According to archaeological and historical sources the story of Greece began deep in prehistory, and has continued to our days. This timeline outlines the major periods and events of the Greek civilization from the Mesolithic period until the end of the Hellenistic Era.
This brief history of Greece is compiled here as an introduction to web readers and to provide the historical background that’s needed to appreciate all the subjects of Ancient Greek civilization. It was no easy task to compress the history of Ancient Greece into a concise format that would be appropriate both for Online reading and as a precise overview of the subject. This history is divided into the major Greek history eras:
History & Culture Special Topics
- One of the most entertaining and enticing aspects of Greek culture is its elaborate mythology that involves gods, heroes, deeds, and mortals, all of which colored the known world with elaborate stories and personalities. Myths, legends, deeds, and heroes permeated ancient Greek thought, and enriched a large portion of literature and art. The pages here are a mere point of reference to provide "color" and context to the rich history and culture of ancient Greece.
If we search for one location, one overarching symbol that defines the highest achievement of Greek civilization that defines its splendor, we would undoubtedly arrive at the Acropolis of Athens. Partly because Athens was always in the avant-guard of Greek achievement, but mostly because the art and architecture on the barren rock represent the logical conclusion of almost a thousand years of cultural development. The History of the Acropolis is dividied here in the following topics:
From the 6th and until the 2nd century BCE the Agora as the heart of the government, as a public place of debate, as a place of worship, and as marketplace, played a central role in the development of the Athenian ideals, and provided a healthy environment where the unique Democratic political system took its first wobbly steps on earth.
Delphi was inhabited since Mycenaean times (14th - 11th c. B.C.) by small settlements who were dedicated to the Mother Earth deity. The worship of Apollo as the god of light, harmony, and order was established between the 11th and 9th centuries. Slowly over the next five centuries the sanctuary grew in size and importance. During the 8th c. B.C. Delphi became internationally known for the Oracular powers of Pythia.
Dodona is an important ancient Greek oracle, second in fame only to Delphi. It is located in a strategic pass at the eastern slopes of the imposing Mt. Tomaros, close to the modern city of Ioannina in western Epiros. It was dedicated to Zeus and Dione, and the Greeks believed it to be the most ancient of oracles.
Archaeological evidence testifies to the island's habitation since the 7th millennium BC After the 5th millennium BC we find the first evidence of hand-made ceramic pottery which marks the beginning of the civilization Evans, the famed archaeologist who excavated Knossos, named "Minoan" after the legendary king Minos.
The sanctuary at Olympia (Ολυμπία) is positioned in a serene and fertile valley between the Alpheios and the Kladeos rivers in western Peloponnese, in Elis. It was the host of the Olympic games for a thousand years in antiquity.
For the ancient Greeks, the Olympic games existed since mythical times, but no definitive time of their inauguration can be identified with any certainty. The first Olympiad was held in 776 BCE, and this is the year that provides the first accurate chronology of Greek history. The Olympics were held every four years during the second (or possibly the first) full moon in August, and the festivities lasted five days.