timeline of ancient Greece

Ancient Greece
SSU Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Winter 2015
Dr. Douglas Kenning
Ancient Greek Historical Timeline
3000 ~ 1400 BCE Minoan Crete; Early-Middle Bronze Age
1600 ~ 1100 BCE Mycenaean Greeks; Late Bronze Age
1100 ~ 800 BCE Dark Ages / Dorian Invasion ?; Iron Age begins
800 ~ 480 BCE Archaic Period of Greece (incl. so-called “Colonizing Period” 800 ~ 600)
480 ~ 323 BCE Classical Period of Greece
323 ~ 146 BCE Hellenistic Period of all peoples in the Mediterranean region, ended by the Roman conquest of
But the Roman Republic & Empire were in fact a continuation of Hellenic Civilization (now called GrecoRoman), which ebbed somewhat after the fall of Rome, then was revived by the Renaissance, and flowered
again in the Enlightenment, an age we still are in. So, we still are part of the continuing spread of Hellenic (or
“Greco-Roman”) civilization, now called Westernization or Americanization
3000~1400 ca. BCE, Minoan Crete
1900 ca. BCE, transition from Early to Middle Helladic phase of Bronze Age. Change of population on
Continental Greece, 'Minyan' pottery, Greek-speakers arrive
1600~1550 BCE, beginning of Late Helladic & Late Minoan Age; mainlanders adopted many elements of
Minoan civilization
1600~1100 BCE, Mycenaean Civilization
1400~1370 ca. BCE, destruction of Knossos
14C ca. BCE, reign of King Minos in legend
1250 ca. (or 1184), Trojan War; speculative
1200 ca. BCE, all mainland palace-fortresses sacked except acropolis of Athens. End of Mycenaean Age
1200 ca. BCE, legendary Dorian Invasion of Greece (evidence sketchy). Iron Age begins
ca .1200~800 BCE Greek 'Dark Ages'
nothing much to say (which is why it’s call “dark”)
except some developments into “Geometric” pottery decoration.
800~480 BCE Greek ‘Archaic Period’
800~700 ca, Greeks adopt Phoenician alphabet, acquire written language. Homeric epics Odyssey & later
Iliad written. Hesiod writes Theogony & Works & Days
776 ca, the Olympic Festival & Games are founded to honor Olympian Zeus. Held once every four years,
during a general peace, the Greeks thereafter date their calendar by “Olympiads”. Games
continue to 393 CE
750-650, Hoplite phalanx adopted by cities of southern Greece
760, Greek cities begin to establish colonies in southern Italy, Sicily, Africa, far western Mediterranean, &
into the Black Sea. Many of the colonies in eventually become independent city-states
e.g. settlers from Greek city of Euboea establish the first known of such colonies at Pithekousai on
the island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples
733, Corinthians establish the colony Syracusae (modern Siracusa) in Sicily, which eventually rivals
Athens as the largest & most beautiful city in the Greek world
650 ca, the earliest Greek lyric poets are active in Greece. Archilochus of Paros, is regarded as a great
innovator in meter & language. Tyrtaeus, an elegiac poet from Sparta, exhorts the Spartans to fight
in the Second Messenian War
632, monarchy in Athens replaced by Council of Areopagus, wealthy aristocrats, & an annual board of
nine archons
621, Draco establishes rule of law in Athens (i.e. the state assumes sole authority to administer justice)
610 ca, the poet Sappho flourishes on Lesbos
594, Solon, archon of Athens, founder of Athenian democracy, rewrites all Draconian laws (except those
on homicide): releases the peasants from serfdom, redeems those sold into slavery, introduces
coinage to Athens & a system of weights & measures, & grants citizenship to immigrant artisans,
all in an attempt to stimulate trade & industry
585, Thales of Miletus (ca. 624–ca. 546 BC) begins Western Philosophy & predicts solar eclipse
582, Pythian athletic games established in Delphi & Isthmian games established in Corinth
581~497, Pythagoras of Samos. Late in life, he establishes an academy in Croton, Italy
573, Nemean Festival & Games established at Cleonae (between Sicyon & Argos)
546~479, Persian Wars
546, Spartans form Peloponnesian League
546~527, Peisistratus rules as "benevolent" tyrant in Athens
540, Persians, under Cyrus the Great, force Ionians Greek cities (in Asia Minor) to pay tribute
536~533 ca. Thespis, a choral director in Athens, adds spoken words to accompany singing & dancing.
