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This page is divided into two sections:

  1. A Chronological View of Greek History

  2. A-Z of Greek History

A Chronological View of Greek History

6500 BC first farming begins in Greece and the Aegean, beginning of European Neolithic period
3200-2000 BC early Cycladic civilization in the Aegean
3000 BC Neolithic culture replaced by Bronze Age/ construction of walled citadels in the Mediterranean
2000 BC Indo-Europeans invade and settle in the Peloponnese, Minoan civilization flourishes on mainland Greece, sails used for the first time of boats in the Aegean
1730 BC Earthquake destroys royal palaces on Crete
1700-1600 BC the Telchines (=Minoans) arrive on Rhodes, Kasos, and Telos from Crete. The Carians arrive on Kos, Nisyros, and Kalymnos from Asia Minor. The Pelasgians arrive on Syme.
1650 BC Linear A script
1500 BC Volcano on Santorini erupts, the first Mycenaeans arrive on the Dodecanese from the Greek mainland/ Linear B script
1450 BC first destruction of Minoan Crete
1200 BC Destruction of Mycenaean civilization by the Sea Peoples. 150 years of Dark Age begins under these sub-Myceneans/ Second destruction of Minoan Crete
1050 BC Dorian Invasion, collapse of the Mycenaean civilization. The Dorians came from the North and settled in the South. They also settled in Lakedaimonia at about this time.
1000 BC iron industry established in the Aegean
900 BC end of the Greek Dark Age, beginning of the Geometric period
9th Century BC the first city-states in the Dodecanese (Lindos, Kamiros, and Ialysos) formed a military alliance centred at the sanctuary of Apollo on Rhodes
826 BC the Arabs establish themselves in Crete
776 BC 1st Olympic Games held in Greece
750 BC the spread of Greek colonization throughout the Mediterranean and Black Sea/Homer's Iliad and Hesiod's poetry first written down
700 BC beginning of the Archaic period in Greece (until 500BC)
690 BC Etruscan script developed from Greek
650 BC rise of the Tyrants, reforms of the Lykourgos in Sparta/first Greek coins/rise of Greek lyric poetry
640 BC Kylon, an Athenian nobleman won an event at the Olympic Games
624 BC Drakon codifies Athenian law (Date sometimes given as 621/0 BC)
600 BC Greek colony of Massalia (Marseilles) founded
594/3 BC Solon is appointed and reforms Drakon's laws in Athens
585 BC Greek rationalist philosophy begins
514 BC the tyrannicides; the assassination of Hipparchos by Harmodios and Aristogeiton, attempted assassination of his brother Hippias
510 BC Kleisthenes persuades the Spartans to drive Hippias out of Athens
505 BC Kleisthenes founds democracy in Athens
500 BC end of the Archaic period in Greece
5th Century BC Persian invasions. The Persians are defeated at Plataea, Marathon, Mycale, and Salamis
494 BC Persians suppress Ionian revolt
490 BC Persian invasion of Greece defeated at Marathon
480 BC Persians defeated at the Battles of Salamis and Plataiai
479 BC the end of the Persian Wars, the Dodecanese join the Athenian League
479-338 BC period of Greek Classical Culture
478 BC formation of the Confederacy of Athenian leadership/Confederacy of Deloa
449 BC Peace of Kallas - a temporary halt to the fighting between the Athenians and the Persians
460-446 BC First Peloponnesian War
431-404 BC Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens
450 BC Apogee of Athens
413 BC the destruction of the Athenian fleet in Sicily, the Dodecanese leave the Athenian League
409 BC Carthage sends embassy to Athens
408 BC creation of new city in Rhodes
4th Century BC -Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens

-Macedonians and Thebans take control of Greece

371 BC  Battle of Leuctra, defeat of the Spartans
356 BC Philip of Macedon rules Macedon
357-355 BC Social War and Sacred War
350 BC Mausoleum built at Halikarnassos
349 BC Philip of Macedon invades Chalkidike
338 BC Battle of Chaironeia - Macedonian victory over Greece
336 BC the assassination of Philip of Macedon at Pella/Alexander the Great takes over the Macedonian throne
334 BC Alexander the Great invades the Persian Empire/Battle of Granikos  Persians defeated by Alexander the Great
333 BC Macedonian victory at Issos
332 BC  Alexander the Great conquers Egypt
331 BC Persians defeated at Gaugemela
330 BC  Persepolis captured
329-329 BC Alexander the Great campaigns in Bactria and Soglia
326 BC Macedonian victory at Hydaspes
317 BC Philip III of Macedon assassinated
308 BC deaths of Alexander IV and Roxana
307 BC Athens captured by Antigonos
281 BC Battle of Korupedion, Lysimachos defeated by Seleukos/Seleukos assassinated
277 BC Celtic armies defeated at Lysimacheia
197 BC The Romans gain control from the Macedonians
86 BC The Roman general Sulla destroys Piraeus
42 BC Cassius destroys Rhodes
269 AD The Goths raided the islands of the Aegean
324 AD Byzantium founded by Constantine the Great
330 AD formal inauguration of Byzantium
395 AD the Aegean islands came under control of the eastern Roman Empire
515 AD an earthquake destroys nearly half the cities of the Eastern Mediterranean including the city of Rhodes
7th Century AD Library of Alexandria destroyed by fire
654 AD the Arabs occupied Rhodes and broke up the remains of the Colossus of Rhodes and sold the bronze as scrap
718 AD Byzantine warships set out from Rhodes to do battle with the Saracens
807 AD Byzantine warships set out from Rhodes to do battle with the Arabs
1082 AD Alexios Komnenos granted the Venetians the right to establish a commercial naval base on Rhodes
1101 AD  Richard the Lionheart stopped for a while at Rhodes
1204 AD the sack of Constantinople (for the 1st time) during the Fourth Crusade
1204-1261 AD  Latin rule of Constantinople
1207 AD Marco Sandolo founded the Duchy of Naxos
1309 BC A Genoese adventurer sells Rhodes to the Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem
1333 AD Lesvos comes under control of the Gatteluso family
1387 AD the Ionian Islands are brought under Venetian rule
1453 AD Byzantium/Constantinople falls to the Ottoman Turks (2nd time) led by Mehmet the Conqueror/ the inhabitants of Samos escape to Chios/Crete gives refuge to exiles fleeing the Turks
1462 AD Lesvos conquered by the Ottoman Turks
1480 AD unsuccessful siege of Rhodes by the Ottoman Turks
15th Century AD - 19th Century AD Greece under Turkish rule
1521 AD

(or 1523?)

Rhodes falls to a 100,000+ force of Ottoman Turks. The Knights of St John withdraw to Malta
1538 AD the coasts of Crete are attacked by the pirate Khair-ed-din Barbarossa
1566 AD the fall of Chios, leading to control of all the east Aegean islands by the Ottoman Turks
1626 AD a famine on Crete reduces the population by a fifth
1645 AD Chania falls to the Ottoman Turk
1669 AD Irakleion and then the whole of Crete falls to the Ottoman Turks
1797 AD the Ionian Islands are brought under French rule
1809 AD Ahmet Agas besieges Kalymnos for 36 days inorder to try and make the islanders accept Ottoman judicial power
1821 AD Greek uprising, declaration of national independence
1822 AD Ottoman Turks suppress a revolt on Chios
1830 AD Independence/the Cyclades become part of independent Greece
1831 AD Jean Kapodistria is assassinated
1832 AD a 17 year old Bavarian prince, Otto is made King of Greece by the French, English, and Russians
1834 AD Athens becomes the new national capital
1864 AD the Ionian Islands become part of independent Greece. They had been a British Protectorate since the Napoleonic Wars
1878 AD British rule of Cyprus begins
1912 AD the Dodecanese Islands are liberated from the Turks during their war with the Italians / King Constantine leads a victorious Greek army against the Turks in Macedonia and liberates thousands of Greeks
1911-14 AD Greece took the side of the Germans in the rivalry between Germany and Britain in the Balkans
1912-13 AD the Balkan Wars
1913 AD Crete and the Northeast Aegean Islands become part of independent Greece/the Turks leave their fortress at Yannina/King George assasinated by a Macedonian in Thessaloniki
1915 AD King Constantine fires Eleftherios Venizelos twice from his office as Prime Minister
1917 AD King Constantine abdicates (for the 1st time) and his son King Alexander takes over until he dies three years later from blood poisoning caused by a monkey bite.
1922 AD Greek forces heavily defeated in Asia Minor. A million Greeks who had lived on the Turkish side of the Aegean had to leave their homes and flooded into Greece. / September: King Constantine forced to abdicate (for the 2nd time).
1923 AD the exchange of Greek and Turkish populations (the Greco-Turkish population exchange) / King George II (King Constantine's) son takes over.
1924  AD Republic established / King George II kicked out.
1927 AD First air connection between Athens and the islands
1935 AD Restoration of the monarchy - King George II returns from exile after a failed military uprising/a royalist putsch led by General Kondylis. He was able to return to power after a rigged referendum
1936 AD Metaxas seizes power and establishes his quasi-Fascist dictatorship
1939-45 AD World War II
1941 AD German Stukas bomb Piraeus

