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This Mythical Chronology of Greece depicts the traditional chronology established for the events of ancient Greek mythology by ancient chronographers and mythographers. This list largely reflects the work of Saint Jerome, whose work in turn was based primarily on the analysis of Apollodorus, Diodorus Siculus, and Eusebius. [1] In a few cases, the chronology also reflects the opinions of more recent scholars, who have cross referenced the mythology to archeological discoveries. These interpolations are noted with italics.

Although the Greeks did believe that much of their mythology was grounded in fact, this list is not intended to imply the literal existence of real-world parallels to all the characters listed below.

The dates below are approximate.

Timeline

The ages referenced in this section are the five Ages of Man of Hesiod.

Before Hesiod's ages: The Birth of the World (1800BC-1710BC)

1788

Chaos gives birth to Gaia

1770

Gaia gives birth to Uranus

1750

Uranus rapes Gaia. The Hecatonchires, Cyclopes and the Titans are born.

(Shaft tombs at Mycenae constructed between 1740 and 1450 BC) [2]

1710

The Titans fight Uranus and eventually he is defeated by Cronus (Saturn). Cronus cuts off Uranus' genitals with a sickle and throws them towards Cythera. Aphrodite emerges naked from the sea and travels to Cyprus.

Hesiod's first age: The Golden Age of Mankind (1710BC-1674BC)

1705-1675

Cronos becomes ruler of Greece. Imprisons the Hecatonchires and Cyclopes in Tartarus, then organises the Titans giving each a dominion.

(Palace at Knossos destroyed c.1700 BC then rebuilt) [3]

1703 BC

Cronus is warned not to take Rhea as his wife or have children with her, otherwise one of his children will dethrone him. He ignores this and Rhea gives birth to Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus. Cronus swallows his children in order to avoid the prophesy but astone is substituted by Rhea in place of Zeus who is taken by his mother into hiding in Crete.

1703-1684

Zeus grows up in the Dictyan caves near Lato. When fully gown he makes Cronus drunk, causing him to vomit out his brothers and sisters.

1684

Titanomachy

Zeus and his brothers fight Cronus. Some Titans side with Zeus, e.g. Prometheus and Epimetheus. Atlas is commander of the Titans loyal to Cronus. The War lasts 10 years. The Gods release the Hekatonchires and the Cyclopes from imprisonment in Tartarus, and they become their allies.

1684 or 1674

Zeus takes his sister Hera as wife

1684-1674

Births of Hephaestus, Ares, Eris, Hebe.

1684

Inachus becomes king and judges that the land of the Peloponnese belongs to Hera

1674

Victory for Zeus. Cronus is exiled to Elysia or Sicily. Zeus rules the heavens, Poseidon the sea and Hades the underworld. The land is common to all of the Gods.

Hesiod's second age: The Silver Age of Mankind (1674BC-1628BC)

1674-67

Births of Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, Athena by different mothers.

1667

Prometheus is chained to the rocks after stealing the secret of fire from the Gods and giving it to man

1667

Zeus has affair with Io the daughter of Inachus and carries her off to Egypt where she marries Telegonus.

1664

Herakles the Dactyl holds the first Olympic Games

1659

Phoroneus son of Inachus, the first man, rules over the entire Peloponnese from Phronocium later to become Argos

1654

Epimetheus is given Pandora to be his wife. Pandora is given a jar as a wedding present and told not to open it. Pandora opens it and mankind suffers the consequences of disobedience.

1645

Epaphus the son of Io rules in Egypt.

1640

Gigantomachy

The Battle of the Gods and Giants errupts and Porphyrion is defeated.

1628

Epaphus is murdered. The Titans attempt to regain power but fail. Atlas is punished by being made to carry the heavens on his shoulders. Typhon is defeated and imprisoned under a volcano. The Ogygian Deluge occurs.

(14 royal tombs at Mycenae date between 1650-1550 BC. Thera volcano erupts in 1628 BC. Minoan palace at Knossos destroyed by earthquakes c.1600 BC.)

