The City-states carried out economic, military and political functions.
For a polis world outlook, the idea of a special connection between the city and the gods was characteristic. The policy, as well as the family community, was under the auspices of God, and accordingly the citizen was under the auspices of God, that is, the citizen’s life was not only protected by the laws and regulations of the policy, but also protected by the gods. Therefore, life outside the framework of the policy was simply impossible.
Based on the above, you can determine the main features of the policy: land as the basis of property; Gravitation towards subsistence farming, cultivated by the labor of the “surname” and feeding it; Community, family, gender – in general belonging to the whole as a condition of human fullness; The civil society as the most natural and perfect form of such integrity; An acute sense of difference between the community itself and the non-community, citizens and non-citizens.
In accordance with the basic principles of the policy, a polis system of values is formed. The policy was perceived “as the only natural organization of life, conditioned by the very structure of being.” The policy is the model that underlies the notion of the universe, the cosmos. Therefore, its change was represented as the decline and destruction of the universe.
The impossibility of the existence of a person outside the collective puts a person’s well-being in dependence on the welfare of the policy. Private interest is inseparable from the general, their constant interaction was ensured by the power of the people’s assembly and strict laws.
The measure of a man’s value is his service to the state, the main thing in a person is what unites him with his fellow citizens, that is, the social personality, and not his unique individuality.
The political system educated the Greeks special worldview. He taught them to appreciate the real abilities and capabilities of a person – a citizen. The main thing in the life of the ancient Greeks – the orientation toward success, which was tantamount to happiness. Happy is the one who is stronger, smarter, and eloquent. Gradually in the Greek society, the idea of winning in competition as the highest value glorifying the winner and bringing him honor and respect in society (agonism) is affirmed.
The formation of these ideas about the agony gave rise to various games that were of an aristocratic nature. This spirit permeated almost all aspects of the life and activities of the ancient Greeks, whether it is public discussion of laws or the Olympic Games, theatrical productions or litigation. The ancient Greeks themselves gods compete. Moreover, according to Greek mythology, the observed world order arose as a result of the victory of Zeus over Kron, and then over the Titans. In honor of this glorious victory, contests of mortal people were organized at Olympia.
The pursuit of the Greeks for their fame and the attainment of immortality in the memory of generations was one of the brightest manifestations of their acute sense of the “transience” of human life and an irrepressible desire to overcome death.
For the ancient Greeks, the glorious name was incorruptible, imperishable, and valuable in itself, it is not bought or sold, the glorious name surpasses all material reward.
Thus, the policy was a closed structure not only in the economic and political spheres of life, but also in the sphere of morality, morality, norms of behavior, therefore, the policy ideology is oriented towards the preservation of these traditions.
However, the ideal correspondence of the policy to the initial level of development of the productive forces comes into conflict with the needs of the development of these forces, with the movement of life. The enrichment of life, the spread of leisure on this basis, of art does not fit into the rigid framework of the policy. Without development, one can not live, but it also destroys values that give meaning to life.
Polis lives in a constant violation of living standards, on this basis; the central problem of ancient culture is the ratio of the ideal and life. A distinctive feature of antiquity is that this contradiction does not find a solution. In everyday reality, ancient society appears before us as being torn apart by the deepest contradictions, aware of such forms of social enmity and discord that the later ages could not even imagine. Within the limits of civic unity, as its underside, the social antagonisms of the upper and lower ranks unfolded, and the struggle of democracy with the constantly emerging oligarchies, and suspicion towards everyone who stood out and became above the masses, even if he even stood out for his exploits and selfless service to the policy .
The ideal of a polis hostel with its norms of heroism, harmony of development, civic solidarity, conservative morality and quiet submission of the individual to society turns out to be transformed into a special sphere of mythologized being. She actively influenced human practice, asserted her own norms in it, but not when this practice was not exhausted.
In the last decades of the IV century. BC. E. Came the end of the classical culture of ancient Greece. The disintegration and demise of political democracy led to the seizure of Macedonia throughout Greece and the conquests of Alexander the Great, who founded a huge empire from the Danube to the Indus. Alexander already in his youth tasted the fruits of the highest Greek culture: his tutor was Aristotle, and the “court” artist – the last great sculptor of the classics of Lysippos. All this did not prevent him from capturing the Persian state and occupying the throne of the Egyptian pharaohs, declaring him a god and demanding that he be rewarded with godly honors in Greece. This was a symptom of the turn of ancient society from slave-owning democracy to a slave-owning monarchy. The era of Hellenism – the synthesis, under the auspices of the imperial order, Hellenic and Eastern cultures – has come. Thanks to this synthesis, a common cultural language emerges, which formed the basis for the whole subsequent history of European culture. In the Hellenistic era, an ordinary citizen can no longer engage in politics, this is the privilege of the powerful, so he focuses on himself and his needs. Awakened individualism corresponds to the increased interest in psychology, towards philosophy, which primarily deals with the ethics and happiness of the individual. This is reflected in literature and art. The significance of the art of Hellenism is very great, for it lies at the heart of the art of ancient Rome, Byzantium and the Middle East.
In the era of Hellenism, Alexandria arose – a real enlightened center of ancient culture, where the exact and humanitarian sciences and philosophical schools flourish, where the paths of the Greek and Oriental cultural traditions themselves are crossing. Describing the culture of Hellenism in general, it should be noted that in politics and science, a step forward was made, and in art it remained a “disciple” of classical Greece. Culture, created in the era of the ancient slave society, occupies a very special place in the heritage on which human civilization rests in its subsequent historical development.