History >> Ancient Greece
The history of Ancient Greece can be divided up into different periods. The three main periods we will cover here are the Archaic Period, the Classical Period, and the Hellenistic Period.
During the Archaic Period
the Greek government began to form with the rise of the city-states such as Athens and Sparta. This was also when the Greeks began to explore philosophy and theatre.
The Classical Period
began with the introduction of democracy in Athens. Athens also rose to new heights in art and philosophy. It was during this period that Athens and Sparta fought in the Peloponnesian Wars. Near the end of the Classical Period Alexander the Great rose to power conquering much of Europe and Western Asia.
The death of Alexander the Great ushered in the Hellenistic Period
. Greece declined in power until it was finally conquered by Rome.
Greek Archaic Period (800 BC - 480 BC)
Greek Classical Period (480 BC - 323 BC)
- 776 BC - The first Olympic Games takes place. The games would take place every 4 years in honor of the Greek god Zeus.
- 757 BC - First Messenian War begins. This is a war between Sparta and Messenia that will last many years.
- 750 BC - Homer begins to write the Iliad and Odyssey. These epic poems become two of the most famous literary works in Greek literature.
- 650 BC - The Greek Tyrants come into power. Cypselus is the first Tyrant of Corinth.
- 621 BC - A lawyer named Draco introduces strict new laws in Athens that are punishable by death. These are called Draconian laws.
- 600 BC - The first Greek coins are introduced.
- 570 BC - Pythagoras is born. He will make major advances in science, math, and philosophy. We still use the Pythagorean Theorem today to help with geometry.
- 508 BC - Democracy is introduced in Athens by Cleisthenes. He establishes a constitution and is often called the "Father of Athenian Democracy". This is one of the great accomplishments of the Greek culture.
Greek Hellenistic Period (323 BC - 146 BC)
- 490 BC - The Greeks fight the Persians in the Greek/Persian Wars. Two famous battles are the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC and the Battle of Salamis in 480 BC. The Greeks win and the Persians retreat.
- 468 BC - Sophocles begins to write plays for the theatre. Soon the theater becomes a very popular form of entertainment in Greece.
- 440 BC - Famous playwright Euripides wins first prize for the best play in Athens.
- 432 BC - The temple to Athena, the Parthenon, is completed in Athens on the Acropolis. Today this is the most famous surviving building of Ancient Greece.
- 431 BC - The wars between Sparta and Athens begin. They are called the Peloponnesian Wars. The wars will last 27 years with Sparta eventually conquering Athens in 404 BC.
- 399 BC - The famous Greek philosopher Socrates is put to death for corrupting the youth of Athens with his teachings.
- 386 BC - Greek philosopher and student of Socrates, Plato, founds the first institution of higher learning in the western world. It's called the Academy.
- 342 BC - The great philosopher, scientist, and mathematician, Aristotle, begins to tutor Alexander (later to be called Alexander the Great).
- 336 BC - Alexander the Great becomes king when his father, Philip of Macedon is assassinated.
- 333 BC - Alexander begins his conquests and defeats the Persians.
- 332 BC - Alexander conquers Egypt. He establishes the new capital of Egypt at Alexandria. Over the next several years Alexander would greatly expand his empire, conquering much of Persia on the way to India.
- 323 BC - The Hellenistic period begins when Alexander the Great dies. The Ancient Greek civilization begins its decline and the Ancient Romans start to gain power.
- 300 BC - Euclid, a Greek mathematician, writes Elements. This famous writing will have an impact on mathematics for years to come.
- 146 BC - Rome conquers Greece making it part of the Roman Empire.
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