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Timeline - Ancient History: 12,000 BC to 500 AD
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Ancient History: 12,000 BC to 500 AD Timeline

Year Government,
Politics, & War
Art & Culture Science &
Religion &
Daily Life &
 c. 10000 BC         (1) Dog first domesticated (Middle East)
(2) Development of intensive flock management in Zagros Mountains
c. 10000 BC
 c. 8350 BC     Earliest known walled city at Jericho
    c. 8350 BC
 c. 8000 BC         (1) Potatoes and beans first cultivated in South America
(2) Earliest permanent farming villages in Fertile Crescent
c. 8000 BC
 c. 7500 BC     First manufacture of textiles in the Middle East using flax
    c. 7500 BC
 c. 7000 BC         Goats, sheep, and pigs domesticated (Middle East)
c. 7000 BC
 c. 6200 BC     Copper smelting in Asia Minor
    c. 6200 BC
 c. 6000 BC     Irrigation in Zagros Mountains
  (1) Cat domesticated (Northeast Africa)
(2) Cattle domesticated (Turkey)
c. 6000 BC
 c. 5500 BC     Cotton cultivated in India
    c. 5500 BC
 c. 5200 BC         Chickens domesticated (China)
c. 5200 BC
 c. 5000 BC     Irrigation spreads to Mesopotamia
    c. 5000 BC
 c. 4500 BC     Sail, plow, and potter's wheel invented in Mesopotamia
    c. 4500 BC
 c. 4300 BC       Megalithic tombs in Western Europe
c. 4300-3100; Spread of cities in Mesopotamia
c. 4300 BC
 c. 4000 BC         Horse domesticated (Eurasian steppe)
c. 4000 BC
 c. 3800 BC     Bronze in Mesopotamia
    c. 3800 BC
 c. 3650 BC     Wheeled vehicles in Mesopotamia
    c. 3650 BC
 c. 3500 BC     Pottery in South America
  Permanent fishing villages in South America
c. 3500 BC
 c. 3400 BC     Earliest hieroglyphics in Egypt
    c. 3400 BC
 c. 3150 BC   Unification of Egypt under King Menes
      c. 3150 BC
 3000 BC     Sumerians develop Cuneiform writing
  Potatoes, alpacas, and llamas domesticated (Andes Mountains)
3000 BC
 2900 BC     Defensive walls around cities become more prevalent
    2900 BC
 2700 BC       Yin and Yang theory developed in China
Olive trees cultivated (Crete)
2700 BC
 2630 BC     c. 2630; First pyramid constructed in Egypt; Imhotep is first known architect
    2630 BC
 2600 BC         (1) Urbanization in Indus River Valley
(2) Preservation of fish and poultry (Egypt)
2600 BC
 2575 BC   c. 2575-2134; Old Kingdom of Egypt
      2575 BC
 2528 BC     c. 2528; Cheops buried in First Great Pyramid at Giza
    2528 BC
 2400 BC     First wheeled war wagons in Mesopotamia
    2400 BC
 2350 BC   Earliest known law code in Sumer
      2350 BC
 2334 BC   c. 2334-2193; Sargon unifies Sumer and Akkad, creating Akkadian Empire
  c. 2334-2193; First deification of kings in Sumer
  2334 BC
 2300 BC         Earliest permanent farming villages in Mesoamerica
2300 BC
 2296 BC     Chinese record a comet
    2296 BC
 2200 BC   Legendary Xia Dynasty in China
    Dogs, goats, pigs, oxen, and sheep domesticated in China
2200 BC
 2134 BC   Collapse of central authority in Egypt; End of Old Kingdom
      2134 BC
 2100 BC       First Ziggurats in Sumer
  2100 BC
 2040 BC   c. 2040-1650; Mentuhotep restores centralized government in Egypt marking the beginning of the Middle Kingdom
      2040 BC
 2000 BC Hittites establish empire in Anatolia (modern Turkey)
c. 2000 - 1450; Minoan palace civilization on Crete
Decimal notation in Babylon
(1) Stonehenge in Southern England
(2) Epic of Gilgamesh is first written myth
Tea and bananas cultivated (India)
2000 BC
 1813 BC Emergence of Assyrian power under Shamshi-Adad I
        1813 BC
 1800 BC c. 1800-1750; Hammurabi establishes Babylonian Empire
c. 1800-1750; Hammurabi's Code is first written legal code
Irrigation in South America
Earliest prohibitions against pork among shepherd tribes in Middle East
  1800 BC
 1750 BC       Collapse of Indus River Valley civilization at Mohenjo-daro and Harappa
  1750 BC
 1700 BC c. 1700-1650; Chariot-equipped Hyksos begin invasions and conquer Middle Kingdom Egypt