Soon he began staging them in a theatre
525 ca, red-figure pottery technique is pioneered in Athens. the direct opposite of black-figure technique
525~456, Aeschylus, first playwright
518~438, Pindar, greatest lyric poet
508–507, Athenian statesman Kleisthenes furthers efforts made by Solon & establishes a democratic
constitution at Athens
499~494, Ionian Greek cities (Asia Minor) revolt against Persians
496~406, Sophocles, tragic playwright
490, Greece invaded by Persians under Darius. Defeated at Battle of Marathon by Athenians led by
484 to 420, Herodotus, first historian (wrote history of the Persian Wars)
481, Hellenic League founded to defend against Persians. Both Athens & Sparta members
480, second Persian invasion under Xerxes. Battle of Thermopylae. Persians destroy temples on
Acropolis. Battle of Salamis. "Greek fire" decisive
480, simultaneously, Greeks of Sicily, led by Syracuse, defeat Carthaginians at Himera. Carthage does not
oppose Greeks for 70 years
479, after defeat at Salamis, Xerxes returns & Mardonius leads Persian troops to conquer central Greece.
Spartan Pausanias & Athenians defeat Mardonius at Platea
480~323 BCE, Greek Classical Age (“Golden Age”)
480~412, hegemony of Athens
480~406, Euripides, third of great tragic playwrights
477, Athenian-dominated Delian League founded after the end of the Persian Wars
469, Socrates born in Athens
500~400, Fifth Century Greek philosophers:
Heracleitus (540-475)
Parmenides (539-469)
Anaxagoras (500-438)
Empedocles (490-430)
Leucippus (b. 480)
Democritus (460-360)
Socrates (469-399)
Zeno of Elea (b. 450)
Antisthenes (440-370)
Aristippus (435-358)
Plato (427-36)
461~429, Age of Pericles
460~446, First Peloponnesian War begins, Sparta-Argos War, Athens attacks Persian Egypt
450~400, Thucydides, historian of Peloponnesian Wars
447~433, Parthenon built as part of Pericles' building programs overseen by the sculptor Phidias
446, First Peloponnesian War ends. Begin ‘Thirty Years’ Peace
431~404, Great Peloponnesian War
429, Peloponnesians siege Plataea; death of Pericles
448~380, Aristophanes
428~348, Plato. Born in Athens or Aegina to aristocratic family. Student of Socrates
421~414, Peace of Nicias pauses Peloponnesian War (supposed to last 50 years, lasts 6)
420–410 ca, after the Temple of Athena Nike on the Acropolis is completed
414~412, Syracusan Expedition by Athens ends in a massive military catastrophe
413, Spartan King Agis invades Attica & inflicts great damage in countryside
412, many Ægean islands revolt against Athenian domination, incited by Alcibiades w/ Spartans
411, Council of 400 deposed in Athens, replaced by rule of 5000; Alcibiades made Athenian general
410, restoration of full democracy in Athens
406 to 367, Dionysius rules Syracuse & much of central Mediterranean; founds many towns including
Tauromenium (modern Taormina) in Sicily
404, end of Peloponnesian War with surrender of Athens to Lysander, Spartan admiral. He installs the
Thirty Tyrants, a pro-Spartan government, in Athens. They are overthrown the following year.
Sparta uses Athens as counter-balance to Corinth & Thebes
403, Athenian revolution reversed. Restoration of democracy & general amnesty
403~399, commission of lawgivers revise Athenian laws. New constitution holds until 322
400, Xenophon leads his famous 10,000
399, Socrates is brought to trial on the charge of corrupting youth & condemned to death
380s, Plato founds the Academy just outside of Athens
385~272, Sicilian Wars – Sicilian Greeks (esp. Syracuse) against Carthage for control of Sicily
338, Philip II of Macedon establishes the Corinthian League, a framework for Macedonian domination of
Greece until it is dissolved in 322
335, Aristotle founds the Lyceum in Athens
323~146 BCE Hellenistic Age
335~323, conquests of Alexander the Great. He extends Greek influence as far as the Indus Valley &
214–205, First Macedonian War. Rome defeats Philip V of Macedon
200–196, Second Macedonian War, which ends w/ the victory of Roman General Flamininus at
172–168/7, Third Macedonian War. Perseus of Macedon defeated by Roman Republic & Macedonia is
divided into four republics
146, the Romans sack Corinth, dissolve the Achaean Confederacy & conquer Greece
146 BCE ff, Romans to us
86, Roman general Sulla sacks Athens
48, at the Battle of Pharsalus in northern Greece, Pompey is defeated by Julius Caesar
43–42, after the assassination of Julius Caesar, Marc Antony, Octavian, & Lepidus form a triumvirate &
defeat the Republicans led by Cassius & Brutus at Philippi in eastern Macedonia
32–31, Octavian (later Augustus) defeats Marc Antony & Cleopatra of Egypt at the Battle of Actium
(western Greece)