Antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history. It includes any period before the Middle Ages (476-1453). Objects and artifacts surviving from these ancient cultures and civilizations are called antiquities.
More often than not however, the term is used to describe the period of classical civilizations of the Mediterranean, especially Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. It was a period in which Greek and Roman societies flourished and wielded great influence throughout Europe and the Middle East. Usually it is said that it lasted from the earliest-recorded Greek poetry of Homer (8th-7th century BC) up to the emergence of Christianity and the decline of the Roman Empire (5th century AD).
Ancient Greek culture mixed with some influences from the ancient Orient was the basis of art, philosophy, society and educational ideals during this period. The ideas developed during this time affected the modern world profoundly. Renaissance and Neo-Classicism tried to resurrect the ideals.