The Ancient Greeks For Dummies
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Keep this helpful timeline in hand to remind yourself of the significant periods of time and essential events that took place throughout this important part of world history.

  • 2600 BC: Beginning of the Minoan Period

  • 1450 BC: Development of Linear B writing

  • 1400 BC: Foundation of Mycenaean Palaces

Bronze Age

  • 1370 BC: Palace complex at Knossos destroyed. Minoan civilisation comes to an end.

  • c.1250 BC: The Trojan War

  • 1200 BC: Destruction of Mycenaean Palaces. Doric invasions

  • 1000 BC: End of Mycenaean civilisation

Iron Age

  • 776 BC: First Olympic Games

  • c.750 BC: The Iliad and the Odyssey composed. Greek alphabet established. Greek colonies established in Sicily and Southern Italy

  • 630 BC: Colony of Cyrene established

  • 594 BC: Solon renews the laws of Athens.

  • 508 BC: Kleisthenes reforms the Athenian constitution and Athens becomes a democracy!

  • 490 BC: Battle of Marathon: Greece versus Persia I (Greece wins!)

  • 483 BC: Athenians discover silver in the mines at Laureion.

  • 480 BC: Battle of Thermopylae: Greece versus Persia II. Battle of Salamis

  • 479 BC: Battle of Plataea (Greece wins . . . eventually!)

  • 477 BC: Athens establishes the Delian League.

  • 461–445 BC: First Peloponnesian War: Athens versus Sparta (draw)

  • 431–404 BC: Second Peloponnesian War: Athens versus Sparta (Sparta wins.)

  • 430 BC: Plague in Athens

  • 429 BC: Death of Pericles

  • 415 BC: Athenian expedition to Sicily defeated

  • 399 BC: Socrates tried and executed

  • 359 BC: Philip II becomes king of Macedonia.

  • 356 BC: Alexander the Great born

  • 331 BC: Alexander the Great defeats the Persians at Gaugamela and becomes the new King of Persia!

  • 323 BC: Death of Alexander the Great

  • 322 BC: Death of Aristotle

  • 300 BC: Ptolemy the Great founds the library at Alexandria.

  • 214 BC: Philip V of Macedon defeated by the Romans

  • 172 BC: Macedonia becomes a Roman province.

  • 146 BC: Romans invade Greece and take control. Ancient Greece comes to an end.

About This Article

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Stephen Batchelor is a lecturer in Ancient History and Classical Studies. He writes reviews for History Today and Current Archaeology.

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