Timeline of Greek Literature

c. 1050–950 BCE Ionians begin colonizing Asia Minor.
c. 1000 Monumental buildings are erected at Lefkandi.
850–750 Attic Middle Geometric pottery period.
c. 800 Al-Mina is founded by Greek traders.
776 Traditional date for the founding of the first Olympic games.
c. 735–730 Greek colonists arrive in Sicily.
734 Traditional date for the founding of Syracuse by Greek traders.
c. 725–700 Roughly the period of the First Messenian War and the Lelantine War; Homer’s Odyssey dates to this period.
c. 720 The Orientalizing Period of Greece begins.
c. 700 Sennacherib destroys Al-Mina around this date.
687–652 Gyges, immortalized by Herodotus’ Histories, is king of Lydia.
657–627 Cypselus rules as tyrant of Corinth after expelling the Bacchiads.
660–650 Second Messenian War.
c. 650 Carthaginians have completely retreated to western Sicily.
632 Cylon attempts a coup at Athens, but is thwarted.
627–587 Periander is tyrant of Corinth after the death of his father Cypselus.
621/620 Draco institutes an exceptionally harsh law code.
c. 594 Solon is elected archon of Athens.
570–554 Phalaris is tyrant of Agrigentum.
564–555 Pisistratus is tyrant of Athens for the first time.
560–546 Croesus is king of Lydia.
559–530 Cyrus is king of Persia.
c. 556 Simonides of Ceos is born.
550 Cyrus conquers Media.
546–528/527 Pisistratus is tyrant of Athens for a third time.
530–521 Cambyses, son of Cyrus, is king of Persia.
525 Cambyses conquers Egypt; Aeschylsus is born; around here is when red-figure pottery is developed in Athens.
521 Death of Cambyses; Darius becomes king of the Persians.
520–490 Cleomenes is king of Sparta.
514 Attempted overthrow of the tyrants; Harmodius and Aristogiton, ostensibly the coup leaders, are killed.
510 Cleomenes of Sparta helps the Athenians overthrow Hippias, who is exiled to Persia.
508/507 Clisthenes introduces democratic reforms at Athens.
506 The Athenians defeat an alliance of Thebans and Chalcidians and thereafter take over Chalcis and the Lelantine plain.
c. 504 Sparta attempts to restore the Alcmeonids
499 After failing to conquer Naxos for the Persians, Aristagoras of Miletus induces the Milesians to revolt against the Persians, beginning the Ionian Revolt.
498 Greeks torch Sardis; Pindar recites Pythian 10.
490 Battle of Marathon: the Greeks defeat the Persian army.
483 Silver is found at Laurium, an Athenian-controlled mine; Themistocles persuades the Athenians to build a navy against the looming Persian invasion.
Xerxes crosses the Hellespont and begins the Second Persian Invasion.
477 The Delian League is founded to protect against the Persians.
476 Pindar recites Olympian 1 & 2.
474 Pindar recites Pythian 9.
470 Pindar recites Pythian 1.
465 An earthquake in Sparta precipitated the revolt of the Helots and other peoples subjugated by Spartans.
461 Ephialtes reforms the conservative-minded Areopagus, restricting it to murder and blasphemy charges.
460–445 First Peloponnesian War.
458 Aeschylus debuts the Oresteia; the murder trial of Orestes likely echoes the reforms of Ephialtes two years prior.
454 Athenians moves the Delian League treasury to Athens, giving it more access to League funds to strengthen its power.
450 Protagoras arrives in Athens and introduces “sophism” to the Athenians.
449 Possible date for the Peace of Callias, ending hostilities between the Greeks and the Persians; Sophocles debuts the Ajax; construction on the Parthenon begins.
446 Pindar recites Pythian 8.
[Thirty Years Peace]
442/441 Sophocles debuts the Antigone.
431–404 The Peloponnesian War properly begins with the invasion of Attica by Sparta, led by its king Archidamus.
430 Athens is hit by the plague; around this year Xenoophon was born.
429 The death of Pericles.
428 Euripides debuts the Hippolytus; around this year Plato was born.
425 Aristophanes debuts the Acharnians.
423 Thucydides is exiled; Aristophanes debuts the Clouds.
421 The Peace of Nicias temporarily halts the Peloponnesian War.
418 With hostilities having resumed, the Spartans defeat the Athenians at Mantinea.
416 Athens razes Melos for attempting to leave the Delian League.
415–413 The Sicilian Expedition, a disaster of an invasion for Athens; before Alcibiades could lead the Athenians to Syracuse, he was framed for the destruction of the Herms, and to avoid trial fled to Sparta.
414/412 Euripides debuts the Ion.
411 Aristophanes debuts the Lysistrata; a coup in Athens overthrew democracy and instituted rule by The Four-Hundred.
409 Sophocles debuts the Philoctetes.
405 Aristophanes debuts the Frogs; Euripides debuts the Medea.
407 Dionysius I becomes tyrant of Syracuse.
404 The Thirty Tyrants take over rule of Athens.
403 Thrasybulus restores the Athenian democracy.
401 Xenophon takes part in the 10,000, a Greek mercenary army intended to restore Cyrus the Younger, who died before they accomplished their goal; Sophocles debuts the Oedipus at Colonus.
399 Socrates is put on trial and executed for subverting the Athenian youth.
395–387 The Corinthian War.
371 The Thebans defeat the Spartan army at the battle of Leuctra.
362 The Thebans defeat the Spartan army at Mantinea; death of Epaminondas.
359 Philip II becomes king of Macedon.
355 Demosthenes argues his first case, Against Androtion.
347 Death of Plato.
346 Isocrates delivers the Philippus, in which he urges Philip II of Macedon to lead the Greeks against Persia.
338 Death of Isocrates; Philip II utterly destroys the Sacred Band of Thebes at Chaeronea.
336 Philip II is assassinated by his bodyguard; his son Alexander becomes king of Macedon.
335 Aristotle founds the Peripatetic school of philosophy at the Lyceum in Athens; Alexander burns Thebes to the ground.
334–323 Alexander of Macedon invades and takes over the Persian empire.





















































































Some Key Events after Alexander:

332 Tyre capitulates to Alexander after siege
323 Alexander is supreme
280 Pyrrhus defeats Romans at Heraclea
279 Gallic Invasion of Greece
Pyrrhus won the Battle of Asculum
264-241 First Roman-Punic War
238 Attalus I defeats Gauls
218-201 Second Roman-Punic War
212 Marcellus sacks Syracuse after two year siege
200-197 Second Roman-Macedonian War
192-189 Roman-Syrian War
171-168 Third Roman-Macedonian War
149-146 Third Roman-Punic War
146 Mummius sacks Corinth
86 Sulla sacks Athens
31 Battle of Actium

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