Exploring Ancient World Cultures
The Complete Chronology

4500-4000 BCE: The Near East

  • Krater with Ibexes (image).

    4000-3500 BCE: The Near East

  • Painted Bowl (image).

    3600-3200 BCE: Egypt

  • Reconstructed Predynastic Burial (image).

    3500 BCE: Egypt

  • Cosmetic Palette in the Form of a Fish (image).

    3500-3000 BCE: Egypt

  • Lug-Handled Jar (image).
  • Double Bird-Headed Palette (image).

    3450 BCE: The Near East

  • The world's first cities appear along the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers just north of what is now the Persian Gulf. Collectively, these cities make up the Uruk culture, named after the principal city, Uruk, which is the Biblical Erech. This culture invents writing and the lunar calendar, uses metals extensively, develops a practice of medicine, and builds monumental architecture. Even so, no unified government links these cities, and they remain independent for almost one thousand years.

    3300-1550 BCE: The Near East

  • Bowls and Jars from Jericho (image).

    3300-1000 BCE: Greece

  • The earliest known prehistoric civilizations occupy the Aegean world. This period marks the rise and fall of the MINOAN and MYCENAEAN civilization.

    3200 BCE: The Near East

  • Archeological evidence indicates that the SUMERIANS are making use of wheeled transportation.

    3200-1600 BCE: India

  • The INDUS VALLEY civilization grows up along the banks of the Indus River in what is now Pakistan. The two most important sites uncovered so far by archeologists are Harappa and Mohenjo-Dara; both cities show considerable development including multi-level houses and city-wide plumbing. The Indus Valley civilization appears to have collapsed because natural disaster altered the course of the Indus River.

    3100 BCE: The Near East

  • CUNEIFORM WRITING emerges in MESOPOTAMIA. This form of writing, involving wedge-shaped characters, is used to record the first epics in world history, including Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta and the first stories about Gilgamesh.

    3100-2907 BCE: Egypt

  • Bed (image).

    3100-2900 BCE: The Near East

  • Four-Lugged Vessel (image).
  • Bronze Statuettes (image).

    3100-2770 BCE: Egypt

  • During this period in ancient Egypt, the Archaic period, Narmer unites Egypt. Hieroglyphic writing develops.

    3100-2750 BCE: The Near East

  • Cup Supported by Hero and Animals (image).
  • Gazelle-Head Stamp Seal or Amulet (image).

    3000 BCE: Egypt

  • Bull Palette (image).
  • Bull Palette (image).

    3000-2000 BCE: The Near East

  • Bowl (image).

    2900-2750 BCE: The Near East

  • "Brocade Style" Cylinder Seal with Geometric Decoration (image).

    2900-2600 BCE: The Near East

  • Sumerian Statuette (image).

    2900-2500 BCE: The Near East

  • Krater of Khirbet Kerak Ware (image).

    2772 BCE: Egypt

  • The 365 day calendar is introduced.

    2700 BCE: The Near East

  • The Sumerian King, Gilgamesh, rules the city of Uruk, which has now grown to a population of more than 50,000. Gilgamesh is the subject of many epics, including the Sumerian "Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the Nether World" and the Babylonian "Epic of Gilgamesh."

    2700 BCE: Egypt

  • King Djoser founds the third dynasty in Egypt thereby issuing the period of the Old Kingdom, which lasts until 2200. He also builds the Step Pyramid of Djoser, the first known pyramid in Egypt. During the Old Kingdom, the power of the pharoah is absolute.

    2700-2600 BCE: The Near East

  • Banquet Plaque (image).

    2600-1900 BCE: India

  • Mohenjo-Daro, Sindh (image).
  • Great Bath, Mohenjo-Daro 1 (image).
  • Great Bath, Mohenjo-Daro 2 (image).
  • Street, Mohenjo-Daro (image).
  • Well, Mohenjo-Daro (image).
  • Bath Area, Mohenjo-Daro (image).
  • Public Well, Harappa (image).
  • Granary, Harappa (image).
  • Working Platforms, Harappa (image).
  • Corbelled Drain, Harappa (image).
  • Weights, Harappa (image).
  • Toy Boat, Harappa (image).
  • Moulded Tablet (image).
  • Unicorn Seal, Mohenjo-Daro (image).
  • Unicorn Seal (back), Mohenjo-Daro (image).
  • Bull Seal, Harappa (image).
  • Bison Seal, Mohenjo-Daro (image).
  • Inscribed Objects, Harappa (image).
  • Seals and Tablets, Harappa (image).
  • Seals and Sealing, Mohenjo-Daro (image).
  • Seal, Mohenjo-Daro 1 (image).
  • Seal, Mohenjo-Daro 2 (image).
  • Seal, Mohenjo-Daro 3 (image).
  • Seal, Mohenjo-Daro 4 (image).
  • Silver Seal, Mohenjo-Daro (image).
  • Seals, Mohenjo-Daro (image).
  • Tokens or Tablets, Harappa (image).
  • Male Head, Mohenjo-Daro (image).
  • Male Head (back), Mohenjo-Daro (image).
  • Priest King (image).
  • Priest King (back) (image).
  • Priest King (side) (image).
  • Sculpture (image).
  • Seated Male (back) (image).
  • Seated Male (image).
  • Figurines (image).
  • Figurine Heads (image).
  • Male Figurines (image).
  • Female Figurine 1 (image).
  • Female Figurine 2 (image).
  • Bull Figurine and Mold (image).
  • Bull Figurine (image).
  • Ram Figurine (image).
  • Dog Figurine (image).
  • Tiger? Figurine (image).
  • Turtle Figurine (image).
  • Elephant Head (image).
  • Monkey Figurine (image).
  • Whistles (image).
  • Terra Cotta Discs (image).
  • Terra Cotta Cones (image).
  • Terra Cotta Nodules (image).
  • Painted Burial Pottery (image).
  • Burial of an Adult Man, Harappa (image).
  • Burial of a Woman and Infant, Harappa (image).
  • Pointed Base Goblets (image).
  • Cooking Vessel (image).
  • Plate (image).
  • Terra Cotta Bangles (image).
  • Bangles (image).
  • Ornaments (image).
  • Necklace or Belt (image).
  • Necklace (image).
  • Faience Ornaments (image).
  • Steatite Beads (image).
  • Libation Vessels (image).
  • Shell Ladle (image).
  • Mask (image).
  • Three Objects (image).
  • Molded Tablet 1 (image).
  • Molded Tablet 2 (image).

    2575-2323 BCE: Egypt

  • Headrest with Fluted Pedestal (image).

    2560 BCE: Egypt

  • Pharoah Khufu builds the Great Pyramid of Cheops.

    2544-2260 BCE: Egypt

  • Potter (image).

    2500 BCE: Egypt

  • Gizeh - Sphinx et pyramide de Chéops (image).

    2500-2350 BCE: Egypt

  • Statuette of Nedjemu 1 (image).
  • Statuette of Nedjemu 2 (image).
  • Statuette of Nedjemu 3 (image).

    2465-2420 BCE: Egypt

  • Ka aper with Funerary Offerings (image).

    2465-2323 BCE: Egypt

  • Seated Man (image).
  • Peasants Driving Cattle and Fishing (image).

    2340-2315 BCE: The Near East

  • Sargon I founds and rules the city-state of AKKAD, after leaving the city of Kish, where he was an important official. Sargon is the first ruler in history to maintain a standing army. Even so, his empire lasts less than two hundred years.

    2320 BCE: The Near East

  • Sargon conquers the independent city-states of SUMER and institutes a central government. But by 2130, Sumer regains its independence from Akkadian rule, though it does not revert back to independent city-states. At this time, Sumer is ruled from the important city of Ur.

    2300 BCE: Egypt

  • Saqqarah - Mastaba de Kagemni 1 (image).
  • Saqqarah - Mastaba de Kagemni 2 (image).
  • Saqqarah - Mastaba de Kagemni 3 (image).
  • Saqqarah - Mastaba de Kagemni 4 (image).
  • Saqqarah - Mastaba de Kagemni 5 (image).

    2300-2200 BCE: The Near East

  • Cylinder Seal with Watergod, Birdman, and Deities (image).

    2300-2200 BCE: India

  • Toy Carts, Nausharo (image).
  • Female Figurines (image).
  • Cooking Pots, Nausharo (image).

    2300-2000 BCE: The Near East

  • Pair of Bull Statuettes (image).

    2300-2000 BCE: India

  • Cultural exchange between the INDUS VALLEY civilization and MESOPOTAMIA (present day Iraq) is especially prominent.

    2254-2193 BCE: The Near East

  • Cylinder Seal (image).

    2213-2035 BCE: Egypt

  • Coffin of Ipi-Ha-Ishutef (image).

    2205-1766 BCE: China

  • The Hsia Dynasty unfolds during this period, however, no archeological evidence to date has confirmed this.

    2200 BCE: Egypt

  • The first intermediate period begins with the collapse of the Old Kingdom, mostly because of crop failure combined with low revenue due to the pyramid building projects. It ends in 2050.

    2200 BCE: Greece

  • Indo-European invaders, speaking the earliest forms of Greek, enter the mainland of Greece, and the MYCENAEAN CIVILIZATION (named after the leading Greek city on the peninsula from 1600-1200 BCE) emerges.

    2141-2122 BCE: The Near East

  • Gudea of Lagash (image).

    2111-2095 BCE: The Near East

  • Foundation Figurine of King Ur-Nammu (image).

    2100 BCE: The Near East

  • The Sumerian King List is written, recording all the kings and dynasties ruling SUMER from the earliest times. According to this list, Eridu is named as the earliest settlement, a claim that seems to be confirmed by archeological evidence.

    2100-1800 BCE: The Near East

  • Female Figurine (image).

    2061-1991 BCE: Egypt

  • Coffin of Nebetit (image).

    2052-1778 BCE: Egypt

  • Model Boat with Figures (image).

    2050 BCE: Egypt

  • The period of the Middle Kingdom begins with its capital at Thebes. It ends in 1786. Around this time, an early political treatise, The Plea of the Eloquent Peasant, is written, calling for a benevolent ruler.

    2008-1957 BCE: Egypt

  • Triangular Loaf of Bread (image).

    2000 BCE: Egypt

  • The Egyptians domesticate the cat for the purpose of catching snakes. Around this time, advances in astronomy enable the Egyptians to predict the annual flooding of the Nile.

    2000-1900 BCE: India

  • Burial Pottery (image).

    2000-1700 BCE: The Near East

  • Handmade Clay Figurines (image).

    2000-1600 BCE: The Near East

  • The Old Babylonian period begins in MESOPOTAMIA after the collapse of SUMER, probably due to an increase in the salt content of the soil thereby making farming difficult. Considerably weakened by poor crops, and therefore a lack of surplus goods, the Sumerians are conquered by the Amorites, who are situated in BABYLON. Consequenly, the center of civility shifts to the north. Though they preserve most of the Sumerian culture, the Amorites introduce their semetic language, an early ancestor to HEBREW, into the region.
  • Cylinder Seal with Presentation to the Weathergod (image).
  • Plaque Showing a Harpist (image).

    2000-1500 BCE: The Near East

  • Duck Weights (image).

    2000-1500 BCE: Greece

  • MINOAN CIVILIZATION (named after the Cretan ruler Minos) reaches its height with its central power in Knossos on the island of Crete. This culture is apparently more female-oriented and peaceful than others at the time.

    2000-1000 BCE: Rome

  • Indo-European immigrants slowly inhabit Italy by way of the Alps. They bring the horse, the wheeled cart, and artistic knowledge of bronze work to the Italian peninsula. Two different groups, the Greeks and the Etruscans, occupy different regions of the peninsula during the eighth century.

    1990 BCE: Egypt

  • The Twelfth Dynasty, Egypt's "golden" age, begins. It ends with the Middle Kingdom in 1786. During this period, power is somewhat distributed through the social classes. Religion shifts from a wealth-based system to one based on proper conduct. Queen Soreknofru is one of the rulers during this dynasty.

    1938-1759 BCE: Egypt

  • Model Granary (image).

