Ancient Greek City-States for Kids Illustration

Ancient Greek City-States for Kids


There are no city-states left in Greece today. But long ago, there were hundreds of city-states in ancient Greece, some really small ones and some really big ones with large populations. Each was an independent city.  A city-state is not a country. It is a political unit. Each city-state in ancient Greece had its own government and its own way of doing things.

After the Greek dark ages, villages started to band together to create city-states, in part for protection and in part for more organized trade. Collectively, the city-states of ancient Greece qualified as a civilization. The city-states had many things in common. The people all spoke the same language; believed in the same gods and worshiped in the same way. They thought of themselves as Greeks. But they were loyal to their city-state.

If you asked someone in ancient Greece where they were from, they would not say they were from Greece, because Greece at that time was not a country. There was no Greece. There was however Athens, Sparta, Corinth, Megara and hundreds of other Greek city-states, each with its own personality and its own way of doing things. So, they would say they were from Athens, or Sparta, or Corinth, or Argos. The Greeks were very proud of their city-state.

The Greek city-states banded together to fight outsiders. They also fought each other. 

Five of the most powerful Greek city-states






City-States (interactive)

Ancient Greece Cartoon history, interactive

QUIZ: Ancient Greek Government (Interactive with answers)