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A Detailed Chronology of Greek History

Collected and Compiled by Charlie Kyriacou


Many of you have made inquiries concerning different aspects of Greek history and culture. I thought I'd share them with others and link the research I had done on the subjects to items in the chronology. Thank you everyone for your questions. Keep them coming!





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


All mainland palace-fortresses sacked except acropolis of Athens, Mycenae alone re-occupied


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


Fall of Troy; believed by some Hellenistic scholars


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


First examples of inscriptions in Hellenic Greek alphabet


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)


Naxus, first colony in Sicily established by Chalcis of Euboea


Sicilian colony of Syracuse established by Corinth


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


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


Byzantium(later Constantinople) founded by sailors from Megara


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


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


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


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, Periander¹s nephew and successor, rules Corinth


Thales of Miletus predicts solar eclipse


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 class¹s 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


A sixth century inscription implies that Hios had a 'democratic' council of 50 member council from each tribes and an aristocratic council


Nemean games established at Cleonae between Sicyon and Argos


First coins minted by Athens


Peisistratus first attempt at tyranny in Athens that lasted four years


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


Spartans gains leadership over most of Peloponese; formed the Peloponnesean League


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


Hipparchus, brother of the tyrant Hippias, assassinated by Harmodius and Aristogeiton


Darius and Persian army invade Europe in Thrace but not Greek peninsula


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.


Fifth Century Greek Philosophers:
Leucippus(b. 480)
Zeno of Eleo(b. 450)


Artaphernes, Persian satrap, demands Athens restore Hippias as tyrant. Athens alliance with Persia ceases.

499 to 494

Ionian(Asia Minor) revolt against Persians


Athenians & Ertrians join Ionian revolt, capture and sack Sardis

496 to 406

Sophocles, leading tragic playwright


Miletus sacked by Persians


Themistocles an archon of Athens


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.


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)


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


Hellenic League founded to defend against Persians. Both Athens & Sparta members


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


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.


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


Pausanias, Spartan regent, leads Hellenic League fleet, capturing Cyprus & Byzantium from Persians. Founding of Delian League dominated by Athens


Themistocles ostracized for Medism, lived in Argos, then fled to Persia


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


Artaxerxes becomes Persian king, gives Themistocles asylum


Earthquake at Sparta and revolt of Messenia


Thasos seceded from Delian League and is captured by Athens


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.


Athenians Cimon ostracized and Ephilates murdered


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


Pericles commands Athens at battle of Tanagra against Sparta, first direct battle. Spartan victory at Tanagra, Athenian victories at Boetia & Aegina


Transfer of Delian League treasury to Athens. Disaffection of League allies from 454 to 450. Miletus revolts


Five year truce between Athens & Sparta


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


1st Peloponessean War ends. Thirty Years Peace. Parties swore to abide peacefully for 30 years.


Ostracism between Thucydides & Pericles. Former ostracized.

443 to 428

Pericles hold office of general


Samos & Byzantium Revolt from Delian League suppressed by Pericles


Statue of Athene Parthenos created by Phidias set up in Parthenon


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


Plague in Athens; second Attic invasion. Pericles deposed from office of general, tried, fined and reappointed.


Peloponeseans siege Plataea; death of Pericles

428 to 348

Plato, born in Athens or Aegina to aristocratic family


Peace of Nicias to last for 50 years. Alcibiades(brought up by Pericles as guardian) opposes peace and lobbys for alliance with Argos


Intrigues of Alcibiades in Peloponese leads to alliance of Athens and Argos


Sparta defeats Argos and her allies at Mantinea


Athenians capture Melos, not part of Delian League, kill men and enslave rest


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


Athens blockade Syracuse, aided by Spartans, destroy Athenian fleet


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


Many islands revolt against Athenian rule. Alcibiades goes to Hios with Spartans to get islands to revolt against Athens.


Peisander, as part of a plan of to recall Alcibiades and to win Persian support against Sparta, wins assembly support to change constitution.


Council of 400 deposed in Athens, replaced by rule of 5000; Alcibiades made Athenian general


Restoration of full democracy in Athens


Athenian fleet destroyed at Aegospotami


Surrender of Athens, peace with Sparta. Didn't destroy Athens as check of most powerful allies of Corinth and Thebes


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.


