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  Chronological Table  


  6800-3300 BC • NEOLITHIC or NEW STONE AGE: Characteristic features of the period are the permanent settlements, domestication of livestock, cultivation of cereals and extensive use of stone.

3300-2000 BC • EARLY BRONZE AGE-EARLY CYCLADIC-EARLY MINOAN: This is a period in which metals are mined, processed and widely disseminated; early urban cores appear and shipping develops. Towards the end of the period, there are population movements. The pinnacle of the Cycladic civilisation is characterised by the significant development of metallurgy and stone work, in particular the carving of marble. Crete develops into a distinct cultural unit. Important cultural centres emerge in the northeast Aegean (Poliochni, Troy, etc.).

2000-1600 BC • MIDDLE BRONZE AGE-MIDDLE CYCLADIC-MIDDLE MINOAN PERIOD: On mainland Greece, small coppersmiths’ workshops can be found, a warrior class comes into being and the first centres develop. In the Cyclades, significant ports emerge (Phylakopi on Melos, Ayia Irini on Keos, and Akrotiri on Thera), communications and commercial contacts are extended to include Crete and mainland Greece. Old palaces are refurbished and new ones are built in Crete, circa 1900 (latest 1600). Period of the descent of Indo-European tribes into Greece.

1600-1100 BC • LATE BRONZE AGE (MYCENAEAN CIVILISATION): The centres of power are found in the Peloponnese (Mycenae, Pylos, Tiryns, etc.) and the ruling class appears; it is the period of Grave Circles A and B in Mycenae, which produced impressive finds. In the Cyclades, records are kept in Linear A script and walls are built around settlements in which central public buildings appear. Crete exerts a strong influence. After the eruption of the Thera volcano, the Mycenaeans take over in Crete. Linear B script is used; Cyclopean fortified walls are built around Mycenaean citadels. This is the period when the Mycenaean koine language is spoken on mainland Greece. At the end of this period, the centralised palace system collapses. Movements by the "peoples of the land and the sea" in the Mediterranean.

Circa 1200 BC • Troy VIIA is destroyed. Collapse of the Hittite kingdom in Asia Minor. Local populations are pushed southward.

Late 12th century BC • The Middle Assyrian kingdom and the Phrygian state are founded. Phoenician cities develop.

1125-1050 BC • SUBMYCENAEAN PERIOD. Cultural and economic decline.

1250-1050 BC • Collapse of the political and economic system of the Mycenaean palaces. New population movements towards the frontiers of the Mycenaean world, in particular towards Crete and Cyprus. A few isolated settlements exist with a local lord and gradually power passes into the hands of groups of nobles. The end of the period is marked by the beginning of the Iron Age in Greece.

Circa 1000 BC (?) • The first Etruscans arrive in Italy and, according to recent excavations, create a significant culture.

Before 1050-950 BC • Greeks move through Attica and the Aegean to the coast of Asia Minor. The cultural and linguistic cohesion of the Ionians comes into being.

1050/1025-900 BC • THE PROTOGEOMETRIC PERIOD begins, which is thus named owing to the geometric decorative motifs that appear on clay pots. A few archaeological remains of Protogeometric settlements have been found in Athens, Argos, Iolcus, Ialysus, Knossos, Lefkandi, etc. The main feature of settlements in this period is that they are small villages, as a rule without walls and with their own cemetery.

10th or 9th century BC • The Greeks begin using a modified form of the Phoenician alphabet.

900-700 BC • GEOMETRIC PERIOD: Characterised by a true renaissance and rapid population growth. Settlements increase and communication becomes easier and more frequent.

900-850 BC • EARLY GEOMETRIC PERIOD: Pots are largely covered by a glossy black glaze-like surface. At this time, compass designs on pottery are abandoned and preference is shown for compositions with zigzag, curvilinear and meander decoration.

850-760 BC • MIDDLE GEOMETRIC PERIOD: Geometric decorations cover the entire surface of the pot. The depiction of human figures and animals begins. Its main features include the unrivalled technical perfection of the pottery and the elegant use of linear decoration.

814/13 BC • Carthage is founded on the coast of North Africa by the Phoenicians.

8th century BC • Striking development of metallurgy, growth of trade and contacts with other peoples. The polis appears as the centre from which culture emanates and the law is dispensed, its characteristics being political independence, unification around the city-state, and religious unity (common worship, patron god of the city, etc.). Attica is unified and the Thessalian tetrarchy is introduced.

