Top Ten Major Events in Greek History

Greece has a fascinating history. From its legendary mythology to its philosophical achievements, they were the model society. Greece would be the precursor for most other civilizations. It made groundbreaking achievements and great stands of morality. This list will go over major events in Greek history. Feel free to submit an item, comment, and/or remix. Just make sure it is actually pertaining to Greek history. I really hope you enjoy, because this list took forever to research just like the Roman list. Enjoy!
The Top Ten
1 The Age of Pericles

The Age of Pericles is debatably the most important period in world history. People often forget how crucial this time was. This era marked the beginning of democracy, known as The Assembly of the People. It was a time of economic and cultural prosperity, as well as great philosophical thinking, medical developments, and artistic achievements.

Without the Age of Pericles, would there be democracies as we know them today? Pericles was one of the best leaders in history because of his willingness to give power to the people and his great oratory skills. This era changed history forever. It was the first, and maybe the only, true democracy and one of the few nations to achieve true free speech. The Age of Pericles ended with the Plague of Athens.

2 The Greco-Persian Wars

The Greco-Persian Wars are among the more famous conflicts in history, marked by two invasions by the Persians. The first invasion was by King Darius. He invaded Greece and, while en route to Athens, was defeated at the famous Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C., nine years into the war. He then planned another invasion but died.

In 480 B.C., his son Xerxes took over and gathered one of the largest armies in history. Fortunately, Persian armor was weak, so while they were numerous, they were defeatable. This came to a head at the famous Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. Three hundred Spartans stood up to the massive horde, and while they almost won, they ultimately lost. This inspired the rest of Greece, and they turned the tide at the Battle of Salamis and decisively defeated the Persians at the Battle of Plataea.

The Greco-Persian Wars will always symbolize freedom prevailing over tyranny. It also stopped the Persians from taking over the entire world.

3 The Reign of Alexander the Great

The Reign of Alexander the Great united Greece into one kingdom and saw Greece reach its greatest size. After the death of his father, Philip II, in 336 B.C., Alexander took over the Macedonian Empire. He united the Greek city-states, something no one else had achieved, and led Greece in conquests in Asia. He was a great military leader and never lost a battle.

His reign as king, pharaoh, and lord of multiple regions brought riches and prosperity back home. He also founded the influential city of Alexandria. While I don't particularly like Alexander the Great, I respect his legacy as the man who unified Greece.

4 The Introduction of the Olympics

The Olympics were first introduced in Olympia, Greece, in 776 B.C. in devotion to the gods. It is a contest held every four years in various disciplines, from athletics to fighting. Along with the games, ritual sacrifices were performed.

Besides money and democracy, the Olympics might be the most lasting contribution from ancient Greece, as it still occurs every four years to this day. Well, obviously not this year because of COVID, but you know what I mean.

5 The Death of Alexander the Great

While Alexander's life brought prosperity, his death caused chaos. While in Babylon in 323 B.C., Alexander came under a horrible sickness. There are multiple theories about his death. The famous Roman/Greek historian Plutarch records that he got a bad fever after spending a full night and day drinking. Diodorus records that he died after drinking unmixed wine in honor of Heracles, with no mention of a fever. There is also the theory that Alexander was poisoned. Four ancient historians mention it, but only one supports it.

Nevertheless, the worst part is what happened as he died. Alexander had no immediate heir, which is odd considering his numerous relationships. When asked who would be his heir, he said, "to the strongest." This plunged Greece into chaos over who would succeed him. Greece would never fully recover.

6 The Peloponnesian War

The Peloponnesian War was a significant conflict between the two most powerful city-states in Greece: Athens and Sparta. Athens was in the middle of its golden age and touted many advancements that I will discuss in another item. Sparta had the strongest and debatably the best military in history. They were a killing machine.

Both Athens and Sparta had allies. The Spartans led the Peloponnesian League, and Athens led the Delian League. The war is generally divided into three segments. The first phase is the Archidamian War, in which Sparta launched multiple attacks on Attica, and Athens replied by dominating the sea from 431 to 421 B.C. This phase ended with the deaths of Cleon, the leader of Athens after Pericles, and Brasidas, a key Spartan general.

The second phase began after Athens decided to break the relative peace to invade Sicily, a Spartan ally, in 415 B.C. It ended in a horrible defeat for Athens. The third phase, from 413 to 404 B.C., was basically Athens attempting to rebuild, but Sparta ultimately destroyed them. Sparta ended the golden age of Athens, but ultimately it brought a new sense of unity to Greece.

7 The Trojan War

The Trojan War is very mythical, obviously. It is recounted in the legendary epics, The Iliad and The Odyssey. Troy was a real place, as confirmed through archaeology, and there was a real war. The war took place sometime between the 13th and 11th centuries B.C. It was fought between the Greeks and the Trojans. Beyond that, it is debatable what is true and what is not. It was a significant event in Greek history, but it ranks lower because we cannot confirm the accuracy of Homer's story.

Thank you for looking at this list. If you really liked it, feel free to comment, remix, or even share. Thanks!

8 The Bubonic Plague in Athens

The Bubonic Plague is what ended Greece's golden era. During the Peloponnesian War, Sparta laid siege to Athens and basically blockaded them. Due to no food being brought in and the city being overcrowded, the plague started. From 430 to 427 B.C., it killed Pericles and 75,000 to 100,000 other Athenians. This plague was devastating and harmed Athens for years to come.

9 Roman Occupation

In 146 B.C., after the Battle of Corinth, the quickly rising Roman Empire took over the Greek peninsula and secured it as a province. However, this did not lead to the fall of Greece. While it was occupied by Rome, the Romans appreciated Greek history and even helped rebuild their society. Corinth was made the capital of the region, and Athens was rebuilt into a city of philosophical thinking and learning.

10 The Introduction of Coin Currency

In the 6th or 5th century B.C., money was first made in Greece. The actual invention is shrouded in mystery. This is significant because it revolutionized trading. However, due to the lack of detailed information, I had to push it down a few spots.

The Contenders
11 The Greek War of Independence
12 The Fall of Constantinople
13 World War II
14 The Greco-Turkish Wars
15 The Balkan Wars
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