13.5.16

Chronology


Greece has one of the longest histories of any country, and is considered the cradle of Western civilization, having been the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, the Olympic Games, Western literature,historiography, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, and Western drama, including both tragedy and comedy. The Greeks were first unified under Philip of Macedon in the fourth century BC. His son Alexander the Great rapidly conquered much of the ancient world, spreading Greek culture and science from the eastern Mediterranean to the Indus River. Annexed by Rome in the second century BC, Greece became an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire. The first century AD saw the establishment of the Greek Orthodox Church, which shaped the modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World. Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence. Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected in large part by its 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, among the most in Europe and the world.

Neolithic Greece is an archaeological term used to refer to the Neolithic phase of Greek history beginning with the spread of farming to Greece in 7000–6500 BC. During this period, many developments occurred such as the establishment and expansion of a mixed farming and stock-rearing economy, architectural innovations (i.e. "megaron-type" and "Tsangli-type" houses), as well as elaborate art and tool manufacturing.

Mainland
Main article: Helladic period
Early Helladic (EH): 3200/3100–2050/2001 BCE
Middle Helladic (MH): 2000/1900–1550 BCE
Late Helladic (LH): 1550–1050 BCE
Crete
Main article: Minoan civilization
Early Minoan (EM): 3650–2160 BCE
Middle Minoan (MM): 2160–1600 BCE
Late Minoan (LM): 1600–1170 BCE
Cyclades
Main article: Cycladic civilization
Early Cycladic (EC): 3300–2000 BCE
Kastri (EH II–EH III): ca. 2500–2100 BCE
Convergence with MM from ca. 2000 BCE

Helladic is a modern archaeological term meant to identify a sequence of periods characterizing the culture of mainland ancient Greece during the Bronze Age. The term is commonly used in archaeology and art history. It was intended to complement two parallel terms, "Cycladic", identifying approximately the same sequence with reference to the Aegean Bronze Age, and "Minoan", with reference to the civilization of Crete.

The scheme applies primarily to pottery and is a relative dating system. The pottery at any given site typically can be ordered into "Early", "Middle" and "Late" on the basis of style and technique. The total time window allowed for the site is then divided into these periods proportionately. As it turns out, there is a correspondence between "Early" over all Greece, etc. Also, some "absolute dates", or dates obtained by non-comparative methods, can be used to date the periods and are preferable whenever they can be obtained. However, the relative structure was devised before the age of carbon-dating (most of the excavations were performed then as well). Typically, only relative dates are obtainable and form a structure for the characterization of Greek prehistory. Objects are generally dated by the pottery of the site found in associative contexts. Other objects can be arranged into early, middle and late as well, but pottery is used as a marker.

Helladic society and culture have antecedents in the Neolithic period in Greece with many innovations being developed and manifesting during the second and third phases of the Early Helladic period (2650–2050/2000 BC) such as bronze metallurgy, monumental architecture and fortifications, a hierarchical social organization, and vigorous contacts with other areas of the Aegean. These innovations would undergo further changes during the Middle Helladic period (2000/1900–1550 BC), marked by the spread of Minyan ware, and the Late Helladic period (1550–1050 BC), which was the time when Mycenaean Greece flourished.

It was previously thought that all contact was lost between mainland Hellenes and foreign powers during this period, yielding little cultural progress or growth, but artifacts from excavations at Lefkandi on the Lelantine Plain in Euboea show that significant cultural and trade links with the east, particularly the Levant coast, developed from c. 900 BC onwards, and evidence has emerged of the new presence of Hellenes in sub-Mycenaean Cyprus and on the Syrian coast at Al Mina.
The Bronze Age in mainland Greece is generally termed as the "Helladic period" by modern archaeologists, after Hellas, the Greek name for Greece. This period is divided into three subperiods: The Early Helladic (EH) period (c. 2900–2000 BC) was a time of prosperity with the use of metals and a growth in technology, economy and social organization. The Middle Helladic (MH) period (ca. 2000–1650 BC) faced a slower pace of development, as well as the evolution of megaron-type cist graves. Finally, the Late Helladic (LH) period (c. 1650–1050 BC) roughly coincides with Mycenaean Greece.

