This timeline gives a chronological listing of the main events in Ancient Greek history 2000 BCE – 146 BCE
Please note: we have chosen to use BCE (Before Common Era) rather than BC (Before Christ)
Wandering tribes began to settle in Ancient Greece.
The Mycenaean people began to settle in Ancient Greece.
The palace at Knossos, on the island of Crete, was destroyed.
The Trojan war fought between Greece and Troy began.
The Trojan war ended after the Trojans used a wooden horse to invade Greece.
The Dorian people, who had iron weapons, defeated and invaded Mycenaean Greece.
c 850 BCE
The Greek alphabet was introduced. It was modelled on the Phoenician alphabet.
c 800 BCE
Homer wrote the Iliad, an epic poem set in the Trojan war, and the Odyssey, a poem which tells the story of Odysseus on his return from the Trojan war.
The first recorded Olympic Games were held at Olympia in Greece. There was just a single event, the men’s 200 metre sprint.
The First Messenian War began between the Messenians and the Spartans.
The Messenian War ended in defeat for the Messenians
The rule of the aristocrats was challenged by wealthy tradesmen and lesser aristocrats. Known as tyrants, they successfully removed the aristocrats and ruled in their stead.
Draco introduced a new set of harsh laws. Unlike previous laws these laws were written down for all to read. The laws were very harsh with death being the punishment for many crimes. The word Draconian, meaning very severe comes from these Draconian laws.
The first Greek coins appeared.
Solon introduced reforms in Athens.
Democracy was introduced to Athens by Kleisthenes.
The philosopher and mathematician, Pythagoras, died in Metapontum.
The First Persian war began when Persia sent an invasion force into Athens in retaliation for its participation in a Greek raid on Persia.
The Greeks defeated the Persians in the Battle of Marathon. After the victory, Pheidippides ran back to Athens with news of the victory. This gave rise to the running event known as the marathon.
The Second Persian war began when Persia’s King Xerxes led an invasion force into Ancient Greece.
August/September 480 BCE
The Persians defeated the Greeks in the Battle off Thermopylae.
September 480 BCE
The Greeks defeated the Persians in the Battle of Salamis.
Ephialtes and Perikles introduced reforms into Athens.
The Parthenon was completed. The temple was built on one of the hills overlooking Athens. The statue of the goddess Athena could watch over the city.
The Peloponnesian wars began between Athens and Sparta.
Perikles died during an outbreak of the plague
The Athenians made an expedition to Sicily.
The Battle of Aegospotami saw the destruction of the Athenian navy by the Spartans.
Athens lost the Peloponnesian Wars. The Athenian democratic government was removed and replaced by a ruling body of 30 tyrants.
Democracy was restored to Athens.
The philosopher Socrates, founder of the art of philosophy, was charged with impiety (being disrespectful to the Gods) he was found guilty and executed.
The Corinthian war began between Sparta and Thebes, Athens, Corinth, and Argos.
The philosopher Plato, student of Socrates, founded the Academy in Athens.
Sparta defeated Thebes at the Battle of Leuctra.
Philip II became King of Macedon.
The philosopher, Plato, student of Socrates, founder of The Academy and author of The Republic died in Athens.
The Catapult was invented at Syracruse.
The League of Corinth, a federation of Greek states, was founded by Philip II to boost support against Persia.
Philip II, King of Macedon was assassinated – his son Alexander became King of Macedon. He was later known as Alexander the Great.
Aristotle founded the Lyceum in Athens.
Alexander conquered the Persians and declared himself King of Persia.
Alexander conquered Egypt and founded Alexandria which was declared the capital of his newly gained land
Alexander the Great died. His son had not yet been born so his conquered lands were divided between his top generals.
Aristotle, philosopher, mathematician, student of Plato and tutor of Alexander died in Euboea.
Euclid, the inventor of geometry, died.
The mathematician and engineer, Archimedes, was assassinated in Syracuse.
The Romans defeated the Greeks at the Battle of Corinth and Ancient Greece became part of the Roman Empire.
First published 2015; updated and re-published Jun 21 2021 @ 9:40 am – Updated –
Harvard Reference for this page:
Heather Y Wheeler. (2015 – 2021). Ancient Greece 2000 BCE – 146 BCE.