SOME IMPORTANT DATES
is archon (chief magistrate) at Athens. His reforms. The beginnings of Athenian Democracy. Herodotus, Histories
, Book I, ch. 32f. (Gochberg, p. 149).
PANATHENAIC GAMES established at Athens (recitations of the Homeric Poems as part of the celebrations)
PISISTRATUS (Solon's cousin) becomes tyrant in Athens (560-528).
- 546 Spring
King Croesus meets King Cyrus (King of the Medes and the Persians) on the Battlefield. End of Croesus.
[Story told by Herodotus: Gochberg pp. 158-159.]
AESCHYLUS the tragedian is born at Eleusis in Athens. (Dies 456)
Assassination attempt against the sons of the Tyrant Pisistratus. One is killed, and the regime turns nasty (Harmodius and Aristogeiton).
Revolution in Athens: expulsion of the tyrants; expulsion of a Spartan force sent to `help'; installation of
the `Radical Democracy' sponsored by Cleisthenes (son of Megacles, of the Alcmaeonid Family).
SOPHOCLES the tragedian born at Colonus in Athens. (Dies 405) [See Gochberg, pp. 47-48]
First Persian Invasion of Greece (DARIUS I the Great). Battle of MARATHON.
The first ostracism
in Athens (expulsion of one politician in the early Spring of a given year, if and only if a minimum of 5000 people vote in the balloting). No crime is charged; the decision is extra-legal, but designed to protect the democracy against its own leaders.
EURIPIDES the tragedian is born in Athens. (Dies in Macedonia 406/5)
wins his first victory in the tragedy competitions.
SECOND PERSIAN INVASION OF GREECE.
Themistocles of Athens. Battle of SALAMIS
Battle of THERMOPYLAE
Leonidas of Sparta [HERODOTUS, in Gochberg pp. 132-148]
Battle of PLATAEA
THE ATHENIAN EMPIRE: an alliance against the Persian threat, but most allies preferred (and by 450 were required) to pay Athenians to staff the ships rather than supply ships and crews themselves. This gave Athens the power base and organization to dominate the Aegean area.
SOCRATES the philosopher is born in Athens. [executed in 399, age 70]
First of Euripides' 92 plays produced in Athens. (he came in 3rd)
PERICLES, whose mother is an Alcmaeonid, comes to prominence. [His life and career related by
Thucydides, and by Plutarch in his Biography of Pericles in the Parallel Lives]
HERODOTUS, `Father of (Greek) History' is living in Athens
Beginning of the SECOND (GREAT) PELOPONNESIAN WAR: Athens vs. Sparta.
general and (later) historian THUCYDIDES began taking notes.
PERICLES' FUNERAL ORATION (reported by Thucydides: Gochberg, pp. 176-183)
Birth of XENOPHON (Gochberg, p. 160), author of Memories of Socrates, The Expedition of the Ten
Thousand (Anabasis), The Hellenic History.
Plague breaks out in Athens (429-426) [Thucydides, in Gochberg, pp. 184-188] Pericles dies.
Shortly thereafter Sophocles produces Oedipus Tyrannos (429-425). [Gochberg, pp. 47-130]
began producing comedies (Clouds
, 423, about Socrates and his `think-factory'.
the philosopher, pupil of Socrates from about 407-399, born.
Athenian campaign in Thrace around Amphipolis against Spartans and their general Brasidas. Thucydides
the Historian was one of the Athenian generals (in charge of logistics). He was blamed for the Athenian
disaster and was exiled.
After a truce (421-415) the Peloponnesian War breaks out again. Athens sends an expedition to Sicily to
try to capture Syracuse, but the intended commander (Alcibiades, a protege of Pericles) is
disgraced as things are just getting started. By 412 the expedition is a disastrous failure.
Aristophanes' Lysistrata. A conservative coup-d'-etat in the Spring (the 400) and a democratic counter-
coup in the summer. Very hard feelings all around.
Battle of ARGINUSAE. Disaster: Six of the ten admirals executed, including the son of PERICLES.
Socrates presided over the Ecclesia (Athenian national assembly) on the day that the disaster was
first discussed in public, the morning after the news arrived; he refused to put the motion for the
death penalty for all the generals to a vote.
Battle of AEGOSPOTAMI
September: Capitulation of Athens to Sparta. Occupation by Lysander the Spartan general.
Athens under the rule of the THIRTY TYRANTS (including Plato's uncle and cousin, both of whom were ex-
friends of Socrates), a bunch of Spartan Quislings of a conservative and vengeful stamp. More
than 1500 executions.
Restoration of the DEMOCRACY. A new Athenian Empire ( ca. 378-338) but much diminished in power,
wealth and influence.
of PLATO (at an Athenian gymnasium called the Academy). Plato's pupil ARISTOTLE (who taught,
from 335, at a gymnasium in Athens called the LYCEUM), died 322.
Battle of LEUKTRA
Battle of MANTINEA. Sparta's third military defeat in her history. Sparta occupied by Theban army.
Helots liberated. The end of Sparta as a significant force in Greek politics, replaced by Thebes (until 338).
(383/2–336) [son of Amyntas III (393/2–369/8) and Eurydice], King of Macedonia.
BATTLE OF CHAERONEA. Debut of Alexander, son of Philip and Olympias. Defeat of Thebes and
Athens: Macedonia replaces Thebes as the leading Greek state (HEGEMON).
Philip assassinated, succeeded by his 19 year-old son, ALEXANDER III (359–323).
Beginning of the campaigns of ALEXANDER THE GREAT against PERSIA.
Aristotle's most important pupil, ALEXANDER III (`THE GREAT'), king of Macedonia from 336, Pharaoh of
Egypt from 331, Great King of Persia from 328, god from 324/3. Died of fever in Babylon in
June of 323, aged 33.
- From 323
ALEXANDER'S EMPIRE dismantled, eventually into four kingdoms;
(1) Macedonia (The Antigonids)
(2) Egypt (The Ptolemies)
(3) Pergamon (The Attalids)
(4) Syria-Mesopotamia (The Seleucids).