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


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


Trial and execution of Socrates(b. 470) on charges of impiety and corrupting the youth


Sparta sends forces to Ionia to protect them from Persians and continue raids until 396


Start of Corinthian War. Persians stir up Athens, Argos, Corinth & Thebes to revolt against Spartans


Persian fleet defeats Spartans of Cnidus. Begins overthrow of Spartans in Aegean


Conon, ex-Athenian general, working for Persians, restores Athens walls to defend from Sparta


Evagoras, tyrant of Salamis in Cyprus, who had contributed to Persian ships to defeat Sparta, revolts against Persians


Plato founds the Academy in Athens, first European university


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


Athens forms Second Sea League against Sparta. Chios, Mytilene, Byzantium, Rhodes and others. Spartans attack Thebes


Theban & Athenian fleet defeat Spartan fleet. Athens remains strongest Aegean power until 322. Thebe rebuild its federation


Sparta and Athens make peace. Spartans lose dominance


Thebes invades Peloponese in support of Arcadia against Sparta. Athens aligns with Sparta


Aristotle becomes student at Plato's Academy in Athens and remains there for 20 years until Plato¹s death in 347BC


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


End of Peloponnesean League


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


Perdicas III, ruler of Macedon and Phillip II brother, killed in battle. Phillip rules as regent for Perdicas¹ son for a few years, then kills his nephew and rules as King.


Phillip II captures Amphipolis from Athens


Phillip II captures Potidea and sells citizens into slavery; defeats combined army in Thrace


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


Phillip captures Halkidiki, plunders city of Olynthus and sells inhabitants into slavery


Death of Plato


Peace treaty between Athens and Phillip of Macedon; Phillip gains control of Thermoplylae


Phillip undertakes an extensive scheme of internal colonization, transplanting large bodies of people between the different parts of the kingdom


Phillip conquers Illyria


Aristotle moves to Macedonia; becomes Alexander's tutor for three years


Phillip invades Epirus, overthrows king and installs his brother-in-law Alexander


Phillip returns to Thessaly; reorganizes administration

342 to 339

Philip conquers Aegean coast of Thrace and cities on west coast of Black Sea


Philip unsuccessful in siege on Perinthius and Byzantium


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.


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.


Alexander III sent into exile with some of his friends


Alexander returns after Phillip II assassinated and acclaimed king; Alexander probably not involved in father's death


Aristotle moves to Athens opens school, Lyceum

334 to 330

Alexander the Great conquers the Persian Empire


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.


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)


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


Death of Aristotle at 63


Olympia(Alexander's mother) invades Macedonia with Epirot Army, executes Phillip III and Kassander, son of Antipater, flees


Kassander defeats Olympia's army and executes her


Kassander, in consolidating hold of Macedonia, executes Roxanne and Alexander's son, Alexander IV


Library of Alexandria founded by Ptolemy, one of Alexander's generals


Demetrios, son of Antigonos, conquers most of southern Greece


Euclid, geometry in Alexandria

287 to 212

Archimedes of Syracuse, studied in Alexandria


Lysimachos and Seleucos armies fight, Seleucid wins and controls all of Alexander's Empire except Egypt


Seleucid Empire


First Punic(Carthaginian) Wars by Rome over Sicily


Second Punic(Carthaginian) Wars


Romans defeat Macedonian army of Philip V


Romans and Macedonians defeat Seleucid army of Antiochos at Thermopylai

153 to 146

Third Punic(Carthaginian) Wars and Romans stormed Carthage


Romans conquer Macedonia after abolishing monarchy and years of rebellion


Attalos II, descendant of Eumenes, bequeaths Pergamos in western Asia minor to Rome. Many Romans emigrate to Pergamos


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


Caesar and Pompey's armies fight near Thermopylai, Caesar wins


Caesar and Cleopatra conceives son, Caesarion


Library of Alexandria burned accidentally(by Caesar?)

March 15, 44 BC

Caesar assassinated by Cassius and Brutus


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.


Antony and Cleopatra invade Italy to depose Octavian


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.


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


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


Romans slaughter Goths in Bulgaria

284 to 1453

Byzantine Civilization


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


Maximian appointed augustus in the west by Diocletian


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.


