3000 BCE First Settlers: Hunter-gathers begin to settle in what is Greece. A bronze age culture and civilization begins on the island of Crete.
1600 BCE Mycenaean Greece: Bronze age kingdoms in mainland Greece. Powerful kings who ruled centralized states and who built great palaces such as Mycenae.
1194 BCE Trojan War: This was a war between the Mycenaean kings and Troy, a city on the coast of modern Turkey.
1184 BCE Trojan War: The destruction of Troy after the Greeks captured the city by using a Wooden Horse.
Trojan Horse Painting

Detail from The Procession of the Trojan Horse in Troy by Domenico Tiepolo (1773), inspired by Virgil’s Aeneid

1100 BCE Dorian Invasion: Dorian tribesmen from the north invade and destroy the Mycenaean kingdoms. The Dorians brought iron to Greece. However, their invasion also led to a ‘Dark Ages’ in Greece when civilization largely collapsed.
900- 800 BCE Alphabet: The Greeks develop their own alphabet that was modeled on the Phoenician alphabet.
c. 800 BCE Homeric Poems: The legendary poet Homer is reputed to have composed the two great Greek epics. They were the Iliad, a poem on the Trojan War and the Odyssey, which celebrates the adventures of Odysseus as he tries to return home to Ithaca.
750 BCE Age of Colonization: As the Greeks emerged from the Dark Ages, they began to colonize coastal areas and islands all over the Mediterranean. Many colonies in Italy become rich, and cultural centers such as Tarentum and known as Magna Graecia.
776 BCE First Olympic Games: The first Olympic Games are held at Olympia. The event was staged in honor of the Gods.
Ancient Olympics

Illustration of the Ancient Olympic Games

743-724 BCE First Messenian War: This was a war between the Messenians and the Spartans. The Spartans emerged triumphantly and enslaved the Messenians. This was critical in the development of the unique Spartan constitution and way of life.
650 BCE The Age of the Tyrants: Social and political tensions lead to the overthrow of noble governments in cities such as Athens. These tyrants are often credited with introducing much-needed reforms.
621 BCE Draco’s Code of Law: Draco writes down Athens’ laws for the first time and they become notoriously harsh.
580 BCE Solon’s reforms: Solon introduces a series of laws and reforms in Athens. They failed in the short-term, but they are credited with laying the foundation for Athenian democracy.

Solon before Croesus, By Nikolaus Knüpfer

508/9 BCE Democracy in Athens: Cleisthenes reforms the Athenian Constitution and makes it more democratic. Ordinary citizens have political power for the first time.
499-493 BCE Ionian Revolt: The Greek city-states in Ionia (Turkey) revolt against the Persian Empire but are crushed. Many Ionian Philosophers flee and spread their ideas in Greece.
490 BCE First Persian War: The Persians send an invasion fleet to Greece in order to punish those who supported the Ionian Revolt.
490 BCE Battle of Marathon: The Athenian hoplites under the command of Miltiades defeated the Persians in the Battle of Marathon.
Map of the battle

Battle of Marathon map

480 BCE Second Persian War: King Xerxes led an invasion force into Greece. He is delayed by the Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae. Later in the year, a Greek coalition defeated the Persian navy at the Battle of Salamis. At the Battle of Platea, the Greeks finally drive the Persians from Greece.
480–404 BCE Athenian Golden Age: After the defeat of the Persian, Athens experienced a golden age of culture. Great building such as the Parthenon was built, the theatre, philosophy, and the arts flourished.
454 BCE Athenian Empire: Athens turned the anti-Persian Delian League into an Empire. It used its mighty fleet to dominate other city-states.
458 BCE Aeschylus: Aeschylus trilogy of plays the Orestia is staged, which is a landmark in the development of Greek tragedy.
Portrait of Aeschylus

Bust of Aeschylus

431 BCE Peloponnesian Wars Begins: The Peloponnesian wars between Athens and Sparta and their allies. The war rages on land and sea.
404 BCE Peloponnesian Wars Ends: Athens loses the Peloponnesian Wars after the destruction of her navy. Sparta becomes the dominant Greek power. It imposed the anti-democratic 30 tyrants on Athens.
403 BCE Democracy: Democracy was restored to Athens, by the general and politician Thrasybulus.
399 BCE Trial of Socrates: The philosopher Socrates was charged with impiety in Athens. He was found guilty of the charge and executed.
The Death of Socrates, by Jacques-Louis David, 1787

The Death of Socrates, by Jacques-Louis David, 1787

380 BCE Plato’s Academy: The philosopher Plato establishes the Academy in Athens. This is widely seen as the world’s first university.
371 BCE Battle of Leuctra: The Thebans defeat the Spartans. This is the end of Spartan supremacy in Greece.
359 BCE Philip IIs coronation: Philip II became King of Macedon and turns it into a major Greek power.

347 BCE Plato’s death: Plato, often seen as the world’s greatest philosopher dies
338 BCE Battle of Chaeronea: Philip II, King of Macedon defeats the Greek of city-states. He establishes the League of Corinth. Macedonian kings largely dominate the city-states.

336 BCE Coronation of Alexander the Great: Alexander the Great becomes king after the assassination of his father Philip II.
The founding of Alexandria

Alexander the Great founding Alexandria, Placido Costanzi (Italy, 1702-1759)

335 BCE The Lyceum: Aristotle founds a school known as the Lyceum.
333 BCE Battle of Issus: Alexander the Great defeats the Persians at the Battle of Issus. The Macedonian King declares himself king of Asia, after the death of the Persian king.
331 BCE Conquest of Egypt: Alexander the Great conquers Egypt.
326 BCE Alexander invades India: The great general invades India but is forced to return after his troops mutiny as Opis.
323 BCE Alexander the Great dies: The great conqueror dies in Babylon without a heir.
322-275 BCE Wars of the Diadochi: There are a series of civil wars between Alexander’s generals. It ends with the Battle of Ipsus and the final partition of the Macedonian Empire into Ptolemaic Egypt, the Seleucid Empire, and the Macedonian Kingdom.
322 BCE Aristotle death: Aristotle one of the world’s greatest philosophers dies.
Painting of Aristotle

Aristotle and the bust of Homer by Rembrant

212 BCE Romans take Syracuse: Romans capture Syracuse, in Sicily, end of Greek independent city-states in Magna Graecia. Archimedes the mathematician and engineer, are killed.
168 BCE Battle of Pydna: Macedonians defeated by Rome.
146 BCE Battle of Corinth: The Romans defeat an alliance of Greeks at the Battle of Corinth and Greece became part of the Roman Empire.
30 BCE Death of Cleopatra: Suicide of Cleopatra after Battle of Actium. She was the last independent Greek ruler in the Mediterranean.