Early ancient Greek history is filled with emerging civilizations and periods of conquered cities as different groups of people fought to establish themselves in the country. In this article, you will encounter some of the early cultures that dominated Greece , including the Mycenean civilization and Minoans.
~ 2200 BCE: The beginning of the Mycenean civilization starts to arise.
From 1600 BC to around 1100 BC, Greece underwent a Bronze Age period known as Mycenaean Greece. Cities, such as Pylos, Athensm Tiryns, and Thebes were associated with this cultural group. A great deal of historical milestones has taken place at Mycenaean sites, including the growth of Greek literature and myths, including the epics of Homer.
~ 2000 to 1500 BCE: The Minoan civilization becomes the dominant culture on Crete with their center situated at Knossos.
The Minoan civilization dominated the island of Crete and increased in strength and influence from around the 27th century BC to the 15th century BC. With the help of British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans, the culture was rediscovered and helped fill in a lot of details about early Europe. The first inhabitants of Crete settled on the land quite early , during the Middle Paleolithic age. It wasn’t until 5000 BC that the initial signs of an advanced culture started to appear, including enhanced agriculture techniques.
~ 1600 to 1200 BCE: In the city of Mycenae, the rule of the Myceneans becomes apparent.
~ 1400 BCE: Knossos is conquered by the Myceneans. The culture starts to replace the conquer Knossos and begin to replace the Minoan civilization, which is known as a more peaceful civilization. The Myceneans introduce a culture that concentrates more on a strong military.
~ 1250 BCE: According to the Homeric epics, the Myceneans may have entered a war against Troy and were triumphant.
~ 1200 BCE: The Oracle at Delphi was founded.
At the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, the Pythia was the priestess who resided on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. She earned quite a reputation throughout the country as gaining inspiration for her prophecies from Apollo himself. This was particularly interesting because ancient Greece was a male-dominated world and for a woman to have such prominence was rare.
The Delphic oracle was established with the last recorded response given in 393 AD when emperor Theodosius I ordered the pagan temples to stop their practices. The Greeks saw the Delphic Oracle as one of the most influential and reliable oracle , serving as a shining example of documented religious acts during classical Greek times. Many writers would mention the oracle in their text, including Aeschylus, Sophocles, Plato, Pindar, Aristotle, Ovid, and Plutarch.
To learn more about ancient Greek history, read the article titled “Highlights of Ancient Greek History,” which introduces the Dorian invaders and the period of time in Greece known as the “Dark Ages.”