Ancient Greece

  • Beginning of the Minoan Society

    Beginning of the Minoan Society
    2000 BC
    The first two Greek civilizations, the Minoans and the Mycenaeans, start their respective societies. The Minoans settled in an island called Crete, an island south of the Aegean Sea and located in the Mediterranean. The Minoans then preceded to thrive and expanded themselves to create a highly advanced society.
  • The Explosion in Crete

    The Explosion in Crete
    Around 1600 BC:
    Since the Minoans lived in an island, they spent their time near the sea. They became the best sailors and shipmakers of their time. Living in Crete also gave them an excellent trading center, where their ships brought many goods like olive oil, wood pottery, copper, gold, silver and jewels. However, it was also geographically very dangerous. On this date, there was a giant explosion in Crete, burying the island in ash and starting the end of Minoan society.
  • Mycenaean Power Rises

    Mycenaean Power Rises
    1400's BC.
    Around 1400 BC, when the Minoan society finally declined, another Greek group rose to power, called the Mycenaeans. They took over Crete and became the best traders, shipbuilders and sailors in both Crete AND mainland Greece. They created colonies all over their territory and expanded themselves to become one of the most powerful societies in their time and they excelled in their trade.
  • Decline of Mycenaean Power

    Decline of Mycenaean Power
    1200's BC.
    The Mycenaean people did not conduct trade peacefully. They abused their power and FORCED other people to trade with them, making many enemies. They even tried to attack other more powerful kingdoms, like Troy. Anyways, around 1200 BC, the Mycenaean society was declining because foreign enemies attacked Greece. At the same time, many earthquakes destroyed Greece and the Greek civilization crumbled into a period of war and disorder...the Dark Age.
  • Start of the Classical Age

    Start of the Classical Age
    900's BC.
    300 years after Mycenaean decline, many Greeks came together to make groups so that they could be better protected from foreign enemies. Eventually, these groups increased until they each created a "polis" or a city-state. They became more independent and no longer became afraid of foreign invaders. This marked the classical age of Greece, one that is marked by achievements. However, the Greeks then thought of doing something else...making colonies.
  • Homer: Greatest Greek Poet

    Homer: Greatest Greek Poet
    800-700 BC.
    Homer is believed to be the ancient world's greatest poets. Despite being blind, he had the incredible ability to recite entire passages of two of his most remarkable and popular works, the Iliad and the Odyssey, both narrating events related to the famous, yet unsure, Trojan War. His works were so well-written, that memorizing entire passages of them was required in Greek schools, especially in Athens.
  • A Terrible Oligarchy

    A Terrible Oligarchy
    600 BC.
    At the beginning of Greek times in Athens, they had a monarchy, or a rule by one person. However, they were soon overcome by a new rule called an oligarchy. In an oligarchy, a group of rich people or aristocratics, governed Greece and made every single decision, giving people barely any rights. On 600 BC, a group of rebels tried to overcome the aristocrats, however they lost and the Draconian laws were formed, giving them even LESS rights.
  • Lycurgus' Invention

    Lycurgus' Invention
    600 BC.
    Lycurgus, a Spartan man, developed Sparta's society and made it into a strong, military society. Because of a slave revolt, he thought that the military needed to have more importance in Sparta. The Spartans then believed that the military was important because of the security and protection it brought for their city. In other words, being strong was being successful. Daily life in Sparta clearly showed this.
  • Solon's Efforts

    Solon's Efforts
    590 BC.
    A man named Solon knew that the Draconian laws were too strict for the people of Greece. Therefore, he made new laws that were less harsh and gave more right to non aristocrats. He wanted to do this so that people would revolt less and respect the oligarchies. However, that did not work because the Athenians did not want an oligarchy anymore...they wanted more rights!
  • Greece Thrives Once More

    Greece Thrives Once More
    550 BC.
    Around 550 BC, the Greek colonies had expanded among the Mediterranean, in places like Istanbul, Turkey; Marseille, France and Naples, Italy. They became independent, thriving colonies and once again became the best traders and sailors in the Aegean Region. Their ships even went to the Black Sea and to Egypt! Greece was once again one of the richest cities because of their trade. They could focus on other things like architecture, protection, marketplaces, religion and politics.
  • A Fair Tyranny

