Beginning of Mycenaean PeriodThe Mycenaean civilization marks the declining phase of the Bronze Age in ancient Greece. It showcases the beginnings of an advanced culture in Greece, exemplified by its architecture, writings, art, and public organization. The Mycenaean Greeks made innovations in the fields of military infrastructure, engineering, and architecture. These discoveries influenced trade in the Mediterranean and advanced their economy.
The Trojan WarThe actual existence of the Trojan War has always been ambiguous and debatable. While some scholars take it as a myth, others have found solid proof that it happened. In Greek mythology, the Trojan War is the battle between the people of Troy and the Greeks. The conflict began after Paris, the Trojan prince, took away Helen, the wife of Menelaus of Sparta. When Menelaus asked for her return, the Trojans refused to give her back.
Introduction of the Olympic GamesThe ancient Olympic Games were primarily considered part of a religious festival which took place in honor of the father of the Greek gods and goddesses, Zeus. The celebration and the games were held in Olympia, a rural sanctuary in the western Peloponnese. The sanctuary’s name came from Mount Olympus which was the highest mountain on the Greek mainland, and was believed to be the home of the Greek gods and goddesses.
The Rise of the Greek TyrantsThe tyrants were oppressive rulers in Greece. They were influential opportunists who remained in power with the help of mercenary soldiers. The tyrants often emerged from the aristocracy, and the force of public dislike of them varied from place to place.
The most popular tyrannies were those founded by Orthagoras at Sicyon and Cypselus at Corinth in about 650 BC. The most famous tyrant of Asiatic Greece was Thrasybulus of Miletus. At Sicyon, Cleisthenes ruled from 600 to about 570.
CartographyCartography is the study and practice of making maps. It has played an important role in travel and navigation since ancient times. Even though the earliest known evidence of cartography points towards ancient Babylon as early as the ninth century BC, the Greeks took what they had at their disposal and brought cartography into a new light.
Coin Currency IntroducedThe first known coins were introduced in either Ionia in Asia Minor or Lydia some time before 600 BC, because the Greeks wanted a system of authenticated payment. These coins were made of an alloy of gold and silver known as electrum. With technological advances by the middle of the sixth century BC, the production of pure gold and silver coins became simpler. King Croesus introduced a double metal standard that allowed currencies of pure gold and pure silver to be traded.
Concept of DemocracyThe idea of every citizen having equal opportunity and a say in government constitutes the concept of democracy. It is one of the most widely used styles of governance in the modern world. And even more fascinating is the fact that democracy also had its origins in ancient Greece. In fact, the concept and the implementation of democracy can be traced back from the present day to ancient Athens.
Age of PericlesThe great statesman Pericles was a well-known orator who enjoyed tremendous success in the Greek Assembly. Athens grew under his reign, and the state introduced many different festivities and celebrations. The construction of the Parthenon also took place during the golden age of Pericles.
Pericles introduced several reforms, among which the thetes, or the lowest social class of citizens, were allowed into public office.
Second Peloponnesian War: Athens versus SpartaThe great Peloponnesian War involved the whole of the Greek world but was principally a fight between the two major cities of Greece, Athens and Sparta, fought by the Peloponnesian League of Sparta against the Delian League of Athens. The battle is famous mainly because of the historian Thucydides’ documenting of it. This war showcased the brilliant warfare techniques of the Greeks and was fought in three phases.
Bubonic Plague in AthensThe terrible Plague of Athens was an epidemic which ravaged every corner of the city. It is said to have been introduced through the city’s port Piraeus which was the only point of entry for food and supplies. The plague affected the whole of the Mediterranean region, although the outbreak in Athens was the most severe. The disease returned twice, in 429 BC and in the winter of 427/426 BC.
Alexander the Great Came to PowerAlexander III of Macedon, widely known as Alexander the Great, was the son of King Philip II of Macedon. He became king after his father’s death in 336 BC. He conquered almost the whole of the known world during his kingship. Known as “the great” both for his military prowess and his diplomatic qualities, he conquered not only the lands but also the hearts of the people.
Invasion of the RomansThe Greek peninsula came under the control of the Romans after the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC. Macedonia then became a Roman province. Where some Greeks managed to maintain partial independence, many others surrendered. As King Attalus III left all his territories to the Romans in his will, the Kingdom of Pergamon fell into Roman hands during 133 BC, and it was decided that Pergamon was to be divided among Rome, Pontus, and Cappadocia.