(All dates down to 508/7 are approximate or/and traditional.)

(B)CE = (Before) Common Era


Bronze Age

3000 (to 1000) Minoan (Cretan) civilization

1600 (to 1150) Mycenaean period

1400 Destruction of Cnossos

1250 Destruction of Troy

Early Iron Age

1100 (to 700) Era of Migrations (Dorian migration, Asia Minor settlement, beginnings of Western colonization)

Archaic Age

776 Foundation of Olympic Games

750 Greek alphabet invented, Euboeans settle Ischia and Cumae

735-715 Sparta conquers Messenia

733 Foundation of Syracuse

700 Homer, Hesiod

700 Introduction of hoplite fighting

688/657 Foundation of Byzantion

669 Battle of Hysiae: Argos defeats Sparta

620 Draco’s laws at Athens

600 Foundation of Massalia

Thales of Miletus

Development of trireme, invention of coinage

594 Solon’s laws at Athens

550 Achaemenid Persian empire founded

546 Cyrus (II ‘the Great’) of Persia defeats Croesus of Lydia

545 (to 510) Tyranny at Athens of Peisistratus and son Hippias

508/7 Cleisthenes introduces Democratic reforms at Athens

505 Sparta’s Peloponnesian League formed

Classical Age

499 (to 494) Ionian Revolt: rebellion against Persia of Ionian Greeks and other, Greek and non-Greek subjects

490 Battle of Marathon: Athens and Plataea defeat Persian invaders

480 (to 479) Second Persian invasion, under Xerxes, defeated: Salamis 480, Plataea 479

480 Battle of Himera: Sicilian Greeks under Gelon defeat Carthaginians

478 (to 404) Athens founds anti-Persian Delian League

474 Hieron I of Syracuse defeats Etruscans at Cumae

466 End of tyranny, beginning of Democracy at Syracuse

462 Further Democratic reforms at Athens: Ephialtes and Pericles

460 (to 446) ‘First’ Peloponnesian War: Sparta and allies vs Athens and allies

449 Peace of Callias (between Athens and Persia; authenticity disputed)

447 Thebes defeats Athens, establishes Oligarchic federal state; Parthenon begun (completed 432)

446 Thirty Years’ Truce between Sparta and Athens (broken 431)

431 (to 404, with interruptions) Atheno-Peloponnesian War

421 (to 414) Peace of Nicias

418 Battle of Mantinea: Spartan victory

415 (to 413) Athenian expedition to Sicily: Syracusan victory

405 Dionysius I, tyrant at Syracuse

404 Sparta, with Persian aid, wins Atheno-Peloponnesian War

404 (to 371) Spartan hegemony

401 (to 400) Expedition of the ‘10,000’ to Asia

395 (to 386) Corinthian War: Sparta defeats Quadruple Alliance (Athens, Boeotia, Argos, Corinth)

386 King’s Peace: sponsored by Artaxerxes II of Persia and Agesilaus II of Sparta

385 Plato founds Academy

378 (to 338) Athens founds anti-Spartan Second Sea-League, Thebes a founder-member

371 Battle of Leuctra: Thebans defeat Spartans
Theban ascendancy in mainland Greece (to 362)

367 Death of Dionysius I of Syracuse

366 End of Sparta’s Peloponnesian League

362 Second Battle of Mantinea: Theban victory, death of Epaminondas; Common Peace renewed

359 Accession of Philip II of Macedon

356 (to 346) Third Sacred War: Phocians vs Philip

346 Peace of Philocrates

338 Battle of Chaeronea, foundation of League of Corinth

336 Murder of Philip II, accession of Alexander (‘the Great’)

336 (to 323) Reign of Alexander

335 Alexander orders destruction of Thebes
Aristotle founds Lyceum at Athens
Timoleon dies at Syracuse

334 Alexander invades Persian empire

331 Foundation of Alexandria in Egypt, Battle of Gaugamela

330 End of Achaemenid Persian empire

323 (to 322) Failed revolt of Greeks against Macedon

322 Deaths of Demosthenes and Aristotle
Termination of Athenian democracy

Hellenistic Age

301 Battle of Ipsus, death of Antigonus founder of Antigonid dynasty of Greece

300 Zeno founds Stoic school

283 Death of Ptolemy I, founder of Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt and of Museum and Library at new capital, Alexandria

281 Seleucus I, founder of Seleucid dynasty of Asia, assassinated; Achaean League refounded

263 Eumenes I succeeds Philetaerus as ruler of Pergamum kingdom

244 (to 241) Agis IV king at Sparta

238 (to 227) War of Attalus I of Pergamum for mastery of Asia Minor

235 (to 222) Cleomenes III king at Sparta

224 (to 222) Antigonus III invades Peloponnese, founds Hellenic League

223 (to 187) Antiochus III succeeds Seleucus III

222 Battle of Sellasia: Antigonus III defeats Sparta

221 (to 179) Philip V succeeds Antigonus III

215 Alliance of Philip V and Hannibal of Carthage

211 Alliance between Aetolia and Rome: First Macedonian War (to 205); Rome sacks Syracuse

200 (to 197) Second Macedonian War

196 Rome declares Greece ‘Free’

194 Rome abandons Greece

192 (to 188) Syrian War of Rome against Antiochus III

171 (to 168) Third Macedonian War

168 Battle of Pydna, end of Antigonid dynasty

148 Macedonia becomes Roman province

147 (to 146) Achaean (League) rising against Rome

Late Roman Republic

146 Sack of Corinth, Achaea becomes Roman protectorate

133 Attalus III of Pergamum bequeaths kingdom to Rome (becomes Roman province of Asia)

86 Roman general Sulla sacks Athens

31 Battle of Actium: Octavian defeats Cleopatra and Antony

Early Roman Empire

27 (to CE 14) Octavian/Augustus reigns as First Roman Emperor


66–7 Roman Emperor Nero tours Greece, ‘wins’ at Olympics

117–38 Reign of Emperor Hadrian 267 Heruli sack Athens and Sparta

Byzantine Age

324 Foundation (8 November) of Constantinople (refoundation of Byzantion) by Emperor Constantine

330 Dedication (11 May) of Constantinople

395 Emperor Theodosius I orders termination of all non-Christian religious worship, such as the Olympic Games

529 Emperor Justinian (527–65) orders closure of Greek philosophical Schools

1453 Fall of Constantinople to Mehmet II ‘the conqueror’, Sultan of the Ottoman Turks

1952 ‘Linear B’ deciphered as earliest Greek

2004 M. H. Hansen and T. H. Nielsen (Copenhagen Polis Project) publish An Inventory of Archaic and Classical Poleis.

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