Hesiod's third age: The First Brazen Age of Mankind (1628BC-1472BC)

1628

Zeus seduces Niobe the daughter of Phoroneus (first of Zeus affairs with mortal women)

1628

Car the son of Phoroneus founds the city of Megara

1628

Apis rules over the Peloponnese and Egypt

(Linear A inscription with the name Saiapis found in Crete. Epaphus II/Apopis II rules in Egypt according to Manetho. In Hellenistic times Apis also known as Sarapis is worshiped as a Greek and Egyptian God)

1607

Argus the grandson of Phoroneus founds the city of Argos

(Achaean invaders reach region of Mycenae c.1600 BC)

1572

Criasus the son of Argus becomes king of Argos. Peiras his brother, founds the first temple of Hera in Argolis.

1527

Lelex is the first king in Lacedaemonia.

1517

Pelasgus rules over Arcadia.

1510

Polycaon son of Lelex rules in Messenia and Myles rules in Sparta.

1488-1460

Lycaon provokes the Gods anger by murdering his son Nyctimus and serving him up to the Gods.

1488

Danaus flees from Aegyptus to Rhodes then takes Pelasgian Argos

(c.1480 BC Tutmoses III campaigns in Asia-Minor. His inscriptions mention receiving tribute from the Danaioi)

1487

Lycaon king of Arkadia, introduces Zeus cult

1484

Cecrops king of Athens introduces Zeus cult

1472

Danaus becomes king of Argos in the Peloponnese after Gelanor steps down

Hesiod's fourth age: The Heroic or Second Brazen Age (1460BC-1103BC)

Before the Hellenic Wars

1460

A flood is sent by Zeus to destroy all of mankind after Lycaon outrages the Gods. Deucalion and his family escape in an Ark, which Prometheus tells him to build.

1440

Dardanus founds Troy after being given a share in the kingdom of Teucer king of Phrygia

(Tudhaliya II is king of the Hittites from 1460-1440)

1438

Zeus violates Europe, birth of Minos

(Mycenaean’s conquer Minoans in Crete c.1450 BC. Earthquake destroys city of Knossos c.1450 BC. Palace is rebuilt and used until c.1380 BC)

1437

Cadmus colonises Boeotia and founds Thebes.

1421

Minos I becomes king of Crete

1420

Dionysus the son of Zeus and Semele daughter of Cadmus is born

(At Pylos Di-wo-ni-so-jo is found inscribed in Linear-B c.1250 BC) [4]

1420

Persephone the daughter of Demeter is abducted by Hades

1410

Olympic Games held 50 years after the flood

1404

Dionysus is entertained by Amphyction king of Athens

1400

Cinyras the son of Paphos the son of Pygmalion the son of Belus funds the city of Paphos in Cyprus

(Cyprus is conquered by the Mycenaean’s and Minoan colony wiped out c.1400)

1399

Erichthonius now rules at Athens

1399

Erichthonius rules at Troy

1386

Dionysus known as Tauro Kranos restores Ammon as king of Egypt then conquers Damascus and all of India.

(Amenhotep III reigns in Egypt from 1386-1349 and refers to Greek cities such including Amyclae in his records, Aryan invaders destroy Indus Valley civilisation c.1400, Tudhaliya III rules the Hittites 1400-1380 BC.)

1386

Dionysus drives Pentheus the king of Thebes to madness

1385

Cadmus leaves Thebes and goes to Illyria

1377

Tectemus the son of Dorus founds colony in Crete and fathers Asterius

(Second Mycenaean wave of colonisation in Crete puts and end to Minoan palace civilisation c.1400 BC)

1374

Pandion becomes king of Athens

1370

Athamas rules over Boeotia

1365

Perseus son of Danae by Zeus is born

1363

Apollo fathers Asclepius by Coronis, daughter of Phlegyas

1360

Epopeus king of Sicyon at war with Thebes

1357

Pandions daughter Philomela marries Tereus king of Thrace to form alliance against Theban king Labdacus

1354

Erechtheus becomes king of Athens

1345 or 1321

Phrixus while a boy is taken to Colchis by a Golden Lamb

1344

Pegasus the winged horse born from Medusa's blood after she is slain by Perseus

1342-1320

The children of Perseus and Andromeda are born

(Fortress of Mycenae built between 1400 and 1200)

1341

Perseus accidentally kills his grandfather Acrisius at funeral Games of King Teutamides father

1336

Aetolus conquers Aetolia after murdering Dorus the son of Phthia and his brothers

1333

Bellerophon goes to king Proetus court to be purified

1329

Cecrops the eldest son of Erechtheus is chosen by Xuthus to become king of Athens

1325

Amphion kills Lycus and becomes king of Thebes

1320

Melampus the seer cures the madness of the Argive women and receives one third of Proetus kingdom and his brother Bias another third. First temple built to Dionysus.

