CLAS 2112 - Early Aegean and Greek Civilization Part II

Timeline for Exam 2

The Rise of Athens and Persia


632 bc

Kylon is an aristocrat of Athens who is also an Olympic victor.
He attempts to seize power, but is attacked instead.
In a negotiation Kylon, his brother, and his men are guaranteed safe passage from Athens, but the men are attacked and killed, the truce is broken, and Megachlese and the Achmaeanids are exiled as a result.
This is one of the steps leading to democracy in Athens; Athenians become terrified of tyrants.


621 bc

Draco is an Athenian aristocrat tasked by the city to make up a law code.
It is so severe that Greeks say that it was not written in ink but in blood.
The penalty is almost always death.
Within 25-30 years the Greeks repeal all of them except those concerned with homicide.


594 bc

Solon is one of the seven wise men in Greece.
He is Eponymous Archon in 594 bc.
He is given the task of revising everything in Athens because the government was not working.

Solon's Reforms

580 bc - 570 bc

He redoes absolutely everything: common currency, standardized weights and measures, “seisachtheia” = “Mother Earth Made Free”.
He cancels debts and releases those with debts from prisons and gives debtors back their property confiscated for their debts.
A freeborn Athenian citizen cannot be thrown into jail for debt or sell their family members to repay a debt.
He reorganizes the class system.
How wealthy you are is determined personally and is not bound by family.


560 bc

Croesus is the king of Lydia.
According to Herodotus, an oracle tells Croesus "if you go to war, a great empire will be destroyed".

Rule of Cyrus II

559 bc - 530 bc

Cyrus II is half Median, half Persian.
He controls the largest empire of the ancient world: everything except Greece.
Cyrus begins to take control of the Persian Empire by taking over the Neo-Babylonian empire at Babylon.
He allows the exiled people of the Neo-Babylonian Empire to go back home.
He founds several capital cities: Ecbatana, Persepolis, Pasargadae (site of Cyrus' empty tomb).
In each of these cities there are royal treasuries.

Rule of Nabonidus

555 bc - 539 bc

Nabonidus was the last king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire.
He spends the last ten years of his rule by going into the desert and becoming a hermit.
He has his own museum in his palace.

Rule of Pisistratus

546 bc - 527 bc

In 546 bc, Pisistratus battles at Marathon, marches on the city with an army, and seizes control of Athens.

Cyrus II Attacks Croesus

546 bc

Croesus loses, and it is told that Cyrus puts Croesus on the funeral pyre, but he is saved by Apollo.

Rule of Hipparchus and Hippias

527 bc - 511 bc

Hipparchus and Hippias are the sons of Pisistratus.
Hipparchus dies in 514 bc when he is assassinated by Harmodius and Aristogeiton (Tyrannicides) because of a love triangle.
Herodotus tells that they are bloodthirsty and nasty, brutish tyrants.
After the death of Hipparchus, Hippias becomes even worse.
When Hippias is driven out in 511 bc, he goes to Persia and the city heads into anarchy for a few years.

Rule of Darius I

526 bc - 486 bc

Darius I of Persia takes over when Cyrus II dies.


508 bc

Cleisthenes creates Democracy in Athens.
He calls his ideas "isonomia" (equality under the laws).

Rule of Xerxes I

485 bc - 465 bc

Xerxes I takes over the Persian Empire after Darius I dies.
Rebellions all around the Mediterranean occupy his time during the beginning of his reign.
He eventually returns to Greece.

The Persian Wars

Ionian Rebellion

499 bc - 494 bc

Darius conquers Miletus shortly after the foundation of democracy.
Histiaeus and Aristagoras, who are leading Miletians, rebel against Persian rule.
Histiaeus is taken to Susa by the Persians, so he sends a message to Aristagoras by tattooing a messenger's head and letting his hair grow out.
He told the messenger to tell Aristagoras to shave the messenger's head.
The revolt begins in 499 bc and Athens (Ionian) agrees to help and sends 20 ships.
Sparta (Dorian) refuses to help.
The revolt ends in disaster; by 494 bc the Persians end the revolt.
This gives the Persians an excuse to invade Greece because of Athens' involvement.

Persian War Part I

490 bc

Darius I decides to invade Greece because the Athenians had sent 20 ships to help out the Ionian rebellion.
In 492 bc the Persians come across in Thrace and Macedonia to test the waters.
The actual invasion occurs in 490 bc.
The Persians are the most feared in the ancient world.
They have an elite bodyguard called the Immortals, who are about two-hundred in number.
The Persians sail across and lose, but the Garrisons remain on the islands.

