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I found this sentence:

Ancient Greece was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity (ca. AD 600).

on this wikipedia page.

Is this sentence correct?

I wonder what of the 8th refers to. Did the ancient Greece last from 8th BC to 600 AD? Or did it last from 6th BC to 600 AD? Did the author mean that the Archaic period lasted from 8th to 6th BC?

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  • Ancient Greece lasted from the period known as Archaic (this period was from 8th to 6th centuries BCE) to the 'End of Antiquity (ca. CE 600). Thus Ancient Greece lasted from ~8th century BCE to ~CE 600.
    – user6951
    Feb 14, 2015 at 11:42
  • @δοῦλος depending on your description, the Archais mush have been in a different place than the place that the Greece was in because the Greece started in the same time as Archaic, but that is not correct. they were located the same geographic place Feb 14, 2015 at 12:17
  • Archaic is not a place, it is a period. See the answer by @Zgialor
    – user6951
    Feb 14, 2015 at 19:07

1 Answer 1

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The sentence is saying that the Greek Archaic period lasted from the 8th century BC to the 6th century BC, and that Ancient Greece existed from the Archaic period to the end of the antiquity, which was around 600 AD (ca. stands for "circa", which is a Latin word that is used in English to mean "approximately"). The sentence can be broken down like this:

Ancient Greece was a civilization belonging to [a period of Greek history that lasted from [the Archaic period of the [8th to 6th] centuries BC] to [the end of antiquity (ca. AD 600)].]

It doesn't make sense to say "8th BC". "BC" and "AD" can't be used with an ordinal number alone; "the 8th century" is the same as "the period of time from the year 700 to the year 799", so "the 8th century BC" means "the period of time from the year 799 BC to the year 700 BC".

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