1315-1264

Pelops the son of Tantalus king of Phrygia and Lydia flees Asia Minor and rules in Pisa and Olympia

(Mursilis II king of the Hittites dies in 1315 BC)

1314

Pelops sister Niobe marries Amphion king of Thebes

1314

Pelops holds Olympic Games

1314

The Argonauts Calais and Zetes are born to Oreithyia and Boreas

1314

Pelops marries Hippodamia

1310

Electryon becomes king of Mycenae

1309

Pandion becomes king of Athens and is expelled by the sons of Metion

1301

Oebalus becomes the second husband of Gorgophone the daughter of Perseus

1300 or 1290

Laius caries off Chrysippus the son of Pelops and Astyoche

1299

Minos II the grandson of Minos becomes king of Crete after Asterius dies

(Most Linear B inscriptions found date from 1250-1175 BC and no earlier than c.1350-1300 BC)

1293

According to Herodotus (who is sceptical) Herakles kills Busaris the king of Egypt and his son after escaping from being taken prisoner to be sacrificed in order to put an end to a long famine

(Horemeheb reigns in Egypt from 1321-1293 followed by Ramses I 1293-1291 during a period of pestilence.)

1290

Procris leaves her husband and is seduced by Minos in Crete

1286-1264

Sthenelus takes throne of Mycenae after Amphitryon kills Electryon son of Perseus

February 10 1286

Herakles is conceived when Zeus extends one night into three

(Total solar eclipse over Aegean)

November 4 1286

Herakles is born nine months later and named Palaemon

1285

Herakles strangles 2 serpents sent by Hera

1285

Asclepius is born to Arsinoe, the daughter of Leucippus

1284

Aegeus regains Athens from the sons of Metion

1283

Bias of Priene killed by his nephew Pylas

1282

Aeacus helps Poseidon build the walls of Troy for Laodamaon now king of Troy

1274

Pelias imprisons Aeson and takes the throne after the birth of Jason

1271

Theseus is born

1270

Aegeus accidentally kills Minos son Androgeus at Games held in honour of Laius king of Thebes and is forced to pay a tribute of 7 Athenian boys and girls every 9 years

1270

All of Greece plagued by earthquakes and famine due to Pelops murder of Stymphalus or the Athenians murder of Androgeus and Aeacus is sent to pray for deliverance.

1269

Atreus and Thyestes march against Laius the king of Thebes

1269-1235

Oedipus kills Laius the king of Thebes and marries his own mother Iocasta

1268

Herakles lies with Thespius 50 daughters and kills the Lion of Cithaeron

1264

Herakles marries Megara after defeating the Minyans while Creon is king of Thebes in place of Laius

1258-1246

The Labours of Herakles take place while Eurystheus is king of Mycenae

(Walls of Mycenae extended and Lion Gate built c.1250 BC. Indications of serious destruction of houses outside walls c.1250 BC)

1253

Herakles brings back Alcestis the wife of Admetus from death

1252

Theseus kills the Minotaur at the centre of the Labyrinth built by Daedelus

(Place called Daidaleion mentioned in Linear-B inscriptions found at Knossos dating to c.1250 BC) [5]

1251 or 1246

The Caledonian Boar hunt

1248

Herakles goes to Hades to bring back Cerberus

1247

The nine Muses who said to be the daughters of Peirus the Macedonian engage in a musical contest with Thamyris

1247 or 1216

The marriage of Peleus to his second wife Thetis

1246 or 1216

The birth of Achilles

1246

The 4 month long voyage of Jason and the Argonauts

(Mycenaean artefacts found in southern Italy and Sicily c.1400-1200 BC. Jason's journey traditionally dated to this time. [6]

1246-1243

Herakles is sold as a slave to Omphale after killing Iphitus

1246

Eumolpus is victorious in the flute contest at Pelias funeral games

1245

Orpheus tries to rescue Euridice from Hades

1243

Herakles sacks Troy and puts a young Priam on the throne

(Troy VII destroyed c.1250 BC)

1243-1238

Herakles settles old scores in the Peloponnese

1242

Herakles conquers Elis and establishes Olympic Games. Polydeuces is champion Boxer.

