Important Events in Ancient Greece


The Trojan Wars

1200 B.C. - 1190 B.C.

This war lasted for 10 years between the Mycenaeans and Troy in Anatolia. It began when Paris, a Trojan prince, kidnapped a Greek queen, Helen. The Greeks defeated the Trojans by creating a giant wooden horse as a "peace offering" and hid inside, waiting for their moment to strike. They caught the Trojans off guard and destroyed their entire city, taking back their queen.

Dorian Age

1150 B.C. - 750 B.C.

Dorians took over Mycenaean cities and marked a step backwards in Greek history. The Dorians could not read or write, so all trade ended and the economy collapsed. No written records have been uncovered during this 400 year period, making it a Dark Age.

1st Persian War

500 B.C. - 490 B.C.

This was the first plan of attack against the Greeks led by Darius III. Persia organized their armies and gained a total of 25,000 soldiers to conquer the land.

Battle of Marathon

490 B.C.

This battle took place in the city of Marathon 26.2 miles outside of Athens. This was the first battle of the Persian Wars with Darius leading 25,000 Persians against the armies of Greece. When the Athenians won, it gave them a greater reputation among other city states and instilled fear among the Persians.

Battle of Thermopylae

480 B.C.

This battle took place in the city of Thermopylae. The Greeks were greatly outnumbered by the Persians and only held them off for 3 days. This battle ended in the Spartan sacrifice, enabling the other warriors to quickly create a plan to defeat the rest of the Persian army.

2nd Persian War

480 B.C. - 476 B.C.

This was the second plan of attack by the Persians against the Athenians. Led by Darius's son Xerxes, thousands of soldiers marched through Northern Greece accumulating allies as they went.

Delian League Drives Out Persians

478 B.C. - 476 B.C.

Once the Persians were again defeated in 479 in the Battle of Plataea, the Delian League was formed to create an alliance between several Greek city-states. This league continued fighting until finally driving out the Persians from Greece.

Age of Pericles

461 B.C. - 429 B.C.

Pericles was a famous Athenian statesman that kept his popularity among the people for over 30 years. He planned on strengthening Athenian democracy, holding and strengthening the empire, and glorifying Athens.

The Peloponnesian War

431 B.C. - 404 B.C.

The Peloponnesian War was a 27 year conflict between Athens and Sparta, two powerful Greek city-states. Athens began with a stronger force until signing a peace treaty in 421 B.C. This treaty did not last long, because in 415 B.C. Athens sent troops to destroy Sparta's allies and ultimately were crushed in the process. Nine years later, Athens withdrew with nothing left.

Truce Between Athens and Sparta

421 B.C.

After 10 years of fighting, Athens and Sparta finally came to an understanding and made a truce to end fighting. Neither side wanted to carry on the war due to lack of strength and tired men.

Death of Socrates

399 B.C.

Socrates, a famous Greek philosopher, believed in human reason and values were more useful than believing in gods. This outraged politicians and they sentenced Socrates to death for corrupting the minds of Athenian people. He died with the mindset that he accomplished plenty in his lifetime.

The Conquest of Alexander the Great

334 B.C. - 323 B.C.

For 13 years, Alexander the Great conquered multiple lands and empires, expanding his kingdom to great lengths. He began with invading and conquering Persia and later took over other lands such as northern Africa all the way to the Indus Valley where they were defeated. Before Alexander could reorganize his troops for a second attack, he died at the age of 32.