Ancient Greece - Minoans to Democracy

  • Period: 3000 BCE to 1100 BCE

    Minoan Civilization

    This civilization thrives on the island of Crete. They create palaces, amazing artwork, and a unique writing system that includes 2 different writing scripts.
  • 2000 BCE

    Greek Gods/Goddesses

    Greek Gods/Goddesses
    The Greeks gods and goddesses are started to be worshipped in the Mediterranean area by the Mycenaeans and the Minoans.
  • Period: 2000 BCE to 1200 BCE

    Palace at Knosses

    The palace at Knosses is inhabited by the leaders of the Minoans.
  • Period: 2000 BCE to 1700 BCE

    1st Palace

    The era of the first palace. It was destroyed by an earthquake.
  • Period: 1700 BCE to 1450 BCE

    2nd Palace

    The 2nd palace is rebuilt where the first one was destroyed. It was eventually destroyed by invaders who were most likely the Mycenaeans from the mainland of Greece.
  • Period: 1700 BCE to 1200 BCE

    Mycenaean Culture

    The Mycenaean culture was present and going strong on the Greek Mainland during this time. They are believed to be the earliest-known ancestors of the Greek people today.
  • Period: 1450 BCE to 1200 BCE

    3rd Palace

    The era of the 3rd palace. This palace was destroyed most likely by invaders who came from the west. This third palace has remains of warriors with their bronze swords and other weapons.
  • Period: 1400 BCE to 1200 BCE

    Mycenaean Trade

    Mycenaean trade is flourishing. Pottery from Mycenaean potters has been found in Egypt, Italy, Israel, and Sardinia.
  • 1300 BCE

    Shipwreck at Uluburun

    Shipwreck at Uluburun
    Shipwreck at Uluburun, near Turkey. The ship contained the bodies of many different nationalities and trade items. This shipwreck helped archaeologists learn about the extent of international trade that occurred during this early time in the Mediterranean Sea area.
  • 1250 BCE

    Palace Renovations

    Palace Renovations
    Renovations to the palace at Mycenae occur. These renovations include tholos tombs and the Lion Gate. Some believe that Agamemnon (should he be a real person) is buried in these tombs.
  • 1250 BCE

    The Iliad and Odyssey

    The Iliad and Odyssey
    Approximately – The events described by Homer in the Iliad and the Odyssey take place. These stories are handed down for centuries before Homer writes them down.
  • Period: 1225 BCE to 1175 BCE

    Mycenaean Earthquakes

    Archeologists found evidence of massive earthquake damage to buildings in the Mycenaean sites from this time period.
  • 1200 BCE

    Sea People

    Sea People
    The invading Sea People started the Dark Ages in Crete that would last for centuries.
  • 1200 BCE

    End of the Mycenaeans

    End of the Mycenaeans
    The end of the Mycenaean civilization. Some archaeologists believe the Sea people invaded, while others believe droughts or earthquakes caused the end of the civilization.
  • Period: 1200 BCE to 900 BCE

    Dark Ages in Greece

    The Dark Ages in Greece – could have been as short as 150 years and as long as 300 years.
  • 1100 BCE

    Mycenaean Squatters

    For a short period of time, squatters started living in some of the abandoned Mycenaean palaces during this era of the Dark Ages.
  • 800 BCE

    New Greek Language

    New Greek Language
    Greeks begin to write in a new language. This new writing system was brought to Greece by the Phoenicians and helped Greece rise up from the Dark Ages that they were in for hundreds of years.
  • Period: 800 BCE to 600 BCE

    The Greek Renaissance

    The Greek Renaissance occurs. This period includes a new writing system and more building projects.
  • Period: 800 BCE to 600 BCE

    Time of Greek Writers

    Early Greek Poets and Writers are honing their craft. The main writers for this time period were Hesiod, Sappho, and Homer.
  • 776 BCE

    Olympic Games Created

    Olympic Games Created
    The games, held every 4 years, were created to honor Zeus. The earliest Olympics consisted of wrestling and running events.
  • 776 BCE

    Beginning of Greek History

    Considered to be the beginning of Greek history, as this is the date of the first Olympics and this is approximately when Homer and Hesiod started writing.
  • 750 BCE

    Homer's Writings

    Homer's Writings
    Ancient author Homer writes the Iliad and the Odyssey.
  • 750 BCE

    Greek Colonies

    Greek Colonies
    The Greeks started creating colonies in Italy and Sicily. Some of these colonies would eventually become Greek city-states on their own. These colonies were created to help with agricultural production for their city-states.
  • Period: 750 BCE to 600 BCE

    Population/Colonizing Increase

    A sharp population increase leads to the colonizing of more land by Greek city-states. Most colonies were started by young men who took over the local men, married into the local community, and used local resources to export back to their main city-state.
  • 743 BCE

    Syracuse Established

    Syracuse Established
    The colony of Syracuse is established by the Corinthians. Syracuse’s size would one day rival that of Athens.
  • 700 BCE

    Hesiod Writings

    Hesiod Writings
    The time of Hesiod – Famed for writing Theogony and Works and Days, which was essentially a farmer’s almanac for the time.
  • 700 BCE

    Rise of the Tyrants

    Rise of the Tyrants
    The rise of tyrants begins in some Greek city-states. A tyrant was a leader who had sole power in the city-state, without the legal authority to do so. Some Greek tyrants were good, unlike the meaning of the word today.
  • 650 BCE

    Tyrant Cypselus

    Tyrant Cypselus
    The tyrant Cypselus and his son Periander of Corinth came to power.
  • 632 BCE

    Kylon Tries to Take Power

    Aristocrat and Olympian Kylon tried to take power in Athens and become a tyrant. His group was eventually killed or surrendered. Kylon and his brother were able to escape.
  • 621 BCE

    Athenian Law Code

    Athenian Law Code
    Athenian lawgiver Draco created the first law code in Athens. His laws had severe punishments if they were broken (death penalty was common).
  • Period: 612 BCE to 550 BCE

    Life of Sappho

    The life of Sappho, famed female poet. These poems are personal in nature and show her affinity for the gods/goddess like Aphrodite.
  • 600 BCE

    Archons Run Athens

    By this time, Athens was run by 9 archons who were appointed or elected each year. Most were elected for one year terms (however, some future archons were reelected year after year).
  • 594 BCE

    Solon Takes Over Athens

    Solon Takes Over Athens
    Solon, leader in Athens, replaces the former law code of the city. His new laws start laying the foundation for democracy to thrive in Athens.
  • Period: 594 BCE to 508 BCE

    Decline of Democracy in Athens

    Democracy in Athens took a backseat thanks to the leader Pisistratus and his sons.
  • 550 BCE

    Syracuse Theater

    Syracuse Theater
    The Syracuse theater is constructed. It is one of the largest theaters in the Greek civilization.
  • 525 BCE

    Red-figure Pottery

    Red-figure Pottery
    The red-figure pottery style is started in Athens. This is the pottery style that Greece is most known for, with a black background and the foreground being the color of the red clay used to create the pottery.
  • 508 BCE

    Cleisthenes Rules

    Cleisthenes Rules
    Cleisthenes, an Athenian statesman, keeps Athens moving towards a democracy by continuing what Solon had started. He creates a democratic constitution in Athens.
  • 500 BCE

    Height of Athens

    Height of Athens
    The height of Athens – The population of the city was approximately 200,000 people.
  • 488 BCE

    First Ostracism

    First Ostracism
    The first ostracism (voting on a broken pot sherd) occurred. Some believe Cleisthenes invented this concept; however, since it first took place 20 years after his rule, some believe otherwise.