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Greek Government

The Greek Governments

Each Greek city-state was called a polis. The word polis still shows up in many English words today, such as politics, police, and metropolis. A polis typically included a city, along with surrounding villages, and fields.

Typically a polis, or city-state had a high hill at the center, called the acropolis. At the top of the acropolis, the Greeks built temples to their patron gods. At the base of the acropolis the Greeks carried out the business of the polis, including merchant activities, such as buying and selling goods, as well as the business of their government.

Greek Government

Most city-states granted rights to their citizens. These citizens could vote for their leaders, own property, and participate in both government and civic responsibilities. Not everyone who lived in a city-state was a citizen, however. These city-states had many slaves and foreigners who did not have the rights of those native born men. Most women also did not have the rights of a citizen.