The Late Helladic period is further divided into LHI, LHII, both of which coincide with the early period of Mycenaean Greece (c. 1650–1425 BC), and LHIII (c. 1425–1050 BC), the period of expansion, decline and collapse of the Mycenaean civilization.[1] The transition period from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age in Greece is known as Sub-Mycenaean (c. 1050–1000 BC).

The Greek Dark Age, also called Ages, Geometric or Homeric Age,  is the period of Greek history from end of the Mycenaean palatial civilization around 1100 BC, to the first signs of the Greek poleis in the 9th century BC.

The archaeological evidence shows a widespread collapse of Bronze Age civilization in the Eastern Mediterranean world at the outset of the period, as the great palaces and cities of the Mycenaeans were destroyed or abandoned. Around then, the Hittite civilization suffered serious disruption and cities from Troy to Gaza were destroyed. Following the collapse, fewer and smaller settlements suggest famine and depopulation. In Greece, the Linear B writing of the Greek language used by Mycenaean bureaucrats ceased. The decoration on Greek pottery after about 1100 BC lacks the figurative decoration of Mycenaean ware and is restricted to simpler, generally geometric styles (1000–700 BC).

Archaic Period (800 BC – 480 BC).
776 Traditional date for the first historic Olympic games.
757 The First Messenian War starts. (Date disputed by Jerome, Pausanias and Diodorus; this estimate is based on a reading of Diodorus' Spartan king lists and Pausanias' description of the war).
757 Athens: Office of Archon reduced to 10 years. Members of the ruling family to possess the office starting with Charops. (Dating based on Pausanias).
754 Polydorus becomes king of Sparta.
738 Alternate date for the end of the first Messenian war.
735 Perdiccas I of Macedon flees from Argos to Macedonia and conquers the land.
734 Polydorus sends colonists to Italy.
727–717 Hippomenes, archon of Athens, kills his daughter's adulterer by yoking him to his chariot and then locks his daughter in with a horse until she dies. (Pausanias and Aristotle).
c. 725 Lelantine War between Chalcis and Eretria. Many Greek cities are allied with one or the other. Dates before this time uncertain.
719 Polydorus, king of Sparta, is murdered by Polymarchus.
716 According to legend: The reign of the Heraklids over Lydia is ended when Candaules, known as Myrsilus to the Greeks, is murdered by Gyges because of his wife’s anger.
690 Pheidon becomes tyrant of Argos.
687 Annual office of Archon established in Athens. Any Athenian citizen can be elected to the office if they have the qualifications. Creon elected first annual archon. (Dating based on Pausanias).
685 The second Messenian war begins.
665 The second Messenian war ends.
656 Cypselus subjects Corinth to tyranny.
645–560 Spartan wars with Tegea all unsuccessful.
642 or 634 Battus establishes a Greek colony in Cyrene in Libya.
632 Cylon, Athenian noble, seizes Acropolis and tries to make himself king, fails.
630 Formal pederasty is introduced, first in Crete, as a means of population control and an educational modality.
621 Draco, Athenian lawgiver, issues code of laws, with many crimes punishable by death.
594 Solon, Athenian statesman, becomes Archon pre-582BCE (cf. ML6 (death of Kypselos 585BCE) and Plutarch Sol. 14), captures Salamis from Megarians—later, when member of the Areopagus is appointed to effect social reforms in order to preserve order in Athens, which include the abolition of the security of debts on a debtor's person (Aristotle Ath. Pol. 6), returning exiled Athenian slaves (Solon fr. 4 in Ath. Pol. 12), changing the value of weights and measures to the Korinthian standard, prohibiting the export of grain from Attica and encouraging the planting of olives (Plut. Sol. 22-4), established the property classes (Ar. Ath. Pol. 7) and the council of 400 (Ar. Ath. Pol. 8).
590 Sappho, Greek poetess, flourishes on island of Lesbos.
585 The philosopher Thales of Miletus predicts a solar eclipse that occurs during the Battle of Halys.
569 Pythagoras is born.
565 Peisistratos, Athenian general, organizes Diakrioi, party of poor people.
510 Pythagoras establishes his own school.
500 Pythagoras dies in Crotona, Italy, when he was in Metapontum.
Late Archaic Period
