PanoplyA vast and impressive array – or the complete armor of a hoplite.There was a panoply of snacks on the party table.
PhalanxA formation of heavily armed infantry soldiers, moving in close ranks as a single unit.The phalanx system was a brutal but effective form of Grecian warfare.
OligarchyGovernment by the few – where a few people rule the many.Ancient Sparta was an oligarchy.
AristocracyA class of people holding exceptional rank and privileges.In the French Revolution, the pampered aristocracy were overthrown by the oppressed poor.
DemocracyA form of government ruled by the people.In a democracy, the public choose their leader.
TyrannyA form of government where one man holds unrestrained and absolute power.Josef Stalin ruled a tyranny in the early Soviet Union.
UsurperOne who seizes an office or power by force or without the legal right to do so.In Shakespeare’s Richard II, Bolingbroke is a usurper to the crown of Richard.
HellespontA thin strait separating European and Asian Turkey.Xerxes brought a giant army across the Hellespont to invade Greece.
EpicDenoting a long poetic composition centered on a hero and his exploits and dramas.The epics of Homer are famous for their scope and imagination.
City-stateA sovereign state consisting of a city and its dependent territories.Ancient Greece was separated into many city-states, or poleis.


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Cite this article as: William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team), "Greek Terminology: Terms & Definitions," in SchoolWorkHelper, 2019,
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