776 BC • King Iphitus of Eleia, on instructions from the Delphic oracle, reorganised the ancient games in Olympia, called the Olympic Games, and established the kotinos, a wreath of wild olive, as the victors’ prize.

760-700 BC • LATE GEOMETRIC PERIOD: Most pottery is found in cemeteries; many of these vases are huge and were used as grave monuments. The pictorial representations extend over an increasingly large part of the surface of the vessel, gradually displacing supplementary ornamentation.

754/3 BC • Founding of Rome, according to tradition.

Mid 8th century BC • The first great wave of Greek colonisation begins. Cumae is founded in Campania, Sinope and Trebizond on the Black Sea. The art of music flourishes. Monumental architecture is created. Homer composes his epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey.

750 BC • Founding of Cumae.

734 BC • Founding of Syracuse.

725-640 BC • Protocorinthian pottery painting. Establishment of the black-figure style. In about 660, the "polychrome style" appears, in which light brown, white and purplish red colours are used to decorate vases.

Late 8th century BC • First Messenian War between Messenia and Sparta, the outcome of which was that the Spartans subjugated the Messenians as helots.

706 BC • Foundation of Tarentum. Age in which the poet Hesiod of Askra in Boeotia (author of Theogony, Works and Days), the lyric poet Archilochus, inspirer of the iambic metre, and Tyrtaeus, a significant elegiac poet, lived and worked.

700-625 BC • ORIENTALISING PERIOD. Through their colonies and commercial activities, the Greeks come into contact with other peoples, particularly those of the Eastern Mediterranean, and adopt elements from them that are recorded in the art of the period.

700-620 BC • Protoattic period in pottery painting. Attic pottery painters, conservative at the beginning, depict scenes from mythology on the so-called protoattic vases, influenced by other local workshops, especially those of Corinth, which was dominant at this period owing to its geographical position and trade.

7th century BC • Century of social and political changes, but also military conflicts. The nobles/aristocrats compete for power. New social strata are created by commerce and shipping. The second wave of colonisation lasts through the entire 7th century. The first lawgivers. Strengthening of the institution of the city-state. The Macedonians descend from their mountain homes into the valley of the Aliakmon (Perdiccas I). The Doric and Ionic orders are created in architecture. In monumental sculpture, the first "Daedalic" stage appears, which is characterised by strict frontality and disproportion in some parts of the body. Metalworking develops, and moulds are used to produce clay figurines.

First half of the 7th century BC • The Mermnad dynasty expands the Lydian kingdom (Gyges).

690 BC • Gela is founded by Rhodians.

Circa 680 BC • Thasos is colonised by Parians.

676-673 BC • Terpander, a highly significant poet and musician from Antissa on Lesbos, wins a music competition in Sparta.

Circa 675 BC • The Cimmerians invade Phrygia and later Lydia; they capture Sardis in 652.

Circa 660 BC • The first naval battle between Greeks: Corinth and Corkyra (Corfu).

From circa 650 BC on• The first tyranny comes into being. Cypselus, the first tyrant of Corinth, ruled the city for thirty years to the benefit of the lower classes. During his hegemony, the city developed its commerce and established new colonies. Greek pottery of this period has been found as far away as the Nile Delta.

Mid 7th century BC • Second Messenian War after the uprising of the Messenian helots.

640 BC • Birth of Solon, wise man, poet and political reformer of Athens.

630-570 BC • Athenian pottery painters adopt the capabilities offered by the black-figure style. They create magnificent narrative compositions on themes inspired by the heroic past, daily life, rituals, games, etc. Known artists of the period include the Nessos Painter, Kleitias, Nearchos, Sophilos and others.

Circa 630 BC • Cyrene is founded in Africa by colonists from Thera. In Athens, the temple of Athena Polias, now known as the old temple, is built on the Acropolis. This old temple was destroyed by the Persians in 480.

628 BC • Foundation of Selinus.

624 BC • The legislation of Draco, a codification of existing laws, limited arbitrary actions by the rich against the poor.

620-480 BC • ARCHAIC PERIOD. The zenith of the city-state.

620-580/70 BC • EARLY ARCHAIC PERIOD. The types of the "kouros" and the "kore" are characteristic of the sculpture.

625-535 BC • Corinthian pottery painting is dominated by narrative scenes, simplified and without special care; plants and animals are secondary.

