The history of ancient Greece is filled with tales of various city-states, cultures, and civilizations conquering different lands. Sometimes, the expansion of territory was accepted, while others waged war to protect their region. In this article, you will learn about the Dorian invaders, as well as one of the most influential periods in Greek history.
~ 1100 BCE: Dorian invaders are successful in conquering the Myceneans.
The Dorians belonged to one of the four major tribes that the ancient Greeks belonged to in the early days of the Classical period. Soon, division took hold of the tribes. The earliest recorded mention of “the Dorians” (as they were typically referred to) was in the Odyssey. They were described as already inhabiting the island of Crete.
The Dorians have also been linked to the peoples called the Hellenes and other subgroups. They also led a different kind of life from other cultures that varied according to their specific regions. For example, the busy trade center of Corinth had a reputation for their elaborate styles in art and architecture. Lacedaemon or Sparta would later become known for being more isolated and focused on running a military state. Although the peoples belonged to the same tribe of the Dorians, independent groups subdivided and sometimes had a tendency to become hostile towards one another.
~ 1100 to 800 BCE: Greece entered a period of decline in regards to their architecture, writing, and other forms of expression. This period in time was referred to as the “Dark Ages.”
The “Dark Ages” not only marked a decline in culture, but the economy also suffered. In Western Europe, the decline of the Roman Empire additionally had an effect on the Greeks. At this time, many different cultural elements disappeared and not much is known as to how great the ripple effect was felt. Numerous characteristics of the Mycenaean culture were destroyed.
The Mycenaeans had stressed the importance of writing and during the Dark Ages, literature took an extreme backseat. The Dark Ages also killed the illustrious trading empire that the Minoans passed onto the Mycenaeans. Trade to locations, such as Asia Minor, the Middle East, and Egypt completely ceased to exist. Art shifted as well. Simple geometrical designs and patterns became the new trends of the Dark Ages.
During the Dark Ages, region was greatly affected. The Protestants and Catholics held onto different views of what was taking place at the time. The Protestants saw the time period as a moment where the Catholics were at the center of corruption. They chastised the ways of the Catholic Church. Protestants believed they were recreating a “pure Christianity” that did not include the “dark” ways of the Catholics. The Catholics did not see the Dark Ages as a negative period. They saw it as a chance for religion to be productive.
With the Dark Ages also came Muslim conquests. The failing empire was attractive to the Muslims who came riding in on horses and camels. These conquests would continue to take place until the time of the Crusades.