    A Fair Tyranny
    546 BC.
    On 546 BC, a noble man called Peisestratus threw the oligarchy and became one of the best rulers of Athens. He created tyranny, which meant rule by a tyrant or a strong leader. Today, a tyrant means somebody who is a harsh ruler but in ancient times, a tyrant was actually a man or a leader with a lot of riches, power and armies. Tyrannies were deeply supported in ancient Greece due to the fact that it gave the people a bit more power than an oligarchy.
  • Athens: The Home of Democracy

    Athens: The Home of Democracy
    500 BC.
    After Peisistratus died however, his son was not able to keep his tyranny and the oligarchy returned to Athens. However, not many people were happy with it. It didn't take long until in 500 BC, a man called Cleisthenes, created a new type of government which gave more power to the ordinary people and let them make important decisions and create laws, Cleisthenes' new government was called democracy and it gave power to the people, as well as freedom of speech and opinion.
  • The Start of the Greek-Persian War

    The Start of the Greek-Persian War
    499 BC.
    In 499 BC, several Greek tribes called Ionian Greeks, which had been conquered by Persia before, wanted to rebel against the Persian leader, King Darius. They called for help from the mainland cities, Athens and Sparta. Athens sent ships to help the Ionians, however, they lost against the powerful Persian fleets. King Darius, enraged for this betrayal, decided to punish the Athenians for helping the Ionians and swore to get revenge on the Athenians.
  • The Battle of Marathon

    The Battle of Marathon
    508 BC.
    Nine years after the Greek rebellion, the Persians sailed over to conquer Athens. They had the advantage of quantity over the Athenians but due to the fact that the Athenians were much smarter and had better weapons, they devised a tactic. They surrounded the Persian army, the Athenian soldiers by land and the Athenian navy by sea. The Greeks ended up winning the battle, killing King Darius, but starting a series of wars called the Greco Persian Wars.
  • A Son's Revenge

    A Son's Revenge
    480 BC.
    Xerxes, King Darius' son, became king after his father died in the battle of Marathon. Swearing revenge, he came back to Athens years after the Battle of Marathon for another invasion. This time, there were not only Persian soldiers but also the Persian navy. However, in this invasion, Athens was not alone, it was joined by other Greek city-states, including the best warriors of all Greece: the Spartans. The Greeks and Persians fought many battles against each other throughout this time.
  • Battle of Thermopylae

    Battle of Thermopylae
    480 BC.
    King Xerxes led his 7,000 men over to Athens, in order to sack it and burn it to the ground. However, before that, he had to pass through a narrow pass called Thermopylae...but it wasn't that easy. 300 Spartans, led by King Leonidas, were already there to help protect Athens. Despite the fact that they were outnumbered, King Leonidas was a great warrior and leader and led his men bravely, holding the Persians off for 3 days until a Spartan traitor betrayed the Spartans.
  • The Battle of Salamis

    The Battle of Salamis
    480 BC.
    The last (well, excluding the one from Platea) battle of the Greco Persian Wars was the battle of Salamis. The Greeks led the Persians through a narrow pass, where the huge Persian ships crashed with themselves. self-destroying, and then, the Greeks jumped on the ships, defeating the Persians. After, King Xerxes left, humilliated by his defeat. However, for the Greeks it was much more...they had saved their homeland!
  • The Delian League

    The Delian League
    478 BC.
    After the Persians left Greece, all the Greek city-states decided to make an alliance in order to make Greece stronger from any further attacks from other enemies. Each of them agreed to protect each other and to help with each other in trade. And since the money was kept in an island called Delos, this league was the Delian League.
  • A Declaration of War

    A Declaration of War
    431 BC.
    However, the Delian League started crumbling. Athens, the one who protected Greece by sea, became more and more powerful until it slowly started to think it was more superior than the other Greek city-states. Behind Athens back, Sparta did not like Athens growing in power. So with the southern Greek cities, Sparta created the Peloponnesian League. so it could be more powerful against the Delian League, or Athens and the northern cities. Then...Sparta declared war
  • A Truce of Peace...Maybe?

