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Last edited 04 Mar 2022
City states existed in Ancient Egypt and Sumer, and developed in Greece in the 4th and 5th centuries BCE, known as ‘polis’. The term ‘city state’ itself emerged in late 19th century England.
City states were relatively common historically, for example, the cities of Rome and Athens, and subsequently, cities such as Naples and Venice. Indeed city states became the normal political entity in north and central Italy during medieval and renaissance times.
Today there are only three remaining city states: Monaco, Singapore, and Vatican City. Monaco is also considered to be a principality, that is, a territory ruled by a prince or princess. Cities such as Dubai, which have a degree of self-governance are actually considered to be autonomous regions rather than city states as they exist as part of a wider country.
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