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Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a
civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a complex society A complex society is a concept that is shared by a range of disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, history and sociology to describe a stage of social formation. The concep ...

civilization
belonging to a period of
Greek history The history of Greece encompasses the history of the territory of the modern nation-state of Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or ...
from the
Greek Dark Ages The Greek Dark Ages is the period of Greek history The history of Greece encompasses the history of the territory of the modern nation-state of Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country locate ...
of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of
antiquity Antiquity or Antiquities may refer to Historical objects or periods Artifacts * Antiquities, objects or artifacts surviving from ancient cultures Eras Any period before the European Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages ...
( AD 600). This era was immediately followed by the
Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6th century to the 10th century. They marked the start of the Middle Ages ...
and the
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...
period. Roughly three centuries after the
Late Bronze Age collapse The Late Bronze Age collapse was a transition period in a large area covering much of Southeast Europe, West Asia and North Africa North Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly ac ...
of
Mycenaean Greece Mycenaean Greece (or the Mycenaean civilization) was the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece, spanning the period from approximately 1750 to 1050 BC.. It represents the first advanced and distinctively Greek civilization in mainland ...
, Greek urban
poleis ''Polis'' (, ; grc-gre, πόλις, ), plural ''poleis'' (, , ), literally means "city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ...
began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the Archaic period and colonization of the Mediterranean Basin. This was followed by the age of
Classical Greece Classical Greece was a period of around 200 years (the 5th and 4th centuries BC) in Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dar ...
, from the
Greco-Persian Wars The Greco-Persian Wars (also often called the Persian Wars) were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empi ...
to the 5th to 4th centuries BC. The conquests of
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title ...

Alexander the Great
of
Macedon Macedonia (; grc-gre, Μακεδονία), also called Macedon (), was an Classical antiquity, ancient monarchy, kingdom on the periphery of Archaic Greece, Archaic and Classical Greece, and later the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece. Th ...
spread
Hellenistic civilization The Hellenistic period covers the period of Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the conquest of Ptolemaic ...
from the western
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...
to
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia covers an area ...

Central Asia
. The
Hellenistic period The Hellenistic period spans the period of History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31  ...
ended with the
conquest Conquest is the act of military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, g ...
of the
eastern Mediterranean Eastern Mediterranean is a loose definition of the eastern Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines, a current Chinese airline based in Shanghai *Eastern Air, former name of Zambia Skyways *Eastern Air Lines, a defunct Amer ...

eastern Mediterranean
world by the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the classical Roman civilization, run through public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an indiv ...
, and the annexation of the
Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provinciae'') were the administrative regions of Ancient Rome outside Roman Italy that were controlled by the Romans under the Roman Republic and later the Roman Empire. Each province was ruled ...
of
Macedonia Macedonia most commonly refers to: * North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia until February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe. It gained independence in ...
in
Roman Greece Greece in the Roman era describes the Roman conquest of Greece and the period of Greek history when Ancient Greece was dominated by the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire (27 BC-AD 1453), commonly referred to as the Byzantine Empire The B ...
, and later the province of
Achaea Achaea () or Achaia (), sometimes transliterated from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southe ...
during the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
. Classical
Greek culture The culture of Greece has evolved over thousands of years, beginning in Minoan and later in Mycenaean Greece, continuing most notably into Classical Greece Classical Greece was a period of around 200 years (5th and 4th centuries BC) in Gree ...
, especially philosophy, had a powerful influence on
ancient Rome In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who stud ...
, which carried a version of it throughout the
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...
and much of
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...

Europe
. For this reason, Classical Greece is generally considered the cradle of
Western civilization Western culture, also known as Western civilization, Occidental culture, or Western society, is the heritage Heritage may refer to: History and society * In history History (from Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired ...
, the
seminal Seminal, ultimately from Latin ''wikt:semen#Latin, semen'', "seed", may refer to: *Relating to seeds *Relating to semen *(Of a work, event, or person) Having much social influence on later developments {{Disambig ...
culture from which the modern West derives many of its founding archetypes and ideas in politics, philosophy, science, and art.


Chronology

Classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, ...
in the Mediterranean region is commonly considered to have begun in the 8th century BC (around the time of the earliest recorded poetry of Homer) and ended in the 6th century AD. Classical antiquity in Greece was preceded by the
Greek Dark Ages The Greek Dark Ages is the period of Greek history The history of Greece encompasses the history of the territory of the modern nation-state of Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country locate ...
( 1200 – c. 800 BC),
archaeologically Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better understanding of it. The technique h ...
characterised by the protogeometric and geometric styles of designs on pottery. Following the Dark Ages was the Archaic Period, beginning around the 8th century BC, which saw early developments in Greek culture and society leading to the
Classical PeriodClassical period may refer to: *Classical Greece, specifically of the 5th and 4th centuries BC *Classical antiquity, in the Greco-Roman world *Classical India, an historic period of India (c. 322 BC - c. 550 CE) *Classical period (music), in music ...
from the Persian invasion of Greece in 480 until the death of Alexander the Great in 323. The Classical Period is characterized by a "classical" style, i.e. one which was considered exemplary by later observers, most famously in the
Parthenon The Parthenon (; grc, Παρθενών, , ; ell, Παρθενώνας, , ) is a former temple A temple (from the Latin ) is a building reserved for spiritual rituals and activities such as prayer and sacrifice. Religions which erect te ...

Parthenon
of Athens. Politically, the Classical Period was dominated by
Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the appropriate article. rect 15 15 985 460 Acropolis of Athens rect 15 475 48 ...
and the
Delian League The Delian League, founded in 478 BC, was an association of Greek city-states, with the number of members numbering between 150 and 330 under the leadership of Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, ...
during the 5th century, but displaced by
Spartan hegemony The polis ''Polis'' (, ; grc-gre, , ), plural ''poleis'' (, , ), literally means "" in Greek. In , it originally referred to an administrative and religious city center, as distinct from the rest of the city. Later, it also came to mean the ...
during the early 4th century BC, before power shifted to Thebes and the
Boeotian League Boeotia, sometimes alternatively Latinised as Boiotia, or Beotia (; el, Βοιωτία, , ; modern transliteration ''Voiotía'', also ''Viotía'', formerly ''Cadmeis''), is one of the regional units of Greece The 74 regional units ( el, περι ...
and finally to the
League of Corinth The League of Corinth, also referred to as the Hellenic League (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country lo ...
led by
Macedon Macedonia (; grc-gre, Μακεδονία), also called Macedon (), was an Classical antiquity, ancient monarchy, kingdom on the periphery of Archaic Greece, Archaic and Classical Greece, and later the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece. Th ...

Macedon
. This period was shaped by the
Greco-Persian Wars The Greco-Persian Wars (also often called the Persian Wars) were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empi ...
, the
Peloponnesian War The Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to ...

Peloponnesian War
, and the
Rise of Macedon Under the reign of Philip II (359–336 BC), the kingdom of Macedonia, initially at the periphery of classical Greek affairs, came to dominate Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a per ...
. Following the Classical period was the Hellenistic period (323–146 BC), during which Greek culture and power expanded into the
Near NEAR or Near may refer to: People * Thomas J. Near, US evolutionary ichthyologist * Near, a developer who created the higan (emulator), higan emulator Science, mathematics, technology, biology, and medicine * National Emergency Alarm Repeat ...
and
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
from the death of Alexander until the Roman conquest.
Roman Greece Greece in the Roman era describes the Roman conquest of Greece and the period of Greek history when Ancient Greece was dominated by the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire (27 BC-AD 1453), commonly referred to as the Byzantine Empire The B ...
is usually counted from the Roman victory over the
Corinth Corinth ( ; el, Κόρινθος, Kórinthos, ) is the successor to an ancient city, and is a former municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of sel ...

Corinth
ians at the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC to the establishment of
Byzantium Byzantium () or Byzantion ( grc-gre, Βυζάντιον) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark A ...

Byzantium
by
Constantine Constantine most often refers to: * Constantine the Great Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was a Roman emperor from 306 to 337. Born in Naissus, Dacia Mediterra ...

Constantine
as the capital of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
in AD 330. Finally,
Late Antiquity Late antiquity is a periodization Periodization is the process or study of categorizing the past into discrete, quantified named blocks of time.Adam Rabinowitz. It’s about time: historical periodization and Linked Ancient World Data'. Inst ...
refers to the period of
Christianization Christianization ( or Christianisation) was the conversion of societies to Christianity beginning in late antiquity Late antiquity is a used by historians to describe the time of transition from to the in and adjacent areas bordering th ...
during the later 4th to early 6th centuries AD, consummated by the closure of the
Academy of Athens
Academy of Athens
by
Justinian I Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus; grc-gre, Ἰουστινιανός ; 48214 November 565), also known as Justinian the Great, was the Byzantine emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation o ...
in 529.


