What is meant by the term polis in Greek Civilization?

          Do you know the word politics that we often use in our daily context is derived from a Greek word? The word politics is derived from the word polis. Polis can generally be called city state. Polis was the framework of Greek life.

          Polis was a community that actually shares interests and common goals. Here the situation was unlike that in most other contemporary societies, which were either tribal or kingdoms ruling over relatively large territories. It includes both the people in a rural area as well as those living in a built up urban area. A polis was generally quite small, with the major exceptions being Athens and Sparta.

          There were hundreds of such city states. All of them were independent. These city states were also at war with each other most of the time.

          Many of them grew upon ancient sites settled in Mycenaean times; others were newer, but almost all of the city states were situated in narrow valleys.