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Ancient Greece: Minoans (3000 B.C.E.) to the rise of democracy (488 B.C.E.)

  • 7250 BCE

    Ancient Cave

    Ancient Cave
    The Franchthi cave was inhabited for 17,000 years. There are many reasons why Franchthi Cave is an important site; three of them are the length and period of occupation, the quality of preservation of the seed and bone assemblages, and the fact that it was excavated in modern times.
  • 3500 BCE

    Agriculture

    Agriculture
    Olives are cultivated in Crete, Olive Oil will become one of the staples of Mediterranean trade.
  • 3000 BCE

    Stone Age Peoples

    Stone Age Peoples
    The Dimini and Sesklo peoples of Greece reached a high level of development by 3000 BCE with advanced economies and complex social structure.
  • 3000 BCE

    Art

    Art
    The sculptors of the Cyclades produce stylized and formal figures, mainly female, in white marble
  • 2000 BCE

    Architecture

    Architecture
    Knossos, and other such palaces, are built for dynasties in Minoan Crete
  • 2000 BCE

    Trade

    Trade
    Trade is carried on from Crete round the Mediterranean as far west as Sicily and in the east down to Egypt
  • 2000 BCE

    Language

    Language
    Administrative records and accounts at Knossos are kept in a script, as yet undeciphered, known as Linear A
  • 1600 BCE

    Knossos: Art and Beliefs

    Knossos: Art and Beliefs
    A bull-fighting fresco in the palace of Knossos is linked with the island's cult of the bull - The Minoans, along with other ancient cultures, held the bull in high regard and worshiped it as an idol.
  • 1525 BCE

    Island Entombed

    Island Entombed
    The eruption of a volcano, on the island of Thera, entombs and preserves houses with frescoes in the Minoan city of Akrotiri
  • 1500 BCE

    Language - Linear B

    Language - Linear B
    Texts written at Mycenae, in the script known as Linear B, are the earliest surviving version of Greek
  • 1425 BCE

    Fire

    Fire
    All the towns and palaces of Crete, except Knossos itself, are destroyed by fire - probably by invaders from Mycenae
  • 1400 BCE

    Mycenae Architecture

    Mycenae Architecture
    The so-called Treasury of Atreus, at Mycenae, is the most spectacular of the beehive tombs of this period
  • 1300 BCE

    Rise of Mycenae Power

    Rise of Mycenae Power
    Mycenae prevails as the dominant power throughout the Peloponnese and the entire Aegean
  • 1300 BCE

    Age of Bronze

    Age of Bronze
    The earliest known suit of armour, made of bronze, survives from a tomb in Mycenaean Greece.
  • 1300 BCE

    Trade Expands

    Trade Expands
    Mycenaean merchants trade as far west as Spain and have links with neolithic societies far away in the interior of Europe
  • 1250 BCE

    Events in the Iliad and the Odyssey took place

    Events in the Iliad and the Odyssey took place
    The events from the Iliad and the Odyssey were passed down orally until written by either a single person or more than one named Homer - some believe that Homer was a job title rather than an individual person.
  • 1200 BCE

    End Mycenaeans/Bronze Age

    End Mycenaeans/Bronze Age
    Possible causes draught, earthquakes, or invasion by people from Eastern Mediterranean regions - possible system collapse with multiple factors leading to the end.
  • 1200 BCE

    The Dark Ages

    The Dark Ages
    writing disappeared along with Mycenaean civilization, no written evidence exists for this period. Since it was extremely poor and primitive in other respects too, even the archeological remains are quite limited.
  • 1100 BCE

    Athens Still Stands

    Athens Still Stands
    Athens, not reached by the invading Dorians, becomes a surviving outpost of Mycenaean civilization
  • 900 BCE

    Anatolia Colonies

    Anatolia Colonies
    With the encouragements of Athens, non-Dorian Greeks migrate to form colonies on the west coast of Anatolia
  • 776 BCE

    Olympic First

    Olympic First
    The traditional date for the first athletic contest at Olympia
  • 750 BCE

    Greek League

    Greek League
    Ionia emerges as a political entity, forming a league of twelve Greek cities in Asia Minor
  • 750 BCE

    Homeric Text

    Homeric Text
    The Homeric texts, the Iliad and the Odyssey, are written down - probably in Ionia
  • 750 BCE

    Sparta

    Sparta
    The inhabitants of Sparta organize their society on military lines and consider themselves the descendants of the Dorians
  • 704 BCE