AD 1942  EAM's operation against the viaduct of Gorgopotamus

AD 1943  Italian surrender - the Dodecanese taken over by the Germans / John Rallis becomes Prime Minister

AD 1944  April: George Papandreou is brought to Egypt, the seat of the government in exile / May: a meeting in Lebanon, a coalition government is set up - the British promise that the Communists will be part of the coalition / September: the British persuade ELAS not to enter and occupy Athens. Instead, the Britsh march in as liberators / The government in exile return to Greece and George Papandreou is made Prime Minister / October 12: Liberation / 3 December: Clash in Athens between the Greek Communist Party and British troops, EAM organized a demonstration asking George Papandreou to keep his promise of self-rule - 28 people died.

AD 1945-46  the White Terror against the Left

AD 1946-49  Civil War

AD 1947  Incorporation of the Dodecanese islands into the Greek state, the Italians give the Dodecanese back to the Greeks / the Americans take over from the British, and the Truman Doctrine is born: 'The United States must help Greece safeguard her democratic regime.'

AD 1950  January: elections - swing away from the Right to the Centre, but no single party could command a majority in Parliament. Afterwards four governments collapsed

AD 1952  November: elections - General Papagos elected as leader of the government

AD 1955  October: General Papagos died

AD 1960  Cyprus becomes a state on August 16, end of British rule

AD 1961  election

AD 1963  May: the murder of Grigorios Lambrakis, a left-wing deputy in Thessaloniki, November: elections: George Papandreou's Centre Union emerged as the largest party, with the balance of power being held by the United Democratic Left. Constantine Karamanlis left Greece for an 11-year exile.

AD 1964  Another election: George Papandreou emerged as outright winner

AD 1965  July: political crisis

AD 1967-1974  the Colonel's Dictatorship

AD 1967 April 21st: Military Coup, colonels' junta/December: failed coup attempt forces King Constantine to flee

AD 1974   Restoration of democracy. Action by the Turkish army causes Cyprus to be divided into two