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


Diocletian abdicates throne with hopes that his system of succession that he established will work


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


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


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


Edict of Milan in which the East and West Roman Emperors, Constantine I and Licinius, lift ban on Christianity


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


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


Constantine baptized a Christian by an Arian bishop on his deathbed. Succeeded by his three sons, Constantine II, Constantius II and Constans I


Constantine's sons were quarrelsome and by this time the other two were dead and Constantius was Emperor.


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


Julian, Constantius¹ 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"


Julian dies attempting to invade Persia


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


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


Settled barbarians quarrelled with Imperial officials and marched on Constantinople; Valens¹ 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


Second Ecumenical Council convoked by Theodosius I in Constantinople


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


Visigoths under Alaric sack Rome


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


Vandals sack Carthage

442 to 450

Huns out of central Asia under Attila attack Greek and Roman cities


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 Empire¹s 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.


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)


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


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


Institutes of Hellenic Greek philosophy in Athens closed by Justinian I because of Hellenism/Christianity conflict


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


Justinian's Code published, a re-organization and updating of Roman law


General Bellasarius conquers Vandals in North Africa

Dec 27, 537

Inauguration ceremony of Ayia Sophia Cathedral in Constantinople


Antioch sacked by the Syrian campaign of the Persian monarch Chosroes


Bulgars invade Balkan peninsula and ravage Thrace, Macedonia, Illyricum and press as far south as Corinth


Plague decimates the Empire


Fifth Ecumenical Council convened in Constantinople; condemned at Justinian's order the abstruse heresy of the Three Chapters


Death of Justinian; his son Justin II becomes Emperor


Birth of the Prophet Mohammed(570 to 632), founder of Islam


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


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.


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


Persians occupy Egypt, Syria and Palestine; they burn and massacre the population in Jerusalem, carrying off the Holy Cross and patriarch


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


First great siege of Constantinople by the Persians, under Shahen, and the Avars


Heraclius army defeats the Persians; accompanied by feverish religious passions and hatreds, perhaps the first full-fledged crusade of the Middle Ages


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


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


Battle of Yarmuk is crushing defeat of Byzantine army by the Arabs; they occupy Syria and Palestine


Arabs take Jerusalem


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


Arabs take Alexandria and burn its famous libraries


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


Arab forces besiege Constantinople

674 to 678

Second siege of Constantinople by the Arabs


Arabs begin conquest of Africa


Bulgars, a war-like Hunnish tribe, invade the Empire and settle south of the Danube


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


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


After ten years of his oppression, Constantinople rose against Justinian II, slit his nose and banished him to Cherson in the Crimea


Carthage falls to the Arabs and they move towards Spain


Navy dethrones Leontius, placing Admiral Apsimar on the throne


Justinian II escaped from Cherson and returned 10 years later with the help of the Bulgars to reclaim his throne


Philippicus, army general, dethrones Justinian II, putting his family to death


Phillippicus, a fervent Monothelite, falls in a palace plot and is succeeded by a civil servant Artemius who takes the name Anastasius II.


Anastasius II becomes unpopular and the revolt of a regiment brought an obscure and unwilling provincial tax-collector, Theodosius III to the throne.


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


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


Patriarchates of Antioch, Jerusalem & Alexandria under Arab rule.

726 to 843

Iconoclastic conflict in East Roman Empire


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.


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 father¹s 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.


Constantine VI(10 years old at accession) reigns under the regency of his mother, Empress Irene


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


Pope Leo crowns Charlemagne Emperor in the West

802 to 811

Nikephoros I, Irene¹s 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


East Roman government recognized Charlemagne as Emperor of Rome in return for cessation of pressure on western borders


Nikephoros I brother-in-law, Michael I, succeeds him as Emperor


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


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


Leo V killed by a soldier Michael, a Phrygian, who became Emperor Michael II


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


Upon Theophilus death, his son Michael III rules with his wife Theodora as regent


Empress Theodora reinstates image worship


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


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


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


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.