    1900 BCE: The Near East

  • The Epic of Gilgamesh is redacted from Sumerian sources and written in the semetic language. Thus, though Gilgamesh was Sumerian, his Epic is Babylonian.

    1900-1750 BCE: The Near East

  • Pitcher with Built-in Strainer (image).

    1900-1500 BCE: The Near East

  • Sometime between these dates a semetic group of nomads migrate from SUMER to CANAAN and then on to EGYPT. They are led by a caravan trader, the Patriarch Abraham, who will become the father of the nation of ISRAEL.

    1878-1859 BCE: Egypt

  • Seated Statue of Sesostris III (image).

    1875-1782 BCE: Egypt

  • Bust of a Man (image).

    1859-1814 BCE: Egypt

  • Statuette of Amenemhat III (image).

    1805-1801 BCE: Egypt

  • Torso of Queen Sebekneferu (image).

    1800 BCE: The Near East

  • The Old Babylonians are employing advanced mathematical operations, such as, multiplication, division and square roots. In addition, they are using a duodecimal system (a system based on 12 and 6) to measure time. We still use their system for counting minutes and hours.

    1800 BCE: Greece

  • Polychrome Plate from the Old Palace of Phaistos (image).
  • Fruit Bowl from the Old Palace of Phaistos (image).
  • Clay Sarcophagus from the Tholos Tomb at Vorou, Mesara Region (image).

    1800-1600 BCE: The Near East

  • Four-Faced God and Goddess (image).

    1800-1550 BCE: The Near East

  • Small Vessel with Banded Neck Decoration (image).

    1786 BCE: Egypt

  • The second intermediate period begins due to internal dissention between the nobility and the pharaoh. It lasts until 1560.

    1780 BCE: Egypt

  • Sebek em hat, a Leader of Priests (image).

    1766 BCE: China

  • The Shang Dynasty, according to tradition, the second dynasty in ancient China, begins. It florishes on the banks of the Yellow River around 1400 and ends around 1027. The Shang Dynasty is known for its use of bronze containers, oracle bones, and human sacrifice, a practice that ends shortly after the collapse of the dynasty.

    1763 BCE: The Near East

  • The Amorite King, Hammurabi, conquers all of SUMER. Around the same time, he writes his Code of Laws containing 282 rules including the principles of "an eye for an eye" and "let the buyer beware." It is one of the first codes of law in world history, predated only by the Laws of Lipit-Ishtar.
  • Hammurabi's Code of Laws (text).

    1750 BCE: The Near East

  • Hammurabi dies, but his empire lasts for another one hundred and fifty years, until 1600, when the Kassites, a non-semetic people, conquer most of MESOPOTAMIA with the help of light chariot warfare.

    1750 BCE: Egypt

  • The Hyksos occupy Egypt from Syria and Palestine and introduce the horse and chariot into Egypt. Their position is strengthened by the internal problems in the Egyptian state.

    1700 BCE: Greece

  • Gold Pendant from Chryssolakkos, the Necropolis at Malia (image).

    1700-1600 BCE: Greece

  • Faience Plaques (image).

    1600 BCE: Egypt

  • A revolution against the Hyksos begins in Upper (southern) Egypt and spreads throughout the country.

    1600 BCE: Greece

  • South Propylaeum, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).
  • South Propylaeum Area and Mount Jouctas, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).
  • Stepped Porch and Throne Room, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).
  • Great Stairway, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).
  • Inner Court of the King's Royal Apartments, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).
  • Detail, Courtyard of the Royal Apartments, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).
  • Stairwell, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).
  • Hall of Colonnades, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).

    1600-1580 BCE: Greece

  • Faience Snake Goddess from beneath the Shrine in the Court, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).

    1600-1500 BCE: India

  • The Aryans invade the INDUS VALLEY region.

    1600-1000 BCE: India

  • Between these dates, the Early Vedic period of Indian civilization unfolds.

    1595 BCE: The Near East

  • The HITTITES, another non-semetic people who speak an Indo-European language, capture BABYLON and retreat, leaving the city open to Kassite domination. The Kassites remain in power for about three hundred years, maintaining the Sumerian/Babylonian culture without offering innovations of their own.

    1570-1340 BCE: Egypt

  • Bust of the Goddess Sekhmet (image).

    1570-1070 BCE: Egypt

  • Statue of the God Horus (image).

    1560 BCE: Egypt

  • The period of the New Kingdom begins when Ahmose defeats the Hyksos and establishes the XVIII Dynasty. The New Kingom ends around 1087. Unlike earlier periods, this period is imperialistic enabled by new modes of warfare introduced into Egypt by the Hyksos. Queen Hatshepsut is one of the rulers of the XVIII Dynasty.

    1550 BCE: India

  • Writing disappears from India for a time with the destruction of the INDUS VALLEY civilization.

    1550 BCE: Greece

  • North Propylaeum, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).
  • Eastern Wing, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).
  • Stairway in the Eastern Wing, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).
  • Room in the West Wing, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).
  • Three-Story Residence, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).
  • Column and Relief, Great Court, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).
  • Antechamber to the Throne Room, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).

    1550-1500 BCE: Greece

  • Rhyton Bull from the Little Palace, Knossos (image).
  • Harvester Vase from Hagia Triada (image).
  • Detail, Harvester Vase from Hagia Triada (image).

    1550-1196 BCE: Egypt

  • Mirror with Club-Shaped Handle (image).

    1500 BCE: Egypt

  • By this time, the kingdom of Kush has been established to the south of Egypt. The people of Kush, known as the Kushites, are dark-complexioned Negroids.

    1500 BCE: Greece

  • Dolphin Frieze in the Queen's Apartment, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).
  • Bathroom in the Queen's Apartment, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).
  • Section of Drainage, Water Collection System, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).
  • Storage Jars, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).
  • Detail, Storage Jars, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).
  • Circular Altar, Palace of Malia, Crete (image).
  • Snake Goddess (image).
  • Female Idol from Hagia Triada (image).
  • Miniature Gold Double Axes, from the Cave of Arkalochori (image).
  • Bull-Jumping Fresco from the East Wing, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).
  • Detail, Fresco from the Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).
  • Blue Bird Fresco from the House of Frescoes, Knossos (image).
  • Pilgrim's Flask from Palaikastro (image).
  • Gold Ring from a Tomb of Isapata near Cunsos (image).

    1500-1450 BCE: Greece

  • Rock-Crystal Rhyton, from the Repository of the Sanctuary, Palace of Zakros (image).
  • Rhyton-Bearer, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).
  • La Parisienne, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).

    1500-1400 BCE: Egypt

  • The Papyrus of Ani (The Egyptian Book of the Dead) (text).

    1500-1300 BCE: The Near East

  • Cylinder Seal with Winged Sun Disk and Lion Attacking Animals (image).

    1500-500 BCE: The Near East

  • Spouted Gray-Ware Pitcher (image).

    1479-1425 BCE: Egypt

  • Relief of Tuthmosis III (image).
  • King as Falcon (image).

    1450 BCE: Greece

  • Ceremonial Vase from the Basin of Purification at Zakros (image).

    1450-1400 BCE: The Near East

  • Clay Tablet and Envelope (image).

    1450-1400 BCE: Greece

  • Throne Room, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).
  • Throne of King Minos, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).
  • Throne Room, Palace of King Minos, Knossos (image).

    1450-1300 BCE: The Near East

  • The HITTITE culture reaches its high point, dominating the territory to the North and East of BABYLON, including Turkey and northern Palestine. By this time, the Hittite's have constructed a mythology with a state pantheon.

    1401-1391 BCE: Egypt

  • Bust of Tuthmosis IV (image).

    1400 BCE: Greece

  • MYCENAEAN CIVILIZATION replaces MINOAN CIVILIZATION after the destruction of Knossos. Bronze weapons, war-scenes on art, Cyclopean defence walls, and the fact that male warriors were buried with their weapons provide evidence for the claim that the Mycenaeans were militaristic. The horse-drawn chariot emerges around this time. The Mycenaeans dominate the Aegean world for about 200 years.
  • Pitcher from a Grave in Katsabas (image).
  • Painted Stone Sarcophagus from a Chamber-Tomb near the Palace of Hagia Triada (image).
  • Detail, Painted Stone Sarcophagus from a Chamber-Tomb near the Palace of Hagia Triada (image).

    1400-800 BCE: India

  • Katha Upanishad (text).

    1391-1353 BCE: Egypt

  • Sphinx of Amenhotep III (image).
  • Funerary Cone of the Viceroy of Nubia, Merymose (image).

    1384 BCE: China

  • P'an Keng founds the city of Anyang. By this time, a mature culture including both writing and art has developed.

    1375 BCE: Egypt

  • Amenhotep IV (Akhenaton), concerned about abuses in the Osiris cult of Egypt, posits a new monotheistic religion, perhaps the first, dedicated to the worship of the sun. He moves the capital of Egypt from Thebes to El-Amarna. The new religion does not last long; the cult of Akhenaton is abolished under the reign of his successor, Pharaoh Tutankhamen ("King Tut"), who moves the capital back to Thebes and returns to the old religion. Akhenaton's beautiful wife, Nefertiti, achieves her own position in world history.

    1353-1337 BCE: Egypt

  • Seated Statue of Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) (image).
  • Seated Statue of Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) (Back) (image).

    1350 BCE: Egypt

  • Seated Scribe (image).
  • Karnak - Toutankhamon (image).
  • Le Caire - Musée - Toutankhamon (image).

    1350-1334 BCE: Egypt

  • Trial Piece (image).

    1350-1200 BCE: The Near East

  • Canaanite Statuette (image).

    1336-1327 BCE: Egypt

  • Statue of the God Amen Protecting Tutankhamen (image).

    1334-1325 BCE: Egypt

  • Colossal Statue of Tutankhamun (image).

    1304-1237 BCE: Egypt

  • Rameses II ("the Great") rules Egypt.

    1300 BCE: Egypt

  • Thèbes - Temple de Séthi Ier (image).

    1300-1200 BCE: The Near East

  • Gaming Board (image).
  • Griffin Plaque (image).
  • Three Female Heads (image).

    1300-1000 BCE: The Near East

  • Male and Female Figures (image).

    1300-612 BCE: The Near East

  • The ASSYRIANS, a semetic people, establish an empire spreading out from the town of Assur in northern MESOPOTAMIA. By 1250, they commit themselves to conquering the Kassite Empire to the south.

    1290-1224 BCE: Egypt

  • Nebwenenef, High Priest of Amun (image).

    1286 BCE: The Near East

  • The HITTITES fight off invading EGYPTIANS, thereby demonstrating the strength of their power. This power is probably rooted in an economic advantage they have from trading the metals that are abundant in the region of Turkey. Even so, their empire falls in 1185, to the "Sea People," an invading group coming from the West whose precise identity is unknown.

    1279-1213 BCE: Egypt

  • Relief of a King, probably Ramesses II (image).
  • Block Statue of Nedjem 1 (image).
  • Block Statue of Nedjem 2 (image).
  • Block Statue of Nedjem 3 (image).

    1279-1212 BCE: Egypt

  • Mud Brick Stamped with the Cartouche of Ramses II (image).

    1250 BCE: Egypt

  • Under the direction of Moses, the Israelites leave Egypt and head for the "promised land."
  • Memphis - Statue colossale de Ramsès II (image).
  • Thèbes - Tombe d'Ousirhat 1 (image).
  • Thèbes - Tombe d'Ousirhat 2 (image).
  • Thèbes - Tombe d'Ousirhat 3 (image).
  • Thèbes - Tombe d'Ousirhat 4 (image).

    1250 BCE: Greece

  • Though this is disputed, some scholars believe that the MYCENAEANS wage war with the Trojans of western Asia Minor and are successful. By 1100 BCE they are overtaken by barbaric Dorian invaders who are using iron weapons. From this point, Greek culture enters the so-called Dark Ages, characterized by the disappearance of writing and a decline in architecture and other aspects of material culture. The period lasts until about 800 BCE. The two Homeric epics, The Iliad and The Odyssey, are often used by scholars as evidence of the traditions and institutions in place during this time. However, such use is strongly contested.

