A Detailed Chronology of Greek History
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A Detailed Chronology of Greek History
The following chronology table of Greek history, is intended to be used as a tool for quick historical reference for both the novice and student of Greek culture. It is hoped that by using this tool it will whet the interest to research further into Greece's rich cultural heritage.

3000 to 1400BC Minoan Crete
1600 to 1100BC Mycenean Greeks; Bronze Age
1100 to 800BC Pre-classic period; Iron Age"Dark Ages"/Dorian Invasion
800 to 500BC Classical period
1100BC to 700AD Hellenic Civilization
284AD to 1453AD Byzantine Civilization
1453 to 1821 Ottoman Rule
1821 to 1945 Building of Greek nation
1920 to 1922 Graeco-Turkish War
1922 to 1945 Absorption of Asia Minor Refugees, World Depression & the German Occupation
1945 to 1950 Greek Civil War
1967 to 1974 Coup of Colonels; Military Junta
1974 to present Republic of Greece
70,000 BC Human habitation in Greece
6218+-150 BC Neolithic site at Nea Nikomedheia in Macedonia
5520+-70 BC Drakhmani(Elateia) site in Central Greece
4480 BC Neolithic A site near Sesklo in southern Thessaly
3000 to 1400BC Minoan Crete
2500 BC Early Helladic II on the Mainland
2500 BC First human settlements on Cyclades
1900 BC Transition from Early to Middle Helladic phase of Bronze Age. Change of population on Continental Greece, 'Minyan' pottery, Greek-speakers
1600 to 1550 BC Beginning of Late Helladic and Late Minoan Age; mainlanders adopted many elements of Minoan civilization
1600 to 1100 BC Mycenean Civilization
1480 to 1450 BC Cultural differentiation between Knossos and the rest of Crete
1480 to 1450 BC Occupation of Knossos by Myceneans
1400 BC Destruction of Knossos
1480/50 to 1400 BC Late Minoan II style is confined to Knossos. Since the discovery that the language of the Knossos tablets inscribed in the 'Linear B' script is Greek, it has been inferred that it was the product of an occupation of Knossos by Greek-speaking invaders.
1400 BC Earliest inscriptions of Linear B
1400 BC Knossos documents in language earlier than Homeric Greek.
1400 to 1100 BC Late Helladic phase III(Mycenean Age)
1300 BC Troy VI wrecked probably by earthquake
1260 BC Fall of Troy VIIa
1200 All mainland palace-fortresses sacked except acropolis of Athens, Mycenae alone re-occupied
1200 Last examples of 'Linear B' found 1200 Pylos documents in language earlier than Homeric Greek.
1200 to 1100 Cyprus sacked for second time; two migrations (1200&1150) of Mycenean refugees to Cyprus
1200 to 750 Post-Mycenean 'Dark Ages', Iron Age, Dorian Invasion
1184 Fall of Troy; believed by some Hellenistic scholars
1100 Destruction of Mycenae, Iolkos & Miletus
800 to 700 Composition of Iliad and Odyssey and the adoption of the alphabet by the Greeks from the Phoenicians
776BC to 393AD Olympic Games
750 First examples of inscriptions in Hellenic Greek alphabet
750-650 Hoplite phalanx adopted by cities of southern Greece. Previously fighting was carried out by a relatively few warriors with a shield, sword and spear with no armor and were not organized in a phalanx. Hoplites had defensive armor and fought in close formation, phalanx, a series of rows.
750 to 550 First period of Hellenic colonization(Marsellies, Asia Minor, Black Sea)
736 to 716 First Messinian war(Peloponese)
734 Naxus, first colony in Sicily established by Chalcis of Euboea
733 Sicilian colony of Syracuse established by Corinth
c.700 Hesoid, epic poet, wrote Theogony, 1022 lines on of the origins of the Gods, and Works and Days , 828 lines of friendly advice for the working man
668 Pheidon, tyrant of Argos, expelled the presiding officers at the games in Olympia and presided himself at the competition.
658 to 628 Tyrant Cypselus rules Corinth
657 Byzantium(later Constantinople) founded by sailors from Megara
632 Monarchy in Athens replaced by the Council of Areopagus, wealthy aristocrats, and an annual board of nine archons, elected officials by the Council of Areopagus. Outgoing archons became members of the Council of Areopagus and kept the archons in check. Sparta had council of 30 called gerousia, including two kings. Its 28 non-royal members had to be at least 60 years old, were chosen by acclamation in the public assembly and held office for the rest of their lives. Sparta also had another group of executive officers, the five ephors, elected annually by public acclamation
632 Cylon, Olympic victor who married daughter of the tyrant of Megara, and friends seize the acropolis; Athenians besieged him; Cylon fled, his friends were promised their lives if they gave up; nine archons killed them.
628 to 588 Tyrant Periander rules Corinth
621 Dracon establishes Athenian laws; Solon rewrote all laws except laws on homicide.
ca. 600 Tyrant Cleisthenes ruled Sicyon. Invited suitors to compete for his daughter, Agariste. Tested suitors for a year; two finalists were Hippocleides and Megacles from Athens. Preferred the former until, at the feast at the end of the year Hippocleides danced Attic and Laconian dances on a table then stood on his head on the table and danced with his legs in the air.
595 to 590 First Sacred War concerning the Delphic sanctuary
594 Solon, eponymous archon of Athens, founder of Athenian democracy
590/580 to 560/550 Sparta fights war with Tegea resulting in alliance
588 to 585 Tyrant Psammetichus, Perianderšs nephew and successor, rules Corinth
585 Thales of Miletus predicts solar eclipse
582 Pythian games established in Delphi and Isthmian games established in Corinth
581 to 497 Pythagoras of Samos, mathematician and religious leader; lived in Sicily
580 to 570 Solon reforms Athenian constitution and the laws. 1) Athens did not establish colonies in the sixth century, land was overtilled, farmers forced to borrow from rich using their person as security; when could not pay loans, were "enslaved," forced to till landowners land for five-sixth return to landowner. People revolted and Solon banned loans by personal security. 2) standardized weights, measures and minted coins 3) Replaced birth with wealth as the qualification for political office. Before Solon, board of nine archons, elective officials, ruled Athens. Solon divided Athenian citizens into four property classes which established each classšs political privileges and established the Council of 400, 100 member from each of the four Athenian heriditary tribes, along with the nine archons to administer the state. Archons, members of top property class, chosen by lot out of candidates previously chosen by tribes. Council of 400 acted as steering group for business to be brought up at assembly. Members of top three tribes could bear arms if they had weapons. All four classes included in Athenian assembly and as a juror. 4) committed to writing customary laws 5) created law courts
575 A sixth century inscription implies that Hios had a 'democratic' council of 50 member council from each tribes and an aristocratic council
573 Nemean games established at Cleonae between Sicyon and Argos
570 First coins minted by Athens
561 Peisistratus first attempt at tyranny in Athens that lasted four years
556 Peisistratus second failed attempt to take over Athens that lasted a few months
549 to 546 Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, conquers Medes, Lydia and Greek city-states in Asia Minor
546 to 527 Peisistratus takes over Athens with private wealth, foreign support and wide-based Athenian support; rules as "benevolent" tyrant in Athens
546 to 479 Persian Wars
546 Spartans gains leadership over most of Peloponese; formed the Peloponnesean League
540 Persians overcome Greek cities in Asia Minor which pay tribute and a tyrant supported by the Persians to control the city.
528 to 510 Peisistratus sons, Hippias and Hipparchus, ruled Athens
520 to 480 King Cleomenes, one of the two kings of Sparta
518 to 438 Pindar, greatest lyric poet
514 Hipparchus, brother of the tyrant Hippias, assassinated by Harmodius and Aristogeiton
513 Darius and Persian army invade Europe in Thrace but not Greek peninsula
510 Hippias deposed by Spartans and Alcmaeonidae clan. Athens becomes part of Peloponesean League. Hippias receives Persian asylum
508 to 506 Isagoras and Spartans under Cleomenes demand Cleisthenes and 700 families of Alcmaeonidae exile. Try to dissolve Council of Areopagus, are deposed by Athenians; Cleisthenes takes power. Athens attempts alliance with Artaphernes, satrap of Lydia
508 to 500 Cleisthenes, democratic reforms, from wealth-based to region-based. Followed lead of other cities who were casting off traditional political systems in reorganizing voting districts such as Sicyon, Corinth and Miletus. 1) Divided Athenian citizens in ten groups called 'tribes', not heriditary but by region. Fifty from each 'tribe' constituted the Council of 500, appointed annually, which voted to recommend actions to the assembly. 2) Established system of ostracism to check potential of tyrannies; assembly wrote name of most feared politician; had to get minimum of 600 votes; politician with most votes was exiled for 10 years.
