Unit within a polis
(φυλή/phyl ḗ, plural phylaí).
The Greeks described as phylaí groups or categories of extremely various sizes of people (or animals), and therefore also the peoples and tribes into which they divided themselves and the 'ethnic groups' (éthnē) of barbarians. Clearly predominant, however, is the technical use of the term for the largest subunit of a pólis state. As in the case of the terms fo…