    1250-1200 BCE: The Near East

  • The HEBREWS, who migrated from CANAAN to EGYPT several hundred years earlier, return from Egypt after wandering for several years in the Sinai desert and begin the conquest of Canaan. This conquest is slow and painful and will take a hundred years. When the fighting stops, the Hebrews emerge as victors. They parcel the land of Canaan into tribal territories creating a system of government known as an amphictyony.

    1225 BCE: The Near East

  • The Assyrian ruler, Tukulti-Ninurta, captures BABYLON and the region of southern MESOPOTAMIA, but Assyrian control does not last long.

    1200-1020 BCE: The Near East

  • The HEBREWS are ruled by the Judges during a period of relative stability that will be upset with the Philistine invasion of 1050.

    1182 BCE: Egypt

  • Rameses III defeats the Sea People. Rameses is pharaoh until 1151. He is the last great pharaoh to rule in Egypt. In 1175 he builds his temple palace at Medinet Habu.

    1153-1147 BCE: Egypt

  • Shawabty of Ramesses IV (image).

    1114-1076 BCE: The Near East

  • Tiglath-Pileser I rules the ASSYRIANS.

    1070-712 BCE: Egypt

  • Canopic Jars (image).

    1050 BCE: The Near East

  • The Philistines invade ISRAEL from the North. Facing the threat of annihiliation, the HEBREWS institute a governmental reform. The amphictyony proves insufficient in the face of the new dangers, so the people of Israel ask Samuel, the last of the judges, to select a king.

    1027 BCE: China

  • The last Shang ruler, Chou Hsin, is conquered by Wu-wang, and the Chou Dynasty begins. Ending in 221 BCE, it lasts longer than any other dynasty in China. It is typically divided into three periods: the Western Chou period (1027- 771), the Ch'un Ch'iu period (722-481), and the Warring States period (481-221).

    1020 BCE: The Near East

  • Samuel selects Saul to be king of ISRAEL thereby unifying the tribes of Israel into a nation. Facing many losses against the Philistines, Saul eventually commits suicide. Around the same time, David, undertaking his own campaign against the Philistines, proves victorious.

    1004 BCE: The Near East

  • David becomes king of ISRAEL. As such, he begins to build a centralized government based in Jerusalem, implementing forced labor, a census and a mechanism for collecting taxes. The First Temple period of Hebrew history begins with the rule of David.

    1000 BCE: India

  • The Rig Veda, the first Vedic literature, is written.

    1000-900 BCE: The Near East

  • Four-Horned Incense Altar (image).

    1000-700 BCE: The Near East

  • Whetstone Handle in the Form of a Leaping Ibex (image).

    1000-600 BCE: The Near East

  • Sword Hilt and Fragmentary Blade Decorated with Bearded Human Heads and Lions (image).

    1000-600 BCE: India

  • During this period of Indian civilization, the Late Vedic period, the Aryans are integrated into Indian culture. The caste system emerges.

    1000-500 BCE: The Near East

  • Cypriot Juglet (image).

    965 BCE: The Near East

  • Solomon becomes king of ISRAEL. Intent on completing David's plan to make Jerusalem stand out among the region's cities and to affirm the religious commitment of the HEBREWS, Solomon undertakes many expensive building projects, including the building of the temple in Jerusalem. Facing financial difficulties, Solomon raises taxes and employs forced labor.

    950 BCE: Egypt

  • The Mummy and Coffin of Meresamun (image).

    946-712 BCE: Egypt

  • Funerary Stela (image).

    945-712 BCE: Egypt

  • Mummy Case of Djed Mout (image).
  • Mummy Case of Amonred (image).

    929-889 BCE: Egypt

  • Block of Osorkon I Offering (image).

    928 BCE: The Near East

  • Solomon dies. The northerners, unwilling to pay taxes to help with the financial difficulties of Jerusalem and the national court, separate from the southern people. Two nations are created, ISRAEL to the north with its capital in Samaria and Judah to the south with its capital in Jerusalem. Solomon's sons rule the two kingdoms, Jeroboam in the North and Rehoboam in the South.

    900 BCE: The Near East

  • The ASSYRIANS expand their empire to the west. By 840, they will have conquered Syria and Turkey, the territory that at one time belonged to the HITTITES.

    883-859 BCE: The Near East

  • Eagle-Headed Deity (image).
  • King Ashurnasirpal II (image).

    810-805 BCE: The Near East

  • Sammuramat rules ASSYRIA as Queen. She is one of the very few women to achieve prominance in the ancient world. It is remarkable that the mighty Assyrians were willing to accept a Queen as ruler.

    800 BCE: The Near East

  • Female Sphinx (image).

    800 BCE: Greece

  • Increase in trade and the establishment of governmental defense fortifications allows for the emergence of Greek city-states from tribal communities. These grow up around marketplaces and include ATHENS, Thebes and Megara on the Greek mainland. The Greek city-states are considered the most famous units of Greek political life to develop in this society.

    800-700 BCE: The Near East

  • Oil Lamp (image).

    800-700 BCE: Rome

  • Biconical Urn with Lid (image).

    800-600 BCE: The Near East

  • Vase (image).
  • Master-of-Animals Standard Finial (image).
  • Cheekpiece from Horse Bit (image).
  • Quiver Plaque (image).
  • Pazuzu Demon (image).

    800-600 BCE: India

  • The Brahmans, a priestly caste, begin to emerge.

    800-500 BCE: India

  • The Upanishads are written around this time; the doctrines of rebirth and the transmigration of souls start to appear, leading to important theological transformations within Hinduism.

    800-500 BCE: Greece

  • This period, often referred to as the Archaic period, marks the developments of literature and the arts, politics, philosophy and science. The Peloponnesian city of Corinth, SPARTA and cities along the coast of the Aegean Sea flourish. For the most part, the Greek city-states are similar in their political evolution, with the exception of Sparta's elite dictatorship. Most begin their political histories as monarchies, evolve to oligarchies, are overthrown during the age of the tyrants (650-500 BCE) and eventually establish democracies in the sixth and fifth centuries. Of the Greek city-states, ATHENS and Sparta were the two most important.

    771 BCE: China

  • The Chou Dynasty faces difficulty when its leader, King Yu, alienates the noble class who refuse to answer his call for help against invading barbarians. King Yu is killed and the nobles install a new leader. The capital is moved eastward to Loyang, thus ending the "Western Chou" period.

    753 BCE: Rome

  • Archeological research indicates that the founders of Rome itself are Italic people who occupy the area south of the Tiber River. By the sixth century BCE, Rome will have become the dominant power of most of its surrounding area. Their conservative government consists of a kingship, resembling the traditional values of the patriarchal family; an assembly, composed of male citizens of military age; and a Senate, comprised of elders who serve as the heads of different community sects.

    750 BCE: The Near East

  • The Hebrew Scriptures: Hosea (text).
  • The Hebrew Scriptures: Amos (text).

    750 BCE: Egypt

  • Kashta, the ruler of Kush, begins a campaign against Egypt. With the help of his son, Piankhy, he is successful. Piankhy becomes pharaoh of Egypt.

    750-725 BCE: The Near East

  • Victorious Assyrian Soldiers (image).

    750-700 BCE: The Near East

  • Disc-Headed Pin (image).

    750-700 BCE: Greece

  • Horse (image).

    745-727 BCE: The Near East

  • Tiglath-Pileser III Receiving Homage (image).

    740 BCE: The Near East

  • The Hebrew Scriptures: Micah (text).

    722 BCE: The Near East

  • The ASSYRIANS conquer ISRAEL, leaving nothing behind. The Hebrew kingdom of Judah manages to survive.

    722 BCE: China

  • : The Ch'un Ch'iu period begins. This period is characterized by a deteriorization of a feudal system and a collapse of central authority. It ends in 481.

    721-705 BCE: The Near East

  • Human-Headed Winged Bull (image).
  • Assyrian Soldiers Towing a Boat (image).
  • Two Assyrian Officials (image).
  • Deity Holding a Flowing Vase (image).

    712-30 BCE: Egypt

  • Statuette of the Goddess Isis and Her Son Horus (image).
  • Oxyrhynchus Fish with Donor (image).
  • Statuette of the Goddess Taweret (image).

    705-681 BCE: The Near East

  • Sennacherib rules the ASSYRIANS and builds a new capital in Ninevah where he begins to form a library of Sumerian and Babylonian tablets. Sennacherib is a powerful ruler who manages to subdue the entire region of western Asia.

    700 BCE: Greece

  • HESIOD, Greece's second poet (after HOMER) and the first poet to name himself, is composing his poetry. His most important works are The Theogony and Works and Days.

    700-600 BCE: The Near East

  • Glazed Brick Representing a Birdman (image).

    689 BCE: The Near East

  • Sennacherib destroys BABYLON, but his son rebuilds it. By 650, it has once again become prosperous.
  • Clay Prism of Sennacherib (image).

    675-625 BCE: Greece

  • Cauldron Attachments in the Form of Griffins (image).

    671 BCE: Egypt

  • Egypt is conquered by the Assyrians. But when the Assyrian empire collapses just under ten years later, Egypt enjoys a century or so of independence.

    668-627 BCE: The Near East

  • Ashurbanipal succeeds Sennacherib as ruler of ASSYRIA. He continues to develop the library and, by the time he has finished, collects more than 22,000 clay tablets. In 648, Ashurbanipal destroys the newly rebuilt city of BABYLON in a fierce campaign.

    664-525 BCE: Egypt

  • Sacred Cat of Bast (image).
  • Falcon of Horus (image).
  • Statue of a Kneeling Official (image).

    650-600 BCE: Greece

  • Couches and Tables, Corinthian Column-Krater (image).

    640 BCE: Greece

  • Sparta's form of government, which is adapted from the Dorians, is heavily influenced by militarianism. The Messenian wars initiate Sparta's fear of change. They remain an isolated people, primarily by banning trade and discouraging travel outside of Spartan territory. Alcaeus, Greek lyric poet, is born in Mytilene on the island of Lesbos. His lyrics expound on contemporary politics, love, hymns to Apollo and Hermes, and include some drinking songs.

    630 BCE: The Near East

  • The Hebrew Scriptures: Jeremiah (text).
  • The Hebrew Scriptures: Zephaniah (text).

    625-605 BCE: The Near East

  • Cuneiform Cylinder of Nabopolassar Recording Repair of the City Wall of Babylon (image).

    614 BCE: The Near East

  • The BABYLONIANS (particularly, the Chaldeans) with the help of the Medes, who occupy what is today Iran, begin a campaign to destroy the ASSYRIANS. In 612 they succeed, and the Assyrian capital of Ninevah is destroyed. Without the Assyrians, the Chaldeans, a semetic people, rule the entire region thereby issuing in the New Babylonian period, which lasts until 539.

    612 BCE: The Near East

  • The Hebrew Scriptures: Nahum (text).

    612 BCE: Greece

  • Sappho, Greek lyric poet of Lesbos, is born. The most famous female poet of the ancient world, Sappho is inscribed in the Palatine Anthology among the Muses, rather than among the great lyric poets, in the second century BCE. Her lyric poetry includes the exploration of female sexuality, female values in a male dominated society, and love.

    604-562 BCE: The Near East

  • Nebuchadnezzar II rules in BABYLON, where he undertakes several monumental building projects, including the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. This New Babylonian Revival uses glazed bricks for building thereby creating a colorful city.
  • Dragon of Marduk (image).
  • Striding Lion (image).

    600 BCE: The Near East

  • The Persian prophet Zoroaster (Zarathushtra) founds the religion known as Zoroastrianism.
  • The Hebrew Scriptures: Habakkuk (text).

    600 BCE: Rome

  • The Etruscans, believed to be natives of Asia Minor, establish cities stretching from northern to central Italy. Their major contributions to the Romans are the arch and the vault, gladiatorial combat for entertainment and the study of animals to predict future events. The Greeks establish city-states along the southern coast of Italy and the island of Sicily. Their contributions to the Romans are the basis of the Roman alphabet, many religious concepts and artistic talent as well as mythology.

    600-550 BCE: Greece

  • Temple Model, Sabucina (image).