    Wrestling Added to Olympic Games

    Wrestling Added to Olympic Games
    Wrestling is included in the Olympic games, followed by a terrifying form of all-in wrestling from 652 BC
  • 700 BCE

    adding to the alphabet

    adding to the alphabet
    The Greeks make the Phoenician alphabet much more flexible by the addition of vowels, from alpha to omega
  • 700 BCE

    Sicily Colonized

    Sicily Colonized
    The island of Sicily is colonized from the eastern Mediterranean by both Phoenicians and Greeks
  • 688 BCE

    Olympic Boxing

    Olympic Boxing
    Boxing is included in the Olympic games, with each bout going on until one fighter gives up
  • 667 BCE

    Byzantium founded

    Byzantium founded
    Byzantium (the future Constantinople) is founded as a colony of Megara, a Greek city-state
  • 650 BCE

    Changes in Architecture, beliefs, and retaliation

    Changes in Architecture, beliefs, and retaliation
    The Greek city states make a habit of consulting the oracle at Delphi, hoping mainly for reassurance The capitals of Greek pillars are by now in the two basic patterns of Doric and Ionic The inhabitants of Messenia revolt against Spartan rule and are reduced, in retaliation, to the status of serfs or helots
  • 630 BCE

    Power in Nobility

    Power in Nobility
    The Areopagus, named from the hill on Athens where it meets, is the council through which the nobles keep power in their own hands
  • 625 BCE

    Land and Power

    Land and Power
    Hereditary aristocrats hold nearly all political power and own most of the land in Attica
  • 600 BCE

    Downfall for the peasants

    Downfall for the peasants
    The free smallholding peasants of Attica fall increasingly into debt, compelled to pay a sixth of all their produce to a creditor
  • 594 BCE

    Solon elected

    Solon elected
    Solon is elected archon in Athens, immediately cancelling the debts of the peasants of Attica and making it illegal to enslave a debtor Solon makes every Athenian citizen a member of the ecclesia, responsible for the election of archons, thus laying the first cornerstone of Athenian democracy
  • 585 BCE

    Thales predicts solar eclipse

    Thales predicts solar eclipse
    Thales of Miletus, traditionally the first philosopher, is credited with the prediction of a solar eclipse
  • 560 BCE

    30 year Dictator Peisistratos

    30 year Dictator Peisistratos
    Peisistratos seizes power in Athens and rules as a benevolent dictator for more than thirty years
  • 550 BCE

    Zodiac developed

    Zodiac developed
    The Greeks develop the Babylonian theme of the zodiac, naming it the zodiakos kyklos or circle of animals
  • 550 BCE

    Changes in art

    Changes in art
    The painters of Greek vases develop the black-figure style, with the scene depicted in black silhouette against a red ground The murals of Etruscan tombs, such as the Tomb of the Lionesses in Tarquinia, give a lively glimpse of an earlier tradition in Greek art
  • 550 BCE

    Changes in Gouvernement

    Changes in Gouvernement
    An Etruscan dynasty rules in Rome and Etruscan influence is now dominant throughout central Italy
    The hoplite - a Greek citizen, heavily armed in bronze and leather - proves a formidable fighting man
    The phalanx, though not originally devised in Greece, is a devastating formation on the battlefield when composed of hoplites
    The Greek city states pioneer the use of citizen armies, made up of free men who bring their own fighting equipment
  • 545 BCE

    Ionia annexed

    Ionia annexed
    Cyrus annexes the Greek territory of Ionia as part of his empire, giving Persia a presence on the Aegean
  • 529 BCE

    Pythagoras

    Pythagoras
    The Greek mathematician Pythagoras establishes himself, along with his followers, in southern Italy
  • 510 BCE

    Hippias toppled & Roman senate becomes executive body

    Hippias toppled & Roman senate becomes executive body
    The Athenian ruler Hippias is toppled by the nobles of Attica, with the help of Sparta The Roman senate becomes an executive body with two of its members elected annually as consuls, or joint heads of state
  • 508 BCE

    Council chosen in democratic fashion

    Council chosen in democratic fashion
    The origins of democracy first developed in the form of an Assembly which entitled all Athenian citizens to attend and participate. The Reform of Solon in 594 BC permitted the Assembly to either approve or reject legislation introduced by the Council. But it was not until after 508 BC, that the Council was chosen in a democratic fashion. Every Athenian citizen is given a voice in the demos, the local council at village or town level.
  • 488 BCE

    Democracy begins

    Democracy begins
    The Archons were also chosen in a democratic fashion, thereby eliminating a source of power from the nobility. Magistrates were elected by freemen, jurors in trials were paid fees. Though, Athenian democracy did not bring equality, it did provide for the right of all citizens to be involved in governing their city in some form.