    A Truce of Peace...Maybe?
    431 BC.
    The Spartans and the Peloponnesian League surrounded Athens, waiting for them to go out and fight. However, the Athenians stayed in the city. The Spartans burned their fields but they were in by a surprise...Athenian ships brought goods from other lands and kept Athens safe. However, disease killed many people in Athens. For years, the Athenians and Spartans won and lost until they decided to make a truce with each other. With this truce, the Spartans went back for home.
  • Pericles, True Democrat

    Pericles, True Democrat
    429 BC.
    Pericles was a brilliant democratic leader. Like Cleisthenes, he deeply agreed that all Greek people should be granted the power to make their own choices and vote for what they wanted for Athens. He led democracy to it's highest from 460 BC to 429 BC, his death. He encouraged people to speak for themselves and wanted other Athenians to spread democracy to other Greek city-states. He made several improvements to Athens and wanted the Athenians to feel proud of their city.
  • Athens Surrenders

    Athens Surrenders
    404 BC.
    However, after 16 years, Athens wanted to expand itself. Athens sent ships to Sicilly, one of Sparta's allies. However, the entire Athenian army was defeated by the Sicillian allies and almost the entire Athenian navy (Athen's most powerful asset) was destroyed! Sparta, seeking this weakness, went and fought Athens until on 404 BC, starved and defeated, the Athenians surrendered and Sparta was in control of all of Greece.
  • Aesop

    Aesop
    400 BC.
    Aesop is best known for his fables, which are a set of stories which in the end tell a moral or a lesson. Most of Aesop's fables are still told today and mostly involve animals or natural things, although there are some which have humans, like the Boy Who Cried Wolf.
  • The Parthenon Rises

    The Parthenon Rises
    400 BC.
    Around 400 BC, the Athenians created this huge temple on top of the acropolis of Athens. This temple was dedicated to the patron goddess of Athens, Athena. Inside the temple was also a huge statue made COMPELTELY out of gold called the Athena Parthenos, built by Phidias, the best sculptor in all of Greece. Once a year, the people of Athens held a festival dedicated to Athena and would host this event in the temple.
  • Greece Weakens

    Greece Weakens
    374 BC.
    The Spartans were in control of all of Greece for 30 years and they become the most powerful city-state. However, other city-states resented Sparta and also wanted powers. Therefore, this jealousy and resentment led to a period of war. Nobody was in complete control of Greece and it changed constantly, creating chaos and disorder. And it also created a Greek civil war, which weakened Greece against other, foreign enemies.
  • Alexander the Great

    Alexander the Great
    323 BC.
    Alexander the Great was one of the youngest and best conquerors in ancient times. At the age of 22, he took his father's throne and decided to expand his father's, Phillip II, empire. It turns out he was an EVEN STRONGER military general and ruler than his father! When he was only 20 years old, he set out to end a revolt in Thebes, conquered all of Greece, Asia Minor, Egypt and a bit of India. Unfortunately, he died young in 323 BC, at the age of 33.
  • Athenian Democracy Perishes

    Athenian Democracy Perishes
    320 BC.
    Ancient greek democracy lasted for about 170 years. However, it eventually had to stop and in 330 BC, the Macedonians led by Alexander the Great conquered Greece. Despite the fact that the Athenians still tried to continue democracy, they had very little rights since everything they agreed to had to be approved by the king. They weren't happy but fteared Alexander's army, so they could do nothing about it and in 320 BC...a new king took over Greece and Athenian democracy ended forever.
  • Socrates, Plato and Aristotle

    Socrates, Plato and Aristotle
    300 BC.
    Good knowledge passes on and this is clear when we are talking about Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. They were the wisest and best philosophers in all of Greece. Socrates taught people using questions, making them think further. He taught Plato, who created an academy for future philosophers and wanted a society based on justice. He taught Aristotle, who thought people needed moderation in their life to live well. And Aristotle taught Alexander the Great, who spread Greek ideas.
  • The End: Romans Destroy Greece

    The End: Romans Destroy Greece
    30 BC.
    In 30 BC, the Romans, which were slowly rising in power, started heading towards the Mediterranean lands. After Alexander's death, his generals were not very good rulers and the Romans slowly took out and destroyed the entire Macedonian empire. Taking out and conquering nations Alexander had previously controlled. Finally, the Romans conquered Greece completely, destroying it and being very harsh with the Greeks, or rather, prisoners. The Roman empire ended the Greek Hellenistic Age.