Historiography

The historical period of ancient Greece is unique in world history as the first period attested directly in comprehensive, narrative
historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historians in developing history as an academic discipline, and by extension is any body of historical work on a particular subject. The historiography of a specific topic covers how historians hav ...

historiography
, while earlier ancient history or
protohistory Protohistory is a period between prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history between the use of the first stone tools by hominins 3.3 million years ago and the invention of writing systems. The u ...
is known from much more fragmentary documents such as annals, king lists, and pragmatic
epigraphy Epigraphy () is the study of inscriptions, or epigraphs, as writing Writing is a medium of human communication that involves the representation of a language with written symbols. Writing systems are not themselves human languages (with th ...
.
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an Classical Greece, ancient Greek writer, geographer, and historian born in the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Achaemenid Empire, Persian Empire (now Bodrum, Turkey). He ...
is widely known as the "father of history": his ''
Histories Histories or, in Latin, Historiae may refer to: * the plural of history * Histories (Herodotus), ''Histories'' (Herodotus), by Herodotus * ''The Histories'', by Timaeus (historian), Timaeus * The Histories (Polybius), ''The Histories'' (Polybius), ...
'' are eponymous of the entire
field Field may refer to: Expanses of open ground * Field (agriculture), an area of land used for agricultural purposes * Airfield, an aerodrome that lacks the infrastructure of an airport * Battlefield * Lawn, an area of mowed grass * Meadow, a grassl ...

field
. Written between the 450s and 420s BC, Herodotus' work reaches about a century into the past, discussing 6th century historical figures such as
Darius I of Persia Darius I ( peo, 𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁, translit=Dārayava(h)uš; New Persian: ; ; c. 550 – 486 BCE), commonly known as Darius the Great, was the third List of kings of Persia, Persian King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, reigning from ...
,
Cambyses II Cambyses II ( peo, 𐎣𐎲𐎢𐎪𐎡𐎹 ''Kabūjiya'') was the second King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, wa ...

Cambyses II
and
Psamtik III Psamtik III (also spelled Psammetichus, Psammeticus, or Psammenitus, from Greek Ψαμμήτιχος or Ψαμμήνιτος) was the last Pharaoh Pharaoh (, ; cop, ''Pǝrro'') is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a ...

Psamtik III
, and alluding to some 8th century persons such as
Candaules 250px, ''Candaules, King of Lydia, Shews his Wife by Stealth to Gyges, One of his Ministers, as She Goes to Bed'' by William Etty. This image illustrates Herodotus' tale of Candaules and Gyges. Candaules (died c.687 BC; el, Κανδαύλης ...

Candaules
. The accuracy of Herodotus' works is debated. Herodotus was succeeded by authors such as
Thucydides Thucydides (; grc-gre, Θουκυδίδης ; BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the app ...
,
Xenophon Xenophon of Athens (; grc, Ξενοφῶν Xenophon of Athens (; grc-gre, Ξενοφῶν, , ''Xenophōn''; – 354 BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens mont ...

Xenophon
,
Demosthenes Demosthenes (; el, Δημοσθένης, translit=Dēmosthénēs; ; 384 – 12 October 322 BC) was a statesman and orator of . His constitute a significant expression of contemporary Athenian intellectual prowess and provide an insight in ...

Demosthenes
,
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian philosopher during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thought and the Platoni ...

Plato
and
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questio ...

Aristotle
. Most were either Athenian or pro-Athenian, which is why far more is known about the history and politics of Athens than of many other cities. Their scope is further limited by a focus on political, military and diplomatic history, ignoring economic and social history.


History


Archaic period

In the 8th century BC, Greece began to emerge from the Dark Ages which followed the collapse of
Mycenaean civilization Mycenaean Greece (or the Mycenaean civilization) was the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece, spanning the period from approximately 1750 to 1050 BC.. It represents the first advanced and distinctively Greek civilization in mainland ...
. Literacy had been lost and Mycenaean script forgotten, but the Greeks adopted the
Phoenician alphabet The Phoenician alphabet is an alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes t ...

Phoenician alphabet
, modifying it to create the Greek alphabet. Objects inscribed with Phoenician writing may have been available in Greece from the 9th century BC, but the earliest evidence of Greek writing comes from graffiti on Greek pottery from the mid-8th century. Greece was divided into many small self-governing communities, a pattern largely dictated by its
geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and Solar System, planets. The first person t ...
: every island, valley and plain is cut off from its neighbors by the sea or mountain ranges. The
Lelantine War The Lelantine War is the modern name for a military conflict between the two ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 ...

Lelantine War
(c. 710 – c. 650 BC) is the earliest documented war of the ancient Greek period. It was fought between the important ''
poleis ''Polis'' (, ; grc-gre, πόλις, ), plural ''poleis'' (, , ), literally means "city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ...

poleis
'' (
city-state A city-state is an independent sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance la ...
s) of
Chalcis Chalcis (; Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: Myce ...

Chalcis
and
Eretria Eretria (; el, Ερέτρια, ''Eretria'', literally "city of the rowers" grc, Ἐρέτρια) is a town in Euboea, Greece, facing the coast of Attica across the narrow South Euboean Gulf. It was an important Greek polis in the 6th/5th cent ...
over the fertile Lelantine plain of
Euboea Euboea (, ) or Evia (, ; el, Εύβοια Euboea (, ) or Evia (, ; el, Εύβοια ; grc, Εὔβοια ) is the second-largest List of islands of Greece, Greek island in area and population, after Crete. It is separated from Boeotia ...

Euboea
. Both cities seem to have suffered a decline as a result of the long war, though Chalcis was the nominal victor. A
mercantile class
mercantile class
arose in the first half of the 7th century BC, shown by the introduction of
coinage ''COINage'', a bi-monthly United States, American special-interest magazine, targeting Numismatics, numismatists and coin investment, investors. Behn-Miller Publications, Inc. - under the joint ownership of Gordon Behn and ''COINage'' editorial dire ...
in about 680 BC. This seems to have introduced tension to many city-states, as their
aristocratic Aristocracy ( grc-gre, ἀριστοκρατία , from 'excellent', and , 'rule') is a form of government that places strength in the hands of a small, privileged ruling class, the aristocrats. The term derives from the Greek ''aristokrat ...
regimes were threatened by the new wealth of merchants ambitious for political power. From 650 BC onwards, the aristocracies had to fight to maintain themselves against
populist Populism refers to a range of political stances that emphasise the idea of "the people" and often juxtapose this group against "the elite". The term developed in the 19th century and has been applied to various politicians, parties, and moveme ...

populist
tyrant A tyrant (from Ancient Greek , ''tyrannos''), in the modern English language, English usage of the word, is an absolute ruler who is unrestrained by law, or one who has usurped a legitimate ruler's sovereignty. Often portrayed as cruel, ty ...

tyrant
s. A growing population and a shortage of land also seem to have created internal strife between rich and poor in many city-states. In
Sparta Sparta (Doric Greek Doric or Dorian ( grc, Δωρισμός, Dōrismós) was an . Its variants were spoken in the southern and eastern as well as in , , , , , some islands in the southern and some cities on the south east coast of ...

Sparta
, the Messenian Wars resulted in the conquest of
Messenia Messenia or Messinia ( ; el, Μεσσηνία ) is a regional units of Greece, regional unit (''perifereiaki enotita'') in the southwestern part of the Peloponnese (region), Peloponnese Administrative regions of Greece, region, in Greece. Un ...
and enserfment of the Messenians, beginning in the latter half of the 8th century BC. This was an unprecedented act in ancient Greece, which led to a social revolution in which the subjugated population of
helots The helots (; el, εἵλωτες, ''heílotes'') were a subjugated population that constituted a majority of the population of Laconia Laconia or Lakonia ( el, Λακωνία, , ) is a historical and administrative region of Greece Gre ...
farmed and labored for Sparta, whilst every Spartan male citizen became a soldier of the
Spartan army The Spartan army stood at the center of the Spartan state, citizenship, citizens trained in the disciplines and honor of a warrior society.Connolly (2006), p. 38 Subjected to military drills since early manhood, the Spartans became one of the m ...
permanently in arms. Rich and poor citizens alike were obliged to live and train as soldiers, an equality which defused social conflict. These reforms, attributed to
Lycurgus of Sparta Lycurgus (; grc-gre, wikt:Λυκοῦργος, Λυκοῦργος ; 820 BC) was the quasi-legendary lawgiver of Sparta who established the military-oriented reformation of Spartan society in accordance with the Pythia, Oracle of Apollo at Delp ...
, were probably complete by 650 BC. Athens suffered a land and agrarian crisis in the late 7th century BC, again resulting in civil strife. The
Archon ''Archon'' ( gr, ἄρχων, árchōn, plural: ἄρχοντες, ''árchontes'') is a Greek word that means "ruler", frequently used as the title of a specific public office. It is the masculine present participle of the verb stem αρχ-, meanin ...
(chief magistrate)
Draco DRACO (double-stranded RNA Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a polymer A polymer (; Greek '' poly-'', "many" + '' -mer'', "part") is a substance or material consisting of very large molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning t ...
made severe reforms to the law code in 621 BC (hence "
draconian Draconian is an adjective meaning "of great severity", that derives from Draco, an Athenian law scribe under whom small offenses had heavy punishments ( Draconian laws). Draconian may also refer to: * Draconian (band), a death/doom metal band fr ...
"), but these failed to quell the conflict. Eventually the moderate reforms of
Solon Solon ( grc-gre, Σόλων Solon ( grc-gre, wikt:Σόλων, Σόλων ''Sólōn'' ;  BC) was an Archaic Greece#Athens, Athenian statesman, lawmaker and poet. He is remembered particularly for his efforts to legislate against political, e ...

