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THE MAKING OF EUROPE / EARLY EUROPEAN HISTORY

From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS

I. THE LANDS OF THE WEST AND THE RISE OF GREECE TO ABOUT 500 B.C.

Rediscovering the Path to Europe
Em. Macron, Rediscovering the Path to Europe


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Page 17

THE GREEK CITY-STATE

NATURE OF THE CITY STATE

The Greeks in Homeric times had already begun to live in towns and cities. A Greek city, being independent and self-governing, is properly called a city-state. Just as a modern nation, it could declare war, arrange treaties, and make alliances with its neighbors. Such a city-state included not only the territory within its walls, but also the surrounding district where many of the citizens lived.

THE CITIZENS

The members of a Greek city-state were very closely associated. The citizens believed themselves to be descended from a common ancestor and so to be all related. They were united, also, in the worship of the patron god or hero who had them under his protection. These ties of supposed kinship and common religion were of the utmost importance. They made citizenship a privilege which came to a person only by birth, a privilege which he lost by removal to another city. Elsewhere he was only a foreigner without legal rights—a man without a country.

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THE MAKING OF EUROPE / EARLY EUROPEAN HISTORY: Table of Contents

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IN PRINT

Rediscovering the Path to Europe Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House

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Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy

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