    600-500 BCE: China

  • Lao-tzu, author of The Tao Te Ching and founder of Taoism, lives around this time. He encourages people to live simply and according to nature.
  • Lao Tzu: The Tao Te Ching (Mitchell Translation) (text).
  • Lao Tzu: The Tao Te Ching (Blakney Translation) (text).
  • Lao Tzu: The Tao Te Ching (Rosenthal Translation) (text).
  • Lao Tzu: The Tao Te Ching (Muller Translation) (text).

    600-500 BCE: Greece

  • Sanctuary of Apollo, Delphi (image).
  • Sacred Way and Temple of Apollo, Delphi (image).

    600-500 BCE: Rome

  • Kore (Female Figure) (image).

    594 BCE: Greece

  • Solon, the great elegiac poet, is appointed chief magistrate of ATHENS. His reforms include both political and economical adjustments which lead to dissatisfaction in the upper and lower classes.

    590 BCE: Greece

  • Fragmentary Type C Red-Figure Amphora (Storage Vessel) (image).

    586 BCE: The Near East

  • Jerusalem falls to the forces of Nebuchadnezzar II. Several HEBREWS are taken to BABYLON beginning the "Babylonian Captivity." The book of Ezekiel is written at this time.

    585 BCE: The Near East

  • The Hebrew Scriptures: Ezekiel (text).

    585 BCE: Greece

  • In Miletus, the founding city of philosophy, Thales predicts a total eclipse of the sun. The founder of the Melesian school, Thales, teaches that all things are composed of moisture; he is the first to put forth a rational explanation of the cosmos. By the end of the sixth century, philosophers begin to question the metaphysical nature of the cosmos with inquiries into the nature of being, the meaning of truth, and the relationship between the divine and the physical world.

    575-525 BCE: Greece

  • Black-Figure Band Cup (image).
  • Funerary Kouros of Volomandra (image).

    563 BCE: India

  • Gautama Siddharta Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, is born somewhere in what is today Nepal. He will die sometime around 483.

    551 BCE: China

  • K'ung Fu-tzu (Confucius), author of The Analects, is born. Among other things, Confucius teaches the importance of centralized authority and filial piety. Like Aristotle, he belives the state to be a natural institution. Confucius dies around 479.

    550-525 BCE: Greece

  • Zeus Seated on a Chair, Vase Painting (image).

    550-500 BCE: Rome

  • Black-Figure Neck Amphora (image).
  • Kantharos (image).

    550-400 BCE: The Near East

  • Trefoil Juglet (image).

    546 BCE: Greece

  • The first of the Athenian tyrants, Peisistratus, replaces Solon as ruler.

    540 BCE: India

  • Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, is born. He will die around 486.

    540 BCE: Greece

  • Doric Columns, Temple of Apollo, Corinth (image).

    539 BCE: The Near East

  • Cyrus the Persian captures BABYLON after the New Babylonian leader, Belshazaar, fails to read "the handwriting on the wall." Cyrus founds the Persian Empire which lasts until 331 BCE, when it is conquered by Alexander the Great. Cyrus returns some of the exiled HEBREWS to Palestine; others among the Hebrews prefer to stay in Babylon, where a second Jewish center is established, the first being the one in Jerusalem.

    537 BCE: India

  • Cyrus the Persian campaigns west of the Indus River.

    530 BCE: Greece

  • Pythagoras and his followers found the city of Croton and combine philosophy and literature with political activity as the foundation of their community. Pythagoras, mathematician and philosopher, is credited with the Pythagorean theorem and the Pythagorean table of opposites (the "dualism" that underlies Greek thought).

    530-520 BCE: Greece

  • Neck Amphora (image).

    529 BCE: The Near East

  • Cyrus dies leaving behind him the largest empire to date. His son, Cambyses, succeeds him and adds to the empire by conquering EGYPT.

    525 BCE: Egypt

  • Egypt is conquered by the Persians, who rule until 405. From this point onward, Egypt is ruled by Persian or Greek forces.

    525 BCE: Greece

  • Greek drama grows out of the Dionysian festivals. The plays of AESCHYLUS are considered to be the beginning of this long history of tragic drama. His stories are drawn from conflicts between the individual and the cosmos.
  • Couch and Table, Bilingual Amphora, Andokides Painter (image).

    525-500 BCE: Greece

  • Supporting Terrace Wall, Sanctuary of Apollo, Delphi (image).

    525-332 BCE: Egypt

  • Anthropoid Coffin (image).

    522-465 BCE: The Near East

  • Frieze of Striding Lions (image).

    521 BCE: The Near East

  • Darius I ("The Great") succeeds Cambyses as emperor of Persia. He engages in many large building programs, including a system of roads. In addition, he institutes the first postal system.

    520 BCE: The Near East

  • The Hebrew Scriptures: Haggai (text).
  • The Hebrew Scriptures: Zechariah (text).

    520-516 BCE: The Near East

  • The HEBREWS rebuild Solomon's Temple which had been destroyed in the sack of 586, thereby beginning the Second Temple period of Hebrew History.

    520-510 BCE: Greece

  • Black-Figure Hydria (Water Jar) with Scenes of Herakles (image).

    518 BCE: Greece

  • Pindar, considered by some to be the greatest Greek lyric poet, is born in Cynoscephalae, Boeotia. Pindar's odes celebrate games held at the religious festivals of Greece. Athletic victory serves as the ground for his poetic fancy and his religious, moral, and aesthetic insights. He dies in 438 BCE.

    517-509 BCE: India

  • Darius the Persian conquers the INDUS VALLEY region, making the area a province of the Persian Empire.

    515 BCE: Greece

  • Parmenides of Elea is born. He is the founder of the Eleatic school in the Phocaean colony in southern Italy. He is the first to focus attention on the central problem of Greek metaphysics: the nature of being. For Parmenides, the laws governing the universe are stable. Change is merely an illusion.

    510 BCE: Greece

  • Hippias, the son of Peisistratus, succeeds his father and is overthrown by a group of nobles with the help of SPARTA.
  • Stele of Aristion (image).

    509 BCE: Rome

  • The Roman monarchy is overthrown and replaced with a republic. For more than two centuries following the establishment of the Roman Republic, Rome is constantly at war with the other inhabitants of Italy (the Etruscans and the Greeks).

    508 BCE: Greece

  • Cleisthenes, the father of Athenian democracy, rules ATHENS. His reforms grant full rights to all free men of Athens.

    500-600 BCE: India

  • Aihole - Dvarapala (image).

    500 BCE: China

  • Confucius: The Analects (text).
  • Confucius: The Analects (Muller Translation) (text).

    500 BCE: Greece

  • The height of Greek sculpture begins with the work of Phidias. His masterpieces include the statue of Athena in the PARTHENON, the Parthenon reliefs and the statue of Zeus in the Temple of Olympian Zeus. The second most important sculptor, Myron, is renowned for his statue of the discus thrower.

    500 BCE: Rome

  • Temple of Saturn, Forum Romanum, Rome (image).

    500-485 BCE: Greece

  • Athenian Treasury on the Sacred Way, Sanctuary of Apollo, Delphi (image).

    500-400 BCE: The Near East

  • Spearman (image).
  • Court Servant with Covered Tray (image).

    500-400 BCE: Greece

  • Diskos (Discus) (image).

    500-300 BCE: Greece

  • Stlengis (Strigil) [Scraper] (image).

    500-200 BCE: India

  • The Mahabharata, of which The Bhagavad Gita is a part, is put into final form.
  • The Bhagavad Gita (text).

    494 BCE: Rome

  • The first victory of the plebeian class over the patricians results in agreement between the two classes to allow the plebeians to elect officers, tribunes, with the power to veto any unlawful acts of the magistrates.

    490 BCE: Greece

  • Lasting until 479 BCE, the Greeks initiate war with Persia when Persia, at this time the strongest power in western Asia, establishes rule over Greek-speaking cities in Asia Minor. The PERSIAN WARS are commonly regarded as among the most significant in all of history. Darius the Great is defeated at the battle of Marathon in 490 BCE. The Greeks emerge victorious and put an end to the possibility of Persian despotism.

    486 BCE: Greece

  • A contempoary of Darius the Persian, Heraclitus of Ephesus lives somewhere around this time. For Heraclitus, reality is flux which originated out of fire (as opposed to Parmenides' "stable" reality -- see 515 BCE). PLATO credits Heraclitus for saying, "One cannot step into the same river twice." Heraclitus was also known as "the obscure."

    486-465 BCE: The Near East

  • Xerxes I is emperor of the Persian Empire.

    485 BCE: Greece

  • Accompanying the high point of democracy inATHENS is a Greek intellectual revolution, with its beginnings in Sophism. The Sophists situate ethics and politics within philosophical discourse which, before, was limited to physics and metaphysics alone. The leading Sophist, Protagoras, states his famous doctrine: "Man is the measure of all things." For him, all truth, goodness, beauty, etc. are relative to man's necessities and inquiries. Emerging in opposition to the Sophists are Socrates, PLATO and ARISTOTLE, each of whom offers alternatives to the Sophists' relativism.
  • Kritios Boy (image).

    485-465 BCE: The Near East

  • Foundation Slab of Xerxes (image).

    485-424 BCE: The Near East

  • Colossal Bull Head (image).

    484 BCE: Greece

  • The father of history, Herodotus, is born. He is author of a nine-book History of the Persian War and a book dedicated to his travels through Egypt. He dies in 420.

    481 BCE: China

  • The Warring States period begins. The states of Ch'in and Ch'u emerge as the primary competitors in this struggle to found an empire in China. During this period, a four-tiered class structure emerges consisting of the lesser nobility (including scholars), the peasant farmers, the artisans, and the merchants, with the merchants holding the lowest position in society. Known also as the period of the Hundred Schools of Thought, this era sees the emergence of several schools of political philosophy, including the four main schools: Confucianism, Taoism, Mohism and Legalism. The Warring States period ends in 221.

    479 BCE: China

  • The philosopher Mo-tzu, founder of Mohism, is born. He teaches a message of universal love and compassion for the common plight of ordinary people. He dies around 438.

    478 BCE: Greece

  • ATHENS joins with other Greek city-states in the formation of the DELIAN LEAGUE. The League continues even after the end of the PERSIAN WARS and transforms into a naval empire with Athens as its leader.

    475-450 BCE: Greece

  • Chair and Small Table, Vase Painting (image).

    472 BCE: Greece

  • Aeschylus: The Persians (text).

    470 BCE: Greece

  • Throne, Terra-Cotta Statue from Granmichele (image).
  • Folding Stool, Interior, White Kylix (image).

    470-465 BCE: Greece

  • Column Krater (image).

    469 BCE: Greece

  • SOPHOCLES is born. He is the second Greek dramatist, following AESCHYLUS, and is considered by some to be the greatest of the Greek dramatists. His works include Oedipus Rex and Antigone. He dies in 406 BCE. This year also marks the birth of Socrates, a philosopher of ethics who leaves no written philosophy. He is the major critic of popular belief in ATHENS and is the protagonist of Plato's dialogues. He is condemned to death in 399 BCE on the charges of corrupting the youth and introducing new gods into Greek thought.

    467 BCE: Greece

  • Aeschylus: The Seven Against Thebes (text).

    467-450 BCE: Greece

  • Anaxagoras: Fragments (text).

    463 BCE: Greece

  • Aeschylus: The Suppliants (text).

    461-429 BCE: Greece

  • During this "Age of Pericles," Athenian democracy reaches perfection, and the court systems are completed. A jury system is put in place with the jury serving as absolute authority in judicial matters.

    460 BCE: Greece

  • Sphinx of the Naxians, Sanctuary at Delphi (image).
  • Detail, Aphrodite and Erotes, White-Ground Cup, Lysandros Painter (image).

    460-450 BCE: Greece

  • Discus Thrower (image).

    458 BCE: Greece

  • Aeschylus: Agamemnon (text).
  • Aeschylus: Eumenides (text).

    450 BCE: Greece

  • Euripides: Rhesus (text).