Solon
(594 BC), improving the lot of the poor but firmly entrenching the aristocracy in power, gave Athens some stability. By the 6th century BC, several cities had emerged as dominant in Greek affairs: Athens, Sparta,
Corinth Corinth ( ; el, Κόρινθος, Kórinthos, ) is the successor to an ancient city, and is a former municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of sel ...
, and Thebes. Each of them had brought the surrounding rural areas and smaller towns under their control, and Athens and Corinth had become major maritime and mercantile powers as well. Rapidly increasing population in the 8th and 7th centuries BC had resulted in emigration of many Greeks to form
colonies In political science, a colony is a territory subject to a form of foreign rule. Though dominated by the foreign colonizers, colonies remain separate from the administration of the original country of the colonizers, the metropole, metropolitan ...
in
Magna Graecia Magna Graecia (, ; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic ...

Magna Graecia
(
Southern Italy Southern Italy ( it, Sud Italia; nap, 'o Sudde; scn, Italia dû Sud), also known as ''Meridione'' or ''Mezzogiorno'' (, literally "Midday"; in nap, 'o Miezojuorno; in scn, Mezzujornu), is a macroregionA macroregion is a geopolitical subdivis ...
and
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...

Sicily
),
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of ...
and further afield. The emigration effectively ceased in the 6th century BC by which time the Greek world had, culturally and linguistically, become much larger than the area of present-day Greece. Greek colonies were not politically controlled by their founding cities, although they often retained religious and commercial links with them. The Greek colonies of Sicily, especially
Syracuse Syracuse may refer to: Places Italy *Syracuse, Sicily Syracuse ( ; it, Siracusa , or scn, Seragusa, label=none ; lat, Syrācūsae ; grc-att, wikt:Συράκουσαι, Συράκουσαι, Syrákousai ; grc-dor, wikt:Συράκοσ ...
, were soon drawn into prolonged conflicts with the
Carthaginians The Punics, Carthaginians or Western Phoenicians, were a group of peoples in the Western Mediterranean who traced their origins to the Phoenicians. In modern scholarship, the term 'Punic' – the Latin equivalent of the Greek-derived term 'Phoen ...
. These conflicts lasted from 600 BC to 265 BC, when the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the classical Roman civilization, run through public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an indiv ...
allied with the
Mamertines The Mamertines ( la, Mamertini, "sons of Mars", el, Μαμερτῖνοι) were mercenaries A mercenary, sometimes known as a soldier of fortune, is an individual who takes part in military conflict for personal profit, is otherwise an outsi ...
to fend off the new tyrant of Syracuse,
Hiero II Image:HieroII syracusa.jpg, Zeus' sacrificial altar built by Hiëro II in Syracuse Hiero II ( el, Ἱέρων Β΄; c. 308 BC – 215 BC) was the Greek tyrant of Syracuse, Sicily, Syracuse from 270 to 215 BC, and the illegitimate son of a Syracusan ...
, and then the Carthaginians. As a result, Rome became the new dominant power against the fading strength of the Sicilian Greek cities and the fading Carthaginian hegemony. One year later the
First Punic War The First Punic War (264–241 BC) was the first of three wars fought between Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus Romulus was the legendary founder and first ...
erupted. In this period, Greece and its overseas colonies enjoyed huge economic development in commerce and manufacturing, with rising general prosperity. Some studies estimate that the average Greek household grew fivefold between 800 and 300 BC, indicating a large increase in average income. In the second half of the 6th century BC, Athens fell under the tyranny of
Peisistratos Peisistratos ( grc-gre, Πεισίστρατος; died 528/27 BC), latinised Peisistratus or Pisistratus, the son of Hippokrates, was a ruler of ancient Athens Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, c ...
followed by his sons
Hippias Hippias of Elis Elis or Ilia ( el, Ηλεία, ''Ileia'') is one of the regional units of Greece The 74 regional units ( el, περιφερειακές ενότητες, ; sing. , ) are Administrative divisions of Greece, administrative units of G ...
and Hipparchos. However, in 510 BC, at the instigation of the Athenian aristocrat
Cleisthenes Cleisthenes ( ; grc-gre, Κλεισθένης, Kleisthénēs, ) or Clisthenes ( la, Clīsthenēs ) was an ancient Athenian lawgiver credited with reforming the constitution of ancient Athens , image_skyline = File:Ath ...

Cleisthenes
, the Spartan king
Cleomenes I Cleomenes (, though some older reference works give the pronunciation with the accent on the penult, which is closer to the Greek; Greek Κλεομένης ''Kleomenes''; died c. 489 BC) was an Agiad King of Sparta Sparta (Doric Greek ...
helped the Athenians overthrow the tyranny. Sparta and Athens promptly turned on each other, at which point Cleomenes I installed
Isagoras Isagoras ( grc-gre, Ἰσαγόρας), son of Tisander, was an Athenian aristocrat in the late 6th century BC. He had remained in Athens during the tyranny A tyrant (from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Gr ...
as a pro-Spartan archon. Eager to secure Athens' independence from Spartan control, Cleisthenes proposed a political revolution: that all citizens share power, regardless of status, making Athens a "
democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government in which people, the people have the authority to deliberate and decide legislation ("direct democracy"), or to cho ...
". The democratic enthusiasm of the Athenians swept out Isagoras and threw back the Spartan-led invasion to restore him. The advent of democracy cured many of the social ills of Athens and ushered in the
Golden Age#REDIRECT Golden Age The term Golden Age comes from Greek mythology, particularly the ''Works and Days'' of Hesiod, and is part of the description of temporal decline of the state of peoples through five Ages of Man, Ages, Gold being the first a ...
.


Classical Greece

In 499 BC, the Ionian city states under Persian rule rebelled against their Persian-supported tyrant rulers. Supported by troops sent from Athens and
Eretria Eretria (; el, Ερέτρια, ''Eretria'', literally "city of the rowers" grc, Ἐρέτρια) is a town in Euboea, Greece, facing the coast of Attica across the narrow South Euboean Gulf. It was an important Greek polis in the 6th/5th cent ...
, they advanced as far as
Sardis Sardis () or Sardes (; Lydian Lydian may refer to: * Lydians, an ancient people of Anatolia * Lydian language, an ancient Anatolian language * Lydian alphabet ** Lydian (Unicode block) * Lydian (typeface), a decorative typeface * Lydian dominan ...

Sardis
and burnt the city before being driven back by a Persian counterattack. The revolt continued until 494, when the rebelling Ionians were defeated. Darius did not forget that Athens had assisted the Ionian revolt, and in 490 he assembled an armada to retaliate. Though heavily outnumbered, the Athenians—supported by their
Plataea Plataea or Plataia (; grc, wikt:Πλάταια, Πλάταια), also Plataeae or Plataiai (; grc, wikt:Πλαταιαί, Πλαταιαί), was an ancient city, located in Greece in southeastern Boeotia, south of Thebes (Boeotia), Thebes.Mi ...

Plataea
n allies—defeated the Persian hordes at the
Battle of Marathon The Battle of Marathon ( grc, Μάχη τοῦ Μαραθῶνος, translit=Machē tou Marathōnos) took place in 490 BC during the first Persian invasion of Greece. It was fought between the citizens of History of Athens, Athens, aided by Plat ...

Battle of Marathon
, and the Persian fleet turned tail. Ten years later, a second invasion was launched by Darius' son
Xerxes
Xerxes
. The city-states of northern and central Greece submitted to the Persian forces without resistance, but a coalition of 31 Greek city states, including Athens and Sparta, determined to resist the Persian invaders. At the same time, Greek Sicily was invaded by a Carthaginian force. In 480 BC, the first major battle of the invasion was fought at
Thermopylae Thermopylae (; Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods ...
, where a small rearguard of Greeks, led by three hundred Spartans, held a crucial pass guarding the heart of Greece for several days; at the same time
Gelo upGelon Gelon also known as Gelo (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its popu ...

Gelo
n, tyrant of Syracuse, defeated the Carthaginian invasion at the Battle of Himera. The Persians were decisively defeated at sea by a primarily Athenian naval force at the
Battle of Salamis The Battle of Salamis ( ; grc, Ναυμαχία τῆς Σαλαμῖνος, Naumachía tês Salamînos) was a naval battle Naval warfare is human combat in and on the sea, the ocean, or any other battlespace involving a major body of water ...

Battle of Salamis
, and on land in 479 at the
Battle of Plataea The Battle of Plataea was the final land battle during the second Persian invasion of Greece. It took place in 479 BC near the city of Plataea in Boeotia, and was fought between an alliance of the Ancient Greece, Greek city-states (including Sp ...
. The alliance against Persia continued, initially led by the Spartan
PausaniasPausanias (; Greek language, Greek: Παυσανίας) is the name of several people: *Pausanias of Athens, lover of the poet Agathon and a character in Plato's ''Symposium'' *Pausanias (general), Spartan general and regent of the 5th century BC *Pa ...
but from 477 by Athens, and by 460 Persia had been driven out of the Aegean. During this long campaign, the
Delian League The Delian League, founded in 478 BC, was an association of Greek city-states, with the number of members numbering between 150 and 330 under the leadership of Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, ...
gradually transformed from a defensive alliance of Greek states into an Athenian empire, as Athens' growing naval power intimidated the other league states. Athens ended its campaigns against Persia in 450 BC, after a disastrous defeat in Egypt in 454 BC, and the death of
Cimon Cimon or Kimon ( grc-gre, Κίμων; – 450BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the appropri ...