  Spread of two-wheeled war chariot in Middle East
  First evidence of leavened bread (Egypt)
1700 BC
 1600 BC   (1) Rise of Mycenaean Civilization in mainland Greece
(2) c. 1600; First historical dynasty in China (The Shang)
(1) Canaanites invent first alphabet
(2) Pictographic writing in China
    1600 BC
 1550 BC   Ahmose reunites Egypt; c. 1550-1070; New Kingdom in Egypt
      1550 BC
 1500 BC c. 1504-1492; Thutmose I expands Egypt into Palestine, Syria, and Nubia
  Geometry developed in Egypt
  (1) Silkworm domesticated (China)
(2) c. 1500 Rabbit domesticated (Europe)
1500 BC
 1458 BC   Thutmose III ascends to Egyptian throne; First usage of the term Pharaoh
      1458 BC
 1450 BC Mycenaean Greeks conquer Minoan Civilization on Crete
    Brahma worship in India
  1450 BC
 1440 BC     First metalworking in South America
    1440 BC
 1400 BC     Iron Age begins in Asia Minor
  Maize cultivation in Mesoamerica
1400 BC
 1353 BC       Amenhotep IV introduces monotheism to Egypt
  1353 BC
 1350 BC     War chariot introduced to China
    1350 BC
 1333 BC       Tutankhaman (King Tut) reestablishes polytheism as official religion in Egypt
  1333 BC
 1200 BC   (1) c. 1200-400; Olmec Civilization in Mesoamerica
(2) c. 1200-1100; Bronze Age palaces destroyed throughout Mediterranean world
  c. 1200-1100; Judaism established in Palestine
c. 1200-800; Rise of Phoenician maritime dominance in the Mediterranean
1200 BC
 1150 BC         Aristocrats in Egypt use chairs
1150 BC
 1122 BC   c. 1122-256; Zhou Dynasty in China
      1122 BC
 1100 BC     Phoenician traders begin spreading alphabet throughout Mediterranean
    1100 BC
 1070 BC   End of New Kingdom in Egypt
      1070 BC
 1047 BC   c. 1047-1007 BCE; Saul reigns as first Hebrew king in Judaea
      1047 BC
 1006 BC c. 1006-965; David becomes king of Israel and conquers Jerusalem
        1006 BC
 957 BC       Solomon builds first Jewish temple in Jerusalem
  957 BC
 900 BC   Etruscans establish cities in Tuscany
      900 BC
 883 BC Revival of Assyrian power under Ashurnasirpal II
        883 BC
 850 BC       c. 850-750; Approximate date of written transcriptions of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey from existing oral tradition
  850 BC
 814 BC   Traditional date for the founding of Carthage
      814 BC
 800 BC     (1) Hieroglyphic script in Mesoamerica
(2) c. 800-750; Development of Greek alphabet
Olmecs build pyramids in Central America (modern Mexico)
  800 BC
 780 BC   c. 780-755; Alara establishes Napata Kingdom of Kush
      780 BC
 776 BC       First Olympic Games held in Greece
  776 BC
 772 BC       Construction begins on Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, one of Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
  772 BC
 771 BC   Destruction of the Zhou capital at Hào marks end of Western Zhou Dynasty in China; Beginning of Eastern Zhou Dynasty
      771 BC
 753 BC   Traditional date of the founding of Rome
      753 BC
 744 BC Tiglath-Pileser III succeeds in Assyria; Conquers Syria, Palestine, Israel, and Babylon
        744 BC
 722 BC Sargon II seizes power in Assyria; destroys the Kingdom of Israel
c. 722-481; Spring and Autumn Period in China; Decentralization and rise of powerful nobles
      722 BC
 720 BC     Chinese record solar eclipse
    720 BC
 700 BC     Aqueducts in the Middle East
    700 BC
 671 BC Assyrians conquer Egypt
        671 BC
 660 BC   Legendary date for foundation of Japan by Emperor Jimmu; Celebrated in Japan as National Foundation Day
      660 BC
 657 BC   Cypselus becomes first tyrant in Corinth
      657 BC
 650 BC         First coins used by Lydians
650 BC
 621 BC   First written legal code in Athens attributed to Draco
      621 BC
 612 BC Babylonians sack Nineveh; Assyrian power collapses
        612 BC
 609 BC     Nekan of Egypt launches first known circumnavigation of Africa
    609 BC
 605 BC Babylonians defeat last Assyrian army at Megiddo; End of Assyria as an independent kingdom