610 BC • Lyric poetry is at its height with Alcaeus and Sappho, important poets from Lesbos.

610-546 BC • The pre-Socratic philosopher Thales is active in Miletus. Tradition places him among the seven wise men. His concerns about the origin of the world and his reduction of multiple phenomena to an impersonal, single principle are the main features of his thought. Anaximander is his pupil.

Circa 600 BC • Massalia (Marseille) is founded by Phocaeans. Periander, son of Cypselus, known for his harshness, becomes the tyrant of Corinth.

594/3 BC • Solon, archon of Athens, institutes significant legislative regulations through the seisachtheia, i.e. the liberation of peasants who had been enslaved by landowners for debt, the division of citizens into four classes according to their income, and their equal representation in the Boule of 400. He established the law court of the Heliaia, making all Athenians over the age of 30 eligible for selection as judges.

Circa 590/580 BC • Invention of currency in coin form by the Lydians and the Greeks of Asia Minor.

590 BC • The Pythian Games are established, Panhellenic games at Delphi in honour of Apollo.

582 BC • The Isthmian Games are established, Panhellenic games at the sanctuary of Poseidon.


573 BC • The Nemean Games are established, Panhellenic games dedicated to Zeus.

566 BC • The Great Panathenaea festivals are established, the main feast of Athena that was held every four years in honour of the protecting goddess of the city of Athens. During this festival, glorious athletic contests were held.

566/565 BC • Conventional date for the inauguration of the archaic Parthenon. This was the first large stone temple dedicated to Athena, which is known by the conventional name of Hecatompedos because it was 100 feet long.

561-560 BC • Peisistratus assumes power in Athens for the first time.

560-530 BC • The mature period of the black-figure style, with outstanding artists including Lydos, the Amasis Painter and Exekias.

559-530 BC • The Persian Empire is founded by the Achaemenid Cyrus, who enlarged his state to encompass the territory from the Indus river to the coast of Ionia.

556-469 BC • The lyric poet Simonides of Keos composed elegies, choral poems, victory hymns, dithyrambs, parthenia (songs sung by maidens to the flute), laments and epigrams, including his excellent poems to those fallen at Thermopylae and Marathon.

547 BC • The end of the Lydian kingdom is marked by the fall of Sardis. Croesus is captured by Darius II.

546-527 BC • Peisistratus assumes power for the second time. He ensures the consolidation of the Athenian presence in the central Aegean and cements relations with the other powerful cities of Greece. He took care that the Homeric epics were collected and copied and that libraries were established. Peisistratus is also attributed with enhancing the Panathenaea festivals and the Eleusinian mysteries and with establishing the Great Dionysia in the city.

545-527 BC • The first Athenian coins are struck, according to the most recent research, during the years of Peisistratus.

544 BC • Birth of Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, in Ephesus. His philosophy deals critically with the developments of his time. He sees the world not as the result of creation or generation, but as having existed eternally, and describes it as a living fire, which alternatively becomes stronger and weaker, without ever being completely extinguished.

534 BC • Beginning of the Greek drama with Thespis. Thespis in 536 established the first actor in a performance, who conversed with the chorus and played many roles.


530 BC • The great Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras drew up the Pythagorean table of numbers, a multiplication table, i.e. the products of the first nine integers. He likewise worked out and proved the Pythagorean theorem according to which, on a right-angle triangle, the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares on the other two sides.

530-522 BC • Cambysis, son of the Achaemenid Cyrus, supplements the work of his father by conquering Pharaonic Egypt.

528/27 BC • Peisistratus dies and power is assumed in Athens by his sons Hippias and Hipparchus, who pursue a cruel policy.

527 BC • Birth of the Athenian politician and general Themistocles, who later won the naval battle of Salamis (480).

525/24 BC • Birth of the dramatic poet Aeschylus in Eleusis. He took part in battles against the Persians, and his work reflects the historical moment exactly. His extant tragedies are: Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Furies, Persians, Seven Against Thebes, Prometheus Bound, and Suppliants.

522-486 BC • King Darius I of Persia organises an immense empire and makes it the mightiest power in the eastern Mediterranean.

522 BC • Birth of Pindar (522-443), perhaps the greatest lyric poet of Ancient Greece. He wrote odes in praise of various noteworthy persons such as Alexander I of Macedonia. He composed hymns, paeans, dithyrambs, eulogies, victory odes and other forms of poetry.