AD 1969   Abolition of the monarchy

AD 1972  the year when every Greek community finally got electricity

AD1999  earthquake in Athens

A-Z of Greek History

Abasgians, the [not yet ready]
Abbasids, the [not yet ready]
Achaeans, the another name for the Mycenaeans
Achaemenid Persia the Achaemenids lived in iran 2,500 years ago
acropoleis [not yet ready]
acropolis  [not yet ready]
Alans [not yet ready]
Albanians, the colonized the Aegean islands since the 14th Century
andartes [not yet ready]
apella a hoplite assembly
Apogee of Athens [not yet ready]
Arabs, the established themselves in Crete in 826 BC
Archaic Period, the c.700-500 BC
Areopagus (a council that met on the hill of Ares) [not yet ready]
arkhontes  [not yet ready]
Armenians, the [not yet ready]
Athenian Empire, the 8th Century BC
Athenian League, the [not yet ready]
Axis, the [not yet ready]
Balkan Confederation [not yet ready]
Balkan Entente Pact 1934 [not yet ready]
Balkan Union [not yet ready]
Balkan Wars, the 1912-13 [not yet ready]
basileus a king
boule a council
British Army, the protected Axis collaborators [not yet ready]
British protectorate, the 1945 [not yet ready]
Bronze Age, the [not yet ready]
Byzantine Empire, the the Eastern half of the Roman Empire, based in Byzantium. It was founded in AD324 by Constantine the Great. It was inaugurated as the New Rome, but differed from its imperial model (Old Rome) in that it was a Christian rather than a Pagan city, and it had a mainly Greek rather a Latin culture. It became more important than Old Rome, becoming the capital of an independent state and outlasting its model by 1000 years before falling to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.
Byzantine Era, the [not yet ready]
Carians, the an ancient people from Asia Minor
Catalans, the [not yet ready]
Chaironeia, Battle of 338 BC - Macedonian victory over Greece
children (removal of) the Greek communists moved 20,000 Greek children for education and protection to socialist countries after the end of the Civil War
chrysobull [not yet ready]
CIA, the [not yet ready]
city-state (polis) [not yet ready]
Civil War 1946-9 AD  [not yet ready]
Classic(al) Age, the 5th-4th Centuries BC
Cold War, the [not yet ready]
Colossus of Rhodes a giant bronze statue of the Sun god, built in 304BC by the sculptor Chares of Lindos. It was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It collapsed in an earthquake 66 years after being built. Although Ptolemy of Egypt offered 3000 talents to rebuild it, the Rhodeans never restored it.
Comnenian emperors, the [not yet ready]
Confederacy of Athenian leadership [not yet ready]
corsair [not yet ready]
Croats, the [not yet ready]
Dark Age, the [not yet ready]
Deme of Rhodes the three city-states of Rhodes united by Dorieus
Democratic Army, the  left-wing army in the Civil War, led by Markos Vafiades
demoi village units
demokratia the rule of the people
demos  city, the ordinary people
Diaspora, the [not yet ready]
diobol an ancient coin of Ialyssos
Dorian Hexapolis, the an alliance formed between Lindos, Kamiros, Ialyssos, Kos, Knidos, and Halikarnassos
Dorians, the another name for the Mycenaeans
EAM the National Liberation Front in the Civil War
Early Helladic period, the [not yet ready]
Early Historic Period, the [not yet ready]
Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople [not yet ready]
ekklesia an assembly, a church
ELAS the National Popular Army of Liberation, the military wing of EAM
English, the [not yet ready]
enosis the Greek-Cypriot campaign for union with Greece
EOKA [not yet ready]
ephoroi five executive officers who were elected annually and had control of political power in Sparta
Epon a resistance organization during WWII
Era of the Knights, the [not yet ready]
eunomia the Spartan idea of 'good order'
Eupatridae 'sons of good fathers', an aristocratic group of ancient Athens
European Community, the [not yet ready]
European Union, the [not yet ready]
Fatimids, the [not yet ready]
Franks, the [not yet ready]
French, the [not yet ready]
French Revolution, the [not yet ready]
Genoese, the once rulers of Corfu  [not yet ready]
Geometric(al) Period, the [not yet ready]
Germans, the [not yet ready]
gerousia a Spartan council
Golden Age of Greece, the [not yet ready]
Goths, the [not yet ready]
Granikos, Battle of (334 BC) Persians defeated by Alexander the Great
Great Idea, the [not yet ready]
Greeks, the [not yet ready]
Helepolis  a huge siege tower built for Demetrios Poliorketes by the architect Epimachos
Hellenes the name Greeks adopted for themselves during the Dark Age
Hellenistic Era, the [not yet ready]
Hellenization [not yet ready]
helots [not yet ready]
Heroic Age, the [not yet ready]
Hittites, the [not yet ready]
hoplite a heavily-armed soldier, a citizen who carried a hoplon. Hoplites stood in formation to form a row of shields known as a phalanx. Originally only the land-owning classes carried hoplons, but later all citizens were armed with them.
hoplon a type of heavy curved shield carried by a hoplite
Indo-Europeans [not yet ready]
Ionians, the the main colonists of Asia Minor

Italian Occupation  [not yet ready]

Italians, the  [not yet ready]

Justinian's Code  a codification of Roman Law, carried out in Byzantium by Justinian. See also Theodosian Code

kastra  citadels

Keros-Seros Culture  c. 2800-2300 BC

Khaganate of Tmutorokan  [not yet ready]

Khazars  [not yet ready]

KKE  the Greek Communist Party

Knights of St John  a military order which after the fall of Jerusalem in 1187 were based in Cyprus since 1291. In 1309 they bought Rhodes from a Genoese adventurer who had been given the property as a fief by the Byzantine emperor. There were three classes: knights, chaplains, and serving brothers (aka fighting squires). The official language of the order was Latin, and later French.

Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem  see Knights of St John

krypteia  a Spartan secret society

Lakedaimonia also Lakonia  the land of the Spartans

Lakonia  another name for Lakedaimonia

Late Minoan I period  1750-1450 BC

Latins, the  [not yet ready]

Lebanon Agreement, the  a failed attempt by the British to restore the monarchy and right-wing government by achieving unanimity between guerilla leaders and politicians of the resistance

Leuctra, Battle of  371 BC, the defeat of Sparta

Lombards, the  [not yet ready]

Lusignan  [not yet ready]

Lykourgos  [not yet ready]

Macedonian Question, the  [not yet ready]

maquis  [not yet ready]

Marathon, Battle of  490BC - Persian invasion of Greece defeated

megaron  a royal palace

Messenians, the  [not yet ready]

Middle Helladic period, the  [not yet ready]

Middle Minoan III period  [not yet ready]

Minoan culture  the name given to Bronze Age Cretan culture by the Archaeologist Arthur Evans. The name comes from Minos, the mythical king of Crete.