Battle at Marathon

490 bc

The Persian army is the largest army the world has seen up to this point with 25,000 troops in 600 ships,
The Greek forces are only 10,000 troops (9,000 Athenians + 1,000 others). They fight without the Spartans.
Miltiades is the leader of the Athenian army.
The Persians are annihilated, but the remaining fleet begins to sail towards Athens.

Athens Improves Their Navy

490 bc - 480 bc

The Laurion Silver Mines have been producing silver and lead since the early Bronze Age.
The Athenians find a huge vein of silver, making Athens extremely wealthy.
The Athenians use the money to create a navy to prepare for another Persian invasion.
They create about 20 triremes every year.
Triremes have three levels of rowers, making them the fastest boat at that time.
This huge navy leads directly to the Athenian Empire.

Ostracisms Occur

488 bc - 480 bc

The Greeks begin ostracism as a means to prevent another invasion.
The Greeks ostracize someone every year from 488 bc to the invasion.

Persian War Part II

480 bc

The Persian navy follows the route of their land troops around the Aegean sea, supporting the army as they go.
The Persians need to cross the Hellespont, the divide between Asia and Europe.
They lash together the boats and create a bridge for the army.
A storm sinks about half of the Persian boats.

Battle at Salamis

480 bc

The Athenians know they can not defend Athens.
The women, children, and elderly are evacuated to the island The Persians sack Athens and burn it to the ground.
By bringing the Persians down to Athens, the Greeks force the Persians to commit to their navy.
The Greeks use the same narrow path tactics from Thermopylae at Salamis, but on water with their navy.
Soldiers stand on top of triremes to break the oars of the Persian triremes.
They also attach battering rams in the front of the triremes to sink the Persian boats.
The Greeks lose at Thermopylae, but win at Salamis.

Battle at Thermopylae

480 bc

There are 500,000 troops and non-combatants of the Persian forces.
There are 6,000-7,000 troops of the Greek Forces, including Leonidas and his 300 Spartans.
The Greeks did not expect to win this battle, they are trying to stall the Persians so that Greek cities have more time to prepare and evacuate.
This site is chosen because the mountains closed in on both sides.
The pass would only let through ten men at a time, so the fighting would be ten against ten despite the size of their armies.
The Greeks are betrayed byPhocian, who shows the Persians a secret path around the Spartans.
All the Spartans, including Leonidas, are killed.

Battle at Plataea

479 bc

The Persians think that their numbers will overwhelm the Greeks, but the Greeks use strategy to make the Persian's numbers insignificant and the Persians lose.
The Persians leave Greece, but the Greeks know that the Persians intend to come back.

The Golden Age of Greece


495 bc - 405 bc

Sophocles is a dramatist.
Some of his famous works is the Theban play, which consist of three parts: "Antigone", "Oedipus the King", and "Oedipus at Colonus".


490 bc - 432 bc

Phiedias is a sculptor hired to carve the statue of Athena on top of the Acropolis.
He is most famous for the statue of Zeus in Olympia.
He is called the sculptors to the gods.


470 bc - 399 bc

Socrates is a philosopher, who is convicted of not believing in the gods and forced to kill himself by drinking hemlock.


460 bc - 400 bc

Thucydides is the foremost historian of the time.
He lives through the Peloponnesian War and the Plague.

Construction of the Parthenon

448 bc - 432 bc

Hecatopenon Parthenos is the actual name of the Parthenon.
Parthenon or "Parthenos" is the nickname, which means the bedroom for young virgin girls SO the Parthenon was the literal house of Athena.
This is the first building part of a Periclean Building Program.
Athens was the center of the world to Pericles, so it needed to look like it.
The Parthenon uses a blend of the Doric and Ionic styles: 8 columns on front and back, 17 columns on each side.
It utilizes optical Illusions; there is a subtle swelling (entasis) of the mid-portions of the columns, so that they don't appear thin in the middle, there is a tilting columns toward interior so that they don't seem to be falling outward, and there is a curving the middle of the floor and steps upward, so that they don't seem to droop in the center.
The Parthenon is very finely decorated: the Panathenaic Procession is depicted along the outside, the front room is dedicated to the statue of Athena with Chryselephantine statue that is completely gone now, and there is a reflecting pool in the front of Athena to keep the ivory of the statue moist.
The backroom, Athena's bedroom, is stuffed full of gold, silver vases; shields; and furniture.
A list is kept of the dedications in this room.
Some items have tags with an inscription of who dedicated the items.
Because of this list, we can create a prosopography - a list of the citizens living in the city at the time.
The Athenians borrow from Athena's statue and her bedroom when they need money, but they return what they borrowed with interest.

