Ancient Greece

The Parthenon, a temple dedicated to Athena, located on the Acropolis in Athens, is one of the most representative symbols of the culture and sophistication of the ancient Greeks.
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Part of a map of the Mediterranean Sea and adjacent regions by William Faden, March 1785
Greece portal

Ancient Greece was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity (ca. AD 600). Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era.[1] Included in ancient Greece is the period of Classical Greece, which flourished during the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Classical Greece began with the repelling of a Persian invasion by Athenian leadership. Because of conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedonia, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea.

Classical Greek culture, especially philosophy, had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire, which carried a version of it to many parts of the Mediterranean Basin and Europe, for which reason Classical Greece is generally considered to be the seminal culture which provided the foundation of modern Western culture.[2][3][4][5]


  • Chronology 1
  • Historiography 2
  • History 3
    • Archaic period 3.1
    • Classical Greece 3.2
      • 5th century 3.2.1
      • 4th century 3.2.2
    • Hellenistic Greece 3.3
    • Roman Greece 3.4
  • Geography 4
    • Regions 4.1
    • Colonies 4.2
  • Politics and society 5
    • Political structure 5.1
    • Government and law 5.2
    • Social structure 5.3
    • Education 5.4
    • Economy 5.5
    • Warfare 5.6
  • Culture 6
    • Philosophy 6.1
    • Literature and theatre 6.2
    • Music and dance 6.3
    • Science and technology 6.4
    • Art and architecture 6.5
    • Religion and mythology 6.6
  • Legacy 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • Further reading 10
  • External links 11


Classical Antiquity in the Mediterranean region is commonly considered to have begun in the 8th century BC (around the time of the earliest recorded poetry of Homer) and ended in the 6th century AD.

Classical Antiquity in Greece is preceded by the Greek Dark Ages (c. 1200 – c. 800 BC), archaeologically characterised by the protogeometric and geometric styles of designs on pottery. This period is succeeded, around the 8th century BC, by the Orientalizing Period during which a strong influence of Syro-Hittite, Assyrian, Phoenician and Egyptian cultures becomes apparent. Traditionally, the Archaic period of ancient Greece is considered to begin with Orientalizing influence, which among other things brought the alphabetic script to Greece, marking the beginning of Greek literature (Homer,