Cimon
in action against the Persians on Cyprus in 450. As the Athenian fight against the Persian empire waned, conflict grew between Athens and Sparta. Suspicious of the increasing Athenian power funded by the Delian League, Sparta offered aid to reluctant members of the League to rebel against Athenian domination. These tensions were exacerbated in 462 when Athens sent a force to aid Sparta in overcoming a
helot The helots (; el, εἵλωτες, ''heílotes'') were a subjugated population that constituted a majority of the population of Laconia and Messenia – the territories comprising Sparta. There has been controversy since Classical antiquity, an ...
revolt, but this aid was rejected by the Spartans. In the 450s, Athens took control of Boeotia, and won victories over
Aegina Aegina (; el, Αίγινα, ''Aígina'' ; grc, Αἴγῑνα) is one of the of in the , from . Tradition derives the name from , the mother of the hero , who was born on the island and became its king. Administration Municipality The mu ...

Aegina
and Corinth. However, Athens failed to win a decisive victory, and in 447 lost Boeotia again. Athens and Sparta signed the
Thirty Years' PeaceThe Thirty Years' Peace was a treaty signed between the ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly ...
in the winter of 446/5, ending the conflict. Despite the treaty, Athenian relations with Sparta declined again in the 430s, and in 431 the
Peloponnesian War The Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to ...

Peloponnesian War
began. The first phase of the war saw a series of fruitless annual invasions of Attica by Sparta, while Athens successfully fought the Corinthian empire in northwest Greece and defended its own empire, despite a plague which killed the leading Athenian statesman
Pericles Pericles (; grc-x-attic, Περικλῆς, in Classical Attic; c. 495 – 429 BC) was a Greek statesman and general of Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Click ...

Pericles
. The war turned after Athenian victories led by
Cleon Cleon (; grc-gre, wikt:Κλέων, Κλέων, ; died 422 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian strategos, general during the Peloponnesian War. He was the first prominent representative of the commercial class in Athenian politics, although he w ...
at
Pylos Pylos (, ; el, Πύλος), historically also known as Navarino, is a town and a former municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or ...
and Battle of Sphacteria, Sphakteria, and Sparta sued for peace, but the Athenians rejected the proposal. The Athenian failure to regain control of Boeotia at Battle of Delium, Delium and Brasidas' successes in northern Greece in 424 improved Sparta's position after Sphakteria. After the deaths of Cleon and Brasidas, the strongest proponents of war on each side, Peace of Nikias, a peace treaty was negoitiated in 421 by the Athenian general Nicias. The peace did not last, however. In 418 allied forces of Athens and Argos were defeated by Sparta at Battle of Mantinea (418 BC), Mantinea. In 415 Athens launched an ambitious naval expedition to dominate Sicily; the expedition ended in disaster at the harbor of Syracuse, Sicily, Syracuse, with almost the entire army killed and the ships destroyed. Soon after the Athenian defeat in Syracuse, Athens' Ionian allies began to rebel against the Delian league, while Persia began to once again involve itself in Greek affairs on the Spartan side. Initially the Athenian position continued relatively strong, with important victories at Battle of Cyzicus, Cyzicus in 410 and Battle of Arginusae, Arginusae in 406. However, in 405 the Spartan Lysander defeated Athens in the Battle of Aegospotami, and began to blockade Athens' harbour; driven by hunger, Athens sued for peace, agreeing to surrender their fleet and join the Spartan-led Peloponnesian League. Greece thus entered the 4th century BC under a Spartan hegemony, but it was clear from the start that this was weak. A drastically dwindling population meant Sparta was overstretched, and by 395 BC Athens, Argos, Thebes, and Corinth felt able to challenge Spartan dominance, resulting in the Corinthian War (395–387 BC). Another war of stalemates, it ended with the status quo restored, after the threat of Persian intervention on behalf of the Spartans. The Spartan hegemony lasted another 16 years, until, when attempting to impose their will on the Thebans, the Spartans were defeated at Battle of Leuctra, Leuctra in 371 BC. The Theban general Epaminondas then led Theban troops into the Peloponnese, whereupon other city-states defected from the Spartan cause. The Thebans were thus able to march into Messenia and free the helot population. Deprived of land and its serfs, Sparta declined to a second-rank power. The Theban hegemony thus established was short-lived; at the Battle of Mantinea (362 BC), Battle of Mantinea in 362 BC, Thebes lost its key leader, Epaminondas, and much of its manpower, even though they were victorious in battle. In fact such were the losses to all the great city-states at Mantinea that none could dominate the aftermath. The exhaustion of the Greek heartland coincided with the rise of
Macedon Macedonia (; grc-gre, Μακεδονία), also called Macedon (), was an Classical antiquity, ancient monarchy, kingdom on the periphery of Archaic Greece, Archaic and Classical Greece, and later the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece. Th ...

Macedon
, led by Philip II of Macedon, Philip II. In twenty years, Philip had unified his kingdom, expanded it north and west at the expense of Illyrians, Illyrian tribes, and then conquered Thessaly and Thrace. His success stemmed from his innovative reforms to the Ancient Macedonian army, Macedonian army. Phillip intervened repeatedly in the affairs of the southern city-states, culminating in his invasion of 338 BC. Decisively defeating an allied army of Thebes and Athens at the Battle of Chaeronea (338 BC), he became ''de facto'' Hegemony, hegemon of all of Greece, except Sparta. He compelled the majority of the city-states to join the League of Corinth, Hellenic League, allying them to him and imposing peace among them. Philip then entered into war against the Achaemenid Empire but was assassinated by Pausanias of Orestis early in the conflict. Alexander the Great, Alexander, son and successor of Philip, continued the war. In an unequalled series of campaigns, Alexander defeated Darius III of Persia and completely destroyed the Achaemenid Empire, annexing it to Macedon and earning himself the epithet 'the Great'. When Alexander died in 323 BC, Greek power and influence was at its zenith. However, there had been a fundamental shift away from the fierce independence and classical culture of the ''poleis''—and instead towards the developing Hellenistic Greece, Hellenistic culture.


Hellenistic Greece

The Hellenistic period lasted from 323 BC, the end of the wars of Alexander the Great, to the annexation of Greece by the Roman Republic in 146 BC. Although the establishment of Roman rule did not break the continuity of Hellenistic society and culture, which remained essentially unchanged until the advent of Christianity, it did mark the end of Greek political independence. After the death of Alexander, his empire was, after quite some conflict, divided among his Diadochi, generals, resulting in the Ptolemaic Kingdom (Egypt and adjoining North Africa), the Seleucid Empire (the Levant, Mesopotamia and Persia) and the Antigonid dynasty (Macedonia). In the intervening period, the ''poleis'' of Greece were able to wrest back some of their freedom, although still nominally subject to Macedon. During the Hellenistic period, the importance of "Greece proper" (the territory of modern Greece) within the Greek-speaking world declined sharply. The great capitals of Hellenistic culture were Alexandria in the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Antioch in the Seleucid Empire. The conquests of Alexander had numerous consequences for the Greek city-states. It greatly widened the horizons of the Greeks and led to a steady emigration of the young and ambitious to the new Greek empires in the east. Many Greeks migrated to Alexandria, Antioch and the many other new Hellenistic cities founded in Alexander's wake, as far away as present-day Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom and the Indo-Greek Kingdom survived until the end of the first century BC. The city-states within Greece formed themselves into two leagues; the Achaean League (including Thebes, Corinth and Argos) and the Aetolian League (including Sparta and Athens). For much of the period until the Roman conquest, these leagues were at war, often participating in the conflicts between the Diadochi (the successor states to Alexander's empire). The Antigonid Kingdom became involved in a war with the Roman Republic in the late 3rd century. Although the First Macedonian War was inconclusive, the Romans, in typical fashion, continued to fight Macedon until it was completely absorbed into the Roman Republic (by 149 BC). In the east, the unwieldy Seleucid Empire gradually disintegrated, although a rump survived until 64 BC, whilst the Ptolemaic Kingdom continued in Egypt until 30 BC when it too was conquered by the Romans. The Aetolian league grew wary of Roman involvement in Greece, and sided with the Seleucids in the Roman–Seleucid War; when the Romans were victorious, the league was effectively absorbed into the Republic. Although the Achaean league outlasted both the Aetolian league and Macedon, it was also soon defeated and absorbed by the Romans in 146 BC, bringing Greek independence to an end.


