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Ancient Greece was made up of many small "city states". These were cities and the land around them, and they had their own laws and rulers. They were almost like small countries in their own right. The city state of Corinth had 900 square kilometres of mountains and farmland. In the 7th century BC, a man called Kypselos overthrew the government of Corinth. He made himself ruler of the city state. This kind of leader is called a tyrant. When Kypselos died, his son Periander took over the role of tyrant. Soon after Periander's death, Corinth was ruled by a tyrant When Kypselos died, his son Periander took over the role of tyrant. Soon after Periander's death, Corinth was ruled by a council of 80 men. This type of government is called an oligarchy. This section has two timelines. The first shows details of the period from 800 BC until the end of the Greek empire in 146 BC. The second timeline shows the period from 1000 BC to the present day. 776 BC The first Olympic games. about 750 BC Early Greek culture. Homer writes the epics 'The Iliad' and the 'Odyssey'. 650 - 580 BC Corinth is ruled by the tyrant Kypselos and then his son Periander. 508 BC Democracy begins in Athens 490 and 480 BC Greeks defeat Persian invaders at the battles of Marathon (490 BC)and Salamis (480 BC). by 450 BC Athens becomes a very powerful city, and controls an empire. 472 - 410 BC Greeks theatre thrives in Athens. Many of the most famous Greek plays are written during this time. 462 - 429 BC Perikles is the popular leader at Athens as the general of the Athenian army 432 BC The Parthenon in Athens is finished being built. 431 - 404 BC War between Athens and Sparta (the Peloponnesian war) 428 BC The revolt of Mytilene 404 BC Sparta defeats Athens. 338 BC Philip, king of Macedonia, takes control of Greece. 336 - 323 BC Alexander the Great, son of Philip, conquers most of the known world as far east as India. 146 BC Rome conquers Greece - Greece becomes part of the Roman empire. Corinth made beautiful pottery, all decorated without any paint! Instead a watery clay mixture was used. When the pot was baked in a kiln, the areas painted with clay mixture turned black. Unpainted areas turned a light brown or reddish brown colour, depending on the type of clay. For 200 years the Corinthians sold their pottery all over the Greek world, and Corinth became a wealthy and busy trading centre.