500 Fifth Century Greek Philosophers:
Leucippus(b. 480)
Zeno of Eleo(b. 450)
499 Artaphernes, Persian satrap, demands Athens restore Hippias as tyrant. Athens alliance with Persia ceases.
499 to 494 Ionian(Asia Minor) revolt against Persians
498 Athenians & Ertrians join Ionian revolt, capture and sack Sardis
496 to 406 Sophocles, leading tragic playwright
494 Miletus sacked by Persians
493 Themistocles an archon of Athens
490 Greece invaded by the Persians under Darius. Hippias guided invading navy to Marathon where Peisistratus, his father, landed in 546. Defeated at the Battle of Marathon by Athenians led by Miltiades.
488 First ostracism in Athens. Aristotle says it was authored by Cleisthenes. Person receiving 6000 votes sent into exile for 10 years, but his property was not confiscated and could return after 10 years with full rights.
484 to 420 Herodotus, first historian(Persian Wars)
483 Themistocles persuades Athenians to build ships to with silver discovered at Laureum. Gave reason war against Aegina, but really to defend against possible Persian invasion
481 Hellenic League founded to defend against Persians. Both Athens & Sparta members
480 Second Persian invasion under Xerxes. Battle of Thermopylae, King Leonidas leads 300 Spartans could not hold pass against Persians. Persians invade Athens and destroy temples on Acropolis
480 Battle of Salamis. After Thermopylae, Persians march south capturing and burning Athens. In the Bay of Salamis, Themistocles(who had ships built in 483 for this purpose) amasses armada of Greek ships; with "Greek fire" ships ram into big Persian vessels, setting them afire and winning the battle.
479 After defeat at Salamis, Xerxes returns and Mardonius leads Persian troops to conquer central Greece. Persian general Mardonius attempts to gain alliance with Athens. When it fails, sacks Attica. Athens doesn't get support from Sparta quickly and threatens to ally with Persians. Spartan Pausanias and Athenians defeat Mardonius at Platea
478 Pausanias, Spartan regent, leads Hellenic League fleet, capturing Cyprus & Byzantium from Persians. Founding of Delian League dominated by Athens
470s Themistocles ostracized for Medism, lived in Argos, then fled to Persia
460s Cimon, commanded operations at Eion, Skyros & Thasos, was most powerful man in Athens. Cimon favored Sparta over Persians
469 to 399 Socrates, called the "moral" philosopher, born in Athens, the son of a sculptor and a midwife; Plato was his student
465 Artaxerxes becomes Persian king, gives Themistocles asylum
464 Earthquake at Sparta and revolt of Messenia
463 Thasos seceded from Delian League and is captured by Athens
462 Ephialtes, opponent of Cimon, reforms Athenian courts - Several popular courts, jury of 500 over 30 years of age. Each case was brought before an archon that gave a preliminary hearing. Procedures for hearing complaints against retiring magistrates from archons to courts.
462 Athenians Cimon ostracized and Ephilates murdered
462 Sparta appeals for help with the Messinian Revolt from Athens. Cimon leads Athenian force to Messiia but is spurned by Spartans
461 to 429 The "Golden Age of Pericles." Pericles, born 490, passed proposal introducing pay for jurors. Pericles preferred to make peace with Persians and oppose Spartans
460 to 446 1st Peloponessean War due to rejection of aid to Sparta in 462 and alliance with Thessaly, Megara & Argos, at war with Sparta. Indecisive outcome.
460 to 454 Athens and allies send fleet of 200 to conquer Egypt from Persians. Expelled in 454. Greatest disaster for Delian League
460 to 451 War between Argos &Sparta
457 Pericles commands Athens at battle of Tanagra against Sparta, first direct battle. Spartan victory at Tanagra, Athenian victories at Boetia & Aegina
454 Transfer of Delian League treasury to Athens. Disaffection of League allies from 454 to 450. Miletus revolts
451 Five year truce between Athens & Sparta
450 Cimon leads 200 ships against Persians in Egypt and Cyprus. Cimon dies in battle, no further large scale battles between Delian League and Persians. "Peace of Callias?"
450 to 400 Thucydides, historian of Peloponesean Wars
447 to 433 Parthenon built
446 1st Peloponessean War ends. Thirty Years Peace. Parties swore to abide peacefully for 30 years.
444 Ostracism between Thucydides & Pericles. Former ostracized.
443 to 428 Pericles hold office of general
440s Samos & Byzantium Revolt from Delian League suppressed by Pericles
438 Statue of Athene Parthenos created by Phidias set up in Parthenon
437 Prosecution of Phidias by enemies of Pericles. First accused of stealing gold from statue of Athena, then of impiety for putting likeness of himself and Pericles on Athena's Shield.
431 to 404 Great Peleponnesean War,(431 to 421 called Archimadamian War) though friendship between Spartan King Archidamus and Pericles
431 to 425 Attica inhabitants moved from countryside to within Athens walls because of war
430 Plague in Athens; second Attic invasion. Pericles deposed from office of general, tried, fined and reappointed.
429 Peloponeseans siege Plataea; death of Pericles
428 to 348 Plato, born in Athens or Aegina to aristocratic family
421 Peace of Nicias to last for 50 years. Alcibiades(brought up by Pericles as guardian) opposes peace and lobbys for alliance with Argos
420 Intrigues of Alcibiades in Peloponese leads to alliance of Athens and Argos
418 Sparta defeats Argos and her allies at Mantinea
415 Athenians capture Melos, not part of Delian League, kill men and enslave rest
415 Alcibiades flees from fleet to Sicily after charges of sacrilege brought against him. Flees to Sparta and urges them to send fleet against Athens in Sicily
414 Athens blockade Syracuse, aided by Spartans, destroy Athenian fleet
413 Spartan King Agis invades Attica and inflicts great damage in countryside. Because of Spartan damage, Athens changed mode of raising revenues from tribute to 5% tax on goods carried by sea
412 Many islands revolt against Athenian rule. Alcibiades goes to Hios with Spartans to get islands to revolt against Athens.
411 Peisander, as part of a plan of to recall Alcibiades and to win Persian support against Sparta, wins assembly support to change constitution.
411 Council of 400 deposed in Athens, replaced by rule of 5000; Alcibiades made Athenian general
410 Restoration of full democracy in Athens
405 Athenian fleet destroyed at Aegospotami
404 Surrender of Athens, peace with Sparta. Didn't destroy Athens as check of most powerful allies of Corinth and Thebes
404 Lysander, Spartan general, supports rule of Thirty in Athens. Theramenes, Dracontides, Critias. Brought about election of Council of 500. Declared wanted to purify city of "unjust" and turn citizens towards "virtue & justice." Moral vs. constitutional revolt. Killed sycophants then wealthy and took their property.
403 Athenian revolution reversed. Restoration of democracy and general amnesty. Critias has Theramenes killed
403 to 399 Commission of lawgivers revise Athenian laws. New constitution holds until 322
400 Cyrus the Younger leads 13,000 Greek mercenaries and 30,000 Persians to oust his brother Artaxerxes II from the Persian throne; Cyrus dies in battle, leaving the Greeks, under Xenophon, to get back to Greece
399 Trial and execution of Socrates(b. 470) on charges of impiety and corrupting the youth
399 Sparta sends forces to Ionia to protect them from Persians and continue raids until 396
395 Start of Corinthian War. Persians stir up Athens, Argos, Corinth & Thebes to revolt against Spartans
394 Persian fleet defeats Spartans of Cnidus. Begins overthrow of Spartans in Aegean
393 Conon, ex-Athenian general, working for Persians, restores Athens walls to defend from Sparta
390 Evagoras, tyrant of Salamis in Cyprus, who had contributed to Persian ships to defeat Sparta, revolts against Persians
388 Plato founds the Academy in Athens, first European university
386 End of Corinthian War. Spartans gave up claim to Greek Ionian cities, position in Greece became stronger. Dominant until 371
384 to 322 Aristotle, born in Stageira, Macedonia on fringe of Greek world
378 Athens forms Second Sea League against Sparta. Chios, Mytilene, Byzantium, Rhodes and others. Spartans attack Thebes
376 Theban & Athenian fleet defeat Spartan fleet. Athens remains strongest Aegean power until 322. Thebe rebuild its federation
371 Sparta and Athens make peace. Spartans lose dominance
370 Thebes invades Peloponese in support of Arcadia against Sparta. Athens aligns with Sparta
367 Aristotle becomes student at Plato's Academy in Athens and remains there for 20 years until Platošs death in 347BC
367 Plato travelled to Syracuse the first time to instruct the son of the tyrant and to set up a government as outline in the Republic, one ruled by philosopher-kings
365 End of Peloponnesean League
361 Plato travelled to Syracuse the second time to instruct the son of the tyrant and to set up a government as outline in the Republic, one ruled by philosopher-kings
360 Perdicas III, ruler of Macedon and Phillip II brother, killed in battle. Phillip rules as regent for Perdicasš son for a few years, then kills his nephew and rules as King.