        605 BC
 600 BC c. 600; Greeks colonize southern France
    c. 600; Sappho is priestess of love cult on Lesbos
  600 BC
 594 BC   Solon's reforms in Athens
      594 BC
 587 BC Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon destroys Jerusalem; Babylonian Captivity of the Jews begins
        587 BC
 585 BC     Greek astronomer Thales predicts an eclipse
    585 BC
 565 BC       Spread of Taoism in China
  565 BC
 553 BC       c. 553; Death of Zoroaster; Teachings emphasizing monotheism and eschatology become official religion of Persian Empire
  553 BC
 550 BC   Persian Empire unified by Cyrus II; Beginning of Achaemenid Dynasty
Earliest use of cast iron in China
    550 BC
 539 BC Babylonian empire conquered by Cyrus the Great of Persia
        539 BC
 530 BC     Greek mathematician Pythagoras
    530 BC
 522 BC Darius I rises to power in Persia; Expands Persian Empire to its maximum extent
        522 BC
 520 BC     Canal completed between the Nile River and Red Sea
    520 BC
 517 BC       Hsiao Yen (Wu Ti) backs Buddhist missionary efforts in central China
  517 BC
 515 BC       c. 515; Birth of Parmenides, who becomes founder of metaphysics
  515 BC
 509 BC   Rome becomes a republic
      509 BC
 508 BC   Cleisthenes' democratic reforms in Athens
      508 BC
 500 BC       (1) c. 500; Polynesian culture develops in Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga
(2) Earliest versions of Sun Tzu's The Art of War
(3) Heraclitus becomes one of the earliest dialectical philosophers
c. 500 Honeybee domesticated (Europe)
500 BC
 499 BC Ionian Revolt marks beginning of Persian-Greek Wars
        499 BC
 498 BC       Pindar begins composing his Odes
  498 BC
 495 BC       c. 495-483; Confucius teaches throughout China
  495 BC
 490 BC Athenians defeat Persians at Battle of Marathon
        490 BC
 480 BC (1) Spartan army under King Leonidas defeated by Persians at Battle of Thermopylae
(2) Greek fleet defeats Persian fleet at Battle of Salamis
c. 480-221; Warring States Period in China; Seven regional warlords fight for dominance in China
      480 BC
 479 BC Battles of Plataea and Mycale mark the end of Spartan leadership of the Greek coalition against Persia
        479 BC
 478 BC Athens founds Delian League to lead the Greek war against Persia
        478 BC
 472 BC       Aeschylus's tragedy Persae performed
  472 BC
 466 BC Delian League decisively defeats Persian fleet at Battle of Eurymedon River
        466 BC
 461 BC   Golden Age of Athens begins; Pericles funds massive public works in city
      461 BC
 458 BC   Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus becomes dictator of Rome then retires; One of the founding myths of Roman Virtue
      458 BC
 457 BC First Peloponnesian War; Sparta dominant in Peloponnesian Peninsula
        457 BC
 455 BC       Anaxagoras teaches atomistic theory of the natural world
  455 BC
 450 BC         Reindeer domesticated (Central Asia)
450 BC
 441 BC       First stage success of Euripides in Athens
  441 BC
 440 BC       Sophocles' tragedy Antigone
  440 BC
 438 BC       Phidias completes Parthenon
  438 BC
 431 BC Second Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta begins
    Euripides' Medea
  431 BC
 430 BC       (1) Death of Empedocles, who developed Four Elements theory of the natural world
(2) c. 430; Herodotus writes his History
Hippocrates teaches in Athens
430 BC
 429 BC       c. 429, Sophocles' Oedipus Rex
  429 BC
 428 BC       Euripides' Hippolytus; portrays struggle between sexual desire and asceticism
  428 BC
 426 BC       Euripides' Andromache
  426 BC
 423 BC       Aristophanes' comedy The Clouds
  423 BC
 421 BC       Aristophanes' comedy The Peace
  421 BC
 420 BC       c. 420-413; Sophocles' Electra
  420 BC
 415 BC Athens sends large expeditionary force to Sicily; Athenians are decisively defeated
    Euripides' The Trojan Women
  415 BC
 411 BC Outnumbered Athenian fleet defeats Spartans at Battle of Cynossema
