1. The history of Ancient Greece is usually said to begin with the “Greek Dark Ages”- that is, the period after the Bronze Age Collapse and before the rise of the City State.
2. The Bronze Age Collapse claimed the first advanced civilization in mainland Greece- The Mycenaean civilization. The Mycenaean Greeks, influenced by the previous Minoan culture, had built a complex economy and trade networks. They built palaces at the center of their cities.
3. The Bronze Age Collapse, approximately 1200-1100 B.C., caused the destruction of the Mycenaean civilization, along with almost every other major civilization that was prominent along the Eastern Mediterranean. With the main exception being Egypt.
4. The biggest factor that is usually pointed to is a phenomenon of a “Sea People” that overran large cities, and hastened the fall of the remaining centers of trade by upsetting what was likely a “delicate ecosystem” where some advanced civilizations would have been dependent on outside goods.
5. Other factors that alone, or in combination with one another, could have caused the Bronze Age Collapse are: “internal rebellions”, climate change that caused famines, the Dorian Greeks (in the case of the Mycenaean civilization), and earthquakes.
Source: 1177 B.C. The Year Civilization Collapsed by Eric H. Cline
6. The period in Greek history after the collapse and subsequent abandonment or downsizing of the previous eras major centers of civilization has become known as the "Greek Dark Ages".
7. This period is also known as the Early Iron Age, as the byproducts of iron-working made it to Greece, but were not being developed by the Greeks.
9. The next major development in the history of Greece, and one of the most significant, was the rise of the City-State. Known as a "Poleis", these “evolving” collectives revolved around agriculture, and not trade.
10. Athens rose quickly to prominence, however they were relatively late, Athens reached its peak much later than most of the historic City-States
11. Athenian Democracy was a much less egalitarian version of what we consider Democracy today. Even though it lasted a relatively short period of time, it is still looked upon as one of Ancient Greece’s “most enduring contributions to the modern world”.
13. Alexander the Great of Macedonia was one of the most significant figures in history. His conquests, and the division of his empire after his death, were the precursors to the significance Greek culture played across much of the Mediterranean.
14. The era after Alexander became known as the Hellenistic Era. Greek culture either took over, or mixed with local cultures across much of the known world. The policies of Alexander of founding new cities across the Mediterranean, and promoting colonialism likely started process. Not to mention the developments made by the Greeks across many fields in the Sciences and Arts.