ACROPOLIS , literally the upper part of a town. For purposes of defence early settlers naturally chose elevated ground, frequently a hill with precipitous sides, and these early citadels became in many parts of the world the nuclei of large cities which grew up on the surrounding lower ground. The word Acropolis, though Greek in origin and associated primarily with Greek towns (Athens, Argos, Thebes, Corinth), may be applied generically to all such citadels (Rome, Jerusalem, many in Asia Minor, or even Castle Hill at Edinburgh). The most famous is that of Athens, which, by reason of its historical associations and the famous buildings erected upon it, is generally known without qualification as the Acropolis (see ATHENS).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)