561 Peisistratos takes power in Athens for first time.
555 Peisistratos driven out by Lycurgus who is commander of nobles.
549 Peisistratos restored by help of Megacles.
546 Croesus, rich king of Lydia, captured at Sardis by Persians.
542 Peisistratos expelled, makes fortune from Thracian mines.
532 Peisistratos restored by Thessaly and Lygdamis of Naxos.
527 Peisistratos dies, succeeded by sons Hippias and Hipparchus.
525 Persian Cambyses II, son of Cyrus the Great takes Egypt.
515 Hippias becomes sole ruler after the death of Hipparchus.
508 Hippias is forced to leave Athens.
507 Cleisthenes, Greek reformer, takes power, increases democracy.
490 Themistocles and Miltiades, Athenians, defeat Darius at Marathon, Phidippides runs with news.
484 Aeschylus, Athenian playwright wins his first victory at the City Dionysia.
Classical Greece
Classical period (480 BC – 323 BC).
480 Leonidas, Spartan, sacrifices 300 Spartan soldiers at the Battle of Thermopylae so main force can escape; Xerxes son of Darius is commanding the Persians.
480 Simultaneous with Thermopylae, the Greeks and Persians fight to a draw in the naval Battle of Artemisium.
480 Battle of Salamis: Themistocles, Athenian general, lures Persians into Bay of Salamis, Xerxes loses and goes home, leaves behind Mardonius.
479 Pausanias, Greek general routs Mardonius at the Battle of Plataea.
479 Battle of Mycale frees Greek colonies in Asia. After the Battle of Salamis, Athens initiated the Delian League, with treasury initially on island of Delos, a confederacy of cities around the Aegean Sea. It was intended as a military defense association against Persia but became controlled by the Athenians, who collected tribute and decided policy. Sparta formed rival Peloponnesian League.
476–462 Cimon elected general each year, he was victorious over Persia and then enforced military power on Delian League.
474 Pindar, Greek poet relocates to Thebes (in Greece) from court at Syracuse.
471 Themistocles ostracized.
468 Sophocles, Greek playwright, defeats Aeschylus for Athenian Prize for drama.
461 Cimon ostracized.
457 Pericles, Athenian statesman begins Golden Age, he was taught by Anaxagoras, who believed in dualistic Universe and atoms.
456 Aeschylus dies.
449 Herodotus, Greek Historian, writes History of Greco-Persian War from 490–479.
448 Ictinus and Callicrates, Greek architects rebuild Acropolis from Persian destruction.
441 Euripides, Greek playwright, wins Athenian prize.
440 Heraclitus, Greek philosopher, teaches that everything is mutable.
435 Phidias, Greek sculptor, completes statue of Zeus at Elis, 1 of 7 wonders of the world.
433 Corinth, Sparta, Megara and Aegina ally against Corfu, Athens, Rhegium, and Leontini.
432 End of "Golden Age", Athens under Pericles blockades Potidaea (Battle of Potidaea), Corfu declares war on Corinth (Battle of Sybota).
431 Sparta commanded by King Archidamus II prepares to destroy Athens thus starting the Peloponnesian War.
431 Empedocles, Greek doctor, believes body has Four Temperaments.
430 Failed peace mission by Athens, bubonic plague year, Sparta takes no prisoners.
430 Leucippus, Greek philosopher, believes every natural event has natural cause. Athenian Plague begins in Athens.
429 Phormio, Athenian admiral, wins the Battle of Chalcis.
429 Pericles dies of Athenian Plague, possibly typhus or bubonic plague.
429 Hippocrates, Greek doctor, believes diseases have physical cause.
428 Plato born.
428 Mytilene rebels, chief city of Lesbos.
427 Archidamus II dies, Alcidas, Greek admiral sent to help Lesbos, raids Ionia and flees after seeing Athenian might. Athenian Plague returns.
427 Mytilene surrenders to Athens, Plataeans surrender to Athens.
427 Aristophanes, Greek playwright, wins Athenian Prize.
426 Corfu secures island for Athens.
426 Demosthenes, Athenian general, and Cleon, Athenian demagogue, revitalizes Athenian forces, makes bold plans opposed by Nicias, his first military campaign barely succeeds.
425 Athenian fleet bottles up Spartan navy at Navarino Bay, Nicias resigns.
424 Syracuse sends Athenians home.
424 Pagondas of Thebes (in Greece) crushes Athenian army at the Battle of Delium, Brasidas a Spartan general makes a successful campaign, Cleon exiles Thucydides for 20 years for arriving late.
423 Truce of Laches supposed to stop Brasidas but doesn't, Nicias commands Athenian forces in retaking Mende.
