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p. xxvip. 11. Introductionlocked

  • Paul Cartledge


What is Ancient Greece? It can be described as a civilization of cities, defined as a type of self-governing geopolitical space combining town and country in a dynamic symbiosis. The Introduction defends the idea of describing Ancient Greece through eleven Greek cities. The characteristic, defining mode of Hellenic social coexistence was, for a long time in Ancient Greek history, what the Greeks called a polis. The best translation of polis is a citizen-state. There was never anything like an ancient equivalent of a nation-state of ‘Greece’, rather what existed was a network of Greek cities and other kinds of settlements bound together by a sense of common culture expressed through a religious means of sorts.

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