Ancient Hellas

This timeline contains the major events Thucydides chronicles in the first chapter of The History of The Peloponnesian War.

  • 1500 BC


    Minos Establishes The First Greek Navy
    Military action

    "And the first person known to us by tradition as having established a navy is Minos." - Thucydides

  • 1194 BC

    1184 BC



    The Trojan War
    Military action

    "Before the Trojan war there is no indication of any common action in Hellas." - Thucydides

  • 1124 BC


    Thessalians Capture Arne
    Military action

    "Sixty years after the capture of Ilium, the modern Boeotians were driven out of Arne by the Thessalians, and settled in the present Boeotia, the former Cadmeis." - Thucydides

  • 1104 BC


    Dorians and Heraclids Become Masters of the Peloponnese
    Political event

    "Twenty years later, the Dorians and the Heraclids became masters of Peloponnese; so that much had to be done and many years had to elapse before Hellas could attain to a durable tranquillity undisturbed by removals, and could begin to send out colonies." - Thucydides

  • 1000 BC


    Athens Colonizes Ionia
    Founding

    "The most powerful victims of war or faction from the rest of Hellas took refuge with the Athenians as a safe retreat; and at an early period, becoming naturalized, swelled the already large population of the city to such a height that Attica became at last too small to hold them, and they had to send out colonies to Ionia." - Thucydides

  • 800 BC

    700 BC



    Peloponnesians Colonize Italy and Sicily
    Founding

    "...and could begin to send out colonies, as Athens did to Ionia and most of the islands, and the Peloponnesians to most of Italy and Sicily and some places in the rest of Hellas. All these places were founded subsequently to the war with Troy." - Thucydides

  • 710 BC

    650 BC



    War between Chalcis and Eretria
    Military action

    "The nearest approach to a coalition took place in the old war between Chalcis and Eretria." - Thucydides.

  • 600 BC


    Colonization of Marseilles
    Founding

    "About this time also the Phocaeans, while they were founding Marseilles, defeated the Carthaginians in a sea-fight." - Thucydides

  • 559 BC

    530 BC



    Reign of Cyrus, King of Persia
    Political event

    "Subsequently the Ionians attained to great naval strength in the reign of Cyrus, the first king of the Persians, and of his son Cambyses, and while they were at war with the former commanded for a while the Ionian sea." - Thucydides.

  • 546 BC


    Cyrus Dethrones Croesus
    Political event

    "The power of the Ionians was advancing with rapid strides, when it came into collision with Persia, under King Cyrus, who, after having dethroned Croesus and overrun everything between the Halys and the sea, stopped not till he had reduced the cities of the coast." - Thucydides.

  • 542 BC


    Cyrus Conquers Asia Minor
    Military action

    "King Cyrus, who, after having dethroned Croesus and overrun everything between the Halys and the sea, stopped not till he had reduced the cities of the coast; the islands being only left to be subdued by Darius and the Phoenician navy." - Thucydides.

  • 540 BC

    522 BC



    Reign of Polycrates, Tyrant of Samos
    Political event

    "Polycrates also, the tyrant of Samos, had a powerful navy in the reign of Cambyses, with which he reduced many of the islands, and among them Rhenea, which he consecrated to the Delian Apollo." - Thucydides.

  • 530 BC

    522 BC



    Reign of Cambyses, King of Persia
    Political event

    "Subsequently the Ionians attained to great naval strength in the reign of Cyrus, the first king of the Persians, and of his son Cambyses, and while they were at war with the former commanded for a while the Ionian sea." - Thucydides

  • 522 BC

    486 BC



    Reign of Darius, King of Persia
    Political event

    "Indeed it was only shortly the Persian war, and the death of Darius the successor of Cambyses, that the Sicilian tyrants and the Corcyraeans acquired any large number of galleys." - Thucydides.

  • 492 BC

    479 BC



    The Median War
    Military action

    "The Median War, the greatest achievement of past times, yet found a speedy decision in two actions by sea and two by land." - Thucydides.

  • 492 BC

    490 BC



    Darius' Expedition into Greece
    Military action

    "Not many years after the deposition of the tyrants, the battle of Marathon was fought between the Medes and the Athenians." - Thucydides.

