Timeline of ancient Greece

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This is a timeline of Ancient Greece from 800 BC to 146 BC.

For earlier times, see Greek Dark Ages, Aegean civilizations and Mycenaean Greece. For later times see Roman Greece, Byzantine Empire and Ottoman Greece.

For Modern Greece after 1820, see Timeline of modern Greek history.

Archaic Greece

Archaic Period (800 BC - 480 BC).
  • 776 Traditional date for the first historic Olympic games.
  • 757 The First Messenian War starts. (Date disputed by Jerome, Pausanias and Diodorus; this estimate is based on a reading of Diodorus' Spartan king lists and Pausanias' description of the war).
  • 757 Athens: Office of Archon reduced to 10 years. Members of the ruling family to possess the office starting with Charops. (Dating based on Pausanias).
  • 754 Polydorus becomes king of Sparta.
  • 738 Alternate date for the end of the first Messenian war.
  • 735 Perdiccas I of Macedon flees from Argos to Macedonia and conquers the land.
  • 734 Polydorus sends colonists to Italy.
  • 727-717 Hippomenes, archon of Athens, kills his daughter's adulterer by yoking him to his chariot and then locks his daughter in with a horse until she dies. (Pausanias and Aristotle).
  • c. 725 Lelantine War between Chalcis and Eretria. Many Greek cities are allied with one or the other. Dates before this time uncertain.
  • 719 Polydorus, king of Sparta, is murdered by Polymarchus.
  • 716 According to legend: The reign of the Heraklids over Lydia is ended when Candaules, known as Myrsilus to the Greeks, is murdered by Gyges because of his wife’s anger.
  • 690 Pheidon becomes tyrant of Argos.
  • 687 Annual office of Archon established in Athens. Any Athenian citizen can be elected to the office if they have the qualifications. Creon elected first annual archon. (Dating based on Pausanias).
  • 685 The second Messenian war begins.
  • 665 The second Messenian war ends.
  • 656 Cypselus subjects Corinth to tyranny.
  • 645-560 Spartan wars with Tegea all unsuccessful.
  • 642 or 634 Battus establishes a Greek colony in Cyrene in Libya.
  • 632 Cylon, Athenian noble, seizes Acropolis and tries to make himself king, fails.
  • 630 Formal pederasty is introduced, first in Crete, as a means of population control and an educational modality.
  • 621 Draco, Athenian lawgiver, issues code of laws, with many crimes punishable by death.
  • 594 Solon, Athenian statesman, becomes Archon pre-582BC (cf. ML6 (death of Kypselos 585BC) and Plutarch Sol. 14), captures Salamis from Megarians- later, when member of the Areopagus is appointed to effect social reforms in order to preserve order in Athens, which include the abolition of the security of debts on a debtor's person (Aristotle Ath. Pol. 6), returning exiled Athenian slaves (Solon fr. 4 in Ath. Pol. 12), changing the value of weights and measures to the Korinthian standard, prohibiting the export of grain from Attica and encouraging the planting of olives (Plut. Sol. 22-4), established the property classes (Ar. Ath. Pol. 7) and the council of 400 (Ar. Ath. Pol. 8).
  • 590 Sappho, Greek poet and priestess, flourishes on island of Lesbos.
  • 585 The philosopher Thales of Miletus predicts a solar eclipse that occurs during the Battle of Halys.
  • 569 Pythagoras is born.
  • 565 Peisistratos, Athenian general, organizes Diakrioi, party of poor people.
  • 510 Pythagoras establishes his own school.
  • 500 Pythagoras dies in Crotona, Italy, when he was in Metapontum.

Late Archaic Period

Classical Greece

Classical period (500 BC - 323 BC).

Hellenistic Greece

Hellenistic period (323 BC - 146 BC).

Notes

  1. Wasson, Ruck, Hofmann, The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries, Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1978. ISBN 0-15-177872-8.