357 Phillip II captures Amphipolis from Athens
356 Phillip II captures Potidea and sells citizens into slavery; defeats combined army in Thrace
352 Phillip of Macedon wins battle in Thessaly; is checked at Thermopylae by Athenians
356 to 323 Alexander III the Great, born to Phillip II and Epirot queen Olympias
348 Phillip captures Halkidiki, plunders city of Olynthus and sells inhabitants into slavery
347 Death of Plato
346 Peace treaty between Athens and Phillip of Macedon; Phillip gains control of Thermoplylae
345 Phillip undertakes an extensive scheme of internal colonization, transplanting large bodies of people between the different parts of the kingdom
344 Phillip conquers Illyria
343 Aristotle moves to Macedonia; becomes Alexander's tutor for three years
343 Phillip invades Epirus, overthrows king and installs his brother-in-law Alexander
342 Phillip returns to Thessaly; reorganizes administration
342 to 339 Philip conquers Aegean coast of Thrace and cities on west coast of Black Sea
340 Philip unsuccessful in siege on Perinthius and Byzantium
338 King Phillip II of Macedon defeats combined Theban & Athenian forces at Chaeronea and unites Greek city-states to the east of Straits of Otranto except Sparta.
338/337 Phillip calls meeting of Greek city-states to Corinth which set up a permanent organization, the League of Corinth. Treaty of common peace; the constitutions in force in member states when they joined the League were guaranteed; federal action was to check subversion/aggression; federal army drawn from members by size. Phillip was declared commander of federal forces, and Synedrion declared war on Persia.
337 Alexander III sent into exile with some of his friends
336 Alexander returns after Phillip II assassinated and acclaimed king; Alexander probably not involved in father's death
335 Aristotle moves to Athens opens school, Lyceum
334 to 330 Alexander the Great conquers the Persian Empire
327 Alexander the Great's army reaches India; army mutinies and refused to proceed to the Ganges river
June 10, 323 Death of Alexander the Great on army's return journey at Babylon probably of fever but poison is alleged. Some historians believe that although he was a brilliant general, he was a cruel and autocratic ruler whose conviction of his own invincibility led to megalomaniac intentions and pretensions of divinity. Although he founded many cities, these were for strategic reasons rather than for the spread of Hellenism; his expedition had a disastrous effect upon the population and economy of Macedon.
323 Upon Alexander's death, Perdikkas(killed by officers bribed by Ptolemy in 321) assumes control of Empire and twenty year struggle begins. Other officers Eumenes(executed 316), Antipater(died 319), Krateros(killed 321), Lysimachos(Thrace), Ptolemy,(Egypt) Antigonos(Asia Minor) & Seleukos(Persia)
323 Aristotle, on death of Alexander, leaves Athens. Three versions of events: 1) Exiles himself from Athens on an Aegean island-Mortimer Adler. 2)Tried for impiety, fled and died in Chalcis, Macedonian stronghold-HWC Davis in Aristotle's Politics translated by Benjamin Jowett, 1905 first, reprint 1967 3) in reaction for Macedonian control, charged with , "asevia" went to Chalcis in Euboea on an estate of his dead mothers, died of an illness.
323 to 30BC Hellenistic Age & Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt
322 Death of Aristotle at 63
318 Olympia(Alexander's mother) invades Macedonia with Epirot Army, executes Phillip III and Kassander, son of Antipater, flees
316 Kassander defeats Olympia's army and executes her
310 Kassander, in consolidating hold of Macedonia, executes Roxanne and Alexander's son, Alexander IV
307 Library of Alexandria founded by Ptolemy, one of Alexander's generals
301 Demetrios, son of Antigonos, conquers most of southern Greece
300 Euclid, geometry in Alexandria
287 to 212 Archimedes of Syracuse, studied in Alexandria
281 Lysimachos and Seleucos armies fight, Seleucid wins and controls all of Alexander's Empire except Egypt
281-65 Seleucid Empire
264 First Punic(Carthaginian) Wars by Rome over Sicily
218-202 Second Punic(Carthaginian) Wars
197 Romans defeat Macedonian army of Philip V
191 Romans and Macedonians defeat Seleucid army of Antiochos at Thermopylai
153 to 146 Third Punic(Carthaginian) Wars and Romans stormed Carthage
148 Romans conquer Macedonia after abolishing monarchy and years of rebellion
133 Attalos II, descendant of Eumenes, bequeaths Pergamos in western Asia minor to Rome. Many Romans emigrate to Pergamos
133 Romans begin to conquer Greek city-states
89 to 88 King Mithriades VI Eupator of Pontos massacres 80,000 Romans in Asia minor and frees most of southern Greece from Roman rule
87 to 86 Roman general Sulla defeats Mithridates, burns Athens , denudes Greek shrines and demands reparations for rebellion
49 Caesar and Pompey's armies fight near Thermopylai, Caesar wins
48 Caesar and Cleopatra conceives son, Caesarion
48 Library of Alexandria burned accidentally(by Caesar?)
March 15, 44 BC Caesar assassinated by Cassius and Brutus
42 Caesar's adopted son Octavian and Mark Antony fight and defeat Cassius and Brutus' forces in Macedonia. Antony takes east and makes Athens his capital.
32 Antony and Cleopatra invade Italy to depose Octavian
30BC Death of Cleopatra, last Greek queen of Egypt ending 300 years of Greek Ptolemaic dynasty
31BC to AD14 (Roman Emperor, Augustus). Greek pedants living in Rome were neo-Atticists. They set out to revive the form of the Attic dialect of the Greek language, later called koine, that had been current in the fifth and fourth centuries BC.
20BC Greacia capta ferum victorem cepit et artes intulit agresti Latio("Greece, taken captive, captured her savage conqueror and brought the arts to rustic Latium")-Horace. Roman poet
1 AD Birth of Jesus of Nazareth, son of Mary and Joseph
46 to 120 AD Plutarch, Greek prose writer, born and lived most of his life at Chaeronea near Thebes, visited Asia, Egypt and Italy and had powerful friends in Rome; wrote over 200 books; wrote 50 biographies, 23 comprise pairs of 'parallel lives'(a Greek compared to a Roman) which contain much historical information and were a prime source for knowledge of the ancient world in the medieval and early modern periods
49 to 51 Paul preaches Christianity in Greece
212AD Emperor Caracalla confers Roman citizenship on all free people who lived in the Roman Empire
235 to 284 Roman Empire's first breakdown
249 to 251 Decius persecutes Christians not because he despised their religion but because Christians refused to sacrifice to the gods and the safety of the state could only be assured by the prayers to the gods
250 to 300 Goths(warlike Germanic tribe) raid and burn Athens, Corinth, Argos
269 Romans slaughter Goths in Bulgaria
284 to 1453 Byzantine Civilization
284 Diocletian becomes emperor of Rome; institutes reforms that centralize and introduce uniformity in the administration of the Empire, bring the army under effective control of the government, restore the financial situation by stabilizing the currency and, to confirm the whole work, elevate the position of the Emperor to a divinity(Diocletian claimed descent from Jupiter). The fostering of Imperial majesty carried through to the East Roman(Byzantine) Empire. To deal with the lack of a system of Imperial succession which created great political instability, two emperors (augusti) were established, one in the East and one in the West and their successors(caesars), the tetrachy
286 Maximian appointed augustus in the west by Diocletian
293 Diocletian appoints Constantiuis and Galerius as caesars in the west and east. Galerius and a circle of neo-Platonists opposed the Christians
Fourth Cen. St. Symeon the Stylite, first of saints who passed their lives on top of columns
301 to 305 Emperor Diocletian and Galerius issue 4 edicts which severely persecute Christians by ordering churches destroyed, books burned, priests jailed and sacrifices to official state gods. Christians were forbidden to assemble and were placed outside the law and those who refused to sacrifice to the pagan gods were put to death.
303 Diocletian celebrating his vicennial in Rome, ordered that all the jailed Christians be forced to sacrifice; jails were so full there was no room for the criminals
305 Diocletian abdicates throne with hopes that his system of succession that he established will work
311 Emperor Galerius issues edict shortly before his death tolerating Christian religion throughout the empire and allowing reconstruction of the churches; Galerius believed his fatal illness to be the vengeance of the Christian God
311 By this time their are four emperors, Licinius, Maximin, Constantine(born in Naissius or Nish in present day Serbia) and Maxentius which results in civil war
312 Constantine, on his way to Rome with his army to do battle for control of the western empire is said to have seen the sign of the cross over the sun and the message "In This Sign Conquer." Constantine considers his victory confirmation of his vision
313 Edict of Milan in which the East and West Roman Emperors, Constantine I and Licinius, lift ban on Christianity
323 Constantine defeats Licinius and becomes sole Emperor of the Roman Empire
324- to 330 Building of Constantinople
324 to 337 Emperor Constantine I sole ruler of the Roman Empire. In keeping with the system of making the Emperor a divinity started by Diocletian, Constantine is the representative of God and earth and becomes head of Christian church
325 First Ecumenical Council held in Nikaia called by Constantine to resolve dispute of Alexandrian priest Arius and his Bishop on the nature of the divinity of Christ; Arianism is the belief that Christ was a created being and thus not fully divine. Constantius, Constantine's son, supported Arius and the government did not renounce the heresy until 381
May 11, 330 Emperor inaugurates "New Rome," but people preferred to to call it after its founder Constantinople
337 Constantine baptized a Christian by an Arian bishop on his deathbed. Succeeded by his three sons, Constantine II, Constantius II and Constans I
