from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Plural of polis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Plural form of polis.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek πόλεις (poleis, "cities"), nominative plural form of πόλις (polis, "city").


  • The Persian wars? in which a tiny, fragmented and often argumentative coalition of between 30 and 40 Greek city-states, or poleis, fought off invasion by a mighty empire stretching from Turkey to Iran and from Egypt to the Aral Sea? remains one of the most sensational events in world history.

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  • "If it was Greek, it would be poleis," he says, ending the digression.

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  • It all started in the ancient Greek city-states, in the slave-owning aristocratic or democratic poleis (πüλεις).

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  • Even if we accept that there is a "classical" conception of political liberty to be found in Republican Rome and in the Greek poleis, is it necessarily always the best?

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  • Before then its appearance is, on ‎ the whole, limited to the Greek poleis, the Roman Republic, and the mediaeval European ‎ city-states.

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  • They also embrace the negative implication of their high standards: conventional poleis do not, strictly speaking, deserve the name.


  • He was familiar with most of the Greek poleis, Macedon, the satraps and cities along what is now the western Turkish coast, many of the isles in the Aegean, Persia and its holdings, Egypt, and many other Mediterranean cities.

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  • In the end, when Philip finally advanced into Greece proper, his opponents proved so incapable of uniting or otherwise seriously challenging him that he found himself opposed by the armies of only the two most directly threatened poleis: Athens and Thebes.


  • From there, setting his eyes on the riches of Persia, he attempted to control and organize the many poleis of Greece so that they might assist him against Persia, but if they would not, to at least prevent them from joining with Persia against him when he moved east.


  • Thus it was the King of Persia who seems to have gained most from the war, for with the destruction of the Athenian Empire he recovered his territories in Asia at little cost to himself and was able to cheaply maintain his hold on them by playing off the always-contentious and now utterly disunited Greek poleis city-states against each other.



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