How did Greece's geography influence the city-states?

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Athens, Thebes, Sparta, and Corinth are some of the most well-known city-states of ancient Greece. Instead of having a centralized administration, Greece developed several powerful city-states between 800 BC and 400 BC. Greece has a mountainous terrain made up of isolated archipelagos. These islands enabled Greece to form numerous powerful city-states instead of just one. It was a defense move meant to protect the Greeks from external attacks. Most city-states had a thriving agricultural sector due to the hilly and fertile terrain of Greece. There was also plenty of water from natural springs. Another reason why city-states developed is because of the rocky terrain that didn't allow people to travel much. Overall, the history of Greece has been shaped by its terrain. Those islands led to the formation of city-states that gave Greece worldwide recognition.

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Greece's geography did not allow it to be an empire like the Persians or some of the kingdoms of the ancient Near East. Greece was divided by vast bodies of water. For example, on the main land, you had cities like Athens, Thebes, and Sparta. Across the Aegean, you had other cities that were equally impressive, such as Miletus. There were also many islands as well such as Chios, Samos, Lesbos, and many more. So, the sea itself helped the Greeks to form city states. Forming an empire would have been very difficult. 

Another important feature of the geography is the mountainous terrain. In other words, each city was separated by mountains. This natural barrier also kept the Greeks apart (and also protected them from would be invaders). So, once again the geography of the land helped the Greeks create cities instead of a unified empire. 

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