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    History of Greece
    Chronology of Important Events

    Source: The Library of Congress Country Studies

    Period                   Description
    2600 B.C.                Early Minoan civilization produces
                             cultural artifacts, beginning 1400 years
                             of Minoan culture on Crete, including
                             introduction of alphabet.
    1400s-1300s B.C.         Mycenaean civilization reaches peak on
                             Greek mainland.
    1050-800 B.C.            Dark Age of Greece; earlier cultural
                             gains lost in period of stagnation and
    Ninth Century B.C.       Homer writes Odyssey and
                             Iliad, greatest epic poems of
                             Greek Classical literature.
    Eighth Century B.C.      Athens, Sparta, and other city-states
                             emerge and develop trade relations. 
    750-500 B.C.             Era of colonial expansion and cultural
                             diffusion into Italy, eastern
                             Mediterranean Sea, and Black Sea.
    490 B.C.                 Greeks defeat Persians at Marathon,
                             ending First Persian War.
    481-479 B.C.             After Persian occupation, Greek victories
                             at Salamis (naval) and Plataia (land) end
                             Persian threat permanently and cut
                             cultural ties with Near East.
    450s B.C.                Rule of Pericles begins golden age of
                             Athens, including masterpieces of
                             sculpture, architecture, dramaturgy, and
    421 B.C.                 First phase of Peloponnesian War (Athens
                             against Sparta) ends inconclusively after
                             ten years of fighting.
    404 B.C.                 Second phase of Peloponnesian War
                             concludes with Sparta's defeat of
                             Athenian navy, ending Athenian golden
    Fourth Century B.C.      City-states decline; Macedonian Empire
    336 B.C.                 Alexander the Great takes throne of
                             Macedonian Empire after assassination of
                             Philip II.
    323 B.C.                 Alexander dies after establishing largest
                             empire in history, reaching North Africa
                             and Afghanistan.
    ca. 300 B.C.             Fragmented Hellenistic kingdoms begin
                             struggle for power. 
    280 B.C.                 Pyrrhus of Epirus begins long series of
                             battles between Greeks and Romans,
                             including Greek participation in Punic
                             Wars on side of Carthage.
    86 B.C.                  Athens conquered by Rome.
    31 B.C.                  Mark Antony's defeat at Battle of Actium
                             brings final integration of Greece into
                             Roman Empire.
    31 B.C.-A.D.             180 Pax Romana, peaceful period of
                             cultural flowering and rise of Greeks
                             into empire's ruling elite.
    313                      In Edict of Milan, Emperor Constantine
                             establishes Roman Empire's toleration of
    364                      Roman Empire officially split into Latin
                             Roman (western) and Greek Byzantine
                             (eastern) empires.
    Fifth century            Greek Orthodox Christianity rises as
                             official religion of Byzantine Empire,
                             which dominates former Roman Empire after
                             fall of Rome; schism with Roman Catholic
                             Church deepens until final break in 1054.
    567-867                  Byzantine Empire declines and shrinks as
                             Slavic and Islamic groups expand from
                             West and East.
    867                      Macedonian Dynasty begins expansion,
                             cultural and economic growth, and
                             consolidation of Byzantine control in
    1071                     Period of decline peaks with Seljuk Turk
                             capture of Emperor Romanus IV.
    1204                     Fourth Crusade sacks Constantinople;
                             Greece divided into small units by
                             Western occupiers.
    1261-1453                Palaeologus Dynasty solidifies Byzantine
                             Empire, withstands increasing pressure
                             from Ottoman Turks.
    1453                     Ottoman Turks capture Constantinople,
                             ending Byzantine Empire; most of Greece
                             in Ottoman hands.
    1453-1821                Greece, except for Ionian Islands,
                             remains part of Ottoman Empire. 
    1821-32                  Under intellectual influence of the
                             Enlightenment and with intervention by
                             France and Britain, Greek War of
                             Independence liberates part of modern
    1828                     Ioannis Kapodistrias becomes first
                             president of fledgling Greece state.
    1829                     Treaty of Adrianople places Greek under
                             British, French, and Russian protection.
    1832                     Treaty of Constantinople places Greece
                             under British, French, and Russian
                             protection, defines its boundaries, and
                             names Otto of Wittgenstein ruler.
    1844                     First constitution establishes democratic
                             parliamentary government system, reducing
                             Otto's power.
    1854                     Britain and France prevent Greece from
                             taking Ottoman territory in Thrace and
                             Epirus, humiliating Otto.
    1862                     After series of coups, Otto forced to
    1864                     New constitution establishes powerful
                             parliament; Prince William of Denmark
                             named king as George I.
    1866                     First revolt on Crete against Ottoman
    1875                     George accepts principle of parliamentary
                             majority party forming government, ending
                             fractious minority administrations.
    1875                     Kharilaos Trikoupis becomes prime
                             minister, beginning quarter-century of
                             government domination by him and
                             ideological opposite Theodoros
    1881                     After Great Power pressure at 1878
                             Congress of Berlin, Ottoman Empire cedes
                             Thessaly and part of Epirus to Greece.
    1886                     Britain and France blockade Greece after
                             Deliyannis mobilizes troops to profit
                             from Serbian-Bulgarian conflict.
    1897                     Financial collapse ends with national
    1908                     Young Turks overthrow government in
                             Constantinople, beginning reform of
                             Turkish politics and society.
    1909                     Military coup at Goudi overthrows Greek
                             government; Eleutherios Venizelos chosen
                             to head new government.
    1912-13                  Balkan Wars add southern Epirus,
                             Macedonia, some Aegean Islands, and Crete
                             to Greek territory.
    1915                     Venizelos resigns over King Constantine's
                             failure to support Allies in World War I,
                             beginning constitutional crisis, the
                             National Schism.
    1917                     Constantine passes crown to his son
                             Alexander; Greek forces join Allies for
                             remainder of war.
    1920                     Treaty of Sèvres establishes Greek
                             enclave around Smyrna in Asia Minor.
    1922                     After disastrous military defeat in Asia
                             Minor, Smyrna is sacked and Greek forces
    1923                     Treat of Lausanne cedes all territory in
                             Asia Minor to Turkey; huge influx of
                             Greek refugees in exchange of ethnic
                             minorities between Greece and Turkey.
    1924-28                  Chaotic period of government coups ends;
                             second Venizelos golden age begins.
    1930                     World financial crisis initiates new
                             political and economic unrest in Greece.
    1932                     Venizelos resigns; National Schism
    1936-41                  Dictatorial regime of General Ioannis
    1941                     Nazi forces invade Greece; start of four
                             years of destructive occupation; National
                             Liberation Front founded as resistance
    1943                     Resistance splits; communist-dominated
                             EAM faction dominates further resistance
                             activity and forms government.
    1944                     Athens liberated; Greece assigned to
                             British sphere by agreement with Soviet
                             Union; communist insurgency leads to fall
                             of Papandreou government.
    1945                     Varkiza Agreement ends insurgency; White
                             Terror persecution of leftist resistance
    1946-49                  Civil War between communist Democratic
                             Army of Greece and government.
    1947                     Massive United States aid starts with
                             Truman Doctrine.
    1949                     Marshall Plan aids reconstruction period
                             of Greek economy and society following
                             World War II and Civil War.
    1950                     Martial law lifted; first civilian
                             elections held; two decades of economic
                             growth begin.
    1955                     Konstantinos Karamanlis named prime
                             minister, beginning eight-year regime;
                             violent terrorist campaign of National
                             Organization of Cypriot Fighters (EOKA)
                             begins against British occupation of
                             Cyprus and for union with Greece.
    1963                     Karamanlis's resignation begins period of
    1967                     US-friendly military junta takes power, begins seven-
                             year regime and period of international
                             isolation; King Constantine goes into
    1973                     University student uprisings and
                             radicalization of junta increase social
                             resistance to regime.
    1974                     Turkey invades Cyprus after a coup
                             attempt against Cypriot President
                             Makarios; military regime replaced by new
                             Karamanlis civilian government; voters
                             abolish monarchy; democratic institutions
    1975                     New constitution establishes republican
                             government; Communist Party of Greece
                             legalized; Turkish Federated State of
                             Cyprus declared.
    1981                     Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK)
                             ends postwar conservative control of
                             government, begins eight-year rule with
                             broad reform program under Andreas
                             Papandreou; Greece gains full membership
                             in European Community (EC).
    1986                     Constitutional amendments curtail
                             presidential power.
    1987                     Incident in Aegean Sea brings Greece and
                             Turkey to brink of armed conflict.
    1989                     Two elections yield stalemated coalition
                             governments after scandals undermine
                             PASOK support.
    1990 April               Konstantinos Mitsotakis's New Democracy
                             (ND) Party wins half of Assembly seats
                             and forms new government.
    1991 September           Declaration of sovereignty by the former
    			 Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia arouses 
                             nationalist outcry in Greece against 
                             possibility of EC recognition of country
                             under name Macedonia (a region of Greece); 
                             Greek campaign against recognition begins.
         December            Soviet Union dissolves, beginning
                             revision of Greece's national security
                             position and military doctrine.
    1992                     August Privatization of mass transit
                             brings general strike against Mitsotakis
                             government economic policies.
    1993                     March: EC adopts five-year economic reform
                             program for Greece.
         October             After austerity program and scandals
                             weaken ND, Papandreou again is elected
                             prime minister.
         November            Maastrict Treaty goes into effect,
                             creating new levels of cooperation in the
                             European Community and redisignating that
                             organization as the European Union (EU).

    NOTE: The information regarding Greece on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Greece Historical Setting information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Greece Historical Setting should be addressed to the Library of Congress.

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    Revised 04-Jul-02
    Copyright © 2001 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)