The Stone Age (up to about 3600 BC)
The oldest traces of human presence in Greece, possibly 400,000 years old, are fossil skull remains from a cave at Petralona in eastern Macedonia. Stone and bone implements of types characteristic of the Middle Levalloisia, the Moustéria and Late Paleolithic times have been found in other parts of Greece where groups of hunters camped (Asprochaliko and Kleidi in Epirus). The Mesolithic, the transitional period from the pure hunter and gatherer stage to the arable culture, can best be studied in the Franchthigrottan in southeastern Argolis, which was in use from older to younger Stone Age. From the seventh millennium BC the fully developed agricultural culture was spread throughout Greece, probably in connection with immigration from the east.
Villages with permanent residence are known through excavations in Macedonia (Nea Nikomedeia), in Crete (Knossos) and especially on the Thessalian plain in central Greece, where each village (Argissa, Sesklo, Dimini) formed a hill (Greek magoula). The Neolithic culture in To see more information other than history, please visit Abbreviationfinder to learn more about climate, population, government, and economy for the country of Greece. Thessaly is characterized by its ceramics, which are richly decorated, often with multicolored patterns. Towards the end of the period, metal began to be used.
The Bronze Age (c. 3600-1050 BC)
The Aegean Bronze Age shows great regional variations. A distinction is made between Minoan culture in Crete, Cycladic on the islands of the Aegean Sea, Helladisk on the Peloponnese and central mainland, and Macedonian in the north; each of these is divided into three main periods; the early, middle and late Bronze Age. The period system is constructed according to patterns of Egypt’s historical periods, which it also largely parallels (Old Kingdom = Early Aegean Bronze Age, etc.). The dates in the Aegean Bronze Age are traditionally based on synchronisms with Egyptian chronology, based on import items; these are now supplemented by the results of scientific dating methods (especially the carbon-14 method).
The transition to the Bronze Age is seen in many places as a crime in development: old settlements were abandoned and replaced by new ones. It cannot be ruled out that new population elements immigrated at this time, especially to Crete. The increased use of metal (especially copper) led to an intensification of trade in raw materials and thus of contacts over the sea, especially with the South-Palestinian coast and Egypt. Regional differences emerged early, when the Cycladic island world for the first time developed its own, distinctive culture, characterized by hard stylized women figures made of local marble, elegant stone vessels and so-called frying pans of terracotta with engraved décor, whose function is still unexplained.
In Crete, due to its location in even closer contact with the eastern Mediterranean, the foundation of the flourishing Minoan palace culture, the first high culture on European soil, was laid early. This had great influence on both the Cycladic and the Helladic sphere of culture, especially during the so-called Minoan thalassocracy (the mythical king Minos’ reign), i.e. the first century of the late Bronze Age (c. 1550–1450 BC). Check Digopaul.com for information about Greece.
On the mainland, the early Bronze Age, especially in its middle phase, was characterized by monumental buildings, so-called corridor houses (eg the “Tegelpannans house” in Lerna).
The development was broken by a series of disasters in the transition from the middle to the late phase (Early Hell II – III, c. 2500 BC), which was followed by new features in the material culture (new house types, new ceramics). This disaster horizon probably marks the immigration of the first Greek-speaking tribes into Greece. Thus began a process on the mainland that culminated in Mycenaean culture in the Late Bronze Age, named after the capital Mycenae in Argolis.
The last two centuries of the Bronze Age were marked by unrest, ruined castles and abandoned settlements, migrations within Greece, and emigration to the east (especially to Cyprus). Many of the characteristic features of Mycenaean culture, such as writing, monumental architecture, built shrines, murals and other arts, disappeared in order not to return until many centuries later.
- Countryaah: Check to see the location of Greece on the world map. Also covers major mountains, rivers and lakes in Greece.
The social system that emerged after the end of the Bronze Age became permanent; only the upheavals of Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages can be said to have brought about fundamental changes. However, it took a long time for the new conditions to stabilize, e.g. Inscriptions with the new alphabet first appeared about 725 BC. (compare Greek).
Actual history writing was first introduced in the 400s BC. with Herodotus and Thucydides. The sometimes very accurate figures of the year, especially before the Persian wars, should be regarded with some skepticism; Ancient Greece’s chronology is part of a fine-mesh Mediterranean network that is undergoing revision. An important complement to the ancient historians is inscription research, epigraphic. Archaeological excavations have radically expanded the knowledge of ancient Greece. From the 1970s, individual excavations have increasingly been supplemented by comprehensive studies and ancient memory inventories (compare survey). More important investigations include the German excavations at Olympia and at the Kerameikos burial ground in Athens, the French in Delphi and Delos as well as the American in Corinth and at the agora in Athens.
From the “Dark Centuries” to the colonization westward (c. 1050–700 BC)
Greece after the collapse of Mycenaean culture was characterized by population movements, an event usually referred to as “the first colonization”. Achaeans colonized Cyprus 1200–900 BC At the same time, their area on the Peloponnese was restricted to the peninsula inland. In the ancient core area of the Achaeans, Argolis, in Laconia, Messenia and parts of Elis and in the peninsula’s connecting region with Central Greece, the Corinthian and Megarian landscapes, Doric dialects came to dominate. The ancient phrase “the return of the Heraklids” has long been interpreted as “the Doric immigration”. A difficult factor in this context is that the dors seem impossible to trace in the archaeological material. At Peloponnese, indications suggest that the “Dorizing” was a lengthy and uneven process.
Dialectally, the Dor’s closest relatives were the northwest Greeks, who historically populated areas from Epirus to Elis in the Peloponnese. In Boiotia, Aiolian and Western Greek elements were mixed. The easiest explanation for these conditions is that the aiols were pushed east; It is also a good idea that aioles early settled Lesbos as well as areas on the northern part of the west coast of Asia Minor. The Ions historically populated Euboia, Attica and the Cyclades as well as the islands on the central part of the coast of Asia Minor (mainly Chios and Samos) and a large coastal area from Fokaia and Smyrna in the north to Miletos and Iasos in the south.
About 1050 BC developed in Athens the protogeometric decor style (compare geometric style). It can be seen as an expression of the stabilization of the situation in Attica. Important finds are Athens and Lefkandi on Euboia. The transition to the middle geometric age (ca. 850–830) coincides with indications of increased prosperity in Athens and Lefkandi: imports from Cyprus or the Levant occurred in both locations. From about 825, merchants from Greece were in Al Mina, a trading post at the mouth of the Orontes River in present-day Syria. The villages of Argolis began to develop into cities in the 8th century, the same happened in Corinth a little later. Strong population growth continued unabated throughout the 7th century.
At Euboia, Lefkandi expired; Eretria was founded 10 km east about 800, Chalkis probably shortly thereafter. While Athens and Corinth were still village conglomerates in the early 700s, the first great Temple of Herat was erected on Samos, a little later in Eretria the first Apollo temple. This indicates the emergence of real city states. The time around the mid-700s has been called “the Greek Renaissance”. Abroad, Athens’ influence stagnated, while new settlements arose in Attica. Wealthy tombs in Eleusis and other places suggest that social differentiation was increasing.
The need for a new country was now felt. At Euboia, a struggle began for the island’s only fertile area between the nobles of Chalkis and Eretria, the so-called Lelantine war. Because the contractors were also seafaring merchants with extensive contacts, their friends were also drawn into the conflict, as were their own colonies. Merchants from Euboia had belonged to the pioneers of the orient trade. Now, profit opportunities in the metal trade attracted euboic prospectors to the west, to waters that the Greeks had not used since the end of the Mycenaean era. They established about 770 BC a trading post on the island of Pithekoussai (present-day Ischia) off the Gulf of Naples. Thus began the “second colonization”, which extended from Spain to the Black Sea and from southern France to North Africa. The colonization culminated in the 600s but continued for a long time thereafter (cf.Magna Graecia).
Archaic period (ca. 700–490 BC)
The social and cultural changes formed the background to the emergence of the city state, po, lis. In Attica, the countryside was tied to Athens more firmly. There, the leaders of the noble families gathered, and actions against the neighboring states were led from there. The collective that developed sought to involve in its circle even remote areas. The creation of common cults was part of the process.
In Eleusis, the leading genera became Athenians and as such maintained the connection to the famous mysteries. The king of Athens (basileus) was replaced as commander in chief by a chosen noble leader; royal dignity was transformed into a priesthood with responsibility for cults and murder trials. The aristocratic government was gradually expanded with six judges and legal experts and a senior political chief (compare archont). A list of Athens’ archonets began to be kept 682 BC; The details of the development are hypothetical but the year can be assumed to give a lower time limit for the development to the unit state. Historian Thukydides termed this occurrence with the term synoikism (‘confluence’). In many places the development was similar: common state cults and civil servants elected from the elite of society, often a noble council, which over time came to consist of the departed civil servants.
From the village meetings emerged a new congregation whose influence was initially limited (compare democracy). The phenomenon of calling years after an eponymous official was also widespread. The idea probably came from Delphi, who had old contacts with the East; in Assyria, eponymy had been around for a long time. These parallel features put the great “all-Greek” shrines in focus.
At the temple of Zeus in Olympia, God was celebrated every four years with sports competitions (agonies). The Victory List, which dates back to 776 BC, gives an idea of the game’s development from local to international manifestation. At about the same time, Apollo’s sanctuary in Delphi began to gain fame. Its priesthood exercised control through an association of twelve “surrounding” tribes, amphitheaters. Apollo’s big party also took place every four years, but when the priestess, Pythia, gave the oracle response, Apollo also turned between the parties. From this the great importance of the sanctuary developed. The Isthmia, Nemea, Kalaureia and Dodona cultures also gradually achieved high status; usually, however, visitors came from neighboring states. None of the latter won nearly as much fame as Apollo’s sanctuary at Delos,
A leading state during the Archaic era was Corinth, whose oriental ceramics, architectural terracotta tiles and roof tiles succeeded in the export markets. During this heyday, Corinth was ruled by the Bacchadians, an aristocratic clan who exercised power through a family council. They must have ruled the city for ninety years, before 657 BC was overthrown by Kypselos, one of the first “tyrants” in Greece. Both Kypselos (died about 625 BC) and his son Periandros promoted international contacts, including with Lydien and Miletos. An important economic role was also played by Egina, the only state in the home country that had its own neighborhood in the trading town of Naukratis in Egypt. The merchants in Aegina were probably also the first in their home country to take up the Lydian-Ionic invention of minting coins, about 575 BC.
Tradition says that Kypselos was helped to power by King Feidon of Argos. Around 700 in Argos and Corinth, the decisive steps seem to have been taken towards the development of a heavy civilian infantry, so-called hops. The social conditions were rising prosperity and a population increase that created a rivalry over land, no longer between noble families but between states. In the tradition, Feidon is often called the tyrant, which indicates that he relied on groups other than the nobility: the negative tone of the word was created by the nobility having long dominated the formation of tradition. The effective hopping technique (compare falang) quickly spread and became a hallmark of Greek city states, which for a long time remained hard-to-overcome opponents of the local population in the colonized areas. Like all social phenomena, the interconnected system brought about new mental approaches, which here can only be briefly touched upon but which were fundamental: a tendency towards conformism within the “middle class”, an unrestrained small-state nationalism and a relentless competition, where only the victors were counted. War has now become an obvious, almost ritualized, intergovernmental phenomenon.
Argos power culminated under Feidon and his successors. The nearest states were subjugated and lost their independence, some destroyed. Feidon himself was murdered when he sought to gain control of Corinth. Argos was now a military leader in the Peloponnese, including Sparta was defeated in a hit at Hysiai 669 BC Soon, however, the balance of power began to shift to the advantage of the Spartans.
Sparta’s peculiar development created unique social institutions, which historians and political thinkers since the 400s BC. tried to analyze. There was a fundamental contradiction between the ruling citizens, the Spartiates, and the oppressed farmer population, the Helots. When Sparta stayed with two royal families, one can assume that two war bands joined together, divided the Lakonia into lotteries (kleroi) and forced surrounding villages to submit to their own decisions. The surrounding residents, the Periods, had internal control but were counted as belonging to Lakedaimon, the official name of the Spartan state. Population growth triggered a series of wars with Messenia in the 600s. The second (after 650 BC) gave the Spartans control over the landscape. Thus, Lakedaimon had more resources than any other state in Greece.
In the 500s, the narrow-minded militarism that characterized the later Sparta began to develop. Nevertheless, one of the leading Spartan statesmen at this time was the ephor Chilon, counted as one of Greece’s seven sages. He was probably one of the initiators of the negotiations with the neighboring states that led to the formation of a military alliance, the so-called Peloponnesian Alliance. Politicians of Chilon’s rank, combined with the military professionalism of the Spartans, made Lakedaimon so respected that even the foreign great power Lydien sought support from there. When Lydien was attacked by the Persians 546 BC however, the Spartans were preoccupied with war with Argos, which was defeated the same year. The final settlement came a generation later, when King Kleomenes circa 494 BC. destroyed the archival army at Sepeia near Tiryns.
Until the 540s, Jonien and the major islands on the coast of Asia Minor were the leaders in trade, as well as in cultural life. Foremost among the cities, Miletos, like its traditional enemy Samos, was ruled first by moderate oligarchs, later by one-rulers. Its economic strength was due to the trade between its many colonies, the Aegean area and the trading town of Naukratis in Egypt, which the Milesians considered their own. The Ionian cities were threatened by the Lydian kingdom. The lubrication was destroyed by the Lydians about 600, only Miletos retained his independent position. Eventually, however, the Ions and Lydians began to collaborate. The sonic king Kroisos became known as a Greek; he was a great donor of gifts to Delphi and supported the temple building in Ephesus which began about 570 with the clearly stated purpose of surpassing the Temple of Herat of Samos.
Then Lydien 546 BC conquered by the Persians favored for a time Samos, where the tyrant Polykrates had power. The aristocrats, including the philosopher Pythagoras, emigrated but many merchants, technicians and craftsmen had good times. However, the Persians soon eliminated Polykrates, Samos slipped into the Persian sphere, and the chief poets Anacreon and Simonides went to Athens.
Attica had a large smallholder population, many of whom in dependence on large property owners. There were also many craftsmen; the economic upturn made them significant. About 632 BC the nobleman Kylon made an attempt to establish a monarchy in Athens. The stepbrothers ruthlessly defeated the coup attempt under the leadership of the city’s richest family, the alcmaionids. The publication of laws against killings, attributed to Drakon, suggests dissatisfaction with the nobility regiment. However, these laws did not solve deeper problems; First Solon, Arkont 594, accelerated the development. Among Solon’s reforms was perhaps the most significant reduction of debt burdens: thus increased the right of self-determination for the lowest classes.
Peisistratos, leader of noble clans in eastern Attica, however, after several attempts to seize power in Athens around 546 BC He was followed by his death 527 by the sons of Hipparchos and Hippias. They had serious problems when their friends Polykrates on Samos and Lygdamis on Naxos disappeared from the arena. The Alkmaionids and other noble families fled. The repression increased since the murder of Hipparchos in 514 BC. After the attack by Kleomenes of Sparta, Hippia’s escape was forced to the Persians, with whom he had friends. Struggles now erupted between the noble leaders Isagoras and Kleisthenes. The latter sought to broaden his popular anchorage, Isagoras sought help from Kleomenes. However, the Peloponnesian allies refused to follow Sparta and Kleisthenes thus became Athens’ leading politician and major constitutional reformer. He was the daughter of a tyrant in Sikyon;
Persian Wars (490–479 BC)
When the Persian Great King Cyrus conquered Asia Minor 546 BC some Greek cities resisted, but most found themselves in the change. The Grand King added a satrap in the Lydian capital of Sardes and a lower governor of Daskyleion. About 512 BC Dareios I brought a big one here to Asia Minor; the goal was to expand the kingdom north of the Danube in the area of the Scythians. Not much came of this, but the Persians subdued the Thracians and advanced to Macedonia, where King Amyntas recognized himself as vassal.
Miletos had a semi-free position, the other coastal cities together paid 400 talents of silver a year in taxes. The heavy tribute, the Persians’ attachment to local tyrants, unemployment and limited opportunities for trade, since the Persians conquered Egypt in 525, triggered 499 BC. the so-called ionic revolt. Athens and Eretria sent ships for assistance. The crews participated in an attack on Sardes, which resulted in the demolition of the low city and the Anatolian mother goddess’s temple. However, the Satrap Artafernes held the acropolis and the Greeks soon retreated. Sardes’ fire contributed to the uprising spreading to Caria and Cyprus. Hard fighting was required before it could be fought, which happened when the great king’s Phoenician fleet met the ions at Lade 494. Miletos fell and the residents were deported to the Persian Gulf.
After a penalty expedition under Dareio’s son-in-law Mardonios 492 failed to reach Greece, a new fleet was sent through the Cyclades to Euboia in 490 BC. Eretria was taken in, and the Persians landed at the Marathon in northern Attica. To everyone’s surprise, however, the citizen army sent from Athens defeated and defeated their victorious opponents. The Persians retained control of the Cyclades and southern Euboia. Thus, the threat of war was not averted, only pushed to the future. The psychological effect, however, was invaluable to the new Athenian democracy, which survived the threat of both internal and external opponents.
The following decade in Athens became full of political settlements. The foremost tool in this regard was banishment, ostracism. The most skilled manipulator seems to have been the Arch Themistocles; it may have been he who enforced that the arcs should be chosen by drawing lots among the elective classes. This undermined the power privilege of the high-level circuits. When an unusually rich silver vein was discovered in Laurion’s mines 483 BC Themistocles pushed through that the funds would be used for modern three-rowers. Three years later, Athens had about 200 warships and was therefore by far the strongest naval power in Greece.
Spring 480 BC the new King Xerxes I led an attack against Greece with a large army and navy. Athens, Plataiai, Chalkis and Sparta with allies created a defense alliance. The oracle in Delphi sent a stream of defaulist divisions, the Thessalians were bent on resistance, Thebe was proprietary and Argos was against Sparta but did not dare openly take a stand for the Persians. Attempts were made to get help from the colonies in the west, but they too were exposed to an acute war threat; Proprietary Carthage had sent a large army here under Hamilkar to Sicily.
The Greeks’ first line of defense at Thermopyle, under the command of the Spartan King Leonidas, was demolished. Athens was taken and burned. During the ensuing naval battle at Salamis, the Allied Greek states prevailed under Themistocles. About the same time, the Scythiotic Greeks under Gelon defeated the Carthaginian invasion army at Himera. Xerxes was forced to return home but gave Mardonios the command of the great army who stayed in Greece. However, in the Battle of Plataiai the following year (479) the Persians were again defeated; this time they were led by the Spartan ruler Pausanias. The remnants of the Persian army retreated to Asia Minor, the allies managed to do their best. Despite pledges of revenge, Thebe escaped, since those responsible agreed to be extradited to Pausanias. At the same time, the Allies liberated Samos, after which they proceeded to Mykale. The remains of the Xerxes fleet, which lay there on land, were burned after a short battle, which triggered a new rise among the minority Greek cities.
High Class (479-430 BC)
After the Battle of Mykale, the Allied fleet sailed to Hellesponten and besieged Sestos; with its case the following spring ends the story of Herodotus. For the period 480–430 BC one must mainly build on the sketch that Thukydides gives in the first book of his work. The Athenians returned home and began rebuilding their ruined city. Great emphasis was placed on erecting walls around Athens and the port city of Piraeus. The following year (478), the Allies’ fleet occupied Byzantion. The Spartans withdrew from the naval war and the leadership passed to the Athenians.
Between these and the new allies liberated from Persia, the so-called first Attic sea association was established. The agreement was to contribute with ships or money. Athenian Aristides performed the valuation of the individual states’ contribution obligation; the total sum is said to have been 460 talents of silver. The federal treasury was kept in Apollo’s sanctuary at Delos, where the members council met. For Athens, investing in the fleet was of fundamental importance: the socially inferior rowers now became more important than the humpbacks who participated in the expeditions and forced a further development of democracy.
The Athenian strategist Kimon won about 466 BC a great victory over the Persians at Eurymedon in Pamphylia, which secured the naval control of the Aegean area. However, Athens’ activities in the Pangaion area of northern Greece triggered a crisis shortly thereafter. The residents of Thasos had old interests in Pangione’s gold mines and tried to break out of the covenant. After three years of siege, they surrendered, lost their fleet and became obliged to contribute. Kimon, who led the operations, now had many enemies and was ostracized for a while thereafter. Radical and anti-Spartan circles won the upper hand, but their leader Efialtes was assassinated in 461 BC
Expressions like “radical” do not mean that fixed party formation existed. Political activity was linked to family traditions and the leaders still belonged to well-known circles. In Athens, however, much wider stock than elsewhere had become accustomed to political argument. Efialtes must have enforced restrictions on the powers of the Areopag Court. As long as the examination of the officials was at Areopagen, these could count on a benevolent assessment. All ancient judges agree that popular power over the courts was a central element of developed democracy.
The foreign policy consequence of the events at the end of the 460s became the so-called First Peloponnesian War (c. 460-446 BC). Athens formed alliances with Argos and Megara. Corinth’s and Egina’s fleets were defeated and Egina was forced to capitulate. After great losses to the Persians in Egypt 454 and adversities in Central Greece, the Athenians changed course. The Federal Office was moved to Athens, where it was kept on the Acropolis under the protection of Athens; the goddess also received 1/60 of the contributions as a thank you. Kimon was recalled and a ceasefire was concluded with the Peloponnesians 451. That same year Kimon led a large expedition to Cyprus. He died there, but the Allied forces defeated the great king’s vassals at the city of Salamis. Negotiations, led by the Athenian side by Kimon’s brother-in-law Kallias, seem to have reached an agreement on respect for each other’s territory. At the same time, the war flared up in Greece. The Boiotians defeated the Athenians at Koroneia 447 and led Euboia to revolt, Megara broke out of the Maritime Federation and received support from Sparta. A peace of 30 years was thus struck between the Athenians and the Peloponnesians; it came to 431 BC
In the following years, the Athenians tightened their control over the allies: in rebellious cities, democratic forms of government were forced, Athenian citizens and reliable allies received special legal protection, colonies of Athenians were sent to strategic areas and Athenian coin, measure and weight systems were introduced into the federation. The radical politician Pericles, who played a prominent role after the death of Ephialte, enforced 447 that funds from the covenant should be used for the construction of the Parthenon Temple.
Pericles was re-elected year after year to the strategic mission and, with the support of reliable colleagues, dominated political life. Athens and Piraeus were characterized by strong population growth. Homeless foreigners, so-called toikers, were unable to obtain Athenian citizenship (both citizens of one citizen must be Athenian) but lacked legal protection. They had complete freedom of nutrition and contributed to Athens’ economic growth and to the cultural flourishing that made Athens great power famous. Foreign intellectuals who lived in Athens for a long time include Gorgias from Leontinoi, Protagoras from Abdera, Prodikos from Keos and Anaxagoras from Klazomenai. Athens itself was home to cultural personalities of world historical significance. Similar conditions did not prevail in the closed, traditional and conservative “mainland powers”.
The second half of the 400s was also one of the great times of ancient slavery. The reason was precisely the economic boom. Slaves were used partly as maids and boys in family farming or servants in households with pretensions, and partly in mining and craft production. Respectable people like Nikias made good profits from hiring slaves to the state treasurers in the mines. No one reflected on the justified in this; Aristotle, 100 years later, found that slavery is a natural law institution.
The aristocratic ideal formation advocated by Plato and Aristotle reverted to ancient traditions. It was believed that truly free men (kaloi k’agathoi ‘the beautiful and good’) should not work with their hands, except possibly with farming on their own farm. It is peculiar that this became ideal in Athens, with its masses of politically conscious craftsmen, short-term employed or unemployed. The awareness of the gaps between rich and poor free citizens seems to have been poorly articulated. The sculptor and philosopher Socrates’ circle of disciples consisted, for example. of aristocratic aristocrats with an element of political reactionaries. Likewise, one hears almost as little talk of women as slaves. Athens, like Sparta, was a prominent man’s society.
Thucydides characterized the second half of the 400s as an Athenian tyranny, and this was probably perceived by the so-called allies. Spartan propaganda took hold of the justified discontent: wars were waged to restore the freedom of the Hells. The question, however, was how this could be done with an opponent who totally mastered the sea. The decisive force measurement between Athens and Sparta became the protracted Peloponnesian war.
Peloponnesian War (430-403 BC)
The Spartan King Archidamos II led Peloponnesian invasions of Attica almost every year. They did not get the intended result; the rural population was evacuated to the Athens-Piraeus fortress complex where the Spartans did not reach them and where they could be supplied with imported grain. What could not be foreseen with the knowledge of the time was the epidemic that raged among the masses of masses 430–429; among the victims was Pericles. No leader after him got as much power. An interesting polarization gradually emerged: strategists like Nikias, with strong ties to the hoplite class, proved more prone to peace than folk leaders like Kleon, who represented the interests of the militant masses.
After alternating successes on both sides, Kleon and the Spartan General Brasidas fell at Amfipolis 422. When these two war advocates were gone, the peace endeavors were given leeway and the so-called Nikias peace was concluded. However, dissatisfaction among allies created problems for Sparta; both Corinthians and Booths pursued an independent policy. Argos allied 420 with Athens; before that it had allied itself with Mantineia in Arcadia and with Elis. After complicated negotiations and quarrels, 418 BC stood. a battle at Mantineia, where Sparta won and regained control of the allies. A prominent role in these events was played by the atheist Alkibiades.
Alkibiades advocated the expedition to Sicily sent by the Athenians in 415. Nikias must reluctantly take on the role of one of the leaders. The result of his pessimism and criticism was that the force was increased to over 130 warships and away 7,500 men. When Alkibiades 413 was forced into flight, another 75 ships were dispatched. The expedition became a disaster. The Athenian fleet was trapped in the large port of Syracuse and defeated. The troops tried to flee but were forced to surrender. The generals were executed and the prisoners sold as slaves.
The same year, the Spartans fortified an Athenian town near the Bootian border, Dekeleia. From there, Athenian peasants were attacked as they tried to farm their land, during the periods when the Peloponnesian chief was at home to farm. There were also so many mining slaves that the operation at Laurion practically ceased.
The Peloponnesian fleet, greatly strengthened by seafarers and financial support from Persia, now achieved success under the Spartans Kallikratidas and Lysandros. The final defeat of the Athenians came 405 BC in the Battle of Aigospotamos. The Athenian strategist Konon escaped with nine ships to Cyprus, the state courier ship Paralia escaped to Athens: the other ships were taken and the Athenian crewmen were killed.
Athens surrendered after the siege the following year. Its fortifications were torn down, its empire dissolved and an oligarchic junta, the so-called thirty tyrants, was appointed, under the leadership of Theramenes and Kritias. A wave of exiles pulled away, most to Thebe, who again marked their independence from Sparta. The removal of dissimilar thinking soon degenerated into a fright; democratically-minded citizens and especially metoics were murdered after shining processes. If this broke out conflict in the Thirty Circle and Kritias got the moderate Theramenes ejected and executed. With the support of Thebe, a small group of refugees under Thrasybulos crossed the border 403. They occupied a part of Piraeus, where Kritias fell into a killing. The oligarchs appealed to Lysandros, but the Spartan king Pausanias took the lead in a mediation campaign.
See also the Peloponnesian War.
Late Classical Time (403–323 BC)
In recognition of the help gained in the war against Athens, Sparta supported the Persian prince of Kyros dy’s rebellion against Brother Artaxerxes II. Cyrus recruited mercenaries in Greece, where there were now plenty of men accustomed to war and lacking livelihood. Year 401 BC Kyros marched against his brother with 10,000 Greek hoplites in his army. At Kunaxa north of Babylon, Cyrus himself fell, but the Greeks won on their part of the battlefield. They could, despite treason, assaults and punishments, retreat up the Tigris and through Armenia to Trapezunt on the Black Sea. From there they went to Jonien. One of their leaders was the historian Xenophon.
Kunaxa became a setback for Sparta: the winner Artaxerxes had every reason to take revenge. The satrap Tissafernes was sent to Sardis with orders to restore Persian supremacy. The Spartans defended the Greek cities for a couple of years. 396 BC defeated King Agesilaos II of Sparta Tissafernes and undertook looting all the way to Halys. However, he won no lasting success. When he returned home in 394, the situation had become serious, since a large Persian fleet under Farnabazos and the Athenian Konon secured Rhodes.
In Greece, the so-called Corinthian war had erupted. The outbreak of war was caused by an unsuccessful Spartan response to booth provocations. Lysandros fell at Haliartos, and King Pausanias, who arrived too late to rescue him, had to flee. The Booths, Athens, Corinth and Argos then formed a covenant with joint counsel in Corinth. The Peloponnesian army triumphed over the allies at Nemea, some time later also Agesilaos at Koroneia in Boiotia. At the same time, however, the Peloponnesian fleet had been destroyed at Knidos. The Spartan garrisons in Asia Minor and the islands were chased away. The Konon was able to return to Athens with Persian support, where the fortifications of Piraeus and the long walls were restored.
In the next few years, the Athenians made an attempt to restore their alliance system, including with states in Asia Minor. At the same time, they supported the Cypriot king Euagora’s rebellion against the great king. In this situation, Artaxerxes decided to support Sparta. In 387, the Spartan negotiator Antalkidas was able to return with a letter expressing the king’s opinion: the cities of Asia Minor should belong to him, as well as Klazomenai and Cyprus. Athens could retain Lemnos, Imbros and Skyros, other Greek cities would be autonomous. The Allies are reluctantly forced to accept the terms: Argos and Corinth must dissolve the close alliance they formed, the Thebanians are forced to dissolve the Boiotic Covenant. However, the Peloponnesian Union was considered to be an association of free states, and so Sparta could make itself a guarantor and executor of the peace provisions.
Olynthos on Chalkidike forced 381 by Sparta to dissolve the alliance with neighboring states that entered 404. Thus, conditions were created for Macedonia’s growth. On the way to Olynthos 382, a Spartan force attacked Thebe: a garrison was installed in the city’s Kadmeia castle, the Democrats fled and an oligarchic, prospartan government was installed. Agesillos approved of the assault, as he saw through his fingers as the Spartan garrison commander in Thespiai 378 made an attempt to take Piraeus. Thus, war became inevitable. The previous year, a couple of Athenian strategists had supported the Theban refugees who restored democracy in their hometown.
The Second Attic Sea Federation was successful under the skilled leaders Chabrias, Timotheos, Ifikrates and the organizer, speaker and finance expert Kallistratos. The Peloponnesian fleet was defeated at Naxos 376 and was thus out of the game. The Thebanians were able to slowly but surely restore their control over the fixed places of the landscape. The Boiotic Alliance Democratically Restored 375. Peace initiatives supported by the Grand King fell on the Spartans’ refusal to accept the Boiotic Alliance as a negotiating partner. At the Battle of Leuktra 371 BC killed 400 out of 700 participating spartiates, including King Kleombrotos. Leaders of the booths were thebanans Pelopidas and Epameinondas.
For Sparta, defeat was a disaster. Among its allies, unrest erupted immediately. Agesilaos tried to intervene, which led to the boycotts being called in for help. Epameinondas attacked Laconia with 30,000 men, including new allies from Central Greece and Peloponnese. Agesillos could not prevent the helots of Messenia from falling back and founding the city of Messene. 369 was Epameinondas again at Peloponnese; now founded an arcadian federal capital, Megalopolis. Corinth and the remaining Peloponnesian allies made separate peace with the Boots 366; the Peloponnesian covenant had ceased to exist. In the battle of Mantineia 362 BC, where the Athenians fought on Sparta’s side, Epameinondas fell. Previously, Pelopidas had died in Thessaly, and the Booths had now ceased to intervene outside their own territory.
An Illyrian invasion hit 360 BC Macedonia. The new king, Philip II, bought himself free from some of the attackers and was given time to reconstruct the army. Macedonia’s old peasant offering became a well-trodden force over the years, made professional through the king’s idyllic campaign. At the end of Philip’s reign, it was larger than any previous Greek here, about 20,000 men. Filip secured resources to keep the army in the field by 357 conquering Amphipolis. He controlled the mining area of Pangaion by occupying the Thasian colony of Krenides, which was expanded and renamed Filippi. Philip’s further expansion of power went through the conquest of the coastal cities of Pydna and Methone, all of Thessaly and Olynthos, which fell 348 before Athenian assistance arrived.
The old enemies Thebe and Athens, after the tireless work of the politician Demosthenes, concluded a covenant, supported by, among other things. Achaia, Corinth and Megara. The allies became 338 BC defeated in the Battle of Chaironeia. The Thebanians were forced to dissolve the Boiotic League and accept a Macedonian garrison. Athens dissolved the remains of the Maritime Union. At a meeting in Corinth, assisted by almost all states in Greece except Sparta, an alliance was formed with the aim of liberating the Greeks in Asia Minor from the Persians. Filip, who was chosen as the leader of the company, sent his General Parmenion to Mysia to begin operations.
Then Philip 336 BC murdered, his son Alexander immediately became king. His position as federal covenant lord was confirmed, but when he became preoccupied with fighting against the Illyrians in the north, the theban rebelled. Help was sent from Peloponnese and Athens. However, Alexander was quickly in place and stormed Thebe, who was destroyed.
In Alexander’s war against the Persian Empire, about 10,000 men from Greece participated, in addition to the fleet of 160 ships. The fleet was repatriated in 334, when Alexander conquered Miletos, the Allied troops since Persepolis was burned in 330 BC. By then a war had already been fought in Greece. Agis IIIof Sparta, 331 had called for rebellion. Most held on to the alliance, and Alexander’s regent Antipatros defeated Agis near Megalopolis. Agis had fought his war with over 10,000 mercenaries, hired for Persian gold. They were only part of the mass of rootless, fugitive men available. Many of them were now rented by Alexander himself, who used them in his army and later in the colonization of Bactria and Sogdiana. In the homeland, they posed a political danger, and 325 at the Olympic Games Alexander proclaimed that all the fugitives would be allowed to return.
In Athens, the statesman Lykurgos had repaired the state finances and restored the fleet. At his death 324, peace advocates such as Fokion could not prevent the war party under Demosthenes and Hypereides from doing a joint thing with rebellious Aitols and Thessalians. The Allies besieged Antipatros in the Lamia fortress in Thessaly, but already 322 the Athenian fleet was totally defeated at Amorgos. Shortly thereafter, Antipatros and Krateros defeated the Allies at Krannon. Athens made peace in late autumn; an oligarchic government under Fokion was installed, Demosthenes committed suicide in the country escape, Hypereides was executed. The Corinthian Covenant was dissolved.
Hellenistic Age (323–31 BC)
Alexander the Great’s successor, the Diocese, created changing conditions in Greece. The Seleucid rulers of Asia and the Egyptian ptolemies constantly sought to maintain the vital phalanx formations with soldiers enlisted in the Aegean area. These, as veterans, gained citizenship in the newly founded cities of the ancient Persian Empire.
When Antipatros died in 319, democracy in Athens was restored by his successor Polyperchon. Within a couple of years, however, Antipatro’s son Kassandros won power over Macedonia and Greece. His friend Demetrios of Faleron ruled Athens at the head of a moderate oligarchic regime. As early as 307, Demetrios was expelled from Athens by his name Demetrios I Poliorketes, who, after the battle of Ipsos 301, was able to retain control of essential parts of Greece with garrisons in Corinth, Piraeus, Chalkis and the 294-founded port city and the Demetrias fortress in Thessaly. He also became lord of Macedonia for a short time, but was soon expelled by Pyrrhos and Lysimachos.
A time of confusion followed Demetrios being captured by Seleukos, Lysimachos fallen, and Macedonia in 279 BC. invaded by Celtic tribes, Galatians. The Celts penetrated into Central Greece, but were driven away from Delphi. Demetrio’s son Antigonos Gonatas succeeded in 276 taking possession of Macedonia and Thessaly. The guarding of southern Greece handed Antigonos to Brother Crateros, who resided as Viceroy of Corinth. The Aitolian League (compare Aitolia) could then expand its sphere of influence in Central Greece. The Athenians, supported by Ptolemy II, Sparta and other Peloponnesian states, made a large-scale but unsuccessful attempt to expel the Macedonians in the so-called Chremonidian War 267–261. Thereafter, Athens no longer played any political role. The constitution remained democratic, but the radical democracy of the classical era was over.
When Krateros died 253 his son rebelled and proclaimed himself king. Antigonos Gonatas defeated him in Thessaly but Corinth and Chalkis were lost. Corinth joined the Achaean League, led by Aratos, for many years one of Greece’s leading statesmen. Following the death of Antigonos 240, Macedonia played no role in the Peloponnese. The successor Demetrios II fell in battle with the Illyrian Dardans and his cousin Antigonos III Doson took over the reign. In the 230s, the Achaeans gained new members such as Megalopolis and Argos. However, many cities in Arcadia adhered to the Aitolian covenant.
In Sparta, King Agis IV tried to carry out a general debt write-off, combined with a new redistribution of the earth, under stiff resistance from the Ephors and his colleague Leonidas. Land distribution was stopped and Agis was executed. Leonida’s own son and successor Kleomenes III, however, took up the plans. He conducted 227 BC a bargain; 4,000 new lots were provided with holders who had to undergo a modernized Spartan military training. With this here and with mercenaries paid for by Ptolemy III, he won great success against the Achaeans. A coalition of Achaeans and Macedonians defeated Kleomenes at Sellasia in 222 BC. The following year Antigonos Doson died. His seventeen-year-old successor Filip V could not effectively lead the coalition and allied with the illiterate leader Demetrios of Faros.
Then the Romans 230 BC intervening against lyrical piracy in the Adriatic, they acquired bases and allies in Greece. When their protégé Demetrios tried to spread, they threw him out. Philip intervened in his favor and struck a deal with Carthagin’s commander Hannibal in 215. Part of the Roman area of interest was occupied. The Romans were preoccupied with the Second Punic War and allied with the Aitols, who effectively kept Philip busy. The Aitols separated peace peace 206, the Romans the following year. Thus, Philip got free hands; both he and Antiochus IIIturned to Egypt. Philip occupied a number of Ptolemaic allies in Asia Minor. This triggered aid seeking embassies to Rome from, among other things. Pergamon, Rhodes and Athens, and the Romans declared Philip war. Consul Flamininus reached 197 BC a decision at Kynoskefalai in Thessaly. Philip gave up all his possessions in Greece, in Thrace and in Asia Minor. At the isthmic Games 196, Flamininus proclaimed, under enormous cheer, the freedom of Greece.
Peace was short lived. The Seleucid King of Antioch IIIhad occupied the Ptolemaic cities of Asia Minor and advanced all the way to Thrace. Several of the minority cities had been liberated from Macedonia through Rome and should, according to the proclamation in Isthmos, be free. Antiochos answered a Roman démarche with an application for alliance with Rome. Opportunities for compromise disappeared when the Aitols attracted Antioch to send one here to Greece in 192. The Romans conquered the Aitols in 189, Antiochos’ was defeated at Magnesia by Sipylos and forced into peace in Apameia 188 BC. to pay a huge war damages. The Romans took over Antiocho’s rights in Asia Minor and passed them on to allies; most of it to Pergamon, the main part of Karien to Rhodes. The open land became tributary, as did the colonies of the Seleucid kings.
Rome’s intervention had changed the political balance in Greece over the course of a little more than a decade: in the future it was forced to turn to the Senate in Rome. Freedom meant for the Greeks an obvious right to engage in intergovernmental politics; in Italy, on the other hand, politically prominent families had long since abandoned their activities in Rome: remaining in their hometowns was usually little more than pure municipal administration. These differences in attitudes partly explain the evolution of events over the next fifty years. At Philip’s death in 179, his son became King of Perseus: he continued the efforts of consolidation and tried to break Macedonia’s diplomatic isolation. Rome, however, provoked war; at Pydna, Perseus became 168 BC the battle of Consul Paullus. Macedonia, together with Epirus, became a Roman province.
Several of Rome’s allies had shown remarkable enthusiasm for the war against Perseus. Rhodes had even offered to mediate. Rome now returned Delos to Athens and a free port was established. As a result, much of the trade was pulled away from Rhodes, it ended up with Italian merchants who settled on Delos. The island became a major center for the slave trade; the customers were capital Roman strong men.
The Achaeans repeatedly came into conflict with Sparta, where various groups of exiles appealed to the Roman Senate. The Achaeans’ leading statesman, the Philopoim, drove the 188 friends of reform into Sparta, but already in 183 the city broke away and withdrew Messenia. The Philopoim were murdered. After him, Lykortas became the leader of the Achaean independence faction. However, the Romans won the hearing in the Senate and after the fall of Macedonia, a thousand opponents were deported to Italy, among them Lycorta’s son Polybios. As a result of the accident, he, like once Thucydides, became a historian.
Even under romance-friendly leadership, the Achaeans were in conflict with Sparta. The Romans partyed for the Spartans and drove the Achaeans to war. Consul Mummius defeated them, dissolved the Achaean covenant, and destroyed Corinth. The real background to these events was again the trading interests of the Italian major merchants and the belonging they could win in the Roman leadership. The same year as Corinth (146 BC), Carthage was destroyed.
With this, Greece had been brought into political silence: neither the Aitols, the Achaeans, the Acarnanians, the Booths, the Thessalians, or the few remaining individual city-states any longer engaged in any active foreign policy. Sparta, restored as a free state by the Romans 146, became for the future an upper-class small town, where, as in a historical museum, retained the military education of the past to the delight of tourists. Athens retained its leading cultural position. Its four schools of philosophy (Plato’s Academy, Aristotle’s Peripatetic School, Zenon from Kitions stoa, and Epikuros’ “garden”) attracted students. Greece’s lack of political freedom was indirectly in favor of Athens’ prestige: in the current, desolate conditions, the heyday of the nineteenth century was swept into a nostalgic shimmer.
The Roman administration of Greece was not infrequently equivalent to unrestrained looting. The Prosecutors collaborated with Italian tax collection companies, financiers and merchants who sought to monopolize the trade and who earned huge profits through lending for usury rates to indebted cities and individuals. The accumulated hatred came to an outbreak 88 BC, when King Mithridates VIof Pontos staged his first war against Rome. With few exceptions, the Greeks of Asia Minor joined him, as did several states in Greece, among them Athens. Roman ruler Sulla defeated Mithradates here in Thessaly, after which he succeeded in 86 BC. stormed and plundered Athens. Greece’s accidents continued during the final phase of the Roman Republic. Caesar defeated Pompey at Farsalos in Thessaly 48, the triumvirs of Antonius and Octavian beat Caesar’s killer Brutus and Cassius at Philippi in Macedonia 42 BC As an example of the conditions of the time, it may be enough to note that Cassius plundered Rhodes to raise money at the same time as his colleague Brutus totally destroyed Xanthos; in Greece itself, the defenders of this republic no longer had much to gain.
Roman Greece (31 BC – 395 AD)
The Battle of Actium made Octavian (later Augustus) lord of the Roman Empire. Greece, now the province of Achaia, became an area in its peaceful central region, about which the historians of the emperor have little to tell. The province is charged 27 BC during a proconsul that resided in the rebuilt Corinth. Crete, with Kyrene, was another Senate province. Macedonia, including the Illyrian areas around Epidamnos, obeyed an imperial legate in Thessaloniki. In Asia Minor became the Greek area, with big cities such as Ephesus, Smyrna and Pergamon, the province of Asia. Urbanization continued there on a large scale; although probably the rural population of Bithynia, Karien, Lydien, Lykien and Pamphylia continued to speak their old languages, the numerous cities in these areas were purely Greek.
Achaia, like most Roman provinces, contained districts with different legal status. Patras and Corinth were Roman veteran colonies; the citizens were thus also Roman citizens. Others were “free” allies to Rome, including Athens, Sparta and Nikopolis, from Nero’s time capital of Epirus. Finally, there were “ordinary” tribute-paying cities. The differences were significant, both in the legal field – old Athenian law thus applied in Attica – and in the tax technology. Over time, however, Roman citizenship was generously distributed and tax conditions harmonized. As all free residents of the empire received Roman citizenship 212 AD became Roman law general law. Latin’s influence thus increased strongly.
The empire was a long period of peace for Greece. It was not until the mid-20th century that Germanic raids broke through the Balkan border defenses. Heruls and Goths plundered Attica but were rejected at Athens in 267 (compare Dexippos). Peace was restored and owned 395. Peace and security, however, were not the same; the mountain areas’ bandits were expanded with escaped slaves, the poor had little better than in Hellenistic times and the transactions of the big landlords drove up land prices. Depopulation affected western Greece and Arcadia. Only Corinth, possibly also Athens, could compete with Asia’s major cities. Thessaly, Euboia, Bootia, Argolis and Laconia were all thriving agricultural provinces. Over time, however, the urban population declined and the large landlords moved out into the country.
The richest Greek of the empire was the senator and the literary Herod Atticus. With other stepbrothers he continued the old charity tradition. He not only built in his hometown Athens but also in Olympia, Delphi, Corinth and others. cities. So did foreigners, for whom Greece continued to be a kind of ideological fatherland. Emperor Hadrian was an Athenian archdiocese and took his obligations seriously. Tourism flourished and two of the most important works on Greek monuments and ancient history were added, namely “Geography” by Strabon and the tourist guide “Description of Greece” by Pausanias.
While “Hellenes” denoted the residents of the eastern half of the Empire during the early emperor era (as opposed to “Romans” in the West), the late Greeks called Christian Rhomaioi (“Roman”). The word hellenes then went on to denote those who held the traditions of the fathers. Of course, it is no coincidence that opposition to Christianity was particularly strong in Rome and Athens. When Greece in Late Antiquity was ruled by Roman aristocrats, it was also successful, until the upheavals of Theodosius I’s death 395. Athens remained a major learning center, however, until Emperor Justinian closed the schools of philosophy in 529 AD.
Byzantine times (395–1460)
At the division of the Roman Empire, Greece was counted as the eastern half of the kingdom, from which the Byzantine Empire emerged. Although Greece was occasionally ravaged by barbarians such as Goths and vandals, the Roman Reformed Roman state custom continued to work by Diocletian and Constantine. However, the church came to play an increasingly important role, while at the same time the paganism and the ancient way of life were pushed back. In the 600s, slaves began to settle in Greece, especially in the Peloponnese. Greece then entered a period of administrative decay, from which it only emerged when the so-called thematic system typical of the Byzantine Empire was introduced. Theme Hellaswas established about 695, and the slaves were gradually absorbed. During the 800s and 900s Greece was occasionally haunted by Bulgarians. At the same time, the Aegean islands and coasts were destroyed by Arabs, which occupied Crete from the 820s and plundered 904 Thessaloniki, Greece’s foremost city during the Byzantine era.
In 961 Crete was taken back, and two years later the Lavra monastery was founded in Athos. In the 11th century, when the famous mosaics in the monasteries of Dafni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni came, relative prosperity prevailed, but after that the Normans, who in the 11th century shattered Thebe, Corinth and Thessaloniki, became a threat. After the Fourth Crusade and the establishment of the Latin Empire in 1204, most of Greece became a “Frankish” sphere of interest, in which various gentlemen fought for power. Venice ruled large parts of the Aegean Archipelago, as did Crete and the Ionian Islands. At Peloponnese, in 1349, the Greek despot Morea was established with Mistra as the center. The Turkish conquest of the Balkans began in 1354 with the capture of Kallipolis (Gallipoli). After Mistra’s fall in 1460, the entire mainland was under Turkish sovereignty with the exception of a few Venetian support points.
The Turks (1460–1829)
The conquered population was divided according to their religion. All Christians, regardless of language, were counted as a nation, called Rum. The patriarch responded to the sultan for his followers of faith. The Orthodox Church thus became part of the Turkish state apparatus. At the same time, the church was the most important institution of Greek culture and education. All Christians paid a head tax (haraç). They were prohibited from carrying weapons and thus exempted from military service. Instead, a special tax (cizye) was levied.
Until the 18th century, some Christian peasant sons were chosen to become slaves of the Sultan. They were allowed to change religion and serve either in the civil administration of the Sultan (also on the highest post as a vesir) or in the army as Janits (Turks. Yeni çeri, ‘new troops’). Christian influencers were also recruited from the influential fanatics of Constantinople. as voyages (governors) over Moldova and Valakiet. After the Ottoman conquest, the land was distributed among other things. to cavalry (sipahi). They got it for life without inheritance, the so-called timer system. The subordinate Greek farmer, however, used the land with inheritance rights. As the cavalry, and thus the hourly system, diminished in importance, it was instead introduced into the present northern and central Greece major goods, çiftlik. The ownership was hereditary, and the peasants were driven out or forced into a form of life property.
As the population increased during the 16th century, the static production apparatus in Ottoman society could not meet the demand for goods, but was forced to import from Western Europe. The illegal export of wheat was then legalized by the Sultan. Together with the export of cotton and silk, the wheat financed the imports. The Greek merchants became middlemen in this trade.
After the Russian-Turkish wars towards the end of the 18th century, the Turks were forced to allow a Greek merchant fleet under the Russian flag. Until the French Revolution in 1789, wool, tobacco and raw cotton were exported from Thessaloniki to Marseille. On the other hand, exports from Peloponnese, mainly from raisins, went to Italy and the United Kingdom. When the Turkish Empire began to fail in the 18th century, the Greeks’ struggle for independence increased. In addition to the network of merchants abroad, who contributed to the formation of the Freedom Association Filikí Hetairía in Odessa in 1814, the fanariats and the church worked within the system. From the mountains, Greek freshmen, the so-called cliffs, made raids against the Turkish garrisons and the plain people. The Turks then set up bandages, which often consisted of former clefts, to fight the guerrillas. At the same time, the great powers saw especially after the Vienna Congress, with disapproval of any freedom movement that could upset the balance in Europe. Britain and France perceived the Russian wars against Turkey and Russia’s support for the Balkans as an attempt to dominate Southeastern Europe.
When the so-called Greek War of Independence finally broke out in 1821, therefore, despite the sympathies and volunteers among the Philhelians, it was not supported by the Christian superpowers. In a concerted campaign, the fanatical Alexander Ypsilantis started the uprising in Moldova, where it was quickly defeated. At Peloponnese, the battle began under Bishop Germanos in Patra on March 25, 1821 (now Greece’s National Day). There was no common goal for the degree of independence from the Turks you wanted to achieve. The Church still wanted to assert its authority. The islanders, traders and shipowners, especially at Hydra, wanted continued export and trade, but without Turkish tax and intervention. The Greek language and the church united. There was no idea of a state of its own, separate from other former Byzantine areas. The Freedom War therefore soon turned into a civil war. The situation was made even more difficult when the Turks deployed Ibrahim Pasha’s troops from Egypt in 1825. Only a Russian attack on Turkey and a reluctant British and French intervention saved the new state, which was recognized by the Ottoman Empire through the peace of Edirne in 1829.
State Building Time (1829-1922)
During the first period of independence, the country was led by Count Ioánnis Kapodistrias, who was elected President in 1827. Kapodistrias had previously been Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia. He sought, through diplomacy, to advance the interests of Greece. Parliament and government were dissolved, and the country was governed by a secretariat, the Panhellenion. During the centralized regime, the education and administration system was built up. The president was increasingly opposed to the traditional interest groups: the church leaders, the shipowners at Hydra, the landowners at Peloponnese, the cliffs, fanariats and the constitutional supporters. The Kapodistrias were murdered in 1831.
The London Conference in 1832 recognized the northern border of Greece from Arta just south of Volos. The 17-year-old Bavarian prince Otto was elected king of the country. With the help of German advisers, the country got a modern legal system. The street network and most of the public buildings in central Athens were built during Otto’s time. The king enjoyed a certain popularity, among other things. for their resistance to attempts to influence the British influence on Greek politics. He also survived a revolution in 1843, which was mostly directed at royal advisers.
In 1844 a new constitution was introduced with a two-chamber system. Otto was deposed in 1862, and the Danish prince William became king under the name of Georg I. In conjunction with the accession to the throne, Britain handed over the Ionian Islands, which had been kept since the Napoleonic Wars. A new constitution was introduced with universal suffrage for men to a single-chamber parliament. Democratically elected institutions were also introduced at local level. Gradually, a two-party system began to emerge. Parliamentarism was practiced from the mid-1870s, with an exchange of power between the Liberal Party of Charílaos Trikoúpi, who represented the urban trade and middle class, and Theódoros Deligianni’s national party, which was strongest among the landowners. Deligiannis was the hardest to push for the incorporation of the Greek territories that were still outside the state of Greece.
After an uprising in Crete 1866-68 against the Turks, the great powers forced a stricter control of the border between Greece and the Ottoman Empire. In conjunction with the Berlin Congress in 1878, Britain took over the protection of Cyprus, at the same time as Greece was promised a border revision. This was carried out in 1881, when Thessaly became Greek. However, after a failed war in 1897 with the Ottoman Empire on Crete, Greece was forced by the great powers to agree on border adjustments in favor of the Turks. Greece must also pay war damages under the supervision of a control commission.
After the Young Turks Revolution of 1908, Crete proclaimed its accession to Greece. The Cretan politician Eleuthérios Venizélos succeeded, through skilful treaty policy, one of the Christian Balkan states. In the Balkan war, Greece finally gained most of Macedonia, along with southern Epirus and Crete.
At the outbreak of the First World War, King Constantine I, who sympathized with Germany, wanted the country to be neutral, while Venizélos wanted to pursue an anti-friendly policy. Since the departure of Venizélos, a collaboration has begun with the central powers. Among other things, some border fortifications were handed over to Bulgaria. After the Athens government rejected a British offer for Cyprus upon entry into the war on the entente, Venizélos proclaimed a counter-government in Thessaloniki. At the same time, Athens and Piraeus were blocked by the Entent. King Constantine was forced, without abdication, to leave the country with his son Georg. His second son, Alexander, became a new regent. Greece entered the war on the side of the entente.
In the peace of Sevres in 1920, Greece was promised large areas around Constantinople and in Asia Minor at Turkey’s expense. After Alexander died and Venizelos lost the election, King Constantine returned. Encouraged by Britain, Greece had then begun a campaign against the Turks in Asia Minor. The war ended in a disaster in 1922, when the Turks captured Smyrna (Izmir). The king had to leave the country again. He was succeeded by his son Georg II. Military and political leaders were brought before national law, after which six of them were executed. Through the peace in Lausanne in 1923, Greece from Asia Minor received more than a million Christians, mostly Greek, refugees. At the same time, 350,000 Muslims were transferred from Macedonia to Turkey.
Democracy and Dictatorship (1923–74)
A large part of the refugees were installed in northern Greece. The Greek proportion of Macedonia’s population increased from 43 percent to 89 percent, and 40 percent of the land was redistributed, especially the çiftlik property. Of this, 80 percent went to the refugees. Through internationally funded embankment and excavation projects, an attempt was made to increase the availability of land. Already in 1928, 25 percent of the refugees worked in industry. They usually had a higher level of education and a greater political consciousness than the “host population”. Through the refugees’ enterprise, the textile industry grew strongly. In 1930, Athens-Piraeus had half of all industrial labor. With its own raw materials, Greece experienced the fastest growth in Europe (5.7 percent) in the manufacturing industry. Imports of machinery and materials into the industry were financed through the export of tobacco, which in 1926-30 accounted for 56 percent of the export value. Of the machine imports, 63 percent came from Germany, which is why exports were oriented to Central Europe. The depression in 1929 led, in part, to many emigrants returning, and also to Greece having difficulties with its loans. One third of the budget was used for central government debt.
The country’s crisis situation was also marked by recurring military coups. During the government negotiations between Venizélos and groups of moderate monarchists in 1923, promonarchic general Ioánnis Metaxas made a coup attempt. Although no direct relationship between the coup makers and Georg II could be proved the king had to leave the country. Republic was proclaimed in 1924, and Pavlos Koundouriotis was elected president. After a brief period of military dictatorship under General Theódoros Pangalos, the country was given a new constitution in 1927 with a two-chamber representation. Since Venizélos returned to power in 1928, the republic sought to gradually improve relations with neighboring countries. Yugoslavia had in 1923 been given a free zone in the port of Thessaloniki. A number of conferences between the Balkan countries sought to regulate issues concerning, among other things, war debts and minorities. The Balkan tent in 1934, which left Bulgaria outside, sought to deepen cooperation in the field of economics and defense policy. Domestic politics arose when the populist party under Panayiotis Tsaldaris took over in the House after the 1933 election, while Venizello’s liberals retained power in the Senate.
Following a failed coup in Venizello’s name, a referendum was held in 1935, which restored the monarchy, after which Georg II returned. The Liberals boycotted the next parliamentary election. After another election in 1936, the stalemate between populists and liberals with the Communists as wave masters remained. Georg II now appointed General Metaxas as Prime Minister. He was endowed by Parliament with special powers of power under the pretext of seeking a communist coup attempt in the context of a general strike. With the king’s consent, the so-called fourth-August dictatorship was introduced. Metaxas disbanded Parliament, restricted freedom of the press, banned unions, and eliminated Republican officers.
Following the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Britain guaranteed Greece’s borders. In 1940, Italy, which had already occupied Albania, sought, with an ultimatum, access to certain strategic points in Greece, but was met with rejection on 28 October. The dismissed Republican officers were recalled. In a difficult mountain war in the winter of 1940–41, the Greeks were able to push the Italians back into Albania. Germany was therefore forced to intervene in April 1941. Despite some British support for the Greeks, the whole country was occupied by the Axis powers Germany, Italy and Bulgaria. King Georg and the government fled via Crete to Egypt, where part of the Greek fleet also went. In September 1941, the resistance movement EAM was formed. In competition with EDES, which, like EAM, was supported by the Allies, it acquired through its army, ELAS, gradually controlling most of the countryside. In the liberated areas, local self-government was arranged with civilian activities, courts, theaters, factories etc. The consequences of the occupation of the Axis powers became very difficult. In the Athens-Piraeus area alone, in the winter of 1941–42, 100,000 people died of starvation.
Following the withdrawal of the Germans in 1944, ELAS was forced after bitter battles against the Royalist troops, the British Expeditionary Force and the so-called security battalions. in Athens, put down arms. The Varkiza agreement in February 1945 promised amnesty for political crimes, but many were nevertheless arrested. Others therefore chose to continue military resistance in the mountains, which marked the beginning of the so-called Greek Civil War (1946-49). The EAM definitely lost its political power when, due to disagreement between the front parties, the parliamentary elections were boycotted in 1946. In a referendum in September 1946, the monarchy was reinstated. Through the Truman Doctrine in 1947, the United States replaced Britain as the guardian of Greece. Extensive American economic and military support turned the Civil War into a victory for the government side in 1949. The losing side went into exile or camped. After ten years of war and with 700,000 Greeks as refugees in their own country, reconstruction work began.
In 1950 industrial production was at the 1938 level. Despite doubling until 1959, Greece’s manufacturing industry, which was well ahead of the other Balkan countries during the interwar period, was now at a lower level than these. Although some growth occurred in the agricultural sector, it was mainly tourism and commercial shipping that accounted for the increase. The US presence became permanent when the US gained Greek bases and Greece in 1951 at the same time as Turkey joined NATO. After a constitutional change in 1952, Alexandros Papagos, who was the government’s commander-in-chief in the civil war, was able to win the election with a newly formed party. His successor from 1955, Konstantin Karamanlis, dominated politics for a long period of years.
In 1963, Karamanlis became involved in a battle with the royal house, among other things. regarding the relationship with the United Kingdom. At the same time, opposition parties criticized the Queen’s management of the Refugee Fund, which bore her name. After the murder of MP Grigorios Lambrakis on the open street in Thessaloniki, Karamanlis resigned. In the elections that autumn, the newly formed Center Union won under Georgios Papandreou. After continued contradictions between the government and the royal house, Papandreou was forced to resign in 1965. The reform of the education system and the social sector had just begun.
After two years with various expedition ministries, a group of colonels took power on April 21, 1967. The coup itself was bloodied, but was followed by purges and imprisonment by supposed opponents. When King Constantine finally turned against the coup makers in December of that year, he was forced to flee the country. Through hard-fought price and wage control, the junta initially achieved strong economic growth, but a large deficit in the trade balance and increased inflation together with the oil crisis in 1973 continued the effects of economic expansion. After internal power struggles within the junta, Georgios Papadopoulos emerged as the sole dictator. He was ousted in 1973 by the head of the security police, Dimitris Ioannides, who hard-fought a student uprising in Athens in November 1973. The same year, the monarchy was abolished following a referendum, which was widely debated.
Republic (from 1974)
After the fall of the junta, Karamanlis returned from his self-elected exile. He founded New Democracy (ND), which won the following parliamentary elections. The abolition of the monarchy was established in a new referendum. Karamanlis was elected president in 1980 by a dissenting parliament. In 1981 Greece joined the EC (now the EU). During the 1981 parliamentary elections, New Democracy lost to PASOK under Andreas Papandreou. In domestic politics, Papandreou advocated a national reconciliation policy. The World War II resistance movement was recognized. Political refugees from the civil war were allowed to return. Some social reforms were implemented. PASOK’s demands for nationalization of large parts of the industry, closure of US bases (NATO) and suspension of EU membership were diminished. In addition to the dispute over Cyprus, the conflict with Turkey also included oil deposits,
At the 1985 elections, PASOK again gained its own but weakened majority in parliament. After protests against cuts in the public sector and some political scandals, Papandreou was forced to resign in 1989. PASOK then lost the following elections, but only in 1990 did New Democracy gain its own majority in Parliament. The new government had to focus on curbing government spending and strong inflation. The measures led to widespread protests, and when the government was hit by several corruption scandals, the road was opened for PASOK to form government after victory in the 1993 elections. Large investments were made to reduce high unemployment. Infrastructure efforts, support to the tourism industry and an inefficient public sector led to a rapid increase in government debt.
Greece in the 21st century
Greece did not meet the requirements to join the first group of euro countries, but had to wait until 2001. The traditionally frosty relations with Turkey changed after 1999 after both countries suffered natural disasters and offered each other assistance. The relations have subsequently continued to be relatively good. During the first year of the 1990s, the world’s interest was directed towards Greece before and in connection with the 2004 Olympic Games. These received good reviews, but were followed by corruption deals and criticism of the government for shortcomings in economic policy. In the 2004 elections, New democracy won. For a few years in the mid-00s, the economic situation improved, but unemployment was still high.
The world economic crisis 2008 hit hard on Greece, partly because of its great dependence on tourism. The government’s attempt to deal with the effects of the crisis led to strikes and general social unrest. Even in the rest of the world, concerns about the development increased. The budget deficit increased sharply and thus the concern for economic collapse. At the same time, criticism of how Greece handled the migration from Asia grew so strongly that the EU border security authority FRONTEX had to be called in.
PASOK won the election in 2009 and Giorgos Papandreo (third generation Papandreo) became prime minister. The Greek crisis was now a fact and the country was offered a rescue package with loans from the IMF and euro area countries. The demands of the PASOK government to get the loans were tough and have led to decisions on raising the retirement age, raising taxes, lowering wages and cuts in the public sector. The government’s measures were supported in Parliament, but led to very extensive and violent demonstrations, which were also directed at foreign interests in the country.
Greece and the euro crisis
The seriousness of the situation in the Greek economy was only revealed when it was revealed that Greece presented its financial statistics in a clearly misleading way, thus concealing a rapidly rising government debt. In order to create stability in the financial market, in May 2010, the euro area finance ministers, together with the International Monetary Fund, decided to lend money to Greece so that the debts could be paid. The condition for the loan was that Greece would implement more and more powerful remediation measures on the state’s economy.
However, the situation for the Greek government finances deteriorated further in the first half of 2011 and debts increased sharply. The credit rating agencies on several occasions lowered the country’s status to new bottom levels. As a result, interest rates on the country’s loans were pushed up, which weakened Greece’s ability to pay even more. The crisis in Greece had developed into a crisis of confidence in the euro as currency and euro cooperation. The International Troika: The European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) therefore prepared additional rescue packages. The counterclaim was that Greece would privatize more of its state-owned operations and implement greater tightening of the state budget, including increased taxes, lower wages and redundancies in the public sector.
As a result of a massive crisis of confidence, both popular and international, Prime Minister Papandreou announced his resignation in November 2011.
The crisis in the Greek economy deepened, despite new emergency loans and attempts to reform the tax system and public administration. Following an early parliamentary election in June 2012, high hopes were set for the coalition government formed by the major parties New Democracy and PASOK, together with the left-wing party DIMAR. However, the government’s attempt to implement austerity packages, which included reduced minimum wages, fewer public sector employees, reduced pensions and privatizations of state-owned companies, met with increasingly violent protests and the economic situation worsened.
In a situation where the Greek economy has shrunk by 25 percent since 2009, wages have been reduced by 20-25 per cent, pensions have been cut sharply and unemployment exceeded 25 percent, in autumn 2014 the government was forced to announce a new early parliamentary election. In this election, held in January 2015, the large, old parties lost ND and PASOK, and the left party Syriza became the largest party and its leader Alexis Tsipras formed government together with the right-wing party ANEL. Syriza had opted for a program that severely criticized the previous government’s austerity policy and the party felt that the Greek people would refuse to submit to the loan terms set by the IMF and the EU.
In the spring of 2015, a series of negotiations were held between the Greek government and international lenders, but these did not result in any relief for Greece. Only by means of concrete measures to address structural problems in the Greek economy and the state apparatus could further financial support measures be discussed.
The crisis became acute during the summer of 2015 when the Greek government debt exceeded EUR 325 billion and the country was forced to suspend the payment on a large international loan. As a most desperate measure, a referendum was announced in June in which voters would say yes or no to the loan terms set by the foreign lenders for a new emergency loan. The government represented the no side, while several opposition parties argued for a yes. Nejsidan received support from 61 percent of the voters, which was interpreted as support for a tough line of government in the negotiations.
For many Greek voters, therefore, it came as a surprise that Prime Minister Tsipras nevertheless accepted the terms of a new emergency loan of € 86 billion. The popular protests became strong. Even within the ruling party, criticism of Tsipra was fierce. As a result, the government resigned and another new election was announced until September 2015. The election results showed that Alexis Tsipras, after all, had managed to retain strong support among voters; Syriza once again became the largest party and formed a new government together with ANEL.
In the context of the so-called refugee crisis in 2015, almost half a million people, according to the EU, migrated to Greece from Turkey in the last quarter of 2015. Many wanted to continue north, but when other countries began to close their borders, many remained. In 2016, an agreement was signed that allowed the EU to send migrants back to Turkey, for compensation. The EU also decided that Greece would receive millions of euros in aid to cope with the situation. But the agreement worked poorly and in the autumn there were still close to 60,000 refugees in temporary camps or reception facilities in Greece, often in very difficult conditions. Compare EU-Turkey agreement.
Greece’s strained economy recovered in 2017. Proof that the Greek economy is on the right track was given in September when the EU removed the country from the list of countries with a deficit in excess of 3 percent of GDP. The emergency loan rescue program was completed in 2018. Since 2010, € 289 billion had been paid to the Greeks in emergency loans.
Several refugee tragedies took place during 2018 on the Aegean Sea. In March, at least 16 people, six of them children, drowned when their smuggling boat crashed off the island of Agathonisi south of Samos. Greek right-wing extremists in April attacked a group of migrants on the island of Lesbos since 200 Afghan asylum seekers conducted a sit-down protest against the difficult living conditions that over 6,500 migrants are living on the island.
Human rights organizations warned in 2020 of increased xenophobia and racism in Greece to which asylum-seeking people continued to apply, especially after Turkey’s opening of the border with Greece at the beginning of the year. The decision enabled a road into Europe, a union that has become a symbol of security and security. Greek border guards met migrants with tear gas and accused them of illegally trying to enter the country.
A decision on new future welfare tensions aimed at obtaining new support loans was made in 2017, but only after the proposal caused violent demonstrations in Athens. Although the Greek economy began to turn upward again at the end of 2016, while record high unemployment began to decline, Syriza lost power in the elections held in July 2019. New democracy led by Kyriakos Mitsotakis gained its own majority in Parliament after promises of tax cuts and a more business friendly policies. The Tsipras government, in many camps, dismissed the 2018 decision to recognize neighboring Macedonia under the new name Northern Macedonia probably played a certain role in the election results; ND was one of the parties that voted against the proposal.
In March 2020, the country’s first female president was sworn in, Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou. She succeeded Prokopis Pavlopoulos (born 1950).
|about 400,000 BC||Early hominids (homo erectus?) In Petralona.|
|40,000-6500||Paleolithic and Mesolithic settlements in Greece (Asprochaliko, Kleidi, Franchthi cave).|
|6500-3600||Neolithic settlements throughout Greece (Nea Nikomedeia, Sesklo, Dimini, Lerna, Saliagos, Knossos).|
|about 3600||Transition to the Bronze Age.|
|2500||Probable immigration of Greek-speaking tribes on the mainland.|
|1550-1450||The highlight of Minoan culture.|
|1400-1200||Mycenaean culture dominates central Greece and Peloponnese.|
|1200-1050||The collapse of Mycenaean culture.|
|The palace and writing culture is disappearing.|
|1050-800||The Achaeans colonize Cyprus. The Dorians dominate the Peloponnese and Ionian and Aiolian settlements are founded in Asia Minor.|
|the 700s||Chalkis and Eretria on Euboia are now prominent commercial cities and colonial founders. The police state begins to emerge.|
|776||Introduction to the list of Olympic winners.|
|770||Pithekoussai (Ischia) in Italy is founded by Greeks from Euboia.|
|The so-called second colonization begins along the Mediterranean and Black Sea coasts.|
|682||A list of archonets is beginning to be kept in Athens, suggesting the introduction of non-monarchical forms of government.|
|657||Kypselos tyrant in Corinth.|
|650-640||Sparta wins the Second Messenian War and becomes a significant state.|
|600||Massalia (Marseille) is founded by Greeks from Fokaia.|
|594/593||Solon arkont in Athens.|
|546||Peisistratos rules in Athens. The Persians conquer Lydia and the Greek cities of Asia Minor.|
|508/507||Kleisthenes reform work begins in Athens.|
|499-494||The Ionian Revolt against the Persians in Asia Minor.|
|490||A Persian punishment expedition takes Eretria but is defeated at the Marathon.|
|480||The Persian army invades Greece in the summer. The battles at Thermopyle and Artemision are fought. In the autumn the battle of Salamis and Himera.|
|479||The Greeks win at Plataiai and Mykale.|
|478/477||The first Attic Maritime Association is formed.|
|455/454||Athens reaches the height of its influence in Greece, the Maritime Confederation’s cash is moved from Delos to Athens.|
|449||Kallias Peace, between the Maritime Federation and Persia.|
|447||The Athenians lose the battle of Koroneia. The Boiotic League is formed.|
|431-421||The Peloponnesian War between the power blocks of Sparta and Athens begins with the so-called Aridamic War.|
|422||Kleon and Brasidas fall at Amphipolis.|
|421-414||Peace of Nikias, between Athens and Sparta.|
|415-413||Athenian expedition to Sicily.|
|414-404||The second phase of the Peloponnesian War, the so-called Deceleian War.|
|405||Battle of Aigospotamoi. Athens capitulates the following year.|
|401||Battle of Kunaxa. The tens of thousands of retreats.|
|386||The so-called antalkid peace (or king peace) between Sparta, Athens and the Persian Empire.|
|379||Thebe is freed from Spartan occupation. Sparta dissolves the Chalcidic League in Olynthos. Athens founded the second sea association the following year.|
|371||Thebes victory over Sparta at Leuktra destroys Sparta’s ambition to dominate Greece.|
|362||Epameinondas falls by Mantineia.|
|348||Philip II of Macedonia takes Olynthos.|
|338||Philip wins at Chaironeia and unites the Greek city-states in order to liberate Asia Minor from Persian rule.|
|334-328||Philip’s son Alexander conquers the Persian Empire.|
|323||Alexander the Great dies in Babylon. His successors (the Diocese) split the conquered area.|
|306–304 BC||Antigonos (Asia Minor), Ptolemy (Egypt) and Seleukos (Asia) were the first Hellenistic kings.|
|297-272||Pyrrhus, king of Epirus.|
|281||The Achaean Covenant is founded.|
|279||Macedonia and Greece are invaded by Celtic tribes (Galatians).|
|267-262||The Greek city-states lose the so-called Chremonidian war against Macedonia.|
|251-231||Aratos of Sikyon leads the Achaean covenant.|
|221||Philip V of Macedonia.|
|214-205||The first war between Macedonia and Rome.|
|200-197||The Second Macedonian War.|
|196||The Roman Consul Flamininus proclaims the freedom of the Greek city-states at the isthmic games.|
|171-167||The Third Macedonian War. After the Battle of Pydna (167) Macedonia becomes Roman province.|
|148||Consul Mummius loots and destroys Corinth.|
|88-85||Mithridates VI of Pontos for war against Rome. Roman warlord Sulla loots Athens and Delphi.|
|66-63||Pompey defeats Mithradates. Crete becomes a Roman province.|
|48||Caesar defeats Pompey at Farsalos in Thessaly.|
|42||Caesar’s killer is defeated by Antony and Octavian at Philippi.|
|31||Octavian defeats Antony in the battle of Actium. Greece becomes a Roman province (Achaia) 27 BC|
|143 AD||Herod Atticus Roman Consul.|
|267||The Heruls invade Greece, but fight back.|
|395||At the division of the Roman Empire, Greece is placed under the Eastern national government in Constantinople.|
|529||The schools of philosophy in Athens are closed.|
|after about 600||Slaves begin to settle in Greece.|
|about 695||The theme Hellas is established.|
|820s-961||Crete possessed by Arabs, from there hardening the Aegean islands and coasts.|
|1204||The Frankish Principality is established on Greek soil.|
|1204-1669||Crete under Venice.|
|1349||The despot Morea with its seat in Mistra is formed.|
|1354||The Turks’ conquest of the Balkans begins.|
|1386-1797||Corfu under Venice.|
|1460||Mistra surrenders to the Turks.|
|1460-1829||Greece is part of the Ottoman Empire.|
|1814||The Freedom Association Filiki Hetairia is formed.|
|1821-29||Freedom war against the Turks.|
|1832||Greece becomes an independent monarchy.|
|1881||Thessaly becomes Greek.|
|1896||The first modern Olympic Games are held in Athens.|
|1913||Macedonia, southeastern Epirus and Crete are Greek.|
|1917||Greece enters the First World War on the side of the entente.|
|1920-22||War between Greece and Turkey.|
|1923||Peace in Lausanne; refugees from Asia Minor.|
|1924||Greece becomes a republic.|
|1935||After the referendum, Greece again becomes a monarchy.|
|1940||Italy attacks Greece.|
|1941-44||Greece occupied by Germany, Italy and Bulgaria.|
|1951||Greece joins NATO.|
|1967-74||The military junta rules Greece.|
|1973||Juntan abolishes the monarchy.|
|1974||Cyprus crisis; junta falls. Karamanlis becomes prime minister.|
|1979||Greece becomes a member of the EC.|
|1981||Georgios Papandreou becomes Greece’s first socialist prime minister (1981–89, 1993–96).|
|2002||The currency drachma is replaced by the euro.|
|2004||Olympic Games are held in Athens.|
|2010||The euro area finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund decide on a money loan to Greece to settle the financial crisis. The conditions cause great political fragmentation in the following years.|
|2011||Prime Minister Giorgio’s Papandreou resigns following a crisis of confidence in the wake of the financial crisis.|
|2015||Syriza forms the first government since 1974 without New Democracy or PASOK; Alexis Tsipras becomes the country’s youngest prime minister in modern times.|
|2020||Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou becomes the country’s first female president.|