422 Cleon meets Brasidas outside of Amphipolis, both are killed (Battle of Amphipolis).
421 Peace of Nicias brings temporary end to war, but Alcibiades, a nephew of Pericles, makes anti-Sparta alliance.
420 Quadruple alliance of Athens, Argos, Mantinea, and Elis confronts Spartan-Boeotian alliance.
419 King Agis II of Sparta attacks Argos, makes treaty.
418 Battle of Mantinea, greatest land battle of war, gives Sparta victory over Argos, which violated treaty, Alcibiades thrown out, alliance ended.
416 Alcibiades makes plans, is restored to power.
416 Massacre of the Melians.
415 Hermai statues are mutilated in Athens, Alcibiades accused, asks for inquiry, told to set sail for battle (Sicilian Expedition), is condemned to death in absentia, he defects to Sparta.
414 Lamachus, Athenian commander killed at Syracuse.
413 Nicias and Demosthenes killed at Syracuse.
412 Alcibiades is expelled from Sparta, conspires to come back to Athens.
411 Democracy ends in Athens by Antiphon, Peisander, and Phrynichus (oligarch), overthrown by Theramenes, Constitution of the 5000, Athenian navy recalls Alcibiades, confirmed by Athenians.
410 After several successes, Athenian demagogue Cleophon rejects Spartan peace offers.
409 Byzantium recaptured by Alcibiades for Athens.
408 Alcibiades reenters Athens in triumph, Lysander, a Spartan commander, has fleet built at Ephesus.
407 Lysander begins destruction of Athenian fleet, Alcibiades stripped of power.
406 Callicratides, Spartan naval commander, loses Battle of Arginusae over blockade of Mitylene harbor, Sparta sues for peace, rejected by Cleophon.
405 Lysander captures Athenian fleet, Spartan king Pausanias besieges Athens, Cleophon executed, Corinth and Thebes demand destruction of Athens.
404 Athens capitulates April 25. Theramenes secures terms, prevents total destruction of Athens, Theramenes and Alcibiades are killed.
401 Thucydides, Greek historian, leaves account of "Golden Age of Pericles" and Peloponnesian War at his death (History of the Peloponnesian War).
400 Democritus, Greek philosopher, develops Atomic theory, believes cause and necessity, nothing comes out of nothing
399 Socrates, Greek philosopher, condemned to death for corrupting youth.
387 Peace of Antalcidas concluded between the Greeks and the Persians.
347 Plato, Greek philosopher, founder of Academy, dies.
342 Aristotle, Greek philosopher, begins teaching Alexander, son of Philip of Macedon.
338 King Philip II of Macedon defeats Athens and Thebes at Battle of Chaeronea August 2 and establishes League of Corinth during winter of 338 BC/337 BC.
336 Alexander succeeds father Philip II, who was assassinated by Pausanias of Orestis.
333 Alexander defeats Persians at Battle of Issus, Oct, but Darius III escapes.
332 Alexander conquers Egypt.
331 at Battle of Gaugamela October 1, Alexander ends Achaemenid Dynasty and conquers Persian Empire.
329 Alexander conquers Samarkand.
327 Alexander invades northern India, but his army is despondent and refuses to march further eastwards.
Hellenistic Greece
Hellenistic period (323 BC – 146 BC).
323 King Alexander dies, his generals vie for power in Wars of the Diadochi:Antigonus—Macedon, Antipater—Macedon, Seleucus—Babylonia and Syria, Ptolemy—Egypt, Eumenes—Macedon, Lysimachus, later Antipater's son Cassander also vies for power.
323–322 Lamian War.
322–320 First War of the Diadochi.
320 Partition of Triparadisus.
320–311 Second War of the Diadochi.
316 Menander, Greek playwright, wins Athenian prize.
310 Zeno of Citium founds his stoic school in Athens.
307 Epicurus founds his philosophic school in Athens.
301 Battle of Ipsus.
300 Euclid, Greek mathematician, publishes Elements, treating both geometry and number theory (see also Euclidean algorithm).
295 Athens falls to Demetrius, Lachares killed.
281 Creation of the Achaean League.
280–275 Pyrrhic War.
279 Gallic invasion of the Balkans.
274–271 First Syrian War.
267–262 Chremonidean War.
265 Archimedes, Greek mathematician, develops Archimedes' screw, specific gravity, center of gravity; anticipates discoveries of integral calculus.
260–253 Second Syrian War.
246–241 Third Syrian War.
219–217 Fourth Syrian War.
214–205 First Macedonian War.
203–200 Fifth Syrian War.
200–196 Second Macedonian War.
192–188 Roman–Syrian War.
172–167 Third Macedonian War.
170–168 Sixth Syrian War.
150–148 Fourth Macedonian War.