    Aristophanes' anti-war satire Lysistrata
  411 BC
 405 BC With Persian aid, Spartan fleet decisively defeats Athenians at the battle of Aegospotami
        405 BC
 404 BC Athens surrenders, marking end of Peloponnesian War
Sparta establishes government of the "Thirty Tyrants" and suspends democracy in Athens
      404 BC
 403 BC   Thrasybulus overthrows "Thirty Tyrants" and reestablishes democracy in Athens
      403 BC
 401 BC Battle of Cunaxa; Xenophon and 10,000 Greek mercenaries retreat through Persian Empire
    (1) Posthumous production of Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus
(2) Death of Thucydides, who leaves behind The History of the Peloponnesian War
  401 BC
 399 BC       Trial and death of Socrates
  399 BC
 385 BC       Plato establishes his Academy
  385 BC
 371 BC Thebes defeats Sparta at Battle of Leuctra; Spartan helots freed
        371 BC
 367 BC       Aristotle begins study at Plato's Academy
  367 BC
 359 BC   Philip II becomes king in Macedon
      359 BC
 350 BC         c. 350; Earliest Mayan city-states
350 BC
 343 BC Rome subdues Campania in First Samnite War
        343 BC
 340 BC Athens forms Hellenic League to resist Philip II of Macedon
        340 BC
 338 BC Philip II of Macedon defeats Greek army at Battle of Chaeronea; End of independent Greek city-states
        338 BC
 336 BC Philip II of Macedon assassinated; Alexander rises to power in Macedon
        336 BC
 335 BC Alexander destroys the rebellious city of Thebes and enslaves its population
    Aristotle opens the Lyceum
  335 BC
 334 BC Alexander the Great Invades Asia Minor and defeats Persians at Granicus River
        334 BC
 332 BC Alexander conquers Palestine and Egypt
Alexander the Great founds Alexandria in Egypt
      332 BC
 331 BC Alexander defeats Persians at Gaugamela; Effectively destroys Persian army
        331 BC
 330 BC (1) Alexander the Great enters Babylon; Conquers Persian Empire
(2) Darius III assassinated by Persian satrap Bessus
        330 BC
 329 BC Alexander the Great reaches India
        329 BC
 326 BC Macedonian army defeats King Porus at the battle of The Hydaspes River; Alexander the Great's army mutinies and refuses to march farther into India
        326 BC
 325 BC         First historical reference to sugar cane by Nearchus
325 BC
 324 BC       Menander introduces 'New Comedy' to Greece
  324 BC
 323 BC (1) Alexander's general Ptolemy establishes control of Egypt
(2) Alexander the Great dies; Wars of the Diadochoi (Successors) begin
        323 BC
 322 BC   Chandragupta Maurya establishes the Mauryan Empire in northern India
      322 BC
 312 BC Seleucus establishes Seleucid Empire in Mesopotamia
  Appius Claudius Caecus begins construction of the Appian Way in Rome
    312 BC
 301 BC Antigonus dies at battle of Ipsus; Dissolution of Alexander's empire is confirmed
    Zeno introduces Stoic philosophy in Athens
  301 BC
 300 BC     (1) c. 300; Coal technology in Greece
(2) Euclid's Elements
c. 300 BCE; Epicurus founds school of philosophy in Athens
c. 300; Rise of horse-nomadism among Turko-Mongol tribes of Central Asia
300 BC
 290 BC Rome completes conquest of Samnites; Effectively controls Italy
    Approximate date for the construction of the Library of Alexandria
  290 BC
 289 BC       Chinese ruler/philosopher Mencius dies; Responsible for refining Confucianism
  289 BC
 283 BC       Pharos lighthouse in Alexandria
  283 BC
 281 BC       Completion of the Colossus of Rhodes, one of Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
  281 BC
 272 BC Rome conquers Tarentum and unifies Italian Peninsula
        272 BC
 270 BC     c. 270; Aristarchos of Samos proposes heliocentric universe
    270 BC
 264 BC First Punic War begins between Rome and Carthage
        264 BC
 260 BC       (1) c. 260; Mauryan king Ashoka converts to Buddhism
(2) c. 260; First gladiatorial games in Rome
  260 BC
 256 BC   End of Eastern Zhou Dynasty in China
      256 BC
