|Ancient Greece was divided up into many city-states. These city-states were also referred to as a polis, which makes up the English word, politics. These city-states made up ancient Greece from 800 BC to 300 BC Each city state was capable of ruling itself, even though some were joined in alliance or some wishing to take over their neighbors.|
The occurrence of the city-states has two main factors: geography and the refusal of kingship. Geography played a part in the rise of the city-states because Greece is full of different terrain, such as: mountains, valleys, and islands. Different people found ways to populate the area that they have lived in, as well as developed their own cults based on the twelve main Olympian gods. The second reason, refusal of kingship, contributed to the rise of the city states because some people who were in the aristocratic clan relied on their own power, not someone elses and formed their own cities.
|When you were a member of the polis you had more than a voice in the government. You would have to carry out military duties and obey the laws. The government in a polis has three main features: the Assembly, which consisted all, or almost all of the citizens. Then there was the Council, which prepared work for the Assembly, and the chief executive officers.|
Religious beliefs in the city-states were based around the main twelve Olympian gods- Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Athena, Aphrodite, Demeter, Artemis, Apollo, Hestia, Hermes, Ares and Hephaestus. They also believed natural causes could be explained with myths about the major and minor gods of Olympus.
Many polis's had roughly the same layout. The city-states consisted of a central square, called the agora. Inside the agora were shops and offices and public buildings. This was where some of the city's temples were located. The gymnasium was a sport center as well as a cultural center. The cultural center contained running tracks and places to bath. There was also a stadium for those competitive athletes, particularly foot racers. The theater was used for entertainment of others. Here in the theater there were dramatic plays. The rest of the city contained houses and privately owned stores.