1241

Herakles places Nestor who is still a boy on the throne of Messenia after killing his brothers and father king Neleus of Pylos for helping the Elians

(Pylos falls c.1250 BC).

1240

Herakles defeats the sons of Hippocoon and restores the throne of Sparta to Tyndareus

1239

Herakles leaves the Peloponnese and marries Deianira

1238

Hyllus is born

1236

Medea flees from Corinth after murdering Glauce the daughter of Creon

1235

Herakles exiled to Thrachis after killing one of Oeneus kinsmen

1234

Nessus carries of Deianira and is killed by Herakles with a poison arrow

1233

The births Clytemnestra & Helen to Tyndareus and Leda (Last of Zeus's affairs with mortals)

1232

Cheiron accidentally shot in the foot while entertaining Herakles and Achilles his student, forcing him to give up his immortality

1230

The birth of Paris. Laius becomes father of Odysseus.

1229

Herakles kills Cycnus the son of Ares

1227

Prophecy revealed from Oracle of Dodona that Herakles would die in 15 months after carrying off Iole

August 12 1226

Herakles dies and becomes a god

The Hellenic Wars

1225

The seven make war against Thebes

1224

Theseus captures Thebes and buries the bodies of the seven which were left unburied by Creon.

1223

Eurystheus defeated by Theseus and beheaded by Hyllus the son of Herakles

March 5 1223

Atreus takes the throne of Mycenae

(Total solar eclipse over Aegean)

1221

Theseus abducts Helen when she is 12 years old and he is 50 and spends [1]4 years in Tartarus after Helens brothers the Dioscuri capture Athens

1220

Castor, Polydeuces and Idas and Lynceus begin feuding

1218

After several bad harvests Atreus is slain by [1]7 year old Aeigisthus and Thyestes takes the throne of Mycenae

(Indications of serious destruction of houses outside walls of Mycenae c.1200 BC)

1215

Agamemnon is restored as king Mycenae by Thyestes.

1215

The Epigoni attack Thebes

(Theban palace destroyed c.1200 BC then reoccupied)

1213

Herakles mother Alcmene dies at the age of about 90

1213

The Beauty contest. Menelaus marries Helen.

1207

Theseus is freed from Tartatrus by Herakles (probably Hyllus) and returns to Athens.

1207

The Heraklids attack the Peloponnese.

1206

Theseus is killed.

1203

Hyllus the son of Herakles is slain at the Isthmus of Corinth while fighting in single combat against Echemus

(Cyclopean defensive wall built at Isthmus of Corinth c.1220-1200 BC.)

1203

Helen is abducted by Paris.

(Indications of Invasion of Mycenae by people from Central Asia c.1200-1190 BC. Serious destruction at Mycenae c.1200 BC.)

1201

First Gathering at Aulis

1193

Second Gathering at Aulis. The attempted sacrifice of Iphigenia.

(Inscriptions bearing the name Iphimedeia found at Knossos) [7]

1193-1183

The siege of Troy

(Troy VIIA destroyed c.1200 BC. According to Manetho the Biblical Exodus takes place in the reign of Seti II 1199-1193 BC)

1183

The capture of Troy

Jan 12 1183

The return and murder of Agamemnon (13 Gamelion 1183)

(Total solar eclipse over Aegean/Anatolia)

1183-1173

The Odyssey

(A massive tidal wave swamps the Aegean and reaches Cyprus in c.1200 BC)

1183

Agapenor becomes king of Paphos in Cyprus

1180

Teucer founds Salamis in Cyprus

1179

Odysseus held captive by Calypso

April 16 1178

The suitors vie for Penelope

(Total solar eclipse over Aegean)

1175

Menelaus flees Egypt

(Ramses III expels Sea-Peoples from Egypt in 1175 BC. Among those named are the Peleset, Tjeker and Denyen, ie. the Pelasgians, Teukrians and Danaians who are said to be based in Cyprus)

1175

The vengeance of Orestes against Clytemnestra and Aegistheus

1175-1174

Orestes is pursued by the Erinnyes

1173

Odysseus returns to Ithaca. Hermes fathers Pan by Penelope

1173

Orestes kills Aletes son of Aegistheus grandson of Thyestes after he usurps the throne when Orestes ends his search for Iphigenia

1160

Odysseus is accidentally killed by his son Telegonus

1158

Orestes is told by the Delphic Oracle to move from Mycenae to Arkadia and is killed by a snake bite while founding new cities.

