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The geographical coverage of Ancient Greek civilization changed markedly during its history.Its origins were in the land of Greece and the islands of the Aegean Sea, plus the west coast of Asia Minor (modern Turkey). Land useful for farming is found in valley bottoms, hedged in by steep slopes, or on small islands, confined by water.Philip of Macedon’s defeat of the Greek city-states is traditionally seen as drawing down the curtain on “Classical Greece” and ushering in the “Hellenistic Age“.This includes the conquests of Alexander the Great, and ends with the conquests of the different Hellenistic states by Rome (146-31 BC).Classical Greece flourished during the 5th to 4th centuries BC.This was marked by the period of the Persian Wars (c. 479-404 BC), and the later Classical era (404-338 BC).Every four years all Greek city-states sent their young men and women to compete in the Olympic Games.
750: Greek cities start planting colonies on other Mediterranean coasts, adapt the Phoenician alphabet for their own use, and later adopt metal coinage from Lydia, in Asia Minor 594: Solon gives Athens a new constitution; this is the start of the rise of democracy in Greece 490-479: The Persian Wars – Athens and Sparta lead the Greeks in defending their land against invasion from the huge Persian Empire 447: Work begins on the Parthenon in Athens, then at the height of its glory 431-404: The Second Peloponnesian War – Athens is defeated by Sparta, which now becomes the leading power in Greece 399: The Athenian philosopher Socrates is condemned to death for questioning conventional ideas 338: King Philip II of Macedon defeats the Greek city-states and imposes his dominion on them.
Overview and Timeline Geography Society The City State Agriculture Trade Society The family Houses Clothing Politics Democracy Finances Law International politics Warfare Religion Education Culture Literature Art and Architecture Sculpture and Painting Philosophy Mathematics and Science Legacy Further Study This page deals with the civilization of Classical Greece.
Other pages deal with the Minoan civilization which preceded it, and with the Hellenistic civilization which followed it.
As a result, ancient Greece consisted of many small territories, each with its own dialect, cultural peculiarities, and identity.
Cities tended to be located in valleys between mountains, or on narrow coastal plains, and only dominated a limited area around them.