Minoans, the  [not yet ready]

Modern Greece  [not yet ready]

Mycenaean civilization  an early Greek civilization named after the citadel at Mycenae

Mycenaeans, the also known as the Achaeans or Dorians  [not yet ready]

Napoleonic Wars, the  [not yet ready]

National Independence  [not yet ready]

National Liberation Front, the  see EAM

National Popular Army of Liberation  see ELAS

NATO  Greece is a member of NATO

navicularii  Roman shipowners

Neapolitans, the  once rulers of Corfu  [not yet ready]

Neolithic period, the  [not yet ready]

New Rome  another name for Byzantium. Compare Old Rome

New Stone Age  another name for the Neolithic period

Nicaea, the Empire of  the Byzantine government-in-exile

Normans, the  once rulers of Corfu   [not yet ready]

obai  [not yet ready]

Old Rome  imperial Rome. Compare New Rome

Old Stone Age  another name for the Paleolithic period

oligarchy  = the rule of the few

Operation Pericles  a plan to fix the 1961 elections for the Right. The centrist leader George Papandreou blamed the monarchy and broke off relations with the King.

Ottoman Empire, the  [not yet ready]

Ottoman Turks, the  dominated the Aegean islands from the 15th to the 18th Century

Paleolithic period  [not yet ready]

Panhellenic League  established by Alexander the Great

Paris Reparations Committee  estimated that WWII caused $8,500 million of devastation in Greece

Patzinaks, the  [not yet ready]

pax minoica  peace imposed on the Aegean by the Minoans

Peloponnesian War, the First  460-446 BC

Peloponnesian War, the  a war from 431-404 BC between the Spartans and Athens. The war started because the city-states on the Greek mainland wanted to resist Athenian imperialism. Athens was eventually defeated when the Persians lent their support to the Spartans. Following this defeat, the Athenian Empire fell and a puppet regime, known as the Thirty Tyrants, was put into power in Athens.

Pelsagians, the  a pre-Greek people

perioikoi  [not yet ready]

Persians, the  [not yet ready]

Persian Wars, the  [not yet ready]

phalanx  a formation of hoplites into a wall of shields

Phanariots, the  the 18th century intellectuals of the Fanari area of Constantinople, who surrounded the Patriarchate

Phoenicians, the  [not yet ready]

pirates  [not yet ready]

Plataiai, Battle of  480 BC - Persians defeated [not yet ready]

polis = city-state, city

polites = citizen

politeuma = political system

politike = politics

Prehistoric Period, the  [not yet ready]

politismos = culture

Provençals, the  [not yet ready]

Radical Organisation, the  a resistance group during WWII

Rhodian Law  the earliest form of marine law

Richard the Lionheart  [not yet ready]

Roman Era, the  [not yet ready]

Roman Greece  [not yet ready]

Romans, the  [not yet ready]

Russians, the  [not yet ready]

Sacred War, the  [not yet ready]

Salamis, Battle of  480 BC - Persians defeated

Saracens, the  [not yet ready]

Sarakatsans, the  [not yet ready]

Sea Peoples, the  [not yet ready]

Security Battalions, the  an anti-Communist militia

Seljuks, the/the Seljuk Turks  [not yet ready]

Septinsular Republic, the  [not yet ready]

Serbs, the  [not yet ready]

Sicilians, the  once rulers of Corfu [not yet ready]

Siphniots  the inhabitants of Síphnos

slater  an ancient coin of Lindos and of Rhodes

Slavs, the  [not yet ready]

Social War, the  [not yet ready]

SOE  [not yet ready]

Spaniards, the  [not yet ready]

Sparta  a city-state

Spartans, the  [not yet ready]

Spartiatai  Spartan citizens. They were an elite section of the population who had full political rights.

Stone Age, the  [not yet ready]

Sublime Port, the  [not yet ready]

Sub-Mycenaeans  [not yet ready]

Sybarites, the  inhabitants of a prosperous city of Great Greece

taksim  the partition of Cyprus between Greece and Turkey

Telchines, the  the Minoans from Crete

themes  administrative units

Theodosian Code, the  a codificiation of Roman Law, carried out in Byzantium

Thirty Tyrants, the  a puppet regime supported by the Spartans, put into power at the end of the Peloponnesian War.

trireme  an ancient Greek warship with three rows of oarsmen below and hoplites standing on the deck above

Trojan Wars, the  [not yet ready]

Truman Doctrine, the  [not yet ready]

Turkish occupation  [not yet ready]

Turks, the  [not yet ready]

Tyrants, the  [not yet ready]

Vandals, the  [not yet ready]

Venetians, the  once rulers of Corfu

Vlachs, the  [not yet ready]

White Terror, the  [not yet ready]