nDervish wrote:I've been doing some setting construction lately which has brought this heavily to mind. Can you recommend any good sources for information about the city-state mindset?
I've done a little chart to give some rough guidelines on how city states at different stages of development or complexity might work. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-xSM3ytkr6KUE4xTkUxUVlSMTQ/view?usp=sharing
I've artificially split into three types or stages:
Archaic - smaller and simpler city states roughly what you might get from when a city is first founded, loosely relating to cities in Greece or Italy prior to 500 BC
Classical - a more developed and formally organised city state system. Loosely relating to Greece and Italy 500-200 BC
Imperial - for those city states that get really big and successful and conquer or dominate others. Late Republican/Early Imperial Rome, Carthage are examples of the model
These are rough guides, and no one historical (or fantasy!) city will conform to all the criteria. Some people may debate some of the generalisations, but they'll put you in the right mindset. None of this is readily transferable or relevant to cities or city states at other times - it doesn't cover the Bronze Age, for example Mycenaean kingdoms or early city states in Mesopotamia, nor pre-Columboan Mesoamerican.