530-500 BC • The black-figure style reaches its pinnacle, exhausting all its technical potential. Athenian pottery painters of the age, influenced by the achievements of its great painting, including the more natural rendering of the human body and drapery, devised the red-figure style, the reverse of the black-figure.

Late 6th – early 5th century BC • The philosopher-poet Xenophanes of Colophon levels criticism at religious anthropomorphism and promotes monotheism.

515 BC • Birth of the philosopher Parmenides, founder of the Eleatic School in southern Italy. Regarded as the most original of the pre-Socratic thinkers, he did not seek the unity of the world in one natural substance, but in the "being" of things.

Γύρω στo 515 BC • Work began in Athens on a monumental Doric temple known as the Temple of Olympian Zeus, which was not completed. Much later, an attempt was made in 174 BC by Antiochus IV Epiphanes of Syria to continue the project; but it was not until 124/125 AD that the temple was completed by the emperor Hadrian.

514 BC • Hipparchos, son of Peisistratos, is assassinated in Athens during the Great Panathenaea. The Athenians honour the tyrannicides Harmodios and Aristogeiton with statues, works by the sculptor Antenor, which were erected in the Agora.

510 BC • Fall of Peisistratus’ second son Hippias.

After 510 BC • Construction begins on the Late Archaic Parthenon on the site of the archaic Parthenon. Only the gigantic foundation or stereobate was constructed, and the temple was never finished, owing to the invasion of the Persians in 490.

508/7 BC • The Alcmeonid Cleisthenes, as archon, introduced reforms and is regarded as the founder of the democratic system of government in Athens. He organised the population into 10 tribes, founded the Boule of 500, whose members were elected by lot from all the tribes, and installed the system of the prytaneia.

500-475 BC • Age of the MATURE ARCHAIC RED-FIGURE STYLE used by significant pottery painters, such as the Kleophrades Painter, the Berlin Painter, the Brygos Painter, Makron and Douris.

499 BC • One of the causes of the war between the Greeks and Persians was the uprising of the Greek cities of Asia Minor, Caria and Cyprus against Persian rule, known as the Ionian revolt, during which help was sought from Athens and Sparta, and given by Athens.

498 BC • The Ionians capture Sardis.

497/6 BC • Birth of the great tragic poet Sophocles, who was very popular among the Athenians owing to his political and religious activities. Sophocles wrote 123 tragedies, only seven of which are extant: Antigone, Electra, Trachinian Women, Oedipus the King, Ajax, Philoctetes, and Oedipus at Colonus. The focal point of Sophocles’ works is always the individual, who comes into an inevitable, tragic and guilty conflict with the order represented by the gods.

494 BC • The Spartan king Cleomenes I defeats the Argives at the battle of Sepeia, establishing Spartan possessions in the eastern Peloponnese.

493 BC • Themistocles becomes Archon of Athens. He created the Athenian navy and essentially transformed the city into the superpower of the time. He fortified it with the Long Wall, parts of which have been preserved to this day.

492 BC • Mardonios fights in Thrace and Macedonia to restore Persian sovereignty in these areas.

490 BC • Datis and Artaphernes wage war against Eretria and Athens by sea and destroy them. The Greeks defeat the numerically superior Persian forces at Marathon, thanks to Miltiades, the brilliant Athenian military leader, and to the bravery and self-sacrifice of the Athenians, the hoplites of Plataea and their liberated slaves who fought by their side.

490 BC • Birth of Phidias (490-430), one of the most famous sculptors in Greek antiquity, who supervised the large group of sculptors, stonemasons and architects who built the Parthenon. Among his best-known works were the colossal chryselephantine (gold and ivory) statues of Athena Parthenos in the Parthenon and of Zeus at Olympia.

490 BC • Birth of Pericles, the foremost Athenian politician in the Classical Period.

After 490 BC • On the gigantic stereobate of the late archaic Parthenon, construction began on another temple of Athena. It was the first marble temple in Athens, now known as the Pre-Parthenon. Before it was completed, the pre-Parthenon was destroyed by the Persians in 480, as were all the other monuments on the Acropolis.

488 BC (?) • Death of the Spartan king Cleomenes I who is succeeded by Leonidas.

487/86 BC • Reform of the political system in Athens. The archons are elected by lot and the authority of the strategoi increases.

