Important Events in Ancient Greece

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Dark Ages of Greece

1200 B.C. - 750 B.C.

The Dorians, a tribe from the north, invaded Greece. They did not know how to write and because of this, the writing system crumbled. The economy, politics, and Greek tradition were hurt because of this unfortunate setback.

Rule of Draco

621 B.C. - 595 B.C.

Draco was an Athenian ruler who believed in seperation of social classes and harsh punishments such as being forced into slavery or being killed. Although this sounds awful, Draco did switch the governing power from bloodline to one leader. This paves the way for future leaders to create a democracy.

Persia Conquers Greek City-States in Anatolia

546 B.C. - 495 B.C.

Darius the III, ruler of Persia, wanted to expand his vast empire. He moved his troops into different Greek city-states that were set up in Anatolia. Most of these city-states rebelled and later received reinforcements from Athens that allowed them to overthrow the Persian rule.

Death of Darius the Great

490 B.C.

After hearing news of the Persian loss in Marathon, Darius the Great dies supposedly because of hearbreak over the defeat. His son and successor, Xerxes, is out for revenge, which is why he begins the second Persian Wars.

Battle at Marathon

490 B.C.

This is the first battle of the Persian Wars that occurred in the peninsula of Greece. It took place in Marathon, a town 26.2 miles away from Athens. Persians greatly outnumbered Athenians, but the overall strategy and use of the phalanx allowed the Athenians to claim the victory.

Athenian Victory at Salamis

483 B.C.

Persians sent warships to both sides of the channel located in Salamis. They were unable to maneuver through the narrow channel and Athenians easily sank one third of their fleet.

Athens Becomes Leader of Delian League

478 B.C. - 430 B.C.

The Delian League formed while Greek city-states were still taking part in the Persian Wars. Once Greece won, Athens assumed the role of leader. They heavily taxed other city-states so their wealth could grow. Sparta quickly grows angry with Athens.

Beginning of the Olympics

462 B.C.

The first well-run Olympics began in 462 B.C. and included events such as discus and javelin throwing, wrestling, and long-distance running. The Olympics were so important that wars would be paused in order for citizens to enjoy them.

Rule of Pericles

461 B.C. - 429 B.C.

Pericles was a Persian Wars veteran who rose to power in Athens. He had three goals: strengthen democracy, empire building, and glorification of Athens. He led Athens during part of the Peloponnesian War but died due to a plague before it ended.

Peloponnesian War

431 B.C. - 404 B.C.

Sparta declared war because they were angry Athens abused their power. Athens was mostly defensive and when they attacked Syracuse, they lost. After constant battling, Athens finally surrendered.

Philip II Increases Macedonian Power

359 B.C. - 336 B.C.

Philip II became king of Macedonia in 359 B.C. In 338 B.C., he beat Athens and Thebes at the battle of Chaeronea and ended Greek independence. AT his daughter's wedding in 336 B.C., he was stabbed to death by a former guard.

The Conquest of Alexander the Great

334 B.C. - 323 B.C.

Alexander fulfilled his father's plans of conquering the Persian empire. However, he did not stop there. He moved on to conquer Egypt, where he was very sucessful. He could not overthrow the Indus Valley civilization and passed away on the journey home to Macedonia.