The article is dedicated to the memory of Elena M. Shtaerman, whose 100th anniversary was celebrated in 2014. That year also marked the 25th anniversary of the discussion about the state in early Rome, which was initiated in the Soviet scholarship by Elena Shtaerman in 1989. The problem of the so-called ‘Roman polis’ has been generated in modern scholarship by the impact of the Greek culture during the Orientalising period assisting the emergence of the early city of Rome. Despite early Rome has been considered similar to a city-state, the early Roman urbs did not coincide with the densely inhabited space and was rather a sacred space destined for performing public rituals. Gradual extension of the Roman pomerium to the nearby hills changed the archaic meaning of the urbs in the direction of equalizing this notion with the idea of the city. Although the Roman urbanization has been traditionally referred to the 7th and 6th centuries BC, the formation of the protective structures of Rome, the improvement of the Forum Romanum, Cloaca Maxima, and the Circus Maximus, as well as the building of the Capitoline temple of Jupiter took place from the 6th to the 4th centuries BC. The urbanization coincided with the development of the Roman clan structures to a territorial tribal organization. While the Augustan historiography ascribed the creation of the territorial tribes to the six-century king Servius Tullius, Livy’s history preserved traces of an earlier version, according to which the number of the Roman tribes increased from three to thirty in the second half of the 5th to the late 4th century BC. Because the urban tribus could not exist in the space of the early sacred urbs, the four Roman urban tribes seem to be established by Q. Fabius Rullianus in 304 BC. The reform completed the synoecism of the Latium vetus, which brought the nearby communities under the Roman control as ‘rural’ tribes with a view to intensify the exploitation of rural resources. A peculiarity of the Roman tribal system became the principle of openness of citizenship, which fundamentally distinguished Rome from the Greek city-states. The Roman civil community (civitas) replaced the archaic Latin League in the second half of the 4th century BC.