Polis: An Introduction to the Ancient Greek City-state

Polis: An Introduction to the Ancient Greek City-state


By (author) Mogens Herman Hansen

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 248 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 212mm x 16mm | 322g
  • Publication date: 30 November 2006
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199208506
  • ISBN 13: 9780199208500
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 452,481

Product description

From antiquity until the nineteenth century, there have been two types of state: macro-states, each dotted with a number of cities, and regions broken up into city-states, each consisting of an urban centre and its hinterland. A region settled with interacting city-states constituted a city-state culture and Polis opens with a description of the concepts of city, state, city-state, and city-state culture, and a survey of the 37 city-state cultures so far identified. Mogens Herman Hansen provides a thoroughly accessible introduction to the polis (plural: poleis), or ancient Greek city-state, which represents by far the largest of all city-state cultures. He addresses such topics as the emergence of the polis, its size and population, and its political organization, ranging from famous poleis such as Athens and Sparta through more than 1,000 known examples.

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Author information

Mogens Herman Hansen is Reader in Classics at Copenhagen University.

Review quote

This book will help those venturing for the first time outside of the Athenocentric realm of polis-studies; it provides an overview and introduction to comparative studies in the city-state and 'city-state culture. Classical Outlook

Table of contents

Introduction ; I. CITY-STATES IN WORLD HISTORY ; 1. Cities, States, City-States and City-State Cultures ; 2. A Sketch of the 37 Identified City-State Cultures ; 3. 'Country-States' versus City-State Cultures ; II. THE CITY-STATE CULTURE IN ANCIENT GREECE ; Introduction ; 4. The Unity of the City-State Culture of Ancient Greece ; 5. The Rise of the Ancient Greek City-State Culture ; 6. The End of the City-State Culture in Ancient Greece ; 7. How Poleis Arose and Disappeared ; 8. What is a Polis? An Investigation of the Concept of 'Polis' ; 9. The Polis as City and State ; 10. Polis as City ; 11. The Settlement Pattern of the Ancient Greek City-States ; 12. The Size and Population of the Cities ; 13. The Demography of the Ancient Greek City-State Culture ; 14. The Economy of the Cities: Max Weber's 'Ideal Type' ; 15. Polis as City in the Archaic Period ; 16. The Greek Conception of Polis as a City with a Hinterland ; 17. Polis as State ; 18. Army ; 19. Religion ; 20. State and Society ; 21. Civil War (Stasis) ; 22. Relationships between Poleis ; 23. The Hellenistic Poleis ; III. CONCLUSION ; 24. The Polis Compared with Other City-State Cultures