Athens Timeline

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  • c. 7000 BCE - 5000 BCE
    Human habitation on the Acropolis and around the Agora of Athens continues from Neolithic Period.
  • c. 1700 BCE - c. 1100 BCE
    Mycenaean Period. Agora established at Athens.
  • c. 1100 BCE - c. 600 BCE
    Iron Age Development, public buildings erected at the Agora in Athens.
  • 683 BCE - 682 BCE
    List of annual archons at Athens begins.
  • 600 BCE - 480 BCE
    Attic black-figure pottery dominates the greek ceramic market.
  • 600 BCE - 550 BCE
    The Dionysia becomes a major Athenian festival in honour of Dionysos.
  • c. 600 BCE
    The Eleusinian Mysteries become part of the official Athenian religious calendar.
  • 594 BCE - 593 BCE
    In Athens the archon Solon lays the foundations for democracy.
  • c. 560 BCE
    Pisistratos becomes tyrant in Athens for the first time.
  • c. 546 BCE
    Pisistratus lands his Argive mercenary force at Marathon and with victory at Pallene establishes himself once again as tyrant of Athens.
  • c. 540 BCE
    Athens removes and prohibits further burials on Delos to purify the sacred island.
  • 525 BCE
    Cleisthenes is made archon at Athens.
  • c. 524 BCE - c. 460 BCE
    Life of Athenian general and statesman Themistocles.
  • 514 BCE
    Fall of the Peisistratid tyranny in Athens.
  • 514 BCE
    The tyrant of Athens Hipparchos is killed by Harmodios and Aristogeiton - the 'tyrannicides'.
  • c. 508 BCE
    Reforms by Cleisthenes establishes democracy in Athens.
  • c. 508 BCE
    According to Aristotle, the institution of ostracism is introduced in Athens under Cleisthenes.
  • c. 495 BCE
    Birth of Pericles.
  • 493 BCE
    The first fortifications are constructed at Athens' port of Piraeus.
  • 493 BCE
    Themistocles is made archon in Athens.
  • 490 BCE - 480 BCE
    A 1.4m tall Iris or Nike sculpture is erected on the acropolis of Athens in memory of the general Kallimachos, killed in the battle of Marathon.
  • 490 BCE
    Athens builds a treasury at Delphi following their victory at Marathon against Persia.
  • 11 Sep 490 BCE
    A combined force of Greek hoplites defeat the Persians at Marathon.
  • 487 BCE - 486 BCE
    Archons begin to be appointed by lot in Athens.
  • c. 483 BCE
    Themistocles persuades the Athenians to significantly expand their fleet, which saves them at Salamis and becomes their source of power.
  • 480 BCE
    Sack of Athens by the Persians under Xerxes. The Agora is destroyed.
  • 480 BCE
    The fortifications of Piraeus instigated by Themistocles are completed.
  • Aug 480 BCE
    The indecisive battle of Artemision between the Greek and Persian fleets of Xerxes I. The Greeks withdraw to Salamis.
  • 479 BCE
    Xerxes' Persian forces are defeated by Greek forces at Plataea effectively ending Persia's imperial ambitions in Greece.
  • 479 BCE - 432 CE
    The period of Thucydides' Pentecontaetia in ancient Greece.
  • 478 BCE - 404 BCE
    The Delian League in Greece, led by Athens.
  • 478 BCE - 454 BCE
    The treasury of the Delian League is kept on Delos until its removal to Athens.
  • 476 BCE - 463 BCE
    Delian League operations are led by Athenian commander Cimon
  • c. 475 BCE
    Athenian general Cimon drives the Dolopian pirates out of the Aegean island of Scyros.
  • 475 BCE
    Cimon captures Eion in Thrace for Athens.
  • c. 471 BCE
    The general and statesman Themistocles is voted in an ostracism and exiled from Athens.
  • 470 BCE
    Statue group of Harmodius and Aristogiton in Athens.
  • c. 469 BCE - 399 BCE
    Life of Socrates.
  • c. 466 BCE
    Athenian general Cimon twice defeats the Persians at Eurymedon on the southern coast of Asia Minor.