Thessalonika sacked by Arab pirates led by Leo of Tripoli from Crete; carried off into slavery 22,000 inhabitants


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, Constantine¹s 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


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


Byzantine navy under Nicephorus Phocas wins back Crete from Arabs


Reign of Nicephorus II, who married Romanus¹ widow Theophano; Cilicia, Cyprus and Antioch were recovered


Byzantines re-capture Cyprus from the Arabs


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


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


Conversion of Prince Vladimir of Kiev and beginning of Byzantine culture in Russia


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 Zoe¹s 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


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.


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


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


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 Empire¹s currency. Because of these commercial changes, taxation was raised significantly to the point that some people welcomed the Seljuks


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)


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


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


Second Crusade


Norman invaders under Roger II capture Thebes and Corinth and carry off silk-worms and weavers to Italy, breaking the old Imperial monopoly


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.


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


Normans take Thessaloniki and subject inhabitants to merciless treatment, partly for revenge of the massacre of Latins in 1183


Third Crusade


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


King Richard sells Cyprus to Frankish crusaders from previous crusades who had been ousted from Jerusalem by the Arabs


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


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


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


Reign of Michael VIII Palaiologus, a member of the aristocracy who had Theodore II¹s son, John IV, blinded


Maximus Planudes, Byzantine scholar; monk and mathematician that recommended use of Arabic numerals; wrote a historical geography; rewrote Aesop¹s fables; one of first scholars to translate Latin works into Greek


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


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


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


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


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


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


Turks introduced into Europe due to Catalan Grand Company of Spanish mercenaries


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


Nicaea captured by Ottoman Turks

1331 to 1355

Serbian Empire under Stephen Dusan reaches its zenith; a constant menace to Constantinople


Meteora established as a monastic Greek Orthodox community


Nicomedia captured by Ottoman Turks


Orkhan, son of Osman, and Ottoman Turks takes Anatolia


Death of Emperor Andronikos IV Paleologus leaving his nine-year-old son John V Paleologos and John Kantakuzenos as regent


Serbian Czar Stephan Dushan invades Macedonia and Thrace


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


The Black Death(plague) strikes Constantinople; possibly half the population of the city and one-third of the Empire was wiped out.


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


War between Venetians and Genoese, Kantakuzenos sided with Venetians and John V and Ottomans side with Genoese


Council of Eastern Churches endorses doctrine of Energies, Gregory Palamas view of Hesychism that the Orthodox mystic could perceive God¹s uncreated energies, but not God Himself, or His Essence, which is invisible and and indivisible


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.


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


Battle of Maritsa that put Bulgaria in the hands of Ottoman Turks


Reign of John V Paleologus, father of Andronicus IV; tours Italy vainly seeking help and was detained as a debtor in Venice


Battle of Kosovo that put Serbia in the hands of the Ottoman Turks


Turks control reaches the Danube and the Emoire held only Constantinople, Thessalonika and the Peloponese


John V ousted by his grandson John VII Paleologus


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.


Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I, son of Murad, besieges Constantinople


Ottomans capture Larissa


Army from Western Europe destroyed by Turks at Nicopolis


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"


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.


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


Timur the Lame¹s Empire breaks up and Turks recover their holdings


Reign of John VIII Paleologus, son of Manuel II


Ottomans unsuccessfully besiege Constantinople


Governor of Thessaloniki, fearing a Turkish attack, sold the city to the Venetians


Ottomans capture Thessaloniki and slaughter or enslave Greek population


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


As a result of John VIII¹s pledge at the Council of Florence, a new Western expedition invades the Balkans to be defeated by the Turks at Varna


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


Turks conquer Peloponese


Ottoman Turks conquer Pontos, successor state established after Latin invasion of 1204; last Greek enclave


Venetians take Zakynthos and begin domination of Ionian Islands


Venetians assume control of Cyprus from Franks


Ottoman Empire gives asylum to expelled Sephardic Jews from Spain


Moldavia and Wallachia come under Ottoman rule and keep autonomous rule


Conquest of Cyprus from Venetians by Ottoman Turks


Battle of Lepanto, Spain, Venice, Genoa and Roman Papacy send armada and destroy Turkish navy


Patriarchate of Moscow created


Hios taken from Florence by Ottomans


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.


