The main purpose of the article is to analyze the conception of constitution emerg ing from the ancient, early modern and modern political philosophy. On the ground of the so called constitutionalism, polis can be seen as the first holistic vision of the public sphere. It can be said that the idea of polis constitutes ethical relationship be tween the citizen and the state. The paper attempts to examine constitutional thought in a historical perspective and to penetrate the structure of the fundamental premises and theses of the modern concepts of constitution and constitutionalism, in the con text of the idea and the ethical philosophy of polis. The main thesis is that the idea of constitution (in broad sense) is derived from natural law categories, and there is an essential connection between the idea of constitution and the autonomy of citizens and their rights. In the post-enlightenment era we attach too much hope to the writ ten constitution, whereas the most important are public virtues and common values. The deliberative model of the state and the soul of politea – polis is much more import ant than written law and written constitution. It can be assumed that the authority of modern constitution (and the role of modern constitutionalism) depends on our abil ity to re-discover the values (the soul) of polis.