351 Constantine's sons were quarrelsome and by this time the other two were dead and Constantius was Emperor.
359 Senate established in Constantinople; did not have the same powers as Roman Senate; was a semi-constitutional body that expressing the views of the wealthy and powerful in the Empire
360 Julian, Constantiusš cousin, defeats German invasion and is declared Emperor by his victorious army, dissatisfied with Constantius. Julian reverted to paganism which won him the title "Julian the Apostate"
363 Julian dies attempting to invade Persia
363 Army acclaims the general Valentinian as Emperor; prefers to rule in West and leaves his brother Valens as co-Emperor in East. Valens was unpopular as an Arian heretic and faced constant revolts
364 to 378 Reign of Emperor Valens
376 Visigoths, pressed from behind by the Huns, given permission by Valens to cross the Danube and settled within the Empire; beginning of the Barbarian Invasions
378 Settled barbarians quarrelled with Imperial officials and marched on Constantinople; Valensš dies and army defeated by Goths at Adrianople
380 to 392 Emperor Theodosius I declares Christianity the official state religion and imposes ban on all non-Christian religions, except Judaism and kindred religion of the Samaritans. Oracles, Olympic games stopped because considered pagan. Roman legion war strategy did not work against barbarian cavalry; Theodosius began practice of faederati, inviting barbarian cavalry to fight barbarian cavalry led by their prince to fight for the Empire
381 Second Ecumenical Council convoked by Theodosius I in Constantinople
395 Visigoths(western Goths) under Alaric invade Greece
408 to 450 Reign of Theodosius II; St. Daniel the Stylite lived on top of a column in Constantinople during Theodosius II reign and was particularly fashionable at Court
410 Visigoths under Alaric sack Rome
431 Third Ecumenical Council convened in Ephesus; found against Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, when he attempted to divide the nature of Christ into two, human and divine
439 Vandals sack Carthage
442 to 450 Huns out of central Asia under Attila attack Greek and Roman cities
451 Fourth Ecumenical Council convened in Chalkedon; condemned Patriarch Dioscurus of Alexandria for Monophysitism, the belief that Christ is of One Nature rather than Two Indivisible Natures, human and divine; did not resolve issue, dominated the Empirešs history as a problem for two centuries. Succession of two Monophysite Emperors(Zeno and Anastasius I) and the passivity of Justin I provided several decades of conditions favorable to the spread of Monophysitism in Egypt and Syria.
455 Vandals under Gaiseric sack Rome
400 to 600 Egyptian, Syrian and Armenian Christians translated Bible and liturgy into their own language and rejected terms in which Orthodoxy was formulated.(Melchites)
457 Emperor crowned from then onward by Patriarch of Constantinople
476 to 491 Second reign of Zeno; commissioned the Ostrogoth leader Theodoric to invade Italy and conquer the west
493 Ostrogoths(eastern Goths) under Theodoric the Great take over the Western Roman Empire
527 to 565 Justinian I, became Roman emperor in Constantinople, aided by wife his Theodora(an actress and Monophysite) and his Generals Belisarius and the eunuch Narses, attempted to recover Western Empire from Vandals and Goths, lost over time to various conquerors; reconquest of the west accomplished at a high price, the neglect of the Balkans and Asia; ended the practice of regional governors buying there post and recouping the costs from taxes
529 Institutes of Hellenic Greek philosophy in Athens closed by Justinian I because of Hellenism/Christianity conflict
532 Nika riots resulted from the Blues and the Greens, groups in Constantinople that had large Circus organizations that competed in the Hippodrome, united against the Emperor because of heavy taxation and city-rates, which resulted in the burning of many buildings in Constantinople and opened the way to Justinian I re-building the city
532 to 537 Construction of Ayia Sophia in Constantinople
533 Justinian's Code published, a re-organization and updating of Roman law
534 General Bellasarius conquers Vandals in North Africa
Dec 27, 537 Inauguration ceremony of Ayia Sophia Cathedral in Constantinople
540 Antioch sacked by the Syrian campaign of the Persian monarch Chosroes
540 Bulgars invade Balkan peninsula and ravage Thrace, Macedonia, Illyricum and press as far south as Corinth
542 Plague decimates the Empire
553 Fifth Ecumenical Council convened in Constantinople; condemned at Justinian's order the abstruse heresy of the Three Chapters
565 Death of Justinian; his son Justin II becomes Emperor
570 Birth of the Prophet Mohammed(570 to 632), founder of Islam
578 Justin II becomes disabled from the stress of the many barbarians at the borders of the Empire and adopts Tiberius who becomes Emperor upon his death
582 Emperor Tiberius dies; practiced tolerance towards the heretics and concentrated on driving off the Persians in the south and the Avars in the north; in an attempt to restore public morale he remitted a years' taxation
582 to 602 Reign of Emperor Maurice, Tiberis' son-in-law, pursued his same policies. Kept Avars at bay and defeated the Persians; but austere economic policies made him unpopular and the army revolted and killed him.
595 Provoked by the claims of Rome, Patriarch John the Faster takes the title of Ecumenical(world-wide) Patriarch
7th century Mardaites, Syrian Monothelites, are moved from Lebanon to the shores of Asia Minor; where heresy was wide spread in a district, State officials would forcibly move a population of whole villages to other parts of the Empire where they would be swamped or, it was rather hoped, converted by their new neighbors
600 to 700 Slavic invasion of Northern Byzantine regions; Slavs eventually migrated but did not rule southern Greece. Widespread civil war and open country overrun by Persians, Arabs as well as Slavs.
602 to 610 Reign of Phocas, army leader who lead revolt against Emperor Maurice; his reign was a nightmare of disruptive anarchy and tyranny, foreign invasions and internal risings.
610 to 641 Reign of Emperor Heraclius, son of Armenian exarch of North Africa; finds Empire in great danger; Avars, Slavs and Bulgars overrunning the Balkans and Persians advancing through the eastern provinces; makes Greek the official language of the Byzantine Empire
615 Persians occupy Egypt, Syria and Palestine; they burn and massacre the population in Jerusalem, carrying off the Holy Cross and patriarch
623 While campaigning in Azerbajian, Byzantine troops systematically destroyed the fire temples of the Persian cities, specifically Thebarmes, birthplace of Zoroaster, in revenge for the Persian desecration of Jerusalem
626 First great siege of Constantinople by the Persians, under Shahen, and the Avars
628 Heraclius army defeats the Persians; accompanied by feverish religious passions and hatreds, perhaps the first full-fledged crusade of the Middle Ages
629 The title Basileus first appears as borne by the Emperor, just after the final Persian defeat, a symbol of the Oriental influence on the court
632 Death of Prophet Mohammed in Mecca, founder of the Islamic religion; Arabs began to raid empires immediately to the north
632 to 732 Arab conquests Middle East, North Africa, Spain and Southern France
636 Battle of Yarmuk is crushing defeat of Byzantine army by the Arabs; they occupy Syria and Palestine
638 Arabs take Jerusalem
641 Death of Emperor Heraclius; the Empire is reduced to Asia Minor, the Balkan coastline, north Africa and Sicily
641 to 668 Reign of Constans II, grandson of Heraclius; the bulk of his reign was occupied with wars against the Arabs; murdered in Sicily
642 Arabs take Alexandria and burn its famous libraries
648 Arabs occupy Cyprus
668 to 685 Reign of Constantine IV, Pogonatus, son of Constans II; continued to defend the Empire; allowed the Bulgars to make further in raids into the Empire
669 Arab forces besiege Constantinople
674 to 678 Second siege of Constantinople by the Arabs
670 Arabs begin conquest of Africa
679 Bulgars, a war-like Hunnish tribe, invade the Empire and settle south of the Danube
680 Seventh Ecumenical Council convened in Constantinople which condemned Monophysitism and Monothelitism - Christ is of two wills and two energies without division, alteration, separation or confusion; an appendix to this Council, the Synod In Trullo drew up what was to remain the constitution and rule of the Byzantine Church. Monophysite churches of Armenia, Syria and Egypt seceded and the bulk were taken over by the Arabs
685 Reign of Justinian II, son of Constantine IV, Pogonatus; was a brilliant unreliable tyrant with a taste for blood; married a Chazar princess for diplomatic purposes
695 After ten years of his oppression, Constantinople rose against Justinian II, slit his nose and banished him to Cherson in the Crimea
697 Carthage falls to the Arabs and they move towards Spain
698 Navy dethrones Leontius, placing Admiral Apsimar on the throne
705 Justinian II escaped from Cherson and returned 10 years later with the help of the Bulgars to reclaim his throne
711 Philippicus, army general, dethrones Justinian II, putting his family to death
713 Phillippicus, a fervent Monothelite, falls in a palace plot and is succeeded by a civil servant Artemius who takes the name Anastasius II.
716 Anastasius II becomes unpopular and the revolt of a regiment brought an obscure and unwilling provincial tax-collector, Theodosius III to the throne.