 241 BC First Punic War ends after Carthaginian defeat at the battle of the Aegates Islands; Rome conquers Sicily and makes it the first Roman province
        241 BC
 238 BC   Arsaces establishes independent kingdom of Parthia
      238 BC
 221 BC   China united by the first emperor Shih Huang-ti; Beginning of Qin Dynasty and Imperial China
  Chinese Emperor Shih Huang-ti outlaws and persecutes Confucianism
  221 BC
 219 BC Second Punic War between Rome and Carthage begins
        219 BC
 217 BC Roman army ambushed and destroyed at Battle of Lake Trasimene
        217 BC
 216 BC Hannibal's Carthaginian army destroys 16 Roman legions at Battle of Cannae
        216 BC
 212 BC     Archimedes dies during siege of Syracuse; Regarded as one of the greatest ancient scientists
    212 BC
 210 BC   Chinese Emperor Shih Huang-ti dies; Buried in massive mausoleum with the Terracotta Army
      210 BC
 206 BC Roman army under Scipio Africanus defeats Carthaginians at battle of Ilipa; Rome conquers Hispania
Han Dynasty established in China
      206 BC
 202 BC Roman army under Scipio Africanus defeats Hannibal at Zama; Second Punic War ends with Rome dominant in the Mediterranean
        202 BC
 200 BC         c. 200, Polynesians settle Tahiti
200 BC
 190 BC Rome defeats Seleucid king Antiochus III at battle of Magnesia; Rome secures control of Greece and gains territory in Asia Minor
        190 BC
 179 BC     Earliest dated stone arched bridge constructed over the Tiber River
    179 BC
 171 BC Third Macedonian War between Rome and Macedon
        171 BC
 170 BC     Paved streets in Rome
    170 BC
 168 BC Rome defeats Philip V of Macedon at battle of Pydna; Rome assures dominance in Greece
        168 BC
 167 BC Mattahias the Hasmonian begins Maccabean Revolt against Seleucid rule in Judea
        167 BC
 150 BC       (1) c. 150; El Mirador (Guatemala) has become largest center of Mayan civilization
(2) c. 150; Polybius publishes first part of The Histories
  150 BC
 149 BC Third Punic War between Rome and Carthage begins; Roman army besieges Carthage
        149 BC
 146 BC (1) Romans capture Carthage; Carthaginian territory incorporated into Roman province of Africa
(2) Rome eliminates democracies in Greece
        146 BC
 144 BC Mithridates I of Parthia conquers Babylonia, Media, and Persia
        144 BC
 142 BC   Simon Maccabeus creates Hasmonean Dynasty in Judea; Independent Jewish state until 63 BCE
      142 BC
 135 BC   c. 135-132; First Slave Revolt in Sicily
      135 BC
 133 BC   Tiberius Gracchus elected tribune in Rome and proposes land reform; Murdered by aristocratic opponents
      133 BC
 130 BC         Silk Road expands after Chinese emperor Wu Di sends emissaries into Central Asia
130 BC
 123 BC   Gaius Gracchus proposes price controls in Rome, sparking aristocratic opposition
      123 BC
 121 BC   Gaius Gracchus killed during insurrection
      121 BC
 110 BC         Cultured oyster beds in Southern Italy
110 BC
 107 BC   Gaius Marius abolishes land qualifications for military service in Rome
      107 BC
 105 BC Proto-Germanic Cimbri and Teutones destroy a Roman army at battle of Arausio
        105 BC
 104 BC Second Slave Revolt in Sicily
        104 BC
 102 BC Roman army under Gaius Marius defeats Teutones at battle of Aquae Sextiae
        102 BC
 100 BC   Saturnus and Glauca propose price controls in Rome; Both are mudered with support of Gaius Marius
      100 BC
 91 BC   Social War begins in Italy; Roman allies rebel
      91 BC
 88 BC   (1) Social War ends; Italian allies gain Roman citizenship
(2) Sulla marches on Rome; First Civil War in Rome
      88 BC
 86 BC   Gaius Marius dies suddenly, ending First Civil War in Rome
      86 BC
 75 BC     Greek physician Asclepiades makes distinction between chronic and acute disease; Develops theories of diet and exercise
    75 BC
 73 BC   Spartacus leads slave revolt against Rome
      73 BC
 71 BC   Slave Revolt under Spartacus defeated by Crassus and Pompey
