Greek Empire - 800 BC to 146 BC when it fell to Rome
Greece is a mountainous country and the ancient Greeks were a hardy, independent people. Their first civilization, the Mycenaean, rested on agriculture but also extended trade networks. A Dark Age followed the collapse of the Mycenaeans (1100 BC), but by the 8th century BC a growing population saw the emergence of small city-states - urban centers dependent on their local territory. The city-state fostered sophisticated politics, marble temples, drama and philosophy. There were also religious shrines - Olympia and Delphi among them - that offered a cultural focus for all Greeks, including those who migrated through the Mediterranean.
After success in the Persian wars (490 and 480 BC) there were no limits to Greek self-confidence, and the 5th century BC saw the achievements of the Classical period. In the late 5th century BC, however, the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta (which Athens lost) heralded the decline of the city-state and Greece was crushed by Macedonian expansion in the late 4th century BC. Following Alexander the Great's conquests, Greek culture spread throughout Asia and into Egypt in the Hellenistic period, and remained intact after absorption into the Roman Empire. The Byzantine empire that emerged in the 6th century AD was still culturally a Greek state. (Source:Credo Reference)
Roman Empire (753 BC to 476 AD fall of the Roman Emperor)
The empire centered at the city of Rome, in what is now Italy; the most extensive Western civilization of ancient times. According to legend, the empire was founded in 753 B.C. by two brothers, Romulus and Remus. Rome was at first ruled by kings. Then, about 500 B.C., the Roman Republic was established, with two annually elected consuls at its head, guided by a senate. The republic eventually weakened, and Rome passed to rule by one man — first Julius Caesar, who was assassinated in 44 B.C. His successor was Augustus, who assumed the title of emperor. Over the next few centuries, he was followed by a succession of emperors. The whole Western world eventually became subject to Rome and was at peace for roughly the first four centuries after the birth of Jesus.
The empire was known for its strongly centralized government and for massive public works, such as roads and aqueducts, which helped maintain its power and efficiency. As the years passed, the Roman Empire was divided into eastern and western portions (see Byzantine Empire and Constantine the Great), developed internal weaknesses, was invaded by outside tribes, and eventually ceased to exist. (Source:Credo Reference)
People of Ancient Rome
Events in Ancient Rome
Places in Ancient Rome
People of Ancient Greece
Events in Ancient Greece
Places in Ancient Greece
Greek to Roman Gods and Goddesses