487 BC • During the feast of the Great Dionysia, the first comedy is performed in Athens.

486 BC • Death of Darius I, king of the Persians, who is succeeded by his son Xerxes.

480 BC • Birth of Herodotus (480-430/2), historian and geographer, at Halicarnassus. Known as the father of history, Herodotus wrote about the Persian Wars, as well as about the various places he visited and people he met on his extensive travels.

480 BC • Birth of Protagoras at Abdera in Thrace, the greatest Sophist and one of the greatest philosophers of antiquity. The main component of his thought was that we know only what we perceive, not the thing perceived.

483 BC on • Xerxes prepares for an expedition to Greece.

482 BC • The Athenian fleet begins to be built, according to the plan of the strategos (commander or general) Themistocles.

480-450 BC • EARLY CLASSICAL PERIOD: Significant changes occur in art; this is the period of the Severe Style. Figures appear as serious, almost strict, and surfaces are as simplified as possible. The best-known sculptors are Kritios, Nesiotes, Pythagoras, Calamis and Myron.

480 BC (summer) • Significant confrontation between the Greeks and Persians in the battle of Thermopylae, where 300 Spartans, together with other Hellenes, fell heroically in the battle led by king Leonidas.

480 BC (autumn) • Athens is evacuated and the Persians capture and plunder the Acropolis and the entire city. The brilliant strategy of Themistocles and the resoluteness of the Greeks led to the defeat of the Persians at the naval battle of Salamis, and obliged the Persian king to return to Sardis humiliated.

479/78 BC • Mardonios invades Attica and completes the destruction wrought by Xerxes. In the battle, which took place in late August north of Plataea, the Persians were routed by the Spartan phalanx and Mardonios was killed. Cimon was elected strategos.

478 BC • Pausanias fights in Cyprus and at Byzantium.

478/77 BC • In the first 50 years that followed the victory of the Hellenes in the Persian Wars, Athens assumed a leading position by establishing a large confederacy known as the Delian League, uniting 300 cities. The League aimed to ensure continuous protection against the Persian threat, mainly in the cities of Ionia, the Hellespont and the Aegean Islands.

475-450 BC • EARLY FREE RED-FIGURE STYLE in pottery painting. A freer rendering of figures and compositions. Important artists include the Penthesilea Painter, the Pan Painter and the Niobid Painter.

472 BC • Pericles makes his first official appearance in the political life of Athens as the choregos (sponsor) of Aeschylus’ tragedy Persians.

470-456 BC • Construction of the temple of Zeus, the largest in the Peloponnese, at Olympia. The booty obtained by the Eleians from the Pisatans is dedicated in the sanctuary. Regarded as the perfect expression, the "Canon" of Doric temples. The sculptures on the pediments and relief metopes constitute representative examples of the sculpture of the Severe Style.

469 BC • Birth in Athens of Socrates, one of the greatest philosophers in ancient Greece, and indeed, in the entire world. He gave a new form to philosophy, focused on man and based on the knowledge of things. Socrates was the founder of Ethics and has exercised a significant influence on subsequent generations.

468 BC • The Persians marshal their army and fleet at Pamphylia aiming to move on Asia Minor and the Aegean. Cimon, leader of the Hellenic expedition with 300 allied triremes (200 Athenian) and 5000 hoplites (armed infantry), defeat the Persian forces after a battle at sea and on land, at the mouth of the river Eurymedon. Death of Aristides.

467 BC • Aeschylus’ tragedy Seven Against Thebes is performed.

465 BC • The Athenians decide to send 10,000 colonists, Athenians and allies, to Thrace to begin exploiting its natural resources. Thasos, seeing its interests threatened, rebelled. Cimon imposed order after a three-year siege.

465-455 BC • Outbreak of the 3rd Messenian War, with the Messenians once again rising up against the Spartans, who defeated them again and obliged many of them to seek refuge in Naupactus.

462 BC • Cimon fails in his operation against the rebellious helots of Sparta and is ostracised.

462/1 BC • Pericles assumes the leadership of Athens who, in collaboration with Ephialtes, son of Sophonides, and Archestratus, consolidated democracy by implementing significant reforms in the political system. Under his leadership, Athens becomes the dominant military, political and cultural power.

460 BC • Birth on Kos of Hippocrates, the physician who was the first to classify medical knowledge systematically and who attempted to treat diseases in a methodical way. Birth of the historian Thucydides, who became famous as the author of the History of the Peloponnesian War, which described the clash between Athens and Sparta (431-404).