Construction of the Temple of Athena Nike

432 bc - 421 bc

The Temple of Athena Nike has 4 columns in the front and back.
This served as an actual temple.
It is decorated with various scenes of Athena carved into the top.
There is an altar inside with Mycenaean pottery around it from the Bronze Age, so this was obviously a sacred place for many years.


428 bc - 348 bc

Plato is Socrates' most famous student.
He is born when the plague is ravishing Athens and the Peloponnesian War is beginning.

Construction of the Erechtheion

421 bc - 406 bc

About seven different cults worshiped at the Erechtheion.
There is a porch of the Caryatid maidens and a porch where Poseidon gave the Athenians water (which included the holes from Poseidon's thunderbolt).
It is built from the Penteli quarries.


384 bc - 322 bc

Aristotle is not Athenian, but comes to Athens to study with Plato.
Plato starts a school (The Academy) and Aristotle teaches a rival school (The Lyceum).
When he finally leaves Athens, he becomes the tutor of Alexander in the north.
He receives an exalted position, but once Alexander dies, he falls out of favor.

The Delian League and the Athenian Empire

Delian League

479 bc - 454 bc

In order to make sure the Greeks are prepared for the probable, future Persian invasion, they form the Delian League based on the island of Delos.
Ostracisms stop, most of the Greek city-states are in the league, and give ships, men, or money each year.
This creates a standing GREEK navy, not just Athenian.
In the meantime, they go around to the islands of Greece to wipe out the Persian garrisons remaining.
They also fight the Persians to get them out of the western coast of Turkey.


478 bc - 431 bc

The "Pentecontaetia" translates to “the 50 year period”.
In this period, the Athenian empire grows and becomes established.
This happens because of the Persian Wars which lead directly to the Delian League.
There is a rise of Athens power (Navy, Alliances, Wealth), development of Democracy, growing animosity between Sparta and Athens, and cultural achievements in Greece.
Pericles also gains political success in Athens.

Naxos Wanst Out

471 bc

The Athenians attacks them and forces them to stay in the Delian League.
They lose their independence.
Naxos is the first, but not the last, to attempt to leave.
If a city-state doesn’t give the money or ships or men they were supposed to each year, the Athenians come and take it from them.

Thasos Wants Out

465 bc

The Athenian navy fights and wins against the Thasos navy and occupies the island.
The people of Thasos appeal to Sparta to help them against the Athenians.
Sparta promises to come, but gives an excuse (an earthquake and some rebellion in Sparta).
The people of Thasos are forced to accept the Athenian terms.

Aegina Wants Out

457 bc

The people of Aegina also try to rebel against the Delian League.
They are also put down and forced to stay in the league.

Pericles Moves the Treasury

454 bc

In 454 bc Pericles convinces everyone to move the treasury of the Delian League at Delos to Athens.
Pericles takes the treasury, builds up the Acropolis and Athens, and begins the Athenian Empire.

Athenian Empire

454 bc - 431 bc

The move of the Delian League Treasury from Delos to Athens sparks an increase in power, decoration, humanities, and arts in Athens.
Their navy becomes incredibly powerful, and Athens becomes a center for learning.

Athens and Sparta Sign the Five Year Truce

451 bc - 446 bc

Sparta agrees not to attack Athens.

Athens and Persia Sign the Peace of Callias

448 bc

This treaty was signed by Persia and Athens.
Callias is the diplomat who negotiates the treaty.
This treaty lasts for quite a long time.

Athens and Sparta Sign the Thirty Years Treaty

445 bc - 431 bc

After the first treaty with Sparta is up, Athens and Sparta almost g to war.
They sign the “Thirty Years Treaty” with Sparta in 445 bc and it is supposed to last to 415 bc, but the Peloponnesian War breaks out in 431 bc.

Megarian Decree

432 bc

Megara is an important member of the Delian League.
Pericles decrees that no one from Megara can land on any port or trade with any port that belongs to Athens or the Delian League.
This is a death note for Megara.
Sparta comes to the defense of Megara.

The Peloponnesian War

Archidamian War

431 bc - 421 bc

This is part of the first half of the Peloponnesian War.
It is named after the general Archidamias.
Athens wins and signs a peace treaty.

Peloponnesian War

431 bc - 404 bc

Sparta and Athens fight in both cold and hot wars with one another.
Ultimately, Sparta is victorious.
The Athenian empire falls in just 75 years.
The Athenians are forced to make peace.
The long walls are torn down and Athens will no longer be the military power it once was.
Athens becomes a University town.


428 bc

By about 429/8 bc, the plague rips through Athens.
It decimates the population and kills half/three-quarters of the population.
One of the people killed is Pericles in 429 bc.
What disease was the plague?
Thucydides recounts the Plague for future students to identify.

