Ancient Greece Timeline

Ancient Greek history covers three distinct periods of time. The first is the Archaic Period followed by the Classical Period and finally the Hellenistic Period.

The Archaic Period represents the beginnings of Greek government and the establishment of the city-states like Athens and Sparta.

During the Archaic Period the Greeks started to discover the arts such as theatre and philosophy.

Democracy was introduced in Athens during the Classical Period. Athens became the center piece for advanced art and philosophy during this time period.

The Classical Period also brought the Peloponnesian Wars between Athens and Sparta. The final segment of the period was marked by Alexander the Great conquering Western Asia and much of known Europe at the time.

The Hellenistic Period began with the death of Alexander the Great. During this time period Ancient Greece lost much of its power until Ancient Greece was seized by the Romans.


Archaic Period (800 B.C.E. thru 480 B.C.E.)

  • 700s B.C.E. – The rise of city-states like Sparta and Athens became the main influences of the area.
  • 776 B.C.E. – The first Olympic Games were played to honor the Greek god Zeus in Olympia.
  • 757 B.C.E. – Sparta went to war with Messenia marking the beginning of the Messenian Wars.
  • 750 B.C.E. – Two epic poems were written by Homer. The Iliad and Odyssey are considered the most famous items of Greek literature during this time.
  • 650 B.C.E. – The Greek Tyrants under Cypselus the Tyrant of Corinth began to rule.
  • 621 B.C.E. – Athens introduced Draconian Laws which were created by Draco, a lawyer. Many of the laws were punishable by death.
  • 600 B.C.E. – Coins were struck to be used for currency in Ancient Greece.
  • 570 B.C.E. – Philosopher, scientist, and mathematician named Pythagoras was born. He developed the Pythagorean Theory which is the basis for geometry.
  • 508 B.C.E. – A new government system called Democracy along with a constitution is introduced in Athens by Cleisthenes also known as the Father of Athenian Democracy.

Classical Period (480 B.C.E. thru 323 B.C.E.)

  • 490 to 480 B.C.E. – The Greek and Persian Wars were fought. There were two main battles which were the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C.E. and Battle of Salamis in 480 B.C.E. The Persians were defeated and left.
  • 470 to 469 B.C.E. – Socrates one of the founders of Western Philosophy is born.
  • 468 B.C.E. – Outdoor amphitheaters were constructed and theater became the number one form of entertainment. Sophocles writes many plays during this time.
  • 450 B.C.E. – Pericles comes to power marking the beginning of the Golden Age of Athens.
  • 440 B.C.E. – Euripides was awarded first place for the best play in Athens.
  • 432 B.C.E. – The Parthenon was finished on top of the Acropolis. Also known as the Temple to Athena it is the most important building of Ancient Greece that still stands.
  • 431 B.C.E. – The Peloponnesian Wars between Sparta and Athens begin.
  • 429 B.C.E. – Pericles along with thousands of Athenians die of the plague.
  • 404 B.C.E. – Sparta conquers Athens ending the 27 years of the Peloponnese Wars.
  • 399 B.C.E. – Socrates is sentenced to death for corrupting the youth of Athens through his philosophical teachings.
  • 386 B.C.E. – The first institute of higher learning named the Academy was opened by Plato. Plato was star pupil of Socrates.
  • 384 B.C.E. – Aristotle is born. He was tutored in later years by Plato at the Academy.
  • 342 B.C.E. – King Phillip II of Macedonia appoints Aristotle to tutor his son Alexander.
  • 338 B.C.E. – King Phillip II of Macedonia conquers Athens and Thebes.
  • 336 B.C.E. – King Phillip II of Macedonia is killed and Alexander becomes king.
  • 333 B.C.E. – Alexander the Great defeats the Persians.
  • 332 B.C.E. – Alexander the Great defeats Egypt and constructs a new capital city in Egypt named Alexandria. He would continue to grow his empire finally conquering India.

Hellenistic Period (323 B.C.E. thru 146 B.C.E.)

  • 323 B.C.E. – Alexander the Great dies. The Ancient Romans begin to secure power and Ancient Greece society is diminished.
  • 300 B.C.E. – Famous Greek mathematician, Euclid, writes Elements which continues to influence mathematics today.
  • 146 B.C.E. – Ancient Greece succumbs to the Ancient Romans and becomes part of the Roman Empire.

Facts about the Ancient Greece Timeline

  • Ancient Greece is defined by three distinct periods known as the Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic.
  • Sparta and Athens were the first city-states.
  • Draconian Laws were developed and instituted by Draco in the Archaic Period.
  • Democracy and a constitution were introduced in Athens by Cleisthenes during latter portion of the Archaic Period.
  • Homer and Pythagoras were the two most important writers and thinkers of the Archaic Period.
  • The Ancient Greeks defeated the Persians at the Battle of Marathon and Battle of Salamis during the Classical Period.
  • The Parthenon also known as the Temple to Athena was constructed on the Acropolis during the Classical Period.
  • Sparta defeated Athens during the Peloponnesian Wars in the Classical Period.
  • Famous philosophers and the founders of Western Philosophy like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle played an important role during the Classical Period.
  • Alexander the Great became king and conquered most of Persia including Egypt where he constructed the city of Alexandria as the new capital of Egypt during the Classical Period.
  • The Hellenistic Period starts with the death of Alexander the Great. Ancient Greece begins to decline in power giving way to the Ancient Romans.
  • Ancient Rome defeats Ancient Greece while making Ancient Greece part of the Roman Empire.


How many distinct periods are there in Ancient Greece history?

The Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic Periods

Which people are known as the fathers of Western Philosophy during Ancient Greece?

Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle

What is Ancient Greece known for?

Mathematics, philosophy, poetry, art, architecture, and democracy

What were considered to be the first city-states?

Athens and Sparta

What Did You Learn?

  1. Who is considered to be the “Father of Athenian Democracy”?


  1. Who was the tutor of Alexander the Great?


  1. What two mathematicians of Ancient Greece produced theories that are still important today?

Euclid and Pythagoras

  1. What were the name of the wars between Sparta and Athens during the Classical Period?

Peloponnesian Wars

  1. Why was Socrates sentenced to death?

For corrupting the youth of Athens with his teachings

  1. Which Ancient Greek god did the Olympic Games honor?