460 BC • Famous battle at Oenoe in the Argolid in which the invincibility of the Spartans was refuted by the united Argives and Athenians.

460/459 BC • The Athenians go to war in Egypt and capture Memphis. Themistocles is exiled and dies.

459-445 BC • The spectacular increase of Athenian power inevitably leads it to clash with Sparta. The occasion was the alliance between Athens and Argos, which was at war with Sparta. The war that ensued became known as the First Peloponnesian War.

459 BC • Aegina is cut off by the Athenian forces. Birth of Lysias, one of the most famous orators of antiquity, in Syracuse. He wrote about 200 forensic speeches, thirty of which have been preserved, the most important being: Against Eratosthenes, In favour of the weak, Funeral Oration, Against Diogeitonas and others.

458 BC • Aeschylus’ trilogy the Orestia is performed.

457/56 BC • Zeugites (the class of Athenian citizens who were wealthy enough to own a team of oxen) acquire the right to be elected archon.

457 BC • The battle of Tanagra, the largest land battle between Hellenes to date, in which the Spartans and their allies were victorious.

456 BC • Surrender of Aegina. Defeat and siege of the Athenians and Egyptians on the islet of Prosoptin in the Nile by the Achaemenid Persian Megabyzus. Death of Aeschylus.

454 BC • The Delian League treasury is transferred from Delos to Athens.

451 BC • A five-year truce is declared between Athens and Sparta.

450-425 BC • HIGH CLASSICAL PERIOD in sculpture, which is characterised by unprecedented movement and liberated poses. Three sculptors led the way in the maturation of Classical art: Phidias of Athens, Myron of Eleutheres and Polyclitus of Argos.

450-420 BC • FREE STYLE in Attic red-figure pottery painting. The figures are rendered with greater unity, and more freely. Vases, especially lekythoi, are painted on a white ground. The Achilles painter, Polygnotos, the Cleophon painter, the Dinos painter and the Eretria painter.

450-440 BC • Construction of the temple of Poseidon at Sounion, one of the most important sanctuaries in Attica. The temple was decorated with sculpture. The frieze on the east side depicted the battle with the Centaurs, and the east pediment is believed to have portrayed the contest between Poseidon and Athena for possession of the Attic land.

450 BC • The Athenians defeat the Persians at Salamis in Cyprus. The first record of Roman law is written, the so-called Law of the Twelve Tablets.

449 BC • A peace treaty is concluded between the Athenians and the Persians, known as the Peace of Callias. Death of the Athenian general Cimon. Athens prohibits confederate cities from mining silver, thereby imposing its own coinage, weights and measures.

449 BC • The Temple of Hephaestus, the best-preserved building in the Athens Agora, is built on the hill of Agoraios Kolonos. It was dedicated to the worship of Hephaestus and Athena, and contained bronze statues of these deities.

Περ. 448 BC • Birth of the outstanding comic poet Aristophanes. His extant works include: Knights, Archanians, Thesmophoriazusae, Peace, Frogs, Lysistrata, Plutus, Birds, etc.

448 BC • The Athenians dominate Greek affairs and begin constructing brilliant sanctuaries and public buildings.

447-432 BC • Construction of the Parthenon, the most outstanding monument of ancient Hellenic civilisation, on the Athens Acropolis. It was dedicated to Athena Parthenos. In charge of the entire project was the celebrated sculptor Phidias, with architects Ictinus and Callicratis. Inside the temple, in the sekos, stood the chryselephantine statue of Athena, a work by Phidias. The temple was richly decorated with 92 metopes depicting the battles with the Giants, Amazons, Centaurs and Trojans. The famous frieze portrayed the procession of the Panathenaea Festival, the most important religious feast in ancient Athens.

446 BC • Pericles takes the initiative of convening a Panhellenic conference in Athens. The Athenians are defeated at Koroni Boeotia.

445 BC • A peace treaty is concluded between the Athenians and Spartans for thirty years.

444/43 BC • The colony of Thurii is founded in southern Italy.

442 BC • Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone is performed.

441-439 BC • Samos revolts, is besieged and captured by the Athenians.

Circa the 3rd quarter of the 5th century BC • The Argive sculptor Polyclitus writes the Canon, possibly the first professional literature about sculpture to express the idea of symmetry and the development of an ideal type for the human body.

