Get to Know the Archaic Period of Ancient Greece

The Archaic time period of Ancient Greece took place from 800 B.C. to 480 B.C., just after the Greek Dark Ages. The Dark Ages were a difficult time for the Ancient Greeks, marked by economic difficulty and in general, the people had retreated into their own family lives.

The Archaic period was the total opposite. It marked a period of growth and influence for the Ancient Greeks. Among those advancements that took place during this time period include the rise of the city state and the development of the democratic system of government.

About Archaic Greece

Archaic Greece existed from 800 BC to 480 BC, after the Dark Ages of Greece and before the Classical era. By the end of the archaic period, Greeks were a part of a trading network that spanned the entire Mediterranean, having settled as far west as Marseille and east as Trapezus (Trebizond).

At the start of the archaic period, the Greek population exploded, and many other things changed by the end of the eighth century. Noted academic and archaeologist Anthony Snodgrass says two revolutions bookended the archaic period. A structural revolution created the poleis, Greek city-states, while the Classical period delivered an intellectual revolution.

Solon Founded the first democratic institutions in Athens; Cleisthenian reforms developed classical Athenian democracy. Sparta dominated Greece after enacting many of Lycurgus’ archaic-era reforms. These include heritage and Peloponnesian League land consolidation.

Rise of the City State

Throughout the Archaic Period, communication and contact between previously isolated communities increased. The Panhellenic Games, which any Greek could participate in, were quickly approaching, and the towns were getting ready to celebrate.

During this time, aristocracies rose to power and eventually replaced the monarchy that existed with a new form of government. This act laid the foundation for the Greeks to develop the democratic form of government.

It was also at this time that some families left their tiny, self-sufficient farms to try their luck in an urban environment, which led to the rise of tyrants and the establishment of the polis, also known as a city-state.


Wikipedia – Archaic Greece