717 In the face of the Arab menace, the greatest general of the Empire, Leo III, surnamed the Isaurian, with scarcely any opposition, takes over the government.
717 to 718 Third siege of Constantinople
726 Leo III(a Syrian by origin) publishes a decree forbidding the worship of icons and followed it with the general destruction of icons representing Christ and the saints; his original motive was probably theological, but the movement soon became politically based as an attack on the Church, and particularly the monasteries whose growing power was aided by their possession of holy pictures. The icons were replaced by symbols, such as a cross. Iconoclasm had a certain success among the soldiers, who were mostly Asiatics, but it met with passionate resistance, especially in Europe; numerous riots and risings in Constantinople
726 Patriarchates of Antioch, Jerusalem & Alexandria under Arab rule.
726 to 843 Iconoclastic conflict in East Roman Empire
739 Leo issues Ecloga, designed to introduce Christian principle into law; death-penalty abolished substituted by mutilation, only Christian marriages recognized, grounds for divorce reduced to four, prohibited degrees of relationship were raised from four to six, wife had an equal share with her husband in their joint property and the guardianship of their children.
740 End of Leo III rule; turned back the Arabs, repaired the Empires finances and developed a system of themes for tighter military administration. His son, Constantine V, Copronymous succeeded the throne; married a Chazar princess for diplomatic purposes. Riots broke out in Constantinople due to his fatheršs Iconoclastic policy.
740 to 775 Emperor Constantine V, Copronymous(dung-name), nicknamed by his outraged opponents, vigorously carried out the Iconoclast program by waging open warfare on the monastic establishments, confiscated properties, martyred monks, drafted others into the army and forced many to marry nuns. He also crushed the Bulgars, fought off the Arabs and completed his father's financial and administrative reforms.
780 Constantine VI(10 years old at accession) reigns under the regency of his mother, Empress Irene
787 Eighth Ecumenical Council convened in Nikaia by Empress Irene condemns Iconoclasm and restores image worshipping(temporarily)
797 to 802 Empress Irene blinds her son and becomes sole ruler of the Empire
800 Pope Leo crowns Charlemagne Emperor in the West
802 to 811 Nikephoros I, Irenešs treasurer, dethrones her. Recolonizes Slav regions but loses Crete to Arab pirates and had to face a renewal of Bulgar power and Saracen wars; killed in a battle against the Bulgar prince Krum
811 East Roman government recognized Charlemagne as Emperor of Rome in return for cessation of pressure on western borders
811 Nikephoros I brother-in-law, Michael I, succeeds him as Emperor
812 Capture of Mesembria by Krum puts "Greek fire" into hands of Bulgars; chemical substance either thrown like hand grenades which exploded and caught fire when they hit enemy ships or else whole pots were thrown through the air by catapults
813 Michael I falls in military revolt by his general Leo V, an Armenian; Iconoclasm re-introduced as a political, anti-clerical rather than a theological movement
820 Leo V killed by a soldier Michael, a Phrygian, who became Emperor Michael II
823 Arabs capture Crete
829- to 842 Reign of Emperor Theophilus, who succeeds his father Michael II; was a good administrator and a fervent patron of culture whose reign saw renaissance of secular learning and artistic magnificence, largely influenced by the Arabs
842 Upon Theophilus death, his son Michael III rules with his wife Theodora as regent
843 Empress Theodora reinstates image worship
856 Michael II becomes sole Emperor, known for his extravagance was named the Drunkard; chose able advisors in his uncle Bardas and a slave-boy named Basil; Basil causes the death of Bardas and murders Michael to assume the throne
860 Russian naval raid of Constantinople
867 to 886 Basil I promotes religious and linguistic conversion of Slavs, becoming Greek-speaking Orthodox Christians. Basil begins the Macedonian Dynasty(867 to 1057) during which the Empire reaches its zenith. Basil was a capable general and during his rule the Saracen threat was diminished and southern Italy was recaptured.
867 to 886 Last pagan enclave, Maniots, converted to Christianity
870 Basil I campaigns to destroy Paulician villages and traitorous Imperial officer, Chrysocheir, but suffered defeat before Tephrike and would have lost his life for the valor of an Armenian soldier, Theopylactus the Unbearable, father of the future emperor Romanus I Lecapenus. The event was so traumatic for Basil he thenceforth prayed daily in his chapel that he might live long enough to kill Chrysocheir
885 Mt Athos set aside as a religious retreat by Emperor Basil I
886 to 912 Emperor Leo VI, surnamed the Wise, son of Basil I, accedes to the throne. He took four wives to produce an heir, which was in violation of Church canons; he established his son's legitimacy but his marriage was condemned after his death
894 to 896 Symean of Bulgaria wages first war against East Roman Empire. Actively pursued introduction of Byzantine literary culture in Bulgaria in local Slavonic language.
904 Thessalonika sacked by Arab pirates led by Leo of Tripoli from Crete; carried off into slavery 22,000 inhabitants
912 Leo followed on the throne by his brother, Emperor Alexander, who reigned jointly with Leo's son, Constantine VII Porphyrogennetus(Born in the Purple Chamber)
913 to 927 Symean of Bulgaria wages second war against East Roman Empire
914 to 919 Empress Zoe, Constantinešs mother, rules the Empire; the army's defeat by the Bulgarians causes her downfall
919 to 944 Romanus I, admiral under Empress Zoe, takes over Empire; made peace with the Bulgarians and his general John Curcuas begins conquests in the East; crowned three of his sons who in the end dethroned him; St. Luke the Stylite lived on top of a column in Chalcedon during Romanus I reign
923 to 969 Byzantine Empire push back Arabs
927 East Roman Government recognized Bulgarian Emperor and an autonomous Patriarch
945 to 959 Reign of Constantine VII, brought to power by the acclaim of the people in Constantinople
959 to 963 Reign of Romanus II, son of Constantine VII; married Theophano and had two young sons, Basil II and Constantine VIII
961 Byzantine navy under Nicephorus Phocas wins back Crete from Arabs
963 Reign of Nicephorus II, who married Romanusš widow Theophano; Cilicia, Cyprus and Antioch were recovered
965 Byzantines re-capture Cyprus from the Arabs
969 Re-capture of Antioch from Arabs; Nicephorus murdered by his wife and cousin John Tzimisces, who took his place
969 to 976 Reign of John I Tzimisces, a capable general who conquered half of Bulgaria, defeated the Russsian invasion and marched his armies to the outskirts of Jerusalem and Baghdad
976 to 1025 Reign of Basil II, the Bulgar Slayer; during his reign perhaps the greatest victory of the Greek Church took place; the conversion of the Kievan Russia
986 Two of the most powerful Anatolian families, Bardas Phocas and Bardas Sclerus; Basil II ended the civil war with the support of Russian troops; in return for the support, Basil II married his sister Anna to the Russian Prince Vladimir on the condition that his people convert to Christianity
989 Conversion of Prince Vladimir of Kiev and beginning of Byzantine culture in Russia
1014 Emperor Basil II 'Bulgar-slayer' defeats Tsar Samuel at the Struma River, captures and blinds 14,000 Bulgarian soldiers and sends them back to Samuel
1025 to 1028 Emperor Constantine VIII, Basil's brother, rules; dies leaving three middle-aged daughters, Eudocia, Theodora and Zoe; for the next decades husbands and proteges of Zoešs ruled the Empire
1028 to 1034 Reign of Emperor Romanus III Argyrus, husband of Zoe
1034 to 1041 Reign of Emperor Michael IV, married by Zoe on death of Romanus; he put down a serious Bulgarian rebellion but was an epileptic; on his death Zoe adopted and crowned his nephew, Michael V who tried to overthrow her
1042 After popular rising in Constantinople dethroned Michael V, Zoe and her sister Theodora are established as sole rulers of the Empire
1042 to 1054 Reign of Emperor Constantine IX Monomachus; sisters Zoe and Theodora were jealous of each other so Zoe remarried. Did nothing to stop the growing power of the Church and the aristocracy.
1045 Emperor Constantine IX re-opened the university and founded a Law School in Constantinople
May 1054 Roman and Eastern Church under the French Pope Leo IX and the Patriarch Michael Cerularius excommunicate each other. Some of the religious differences that had evolved during the centuries are 1) the theological issue of the Procession of the Holy Ghost(Latin Creed states Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son, Orthodox Creed states solely from the Father), centering around the work filioque which the Latins had added to the Creed as it had been fixed at the Second Oecumenical Council, 2) the use of leavened(Greek) or unleavened(Latin) bread used during the sacrament, 3) the Greek practice of epiklesi, the prayer invoking the Holy Ghost at the consecration of the Host, a prayer omitted by the Latins, 4) primacy of the Pope over the other Eastern Patriarchs
1054 to 1056 Reign of Empress Theodora on Constantine IX death
1059 to 1067 Reign of Emperor Constantine X Ducas; due to the economy and fear of military revolts the army was reduced causing disorganization
1067 to 1071 Reign of Romanus IV Diogenes, a representative of the Anatolian generals
1071 Byzantine army was defeated in a decisive battle by Seljuk(not Ottoman) Turks at Manzikert in Armenia; the Empire never recovered. Loss due to the fact that the armies were composed largely of mercenaries, and the plots of Michael Psellus with the Ducas family; the Armenian soldiers, as a result of religious animosities, deserted en masse on the field of battle, the premeditated desertion of general Andronicus Ducas, nephew of Constantine X Ducas and a leading personality in the bureaucratic faction.