  • c. 465 BCE
    Construction of the Long Walls fortifications joining Athens to the port of Piraeus are begun.
  • 465 BCE - 463 BCE
    Athenian general Cimon conquers Chersonesus in Thrace and the north-Aegean island of Thasos.
  • c. 462 BCE - 458 BCE
    Pericles introduces democratic institutions in Athens.
  • 462 BCE - 461 BCE
    Radicalisation of democracy in Athens; Cimon exiled, Pericles comes to exercise influence.
  • 461 BCE - 429 BCE
    Pericles is ruler of Athens.
  • 461 BCE
    Cimon is voted in an ostracism in Athens and exiled from the city.
  • 460 BCE - 445 BCE
  • c. 460 BCE - 403 BCE
    Life of Critias, one of the Thirty Tyrants of Athens.
  • 460 BCE - 429 BCE
    The Age of Pericles. Athenian Agora is rebuilt, construction of Parthenon.
  • c. 460 BCE - c. 320 CE
    Period of full and direct citizen democracy in Athens.
  • 457 BCE
    Hegemony of Athens over central Greece.
  • 457 BCE
    Sparta wins the battle of Tanagra during the 1st Peloponnesian War with Athens.
  • 454 BCE
    The Athenians move the treasury of the Delian League from Delos to Athens.
  • 453 BCE
    Pericles erects trophy at Nemea after Athenian victory over the Sikyonians.
  • c. 451 BCE - c. 403 CE
    Life of Athenian statesman and general Alcibiades.
  • 450 BCE
    Athenian general Cimon dies on Cyprus fighting the Persians.
  • 449 BCE
    The Hephaisteion, temple to Athena & Hephaistos, built in Athens.
  • 447 BCE - 432 BCE
    The construction of the Parthenon in Athens by the architects Iktinos and Kallikrates under the direction of Phidias.
  • 28 Jul 447 BCE
    Reconstruction and creation of the Acropolis of the Classical Period begins under Pericles' leadership.
  • 446 BCE
    The Middle Wall fortifications are added to the Long Walls which connect Athens and the port of Piraeus.
  • c. 443 BCE
    Thurii in Magna Graecia founded by Athenian settlers.
  • 438 BCE
    The cult statue of Athena Parthenos is dedicated in the Parthenon of Athens.
  • c. 437 BCE - 431 BCE
    The Propylaea is constructed on the Acropolis of Athens under the supervision of Mnesicles.
  • 433 BCE
    Alliance between Athens and Corcyra.
  • 433 BCE
    A naval battle between the victorious combined forces of Corcyra and Athens against Corinth.
  • 432 BCE
    Sparta declares that Athens has broken the Thirty Year Peace and prepares for war.
  • 431 BCE
    Athens invades Megara.
  • 431 BCE - 404 BCE
    The Peloponnesian Wars which leave Athens defeated and the Agora damaged.
  • 431 BCE - 404 BCE
    The 2nd Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta (the Delian League and the Peloponnesian League) which involved all of Greece.
  • 430 BCE - c. 354 BCE
    Life of Xenophon of Athens.
  • 430 BCE
    The plague decimates Athens.
  • 429 BCE
    Athens successfully campaigns in the Corinthian Gulf regions during the Peloponnesian War.
  • 429 BCE
    Following attacks by Sparta, fortifications at the port of Piraeus are extended to reduce the width of the harbour entrances.
  • 427 BCE - 347 BCE
    Life of Plato.
  • 425 BCE
    Pylos campaign, under Cleon and Demosthenes' command Athens defeats Sparta at Pylos.
  • c. 425 BCE - c. 420 BCE
    The Temple dedicated to Athena Nike is constructed on the acropolis of Athens.
  • 424 BCE
    A force of Athenian peltasts defeat Spartan hoplites on Sphaktria in the Peloponnese.
  • 424 BCE
    The Athenian expeditions against Megara and Boeotia are a failure with a particularly heavy defeat near Delion.
  • 422 BCE
    Spartan general Brasidas employs Myrkinian and Chalkidian peltasts to defeat a force of Athenian hoplites at Amphipolis.
