Early days in Greece
People have lived in what is now Greece’s territory for many centuries. As early as the Neolithic Age, there were farmers here who raised cattle and grew grain. Ancient Greece is also called the cradle of Europe because philosophers, scientists and poets did a lot here very early on.
The Minoans lived around 2500 BC. On the Greek island of Crete. With them one of the first advanced cultures in the world came into being. The Minoans are not the direct ancestors of the Greeks, but the earliest Greek culture of the Mycenaeans learned a lot from the Minoans. You can find out a lot more about it on the children’s time machine.
Mycenae and the Dorians
The first important culture in mainland Europe was the Mycenaean culture. It was created around 1600 BC. The city of Mycenae was its center. Around 1200 BC The Mycenaean culture was destroyed. It is not known why this culture perished.
It was followed by the Dorians, who from this point immigrated to Greece and spread over the islands of the Aegean Sea and the coasts of Asia Minor. It is believed that the Trojan War, reported by a poet named Homer, also took place at this time. You can find more about this poet and the Trojan War on the children’s time machine.
Incidentally, the Dorians are considered the ancestors of the Spartans. Around 900 BC BC Sparta was founded by the Dorians.
The archaic time
What followed is what is known as the Archaic Age. This lasted from about 800 to 500 BC. During this time the population in Greece grew and the Greeks founded many colonies in the Mediterranean area. The first city-states also emerged.
The Greeks took over the alphabet from the Phoenicians and thus created the forerunner for all other European alphabets.
The Greek classic
During the 5th century BC BC art and architecture flourished in Greece, a country located in Europe detailed by ezinereligion. The city-states of Athens and Sparta were particularly important. The Greeks successfully defended themselves against the Persians in the Persian Wars. The battle of Marathon, in which the Greeks defeated the Persians, became famous. The marathon is derived from this, by the way.
Alexander the Great
An important person in Greek history was Alexander the Great (from 336 BC to 323 BC), actually from Macedonia. Alexander defeated the Greeks and then set out to conquer the vast Persian Empire. He first defeated the Persians in Asia Minor, and then moved on with his army.
So he came as far as Egypt to found a city there that was named Alexandria after him. He moved further and further east to conquer other countries there. So Alexander finally penetrated as far as India, where the Persian Empire ended. The Indians were also defeated by Alexander.
However, then his soldiers were no longer interested in the arduous journeys. They resisted and in the end Alexander had to turn around. If you want to find out more about Alexander and his campaign, you can read about it on the children’s time machine.
From the Romans to the Byzantines
After Alexander’s death there were disputes among his successors. So the Romans were finally able to incorporate the many small states that made up Greece into their great empire. In 146 Greece came to the Roman Empire as the province of Macedonia.
However, the Greek influenced the Roman culture and lived on. But Greece’s political independence ended for the time being. In 395 the Roman Empire split up into western and eastern currents.
The Byzantine Empire developed from the Eastern Roman Empire, with Greece playing a very minor role here. In 330 AD the Roman emperor Constantine moved his capital to Constantinople. As a result, Christianity spread in Greece.
The Byzantine Empire existed until 1453. The Ottoman Empire followed. In 1453 Constantinople was conquered and Greece was under Turkish rule for almost 400 years. But the Greek Orthodox Church preserved Christianity and also the Greek language.
Greece becomes independent
Although Greece was under Ottoman rule for a long time, the language, culture and religion were preserved. This was possible because many farmers and smaller communities withdrew from the Turkish-dominated cities and cultivated their traditions apart from them. In these communities the voices calling for a Greek nation grew louder. The success of the French Revolution encouraged many in their striving for their own independent state.
The national groups, mainly supported by Greek business people, received support from many other countries. In 1821 a struggle for freedom against the occupiers began. With the support of France, Russia and Great Britain it was finally possible to push back the Ottoman Empire. In 1830 Greece became independent and declared a hereditary monarchy.
Greece as a kingdom
The new king of Greece Otto I ascended the throne in 1833. It wasn’t very popular, but it lasted almost three decades before it had to make way for the next king. He made Athens the new capital, and it still is today. The next king was the Dane George I as the new head of government in Greece. He turned the hereditary monarchy into a parliamentary monarchy. At this time, many European powers were fighting the Ottoman Empire, which gave Greece more conquered territories. This is how today’s state borders came about.