When was the Classical Era in history?
When was the Classical Era in history? Broadly speaking the Classical Era (also Classical Period or Classical Age) in the Mediterranean area was between 8th century BC and 6th century AD.
In Europe this period was dominated by the Greeks and then the Romans.
Greek ideas, stories and concepts initiates this period and the influence of Greek culture was to have an very significant impact and legacy in the Roman world. This era is often seen as beginning with the poetry of Homer (the Illiad and the Odyssey) in the 8th – 7th century BC and ending with the eclipse of classical ideas with the early medieval age.
In general terms, it was the Greek ideas about art, philosophy, science and society that spread around the Mediterranean, assisted by the spread of colonies of the Greek city states in the first instance. These ideas and concepts were then adopted, imitated and adapted by the other peoples in many instances. The rise of the power of Rome saw this process accelerate, spread and become embedded in Western and Central Europe and the Balkans.
The legacy of Greek thought, and later Roman adoption, development and adaption of this, was to survive the fall of Rome and live on in the Byzantine Empire. The legacy was additionally carried on in many respects in the West by peoples who sought to emulate the ‘glory days’ of Rome.
Whilst the Medieval period was to replace the Classical Era, it was not the end of Classical ideas. The survival of art, structures, documents and artefacts from the Classical Era, by the Byzantines and others, was to eventually ignite the Renaissance in the 14th century.