Greek History Timeline

Unraveling the 9,000-year-old tapestry of Greece’s past, reveals a dynamic chronicle that has shaped global civilizations. It is no surprise that so much has happened in the long timeline of Greek history. With its renowned philosophers, fierce warriors, monumental architecture and unparalleled myths, Greece has given the world a legacy that resonates through the ages.

Today, Greece stands as a testament to the ancient civilizations that once flourished on its land. These bygone eras have profoundly influenced the people and their bond with the land. Everywhere you look, from the mainland to the islands, the landscape is dotted with remnants of these ancient societies. Every corner, every stone, bears witness to millennia of Greek heritage and settlement, echoing the profound legacy of this historic nation.

We invite you on an illuminating journey through the most important events of Greek history:

Major Events in Greek History Timeline:

  • 7000 B.C. – The earliest known Stone Age settlements appear on mainland Greece, laying the foundation for its rich cultural history.
  • 2500 B.C. – The Bronze Age dawns on mainland Greece, extending its influence to several surrounding islands.
  • 1550 B.C. – The Mycenaean civilization emerges on the Greek mainland, marking the beginning of one of the region’s most prosperous periods.
  • 1450 B.C. – The influential Mycenaean culture expands and finds its way to many of the Greek islands.
  • 1200 B.C. – The remarkable Mycenaean civilization mysteriously disappears, leading to numerous theories and debates among historians.
  • 1100 B.C. – Dorian groups migrate to the islands and Asia Minor, ushering in a new phase of Greek history.
  • 776 B.C. – A milestone in sports history, the first official Olympic Games are held in Greece.
  • 800-600 B.C. – The birth of the first Greek city-states, with Athens and Sparta emerging as major political and cultural centers.
  • 545 B.C. – Persians launch an invasion of the cities of Asia Minor, setting the stage for future Greco-Persian conflicts.
  • 490 B.C. – The Persians attempt another invasion, leading to the iconic Battle of Marathon.
  • 479 B.C. – Mainland Greece faces a major Persian invasion, testing its military prowess.
  • 430-404 B.C. – The intense war between the city-states of Athens and Sparta ends with Sparta claiming victory.
  • 359 B.C. – Philip II ascends the throne, becoming the powerful king of Macedonia.
  • 336 B.C. – After Philip II’s death, his son Alexander, soon to be known as Alexander the Great, takes over the Macedonian kingdom.
  • 0-300 A.D. – A turning point in Greek history as the Romans establish their rule over Greece.
  • 324 A.D. – Emperor Constantine establishes Byzantium, naming Constantinople as its capital.
  • 529 A.D. – A major blow to intellectualism as non-Christian schools of philosophy in Athens are forced to close.
  • 650 A.D. – Greece suffers an invasion by Slavic tribes that affects its political landscape.
  • 800 A.D. – Byzantium regains control and reestablishes its authority over Greece.
  • 1200 A.D. – Latin and Venetian crusaders conquer Greece, leading to significant cultural exchange.
  • 1260 A.D. – Byzantium makes a comeback and reclaims Greece from the Crusaders.
  • 1430 A.D. – The Ottomans make their mark by taking Thessaloniki.
  • 1453 A.D. – A pivotal moment when the Ottomans conquer Constantinople, signaling the end of the Byzantine Empire.
  • 1460 A.D. – The Ottomans further expand their territory by taking Mistra.
  • 1522 A.D. – The island of Rhodes falls under Ottoman control.
  • 1566 A.D. – Ottomans continue their conquests, taking Chios and Naxos.
  • 1577 A.D. – The island of Samos is annexed by the Ottomans.
  • 1669 A.D. – The Ottomans win a major victory and conquer the entire island of Crete.
  • 1685-1715 – The Venetians make a move and occupy the Peloponnese region.
  • 1799-1814 – The Ionian Islands are successively occupied by France, Russia and Great Britain.
  • 1821-1830 – A defining moment for Greece as it gains independence from the Ottomans after the Battle of Navarino.
  • 1831 – A tragic event occurs when President Kapodistrias is assassinated.
  • 1833 – Otto is crowned King of Greece with the support of Russia, France and Great Britain.
  • 1864 – Britain transfers control of Corfu and the Ionian Islands to Greece.
  • 1881 – The Ottomans cede Thessaly to Greece.
  • 1912 – The First Balkan War begins and Greece secures Thessaloniki, Ioannina and Chios.
  • 1913 – After the Second Balkan War and the Bulgarian hostilities, Greece annexes Crete, Lesbos and Ikaria.
  • 1914 – World War I causes tensions in Greece, culminating in its alliance with the Allied forces.
  • 1919 – Encouraged by Britain and France, Greece expands its territory by annexing Smyrna (Izmir) in Turkey.
  • 1919-1923 – The post-Ottoman era witnessed a conflict between Greece and the newly established Turkey. This war ends with a population exchange between the two nations.
  • 1936 – General Metaxas seizes power and establishes a dictatorship after a period of political turmoil.
  • 1940 – Italy demands access to Greek ports after the Albanian invasion. On the famous “Ochi Day” (October 28th), Metaxas refuses.
  • 1941 – World War II escalates when Germany invades Greece.
  • 1944 – After three long years of German occupation, British forces liberate Greece.
  • 1945-1949 – Greece is torn apart by civil war between royalist and communist factions.
  • 1967 – A military junta seizes political control, changing the course of Greek history.
  • 1973 – A pro-democracy movement, led mainly by students, is brutally suppressed by the junta, resulting in many casualties.
  • 1974 – The junta supports a right-wing coup in Cyprus, which leads to the intervention of Turkey. This event leads to the collapse of the junta.
  • 1975-2023 – Greece experiences a stable political environment.

This timeline offers a glimpse into the diverse history of Greece, from its earliest civilizations to more recent political developments.

greek history timeline 7000B-1200AD
greek history timeline 1453 until today

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