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Politeia (πολιτεία) is an ancient Greek word used in Greek political thought, especially that of Plato and Aristotle. Derived from the word polis ("city-state"), it has a range of meanings, from 'the rights of citizens' to a 'form of government'.
Politeia, in Greek means the community of citizens in a city / state. It should not be confused with "regime" that is meant by politeuma or "Status quo" that is meant by . The regime is the word describing the political situation of the community of citizens in a city/state, and "kathestos" means also the general situation of an object, an agreement, or something else.
"Politeia" is derived from both the root word Polis meaning city/state, and from the root verb "politeuomai" that means I am acting as an active citizen of the city state.
Republic is an inadequate translation for the basic fact that people of the public are not also citizens of a city / state. A person that was ostracized from the active matrix of the city was an example of such. Another example was people that lived in the city but not being active citizens that had a say in the political processes of the community. Women, slaves and other people that were deemed unworthy for some reason were not in the active matrix of the political formations of that city state, making them not-citizens, so not part of "politeia".
In the works of Ancient Greek philosophers, the principal meaning of politeia appears to be: "how a polis is run; constitution". A politeia differs from modern written constitutions in two respects: first, not all Greek states put their laws in writing; more importantly, the Greeks did not normally distinguish between ordinary and constitutional legislation. If a certain body had the power to change the laws, it had the power to change the laws controlling its own power and membership - even to abolish itself and set up a new governing body.
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