Classical Era / Classical Greece (5th-4th Centuries B.C.)

Classical Era / Classical Greece (5th-4th Centuries B.C.)

The Classical Era begins with the end of the Persian Wars - when the epoch of Athenian leadership and the Golden Age of Pericles begins and will last until the Peloponnesian War. The works of art, as well as literary productions of this period that survived to this day, are considered its most glorious legacy.

500/499 B.C.
Athens sends 20 ships to aid the Ionian Revolt against the Persians.

497/496 B.C.
The great tragedian, Sophocles, is born whom with his works and unparalleled form of speech, elevates the genre of poetic art to new heights. From a total of 123 of his works, only 7 exist intact today and continue to be presented in theaters throughout the world.

493 B.C.
Themistocles is elected archon and presents his program for the organization of the Athenian fleet.

490 B.C.
Persians invasion against Athens, headed by Datis and Artaphernes. Under the guidance of the general Miltiades the Athenians win a great victory in the plain of Marathona. The story of the Battle of Marathon, as well as all of the events of the Persian Wars, are known to us through the work of the ancient Greek historian, Herodotus who is considered the Father of History.

485 or 480 B.C.
Euripides, the third great tragedian is born. Through his works, he succeeds in bringing to light all of the dark aspects of the human spirit and to bring man face to face with his own self. From the 92 plays that he created, there are on 18 in existence today.

479 B.C.
Hellenic victory at the Battle of Plateaia and at the Sea Battle of Mycale.

477 B.C.
Establishment of Delian League, known as the first Athenian League with the goal of liberating the Greeks of Asia Minor from Persian enslavement. Fortification of Athens and Piraeus takes place according to Themistocles΄ plan (Themistoclean Wall).

470/469 B.C.
The great philosopher, Socrates, is born in Athens. Socrates' way of thinking is considered cutting-edge in the evolutionary path of Philosophy. Although Socrates himself did not write any works, the reflection of his versatile personality became known through the works of his students particularly from the books of Plato.

467 B.C.
Significant victory against the Persians by the fleet of the Athenian League, led by Cimon at the Eurymedon river in Pamphylia in Asia Minor.

462 B.C.
Athenian mission under Cimon to assist the Spartan in putting down a revolt of the helots (Messenians in Ithome). Refusal of Athenian support by the Spartans. The leader of the radical democrats, Ephialtes with a political coup diminished the political power of the aristocratic court, the Areopagus and transfers it into the Council of Five Hundred (Boule), the Ecclesia (the Popular Assembly) and the Court of Heliaia.

461 B.C.
Dissolution of the alliance with Sparta. Assassination of Ephialtes. Pericles is declared the new leader of the radical democrats. Ostracism of Cimon. The insult of the Spartans who rejected Cimons΄ support mission was the excuse to declare war against Sparta and the Peloponnesian League. Establishment of Athens΄ new alliances, with Argos and Thessaly. Pericles implements an admirable plan for the building of the Acropolis after the destruction and looting done by the Persians. Main partner in his endeavor is the great sculptor, painter and architect, Phidias. The results are masterpieces of architecture and sculpture: the Parthenon, Erechtheio and the Temple of Athena Nike. Of course, other temples are constructed as well in particular, the Temple of Poseidon at Sounio, the Temple of Hephaestus on top of the Agoraios Kolonos hill, the Temple of Nemesis at Ramnounda and the Temple of Ares at Acharnes. During the 5th Century, the following are built: the Stoa of Zeus Eleftherios; the Great Duct at Ancient Agora; the South Stoa located on the south side of the Agora; the Temple of Artemis Agrotera on the left bank of Ilissos river and the Asclepieion on the south side of the Acropolis.

457 B.C.
Defeat of the Athenians by the Spartans at the Battle of Tanagra. Victory against the Spartan allies, the Boeotians, at the Battle of Oenophyta. Expansion of Athenian control to Thermopylae.

454 B.C.
Defeat of the Athenian army at Memphis under the command of Persian general Magabazus and end of Athenian expedition to Egypt against the Persians. Transfer of the allied treasury from Delos to Athens.

451 B.C.
Cimon's return and five-year truce with the Spartans.

450/449 B.C.
Cimon's death during the Siege of Citium on the southwest coast of Cyprus. Great victory of the Athenian fleet against the Persians at Salamis in Cyprus. Peace treaty between Athenians and the Persians that became identified with the name of the Athenian diplomat, Callias ("Peace of Callias").

446 B.C.
Thirty Years Peace treaty between the city-states Athens and Sparta.

436 B.C.
The great Athenian rhetorician, Isocrates, is born. With his inspired speeches, he tries to unite the Greeks and end civil conflict.

433 B.C.
Athens support Corcyra in its conflict against Corinth.

432 B.C.
Corinthian support of the revolt of Potidaea against the Athenian League. The construction of the Parthenon and the Propylaia is completed.

▶︎ Neolithic Era (4000-3000 B.C.)
▶︎ Bronze Age (3000-1100 B.C.)
▶︎ Archaic Period (8th-6th Centuries B.C.)
▶︎ Classical Era / Classical Greece (5th-4th Centuries B.C.)
▶︎ The Peloponnesian War (431-335 B.C.)
▶︎ Hellenistic Era (323-30 B.C.)
▶︎ Roman Era (29 B.C.-324 A.D.)