Greece has a history stretching back almost 4.000 years. The Ancient Greek period was taken to begin with the first recorded Olympic Games in 776 BC, but many current historians extend it back to 1000 BC. It ends with the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. The following period is classed Hellenistic or until the Greece integration into the Roman Empire in 146 BC.
The Minoan era (2700-1450 BC)
The earliest civilization appeared around Greece was the Minoan civilization in Crete, which lasted for some 1600 years, and the Early Helladic period on the Greek mainland from ca. 2800 BC to 2100 BC.
The Mycenaean era (1600-1100 BC)
Mycenaean Greece, also known as Bronze Age Greece, is the Late Helladic Bronze Age civilization of Ancient Greece. This period is known for the reign of King Agamemnon and the wars against Troy as narrated in the epics of Homer.
The Dark Ages (1100-750 BC)
After the Dorian invasion Greece was very weak. This period is characterized from civilization collapse and stagnation. No primary texts or archaeological evidence survive. The country experienced a decline in population and literacy.
The expansion of Greek spirit (750-250 B.C.)
In the 8th century BC Greece began to emerge from the Dark Ages. The Greeks adopted the Phoenician alphabet, modifying into the Greek one and the country was divided into many self-governing communities. The Hellenes organized great naval and military expeditions and in search of new markets they settled throughout the Mediterranean, Asian Minor and the coast of North Africa. Greece was the most advanced economy in the world.
The Classical period (500-336 BC)
During the 5th century B.C., the so called Classical period, city-states were the main trait of Greece, with the largest being Athens, followed by Sparta and Thebes. The Greeks, inspirited from love for independence and freedom, defeated the Persians in famous battles, such as Marathon, Thermopiles, Salamis and Platees, determinative in the history of civilization. Historians and political writers are noted, Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Demosthenes, Plato, Aristotele. Aeschylus, Euripides, Sophocles lied the foundations of the Greek theatre.
Hellenistic period (336-146 BC)
In the late of 4th century B.C. the Greeks, led by Alexander the Great, conquered most of the then known world and Hellenized it. Greek-speaking kingdoms in Egypt, Syria, Persia and Bactria were established. Cultures of east and west began to interact. The Hellenistic age had begun.