    450 BCE: Rome

  • The Law of the Twelve Tables is established allowing the plebeians to have knowledge of their relationship to the law. The plebeians are primarily farmers, craftsmen and tradesmen with foreign background. The patricians make up an aristocracy.

    450-440 BCE: Greece

  • Relief: Girl with Doves (image).

    450-400 BCE: Greece

  • Acropolis, Athens (image).

    450-350 BCE: The Near East

  • Earring (image).

    448 BCE: Greece

  • ARISTOPHANES, considered by some to be the greatest Greek comedy writer, is born. He dies in 380 BCE. Greek comedy, like Greek tragedy, originates out of the Dionysian festivals.

    447-440 BCE: Greece

  • Detail, Entablature, Southwest Corner of Parthenon, Athens (image).
  • Lapith and Centaur, South Metope, Southwest corner of Parthenon, Athens (image).
  • Lapith and Centaur, South Metope 30, Parthenon, Athens (image).

    447-432 BCE: Greece

  • Parthenon, Athens (image).
  • Substructure of the Parthenon, Athens (image).
  • Stylobate from the Parthenon, Athens (image).
  • West Facade of the Parthenon, Athens (image).
  • West Pteroma from the Parthenon, Athens (image).
  • Detail, Columns and Entablature from the Parthenon, Athens (image).
  • Detail, Column from the Parthenon, Athens 1 (image).
  • Detail, Column from the Parthenon, Athens 2 (image).
  • The Parthenon from the East, Athens (image).
  • Cella, From the East, The Parthenon, Athens (image).
  • Cella, Parthenon, Athens (image).
  • Antefix, With some Original Paint, Parthenon, Athens (image).

    442-438 BCE: Greece

  • Frieze from the West Facade of the Parthenon, Athens 1 (image).
  • Frieze from the West Facade of the Parthenon, Athens 2 (image).
  • Rearing Horse and Rider, Southwest Portion of the Parthenon Frieze, Athens (image).
  • Young Men and Animals, Parthenon Frieze, North Side, Athens (image).
  • Young Women and Officials, Parthenon Frieze, East Portion, Athens (image).
  • Gods of Olympus, Parthenon Frieze, East Side, Athens (image).

    440 BCE: The Near East

  • The Hebrew Scriptures: Obadiah (text).
  • The Hebrew Scriptures: Malachi (text).

    440 BCE: Greece

  • Klismos, Detail, White Lekythoi, Achilles Painter (image).

    438 BCE: Greece

  • Euripides: Alcestis (text).

    437-432 BCE: Greece

  • Propylaea, Athens 1 (image).
  • Propylaea, Athens 2 (image).
  • Head of Selene's Leading Horse, East Pediment, Parthenon, Athens (image).
  • The River God Ilissos, From the West Pediment of the Parthenon, Athens (image).
  • Iris, From the West Pediment of the Parthenon, Athens (image).
  • Dione and Aphrodite, From the East Pediment of the Parthenon, Athens (image).

    431 BCE: Greece

  • Euripides: Medea (text).

    431-404 BCE: Greece

  • During the PELOPONNESIAN WAR between ATHENS and SPARTA, the political supremacy of Athens is ended. Athenian trade is destroyed. Athenian democracy is overthrown, and Athens is forced to surrender to Sparta as a subject state. Sparta assumes dominance over the Greek world and replaces many Greek democracies with oligarchies. The two major causes of the war are Athens' growth in imperialism and the economic and cultural differences between Athens and Sparta. Between 404 and 338, Sparta is not able to persist in the rule of Greece. Power over Greece shifts from Sparta to Thebes and then to numerous other city-states, none able to maintain rule over such a large empire.

    430 BCE: Greece

  • Aeschylus: Prometheus Bound (text).

    430 BCE: Rome

  • Horseman (image).

    429 BCE: Greece

  • Euripides: The Heracleidae (text).

    428 BCE: Greece

  • Euripides: Hippolytus (text).

    428-424 BCE: Greece

  • Euripides: Andromache (text).

    427-432 BCE: Greece

  • Detail, East Pediment, Parthenon, Athens (image).

    427 BCE: Greece

  • PLATO, Socrates' most distinguished student, is born. He is a prolific writer and is considered by some to be the most important of all philosophers. Among his most noted works are The Apology, The Symposium, The Phaedo, The Phaedrus, and The Republic. His written works are in dialogue form. He dies in 347 BCE.

    425 BCE: Greece

  • Temple of Athena Nike, Athens (image).
  • Aristophanes: The Acharnians (text).

    424 BCE: Greece

  • Aristophanes: The Knights (text).
  • Euripides: Hecuba (text).

    422 BCE: Greece

  • Aristophanes: The Wasps (text).
  • Euripides: The Suppliants (text).

    421 BCE: Greece

  • Aristophanes: Peace (text).

    421-416 BCE: Greece

  • Euripides: Heracles (text).

    421-405 BCE: Greece

  • Erechtheum, From the Southeast, Athens 1 (image).
  • Erechtheum, From the Southeast, Athens 2 (image).
  • Detail, Ionic Column Base, Erechtheum, Athens (image).
  • Detail, Cella Wall, Erechtheum, Athens (image).
  • Detail, Ornament, Erechtheum, Athens (image).
  • North Porch Door, Erechtheum, Athens (image).

    420-410 BCE: Greece

  • Euripides: Electra (text).

    419 BCE: Greece

  • Aristophanes: The Birds (text).

    415 BCE: Greece

  • Euripides: The Trojan Women (text).

    414 BCE: Greece

  • Aristophanes: The Birds (text).

    414-412 BCE: Greece

  • Euripides: Ion (text).
  • Euripides: Iphigenia in Taurus (text).

    413 BCE: Greece

  • South Porch, Erechtheum, Athens (image).

    412 BCE: Greece

  • Euripides: Helen (text).

    411 BCE: Greece

  • Aristophanes: The Thesmophoriazusae (text).

    411-409 BCE: Greece

  • Euripides: Phoenissae (text).

    410 BCE: Greece

  • Euripides: The Bacchantes (text).
  • Euripides: Iphigenia at Aulis (text).

    410-407 BCE: Greece

  • Athena Tying Her Sandal, Balustrade Relief, Temple of Athena Nike (image).

    408 BCE: Greece

  • Euripides: The Cyclops (text).
  • Euripides: Orestes (text).

    406 BCE: Greece

  • EURIPIDES dies. Born in 480 BCE, he is the last of the tragic dramatists. His contribution to the history of Greek tragedy is his creation of a drama that deals with situations analogous to human life.

    405 BCE: Greece

  • Aristophanes: The Frogs (text).

    404-359 BCE: The Near East

  • Persian Roundel (image).

    400 BCE: The Near East

  • The Hebrew Scriptures: Joel (text).
  • The Hebrew Scriptures: Ezra (text).
  • The Hebrew Scriptures: Nehemiah (text).
  • The Hebrew Scriptures: First Chronicles (text).
  • The Hebrew Scriptures: Second Chronicles (text).

    400 BCE: India

  • Panini's Sutra, the earliest Sanskrit grammer, is written.

    400 BCE: Greece

  • Helmet (image).
  • Klismos, Funerary Stele from the Eridanos Cemetary, Hegeso (image).
  • Hippocrates: On Airs, Waters, and Places (text).
  • Hippocrates: On Ancient Medicine (text).
  • Hippocrates: Aphorisms (text).
  • Hippocrates: On the Articulations (text).
  • Hippocrates: The Book of Prognostics (text).
  • Hippocrates: Of the Epidemics (text).
  • Hippocrates: On Fistulae (text).
  • Hippocrates: On Fractures (text).
  • Hippocrates: On Hemorrhoids (text).
  • Hippocrates: On Injuries of the Head (text).
  • Hippocrates: Instruments of Reduction (text).
  • Hippocrates: The Law (text).
  • Hippocrates: The Oath (text).
  • Hippocrates: On Regimen in Acute Diseases (text).
  • Hippocrates: On the Sacred Disease (text).
  • Hippocrates: On the Surgery (text).
  • Hippocrates: On Ulcers (text).

    400-350 BCE: Greece

  • Tholos at Delphi, Sanctuary of Apollo, Delphi (image).

    400-300 BCE: China

  • Bull (image).

    400-200 BCE: The Near East

  • Male Head (image).

    400-200 BCE: Greece

  • Wreath of Olives and Olive Leaves (image).
  • Theatre and Temple of Apollo, Sanctuary of Apollo, Delphi (image).

    390 BCE: Greece

  • Aristophanes: The Ecclesiazusae (text).

    390 BCE: Rome

  • Servian Wall, Rome (image).

    384 BCE: Greece

  • Plato's most distinguished student, ARISTOTLE, is born. He enters Plato's Academy at the age of seventeen. After spending several years as tutor to Alexander the Great, Aristotle returns to ATHENS and founds the Lyceum. Among his writings are treatises on logic, metaphysics, ethics, politics, rhetoric and several on natural sciences. He dies in 322 BCE.

    380 BCE: Greece

  • Aristophanes: Plutus (text).

    380-362 BCE: Egypt

  • Head of Nectanebo I (image).

    380-30 BCE: Egypt

  • Relief Fragment from a Temple (image).

    375-325 BCE: Greece

  • Fragment of a Mixing Bowl, Tarentum (image).

    375-70 BCE: Greece

  • Panathenaic Prize Amphora (image).

    373 BCE: China

  • The Confucianist Meng-tzu (Mencius) is born. He departs from Confucius by positing a theory of just rebellion against immoral rulers. He dies in 288.

    367 BCE: Rome

  • The first plebeian consul is elected to the assembly, and plebeians become eligible to serve as lesser magistrates, formerly a position only granted to the aristocratic class. Because an ancient custom allows promotion from magistracy to the Senate, the patrician-dominated Senate is broken.

    360 BCE: Greece

  • Corinthian Columns, Tholos, Epidaurus (image).
  • Detail, Coffered Ceiling, Tholos, Epidaurus (image).

    359-338 BCE: The Near East

  • Court Official (image).

    350 BCE: Greece

  • HELLENISTIC GREECE witnesses the new philosophy of the Cynics. Their leader, Diogenes, puts forth the first argument against conventional life. The Cynics believe that people should live naturally and strive for self-sufficiency.
  • Theatre, Epidaurus 1 (image).
  • Theatre, Epidaurus 2 (image).
  • Detail, Bottom Drum of an Ionic Column from the Temple of Artemis, Ephesus (image).
  • Tables, Campanian Bell-Krater, C. A. Painter (image).

    350-338 BCE: China

  • Shang Yang rules the Ch'in Dynasty. He operates against the assumptions of a theory of absolute aggression justified by the "School of Law."

    347-323 BCE: Greece

  • Aristotle: The Athenian Constitution (text).
  • Aristotle: The Categories (text).
  • Aristotle: On Dreams (text).
  • Aristotle: On the Gait of Animals (text).
  • Aristotle: On Generation and Corruption (text).
  • Aristotle: On the Heavens (text).
  • Aristotle: The History of Animals (text).
  • Aristotle: On Interpretation (text).
  • Aristotle: On Longevity and Shortness of Life (text).
  • Aristotle: On Memory and Reminiscence (text).
  • Aristotle: Metaphysics (text).
  • Aristotle: Meteorology (text).
  • Aristotle: On the Motion of Animals (text).
  • Aristotle: The Nicomachean Ethics (text).
  • Aristotle: On the Parts of Animals (text).
  • Aristotle: Physics (text).
  • Aristotle: The Poetics (text).
  • Aristotle: The Politics (text).
  • Aristotle: The Posterior Analytics (text).
  • Aristotle: The Prior Analytics (text).
  • Aristotle: On Prophesying by Dreams (text).
  • Aristotle: Rhetoric (text).
  • Aristotle: On Sense and the Sensible (text).
  • Aristotle: On Sleep and Sleeplessness (text).
  • Aristotle: On Sophistical Refutations (text).
  • Aristotle: On the Soul (text).
  • Aristotle: Topics (text).
  • Aristotle: Virtues and Vices (text).
  • Aristotle: On Youth and Old Age, On Life and Death, On Breathing (text).