438 BC • Euripides’ tragedy Alcestis is performed.

436 BC • Birth of the orator Isocrates who lived and wrote during the Peloponnesian War when the Athenian city-state entered a period of decline. He believed and proclaimed that a united Greece should go to war against its eternal adversary, the Persians.

435 BC • The Corinthians are defeated by the Corfiots in the naval battle of Leucimme. The event was one of the causes of the Peloponnesian War.

434 BC • Teaching of Anaxagoras. The mind is the key point of his philosophy.

432 BC • As part of the economic embargo against Megara, the Athenians ban Megaran ships from entering ports in cities of the Athenian confederacy. Potidaea is besieged by the Athenians.

431 BC • The first phase of the Peloponnesian War begins, the Archidamian war. Spartans first invade Attica under king Archidamus. Euripides’ tragedy Medea is performed.

430 BC • Athens is hit by the plague, Pericles is removed and the great sculptor Phidias dies.

429 BC • Potidaea surrenders. Pericles returns to power and dies.

428 BC • Lesbos revolts against Athens. Birth of Plato (428-347), the greatest post-Socratic philosopher, who in 387 founds his school that he called the Academy, and that operated continuously for some 1000 years. Plato distinguishes between the material and the immaterial world, the world of ideas. Known works of his include: Republic, Laws, Symposium, Protagoras, Apologia of Socrates, Gorgias etc.

427 BC • Lachis is dispatched with a fleet to Sicily. At about the same time, the famous Athenian historian and philosopher Xenophon is born, who was a soldier, mercenary and pupil of Socrates. His best-known work to have been preserved is the Anabasis, or Expedition of Cyrus.

425/4 BC • The greatest success of the Athenians in the first phase of the Peloponnesian War is their victory against the Peloponnesians in the Gulf of Pylos and on the island of Sphacteria.

425-380 BC • Period of the ornate style in sculpture. Strong and spectacular movements, garments that cling to the body, lavishly draped robes and mantles that ripple strongly in the wind. The most important names are those of: Agorakritos of Paros, Alkamenes of Lemnos, Kresilas of Kydonies, Callimachus, and early in the 4th cent., Kephisodotos and Timotheos.

425 BC • Aristophanes’ comedy Archanians is performed.

424 BC • Revision of the tax rolls of the Athenian hegemony by Cleon; Nicias’ capture of Kythera; Brasidas’ invasion of Amphipolis in Thrace; defeat of the Athenians by the Boeotians at Delium.

422 BC • Cleon and Brasidas die at Amphipolis.

421 BC • Athens and Sparta end the first phase of the Peloponnesian War by the fifty-year peace known as the Peace of Nicias. Aristophanes’ comedy Peace is performed.

420 BC • Defence agreement between the Athenians and Argos, Mantineia and Elis, election of Alcibiades to the office of strategos.

420-390 BC • Rich style in pottery painting. Light figures, dressed in ornately decorated, draped diaphanous clothing that clings to the body, in studied poses. The main representative of the style is the Meidias Painter. Also known are Zeuxis, the Pronomos painter, the Talus Painter and the Reed painter.

Γύρω στo 420 BC • Construction of the temple of Apollo at Bassae in Arcadia. It is the earliest well-preserved temple on which, for the first time, all three of the architectural orders of antiquity are represented: Doric, Ionic, Corinthian. The temple was also adorned by a relief marble frieze with scenes from the battles with the Amazons and the Centaurs.

418 BC • In the time intervening between the two periods of war, Sparta shows at the great battle of Mantineia (summer of 418), that it continues to be the dominant power in the Peloponnese: with the people of Tegea and the Arcadians of Mainalo as allies, it defeated the coalition of the Argives, Mantineians and Athenians.

417 BC • Nicias fights in Thrace.

416 BC • Melos is destroyed by the Athenians.

415-413 BC • Alcibiades is elected strategos (commander). The Athenian fleet departs under Nicias, with Lamachus and Alcibiades, for the Sicilian expedition, the failure of which proves decisive to the outcome of the Peloponnesian War. Euripides’ tragedy Trojan Women is performed.

414 BC • Opening of the second phase of the Peloponnesian War, known as the Decelean and Ionian War. Alcibiades seeks refuge in Sparta.

413 BC • Decelea is captured by the Spartans under Agis.

411 BC • The Sicilian disaster has implications for Athens, with the abolition of the republic and establishment of the oligarchy. The Athenians under Thrasybulus defeat.