defensible hilltop used as a settlement's religious, military, and/or political center

The word acropolis (Ancient Greek: ἀκρόπολις, akropolis; from akros (άκρος) or akron (άκρον), "highest, topmost, outermost", and polis (πόλις), "city"; plural in English: acropoles, acropoleis or acropolises)[1] means the edge of a town, or more often a high city. Being easily defended against attackers, an acropolis often has a citadel. The most famous is the Acropolis of Athens.

The Acropolis of Athens

"Acropolis" is also used for a central complex of overlapping structures, such as plazas and pyramids, in many Mayan cities, including Tikal and Copán.


  1. acropolis, akros, akron. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at Perseus Project.