Timeline and History Overview
- 3000 - The Bronze Age begins in Greece.
- 1240 - The beginning of the Trojan War.
- 1130 - Iron is introduced. The Iron Age begins.
- 700s - The city-states of Athens and Sparta emerge and become major powers in the region.
- 776 - The first Olympics takes place at Olympia.
- 750 - Homer writes the epic poems the Odyssey and the Iliad.
- 650 - The Greek Tyrants come into power.
- 570 - Math genius Pythagoras is born. He will develop the Pythagorean Theorem.
- 508 - Athens develops the first democracy.
- 490 - The Greeks defeat the Persians at the Battle of Marathon ending the First Persian War.
- 480 - The Second Persian War ends when the Greeks defeat the Persians at the Battle of Salamis.
- 450 - The Golden Age of Athens begins with the rule of Pericles.
- 432 - The Parthenon is completed in Athens.
- 430 - A plague strikes Athens killing thousands including Pericles.
- 404 - Athens is defeated by Sparta to end the Peloponnesian War.
- 399 - Socrates is put to death for corrupting the youth of Athens.
- 371 - Sparta is defeated by a group of city-states including Athens and Thebes.
- 386 - Plato founds the Academy, the first western institution of higher learning.
- 338 - Athens and Thebes are defeated by Phillip II of Macedonia.
- 336 - Alexander the Great becomes king.
- 332 - Alexander the Great conquers much of Asia including Persia and Egypt.
- 323 - Alexander the Great dies. The Greek Empire is the largest in world history. After his death, the empire becomes fragmented and begins to decline.
- 300 - Euclid writes Elements, a famous mathematical text.
- 146 - The Roman Empire conquers Macedonia and it becomes part of the Roman Empire.
- 86 - Athens is burned by Roman soldiers in response to a Greek revolt.
- 30 - All of Greece becomes part of the Roman Empire after Marc Antony is defeated at the Battle of Actium.
Aristotle and Plato
- 324 - Byzantium is founded by Constantine the Great. Greece is part of the Western Roman Empire, also called Byzantium.
- 393 - The Olympic games are ended by Roman emperor Theodosius.
- 1453 - The Ottoman Turks capture Constantinople and topple the Byzantium Empire. Greece becomes part of the Ottoman Empire.
- 1821 - The Greek War of Independence begins with the help of Britain and France.
- 1822 - Greece declares its independence from the Ottoman Empire.
- 1827 - The Ottoman Empire is defeated by Great Britain, France, and Russia at the Battle of Navarino.
- 1832 - King Otto becomes the first modern King of Greece. The Greek War of Independence comes to an end.
- 1914 - World War I begins. Greece is neutral at first.
- 1917 - Greece joins the Allies in the fight against the Central Powers.
- 1919 - World War I ends. Greece gains some territory from the war.
- 1924 - The Greek monarchy is abolished and the country becomes a republic.
- 1936 - John Metaxas gains power and becomes dictator of Greece.
- 1939 - World War II begins. Greece remains neutral at the start.
- 1941 - Germany invades Greece. Greece is occupied by the Germans for the next four years. Many Greeks die from famine during this time.
- 1944 - Greece is liberated from Germany by the Allies.
- 1946 - The start of the Greek Civil War between the communist and the royalist parties. The communists are defeated by 1949.
- 1952 - Greece forms a democracy with a new constitution and a parliament. Subsequent years are filled with coups and changes of power from a parliament to a monarchy.
- 1975 - Greece forms a new parliamentary republic with a new constitution.
- 1981 - Greece joins the European Union. Andreas Papandreou is elected prime minister for the first time.
- 2002 - The Euro becomes the official currency replacing the drachma.
- 2004 - Athens hosts the Olympic games.
- 2009 - The country enters an economic crisis.
- 2013 - Unemployment climbs to over 26%. The youth unemployment nears 60%.
Battle of Actium
The Olympic Athletic Center in Athens
Greece is a country steeped with ancient history and civilizations. As far back as 3000 BC the Cycladic civilization inhabited the area of Greece. Over time other civilizations would emerge. The city states of Ancient Greece such as Athens and Sparta created one of the most advanced ancient civilizations in history. Giving birth to many advanced concepts in government and philosophy that are still used today. In 332 BC, Alexander the Great came into power. He would unite the Greek peoples and conquer the Persian Empire. To learn more about Ancient Greece see Ancient Greece for kids.
By 30 BC, all of Greece became part of the Roman Empire. When the Roman Empire split, Greece become a part of the Byzantium Empire. Greek culture would have a significant influence on both the Roman and Byzantium cultures. Greece remained part of the Byzantium Empire until the arrival of the Ottoman Empire in the 1400s.
The Greeks broke free of the Ottomans after the Greek War for Independence. Throughout the rest of the 1800s and 1900s, Greece slowly added nearby islands to its territories. In World War II Greece was invaded by Italy and taken over by Germany. Greece joined NATO after Germany was defeated and the war ended. Greece is now a member of the European Union.
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