1071 to 1078 Reign of Michael VII Ducas, son of Romanus IV; Andronicus returned to Constantinople, declared the defeat of the army at Manzikert and the bureaucratic faction supported the accession of Michael VII; meanwhile the Turks captured and released Emperor Romanus IV; with two rival emperors, the Empire was plunged into civil war just when Turkish tribes were entering the Empire unopposed. During the next ten years the factions bid against each other for the services of the Turkmen chieftains, handing many towns over to Turkish garrisons and ensuring the success of the Turkish occupation. The Turks subsequently overran Asia Minor; they were pastoral and not agricultural people; cultivation ceased, roads and aqueducts fell into ruin, Asia Minor declined rapidly into a desert and robbed the Empire of its main recruiting ground and granary. Michael VII was forced to abdicate throne in favor of a soldier, Nicephorus III Botaniates
1078 to 1081 Reign of Nicephorus III Botaniates, dethroned by another soldier, Alexius Comnenus
1080 Seljuks capture Asia Minor cities
1081 to 1118 Reign of Emperor Alexius I Comnenus; saves the Empire by fighting on every front keeping the Normans, under Robert Guiscard, from the Balkans, drove back invaders from the north and held the Seljuks at bay. Was able to use Crusaders for his purposes, but paid a price in opening a new direct trade route to Syria, procured the help of the Venetian ships with commercial concessions and devalued the Empirešs currency. Because of these commercial changes, taxation was raised significantly to the point that some people welcomed the Seljuks
1085 Death of Norman leader Robert Guiscard, providing Empire with badly-needed respite from defending western front
1090 to 1091 Patzinaks, allied with Turkish emir of Smyrna, attack Constantinople by land and sea. In an alliance with the Cumans, Alexius defeats them at Mt. Levounion(date unknown)
1096 First Crusade roused by the preaching of Pope Urban at the Council of Clermont; Crusading leaders gathered in Constantinople and swore an oath agreeing to return lands formerly belonging to the empire which they might conquer; won back land from the Seljuk Turks, notably Nicaea, then went south to Palestine
1098 Start of antagonisms between Greeks and Crusaders when Bohemund claimed Antioch for himself; Crusaders; Bohemund defeated in battle in western Greece
1118 to 1143 Reign of John II Comnenus, son of Alexius; won more land back from the Seljuks and withdrew concessions to foreigners
1143 to 1180 Reign of Manuel I Comnenus, son of John II; relied on Western arms and ships from the Italian republics, granting more commercial concessions; Constantinople remained a great factory of the world's luxuries, but her customs' revenue and overseas trade dwindled
1147 Second Crusade
1147 Norman invaders under Roger II capture Thebes and Corinth and carry off silk-worms and weavers to Italy, breaking the old Imperial monopoly
1171 Manuel, having concluded alliances with Pisa and Genoa, decided to strike at Venice by arresting all Venetians in the Empire and confiscating all their ships and goods, symbolizing the degeneration of the empire's relationship with the west and between Latins and Greeks in Constantinople.
1176 Disastrous defeat of Manuel I's army at Myriocephalum opens the door for Seljuk Turks to re-establish themselves in Asia Minor
1183 to 1185 Reign of Andronicus I Comnenus, who had his young cousin Alexius II, son of Manuel I, murdered so he could accede to the throne. Great massacre of Italians in Constantinople; all concessions withdrawn. Made many enemies, was overthrown by riots in Constantinople
1184 to 1204 Collapse of East Roman Empire
1185 to 1195 Reign of Isaac II Angelus; popular uprising overthrow Andronicus I in favor of Angelus
1185 Normans take Thessaloniki and subject inhabitants to merciless treatment, partly for revenge of the massacre of Latins in 1183
1190 Third Crusade
1191 Cyprus taken from Byzantines by English King Richard I "Lion Hearts"
1195 to 1203 Reign of Alexius III, who deposed and succeeded his brother Isaac II Angelus
1197 to 1272 Nicephorus Blemmydes; first of polymath Byzantine scholars; studied medicine, philosophy, theology, mathematics and astronomy; founded school whose pupils were Emperor Theodore II and George Acropolites; became a monk in his later years
1198 King Richard sells Cyprus to Frankish crusaders from previous crusades who had been ousted from Jerusalem by the Arabs
1203 Army of Fourth Crusade arrive in Constantinople and restore Isaac II Angelus, deposed by brother Alexius III in 1195, as Emperor and his son , Alexius IV Angelus, co-emperor; Crusaders, once arriving in Venice, were unable to raise funds for passage to Egypt. Agreed to help Venetians take Christian city of Zara from the Hungarians; Alexius IV, offered to pay the debt to the Venetians if the Crusaders would restore his father to the throne in Constantinople
1204 Fourth Crusade and capture and sack of Constantinople by Venetians and French and installation of French Emperor, Count Baldwin of Flanders; anti-Venetian actions of 1171 and 1183 lead to event; a riot broke out which gave the Crusaders their excuse to capture and sack the city.
1204 to 1222 Reign of Emperor Theodore I Lascaris in Nikaia, established as Empire's refugee Greek successor-state after fall of Constantinople to West; two others declared independence, a Comnenus in Trebizond(which lasted until 1461) and an Angelus in Epirus who acquired Thessaloniki from its Latin lords.
1205 to 1216 Henry becomes second Latin Emperor of Constantinople; Baldwin killed in war with Bulgarians
1210 to 1645 Venetians occupy Crete; Venetians occupied islands along the coastline and established colonies and won concessions that captured for her all the Eastern trade
1217 to 1219 Reign of third Latin Empress Yolande of Constantinople, sister of Henry and Baldwin
1219 to 1228 Reign of fourth Latin Robert of Constantinople, son of Yolande
1222 to 1254 Reign of John III Ducas Vatatzes in Nikaia, Theodore II's son-in-law
1242 to 1310 George Pachymer, Byzantine scholar; deacon of Church and professor at the Patriarchal Academy; best known work was Byzantine historiography; main interest was mathematics and the theory of music
1246 Empire of Thessalonika falls
1254 to 1258 Reign of Theodore II Lascaris in Nikaia, son of John III; student of Nicephorus Blemmydes, during his reign wrote on philosophy
1259 Reign of Michael VIII Palaiologus, a member of the aristocracy who had Theodore IIšs son, John IV, blinded
1260-1310 Maximus Planudes, Byzantine scholar; monk and mathematician that recommended use of Arabic numerals; wrote a historical geography; rewrote Aesopšs fables; one of first scholars to translate Latin works into Greek
1260 Nicephorus Chumnus born in Thessaloniki, Byzantine scholar; wrote on philosophy, Aristotelian tastes but tempered by overriding sense of apophatic theology; interested in natural sciences, advocated clarity, simplicity and brevity in writing
1261 Reconquest of Constantinople by Michael VIII Palaiologos; Genoese had been his allies who had to be payed by commercial concessions which reduced the Empire's revenue; could not afford system of tax-free gifts of land to pay frontier forces so abolished such holdings in Asia and so weakened his defenses. Refounded University of Constantinople which had been abeyance in Nikaia; George Acropolites becomes head of University
1270 Theodore Metochites born, Byzantine scholar; became Grand Logothetes in 1320; wrote on every branch of the Outer Learning(non-theological studies vs. Inner Learning), philosophy(favored Plato), education, the sciences, astronomy, his histories show an honest objectivity
1274 At Council of Lyon, Emperor Michael's envoys pledge ecclesiastical union with the West and acknowledge Papal supremacy; Patriarch and others oppose. Beginning of many attempts of union between Eastern and Western Christendom
1282 to 1328 Reign of Andronicus II Paleologus, son of Michael VIII. Enlarged the University and placed it under the care of the Grand Logothete; professor's salaries were paid by the state
1295 Birth of Nicephorus Gregora, Byzantine scholar and remarkable polymath; chief interests were acoustics, astronomy; wrote polemic works on theology, opposing Palamas, and his great History
1300 Gregory Choniades dies in Constantinople; founded an academy at Trebizond for the study of astronomy.
1302 to 1388 Catalan Grand Company of Spanish mercenaries hired by Emperor Andronikos II to fight Seljuk Turks
1305 to 1307 Catalan Grand Company of Spanish mercenaries, hired by Emperor Andronikos II to fight the Seljuk Turks, turned against Constantinople and blockaded it for two years and eventually retired to ravage Macedonia and the Greek mainland
1308 Turks introduced into Europe due to Catalan Grand Company of Spanish mercenaries
1320 Birth of Nicholas Cabasilas in Thessaloniki, Byzantine scholar and mystical humanist; supported Palamas, approved of secular and Classical learning; pioneer of the term "Hellene" to mean a contemporary Byzantine Greek rather than its previous meaning of Ancient Greek pagan. His views on mysticism did not coincide with Palamas; believed that mystical experience could best be reached by concentration on the Sacrament and that there was no reason why a mystic should not be a man of the world and that secular learning would help rather than hinder him.