  • 421 BCE - 406 BCE
    The Erechtheion of Athens acropolis is constructed with six Caryatids in the south porch.
  • c. 417 BCE
    In the last recorded ostracism the demagogue Hyperbolos is exiled from Athens.
  • c. 415 BCE
    The Histories of Herodotus is published. The work is divided into nine chapters, each dedicated to one of the Muses.
  • 415 BCE - 413 BCE
    Athenian expedition to attack Syracuse.
  • c. 415 BCE
    Alcibiades persuades the Athenian assembly to send a military expedition to Sicily.
  • 414 BCE
    Athens constructs fortifications at Sounion.
  • 413 BCE
    On the advice of Alcibiades the Spartans take over the Athenian-held fort of Dekeleia.
  • 413 BCE
    The Athenian expedition in Sicily ends in disastrous defeat and the Athenian generals Nicias and Demosthenes are executed.
  • 411 BCE
    The oligarchy of the 400 take over the democracy in Athens and in a matter of months is replaced by an oligarchy of 5000.
  • 410 BCE
    Alcibiades leads the Athenian fleet to victory over Sparta at Cyzicus.
  • c. 407 BCE
    Alcibiades returns to Athens in triumph and is made strategos autokrater.
  • c. 407 BCE
    The Athenian fleet is defeated by Lysander of Sparta at Notium.
  • 405 BCE
    Athens grants Athenian citizenship to the population of Samos.
  • 404 BCE
    End of the Peloponnesian war, Athens defeated By Sparta at Aigospotamoi, Rule of the Thirty Tyrants in Athens.
  • 404 BCE
    Spartan general Lysander attacks the Athenian port of Piraeus destroying parts of the Long Wall fortifications.
  • 403 BCE
    Restoration of the democracy in Athens, death of the tyrant Critias.
  • c. 402 BCE - 318 BCE
    Life of Athenian statesman and general Phocion.
  • 395 BCE - 386 BCE
    The Corinthian Wars between Sparta and an alliance of Athens, Corinth, Argos, Boeotia and Thebes.
  • 390 BCE
    Athenian leader Iphikrates employs peltasts to defeat Spartan hoplites at Lechaion near Corinth.
  • 387 BCE
    Sparta attacks the Athenian port of Piraeus.
  • 384 BCE - 322 BCE
    Life of Aristotle.
  • c. 384 BCE - 322 CE
    Life of Athenian statesman Demosthenes.
  • 380 BCE
    Plato founds his Academy outside of Athens.
  • 366 BCE
    Athens regains control of Samos from Sparta.
  • 362 BCE
    Indecisive Battle of Matinea where Thebes fought against Sparta and Athens. Theban general Epaminondas is killed.
  • c. 354 BCE
    Xenophon dies at Athens or Corinth.
  • 338 BCE
    Philip of Macedonia defeats the Greek allied forces of Athens, Thebes and Corinth in the Battle of Chaironeia.
  • 2 Aug 338 BCE
    The Battle of Charonea gives Athens to the Macedonian victors. Agora takes on Macedonian characteristics.
  • 307 BCE
    Demetrius I frees Athens from the tyrant Demetrius of Phaleron.
  • 295 BCE
    Demetrius I campaigns in central Greece, removes the tyrant Lachares from Athens and defeats Sparta.
  • 166 BCE
    Rome gives dominion over the Cyclades to Athens.
  • 166 BCE
    Rome puts Delos under the jurisdiction of Athens and makes the island a free port.
  • 159 BCE - 138 BCE
    King Attalos II of Pergamon builds the great Stoa in the Agora of Athens.
  • 86 BCE
    The Roman general Sulla sacks Athens and the port of Piraeus.
  • 86 BCE
    Siege of Athens by the Roman general Sulla. Agora is destroyed.
  • 117 CE - 138 CE
    Rule of the Roman Emperor Hadrian who supports great building projects in and around the Agora of Athens.
  • 267 CE
    The Goths sack Athens, Corinth, Sparta, and Argos.
  • 267 CE
    Agora of Athens burned by invading Herulians.
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