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Time Periods:
Before 900 BC
900-290 BC
290 BC-235 AD
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755-840 AD
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 Detailed Timeline of European History
Ancient Europe << Classical Europe (900-290 BC) >> Roman Dominance (290 BC-235 AD)

Classical Period (900 - 290 BC)
Beginning of Western Culture and Philosophy

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Classical Period Europe Interactive Map

Europe by 400 BC

Note: From Tribal to Advanced Organization. Ancient peoples form into organized entities, with organized militaries to carry out systematic conquests of other peoples. Before this, military excursions were limited to raids or skirmishes. Shift from migrations in search of available resources to invasions motivated by wealth & the spread of influence & culture.

(Timeline Continued Below)

Greeks Emerge from Greek Dark Ages (~900 - 750 BC): Greeks emerge from Greek dark ages, relearning writing from Phoenicians (modern Syria). Greeks become advanced again with influence of Phoenicians, Egyptians, Mesopotamians. Progress is achieved in all aspects (social, technology, academic, etc.). From this foundation, the Greeks develop "western thought & culture", which will influence Europeans from that point onward, separating east vs. west philosophy. Greeks begin to form into powerful city-states again.

Article: Rise of Western Culture and Philosophy (i.e. Classical Greece)

Germanic expansionGermanic Expansion (~ 850 - 250 BC): From about 850 through about 250 BC, Germanic tribes take territory away from the Celts. The mainland Germanic peoples become a separate nation from those that remain in the Germanic homeland to the north (Scandinavia).

Italic Peoples (~ 800 BC): Italic (Latin) peoples (likely Celt origin) from north migrate into central Italy.

Greeks Colonize Southern Italy (~ 800 BC): Greeks colonize southern tip of Italy, spreading Greek culture northward, contributing to development of advanced Roman Republic.

Establishment of Rome (753 BC): Establishment of city of Rome by Italic/Latin peoples, absorbing Etruscans.

First Slavs in Poland (~ 750 BC): A group of Slavs migrates westward to modern southern Poland, becoming the predecessors to modern Poles. - The World's Largest Maps Store!

Roman Republic (590 BC): End of the reign of the kings. Beginning of semi-democratic, Greek-inspired Roman Republic.

Carthage Empire (By 575 BC): Carthage becomes a full-fledged empire. Originally a Phoenician settlement, it evolves into its own empire after Phoenicia (based in modern Syria in Middle East) is conquered by Persians. Carthage then proceeded to assert control over Phoenician colonies in the west Mediterranean Sea, becoming an independent empire consisting of former Phoencian overseas colonies.

Dawn of the Dacians (~ 513 BC): Dacians, a Thracian tribe, form the powerful kingdom of Dacia, rivaling the Greeks for power & territory on the Balkan peninsula.

First Democracy in Europe in Athens, Greece (500 BC): Adult males who had completed military training were eligible to vote (most Athenian men over 18), excluding women, slaves & resident foreigners. Direct democracy voters decided actual legislation (referendum) as opposed to voting Persian Warsfor elected leaders. Ended by Macedonians (from which Alexander the Great arose) in 322 BC.

Greco-Persian Wars (500 - 448 BC): Unified Persian Empire takes advantage of divisions among Greek city-states. During the early years of war, Persia conquers all of the Greek city-states in Anatolia (modern Turkey), and many throughout the East Balkans. This compelled the Greek states to unite against the Persians, enabling the Greeks to push the Persians out of Europe, and the western coast of Anatolia.

Bosporan Kingdom (~ 480 BC): Bosporan Kingdom begins, covering east Crimean Bosporan KingdomPeninsula, and eastern shores opposed to Crimea. Greek colonists become the ruling class, with bulk of population consisting of Scythians. Greeks are eventually assimilated into the Scythians, but the culture/language is Hellenized (Greek), becoming the first Hellenized society consisting of primarily non-Greeks. The Greco-Scythians would be driven out & absorbed by Turkic migrating to the region in the 7th century AD, bringing an end to the kingdom.