      71 BC
 70 BC   Pompey and Crassus restore the powers of the Tribunate and resume grain distribution in Rome
      70 BC
 63 BC Judea becomes client-kingdom of Rome
        63 BC
 60 BC   1st Triumvirate of Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus
      60 BC
 58 BC Julius Caesar invades Gaul; Gallic Wars begin
        58 BC
 53 BC Parthians crush Roman army at battle of Carrhae; Crassus killed afterward
War of the First Triumvirate begins
      53 BC
 51 BC   Cleopatra assumes Egyptian throne
  Cicero's De Republica
  51 BC
 49 BC   Caesar crosses Rubicon with his army
      49 BC
 48 BC Caesar defeats Senetorial army under Crassus at Pharsalus
        48 BC
 47 BC   Pompey assassinated
      47 BC
 45 BC Julius Caesar defeats conservative republican army at the Battle of Munda; Caesar returns to Rome to rule as dictator
    Julius Caesar enforces the Julian Calendar developed by Sosigenes of Alexandria
  45 BC
 44 BC   Julius Caesar named dictator for life; Assassinated by Senatorial opponents
      44 BC
 43 BC   2nd Triumvirate of Octavian, Marcus Aemilius, and Mark Antony
      43 BC
 42 BC Marcus Junius Brutus defeated at the Second Battle of Philippi; Commits suicide soon after
    (1) Virgil begins his Eclogues
(2) Second Triumvirate deifies Julius Caesar; Origin of Caesar worship
  42 BC
 37 BC   Herod the Great confirmed as King of Judaea
      37 BC
 35 BC       First volume of Horace's Satires
  35 BC
 32 BC   Mark Antony divorces Octavian's sister; Civil war resumes
      32 BC
 31 BC   Octavian defeats Mark Antony at Battle of Actium; War of Second Triumvirate ends
      31 BC
 30 BC   (1) Antony and Cleopatra commit suicide
(2) Egypt becomes personal property of Octavian; Serves as financial power base for he and successive emperors
Sundial in China
    30 BC
 27 BC   Octavian gains title Caesar Augustus; Rules Rome informally as first emperor
      27 BC
 19 BC     Pont du Gard aqueduct completed in Nîmes, France
Virgil dies; Augustus immediately publishes the Aeneid
  19 BC
 18 BC       Ovid's Amores
  18 BC
 15 BC Augustus expands Rome's frontier to the Danube River
        15 BC
 4       c. 4; Approximate date of the birth of Jesus
 6 AD Rome incorporates client-kingdom of Judea into new province of Iudaea
        6 AD
 7       Ovid's Metamorphoses
 9 Germanic revolt against Rome under Arminius; Destroys Varus and three legions at battle of Teutoburg Forest
 14   Roman Emperor Augustus dies; Tiberius succeeds
 16 Romans defeat Arminius but German tribes remain independent
 17       Livy, Roman historian, dies leaving behind his 142-volume history of Rome, Ab Urbe Condita
 25   c. 25-220; Eastern Han dynasty established by Guang Wudi
 27       c. 27; Jesus is baptized and begins ministry
 30     Water-powered bellows and iron furnace in China
c. 30; Crucifixion and death of Jesus
 37   Roman Emperor Tiberius dies; Caligula succeeds
 41   Roman emperor Caligula murdered; Claudius succeeds
 46       Paul of Tarsus begins missionary work in Asia Minor
 49           49
 50   c. 50; Londinium (London) founded
 54   Roman Emperor Claudius poisoned; Nero succeeds
 63       Seneca's work of stoic philosophy, Epistolae Morales
 64       Fires destroy half of Rome; Nero blames Christians and begins persecutions
 66 First Jewish Revolt against Roman rule in Judaea
    Petronius' Satyricon
 67       Official introduction of Buddhism into China
 68   Roman emperor Nero commits suicide; End of Julio-Claudian Dynasty
 69   Year of the Four Emperors in Rome; Vespasian founds Flavian Dynasty
 70 Roman army under Titus captures Jerusalem and destroys Jewish Temple
 73       Jewish Zealots commit mass suicide at Masada
 76 Chinese army defeats Xiongnu nomads (Probably the early Huns)
 79   Roman emperor Vespasian dies; Titus succeeds
  Pliny the Elder killed in Pompeii during eruption of Vesuvius
 80       Colosseum opens in Rome
 81   Roman emperor Titus dies; Domitian succeeds