    343 BCE: Greece

  • The greatest dramatist of HELLENISTIC GREECE, Menander, follows the comedic genre put forth by ARISTOPHANES (the subject of which is romantic love).

    343-332 BCE: Egypt

  • The Persians rule Egypt for a second time.

    338 BCE: Greece

  • Philip of Macedon, Alexander the Great's father, conquers Greece and is succeeded by his son two years later. At age twenty-two, Alexander begins his campaign to acquire new territory in Asia. Within four years, Alexander conquers the entire Persian Empire (including Asia Minor, Egypt, Persia, Syria and Mesopotamia). Alexander continues his campaign farther east and eventually returns to Persia in 323 BCE, where he dies of fever in Babylon. Before his death, Alexander was the ruler of the largest empire the world had seen. HELLENISTIC GREECE, a combination of Greek and western Asian cultures, lasts from Alexander's time until the beginning of the Christian era.

    334 BCE: Greece

  • Choragic Monument, Athens (image).

    332-331 BCE: Egypt

  • Alexander the Great occupies Egypt and founds the city of Alexandria.

    332-30 BCE: Egypt

  • Book of the Dead (image).

    331 BCE: The Near East

  • Alexander the Great conquers the Persian Empire. He makes his way to INDIA and conquers part of it, before he dies in 323.

    330 BCE: The Near East

  • The Biblical Apocrypha: Tobit (text).
  • The Hebrew Scriptures: Jonah (text).

    330 BCE: Greece

  • Ionic Columns, Temple of Artemis, Sardis (image).
  • Alexander Sarcophagus from the Necropolis at Sidion (image).
  • Hermes and the Infant Dionysus, Praxiteles, From the Temple of Hera, Olympia (image).

    330-320 BCE: Rome

  • Volute Krater (Mixing Vessel for Wine) Attributed to the Underworld Painter (image).

    327-326 BCE: India

  • Alexander the Great passes through the INDUS VALLEY installing Greek officials in the area.

    323 BCE: India

  • Alexander the Great dies, providing the opportunity for an independent state in India. Chandragupta Maurya founds the Maurya dynasty, the first Indian empire. Its capital is in Patna. By 184, this dynasty will conquer most of India.

    323 BCE: Greece

  • Alexander leaves no successors, and the highest generals engage in many wars which result in the decisive battle of Ipsus in 301 BCE. The empire is divided into four major states under the separate rules of Seleucus, Lysimachus, Cassander and Ptolemy. Greek cities revolt against Macedonian rule but to no avail. The next four hundred years witness the growth of large cities and Hellenistic international trade.

    320 BCE: China

  • The philosopher Hsun-tzu, founder of Legalism, is born. A heterodox Confucianist, he believes strongly in moral education and repudiates any belief in a spiritual realm and believes that human beings are evil by nature. He dies around 235.

    320-310 BCE: Greece

  • Volute Krater (image).

    316 BCE: China

  • The Ch'in conquer Shu and Pa (modern-day Szechuan) giving them a serious advantage over the Ch'u.

    312 BCE: Rome

  • Appian Way, Rome (image).

    310 BCE: Greece

  • Hellenistic astronomy is founded by Aristarchus of Samos. His major contribution to Hellenistic thought is his theory that the earth and all other planets revolve around the sun, contrary to ARISTOTLE.

    305 BCE: Egypt

  • The Hellenistic Ptolemaic Dynasty begins.

    305-30 BCE: Egypt

  • Iret-iruw: Mummy 1 (image).
  • Iret-iruw: Mummy 2 (image).
  • Iret-iruw: Mummy 3 (image).
  • Iret-iruw: Mummy 4 (image).

    304 BCE: India

  • Chandragupta trades 500 war elephants to Seleucus in exchange for the Indus region and regions immediately to the West.

    300 BCE: Egypt

  • Papyrus of Nes-min (detail) (image).
  • Mummy Covering (Cartonnage) (image).

    300 BCE: Greece

  • Epicureanism and Stoicism both originate in ATHENS. Both Epicurus (342-270 BCE) and Zeno, the Stoic (not to be confused with Zeno of Elea), believe in an individualistic and materialistic philosophy. Neither believe in spiritual substances. The soul is thought to be material. The Epicureans believe that pleasure is the highest good, and only by abandoning the fear of the supernatural can one achieve tranquillity of mind. The Stoics believe that tranquillity of mind is only achieved by surrendering the self to the order of the cosmos.

    300-250 BCE: Greece

  • Figurine of a Draped Woman (image).

    300-250 BCE: Rome

  • Sarcophagus of Cornelius Scipio Barbatus, From the Sepulcher of the Scipio Family, Appian Way (image).

    300-200 BCE: The Near East

  • Funerary Stele (image).

    300-200 BCE: Greece

  • Hydria (Water Jar) with Appliqué Decoration (image).
  • Apollonius Rhodius: The Argonautica (text).

    300-200 BCE: Rome

  • Theatre at Taormino, Sicily (image).
  • Scaenae Frons, Theatre at Taormina, Sicily (image).

    300-100 BCE: The Near East

  • The Biblical Apocrypha: First Esdras (text).

    300-100 BCE: Egypt

  • Head of a Man (image).

    300-100 BCE: Greece

  • Carved Wooden Table, Found at Luxor (image).

    287 BCE: Rome

  • The plebeians pass a law which allows the decisions of the assembly to override the Senate.

    273-232 BCE: India

  • Ashoka, grandson of Chandragupta Maurya and most impressive ruler in the Maurya dynasty, rules in India and institutes a series of edicts designed to bring about moral reform. His policy on reform flows from his Buddhist orientation.

    269 BCE: Rome

  • The Roman system of coinage is established.

    265 BCE: Rome

  • Rome completes its domination of the entire Italian peninsula and begins its pursuit of a larger empire. The pursuit results in a series of wars with other nations.

    264 BCE: Rome

  • Rome initiates the Punic Wars with Carthage, an oligarchic empire stretching from the northern coast of Africa to the Strait of Gibraltar. The primary cause of these Wars is Carthaginian expansion into the Greek cities of Sicily. Carthage is forced to surrender its control over the western region of Sicily, which marks the end of the First Punic War.

    256 BCE: India

  • Ashoka: The Edicts of King Ashoka (text).

    251-246 BCE: India

  • The Aryan Hindus occupy Celyon.

    250 BCE: India

  • A general council of Buddhist monks is held in Patna, where the canon of Buddhist scriptures is selected.

    250-225 BCE: Rome

  • Funerary Vase (Lebes) (image).

    246 BCE: China

  • The Ch'in complete the Chengkuo canal connecting the Ching and Lo rivers, thereby creating a key agricultural, and therefore economic, area in western Szechuan. Around the same year, the last Chou ruler is deposed.

    221 BCE: China

  • The Ch'in emerge as victors at the end of the "Warring States" period. Prince Cheng names himself as the first Ch'in emperor and engages in a process of unifying China under a central bureaucracy. The Ch'in Dynasty ends in 207, lasting for only 14 years.

    218 BCE: Rome

  • The Romans renew their efforts against Carthage due to Carthaginian expansion in Spain, which lasts 16 years. At the end of the Second Punic War, Carthage is forced to surrender all Carthaginian territory to Rome with the exception of their capital city in northern Africa.

    214 BCE: China

  • The building of the Great Wall of China begins. It is designed to keep out a destitute and starving people, the nomadic Hsiung Nu.

    207-195 BCE: China

  • Han Kao-tzu (Liu Ping), a man of humble origins, is the first ruler of the Former Han Dynasty, which lasts until 9 CE.

    200 BCE: Greece

  • Under the influence of Carneades, Skepticism arises with doctrines closely tied to Sophism. They teach that because all knowledge is achieved through sense perception, nothing can be known for sure.

    200-100 BCE: Rome

  • Temple of Fortuna Virilis, Rome (image).

    200-1 BCE: The Near East

  • The Biblical Apocrypha: Baruch (text).

    200-1 BCE: Egypt

  • Fragment of a Book of the Dead Belonging to Paheby, Son of Ankhpakhered and Takhebyt (image).

    200-1 BCE: Greece

  • Draped Woman (image).
  • Finger Ring (image).

    185 BCE: The Near East

  • The Biblical Apocrypha: Wisdom of Jesus Son of Sirach (Ben Sira) (text).

    184 BCE: India

  • The Maurya dynasty ends when the last ruler is assassinated by an ambitious army commander.

    180 BCE: Greece

  • Stadium, Sanctuary of Apollo, Delphi (image).

    170 BCE: Greece

  • Corinthian Columns, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens (image).

    168 BCE: The Near East

  • Antiochus Epiphanes rules over ISRAEL and tries to outlaw Judaism. The HEBREWS resist thereby beginning the Maccabean revolt. The Maccabees are successful, until internal dissention tears them apart. They appeal to the Roman Pompey in 63 BCE who intervenes, thereby beginning the Roman occupation of Palestine.

    167-30 BCE: Egypt

  • Wrapped Mummy with Cartonnage Trappings (image).

    156-141 BCE: China

  • Han Ching-ti rules the Han Dynasty. In 154 he rewrites the laws of inheritance, making all sons co-heirs of their father's estate.

    150 BCE: Greece

  • Carved Base from the Theatre of Dionysus, Athens (image).

    150-100 BCE: Greece

  • Head of Aristaeus (image).

    150-100 BCE: Rome

  • Temple of Hercules, Cori (image).

    149-146 BCE: Rome

  • The Third Punic War results in the total loss of Carthaginian territory. Its inhabitants are sold into slavery and the capital city is burned. The total accumulation of territory as a result of these wars is a Roman empire including Spain, northern Africa, Greece, Asia Minor and rule over Egypt.

    146-30 BCE: Greece

  • Between these years, nearly all Hellenistic territory becomes subject to Roman rule.

    146-30 BCE: Rome

  • As a result of the Punic Wars, Roman civilization witnesses a series of cultural conflicts ranging from class conflicts and assassinations to slave retaliation in Sicily in 104 BCE and 73 BCE. The class conflicts begin with the two tribunes Tiberius Gracchus (elected in 133 BCE) and Gaius Gracchus (elected in 123 BCE). The Gracchi brothers both strive for reforms of the Roman Republic, but fail due to the conservative customs of the upper class and their resistance to change. Following the attempts of the Gracchi brothers are those of two military leaders, Marius and Sulla.

    145 BCE: China

  • The historian Ssu-ma Ch'ien, author of the Records of the Historian, is born. Though he includes social and economic considerations in his history, he surprisingly mentions nothing of Han Wu Ti and his administration. He is eventually castrated by Wu Ti after writing an apology on behalf of the Hsiung Nu. (See 214 above.) He dies around 90.

    141-87 BCE: China

  • Han Wu-Ti is emperor of the Han Dynasty.

    140 BCE: Rome

  • The introduction of STOICISM into Rome is a major influence on Roman leaders. Cicero, "the father of Roman eloquence," derives the bulk of his thought from the Stoics, though he is well read in both PLATO and ARISTOTLE. Cicero's prose is primarily a fusion of Roman political thought and Stoicism's basic beliefs that happiness is attained by way of the virtuous life and the highest good is tranquility of mind.

    135-100 BCE: The Near East

  • The Biblical Apocrypha: First Maccabees (text).

    124 BCE: The Near East

  • The Biblical Apocrypha: Second Maccabees (text).

    124 BCE: China

  • The Imperial University is founded.

    120 BCE: China

  • Wu Ti relagates the salt and iron industries to the state. Around 98, he does the same for the production of alcohol.

    109 BCE: Rome

  • Milvian Bridge, Rome (image).

    107 BCE: Rome

  • Marius is appointed to consulship and rules the state by military means until his death in 86 BCE.

    100 BCE: Egypt

  • Denderah - Mammisi d'Ihy (image).

    100 BCE: Rome

  • Temple of Vesta, Tivoli (image).

    100-50 BCE: The Near East

  • The Biblical Apocrypha: Judith (text).

    100-50 BCE: Greece

  • Marble Seats of Honor, Theatre of Dionysus, Athens (image).
  • Seat of Honor, Theatre of Dionysus, Athens (image).

