History of Greece: Overview and Eras of Greek History


In a nutshell, Greek history is divided in the following eras:

Stone Age (circa 400,000 - 3000 BCE)
Paleolithic (circa 400,000 – 13,000 BP)
Mesolithic (circa 10,000 – 7000 BCE
Neolithic (circa 7000 – 3000 BCE)
Bronze Age
(circa 3300 – 1150 BCE)
Cycladic (circa 3300 – 2000 BCE)
Minoan (circa 2600 – 1200 BCE)
Helladic (circa 2800 – 1600 BCE)
Mycenaean or Late Helladic
(circa 1600 – 1100 BCE)
Dark Ages (circa 1100 – 700 BCE)
Archaic (circa 700 – 480 BCE)
Classical (480 – 323 BCE)
Hellenistic (323 – 30 BCE)
Roman (146 BCE – 330 CE)
Byzantine (330 – 1453 CE)
Ottoman Rule (1453 – 1821 CE)
Modern (1821 – today)

This classification is generally accepted and based on the individual unique characteristics of Greek culture at a particular time period. While the dates of the prehistoric era (up until the Archaic period) vary slightly depending on the source, the dates that define the historical eras are marked by crucial events that changed the course of society in significant ways.

Important Dates Of Greek History

3000 BCE: Beginning of Minoan and Helladic civilizations
1300 BCE:
End of Minoan civilization
1000 BCE:
End of Mycenaean and Helladic civilization
7th-5th c. BCE: Major expansion of Greeks through colonization (establishment of cities) throughout the Mediterranean, and the Black Sea.
480 BCE: Greeks defeat the invading Persians and enter the Classical era.
323 BCE: The death of Alexander the Great marks the beginning of the Hellenistic era
30 BCE: Octavian (later Augustus) defeats the army of Cleopatra and Antony at Aktion in western Greece, and establishes Roman control over all the old Hellenistic kingdoms. This event marks the end of the "Ancient Greece" era.
330 CE: Constantine the Great moves the capital of the Roman Empire to the city of Byzantium which her renames Constantinople, thus marking the beginning of the Byzantine Empire which takes a "Greek" character in letters, administration and commerce.
1453 CE: The fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks, marks the end of the Byzantine Empire and the beginning of Ottoman rule for the Greeks. Greeks play a major administrative and commercial role during the Ottoman occupation.
1821 CE: The Greek revolution overthrows the Ottoman rulers and marks the beginning of Modern Greece.
1832 CE: The Treaty of London reconginzes Greece as Independent country
1916 CE: Greece enters World War I on the side of the alies
1923 CE: Forced Christian/Muslim population exchange between Greece and Turkey
1940 CE: Greece enters World War II on the side of the alies (German and Italian occupation: 1941-1945)
1946 CE: Greek civil war until 1949
1981 CE: Greece joins the European Union as a full member
2001 CE: Greece becomes a member of the European Economic and Monetary Union

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