 96   Roman emperor Domitian assassinated; Nerva succeeds
 98   Roman emperor Nerva dies; Trajan succeeds
 100         c. 100 Turkey domesticated (Mexico)
 105     Zailun invents new paper production technique in China
Tacitus' Historiae
 106   Dacia (Romania) becomes Roman province
 113       Trajan's Column erected in newly rebuilt Roman Forum
 114 Rome annexes Armenia
 115 Emperor Trajan expands the Roman frontier to the Tigris River
 117   Roman emperor Trajan dies; After series of revolts, Hadrian succeeds
  Tacitus' Annales
 120       c. 120; Plutarch's Parallel Lives
 121       Seutonius' Lives of the Caesars
 122 Hadrian's Wall built in Britain
 125       Approximate date of completion of the Pantheon in Rome
 132       c. 132-135; Jewish Rebellion in Jerusalem
 135       Hadrian orders destruction of Jerusalem and enforces a diaspora of the Jews
 138   Roman emperor Hadrian dies; Antoninus Pius succeeds
 155       Martyrdom of Polycarp, an early Christian bishop in Smyrna; His Letter to the Philippians among earliest Christian writings to survive
 161   Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius dies; Marcus Aurelius succeeds
 164         c. 164-180; Plague (probably smallpox) hits Rome
 167 Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius leads series of successful campaigns against Germanic tribes
 180   Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius dies; Commodus succeeds
Galen's Methodus Medendo; Becomes ultimate medical authority for centuries
Marcus Aurelius' Meditations; Stoic philosophy
 184   (1) Diocletian becomes Roman emperor; Begins administrative division of Eastern and Western Roman Empire
(2) Revolt of the Yellow Turbans in China
 192   Roman Emperor Commodus murdered
 193   After series of murders, Septimus Severus uses army to become Roman emperor
 197       Approximate date of Tertullian's conversion to Christianity; Introduced the term Trinity into Christian theology
 200       Judah haNasi compiles Mishnah, the foundation of Talmudic Law
 211   Roman emperor Septimus Severus dies; Caracalla succeeds
 212   Caracalla extends Roman citizenship to all free males in the Empire
 217   Roman emperor Caracalla murdered by army officers; Macrinus succeeds
 218   Roman emperor Macrinus killed in battle; Heliogabalus succeeds
 220   c. 220-280; Han Dynasty falls in China; Replaced by Period of the Three Kingdoms
 222   Roman emperor Heliogabulus murdered; Severus Alexander succeeds
 224   Parthian Arsacid Dynasty overthrown; Beginning of Sassanian Dynasty in Persia
 225     c. 225; Early form of gunpowder developed in China
  c. 225; Tea drinking becomes common in China
 235   Roman Emperor Severus Alexander buys peace from Alemanni in Gaul; Murdered by his troops; Maximinus succeeds
 238   Roman emperor Maximinus murdered by Praetorian Guard; Gordianus III succeeds
 241 Shapur I expands the Sassanid Empire at the expense of Roman territory
 244   Roman emperor Gordianus III killed by Praetorian Guard; Philippus succeeds
 247       Philippus holds games to celebrate millennial anniversary of the founding of Rome
 249   Decius proclaimed Roman emperor by troops; Philippus assassinated
 250       Roman emperor Decius begins systematic persecution of Christians to ensure dominance of paganism
 251   Roman emperor Decius killed fighting Goths; Gallus succeeds
 253   Roman emperor Gallus overthrown; After brief civil war Valerian succeeds
 260 Persian King Shapur I defeats Roman army and seizes emperor Valerian
Gallienus becomes Roman emperor
Great Wall of China begun
 268 Roman emperor Claudius II repels invasion of Goths; Gains title Gothicus
Roman emperor Gallienus murdered by troops; Claudius II succeeds
 270   Roman emperor Claudius II dies of the plague; Aurelian succeeds
 271     Magnetic Compass used in China
 272           272
 274 Aurelian defeats rebels at Châlons to restore Roman authority in Gaul
 275   Roman emperor Aurelian murdered; Tacitus succeeds
