Time Line of Greek History and Literature

The author links are to encyclopedia entries at Perseus.

A tabular version is also available.

      Period                      Events                  Literary Sources
                                                              for Myth

 Neolithic         Possible worship of fertility
 (6000-3000 BC)    mother-goddesses

 Minoan            "Minoan" culture on Crete, with
 (3000-1500 BC)    large population and rich
                   palace-centres. Non-Greek speakers.

 Middle Bronze     Large-scale invasions of
 Age (2000-1700    Greek-speaking patriarchal peoples    (Linear A - still
 BC)               into mainland Greece.                 undeciphered)

 Late Bronze Age   Development (under Minoan             (Linear B script
 (Mycenaean)       influence), peak and decline (after   used for palace
 (1700-1100 BC)    1250 BC) of "Mycenaean" culture in    records)
                   mainland Greece.

 "Dark Age"        Break-up of Mycenaean civilization;
 (transition to    Greek settlements throughout the
 Iron Age)         Aegean Islands and the coast of Asia
 (1100-850 BC)     Minor.

                                                         Homer - Iliad,
                   Redevelopment of overseas trade.      750?
                   Alphabetic script adapted from        Odyssey, 725-700?
 Geometric and     Phoenician in Greece, ca 750.         Hesiod - Theogony,
 Archaic Period    Emergence of the classical Greek      Works & Days, ca
 (850-480 BC)      city-states, governed by family       680?
                   groups or dictators (mainly 7th-6th   Homeric Hymns,
                   century),or democracies (begun by     lost Cyclic Epics.
                   Athens, 5th century)                  Bacchylides, 5th -
                                                         6th century?

                                                         Pindar of Thebes,
                   Greek city-states flourish until      Aeschylus,
                   overshadowed by the powerful          525-456,
 High Classical    Macedonian kings. Philip of Macedon   Sophocles,
 Period (480-323   rules Greece; his son Alexander       495-405;
 BC)               campaigns as far east as India,       Euripides, 480-406
                   conquering Persia and Egypt, before   Herodotus, ca
                   dying in 323 BC                       484-425
                                                         Plato, 428-347

                   Alexander's empire fragments into
                   Greek monarchies in Macedonia, Syria
                   and Egypt.
 Hellenistic       Roman overseas expansion begins in
 Period (323-146   208 BC;                               Apollonius of
 BC);              Hellenization of Roman myth &         Rhodes,
 Roman Republic    religion.                             Callimachus,
 (to 44 BC)        Greece becomes a Roman province.      3rd-2nd century BC
                   The Roman Republic ends with a
                   seizure of power by Julius Caesar
                   (assassinated 44 BC)

                                                         Vergil, 70-19 BC
 Roman Empire (31                                        Livy, 59 BC - ??
 BC on)            Augustus, 31 BC - to 14 AD            AD
                                                         Ovid, 43 BC 18 AD

                                                         Diodorus Siculus
                                                         (1st century BC),
                                                         Apollodorus, 1st
                   Julio-Claudian emperors & successors  century AD
                                                         Plutarch, ca 45 AD
                                                         -ca 125 AD
                                                         Pausanias, 115 AD
                                                         - 180 AD

                   312 AD - Conversion of Constantine
                   to Christianity.

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