Roman Greece

The Greek peninsula came under Roman rule during the 146 BC conquest of Greece after the Battle of Corinth.
Macedonia Macedonia most commonly refers to: * North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia until February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe. It gained independence in ...
became a
Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provinciae'') were the administrative regions of Ancient Rome outside Roman Italy that were controlled by the Romans under the Roman Republic and later the Roman Empire. Each province was ruled ...
while southern Greece came under the surveillance of Macedonia's prefect; however, some Greek poleis managed to maintain a partial independence and avoid taxation. The Aegean islands were added to this territory in 133 BC. Athens and other Greek cities revolted in 88 BC, and the peninsula was crushed by the Roman general Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Sulla. The Roman civil wars devastated the land even further, until Caesar Augustus, Augustus organized the peninsula as the province of Achaea (province), Achaea in 27 BC. Greece was a key eastern province of the Roman Empire, as the Roman culture had long been in fact Greco-Roman world, Greco-Roman. The Koine Greek, Greek language served as a ''lingua franca'' in the East and in Italy, and many Greek intellectuals such as Galen would perform most of their work in Rome.


Geography


Regions

The territory of Greece is mountainous, and as a result, ancient Greece consisted of many smaller regions each with its own dialect, cultural peculiarities, and identity. Regionalism and regional conflicts were a prominent feature of ancient Greece. Cities tended to be located in valleys between mountains, or on coastal plains and dominated a certain area around them. In the south lay the Peloponnese, itself consisting of the regions of Laconia (southeast), Messenia (southwest), Elis (west), Achaia (north), Korinthia (northeast), Argolis (east), and Arcadia (center). These names survive to the present day as regional units of Greece, regional units of modern Greece, though with somewhat different boundaries. Mainland Greece to the north, nowadays known as Central Greece, consisted of Aetolia and Acarnania in the west, Locris, Doris (Greece), Doris, and Phocis (ancient region), Phocis in the center, while in the east lay Boeotia, Attica, and Megaris. Northeast lay Thessaly, while Epirus lay to the northwest. Epirus stretched from the Ambracian Gulf in the south to the Ceraunian mountains and the Aoos river in the north, and consisted of Chaonia (north), Molossia (center), and Thesprotia (south). In the northeast corner was Macedonia (ancient kingdom), Macedonia, originally consisting Lower Macedonia and its regions, such as Elimeia, Pieria (regional unit), Pieria, and Orestis (region), Orestis. Around the time of Alexander I of Macedon, the Argead dynasty, Argead kings of Macedon started to expand into Upper Macedonia, lands inhabited by independent Ancient macedonians, Macedonian tribes like the Lynkestis, Lyncestae, Orestae and the Elimiotis, Elimiotae and to the West, beyond the Axius river, into Eordaia, Bottiaea, Mygdonia, and Almopia, regions settled by Thracian tribes. To the north of Macedonia lay various non-Greek peoples such as the Paeonians due north, the Thracians to the northeast, and the Illyrians, with whom the Ancient Macedonians, Macedonians were frequently in conflict, to the northwest. Chalcidice was settled early on by southern Greek colonists and was considered part of the Greek world, while from the late 2nd millennium BC substantial Greek settlement also occurred on the eastern shores of the Aegean Sea, Aegean, in Anatolia.


Colonies

During the Archaic period, the Classical demography#Ancient Greece and Greek colonies, population of Greece grew beyond the capacity of its limited arable land (according to one estimate, the population of ancient Greece increased by a factor larger than ten during the period from 800 BC to 400 BC, increasing from a population of 800,000 to a total estimated population of 10 to 13 million). From about 750 BC the Greeks began 250 years of expansion, settling colonies in all directions. To the east, the Aegean Sea, Aegean coast of
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of ...
was colonized first, followed by Ancient history of Cyprus, Cyprus and the coasts of Thrace, the Sea of Marmara and south coast of the Black Sea. Eventually Greek colonization reached as far northeast as present day Ukraine and Russia (Taganrog). To the west the coasts of Illyria,
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...

Sicily
and Southern Italy were settled, followed by Southern France, Corsica, and even northeastern Spain. Greek colonies were also founded in Ancient Egypt, Egypt and Ancient Libya, Libya. Modern Syracuse, Italy, Syracuse, Naples, Marseille and Istanbul had their beginnings as the Greek colonies Syracusae (Συράκουσαι), Neapolis (Νεάπολις), Massalia (Μασσαλία) and Byzantium, Byzantion ''(Βυζάντιον)''. These colonies played an important role in the spread of Greek influence throughout Europe and also aided in the establishment of long-distance trading networks between the Greek city-states, boosting the economy of ancient Greece.


Politics and society


Political structure

Ancient Greece consisted of several hundred relatively independent
city-state A city-state is an independent sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance la ...
s (''
poleis ''Polis'' (, ; grc-gre, πόλις, ), plural ''poleis'' (, , ), literally means "city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ...
''). This was a situation unlike that in most other contemporary societies, which were either tribe, tribal or kingdoms ruling over relatively large territories. Undoubtedly the geography of Greece—divided and sub-divided by hills, mountains, and rivers—contributed to the fragmentary nature of ancient Greece. On the one hand, the ancient Greeks had no doubt that they were "one people"; they had the same religion, same basic culture, and same language. Furthermore, the Greeks were very aware of their tribal origins; Herodotus was able to extensively categorise the city-states by tribe. Yet, although these higher-level relationships existed, they seem to have rarely had a major role in Greek politics. The independence of the ''poleis'' was fiercely defended; unification was something rarely contemplated by the ancient Greeks. Even when, during the second Persian invasion of Greece, a group of city-states allied themselves to defend Greece, the vast majority of ''poleis'' remained neutral, and after the Persian defeat, the allies quickly returned to infighting. Thus, the major peculiarities of the ancient Greek political system were its fragmentary nature (and that this does not particularly seem to have tribal origin), and the particular focus on urban centers within otherwise tiny states. The peculiarities of the Greek system are further evidenced by the colonies that they set up throughout the Mediterranean Sea, which, though they might count a certain Greek ''polis'' as their 'mother' (and remain sympathetic to her), were completely independent of the founding city. Inevitably smaller ''poleis'' might be dominated by larger neighbors, but conquest or direct rule by another city-state appears to have been quite rare. Instead the ''poleis'' grouped themselves into leagues, membership of which was in a constant state of flux. Later in the Classical period, the leagues would become fewer and larger, be dominated by one city (particularly Athens, Sparta and Thebes); and often ''poleis'' would be compelled to join under threat of war (or as part of a peace treaty). Even after Philip II of Macedon "conquered" the heartlands of ancient Greece, he did not attempt to annex the territory, or unify it into a new province, but simply compelled most of the ''poleis'' to join his own Corinthian League.


Government and law

Initially many Greek city-states seem to have been petty kingdoms; there was often a city official carrying some residual, ceremonial functions of the king (''basileus''), e.g., the ''archon basileus'' in Athens. However, by the Archaic period and the first historical consciousness, most had already become aristocratic Oligarchy, oligarchies. It is unclear exactly how this change occurred. For instance, in Athens, the kingship had been reduced to a hereditary, lifelong chief magistracy (''Archon of Athens, archon'') by 1050 BC; by 753 BC this had become a decennial, elected archonship; and finally by 683 BC an annually elected archonship. Through each stage more power would have been transferred to the aristocracy as a whole, and away from a single individual. Inevitably, the domination of politics and concomitant aggregation of wealth by small groups of families was apt to cause social unrest in many ''poleis''. In many cities a
tyrant A tyrant (from Ancient Greek , ''tyrannos''), in the modern English language, English usage of the word, is an absolute ruler who is unrestrained by law, or one who has usurped a legitimate ruler's sovereignty. Often portrayed as cruel, ty ...

tyrant
(not in the modern sense of repressive autocracies), would at some point seize control and govern according to their own will; often a populist agenda would help sustain them in power. In a system wracked with class conflict, government by a 'strongman' was often the best solution. Athens fell under a tyranny in the second half of the 6th century. When this tyranny was ended, the Athenians founded Athenian democracy, the world's first democracy as a radical solution to prevent the aristocracy regaining power. A Popular assembly, citizens' assembly (the ''Ecclesia (ancient Athens), Ecclesia''), for the discussion of city policy, had existed since the reforms of
Draco DRACO (double-stranded RNA Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a polymer A polymer (; Greek '' poly-'', "many" + '' -mer'', "part") is a substance or material consisting of very large molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning t ...
in 621 BC; all citizens were permitted to attend after the reforms of
Solon Solon ( grc-gre, Σόλων Solon ( grc-gre, wikt:Σόλων, Σόλων ''Sólōn'' ;  BC) was an Archaic Greece#Athens, Athenian statesman, lawmaker and poet. He is remembered particularly for his efforts to legislate against political, e ...

Solon
(early 6th century), but the poorest citizens could not address the assembly or run for office. With the establishment of the democracy, the assembly became the ''de jure'' mechanism of government; all citizens had equal privileges in the assembly. However, non-citizens, such as metics (foreigners living in Athens) or Slavery in ancient Greece, slaves, had no political rights at all. After the rise of democracy in Athens, other city-states founded democracies. However, many retained more traditional forms of government. As so often in other matters, Sparta was a notable exception to the rest of Greece, ruled through the whole period by not one, but two hereditary monarchs. This was a form of diarchy. The Kings of Sparta belonged to the Agiads and the Eurypontids, descendants respectively of Eurysthenes and Procles. Both dynasties' founders were believed to be twin sons of Aristodemus, a Heracleidae, Heraclid ruler. However, the powers of these kings were held in check by both a council of elders (the ''Gerousia'') and magistrates specifically appointed to watch over the kings (the ''Ephors'').


