Greece may be understood as the land of the Greeks, a history that breaks from the initial migration of an indo-european people into the Mycenean and Cretan world, later into Doric, Ionic, and Attic components.
Beginning in the eighth century BC, Greece organizes around the city states. Politics coalesces around systems of Tyranny, Oligarchy, and Democracy. Ultimately, the Greek world expanded to Ionia in what is now western Turkey, Thrace and Macedonia, Thessaly, Attica and the Peloponnese. Following the war with Persia in the early fifth century, political and military power centered in Sparta and Athens. We read the history of these times primarily in Herodotus and Thucydides, also in the Lives of Plutarch.
Following the campaigns of Alexander the Great, the old Persian Empire was supplanted by the control of the Seleucids, the Antigonids, and the Ptolemies. These all devolved from the Macedonian Empire, all giving way eventually to the domination of Rome.