A city-state is an independent country whose territory consists solely of a single major city and the area immediately surrounding it. Examples include the city-states of ancient Greece (the poleis such as Athens, Sparta, Thebes, and Corinth), the Phoenician cities of Canaan (such as Tyre and Sidon), and the Sumerian cities of Mesopotamia (such as Babylon and Ur).
Among the most well-known periods of city-state culture in human history include ancient Greek city-states, who organized themselves in small independent centres. The success of small regional units coexisting as autonomous actors in loose geographical and cultural unity, often prevented their amalgamation into larger national units. However, such small political entities often survived only for short periods because they lacked the resources to defend themselves against incursions by larger states. Thus they inevitably gave way to larger organizations of society.
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