    100-50 BCE: Rome

  • Pont du Gard, Nîmes (image).
  • Portrait of a Roman Patrician (image).

    100-1 BCE: The Near East

  • Plaque with Male Head (image).

    100-1 BCE: China

  • Vase (image).

    100-1 BCE: Greece

  • Torso of Aphrodite (image).

    100-1 BCE: Rome

  • Temple of Vesta, On the Tiber, Rome (image).
  • Grimini Altar, Museo Archeologico, Venice (image).

    100 BCE-100 CE: The Near East

  • Female Funerary Head (image).

    100 BCE-100 CE: Rome

  • Ribbed Bowl (image).
  • Head of Aphrodite (image).

    98 BCE: Rome

  • Lucretius, author of On the Nature of Things, is the most renowned of the Roman Epicureans. Epicureanism is one of the most notable influences the Greek world bestows on Roman civilization. Lucretius' poetry explains the Epicurean beliefs of obtaining the "good life" through peace of mind and disbelief in the fear of the supernatural and any afterlife. He dies in 55 BCE.

    82 BCE: Rome

  • Following the death of Marius, the ruthless aristocrat Sulla is appointed dictator and retires after three years. Because Sulla grants full control of the Roman empire to the aristocracy, his efforts are challenged by two leaders in defense of the Roman people, Julius Caesar and Pompey. These two leaders join their efforts to seize the Roman government but soon become rivals.

    80 BCE: Rome

  • Arcade of the Temple of Jupiter Anxur, Terracina (image).

    78 BCE: Rome

  • Tabularium, Forum Romanum, Rome (image).

    70 BCE: Rome

  • A close friend of Horace, the poet VIRGIL (or VERGIL) authors The Eclogues and The Aeneid. He is later considered a prophet of CHRISTIANITY in the Middle Ages. He dies in 19 BCE.

    70 BCE-70 CE: The Near East

  • Inscribed Ossuary (image).

    65 BCE: Rome

  • Horace authors the Odes, which glorify Roman imperialism. Horace's literature exemplifies the fusion of Epicureanism and STOICISM. He dies in 8 BCE.

    55 BCE: Rome

  • Lucretius: On the Nature of Things (text).

    52 BCE: Rome

  • Pompey is elected as sole consul by the Senate, and Caesar is declared an enemy of the Roman Republic. Caesar, at first stationed in Gaul, marches into Rome in 49 BCE, and in 48 BCE, the two men war at Pharsalus in Greece. With the defeat of Pompey, Caesar campaigns in Egypt and Asia Minor before returning to Rome.

    50 BCE: The Near East

  • The Biblical Apocrypha: Wisdom of Solomon (text).

    50-1 BCE: Rome

  • Head of a Man (image).
  • Marius Gratidus Libanus and His Wife (image).

    46 BCE: Rome

  • Caesar is appointed dictator and assumes total control from the Senate. On a charge that he intends to make himself king, he is assassinated on the Ides of March (44 BCE) by a group leadership led by Brutus and Cassius. Among Caesar's contributions to Rome are the 365 day calendar with an extra day every four years, agricultural wealth for Rome and urban culture in the West due to his efforts to expand westward, and the cultural assimilation of the various regions under Roman rule.

    42 BCE: Rome

  • Having learned of Caesar's death while stationed in Gaul, Octavian returns to Rome to collect his inheritance as sole heir to his granduncle's empire. Upon his arrival he aligns himself with two of Caesar's friends, Mark Antony and Lepidus, in an attempt to overthrow the aristocratic group responsible for Caesar's murder. Octavian and his allies defeat Brutus and Cassias near Philippi. Following the victory, a quarrel develops between Octavian and his forces in the west and Mark Antony and his new ally, Cleopatra.

    40-30 BCE: Rome

  • Cubiculum from Boscoreale (image).
  • Tomb of the Baker Eurysaces, Rome (image).

    31 BCE: Rome

  • Antony and Cleopatra are defeated by Octavian, ensuring the prosperity of Greek ideals without threat from the eastern principles of despotism. His victory begins a new Roman era, called the Principate or Early Empire. The Senate and army bestow the name of Augustus and emperor ("victorious general") upon Octavian, and he is commonly referred to as Augustus. Having gained more land for Rome than any other ruler before him, Augustus dies in 14 CE with his rule having lasted 44 years.

    30 BCE: Rome

  • Tomb of Caecilia Metella, Via Appia, Rome (image).

    30 BCE-25 CE: Egypt

  • Mummy Mask (image).

    30 BCE-395 CE: Egypt

  • Mummy (image).

    29 BCE: Rome

  • Virgil: The Georgics (text).

    20 BCE: Rome

  • Cella Frieze, Temple of Apollo Sosianus, Rome (image).
  • Stool with Perpendicular Legs, Girl Decanting Perfume, From a Wall Painting in Villa Farnesina, Rome (image).

    19 BCE: Rome

  • Maison Carrée, Nîmes (image).
  • Virgil: The Aeneid (text).

    15 BCE: Egypt

  • Temple of Dendur (image).

    9 BCE: Rome

  • Frieze and Ornamental Pattern, Ara Pacis Augustae, Rome (image).

    2 BCE: Rome

  • Temple of Mars Ultor, Forum of Augustus, Rome (image).

    1 CE: Rome

  • Though the exact year is not known, a sixth century monk attributes this time to the birth of Jesus of Nazareth in Judea. The first four books of the New Testament (written later) are the only surviving account of Jesus' career which consists of preaching love of God and one's neighbor, healing the sick, teaching humility by example and professing the end of the world and the establishment of heaven.

    1-50 CE: Rome

  • Head of Emperor Augustus (image).
  • Emperor Augustus, From Prima Porta (image).

    1-100 CE: The Near East

  • Fragment of a (Dead Sea) Scroll (image).

    1-100 CE: Greece

  • Venus Genetrix (image).

    1-100 CE: Rome

  • Marsyas Bound and Hanging from a Tree (image).
  • Roman Citizen Dressed in a Toga (image).
  • Aphrodite of Cyrene (image).
  • Funerary Monument for Sextus Maelius Stabilio, Vesinia Iucunda, and Sextus Maelius Faustus (image).
  • Baths, Baia (image).
  • Marble Table, From a House in Pompeii (image).

    1-150 CE: Rome

  • Aqueduct, Segovia (image).

    1-200 CE: Rome

  • Resting Herakles (image).
  • Floor Mosaic, Corinth Museum (image).

    1-400 CE: The Near East

  • Unguentaria (Perfume Bottles) (image).

    1-700 CE: The Near East

  • Lamps from the Levant (image).

    9 CE: China

  • Wang Mang usurps the power of the Han Dynasty and institutes the interim Hsin Dynasty, which lasts until 23.

    10 CE: Rome

  • The Apostle Paul, a Jew from the city of Tarsus in Asia Minor, follows Jesus and forms a Christian Theology. He declares CHRISTIANITY a universal religion and spreads the Gospel throughout the Mediterranean region. Paul fashions the foundations of personal salvation through Jesus Christ. He dies in 67 CE.

    11-13 CE: Rome

  • Theatre of Marcellus, Rome (image).

    14 CE: Rome

  • With the exception of Claudius' rule (41-54 CE) and his conquest of Britain in 43 CE, the period between the death of Augustus and the rule of Nerva is a period without competent rulers. Caligula (37-41 CE) and Nero (54-68) are two brutal tyrants who contribute to the violence in Rome.

    20-200 CE: Rome

  • For almost two centuries, philosophy, literature, architecture, art and engineering thrive in the Roman world. The most influential thought during the Principate is a form of STOICISM very different from the original Hellenistic thought. The Roman Stoics are interested in politics and ethics with a heavy emphasis on religious values, rather than physical theories. The three most important Stoics of the Roman world are Nero's advisor, Seneca (4 BCE-65 CE); a slave named Epictetus (60-120 CE); and the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121-180 CE). The ultimate goal of Roman Stoicism is inner peace and an awareness that true happiness is found only in submission to the order of universe.

    24 CE: China

  • The Later Han Dynasty begins with the rule of Han Kuang-wu (23-58 CE). It lasts until 220 CE.

    25-75 CE: Rome

  • Fragment of a Painted Wall (image).

    28 CE: Rome

  • Mausoleum of Augustus, Rome (image).

    30 CE: Rome

  • Couch, Courtship of Venus and Mars, House of Marcus Lucretius Fronto, Pompeii (image).

    32 CE: Rome

  • Ceiling Relief, Temple of Bel, Palmyra (image).

    41-54 CE: Rome

  • Cameo Portrait of Emperor Augustus (image).

    50 CE: Rome

  • Togate Statue of a Youth (image).
  • Theatre at Orange (image).

    50-52 CE: The Near East

  • The Christian Scriptures: Paul's First Letter to the Thessalonians (text).
  • The Christian Scriptures: Paul's Second Letter to the Thessalonians (text).

    50-70 CE: China

  • Buddhism arrives in China around this time.

    54-68 CE: Egypt

  • Head and Torso of a Roman Emperor, probably Nero (image).

    57 CE: The Near East

  • The Christian Scriptures: Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians (text).
  • The Christian Scriptures: Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians (text).

    58 CE: The Near East

  • The Christian Scriptures: Paul's Letter to the Romans (text).
  • The Christian Scriptures: Paul's Letter to the Galatians (text).

    61 CE: Rome

  • Lucan: Pharsalia (text).

    62-63 CE: The Near East

  • The Christian Scriptures: Paul's Letter to the Ephesians (text).
  • The Christian Scriptures: Paul's Letter to the Colossians (text).
  • The Christian Scriptures: Paul's Letter to Philemon (text).

    64 CE: The Near East

  • The Christian Scriptures: The Gospel of Mark (text).
  • The Christian Scriptures: The Letter of James (text).
  • The Christian Scriptures: The First Letter of Peter (text).

    66 CE: The Near East

  • Attempting to deliver themselves from Roman control, the HEBREWS revolt, but this time they prove unsuccessful. In 70 CE, the Roman Emperor, Titus, defeats the Hebrews and destroys the temple in Jerusalem. It has never been rebuilt.

    70-82 CE: Rome

  • Colosseum, Rome (image).
  • Colosseum Facade, Rome (image).
  • Interior, Colosseum, Rome (image).
  • Colosseum Substructure, Rome (image).
  • Detail, Lintel Arch, Colosseum Substructure, Rome (image).
  • Vaulted Walkway, Colosseum, Rome (image).

    75 CE: Rome

  • Plutarch: Lives (text).

    75-80 CE: Rome

  • The Roman emperors build the Colosseum as a place of gladiatorial combat.

    75-100 CE: Rome

  • Porta Dei Borsari, Verona (image).

    77-79 CE: Rome

  • Villa of Marcus Fabius Rufus, Pompeii (image).

    78 CE: The Near East

  • The Biblical Apocrypha: Fourth Ezra (text).

    80 CE: The Near East

  • The Christian Scriptures: The Gospel of Matthew (text).
  • The Christian Scriptures: The Gospel of Luke (text).
  • The Christian Scriptures: The Acts of the Apostles (text).

    80 CE: Rome

  • Laocoon, by Hagesandro, Polydoros and Athanodoros (image).

    81 CE: Rome

  • Arch of Titus, Forum Romanum, Rome (image).
  • Arch of Titus, Forum Romanum, Rome (image).

    81-92 CE: Rome

  • Domus Augustana, Palatine, Rome 1 (image).

    81-96 CE: Rome

  • Domus Augustana, Palatine, Rome 2 (image).

    95 CE: The Near East

  • The Christian Scriptures: The Gospel of John (text).
  • The Christian Scriptures: The Second Letter of Peter (text).
  • The Christian Scriptures: The First Letter of John (text).
  • The Christian Scriptures: The Second Letter of John (text).
  • The Christian Scriptures: The Third Letter of John (text).
  • The Christian Scriptures: The Revelation of John (text).

