Important Events in Ancient Greece


Trojan War

1194 B.C. - 1184 B.C.

This was a war that took place in Anatolia. Paris, an excellent judge, had to choose the fairest among three women. Each women promised Paris a gift for choosing her. In the end, Paris ended up picking Aphrodite as the fairest women. Helen was the gift given to Pairs for choosing Aphrodite. The problem was Helen was already married to a Greek soldier. The Trojan War started over Helen because nobody could decide who Helen belonged to. This war lasted for ten years in Troy. The Greeks came up with a brilliant plan to win. They would give the Trojans a gift called the Trojan Horse and say they surrender. Some of the Greeks would sail back home and the others would wait inside the Trojan House and when the Trojans are celebrating they will all jump out and attack. The plan went exactly as they thought it would and the Greeks ended up winning the war.


725 B.C. - 650 B.C.

The Spartans were in a battle and they conquered a group of people known as the Messenians. After they conquered them they made them helots. The helots, which is a peasant bound to the land, were not treated well in Ancient Greece. In 650 B.C. the helots had had enough of this treatment and they fought back. The helots lost and the Spartans won, but this created a constant fear that the helots would someday fight back.

1st Persian War

500 B.C. - 490 B.C.

This all started when Phedippides ran from Marathon to Athens to tell Athens that there was an invasion on the way. Persia wanted to conquer Athens because Darius wanted to expand the Persian empire. This war is a war of revenge against Athens. Athens ended up defeating Persia because of the phalanx. The Persian king, Darius, dies because he is so upset about loosing to an army that didn't even have as many people as the Persian army and they weren't as strong either.


490 B.C.

This was when Phedippides ran 26.2 miles from Marathon to Athens, just to warn the Athenians that Persia was planning an attack. He died after because he ran straight to Athens without any breaks. His message helped Athens defeat Persia.

Sacrifice of the Spartans

480 B.C.

This was part of the second Persian War. Persia had a very large army of thousands of men. Various Greek city-states, on the other hand had an army of about 7,000. The motto of the Spartans was to came back victorious or come back on your shield. That is exactly what they did. The Athenian army had 300 Spartans in it and the Spartans all stayed and fought the Persians. All the Spartans died, but this was helpful because it gave the Athenians time to prepare for another Persian attack.

2nd Persian War

480 B.C. - 476 B.C.

Xerxes was the new king of Persia and he was motivated to conquer Athens because of his father, Darius', death. Xerxes spent 10 years rebuilding the Persian army. In 480 B.C. they came into Athens through land. There were only 7,000 Greeks and 300 of them were Spartans. There were many, many more Persians. The Greeks at this point knew that they were going to loose and so they told everyone to retreat. The Spartans did not retreat because they had a code that they lived by that said, come back victorious or come back on your shield. All of the Spartans stayed and they all were killed. This event was called the Sacrifice of the Spartans and it gave Athens time to prepare themselves for war. Athens positioned themselves into a naval battle. They led Persia to the Island of Salimis and there was a hard sea to navigate surrounding it. Persia was a land based military and when they found themselves in a naval battle they didn't know what to do. They ended up loosing and Athens was only victorious because they outsmarted Persia. The Persian army them spent a year retreating.

Island of Salimis

478 B.C.

The Athenians were very smart people and that is how they defeated Persia. Since Athenian life was based around the sea, that is what they used to win. The Persians didn't know how to navigate the sea like the Athenians. So the Athenian army based the war at sea and near the Island of Salimis, which had a hard to navigate sea nearby. The Persians didn't know what to do and Athens was victorious.

Delian League

476 B.C. - 436 B.C.

This was an alliance between Greek city-states promising that they would always help each other during battles. Athens entered a time period called the Golden Age. They thought that they were the leader of the Delian League because they formed an ego when they defeated Persia.

Golden Age

475 B.C. - 430 B.C.

The Athenians become very confident in themselves because they just defeated one of the largest armies in the world, while they were so small. Athens was the leader because it was them that defeated Persia. Athens started taxing other city-states. They taxed the other city-states more than they taxed themselves. By doing this they grew very wealthy and built a small Greek empire. They called this period of their time the Golden Age.

Philosophy Emerged

470 B.C. - 322 B.C

Philosophy originated in Athens in Ancient Greece. There were many ancient philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Socrates taught about how you should always question your life and your morals. Plato was a student of Socrates and wrote down his methods into a book. He believed in a meritocracy and did not like the Athenian government at the time, which was a democracy. Plato's most famous student is Aristotle and Aristotle came up with the scientific method that we use today. He applied logic to reason. Since all three of these men used logic to figure things out philosophy started to take place of mythology and people didn't need mythology as much, instead they went to the facts. All three of these men were the reason that philosophy had such a great start in Athens.

Peloponnesian War

430 B.C. - 404 B.C.

This was a war between Sparta and Athens. It all started when a plague broke out and it killed 1/3 of Athens' population. It put Athens at a disadvantage and Sparta took this opportunity to attack. In 421 B.C. there was a temporary truce because Sparta had to regroup. In 415 B.C. the fighting resumed and Athens attacked one of Sparta's closest allies. It turned against Athens because Sparta came to help Syracuse and together they crushed Athens. Finally in 404 B.C. Athens surrendered to Sparta because they had no hope in winning. As a result Athens lost its power and wealth, but not its independence. Sparta gained confidence and replaced the Delian League with their own league.

Macedonian Invasion

359 B.C. - 338 B.C.

All of the city-states were very weak and they succumbed to their king Philip the Second. There were many changes that came out of this, such as the government's ways. There was a unification in a way that there hasn't ever been because all the city-states were under the control of one king now. Philip also died shortly after these changes.

Alexander's Empire

334 B.C. - 323 B.C.

There were many invasions by Alexander during this time period. Alexander went around to the bordering lands and he over took them. Some lands that he conquered and were now under his rule were Persia and Egypt. Persia did not want Alexander the Great to conquer them, but he did. On the other hand, Egypt welcomed him as someone who could free them and make their life better. Since they had the strongest empire, Egypt thought that it could only be good for them because now they were part of the strongest empire and army in the world.

Alexander's Legacy

323 B.C

Alexander died in 323 B.C. because of a high fever while on a march. After his death his empire was divided. Everybody that was part of the empire wanted to be the new king. Their solution to this problem was to fight to the death and the last one standing was the new ruler. The empire was split into three parts, Macedonia/Greece, Egypt (Ptolemy) and Persia. This caused there to be a new shared culture of Greek/Persian/Indian ways.