  • 490 BC


    Battle of Marathon
    Military action

    "Not many years after the deposition of the tyrants, the battle of Marathon was fought between the Medes and the Athenians." - Thucydides.

  • 488 BC

    481 BC



    War between Athens and Ageina
    Military action

    "It was quite at the end of this period that the war with Aegina and the prospect of the barbarian invasion enabled Themistocles to persuade the Athenians to build the fleet with which they fought at Salamis." - Thucydides.

  • 480 BC

    479 BC



    Xerxes' Expedition into Greece
    Military action

    "For after these there were no navies of any account in Hellas till the expedition of Xerxes." - Thucydides
     
    "Ten years afterwards, the barbarian returned with the armada for the subjugation of Hellas. In the face of this great danger, the command of the confederate Hellenes was assumed by the Lacedaemonians." - Thucydides.

  • 480 BC

    478 BC



    Athenian and Spartan (Greek) Alliance v. Persia
    Diplomatic action

    "This coalition, after repulsing the barbarian, soon afterwards split into two sections, which included the Hellenes who had revolted from the King, as well as those who had aided him in the war. At the end of the one stood Athens, at the head of the other Lacedaemon, one the first naval, the other the first military power in Hellas. For a short time the league held together, till the Lacedaemonians and Athenians quarrelled and made war." - Thucydides.

  • 460 BC

    445 BC



    First Peloponnesian War
    Military action

    "The Lacedaemonians, meanwhile, finding the war against the rebels in Ithome likely to last, invoked the aid of their allies, and especially of the Athenians, who came in some force under the command of Cimon. The reason for this pressing summons lay in their reputed skill in siege operations; a long siege had taught the Lacedaemonians their own deficiency in this art, else they would have taken the place by assault. The first open quarrel between the Lacedaemonians and Athenians arose out of this expedition. The Lacedaemonians, when assault failed to take the place, apprehensive of the enterprising and revolutionary character of the Athenians, and further looking upon them as of alien extraction, began to fear that, if they remained, they might be tempted by the besieged in Ithome to attempt some political changes. They accordingly dismissed them alone of the allies, without declaring their suspicions, but merely saying that they had now no need of them. But the Athenians, aware that their dismissal did not proceed from the more honourable reason of the two, but from suspicions which had been conceived, went away deeply offended, and conscious of having done nothing to merit such treatment from the Lacedaemonians; and the instant that they returned home they broke off the alliance which had been made against the Mede, and allied themselves with Sparta's enemy Argos; each of the contracting parties taking the same oaths and making the same alliance with the Thessalians." - Thucydides.

  • 447 BC


    Athens Conquers Euboea
    Military action

    "This was soon afterwards followed by the revolt of Euboea from Athens. Pericles had already crossed over with an army of Athenians to the island, when news was brought to him that Megara had revolted, that the Peloponnesians were on the point of invading Attica, and that the Athenian garrison had been cut off by the Megarians, with the exception of a few who had taken refuge in Nisaea. The Megarians had introduced the Corinthians, Sicyonians, and Epidaurians into the town before they revolted. Meanwhile Pericles brought his army back in all haste from Euboea. After this the Peloponnesians marched into Attica as far as Eleusis and Thrius, ravaging the country under the conduct of King Pleistoanax, the son of Pausanias, and without advancing further returned home. The Athenians then crossed over again to Euboea under the command of Pericles, and subdued the whole of the island: all but Histiaea was settled by convention; the Histiaeans they expelled from their homes, and occupied their territory themselves." - Thucydides.

  • 445 BC

    431 BC



    Thirty Years Truce
    Diplomatic action

    "All this came upon them with the late war, which was begun by the Athenians and Peloponnesians by the dissolution of the thirty years' truce made after the conquest of Euboea." -Thucydides.

  • 431 BC

    404 BC



    The Peloponnesian War
    Military action

    "For a short time the league held together, till the Lacedaemonians and Athenians quarrelled and made war upon each other with their allies, a duel into which all the Hellenes sooner or later were drawn, though some might at first remain neutral." - Thucydides.