Roman Greece is the period of Greek history (of Greece proper; as opposed to the other centers of Hellenism in the Roman world) following the Roman victory over the Corinthians at the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC until the reestablishment of the city of Byzantium and the naming of the city by the Emperor Constantine as the capital of the Roman Empire (as Nova Roma, later Constantinople) in 330 AD.

The Greek peninsula came under Roman rule in 146 BC; Macedonia being a Roman province, while southern Greece came under the surveillance of Macedonia's praefect. However, some Greek poleis managed to maintain partial independence and avoid taxation. The Aegean islands were added to this territory in 133 BC. Athens and other Greek cities revolted in 88 BC, and the uprising was crushed by the Roman general Sulla. The Roman civil wars devastated the land even further, until Augustus organized the peninsula as the province of Achaea in 27 BC.

Greece, initially economically devastated, began to rise economically after the wars. The Greek cities of Asia Minor recovered more quickly at first than the cities on the Greek peninsula, which were heavily damaged by the forces of Sulla. The Romans invested heavily however, and rebuilt these cities. Corinth became the capital of the new province of Achaea, while Athens prospered as a center of philosophy and learning. Pax Romana was the longest period of peace in Greek history, and Greece became a major crossroads of maritime trade between Rome and the Greek speaking eastern half of the empire. Greece became a key core province of the Roman Empire, as Roman culture had long been in fact Greco-Roman. The Greek language served as a lingua franca in the East and in Italy, and many Greek intellectuals such as Galen would perform most of their work in Rome.

Life in Greece continued under the Roman Empire much the same as it had previously. Roman culture was highly influenced by the Greeks; as Horace said, Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit. ("Captive Greece captured her rude conqueror".) The epics of Homer inspired the Aeneid of Virgil, and authors such as Seneca the younger wrote using Greek styles. While some Roman nobles regarded the Greeks as backwards and petty, many others embraced Greek literature and philosophy. The Greek language became a favorite of the educated and elite in Rome, such as Scipio Africanus, who tended to study philosophy and regard Greek culture and science as an example to be followed.

Similarly, most Roman emperors maintained an admiration for things Greek in nature. The Roman Emperor Nero visited Greece in AD 66, and performed at the Ancient Olympic Games, despite the rules against non-Greek participation. He was, of course, honoured with a victory in every contest, and in the following year he proclaimed the freedom of the Greeks at the Isthmian Games in Corinth, just as Flamininus had over 200 years previously. Hadrian was also particularly fond of the Greeks; before he became emperor he served as an eponymous archon of Athens. He also built his Arch of Hadrian there.

Many temples and public buildings were built in Greece by emperors and wealthy Roman nobility, especially in Athens. Julius Caesar began construction of the Roman agora in Athens, and was finished by Augustus. The main gate, Gate of Athena Archegetis, was dedicated to the patron goddess of Athens, Athena. The Agrippeia was built in the center of the newly built Roman Agora by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. The Tower of the Winds was built by Andronicus of Cyrrhus in 50 BC, although it may predate the entire Roman section of Athens. The emperor Hadrian was a philhellene and an ardent admirer of Greece and, seeing himself as an heir to Pericles, made many contributions to Athens. He built the Library of Hadrian in the city, as well as completing construction of the Temple of Olympian Zeus, some 638 years after its construction was started by Athenian tyrants, but ended due to the belief that building on such a scale to be hubristic. The Athenians built the Arch of Hadrian to honor Emperor Hadrian. The side of the arch facing the Athenian agora and the Acropolis had an inscription stating "This is Athens, the ancient city of Theseus." The side facing the Roman agora and the new city had an inscription stating "This is the city of Hadrian, and not of Theseus." Adrianou (Hadrian Street) exists to this day, leading from the arch to the Roman agora.

