What Is a Polis in Ancient Greece for Kids?

In Ancient Greece, a polis was an independent city-state that had its own government, laws, and way of life. The word “polis” comes from the Greek word “polis” which means “city”.

What was a Polis like?

A polis was made up of a city and its surrounding countryside. The city was the center of the polis where people lived and worked. The countryside provided food and resources for the city.

Each polis had its own government, which was usually made up of citizens who were elected to serve for a certain period of time. The government made laws and decisions for the polis.

What did people do in a Polis?

People in a polis had different jobs depending on their skills. Some were farmers who worked in the countryside, while others were merchants who traded goods in the city.

In addition to work, people in a polis also participated in cultural activities such as theater, music, and art. Sports were also an important part of life in Ancient Greece, with events like the Olympic Games bringing athletes from all over Greece to compete.

What were some famous Polises?

Some of the most well-known polises include Athens, Sparta, Corinth, and Thebes. Each polis had its own unique culture and way of life.

Athens is known for being the birthplace of democracy. It was also home to famous philosophers like Socrates and Plato.

Sparta was known for its strong military and strict way of life. Boys were trained from a young age to become soldiers while girls were taught how to be strong mothers who could raise healthy children.

Corinth was known for its wealth and trade routes. It was also home to one of the most famous temples in Ancient Greece – the Temple of Apollo.

Thebes was known for its military power and was home to famous generals like Epaminondas.


In Ancient Greece, a polis was a city-state with its own government, laws, and way of life. Each polis had its own unique culture and history. Today, the legacy of these polises can still be seen in the art, architecture, and ideas that have been passed down through the ages.