Greece - History
The Rise of the City-State in Greece18-02-2013 20:13The political history of Greece has been strongly influenced and connected with the geography of the land, a land of mountains and small valleys that resulted in the development of separate communities that evolved in the independent city-states of the Archaic Period.
The topography of the area was one of the main features that led to the rise of the city-states, which were in the beginning nothing more than tribes that gradually were centred on a city, forming the first urban centres with independent political life, social structure, economy and army.
Greece has few well-watered plains of large size interrupted of mountains and an almost infinite coastline providing easy access to the sea and therefore communication with far lands. The gradual growth of population in the city-states led to the lack of land and the first maritime enterprises were soon to be done. The richer far off lands of the Mediterranean attracted the interest of the mainlanders who had been searching for lands and the first colonies were established in the Southern Italy, Minor Asia and the Black Sea.
The most important of the city-states concerning the population and the wealth were Athens, Sparta, Corinth, Argos, Thebes and Orchomenos. The most significant of them, Athens and Sparta were among the rich city-states that had no need for colonies as Attica is provided with rich countryside and Sparta expanded to the south territories of Messenia and Laconia to meet the needs of their citizens.
The city-states were developed independently forming different kind of political governments. Sparta formed a military-centred culture and an oligarchic ruling with the army training and warfare being the main feature of the city-state. Athens formed laws that gradually helped the citizens to gain most of the power of the state resulting in the Athenian Democracy and also contributing a great deal in culture, philosophy and arts.
Despite their differences, the city-states shared much in common in terms of customs, language and culture. The most important was the Greek mythology and religion which was honoured in Panhellenic festivals like the Olympic Games or consulting of the Oracle of the temple of Apollo at Delphi.
But, the fragmentation of Greece into city-states and their political differences inevitably led to a state of almost continuous warfare. The threat of a Persian invasion united them briefly but it also led to a long war between Athens and Sparta.
Explore the fascinating volcanic island of Santorini the way you want it yourself! Enjoy a unique accommodation experience, with huge doses of privacy and luxury by choosing to stay in Incognito Villa.
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The statue of Poseidon, made of Parian marble, was found in 1877 on Milos island, along with a statue of his mate, Amphitrite. The larger than life-size statue depicts the god almost nude, wearing a himation...
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