9. Ancient Greece

The historical period called Ancient Greece is only part of the story of the Greek people spanning from the first Olympic games in 776 BC to the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. But the first civilization to appear in Greece was the Aegean civilization better known as the Minoan civilization in the period between 2,600 BC to 1,450 BC, but little is known about the Minoans and their fall is related to the invasion of Mycenaean.

The Mycenaean period that corresponds to the period between 1,600 BC to 1,100 BC when the Greek culture is formed from an adaptation of the Minoan culture in some respects, for example, the system of spelling that Minoans used symbols to represent the new language Greek. During this period already spoke Greek more there was no political unity, with several Mycenaean kingdoms. It is in this period referred to in Homer's epic work and much of Greek mythology.

Around 1,100 BC to the end of the Mycenaean civilization begins the period of the Dark Ages would to 750 BC. During this period the Greek language ceased to be written, international trade was minimal and ceramic art there was a significant setback. The collapse of the Mycenaean coincided with the fall of several other large empires like the Egyptian and Hittite empire.

With the rise of the first Greek city-states around the ninth century BC, the epic poems of Homer and the first instances of Greek alphabetic writing initiate the Archaic period or also known as Ancient Greece that has as starting point the date of 776 BC with the realization of the first Olympic Games and goes until 323 BC with the death of Alexander the Great. The period in which way the culture of Greece that represent the foundation of Western civilization in influencing various aspects such as language, politics, education, philosophy, art and architecture. It is also during this period that most Greek names known in today's world lived like the poet Homer, political Philip II and Alexander and Socrates, Plato and Aristotle philosophers.

Inside the Archaic period there is a subdivision called the Classic period between 480 BC corresponds with the battle of Salamis, where the Greeks unite to fight the Persian army ending in Greek victory until 359 BC when Philip II was crowned king of Macedon. This period is dominated by Sparta a militaristic oligarchy and Athens, an aristocratic democracy, and externally there is the rise of the Persian Empire.

After the end of Medical wars with the expulsion of the Medes and Persian peoples of Greece Athens becomes the main city of the Greek world rivaling Sparta other major power. Each form a political and military alliance with other Greek cities, in the case of Sparta was the Peloponnesian League and in the case of Athens the Dalian League beginning a period of conflict between 431 BC to 404 BC called the Peloponnesian War.

This period of 27 years of war between Sparta and Athens resulted in a weakened and devastated Greece facilitating the Macedonian dominion over much of Greece on the command of King Philip II of Macedon.

After the death of Philip II in 336 BC, his son Alexander assumes power and continue the expansionist policy of his father becoming the most famous conqueror of the ancient world with a vast empire that stretched from Asia Minor to Afghanistan, and also to Egypt. This period of Ancient Greece ends with the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC in Babylon, starting the Hellenistic period.

Hellenism begins in 323 BC and ends in 146 BC with the annexation of the peninsula and the Greek islands by Rome. During this period the empire of Alexander was divided into three parts by his top generals who would fight each other for possession of the empire.


Period Civilization Start End
Prehistoric Aegean or Minoan 2,600 BC 1,450 BC
Mycenaean (Bronze Age ) Mycenaean 1,600 BC 1,100 BC
Dark Age Greek 1,100 BC 750 BC
Ancient Greece Greek 776 BC 323 BC
Classic Macedonian 480 BC 359 BC
Hellenistic Greek 323 BC 146 BC

The Greeks were conquered militarily by the Romans in 146 BC, but it was the Romans who were conquered by Greek culture and responsible to pass it to various parts of Europe.

Another legacy of the Greeks was the list of the seven wonders of the ancient world attributed to the Greek Antipater who wrote about the structures in a poem, namely: Khufu Pyramid, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, mausoleum of Halicarnassus, Colossus of Rhodes and Lighthouse of Alexandria.

9. Ancient Greece

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