Herodes Atticus, a wealthy Greek orator and sophist who served as a Roman senator, built the Odeon in Athens, at the base of the Acropolis in 161 AD.

During this time, Greece and much of the rest of the Roman east came under the influence of Early Christianity. The apostle Paul of Tarsus preached in Philippi, Corinth and Athens, and Greece soon became one of the most highly Christianized areas of the empire.

The Byzantine Empire, sometimes referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in the East during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul, originally founded as Byzantium). It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.  During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, cultural, and military force in Europe. Both "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" are historiographical terms created after the end of the realm; its citizens continued to refer to their empire as the Roman Empire (Ancient Greek: Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, tr. Basileia tôn Rhōmaiōn; Latin: Imperium Romanum),  or Romania (Ῥωμανία), and to themselves as "Romans".

Several events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empire's Greek East and Latin West divided. Constantine I (r. 324–337) reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital, and legalised Christianity. Under Theodosius I (r. 379–395), Christianity became the Empire's official state religion and other religious practices were proscribed. Finally, under the reign of Heraclius (r. 610–641), the Empire's military and administration were restructured and adopted Greek for official use instead of Latin.  Thus, although the Roman state continued and Roman state traditions were maintained, modern historians distinguish Byzantium from ancient Rome insofar as it was centred on Constantinople, oriented towards Greek rather than Latin culture, and characterised by Orthodox Christianity.

The borders of the Empire evolved significantly over its existence, as it went through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Justinian I (r. 527–565), the Empire reached its greatest extent after reconquering much of the historically Roman western Mediterranean coast, including North Africa, Italy, and Rome itself, which it held for two more centuries. During the reign of Maurice (r. 582–602), the Empire's eastern frontier was expanded and the north stabilised. However, his assassination caused the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628, which exhausted the Empire's resources and contributed to major territorial losses during the Muslim conquests of the seventh century. In a matter of years the Empire lost its richest provinces, Egypt and Syria, to the Arabs.

During the Macedonian dynasty (10th–11th centuries), the Empire again expanded and experienced the two-century long Macedonian Renaissance, which came to an end with the loss of much of Asia Minor to the Seljuk Turks after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia as a homeland.
The accession of Basil I to the throne in 867 marks the beginning of the Macedonian dynasty, which would rule for the next two and a half centuries. This dynasty included some of the most able emperors in Byzantium's history, and the period is one of revival and resurgence. The Empire moved from defending against external enemies to reconquest of territories formerly lost.

In addition to a reassertion of Byzantine military power and political authority, the period under the Macedonian dynasty is characterised by a cultural revival in spheres such as philosophy and the arts. There was a conscious effort to restore the brilliance of the period before the Slavic and subsequent Arab invasions, and the Macedonian era has been dubbed the "Golden Age" of Byzantium. Though the Empire was significantly smaller than during the reign of Justinian, it had regained significant strength, as the remaining territories were less geographically dispersed and more politically, economically, and culturally integrated.

The Empire recovered again during the Komnenian restoration, such that by the 12th century Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest European city. However, it was delivered a mortal blow during the Fourth Crusade, when Constantinople was sacked in 1204 and the territories that the Empire formerly governed were divided into competing Byzantine Greek and Latin realms. Despite the eventual recovery of Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantine Empire remained only one of several small rival states in the area for the final two centuries of its existence. Its remaining territories were progressively annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 eventually ended the Byzantine Empire.

Most of the areas which today are within modern Greece's borders were at some point in the past a part of the Ottoman Empire. This period of Ottoman rule in Greece, lasting from the mid-15th century until the successful Greek War of Independence that broke out in 1821 and the establishment of the modern Greek state in 1832, is known in Greek as Tourkokratia (Greek: Τουρκοκρατία, "Turkish rule"; English: "Turkocracy" ). Some regions, however, like the Ionian islands or Mani in Peloponese were never part of the Ottoman administration, although the latter was under Ottoman suzerainty.

The Byzantine Empire, the remnant of the ancient Roman Empire who ruled most of the Greek-speaking world for over 1100 years, had been fatally weakened since the sacking of Constantinople by the Latin Crusaders in 1204.

