Directions: Read the article below and complete the glossary on the opposite side of this paper.
Ancient Greece for Kids
CITY STATES: Athens and Sparta were the two most important city-states in ancient Greece, or so they believed. But they were not the only city-states. There were many city-states in the ancient Greek world. Each was important in its own way. The Greeks who lived in each city-state were proud of their hometown. They were also proud to be Greek. All Greeks, wherever they made their home, had things in common.
TO BE GREEK: The ancient Greeks spoke the same language. They believed in the same gods. They shared a common heritage. They perceived themselves as Greeks.
TO BE A CITIZEN OF A CITY-STATE: The ancient Greeks referred to themselves, however, as citizens of their hometown - their city-state. Each city-state (polis) had its own personality, goals, laws and customs. Ancient Greeks were very loyal to their city-state.
There were three main forms of government in ancient Greece:
Monarchy: Rule by a king. One city-state whose government was a monarchy was the city-state of Corinth.
Oligarchy: Rule by a small group. One city-state whose government was an oligarchy was the city-state of Sparta.
Democracy: Rule by the citizens, voting in an assembly. One city-state whose government experimented for about a hundred years with democracy was the ancient city-state of Athens.