  c. 275; Anthony begins hermetic life of study; Beginning of Christian Monasticism
 276   Roman emperor Tacitus murdered by troops; Period of civil war and instability in Rome
  Mani executed; Teachings will become Manichaeism, which combines Christian salvation and Zoroastrian dualism
 280   Western Jin emperor reunites China; Beginning of Jin Dynasty
 291   Rebellion of the Eight Princes in China
 301       Armenia becomes first state to officially adopt Christianity
 303       Roman emperor Diocletian begins the Great Persecution of Christians and Manicheans in the empire
 305   Diocletian and Maximian abdicate as co-emperors; Civil war erupts
 306       Baths of Diocletian open in Rome, the most lavish public bath in Rome
 311   Nomadic invasions divide China; Sixteen Kingdoms in North China and Jin Capital at Nanjing
 312   Constantine defeats Maxentius at battle of Milvian Bridge; Becomes sole emperor in the Western Roman Empire
 313       Constantine issues the Edict of Milan granting official toleration to Christianity in the Roman Empire
 320   Chandragupta I founds Gupta Dynasty in India
 321       Sunday becomes the Sabbath in Roman Empire
 324   Constantine defeats Licinius to become sole emperor of Rome
 325       Council of Nicaea; Arian Christianity condemned
 330   Constantinople made capital of Roman Empire
  Construction begins on St. Peter's Basilica in Rome
 335       The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is consecrated in Jerusalem
 337   Roman emperor Constantine dies; Three sons succeed
 341       Coptic Christianity introduced to Ethiopia
 350 Huns invade Persia
 360 (1) Huns invade Europe
(2) Picts invade Roman Britain
 361   Julian becomes Roman emperor
 362       Roman emperor Julian decrees religious toleration in the empire and attempts to reestablish paganism
 363   Roman Empire redivided into Eastern and Western halves
 372       Spread of Buddhism in China and Korea
 376 Visigoths permitted to settle in Balkans by Rome
 378 Visigoth cavalry destroys Roman army and kills emperor Valens at battle of Adrianople
 379 Roman emperor Theodosius makes treaty with Visigoths as military allies of Rome
 380       Theodosius I establishes Catholic Christianity as the official state religion of the Roman Empire
 390       Bishop Ambrose of Milan forces emperor Theodosius to do public penance for a massacre of 7,000 in Thessalonica
 391       Roman emperor Theodosius orders all non-Christian books burned
 393       Olympic games forbidden by Emperor Theodosius
 395   (1) Emperor Theodosius dies
(2) Roman Empire permanently divided
 396 Visigoths under Alaric invade Greece
 397       Augustine's Confessions
 401 Visigoths under Alaric invade Italy
 403   Western Roman capital moved to Ravenna
 406 Vandals invade Gaul, sacking numerous Roman cities
 409 (1) Vandals invade Iberian Peninsula
(2) Revolt in Britain marks the end of Roman rule
 410 Visigoths under King Alaric sack Rome
 411       Augustine's The City of God
 420   Nanking capital of China
 427   Korean capital established at Pyongyang
 431       Council of Ephesus exiles Nestorius; Emergence of cult of the Virgin Mary
 433   Attila becomes leader of the Huns
 438       Roman law since 312 published in Codex Theodosianus
 439   Vandals establish capital at Carthage
 449 Saxons and Angles invade Britain
 451 Attila and Huns defeated in Gaul at battle of Chalons; Last great military campaign by Western Roman Empire
  c. 451; Spread of stirrups and metal horseshoes throughout Europe by the Huns
 452   Venice founded
 453 Attila dies; Huns expelled from Italy
 455   c. 455; Mayan city of Cichen Itza founded in Yucatan Peninsula
 473 King Euric of the Visigoths declares Gaul independent of Roman rule
 476   (1) Odoacer deposes emperor Romulus Augustus and becomes King of Italy; Formal end of the Western Roman Empire
(2) Traditional date for the beginning of the Middle Ages in Europe
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