Social structure

Only free, land owning, native-born men could be citizens entitled to the full protection of the law in a city-state. In most city-states, unlike the situation in Ancient Rome, Rome, social prominence did not allow special rights. Sometimes families controlled public religious functions, but this ordinarily did not give any extra power in the government. In Athens, the population was divided into four social classes based on wealth. People could change classes if they made more money. In Sparta, all male citizens were called ''homoioi'', meaning "peers". However, Spartan kings, who served as the city-state's dual military and religious leaders, came from two families.


Slavery

Slaves had no power or status. They had the right to have a family and own property, subject to their master's goodwill and permission, but they had no political rights. By 600 BC chattel slavery had spread in Greece. By the 5th century BC slaves made up one-third of the total population in some city-states. Between forty and eighty per cent of the population of Classical Athens were slaves. Slaves outside of Sparta almost never revolted because they were made up of too many nationalities and were too scattered to organize. However, unlike later Western culture, the Ancient Greeks did not think in terms of race (human categorization), race. Most families owned slaves as household servants and laborers, and even poor families might have owned a few slaves. Owners were not allowed to beat or kill their slaves. Owners often promised to free slaves in the future to encourage slaves to work hard. Unlike in Rome, freedman, freedmen did not become citizens. Instead, they were mixed into the population of ''metics'', which included people from foreign countries or other city-states who were officially allowed to live in the state. City-states legally owned slaves. These public slaves had a larger measure of independence than slaves owned by families, living on their own and performing specialized tasks. In Athens, public slaves were trained to look out for Coin counterfeiting, counterfeit coinage, while temple slaves acted as servants of the temple's List of Greek mythological figures, deity and Scythians, Scythian slaves were employed in Athens as a police force corralling citizens to political functions. Sparta had a special type of slaves called ''
helots The helots (; el, εἵλωτες, ''heílotes'') were a subjugated population that constituted a majority of the population of Laconia Laconia or Lakonia ( el, Λακωνία, , ) is a historical and administrative region of Greece Gre ...
''. Helots were Messenia (ancient region), Messenians enslaved during the First Messenian War, Messenian Wars by the state and assigned to families where they were forced to stay. Helots raised food and did household chores so that women could concentrate on raising strong children while men could devote their time to training as hoplites. Their masters treated them harshly, and helots slave rebellion, revolted against their masters several times before in 370/69 they won their freedom.


Education

For most of Greek history, education was private, except in Sparta. During the Hellenistic period, some city-states established Public school (government funded), public schools. Only wealthy families could afford a teacher. Boys learned how to read, write and quote literature. They also learned to sing and play one musical instrument and were trained as athletes for military service. They studied not for a job but to become an effective citizen. Girls also learned to read, write and do simple arithmetic so they could manage the household. They almost never received education after childhood. Boys went to school at the age of seven, or went to the barracks, if they lived in Sparta. The three types of teachings were: grammatistes for arithmetic, kitharistes for music and dancing, and Paedotribae for sports. Boys from wealthy families attending the private school lessons were taken care of by a ''paidagogos'', a household slave selected for this task who accompanied the boy during the day. Classes were held in teachers' private houses and included reading, writing, mathematics, singing, and playing the lyre and flute. When the boy became 12 years old the schooling started to include sports such as wrestling, running, and throwing discus and javelin. In Athens some older youths attended academy for the finer disciplines such as culture, sciences, music, and the arts. The schooling ended at age 18, followed by military training in the army usually for one or two years. Only a small number of boys continued their education after childhood, as in the Spartan agoge. A crucial part of a wealthy teenager's education was a mentorship with an elder, which in a few places and times may have included pederasty. The teenager learned by watching his mentor talking about politics in the ''agora'', helping him perform his public duties, exercising with him in the gymnasium and attending Symposium, symposia with him. The richest students continued their education by studying with famous teachers. Some of Athens' greatest such schools included the Lyceum (the so-called Peripatetic school founded by
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questio ...

Aristotle
of Stageira) and the Platonic Academy (founded by
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian philosopher during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thought and the Platoni ...

Plato
of Athens). The education system of the wealthy ancient Greeks is also called Paideia.


Economy

At its economic height, in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, ancient Greece was the most advanced economy in the world. According to some economic historians, it was one of the most advanced pre-industrial economies. This is demonstrated by the average daily wage of the Greek worker which was, in terms of wheat, about 12 kg. This was more than 3 times the average daily wage of an Egyptian worker during the Roman period, about 3.75 kg.


Warfare

At least in the Archaic Period, the fragmentary nature of ancient Greece, with many competing city-states, increased the frequency of conflict but conversely limited the scale of warfare. Unable to maintain professional armies, the city-states relied on their own citizens to fight. This inevitably reduced the potential duration of campaigns, as citizens would need to return to their own professions (especially in the case of, for example, farmers). Campaigns would therefore often be restricted to summer. When battles occurred, they were usually set piece and intended to be decisive. Casualties were slight compared to later battles, rarely amounting to more than 5% of the losing side, but the slain often included the most prominent citizens and generals who led from the front. The scale and scope of warfare in ancient Greece changed dramatically as a result of the
Greco-Persian Wars The Greco-Persian Wars (also often called the Persian Wars) were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empi ...
. To fight the enormous armies of the Achaemenid Empire was effectively beyond the capabilities of a single city-state. The eventual triumph of the Greeks was achieved by alliances of city-states (the exact composition changing over time), allowing the pooling of resources and division of labor. Although alliances between city-states occurred before this time, nothing on this scale had been seen before. The rise of Athens and
Sparta Sparta (Doric Greek Doric or Dorian ( grc, Δωρισμός, Dōrismós) was an . Its variants were spoken in the southern and eastern as well as in , , , , , some islands in the southern and some cities on the south east coast of ...

Sparta
as pre-eminent powers during this conflict led directly to the
Peloponnesian War The Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to ...

Peloponnesian War
, which saw further development of the nature of warfare, strategy and tactics. Fought between leagues of cities dominated by Athens and Sparta, the increased manpower and financial resources increased the scale and allowed the diversification of warfare. Set-piece battles during the Peloponnesian war proved indecisive and instead there was increased reliance on attritionary strategies, naval battle and blockades and sieges. These changes greatly increased the number of casualties and the disruption of Greek society. Athens owned one of the largest war fleets in ancient Greece. It had over 200 triremes each powered by 170 oarsmen who were seated in 3 rows on each side of the ship. The city could afford such a large fleet—it had over 34,000 oars men—because it owned a lot of silver mines that were worked by slaves. According to Josiah Ober, Greek city-states faced approximately a one-in-three chance of destruction during the archaic and classical period.


Culture


Philosophy

Ancient Greek philosophy focused on the role of reason and inquiry. In many ways, it had an important influence on modern philosophy, as well as modern science. Clear unbroken lines of influence lead from ancient Greek and Hellenistic philosophy, Hellenistic philosophers, to medieval Early Islamic philosophy, Muslim philosophers and Islamic science, Islamic scientists, to the European Renaissance and Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment, to the secular sciences of the modern day. Neither reason nor inquiry began with the ancient Greeks. Defining the difference between the Greek quest for knowledge and the quests of the elder civilizations, such as the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians, has long been a topic of study by theorists of civilization. Some of the well-known philosophers of ancient Greece were
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian philosopher during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thought and the Platoni ...

Plato
and Socrates, among others. They have aided in information about ancient Greek society through writings such as ''The Republic (Plato), The Republic'', by Plato.


Literature and theatre

The earliest Greek literature was poetry and was composed for performance rather than private consumption. The earliest Greek poet known is Homer, although he was certainly part of an existing tradition of oral poetry. Homer's poetry, though it was developed around the same time that the Greeks developed writing, would have been composed orally; the first poet to certainly compose their work in writing was Archilochus, a Greek lyric, lyric poet from the mid-seventh century BC. Greek tragedy, tragedy developed, around the end of the archaic period, taking elements from across the pre-existing genres of late archaic poetry. Towards the beginning of the classical period, comedy began to develop—the earliest date associated with the genre is 486 BC, when a competition for comedy became an official event at the City Dionysia in Athens, though the first preserved ancient comedy is Aristophanes' ''Acharnians'', produced in 425. Like poetry, Greek prose had its origins in the archaic period, and the earliest writers of Greek philosophy, history, and medical literature all date to the sixth century BC. Prose first emerged as the writing style adopted by the presocratic philosophers Anaximander and Anaximenes of Miletus, Anaximenes—though Thales of Miletus, considered the first Greek philosopher, apparently wrote nothing. Prose as a genre reached maturity in the classical era, and the major Greek prose genres—philosophy, history, rhetoric, and dialogue—developed in this period. The Hellenistic period saw the literary centre of the Greek world move from Athens, where it had been in the classical period, to Alexandria. At the same time, other Hellenistic kings such as the Antigonids and the Attalids were patrons of scholarship and literature, turning Pella and Pergamon respectively into cultural centres. It was thanks to this cultural patronage by Hellenistic kings, and especially the Museum at Alexandria, which ensured that so much ancient Greek literature has survived. The Library of Alexandria, part of the Museum, had the previously-unenvisaged aim of collecting together copies of all known authors in Greek. Almost all of the surviving non-technical Hellenistic literature is poetry, and Hellenistic poetry tended to be highly intellectual, blending different genres and traditions, and avoiding linear narratives. The Hellenistic period also saw a shift in the ways literature was consumed—while in the archaic and classical periods literature had typically been experienced in public performance, in the Hellenistic period it was more commonly read privately. At the same time, Hellenistic poets began to write for private, rather than public, consumption. With Octavian's victory at Actium in 31 BC, Rome began to become a major centre of Greek literature, as important Greek authors such as Strabo and Dionysius of Halicarnassus came to Rome. The period of greatest innovation in Greek literature under Rome was the "long second century" from approximately AD 80 to around AD 230. This innovation was especially marked in prose, with the development of the novel and a revival of prominence for display oratory both dating to this period.


