Early History Part I

Classification of the epoch

Epoch designation that roughly dates back to 2000 BC. Describes to 500 AD. However, since the early period of this epoch has hardly any written sources and is therefore difficult to research, the beginning of antiquity is often only around 800 BC. BC. Antiquity thus follows on from what is known as prehistory and is part of early history. The transition from antiquity to the Middle Ages is fluid. Significant events that can serve as the limit of epochs lie in the period from 400 to 600 AD.

Geographically, antiquity encompassed the entire Mediterranean area. Greece and the Roman Empire gained special importance in this area. Since the origins of European culture lie in Greek and Roman culture, they are at the center of research on antiquity and are generally referred to as “classical antiquity” or “classical antiquity”.

According to Health-Beauty-Guides, ancient Greece and the Roman Empire are considered advanced civilizations that stand out in various areas through outstanding achievements. In addition to significant achievements in the natural sciences, art and literature, they also have a complex administrative system. The Roman Empire in particular is also known for its well-functioning infrastructure.

As early as the 14th century, humanists distinguished antiquity from what they believed to be the dark Middle Ages. While they viewed the Middle Ages as a period of decline, they saw ancient culture as an ideal that they wanted to build on. Above all, they took the Latin language and literature of antiquity as a model and thus stood in contradiction to the strictly Christian Middle Ages. The division of history into three major epochs that is customary today goes back to the historian Christoph Cellarius. In 1702, this divided history into ancient, medieval and modern times.

Classification of antiquity

Antiquity itself can be divided into several sub-periods in addition to the rough breakdown into Greek and Roman antiquity. Greek history experienced its heyday from the 5th to the 3rd century BC. With the military successes over the Persians at Marathon, Salamis and Plataiai, the rise of the Athens polis and the time of “classical Greece” began. A rivalry for Greek hegemony developed between Athens and Sparta, which was then dominant at the time, and this ultimately led to the Peloponnesian Wars.

The transition from Greek supremacy to the Roman Empire took place in the age of Hellenism. With the rise of Macedonia under the leadership of Philip II and his son Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC The Greek city-states lost their political importance. The term Hellenism refers to the spread of the Greek language and culture throughout the Mediterranean. Alexander de Große even reached India on his campaigns. After his sudden death (323 BC), the Alexander empire split into the so-called Diadoch empire.

Parallel to this decline, the Roman Republic gradually developed into a political force in Italy. After violent civil wars, Octavian (now known primarily as Augustus ) finally took the lead in the Roman state. With the victory in the Battle of Actium (31 BC) he not only sealed the end of the republic and its sole rule, but also the end of the last Diadochian empire, Ptolemaic Egypt. The Battle of Actium acts as a historical turning point and separates the epoch of Hellenism from the Roman Empire.

The beginning of late antiquity, which marks the transition from antiquity to the Middle Ages, is usually set in the year 284 AD. This was the accession of the emperor Diocletian to the reign. He converted the principate into a tetrarchy. So there was no longer just one emperor, but four (two Augusti and two Caesars) who shared the rule of the empire. Another important turning point came under Emperor Constantine , who was baptized shortly before his death (337 AD) and thus paved the way for Christianity to become the state religion.

End of Early History

Late antiquity is characterized by major domestic and foreign policy problems and changes. Based on the transformation of the empire into a tetrarchy by Diocletian, the division of the empire into East and West Rome finally prevailed (395 AD). Internally, for example, Christianization led to profound social restructuring. In addition, ongoing civil wars and external threats from Visigoths, Huns or Vandals plunged the empire into a major crisis and ultimately led to the fall of the Western Roman Empire, which is also seen as the end of antiquity.


Ancient ideas and achievements also shape our society today. The form of government of democracy has its origins in ancient Greece. Latin, the language of the Romans, was spoken throughout the Middle Ages and forms the basis of today’s national languages ​​such as Italian, French and Spanish. In addition to ancient works of art, buildings such as the Acropolis or the Colosseum also survive to this day.

The Olympic Games or the alphabet also come from ancient times. The ideas and works of ancient poets and thinkers such as Homer , Aristotle , Plato , Cicero , Virgil or Seneca form the basis of our contemporary culture.

Early History 1

Early History Part I
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