Brill’s New Pauly

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(1,781 words)

(πόλις, πτόλις/pólis, ptólis; pl. πόλεις/póleis; 'city state').

[German version]

I. Topographical background and early development

Depending on the particular context, p olis may have topographical, personal or legal-political connotations: a) a fortified settlement on a height, Homeric pólis akrḗ or akrotátē (Hom. Il. 6,88; 20,52), synonymous with the Acropolis in Athens until the late 5th cent. (Thuc. 2,15,3-6); b) an urban settlement; c) an urba…

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Welwei, Karl-Wilhelm (Bochum) and Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham), “Polis”, 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 23 June 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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