Peace of Nicias

421 bc

The Peace of Nicias is named after the man who writes it.
This is believed to be the end of the war.

Melian Dialogue

416 bc

The Melian Dialogue is written by Thucydides--Book V of the History of the Peloponnesian War.
Because the island of Melos, a colony of Sparta, will not submit, the Athenians kill most of the Melians.
The Athenians dp not want Melos to be neutral or side with the Spartans.
However Thucydides isn't actually a witness to the conversation, and makes up what he thinks must have happened based on what happened before and after the meeting.

Sicilian Expedition

415 bc - 413 bc

This is a cold war between Sparta and Athens.

Deceleian War

413 bc - 404 bc

This is the second half of the Peloponnesian War.

Battle At Aegospotami

405 bc

This is the final battle of the Peloponnesian war.
Near Troy and Istanbul, the Athenian navy gets hungry and goes off the ships to get food.
The Spartans are spying on the Athenians, and upon seeing the Athenian ships empty, the Spartans burn and destroy the ships.
The Athenians no longer have any power since their Empire is based on naval power.

Greece after the Peloponnesian War

Spartan Hegemony

403 bc - 362 bc

King's Peace

386 bc

This peace treaty is designed to sure-up the fronts that Spartan may need to fight on.
Sparta signs the treaty with Persia.
This gives the Persians control over the western coast of Turkey because the Ionians rebelled before the Persian War in 499 bc.
The Spartans believe they need to do it because they knew they would be fighting others.

Battle at Leuctra

371 bc

This is a battle between the Thebans and the Spartans in the neighborhood of Leuctra, a village in Boeotia (the "dancing floor of war").
The Thebans win, in part because of revolutionary tactics by their leading general Epaminondas, as well as the role that the Sacred Band plays.
The Sacred band is a group of 300 or so men, who are trained to fight to the death for one another - a page from the Spartan handbook of battles.
Epaminondas adds three inches to the spears.
When Epaminondas wins, he takes the children of the rulers as hostages.

Battle at Mantinea

362 bc

The Thebans win again, but Epaminondas is killed.
The Theban generals, who are going to succeed him, are also killed as well.
This leaves the door wide open for Philip II.

Philip II and Alexander the Great

Rule of Philip II

359 bc - 336 bc

Philip II grows up as royal "hostage" in Thebes; he learns from Epaminondas.
Pella and Vergina are the ancestral homes of Philip and Alexander.
Philip loses an eye in battle.
He marries Olympias, who claims that Apollo came to her in the guise of a snake and impregnated her with Alexander.

Battle at Chaeronea

338 bc

Philip II and Alexander meet the united Greek forces in Chaeronea.
Macedonians almost lose, but Alexander saves the day by riding in from his wing and destroying the Thebans and the Greeks.
This is the first battle that Alexander won (at age 18).
He never loses.

Rule of Alexander

336 bc - 323 bc

Alexander wants revenge on the Persians for coming down through Macedonia using a scorched earth policy.
During 492 bc, Mardonius goes to Thessaly to test the waters after the Ionian rebellion before the Persian Wars.
He dies in Babylon in 323 bc at the age of 33.
During 480 bc, the battle of Thermopylae left Macedonia barren.
For the first two years of his reign, he picks a force of about 300 people in order to stop rebellions.
Alexander burns Thebes to the ground in order to show that he was in charge of the mighty city.
After destroying Thebes, the rest of the Greek cities fall in line.
Alexander begins his conquests by crossing into Turkey.
He continues to march over the known world.
He conquers everything that the Persians had conquered plus Greece.
His empire is larger than anything that had existed before him and larger than anything that has existed since him, apart from the Roman empire.

Battle at Granikos River

334 bc

The Battle at Granikos River is his first major battle outside of Greece.
Alexander fights the local population along with a smattering of mercenaries.
Using his usual fighting style, he wins.
After he wins, he comes down the Ionian coast.
This victory opens up all of Turkey to Alexander.

Battle at Issus

333 bc

Here Alexander fights the major Persian forces and Darius III, the Persian King.
He fights, he wins, he leaves.
This opens up the whole coastline (Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and into Egypt).

Battle at Gaugamela

331 bc

Alexander shows up, he fights, and he wins.
He fights Darius III again, Darius III is killed.
He continues on into Hindu Kush and Afghanistan.
He torches most of the Persian cities that he visits.
This opens up all of Mesopotamia for Alexander.

Battle at Hydaspes

326 bc

Alexander turns around when he wins because his men would not stop revolting against him.