1321 to 1328 Andronicus II fought his grandson and heir Andronicus III which only ended when the old Emperor died 1326 Bursa captured by Osman(Ottoman Turks)
1328 to 1341 Reign of Andronicus III Paleologus
1329 Nicaea captured by Ottoman Turks
1331 to 1355 Serbian Empire under Stephen Dusan reaches its zenith; a constant menace to Constantinople
1336 Meteora established as a monastic Greek Orthodox community
1337 Nicomedia captured by Ottoman Turks
1338 Orkhan, son of Osman, and Ottoman Turks takes Anatolia
1341 Death of Emperor Andronikos IV Paleologus leaving his nine-year-old son John V Paleologos and John Kantakuzenos as regent
1345 Serbian Czar Stephan Dushan invades Macedonia and Thrace
1346 John VI Kantakuzenos proclaims himself Emperor in Andrianople, starts civil war with John V and marries his daughter Theodora to Sultan Orkhan to gain alliance with Ottomans
1346 to 1566 Genoese hold Hios
1347 The Black Death(plague) strikes Constantinople; possibly half the population of the city and one-third of the Empire was wiped out.
1348 Serbian Czar Stephan Dushan invades Thessaly and Epirus
1340 to 1350 Palamas champions hesychasm(individual worship)
1342 to 1349 Zealot faction controls Thessaloniki, second city of the Empire;uprising results in massacre of landed aristocracy
1350 War between Venetians and Genoese, Kantakuzenos sided with Venetians and John V and Ottomans side with Genoese
1351 Council of Eastern Churches endorses doctrine of Energies, Gregory Palamas view of Hesychism that the Orthodox mystic could perceive Godšs uncreated energies, but not God Himself, or His Essence, which is invisible and and indivisible
1355 Reign of Andronicus IV Paleologus, son of John V
1355 to 1451 George Gemistus Plethon, Byzantine scholar; saw no difference between Inner and Outer Learning(theological and non-theological); particularly disliked apophatic theology and believed that God gave us reason in order that we should understand everything. Had little use for Roman tradition of Empire, "We are Hellenes by race and culture." His aim was to save the Greek world by reforming it along Platonic lines.
1357 Ottoman Turks capture Adrianople and make it their capital
1358 to 1361 Orkhan dies after expanding into Europe; son Murad declares holy war on Byzantine infidels and takes Adrianople, second city of the Empire after Constantinople
1371 Battle of Maritsa that put Bulgaria in the hands of Ottoman Turks
1379 Reign of John V Paleologus, father of Andronicus IV; tours Italy vainly seeking help and was detained as a debtor in Venice
1389 Battle of Kosovo that put Serbia in the hands of the Ottoman Turks
1390 Turks control reaches the Danube and the Emoire held only Constantinople, Thessalonika and the Peloponese
1390 John V ousted by his grandson John VII Paleologus
1391 Manuel II Palaiologos assumes throne from his father Emperor John V; like his father toured the West for support, going as far as Paris and London, but in vain. Reorganizes higher education and moves University to Saint John in Petrion; knew Latin and insisted on its study at the University.
1393 Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I, son of Murad, besieges Constantinople
1395 Ottomans capture Larissa
1396 Army from Western Europe destroyed by Turks at Nicopolis
1397 Ottomans capture Thessaloniki and Athens and besiege Constantinople but do not win her; proceeding to Peloponese where "thirty thousand Greeks were removed thence by Bayezid's order, and transported to Asia: and Turkoman and Tartar colonies were settled in their staid in the classic regions of Lakonia, Messinia, Achaia, Argolis and Ellis"
1402 Ottomans force of 100,000 under Bayezid are wiped out near Ankara by Mongols and Tartars out of central Asian under Timur the Lame. Ottoman holdings abandoned to former holders. It was an opportunity to eject the Turks from Europe, but the Empire was not strong enough, the Serbs were traitors and the West would not cooperate.
1405 Birth of George Scholarius, Byzantine scholar and the Patriarch Gennadius; trained as a lawyer, became a Judge-General in charge of the University. Learned Latin and was an admirer of Thomas Aquinas; wrote a number of philosophical works. Was a delegate to the Council of Florence and supported union, but on his return to Constantinople began to have doubts. Seems to have believed that the end of the world was at hand; by Byzantine calculations the world would be 7000 years old by 1492, a turning point and certainly the Anti-Christ was at the gates. Therefore, it was more important to keep the Faith pure than preserve the worldly Empire, which he was instrumental in doing when he worked out a constitution with the Sultan that preserved the entity of the Greek people and the Church
1413 Timur the Lamešs Empire breaks up and Turks recover their holdings
1420 Reign of John VIII Paleologus, son of Manuel II
1422 Ottomans unsuccessfully besiege Constantinople
1423 Governor of Thessaloniki, fearing a Turkish attack, sold the city to the Venetians
1430 Ottomans capture Thessaloniki and slaughter or enslave Greek population
1439 John VIII pledges to the Union of the Churches at the Council of Florence, aborted attempt to unite Roman Catholic and East Orthodox Churches under Papal supremacy
1444 As a result of John VIIIšs pledge at the Council of Florence, a new Western expedition invades the Balkans to be defeated by the Turks at Varna
1448 Reign if Constantine XI Palaiologos, after his brother John VIII dies.
1451 to 1481 Sultan Mehmed II "the Conqueror" leads Ottomans in capture of Constantinople
Dec 12, 1452 Unification of the churches on the west's terms proclaimed in Agia Sofia when Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos, against the peoples wishes, appealed to the Pope for military help
May 29,1453 Fall of Constantinople to Ottomans
Jan 6,1454 George Skholarios under name of Yennadios, ordained from monk to Patriarch in one day via friendship of Sultan Mehmet II
1460 Turks conquer Peloponese
1461 Ottoman Turks conquer Pontos, successor state established after Latin invasion of 1204; last Greek enclave
1482 Venetians take Zakynthos and begin domination of Ionian Islands
1489 Venetians assume control of Cyprus from Franks
1492 Ottoman Empire gives asylum to expelled Sephardic Jews from Spain
1526 Moldavia and Wallachia come under Ottoman rule and keep autonomous rule
1571 Conquest of Cyprus from Venetians by Ottoman Turks
1571 Battle of Lepanto, Spain, Venice, Genoa and Roman Papacy send armada and destroy Turkish navy
1589 Patriarchate of Moscow created
1599 Hios taken from Florence by Ottomans
1612 The United Provinces were accorded a capitulatory treaty of their own, similar to those granted to England and France but limited in trade. They made free use of it tointroduce tobacco into Turkey in the face of vigorous but vain opposition by the Mufti.
1638 New Testament translated by Maximos of Gallipoli and published in Modern Greek in Geneva
1640-? Jesuits missionaries converted Greek Orthodox to Protestantism via use of 'demotiki' language
1645 to 1669 Turco-Venetian War
1669 Dragoman of Porte(Interpreter of Imperial Court) & Dragoman of Fleet created by Ottomans
1682 to 1791 Hundred Year War between Hapsburg Monarchy and Ottoman Empire
1683 Second failed siege of Vienna by Ottomans which began recession of Ottoman Empire's frontiers
1695 Hios taken from Venetians by Ottomans
1711 Prince of autonomous principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia to Phanariots
1715 Ottomans reconquer Morea from Venetians
1768 to 1774 Russo-Turkish War in which Ottoman's lost
1770 Empress Catherine II(the Great) sends Russian fleet to western Greece and induces Greeks to failed revolt
1787 to 1792 Russo-Turkish War
1797 Collapse of the Venetian Republic and loss of Ionian Islands to France
1810(1815?) Ionian Islands annexed by Britain
1821 Prince Alexander Ypsilantes, who rose to rank of major-general in Russian army, led failed Greek revolt in Moldavia in early March 1821, wrongly assumed non-Greeks would support him.