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Celt Expansion (By 400 BC): Celtic people expand throughout Europe, becoming the most widespread ethnogroup on the continent by 400 BC. By 250 BC, they are pushed to the northwest and west by Germans, Slavs & Romans. They will become primary ancestors to modern French, Spanish & Portuguese.

Celt expansion by 250 BC

Spread of Celtic Culture & Language to British Isles (By 400 BC): As the Celt people expanded throughout Europe, their culture & language also spread to dominate the British Isles by 400 BC. However, they contributed very little to the population genetics, as the genetic composition of the inhabitants of the British Isles remained primarily Basque & Northern Iberian.

Rome by 338 BCLatin War (338 BC): Rome defeats other cities in area, to control west-central Italy (marked by solid line). Until this time, had just controlled city states directly surrounding Rome.

Alexander the Great's Conquests (336 - 323 BC): Alexander the Great, King of Macedon (Greek) conquers nearly all of Greece, a substantial portion of Dacia & Illyria to the north, & the Persian Empire (including Middle East & Egypt), stretching to India in the east. Sparta is not conquered, as they are avoided due to their superior military. Achieves something not done before: unifying Greek city-states into a single kingdom. Rugged terrain had served as deterrent in past, but Macedon's fighting style (tight formations with superior shields and spears) perfectly suited for narrow mountain passes.

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Alexander the Great conquests

Short-Lived Greek-Macedon Empire (323 BC): Upon the death of Alexander, the Greek Seleucid DynastyMacedon (Greek) Empire is divided amongst his generals: Antipater (Greek territories), Seleucid (Middle East, Mesopotamia, Central Asia) & Ptolemy (Egypt).

Seleucid Dynasty (312 BC): Upon the dissolution of Alexander the Great's Empire in 323 BC. various players fought for control as successor. Alexander's General Seleucus consolidated most of the Asian portion under his rule, beginning the Seleucid Dynasty, a Greek ruling class over Near East Asian peoples.

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Greek Ptolemic DynastyPtolemaic Dynasty (305 BC): Upon the dissolution of Alexander the Great's Empire in 323 BC. various players fought for control as successor. Alexander's General Ptolemy consolidated most of the Egyptian portion under his rule, beginning the Ptolemaic Dynasty, a Greek ruling class over Egyptian peoples.


Samnite Wars (290 BC): Rome gains control of nearly all of the Italian peninsula. Paves way for Rome to become dominant Mediterranean Sea power in following years.

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Note: Balts. Baltic peoples cover large portion of Eastern Europe. They are distinguished by a Balt tribe distributiondistinct culture & language, the predecessor to modern Balt culture & languages. During this time period, they remained a cohesive yet tribal society. Due to their remote location & lack of a written language, very little is known about Ancient Balts.

Note: Finnic Peoples. Finnic peoples are primary inhabitants of NE Europe, including modern Finland, Estonia & NW Russia (most populated region of modern Russia). Finnic are the ancestors of modern Finnish & Estonians.

Distribution of Northern Germanic peoplesNote: North Germanic Peoples (Scandinavians). Germanic peoples that remain in the north become Scandinavians (also recognized as North Germanic), forefathers to modern Norse (Norway), Swedish (Sweden) and Danish (Denmark). Those that migrate to the European mainland become known as Germanic peoples, forefathers to the modern Germans, and partial ancestors of modern French.

Next: Roman Dominance (290 BC - 235 AD)

Previous: Ancient Europe (Before 900 BC)

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Comments (5)

Many ancient greeks come from Spain and are related to the Spanish the greek jews came from Mongolia and Africa they are not related to the real greeks these people are jews of Mongol and Arabic origins
#1 - Peter god given - 03/19/2013 - 21:27
#2 - Garrett - 10/15/2013 - 21:14
ancient greeks are a mediterranean race or the older europeans. Mongols are descendants of the byriat tribes a indegenous people of siberia Asia, isralites are semites by language definition and all human caste and race preced from the horn of africa..."god given damm ass!"
#3 - human - 02/14/2014 - 13:37
#4 - i - 02/24/2014 - 13:27
The Roman Republic was founded in 509 BC, not 590. Just a typo I'm sure!
#5 - Augusta - 10/19/2014 - 15:47
To prevent automated Bots form spamming, please enter the text you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.

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