By Ellen Brundige

Timeline of Ancient Greek History

Note: different scholars and different instructors give some different dates; if you are a student trying to study for an exam or write a research paper, please check this timeline against other sources!

ca. 7000-3000 BCENeolithic Period(So-called "Stone Age": simple pottery, wooden huts and structures, first evidence of shrines, sailing)
ca. 3000-2000 BCEEarly Helladic Period(Early Bronze Age; includes Cycladic culture on Cyclades islands 3200-1050 BCE, early pre-palace Minoan culture ca. 2600-2000 BCE)
ca. 2000-1600 BCE Middle Helladic Period(Middle Bronze Age: Seafaring Minoan civilization dominates eastern Mediterranean and builds large-scale palaces, invents writing system.)
ca. 1650 BCE Eruption of Thera Volcano(Akrotiri buried in ash. Scholars still disputing timing and impact of eruption on Minoan/Mycenaean cultures.)
ca. 1600-1200 BCE Late Helladic Period(Late Bronze Age. Minoans last until about 1400 BCE. Mycenaean civilization ca. 1700-1000 BCE.)
ca. 1250 BCE Trojan War(Mycenaean period later remembered as a golden or heroic age.)
ca. 1200 BCE Mycenaean collapse(So-called "Sea Peoples" ravage Mycenaean palaces on Crete and mainland. Dorian invasion at this time?)
ca. 1100-900 BCEDark Ages(Palaces and overseas trade disappears, metalworking rare, writing system lost, large-scale building and artwork vanishes, Ionian Greeks scatter to islands and across the sea to Turkey.)
ca. 900-700 BCE Geometric Period(Large-sized pottery absolutely covered in rows of geometric designs; occasional stick-figure humans later in period)
776 BCE First Olympic Games(Start of classical Greek calendar)
ca. 750-700 BCE Writing re-invented(Greek alphabet based on that of Phoenicians. Homeric poems written down about this time.)
ca. 700-480 BCE Archaic Period(Kouros/Kouroi statues)
6th century BCE Athenian democracy established(Solon reforms: 594; Peisistratos tyrant: 546; democracy instituted: 510; Kleisthenes reforms: 508)
497-479 BCE Persian Wars(Battle of Marathon 490.)
480-450 Early Classical Period(Sculpture becomes much more realistic, formal-looking)
480-479 BCE Second war with Persians(Against Xerxes: Battle of Thermopylae, Acropolis burned, Battle of Salamis)
480-323 BCE Classical Period(Famous Greek tragedies written/performed; Athens and Sparta vie for dominance and fight two wars: 461-445 and 431-404)
449-432 BCE Athenian Acropolis rebuilt(Parthenon, Erechtheion, Prolylaia)
335-323 BCE Alexander the Great(Conquers/unifies Greece and large area to east: Persia, Egypt.)
326-146 BCE Hellenistic Period(Alexander's empire fractures but survives in several smaller kingdoms: Greece, Egypt, Pergamon. Library of Alexandria built. Greek culture permeates Near East.)
146 BCE Roman takeover(Rome had been growing for a while. In 146 the legions invade, conquer, and bring Greece under Roman jurisdiction.)

Timeline courtesy of:

Ancient Greece Odyssey: A Traveller's Journal