Music and dance

Music was present almost universally in Greek society, from marriages and funerals to religious ceremonies, theatre, folk music and the ballad-like reciting of epic poetry. There are significant fragments of actual Greek musical notation as well as many literary references to ancient Greek music. Greek art depicts musical instruments and dance. The word ''music'' derives from the name of the Muses, the daughters of Zeus who were patron goddesses of the arts.


Science and technology

Ancient Greek mathematics contributed many important developments to the field of mathematics, including the basic rules of geometry, the idea of formal proof, formal mathematical proof, and discoveries in number theory, mathematical analysis, applied mathematics, and approached close to establishing integral calculus. The discoveries of several Greek mathematicians, including Pythagoras, Euclid, and Archimedes, are still used in mathematical teaching today. The Greeks developed astronomy, which they treated as a branch of mathematics, to a highly sophisticated level. The first geometrical, three-dimensional models to explain the apparent motion of the planets were developed in the 4th century BC by Eudoxus of Cnidus and Callippus of Cyzicus. Their younger contemporary Heraclides Ponticus proposed that the Earth rotates around its axis. In the 3rd century BC Aristarchus of Samos was the first to suggest a heliocentric system. Archimedes in his treatise The Sand Reckoner#Estimation of the size of the universe, The Sand Reckoner revives Aristarchus' hypothesis that ''"the fixed stars and the Sun remain unmoved, while the Earth revolves about the Sun on the circumference of a circle"''. Otherwise, only fragmentary descriptions of Aristarchus' idea survive. Eratosthenes, using the angles of shadows created at widely separated regions, estimated the circumference of the Earth with great accuracy. In the 2nd century BC Hipparchus, Hipparchus of Nicea made a number of contributions, including the first measurement of precession and the compilation of the first star catalog in which he proposed the modern system of apparent magnitudes. The Antikythera mechanism, a device for calculating the movements of planets, dates from about 80 BC and was the first ancestor of the astronomical computer. It was discovered in an ancient shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera, between Kythera and Crete. The device became famous for its use of a differential gear, previously believed to have been invented in the 16th century, and the miniaturization and complexity of its parts, comparable to a clock made in the 18th century. The original mechanism is displayed in the Bronze collection of the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, accompanied by a replica. The ancient Greeks also made important discoveries in the medical field. Hippocrates was a physician of the Classical period, and is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine. He is referred to as the "List of persons considered father or mother of a field#Natural and social sciences, father of medicine"Hippocrates
Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2006. Microsoft Corporation

31 October 2009. in recognition of his lasting contributions to the field as the founder of the Hippocratic school of medicine. This intellectual school revolutionized medicine in ancient Greece, establishing it as a discipline distinct from other fields that it had traditionally been associated with (notably theurgy and philosophy), thus making medicine a profession.


Art and architecture

The art of ancient Greece has exercised an enormous influence on the culture of many countries from ancient times to the present day, particularly in the areas of sculpture and architecture. In the West, the art of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
was largely derived from Greek models. In the East, Alexander the Great's conquests initiated several centuries of exchange between Greek, Central Asian and Indian cultures, resulting in Greco-Buddhist art, with ramifications as far as Japan. Following the Renaissance in Europe, the Humanism, humanist aesthetic and the high technical standards of Greek art inspired generations of European artists. Well into the 19th century, the classical tradition derived from Greece dominated the art of the western world.


Religion

Religion was a central part of ancient Greek life. Though the Greeks of different cities and ancient Greek tribes, tribes worshipped similar gods, religious practices were not uniform and the gods were thought of differently in different places. The Greeks were polytheistic, worshipping many gods, but as early as the sixth century BC a pantheon of twelve Olympians began to develop. Greek religion was influenced by the practices of the Greeks' near eastern neighbours at least as early as the archaic period, and by the Hellenistic period this influence was seen in both directions. The most important religious act in ancient Greece was animal sacrifice, most commonly of sheep and goats. Sacrifice was accompanied by public prayer, and prayer and hymns were themselves a major part of ancient Greek religious life.


Legacy

The civilization of ancient Greece has been immensely influential on language, politics, educational systems, philosophy, science, and the arts. It became the ''Leitkultur'' of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
to the point of marginalizing native Iron Age Italy, Italic traditions. As Horace put it, :''Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit et artis / intulit agresti Latio'' (''Epistles (Horace), Epistulae'' 2.1.156f.) :"Captive Greece took captive her uncivilised conqueror and instilled her arts in rustic Latium."


Empires, Kingdoms and regions

Kingdom of Mycenae ( 1600– 1100 BC) Mycenaean Greece (or the Mycenaean civilization) was the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece, spanning the period from approximately 1600–1100 BC. It represents the first advanced and distinctively Greek civilization in mainland Greece with its palatial states, urban organization, works of art, and writing system. The most prominent site was Mycenae, in the Argolid, after which the culture of this era is named. Other centers of power that emerged included Pylos, Tiryns, Midea in the Peloponnese, Orchomenos, Thebes, Athens in Central Greece and Iolcos in Thessaly. Mycenaean and Mycenaean-influenced settlements also appeared in Epirus, Macedonia, on islands in the Aegean Sea, on the coast of Asia Minor, the Levant, Cyprus, and Italy.
Kingdom of Macedon/Macedonian Empire (808–146 BC) Macedonia (/ˌmæsɪˈdoʊniə/ (About this soundlisten); Ancient Greek: Μακεδονία), also called
Macedon Macedonia (; grc-gre, Μακεδονία), also called Macedon (), was an Classical antiquity, ancient monarchy, kingdom on the periphery of Archaic Greece, Archaic and Classical Greece, and later the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece. Th ...

