Abstract: A continuous resp. discrete r-dimensional (r≥1) system is the solution space of a system of linear partial differential resp. difference equations with constant coefficients for a vector of functions or distributions in r variables resp. of r-fold indexed sequences. Although such linear systems, both multidimensional and multivariable, have been used and studied in analysis and algebra for a long time, for instance by Ehrenpreis et al. thirty years ago, these systems have only recently been recognized as objects of special significance for system theory and for technical applications. Their introduction in this context in the discrete one-dimensional (r=1) case is due to J. C. Willems. The main duality theorem of this paper establishes a categorical duality between these multidimensional systems and finitely generated modules over the polynomial algebra in r indeterminates by making use of deep results in the areas of partial differential equations, several complex variables and algebra. This duality theorem makes many notions and theorems from algebra available for system theoretic considerations. This strategy is pursued here in several directions and is similar to the use of polynomial algebra in the standard one-dimensional theory, but mathematically more difficult. The following subjects are treated: input-output structures of systems and their transfer matrix, signal flow spaces and graphs of systems and block diagrams, transfer equivalence and (minimal) realizations, controllability and observability, rank singularities and their connection with the integral respresentation theorem, invertible systems, the constructive solution of the Cauchy problem and convolutional transfer operators for discrete systems. Several constructions on the basis of the Grobner basis algorithms are executed. The connections with other approaches to multidimensional systems are established as far as possible (to the author).