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A kome was typically a village that was also a political unit. The translation is inexact, but according to Thucydides, Sparta, though it was a polis, resembled four unwalled villages. Similarly, a kome could be a neighbourhood within a larger polis or its own rural settlement. Thucydides mused that the polis had developed from the kome.
A katoikia was similar to a polis, typically a military colony with some municipal institutions, but not those of a full polis. The word derives from the Greek for "to inhabit" (a settlement) and is the cognate of the Latin civitas. In the Classical era, there were few katoikia; however, with the rise of large centralized empires following the conquests of Alexander the Great, they became the main type of Greek settlement, especially in the newly conquered east.
Many of the polis in ancient Greece established colonies, of which many went on to be fully independent polis of their own. These include:
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