1821 to 1829 Greek War of Independence. 64,000 Turks in Peloponese at the time(16% of population). Half killed in first weeks of war
1822 Massacre of Hios by Ottomans after Greek Insurrection, killed 25,000, enslaved 50,000 of total 100,000 population
1825 to 27 Egyptians retake Greece for Ottomans
Oct 20, 1827 European fleet destroys Egyptian fleet at Navarino bay
1830 Jacob Fallmerayer publishes work that challenges Greeks' claims of common racial descent from the ancient Hellenes
1831 Count John Capodistrias(1776 to 1831), first president of Greece, assassinated by disgruntled Maniats
1833 Autocephelous Church of Greece created
1833 Installation of King Otto(1816 to 1867), son of King Ludwig of Bavaria, first ruling through a regency then assuming full powers in his person. Population of Greece approximately. 800,000
1843 Greece becomes a semi-constitutional monarchy after bloodless revolt attains dismissal of Bavarian ministers
1853 to 1856 Crimean(Russo-Turkish) War that Greeks could not take advantage of and expand, partly due to French and English troops occupying Greece
1860 Konstantine Paparigopoulos publishes first of five volume "History of the Hellenic Nation from the Ancient Times Until Modern "
1861 Assassination attempt on Queen Amalia
1862 King Otto deposed; replaced by the Danish prince King George I(1845-) and new constitution creating a "crowned democracy"
1864 Ionian Islands ceded by Britain as a good will gesture
1866 Ecclesiastical independence of Romanian Orthodox Church
1866 to 1869 Cretans unsuccessful revolt against Ottomans
1870 Ecclesiastical independence of Bulgarian Orthodox Church
1877 to 1888 Russo-Turkish War that saw the creation of Bulgaria
1878 Cyprus ceded to Britain by Ottoman Empire
1881 Thessaly and Arta region of Epirus ceded to Greece by Ottomans via European Power intervention
1890 to 1914 GREEK IMMIGRATION. Widespread unemployment and economic problems led to extensive migrations almost entirely to US of 350,000, one-fifth of total population
1893 Greek government led by Harilaos Tricoupis forced to declare the country bankrupt
1896 Baron Pierre de Coubertin of France initiates efforts to revive Olympic Games at the ancient stadium in Athens
1897 Greece fights and loses two-week war with the Ottoman Empire. Crete gains autonomy with Prince George of Greece as first governor
1901 "Evangelakia" riots over translations of the Bible into demotic Greek
1908 Ottoman officers revolt "Young Turks" in Thessaloniki
1909 Officers revolt("Military League") after decade of instability caused by 1897 defeat and inspired by Young Turks, topple weak Greek government, impose reforms, then dissolve and invite Venizelos to be Prime Minister
1911 Eleftherios Venizelos becomes Prime Minister
1911 to 1912 Italy declares war on Turkey, invades Libya and Dodecanese Islands, Turkish holdings
1912 Greece homogenous in population except for 6000 Muslims in Thessaly(Campbell & Sherrard, p143)
1912 to 1913 Balkan Wars. Balkan League of Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece declare war on Turkey and drive Turks out of Europe. Greece gains Macedonia and Epirus. Now 13% minorities including 370,000 Turks and 104,000 Bulgars
Mar 18,1913 King George assassinated in Thessaloniki by madman
1913 Treaty of London placed Crete under full Greek rule
1913 Treaty of Bucharest placed much of western Thrace in Greek hands; Lesbos, Chios & Samos also incorporated
1914 to 1918 First World War
1916 National Schism between supporting Entente or Central Powers results in divided government, Venizelos declaring provisional government in Thessaloniki
1917 Russian revolution
June 1917 Britain and France demand abdication of King Constantine. King and son Prince George flee, his second son Alexander became provisional King
July 2,1917 Venizelos assumes control of Greece and declares war on Central powers
May 1918 Greece mobilizes 250,000 troops, loses 6,000 dead and 25,000 wounded before peace is declared in November
1919-1922 Greco-Turkish War
March 1919 Italy lands forces at Antalya to ensure their mandate over southwest Turkey(promised to them for entering WWI on side of Entente)
May 6,1919 Greek forces, escorted by British and French naval units, occupy Smyrna in reaction to Italian invasion
June 1920 Turkish nationalists under Mustapha Kemal attack British position on the Ismid peninsula at the eastern end of the Sea of Marmara and Greek forces sent to aid them.
Aug 10,1920 Treaty of Sevres signed but never ratified by Entente powers of Turkey. Gives Greece eastern Thrace, the islands of Tenedos and Imbros and administration of the Smyrna district that stays under Turkish sovereignty for five years. By a plebescite after this period the population could ask for incorporation into the Greek state.
Aug 12,1920 Assassination attempt on Venizelos and retaliatory death of Ion Dragoumis by fanatical pro-Venizelists on the streets of Athens
Sept 30,1920 King Alexander(1893 to 1920) bit by pet monkey and dies of blood poisoning on October 25
Nov 14, 1920 Venizelos loses elections and leaves the country
Dec 5, 1920 Greeks vote for King Constantine's return over the allies warnings of cutting off all aid to Greece
Sept 1921 Greek drive brings troops to within 65 km of Ankara before being pushed back
Sept8/14,1922 Smyrna evacuated after Greek army routed, 30,000 civilians killed, million refugees fled to Greece joining half a million Greeks who had fled earlier
Sept 26, 1922 Military coup in reaction to the loss in Asia Minor led by Colonels Plastiras and Gonatas creating the Revolutionary Government results in abdication by King Constantine, Prince George becomes King George II
Nov 28, 1922 The Six, five former ministers including the Prime Minister Gounaris, Stratou and the Commander in Chief Hadjianesti, were executed by firing squad in reaction to the loss in Asia Minor
1922 Collapse of Ottoman Empire
Jan 30, 1923 Convention signed by Greece and Turkey for the compulsory exchange of minority populations except the Turks in western Thrace and the 100,000 Greeks in Constantinople.
July 23, 1923 Treaty of Lausanne signed ending Greco-Turkish War. Eastern Thrace, islands of Tenedos and Imbros reverted to Turkey
1923 Abortive royalist military coup in Macedonia led by Metaxas led the Revolutionary Government to request King George II to leave Greece until elections could be held on the monarchy
1924 Elections held that restored constitutional rule with Venizelos as Prime Minister and Revolutionary Government stepped down. Venizelos resigns after a month over monarchy question and numerous governments form and fall until 1928
Apr 13, 1924 Plebescite resulted in 69% for establishing a republic
Jun 25, 1925 Political instability and general unrest among urban workers, especially the refugees, brings on a coup by General Pangalos
August 1926 Pangalos economic and diplomatic mishandling of national affairs brings coup by General Kondylis
Nov 7, 1926 Elections resulted in almost even split of Liberals(Venizelists) and republicans vs Populists. Ten Communist deputies elected, 8 from Macedonia
1928-1932 Venizelos returns to govern Greece. Instituted educational reforms. Built many primary schools, made education less classical and more practical, established demotic Greek in the schools
1928 Exchange of population increased Greece's numbers by 3.6 million to 6.2 million inhabitants. Population of Athens doubles between 1907 and 1928
1931 British go off gold standard; Greece effected by Great Depression
Apr 15, 1932 Greece suspends payments on foreign loans
Sep 1932 Populists form government after close elections; 11% of vote for Left, Communist, Agrarians
Jan 12, 1933 Populist government falls, Venizelos forms government
Mar 5, 1933 Close elections, Venizelos loses. Tsaldaris forms government. Attempted coup by republicans fails.
Jun 6, 1933 Venizelos escapes assassination for role in attempted coup. The car used by the assassins belonged to the brother of the Athens chief of Police who was appointed by Tsaldaris.
Mar 1934 Populists passed bill to retire officers, republican officers were threatened. Also attempted to change election laws and voting districts to insure their reelection. One of Venizelos assassins was caught and tried twice without an outcome.
Mar 1, 1935 Republicans attempt coup to regain power. Coup failed. More than a thousands put on trial and convicted; three officers executed as revenge for the Six. Venizelos condemned to death in absentia, leaves country.
Oct 10, 1935 General Papagos gives ultimatum to Prime Minister Tsaldaris to restore the monarchy; Tsaldaris declares government overthrown by force; General Kondylis forms government supported by the armed forces
Nov 3, 1935 Plebescite shows 97% of voters want return of King.
Nov 25, 1993 King George II returns to Greece
Jan 26, 1935 Elections are close between Populists and republicans, Communists holding the balance.
Jan-Apr 1936 General Kondylis, Venizelos and Prime Minister Dermitzis die. King asks General Ioannis Metaxas to from government. Metaxas spurred by continuing political problems and the Communist threat takes dictatorial powers which the King supports.
Aug 4, 1936 Dictatorship formally established, various articles of the constitution were suspended, press censorship established, parliament dissolved; announcement provoked little public reaction. King felt Metaxas was only one could prepare Greece for war.
1936-1940 Metaxas tried to create a new Greek society, to replace selfish individualism and disillusionment with new corporate and Christian loyalties. Began E.O.N. Youth Movement
1940-1945 World War II
Oct 28, 1940 Metaxas says "OXI" to the Italians request for capitulation. Italians invade Epirus
Jan 29, 1941 Metaxas dies.
April 1941 Germany and Italy occupy Greece
Oct 31, 1944 Germans evacuate northern Greece
1946-1950 Greek Civil War
Mar 7,1947 Dodecanese ceded to Greece by Italians after WWII and last territorial addition to present day Greece
1960 Cyprus gains independence from Britain
Dec 7, 1965 Catholic and Orthodox churches cancelled excommunications of 1054
April 22, 1967 Coup of Greek colonels; 'demotiki' banned from schools replaced by 'katherevousa'.
1974 Greek Junta falls; Turkish invasion of Cyprus

Many thanks to Mr. Charlie Kyriacou, who compiled the above brief Chronology table.