Time Line of Greek History and Literature

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Literary Sources for Myth

Neolithic (6000-3000 BC)

Possible worship of fertility mother-goddesses

Minoan (3000-1500 BC)

"Minoan" culture on Crete, with large population and rich palace-centres. Non-Greek speakers.

Middle Bronze Age (2000-1700 BC)

Large-scale invasions of Greek-speaking patriarchal peoples into mainland Greece.

(Linear A - still undeciphered)

Late Bronze Age (Mycenaean) (1700-1100 BC)

Development (under Minoan influence), peak and decline (after 1250 BC) of "Mycenaean" culture in mainland Greece.

(Linear B script used for palace records)

"Dark Age" (transition to Iron Age) (1100-850 BC)

Break-up of Mycenaean civilization; Greek settlements throughout the Aegean Islands and the coast of Asia Minor.

Geometric and Archaic Period (850-480 BC)

Redevelopment of overseas trade.
Alphabetic script adapted from Phoenician in Greece, ca 750.
Emergence of the classical Greek city-states, governed by family groups or dictators (mainly 7th-6th century),or democracies (begun by Athens, 5th century)

Homer - Iliad, 750?
Odyssey, 725-700?
Hesiod - Theogony,
Works & Days, ca 680?
Homeric Hymns,
lost Cyclic Epics.
Bacchylides, 5th - 6th century?

High Classical Period (480-323 BC)

Greek city-states flourish until overshadowed by the powerful Macedonian kings. Philip of Macedon rules Greece; his son Alexander campaigns as far east as India, conquering Persia and Egypt, before dying in 323 BC

Pindar of Thebes, 518-428;
Aeschylus, 525-456,
Sophocles, 495-405;
Euripides, 480-406
Herodotus, ca 484-425
Plato, 428-347
Demosthenes, 384-322

Hellenistic Period (323-146 BC);
Roman Republic (to 44 BC)

Alexander's empire fragments into Greek monarchies in Macedonia, Syria and Egypt.
Roman overseas expansion begins in 208 BC;
Hellenization of Roman myth & religion.
Greece becomes a Roman province.
The Roman Republic ends with a seizure of power by Julius Caesar (assassinated 44 BC)

Apollonius of Rhodes,
Callimachus, 3rd-2nd century BC

Roman Empire (31 BC on)

Augustus, 31 BC - to 14 AD

Vergil, 70-19 BC
Livy, 59 BC - ?? AD
Ovid, 43 BC 18 AD

Julio-Claudian emperors & successors

Diodorus Siculus (1st century BC),
Apollodorus, 1st 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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Maintained by Laurel Bowman: lbowman@uvic.ca. Last updated: June 28, 2002.

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