New Testament translated by Maximos of Gallipoli and published in Modern Greek in Geneva


Jesuits missionaries converted Greek Orthodox to Protestantism via use of 'demotiki' language

1645 to 1669

Turco-Venetian War


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


Second failed siege of Vienna by Ottomans which began recession of Ottoman Empire's frontiers


Hios taken from Venetians by Ottomans


Prince of autonomous principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia to Phanariots


Ottomans reconquer Morea from Venetians

1768 to 1774

Russo-Turkish War in which Ottoman's lost


Empress Catherine II(the Great) sends Russian fleet to western Greece and induces Greeks to failed revolt

1787 to 1792

Russo-Turkish War


Collapse of the Venetian Republic and loss of Ionian Islands to France


Ionian Islands annexed by Britain


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


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


Jacob Fallmerayer publishes work that challenges Greeks' claims of common racial descent from the ancient Hellenes


Count John Capodistrias(1776 to 1831), first president of Greece, assassinated by disgruntled Maniats


Autocephelous Church of Greece created


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


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


Konstantine Paparigopoulos publishes first of five volume "History of the Hellenic Nation from the Ancient Times Until Modern "


Assassination attempt on Queen Amalia


King Otto deposed; replaced by the Danish prince King George I(1845-) and new constitution creating a "crowned democracy"


Ionian Islands ceded by Britain as a good will gesture


Ecclesiastical independence of Romanian Orthodox Church

1866 to 1869

Cretans unsuccessful revolt against Ottomans


Ecclesiastical independence of Bulgarian Orthodox Church

1877 to 1888

Russo-Turkish War that saw the creation of Bulgaria


Cyprus ceded to Britain by Ottoman Empire


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


Greek government led by Harilaos Tricoupis forced to declare the country bankrupt


Baron Pierre de Coubertin of France initiates efforts to revive Olympic Games at the ancient stadium in Athens


Greece fights and loses two-week war with the Ottoman Empire. Crete gains autonomy with Prince George of Greece as first governor


"Evangelakia" riots over translations of the Bible into demotic Greek


Ottoman officers revolt "Young Turks" in Thessaloniki


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


Eleftherios Venizelos becomes Prime Minister

1911 to 1912

Italy declares war on Turkey, invades Libya and Dodecanese Islands, Turkish holdings


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


Treaty of London placed Crete under full Greek rule


Treaty of Bucharest placed much of western Thrace in Greek hands; Lesbos, Chios & Samos also incorporated

1914 to 1918

First World War


National Schism between supporting Entente or Central Powers results in divided government, Venizelos declaring provisional government in Thessaloniki


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Exchange of population increased Greece's numbers by 3.6 million to 6.2 million inhabitants. Population of Athens doubles between 1907 and 1928


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.


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


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


Greek Civil War

Mar 7,1947

Dodecanese ceded to Greece by Italians after WWII and last territorial addition to present day Greece


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'.


Greek Junta falls; Turkish invasion of Cyprus

1974 to 1981

Karamanlis and conservatives(Nea Demokratia)

1981 to 1990

Andreas Papandreou and socialist PASOK party rule Greece


Constantine Mitsotakis and Nea Demokratia barely win majority of vote after three attempts at elections


PASOK wins elections under Papandreou

Dec 1995

Papandreou falls ill and resigns as Prime Minister but remains head of PASOK party

Jan 1996

Constantinos Simitis chosen by PASOK as Prime Minister

June 1996

Andreas Papandreou, Prime Minister of Greece for 10 years, dies

August/September 1996

Simitis calls for elections; PASOK wins elections and Simitis again elected Prime Minister



Campbell , John and Sherrard, Phillip, Modern Greece, Frederick A. Praeger Publishers, New York, 1969

Runciman, Steven, Byzantine Civilization, Meridian Books, New York, 1961

Runciman, Steven, The Last Byzantine Renaissance, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1970

Sealey, Raphael, A History of the Greek City State, 700 to 338BC, University of California Press, Los Angeles, 1976

Speake, Graham, ed., Dictionary of Ancient History, Penguin Books, 1994

Starr, Chester G., The Birth of Athenian Democracy, Oxford University Press, New York, 1990

Toynbee, Arnold, The Greeks and their Heritage, Oxford University Press, New York, 1981

Vryonis, Jr., Speros, Byzantium and Europe, Harcourt, Brace & World, 1967


Acknowledgements: Questions, comments or suggestions, please contact me at

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