Urban Landscape and Architecture

Robin Osborne

in The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780199286140
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

Urban Landscape and Architecture

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  • Classical Studies
  • Classical Art and Architecture
  • Historical Archaeology



That the idea of the polis came to stand as a reference point for Hellenic cultural ideals is not, as one might have thought, purely the result of later memory, or memorialization of the political structures that obtained during a rich and productive era in Greek cultural history. This happened, of course; but it built on a conscious attempt by its inhabitants to promote the polis as a centre for cultural identity. This article looks at how the city developed and how it was developed physically to reflect an ideal, ‘common’ identity, both cultural and political.

Keywords: Hellenic culture; Greek polis; cultural identity; city development; political identity

Article.  4619 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Art and Architecture ; Historical Archaeology

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