typically come from noble families that had held power for generations. The common people had little to no say in how their city-state was governed.
In a democracy, all citizens had equal say in how their city-state was governed. However, not everyone was considered a citizen in ancient Greece. Only free adult men who were born in the city-state or who had been granted citizenship could vote.
Each polis had its own set of laws that governed everything from property ownership to criminal behavior. These laws were enforced by magistrates who were elected by the citizens.
Each polis maintained its own military force to protect itself from outside threats. In times of war, soldiers would be called up from the asty to defend their city-state.
The city-states of ancient Greece were organized in a unique way, with each polis functioning as an independent entity with its own government, laws, and customs. While some city-states were ruled by a king or queen, others were ruled by an oligarchy or a democracy. Each polis also maintained its own military force to protect itself from outside threats.