The Ottoman advance into Greece was preceded by victory over the Serbs to its north. First the Ottomans won the Battle of Maritsa in 1371. The Serb forces were then led by the King Vukasin Mrnjavcevic, the father of Prince Marko and the co-ruler of the last emperor from the Serbian Nemanjic dynasty. This was followed by another Ottoman victory in the 1389 Battle of Kosovo.

With no further threat by the Serbs and the subsequent Byzantine civil wars, the Ottomans captured Constantinople in 1453 and advanced southwards into Greece, capturing Athens in 1458. The Greeks held out in the Peloponnese until 1460, and the Venetians and Genoese clung to some of the islands, but by 1500 most of the plains and islands of Greece were in Ottoman hands. The mountains of Greece were largely untouched, and were a refuge for Greeks to flee foreign rule and engage in guerrilla warfare.

Cyprus fell in 1571, and the Venetians retained Crete until 1669. The Ionian Islands were only briefly ruled by the Ottomans (Kefalonia from 1479 to 1481 and from 1485 to 1500), and remained primarily under the rule of the Republic of Venice.

Ottoman Greece was a multiethnic society as apart from Greeks and Turks, there were many Jews, Italians (especially Venetians), Armenians, Serbs, Albanians, Roma (Gypsies), Bulgarians etc. However, the modern Western notion of multiculturalism, although at first glance appears to correspond to the system of millets, is considered to be incompatible with the Ottoman system. The Greeks with the one hand were given some privileges and freedom; with the other they were exposed to a tyranny deriving from the malpractices of its administrative personnel over which the central government had only remote and incomplete control.
Despite losing their political independence, the Greeks remained dominant in the fields of commerce and business. The consolidation of Ottoman power in the 15th and 16th centuries rendered the Mediterranean safe for Greek shipping, and Greek shipowners became the maritime carriers of the Empire, making tremendous profits. After the Ottoman defeat at the Battle of Lepanto however, Greek ships often became the target of vicious attacks by Catholic (especially Spanish and Maltese) pirates.

This period of Ottoman rule had a profound impact in Greek society, as new elites emerged. The Greek land-owning aristocracy that traditionally dominated the Byzantine Empire suffered a tragic fate, and was almost completely destroyed. The new leading class in Ottoman Greece were the prokritoi (πρόκριτοι in Greek) called kocabaşis by the Ottomans. The prokritoi were essentially bureaucrats and tax collectors, and gained a negative reputation for corruption and nepotism. On the other hand, the Phanariots became prominent in the imperial capital of Constantinople as businessmen and diplomats, and the Greek Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarch rose to great power under the Sultan's protection, gaining religious control over the entire Orthodox population of the Empire, Greek and Slavic.

Sources / Bibliography / Photos

Choniates, Nicetas (1912). "The Sack of Constantinople (1204)". Translations and Reprints from the Original Sources of European History by D.C. Munro (Series 1, Vol 3:1). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 15–16.
Cinnamus, Ioannes (1976). Deeds of John and Manuel Comnenus. New York and West Sussex: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-04080-6.
Eusebius. Life of Constantine (Book IV). Christian Classics Ethereal Library.
Geoffrey of Villehardouin (1963). "The Conquest of Constantinople". Chronicles of the Crusades (translated by Margaret R. Shaw). Penguin Classics. ISBN 0-14-044124-7.
Komnene, Anna (1928). "Books X-XIII". The Alexiad (translated by Elizabeth A. S. Dawes). Internet Medieval Sourcebook.
Seeck, Otto, ed. (1876). Notitia Dignitatum; accedunt Notitia Urbis Constantinopolitanae Laterculi Prouinciarum. Berlin: Weidmann.
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Alemany, Agustí (2000). Sources on the Alans: A Critical Compilation. Leiden: Brill. pp. 170–243. ISBN 90-04-11442-4.
Ahrweiler, Hélène; Laiou, Angeliki E. (1998). "Preface". Studies on the Internal Diaspora of the Byzantine Empire. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks. ISBN 0-88402-247-1.
Anastos, Milton V. (1962). "The History of Byzantine Science. Report on the Dumbarton Oaks Symposium of 1961". Dumbarton Oaks Papers 16: 409–411. doi:10.2307/1291170. ISSN 0070-7546. JSTOR 1291170.
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