Brill’s New Pauly

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(1,309 words)

[German version]

[1] Unit within a polis

(φυλή/phyl , plural phylaí).

[German version]

I. Definition

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 for other…

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Smarczyk, Bernhard (Cologne) and Lohmann, Hans (Bochum), “Phyle”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 18 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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