1153

Autesion expelled from Thebes after he defects to the Heraklids.

1153

The Herakilds resume their attacks on Mycenae fifty years on.

(Indications of serious destruction of houses outside walls of Mycenae c.1150 BC)

1153

The Pelasgians and Thracians capture Thebes

1150

Demophon dies in Cyprus

1130

The Cadmians return to Thebes and expel the Pelasgians who then flee to Athens.

1130

Penthilus the son of Orestes seizes Lesbos

1129

Xanthus the last king of Thebes is killed in a duel with Andropompus or Melanthus who becomes king of Athens.

May 18 1124

Tisamenus the son of Orestes rules over Mycenae

(Total solar eclipse over Aegean) [8]

1113

The first Dorian fleet is sunk at Naupactus

1103

The Heraklids defeat Tsiamneus the son of Orestes and conquer the Peloponnese.

(Indications of invasion of Mycenae by people from Central Asia c.1100 BC. Attack on Asia Minor by Tiglath-Pileser I king of Assyria in 1110 BC.)

Hesiod's fifth age: The Iron or Archaic Age (after 1103BC)

References

Footnotes

  1. Pearse, Roger et al. (2005) The Chronicle of St. Jerome. http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/jerome_chronicle_00_eintro.htm
  2. McArver, Charles (2005?). The Mycenaean Civilization http://www.portergaud.edu/cmcarver/myce.html
  3. Castleden, Rodney. (1989) The Knossos Labyrinth: A New View of the 'Palace of Minos' at Knossos. Page 62. ISBN 0415033152
  4. Adams, J.P. (2005?) Dionysos. http://www.csun.edu/~hcfll004/dionysos.html
  5. Adams, J.P. (2004?). Mycenaean Divinities http://www.csun.edu/~hcfll004/mycen.html
  6. Wood, Michael (2005) In Search of Myths and Heroes http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/greeks/jason_01.shtml
  7. Trustees of Dartmouth College. (2000) Mycenaean and Late Cycladic Religion and Religious Architecture. http://projectsx.dartmouth.edu/history/bronze_age/lessons/les/26.html
  8. NASA (1999) Eclipses Through Traditions and Cultures http://education.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/pages/traditions_morewhyno.htm

Other sources

  • Homer; (c. 913BC) Iliad and Odyssey
  • Hesiod; (c. 809BC) Works and Days, Theogony, Catalogues of Women, The Shield of Heracles, Homeric Hymns, Fragments
  • Herodotus; (c. 450BC) The Histories
  • unknown author; Parian Marble (c. 250BC)
  • Apollodorus; (c. 150BC) Bibliothiki
  • Diodorus Siculus; (c. 50BC) Bibliothiki
  • Hyginus; (c. 10BC) Fabulae
  • Ovid; (c. 8AD) Metamorphoses
  • Strabo; (c. 10AD) Geography
  • Josephus; (c. 90AD) Antiquities of the Jews and Against Apion
  • Pausanius; (c. 150AD) Description of Greece
  • Tatian; (c. 150AD) Address to the Greeks
  • Eusebius; (c. 310AD) Chronicon and (c. 320) Preparation for the Gospel
  • Jerome; (c. 380AD) Chronicon
  • J. C. Stobart; (1911) The Glory that was Greece ISBN 0283484551
  • The Greek Myths: The Complete And Definitive Edition, Robert Graves
  • Alden A. Mosshammer; (1979) The Chronicle of Eusebius and Greek Chronographic Tradition, Bucknell University Press ISBN 0838719392
  • Michael Wood; (1998) In Search of the Trojan War ISBN 0520215990

The Odyssey, Homer , Robert Fagles (Translator), Bernard MacGregor Walke Knox (Introduction)

Links

Chronology of Greek Mythology compiled by Argyros George Argyrou

Genealogy of Greek Mythology compiled by Carlos Parada


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