Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Urban Planning in the Greek World

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_1487


Urbanism is one characteristic that binds the ancient cities of Greece to earlier developments in Mesopotamia and the Near East. Cities in east and west shared a number of features in common, including an urban center, a tutelary deity worshipped at a central sanctuary, and dependence on a rural hinterland for sustenance. But monarchs ruled in the east, and Greek cities evolved along a different, complex, and varied path, experimenting with new social and political institutions and an ideology of citizenship. It is therefore remarkable that urbanism first emerges in ancient Greece at the end of the sixth century BCE, at the very same time when increasing contact with the Persian Empire becomes a catalyst for experiments with empire in Greece (Morris 2006: 26-51).

Ancient Greeks were first and foremost agriculturalists; so urbanism, when it appeared, was made possible by stable environmental conditions and an abundant and diverse supply of food, such as grain, olives,...

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Further Reading

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA