Ancient Greece

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Ancient Greece was a loose collection of Greek-speaking city-states centered on the Aegean Sea. The most famous of these city-states was Athens, because it was the center of the Athenian Empire (called the Delian League), and because it bred such keen minds and great artists as the philosopher Socrates, the historian Thucydides, and the playwright/poet Sophocles. Ancient Greece, and especially Athens, is credited with a host of innovations, so that it has often been described as the (or a) cradle of Western civilization. Democracy, in one form, arose there, and popularized especially by the great Athenian statesman Pericles. Philosophy, natural science, historiography, the theater, realism in the arts, and many other disciplines and arts had their origin in ancient Greece. Perhaps at the root of this remarkable civilization is what has sometimes been called the spirit of ancient Greece is often described--and admired--as being devoted to independent, critical rationality, the individual, and the creative drive to excel.

The Bronze Age and Earlier

The Dark Age

The Archaic Period

Classical Athens


The Persian Wars

The Peloponnesian War

The Fourth Century

Philip II of Macedon & Alexander the Great

The Hellenistic Kingdoms

Greece under the Romans