Macedon
(/ˈmæsɪdɒn/), was an ancient kingdom on the periphery of Archaic and
Classical Greece Classical Greece was a period of around 200 years (the 5th and 4th centuries BC) in Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dar ...
, and later the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece. The kingdom was founded and initially ruled by the royal Argead dynasty, which was followed by the Antipatrid and Antigonid dynasties. Home to the ancient Macedonians, the earliest kingdom was centered on the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula, and bordered by Epirus to the west, Paeonia to the north, Thrace to the east and Thessaly to the south.
Kingdom of Cyrene (632–30 BC) Cyrenaica was colonized by the Greeks beginning in the 7th century BC when it was known as Kyrenaika. The first and most important colony was that of Cyrene, established in about 631 BC by colonists from the Greek island of Thera, which they had abandoned because of a severe famine. Their commander, Aristoteles, took the Libyan name Battos. His dynasty, the Battaid, persisted in spite of severe conflict with Greeks in neighboring cities.
Delian League The Delian League, founded in 478 BC, was an association of Greek city-states, with the number of members numbering between 150 and 330 under the leadership of Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, ...
(or Athenian Empire) (478–404 BC) The Delian League, founded in 478 BC, was an association of Greek city-states, with the number of members numbering between 150 and 330[2] under the leadership of Athens, whose purpose was to continue fighting the Persian Empire after the Greek victory in the Battle of Plataea at the end of the Second Persian invasion of Greece.
Bosporan Kingdom (438–370 AD) The Bosporan Kingdom, also known as the Kingdom of the Cimmerian Bosporus (Greek: Βασίλειον τοῦ Κιμμερικοῦ Βοσπόρου, Basileion tou Kimmerikou Bosporou), was an ancient Greco-Scythian state located in eastern Crimea and the Taman Peninsula on the shores of the Cimmerian Bosporus, the present-day Strait of Kerch. It was the first truly 'Hellenistic' state in the sense that a mixed population adopted the Greek language and civilization.
Aetolian League (370–189 BC) The Aetolian League (also transliterated as Aitolian League) (Ancient Greek: Κοινὸν τῶν Αἰτωλῶν) was a confederation of tribal communities and cities in ancient Greece centered in Aetolia in central Greece. It was probably established during the early Hellenistic era, in opposition to Macedon and the Achaean League. Two annual meetings were held at Thermika and Panaetolika. The league occupied Delphi from 290 BC and steadily gained territory until, by the end of the 3rd century BC, it controlled the whole of central Greece with the exception of Attica and Boeotia. At its peak, the league's territory included Locris, Malis, Dolopes, parts of Thessaly, Phocis, and Acarnania. In the latter part of its power, certain Greek city-states joined the Aetolian League such as the Arcadian cities of Mantineia, Tegea, Phigalia and Kydonia on Crete.
Kingdom of Epirus (330–167 BC) Epirus (/ɪˈpaɪrəs/; Epirote Greek: Ἄπειρος, Ápeiros; Attic Greek: Ἤπειρος, Ḗpeiros) was an ancient Greek state and kingdom, located in the geographical region of Epirus in the western Balkans. The homeland of the ancient Epirotes was bordered by the Aetolian League to the south, ancient Thessaly and Macedonia to the east, and Illyrian tribes to the north. For a brief period (280–275 BC), the Epirote Greek king Pyrrhus managed to make Epirus a powerful state in the Greek world, comparable to the likes of Macedon and Rome. His armies marched against Rome during an unsuccessful campaign in Italy.
Dayuan Kingdom (329–160 BC) The region of Ferghana was conquered by Alexander the Great in 329 BCE and became his most advanced base in Central Asia. He founded (probably by occupying and renaming Cyropolis) the fortified city of Alexandria Eschate (Lit. "Alexandria the Furthest") in the southwestern part of the Ferghana valley, on the southern bank of the river Syr Darya (ancient Jaxartes), at the location of the modern city of Khujand (also called Khozdent, formerly Leninabad), in the state of Tajikistan. Alexander built a 6 kilometer long brick wall around the city and, as similarly in the cases of the other cities he founded, had a garrison of his retired veterans and wounded settle there. The whole of Bactria, Transoxiana and the area of Ferghana remained under the control of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire until 250 BCE. The region then wrested independence under the leadership of its Greek governors Diodotus of Bactria, to become the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom.
Seleucid Empire (312–63 BC) The Seleucid Empire (/sɪˈljuːsɪd/; Ancient Greek: Βασιλεία τῶν Σελευκιδῶν, Basileía tōn Seleukidōn) was a Hellenistic state in Western Asia that existed from 312 BC to 63 BC. It was founded by Seleucus I Nicator following the division of the Macedonian Empire established by Alexander the Great. After receiving Babylonia in 321 BC, Seleucus expanded his dominions to include much of Alexander's Near Eastern territories, establishing a dynasty that would rule for over two centuries. At its height, the empire spanned Anatolia, Persia, the Levant, Mesopotamia, and what are now Kuwait, Afghanistan, and parts of Turkmenistan.
Antigonid dynasty (306–168 BC) The Antigonid dynasty (/ænˈtɪɡoʊnɪd/; Greek: Ἀντιγονίδαι) was a dynasty of Hellenistic kings descended from Alexander the Great's general Antigonus I Monophthalmus ("the One-eyed").
Ptolemaic Kingdom (305–30 BC)
The Ptolemaic Kingdom (/ˌtɒlɪˈmeɪ.ɪk/; Koinē Greek: Πτολεμαϊκὴ βασιλεία, romanized: Ptolemaïkḕ basileía)[4] was an ancient Hellenistic state based in Egypt. It was founded in 305 BC by Ptolemy I Soter, a companion of Alexander the Great, and lasted until the death of Cleopatra in 30 BC. Ruling for nearly three centuries, the Ptolemies were the longest and final Egyptian dynasty of ancient origin. Kingdom of Pontus (302–64 BC)
Kingdom of Pontus (281 BC–62 AD)
The Kingdom of Pontus (Ancient Greek: Βασιλεία τοῦ Πόντου, Basileía toû Póntou) was a Hellenistic-era kingdom, centered in the historical region of Pontus and ruled by the Mithridatic dynasty of Persian origin, which may have been directly related to Darius the Great and the Achaemenid dynasty. The kingdom was proclaimed by Mithridates I in 281 BC[citation needed] and lasted until its conquest by the Roman Republic in 63 BC. The Kingdom of Pontus reached its largest extent under Mithridates VI the Great, who conquered Colchis, Cappadocia, Bithynia, the Greek colonies of the Tauric Chersonesos, and for a brief time the Roman province of Asia. After a long struggle with Rome in the Mithridatic Wars, Pontus was defeated. The western part of it was incorporated into the Roman Republic as the province Bithynia et Pontus; the eastern half survived as a client kingdom until 62 AD.
Kingdom of Pergamon (282–133 BC) The Attalid dynasty (/ˈætəlɪd/; Koinē Greek: Δυναστεία των Ατταλιδών, romanized: Dynasteía ton Attalidón) was a Hellenistic dynasty that ruled the city of Pergamon in Asia Minor after the death of Lysimachus, a general of Alexander the Great. The kingdom was a rump state that had been left after the collapse of the Lysimachian Empire. One of Lysimachus' lieutenants, Philetaerus, took control of the city in 282 BC. The later Attalids were descended from his father and expanded the city into a kingdom.
Achaean League (256–146 BC) The Achaean League (Greek: Κοινὸν τῶν Ἀχαιῶν, Koinon ton Akhaion "League of Achaeans") was a Hellenistic-era confederation of Greek city states on the northern and central Peloponnese. The league was named after the region of Achaea in the northwestern Peloponnese, which formed its original core. The first league was formed in the fifth century BC. The second Achaean League was established in 280 BC. As a rival of Antigonid Macedon and an ally of Rome, the league played a major role in the expansion of the Roman Republic into Greece. This process eventually led to the League's conquest and dissolution by the Romans in 146 BC. The League represents the most successful attempt by the Greek city states to develop a form of federalism, which balanced the need for collective action with the desire for local autonomy. Through the writings of the Achaean statesman Polybius, this structure has had an influence on the constitution of the United States and other modern federal states.
Greco-Bactrian Kingdom (250–125 BC) The Greco-Bactrian Kingdom was, along with the Indo-Greek Kingdom, the easternmost part of the Hellenistic world, covering Bactria and Sogdiana in Central Asia from 256 to 125 BC. It was centered on the north of present-day Afghanistan. The expansion of the Greco-Bactrians into present-day eastern Afghanistan and Pakistan from 180 BC established the Indo-Greek Kingdom, which was to last until around AD 10.
Indo-Greek Kingdom (180 BC – 10 AD) The Indo-Greek Kingdom or Graeco-Indian Kingdom, and historically known as Yavanarajya (Kingdom of Yavanas), was a Hellenistic kingdom spanning modern-day Afghanistan and the classical circumscriptions of the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent (northern Pakistan and northwestern India), which existed during the last two centuries BC and was ruled by more than thirty kings, often conflicting with one another. Via the Roman Empire, Greek culture came to be foundational to Western culture in general. The Byzantine Empire inherited Classical Greek-Hellenistic culture directly, without Latin intermediation, and the preservation of classical Greek learning in medieval Byzantine tradition further exerted strong influence on the Slavs and later on the Islamic Golden Age and the Western European Renaissance. A modern revival of Classical Greek learning took place in the Neoclassicism movement in 18th- and 19th-century Europe and the Americas.


See also

* Outline of ancient Greece * Outline of ancient Egypt * Outline of ancient Rome * Outline of classical studies ** Classical demography ** History of science in classical antiquity ** List of adjectival and demonymic forms of place names#Regions in Greco-Roman antiquity, Regions in Greco-Roman antiquity


Notes


References


Notes


Bibliography

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

* * Brock, Roger, and Stephen Hodkinson, eds. 2000. ''Alternatives to Athens: Varieties of political organization and community in ancient Greece''. Oxford and New York: Oxford Univ. Press. * Cartledge, Paul, Edward E. Cohen, and Lin Foxhall. 2002. ''Money, labour and land: Approaches to the economies of ancient Greece''. London and New York: Routledge. * Cohen, Edward. 1992. ''Athenian economy and society: A banking perspective''. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press. * Hurwit, Jeffrey. 1987. ''The art and culture of early Greece, 1100–480 B.C.'' Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press. * Kinzl, Konrad, ed. 2006. ''A companion to the Classical Greek world''. Oxford and Malden, MA: Blackwell. * Morris, Ian, ed. 1994. ''Classical Greece: Ancient histories and modern archaeologies''. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press. * Pomeroy, Sarah, Stanley M. Burstein, Walter Donlan, and Jennifer Tolbert Roberts. 2008. ''Ancient Greece: A political, social, and cultural history''. 2d ed. New York: Oxford Univ. Press. * Rhodes, Peter J. 2006. ''A history of the Classical Greek world: 478–323 BC''. Blackwell History of the Ancient World. Malden, MA: Blackwell. * Whitley, James. 2001. ''The archaeology of ancient Greece''. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.


External links


The Canadian Museum of Civilization—Greece Secrets of the Past

Ancient Greece
website from the British Museum
Economic history of ancient Greece

The Greek currency history

Limenoscope
an ancient Greek ports database

Greek and Roman theatre architecture
Illustrated Greek History
Dr. Janice Siegel, Department of Classics, Hampden–Sydney College, Virginia {{Authority control Ancient Greece, Articles which contain graphical timelines Civilizations