    96-180 CE: Rome

  • This period is commonly referred to as the "five good emperors." It is a return to a strong and stable government comparable to the rule of Augustus. The five emperors and the years of their rule are Nerva (96-98 CE), Trajan (98-117 CE), Hadrian (117-138 CE), Antoninus Pius (138-161 CE) and Marcus Aurelius (161-180 CE). From the rule of Augustus to the end of Aurelius' rule, Roman civilization is witness to several centuries of Roman peace (Pax Romana) stretching from Scotland to Persia.

    100 CE: Rome

  • Frieze, Temple of Minerva, Forum of Nerva, Rome (image).

    100-112 CE: Rome

  • Market of Trajan, Rome 1 (image).
  • Market of Trajan, Rome 2 (image).
  • Via Biberatica, Market of Trajan, Rome (image).
  • Shop Fronts, Market of Trajan, Rome (image).
  • Market Space, Market of Trajan, Rome (image).

    100-150 CE: Rome

  • Opus Reticulatum from Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli (image).

    100-200 CE: The Near East

  • Funerary Urn in the Form of a House with Lid Surmounted by a Bird (image).

    100-200 CE: Greece

  • Torso of Apollo (image).

    100-200 CE: Rome

  • Mirror with Scene from the Calydonian Boar Hunt (image).
  • Mosaic (image).
  • Herakles (image).
  • Arches on the Via Nova, Palatine Hill, Rome (image).
  • Baths in the Forum, Ostia 1 (image).
  • Baths in the Forum, Ostia 2 (image).

    100-400 CE: Rome

  • Bronze Head from a Statuette, Based on the Image of Alexander (image).

    104 CE: Rome

  • Equestrian Statue of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, Piazza del Campidoglio, Rome (image).

    106 CE: Rome

  • Gaius Julius Lacer, Roman Bridge, Alcántara, Spain (image).

    109 CE: Rome

  • Tacitus: The Annals (text).
  • Tacitus: The Histories (text).

    114 CE: Rome

  • Trajan's Column, Rome (image).
  • Detail, Reliefs, Trajan's Column, Rome (image).

    118-125 CE: Rome

  • Maritime Theatre, Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli (image).

    118-128 CE: Rome

  • Pantheon, Rome 1 (image).
  • Pantheon, Rome 2 (image).
  • Niche, Pantheon, Rome (image).
  • Coffered Dome, Pantheon, Rome (image).

    118-134 CE: Rome

  • Serapeum, Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli (image).

    120 CE: Rome

  • Baths of Neptune, Ostia (image).

    123-135 CE: Rome

  • Hadrian, Temple of Venus and Rome, Forum Romanum (image).

    130 CE: Rome

  • Canopus, Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli (image).

    130-160 CE: Egypt

  • Mummy Portrait of a Woman (image).

    135 CE: Rome

  • Mausoleum of Hadrian, Rome (image).

    138 CE: Rome

  • Arch of Hadrian, Athens (image).

    140-160 CE: Rome

  • Head of Demeter-Europa (image).
  • Head of the Diadoumenos (image).

    141 CE: Rome

  • Statues of the Vestal Virgins and Temple of Antonius and Faustina, Forum Romanum, Rome (image).

    145-150 CE: Rome

  • Composite Column, Horrea Epagathiana, Ostia (image).
  • Wall Niche, Horrea Epagathiana, Ostia (image).

    150-200 CE: Rome

  • Portrait of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (image).

    150-250 CE: Rome

  • Personification of the River Tigris (image).

    167 CE: Rome

  • Marcus Aurelius: The Meditations (text).

    180 CE: Rome

  • With the death of Stoic Emperor Marcus Aurelius, author of The Meditations, Commodus is made emperor. This period is considered the beginning of the decline of the Roman Empire. Though the first four of the "five good emperors" choose promising young men to succeed their rule, Aurelius chooses his son and is criticized for this decision. Commodus rules as a brutal tyrant and is strangled in 192 CE by a group of private conspirators. Because he had chosen no successor, different sects of the Roman army raise their own candidates and civil war breaks out.

    184 CE: China

  • The Rebellion of the Yellow Turbans, a Taoist initiative directed against the tyrranical Later Han Dynasty, does substantial damage to Han power. The poet Ts'ao Ts'ao rises in power, leaving his son as the first Wei Emperor in 220.

    193 CE: Rome

  • The first ruler resulting from the civil wars is Septimus Severus who serves as a military dictator until his death in 211 CE. His victory exemplifies the rising attitude concerning the rule of Rome; he shows that one has only to be strong in military pursuits to seize power.

    200 CE: Rome

  • Torso in Armor (image).
  • Theatre of Sabratha, Tripolitana (image).

    200-250 CE: Rome

  • Emperor Caracalla in the Guise of Helios (image).

    200-300 CE: Rome

  • Pair of Earrings (image).

    204 CE: Rome

  • Plotinus, the father of Neoplatonism, develops a philosophy synthesized out of Platonism, Aristotelianism and STOICISM that resembles Oriental mysticism. His works, The Enneads, are arranged in six groups of nine by one of his pupils, Porphyry. Plotinus' thought later influences Augustine and Christian thinking and is especially influential to the Renaissance humanists. He teaches in Rome until his death in 270 CE.

    205 CE: Rome

  • Temple of Vesta, Forum Romanum, Rome (image).

    212-216 CE: Rome

  • Frigidarium, Baths of Caracalla, Rome (image).
  • Palaestra, Baths of Caracalla, Rome (image).
  • Baths of Caracalla, Rome (image).

    212-217 CE: Rome

  • Floor Mosaic, Baths of Caracalla (image).

    220 CE: Rome

  • Philostratus: The Life of Apollonius of Tyana (text).

    221 CE: China

  • The period of the Three Kingdoms begins, during which China is split into three separate kingdoms: the Shu (221- 264), the Wei (220-265), and the Wu (220-280).

    222-235 CE: Rome

  • Acqua Alexandriana, Campagna (image).

    235 CE: Rome

  • Between the years 235 and 284 CE, twenty-six military leaders seize power, including some of Rome's external enemies.

    250 CE: Rome

  • Plotinus: The Enneads (text).

    265 CE: China

  • The Western Chin Dynasty begins when the Wei Kingdom absorbs the Shu, and then, later, the Wu (280). It lasts until 316, after a period of civil tension added by the enlistment of barbarian forces leads to internal decay. A condition of unrest unfolds for the next two hundred years as remnants of the old empire fight againt invading barbarians.

    270 CE: Rome

  • Aurelian Wall, Rome (image).

    284 CE: Rome

  • Emperor DIOCLETIAN begins the reorganization of the Roman Empire. Differing from former Roman Emperors, Diocletian rules from Nicomedia (modern-day Turkey), rather than from Rome, and accepts the title of dominus (lord), the title of an Oriental potentate. His reforms include the separation of military and civilian administration, division of the Empire into halves, granting his trusted friend Maximian with the western half (the two caesars then divide rule into subsections), the introduction of new agricultural legislation and a new tax system. Though his reorganization of Rome ends the chaotic military exchange of rule, his easternization of the Roman Empire redistributes the wealth to the East and refashions Roman government into an imperial bureaucracy.

    284-610 CE: Rome

  • The period from the beginning of Diocletian's rule until 610 is commonly referred to as the age of late antiquity, rather than primarily Roman or Medieval. This period witnesses the rise of CHRISTIANITY and the decline of the Roman Empire.

    285-305 CE: Rome

  • Base of a Column, Forum Romanum, Rome (image).

    300 CE: The Near East

  • Dedicatory Inscription (image).

    300 CE: Rome

  • Imperial Baths, Trier (image).
  • Porta Aurea, North Gate of the Palace of Diocletian, Split (image).
  • Peristyle, Palace of Diocletian, Split (image).
  • House of Cupid and Psyche, Ostia (image).

    300-350 CE: Rome

  • Temple of Romulus, Forum Romanum, Rome (image).
  • Bronze Doors, Temple of Romulus, Forum Romanum, Rome (image).
  • Porta Nigra, Trier (image).

    300-400 CE: India

  • Relief Fragment with Buddha Flanked by Worshipers (image).

    300-400 CE: Rome

  • Spoon (image).
  • House of the Fish, Ostia (image).
  • Grotto of Love, Ostia (image).
  • Ornamentation (image).
  • Sarcophagus (image).

    303 CE: Rome

  • DIOCLETIAN constructs the baths in Rome, the largest yet built, and retires to Yugoslavia in 305 CE. Civil war breaks out and lasts for seven years, until CONSTANTINE gains victory.

    310 CE: Rome

  • Basilica, Trier (image).

    311-383 CE: Egypt

  • The Arian Controversy, a Christian theological dispute over the precise relationship between the members of the Trinity, threatens the unity of the Christian churches in the East.

    312-324 CE: Rome

  • The rule of CONSTANTINE is situated in the West. In the year 324 CE, Constantine abolishes Diocletian's system of divided power and rules over a reunited empire until his death in 337 CE.

    312-327 CE: Rome

  • Basilica of Constantine, Forum Romanum, Rome (image).
  • Northern Aisle, Basilica of Constantine, Forum Romanum, Rome (image).

    313 CE: Rome

  • CONSTANTINE signs the Edict of Milan, establishing a policy of toleration for Christians in the Empire.

    315 CE: Rome

  • Arch of Constantine, Rome (image).
  • Detail, Circular Relief, Arch of Constantine, Rome (image).

    318 CE: Egypt

  • Athanasius: On the Incarnation (text).

    319-324 CE: Egypt

  • Alexander of Alexandria: Epistles on the Arian Heresy and the Deposition of Arius (text).

    325 CE: Rome

  • CONSTANTINE organizes the Council of Nicaea and serves as a presiding officer. The council of 300 bishops meets to resolve controversies over doctrine, which are causing conflicts within the Roman Empire, mainly between the Arians and the Athanasians. The crucial problem is how to interpret the relationship between God the Father and Christ, who had been man.
  • Head of Constantine I (image).

    330 CE: Rome

  • CONSTANTINE erects a new capital, Constantinople, on the border of Europe and Asia, and the rule of the Roman Empire continues its center in the East. He passes his rule on to his three sons after his death. Quarrels break out between the three heirs with only short periods of a united empire, as power fluctuates between them.
  • An eastern monk, St. Basil, organizes eastern monasticism and lays down its foundations which last until today. St. Basil urges monks to spend their time in religious meditation and to submit to poverty and humility, rather than the prior acts of self-torture which emerge from the chaos of the third century. He dies in 379 CE.

    354 CE: Rome

  • ST. AUGUSTINE, bishop of Hippo Regius in North Africa, is one of the most influential of the Christian Church Fathers. He turns to CHRISTIANITY after studying Neoplatonism. His theological and critical writings are extensive; among his best known works are The Confessions and The City of God. He dies in 430 CE.

    361-363 CE: Rome

  • Emperor Flavius Claudius Julianus (Julian), known by Christian tradition as "the Apostate," attempts to suppress the Christian Church and restore the pagan tradition. Julian's work Against the Christians is destroyed shortly following his death; his only surviving works are letters and satirical writings.

    378 CE: Rome

  • The Visigoths, a Germanic tribe, defeat a Roman army at the Battle of Adrianople. Theodosius intervenes and makes allies of the Visigoths. After the death of Theodosius in 395 CE, the Visigoths continue their search for land in the Roman Empire and are joined by a band of Germanic tribes.

    379 CE: Rome

  • Theodosius I is the last emperor to control the united Roman empire. After two civil wars he establishes a dynasty to last until 450 in the Eastern empire and is considered responsible for the fall of the western Roman empire because of his focus on creating a dynasty..

    380 CE: Rome

  • CHRISTIANITY is declared the sole religion of the Roman Empire by Theodosius I. By 400 CE, the Christian clergy establishes a hierarchy including priests, bishops, metropolitans (archbishops situated in larger cities), and patriarchs (bishops whose rule oversees larger and older cities such as Jerusalem, Alexandria, Rome and Constantinople).

    381 CE: Greece

  • The Creed of the First Council of Constantinople (text).

    410 CE: Rome

  • The Visigoths and their German allies sack Rome itself and continue their search for land and provisions through southern Gaul, Spain and Africa. Once in Africa, they overtake control of the Mediterranean.

    445 CE: Rome

  • The Emperor Valentinian III decrees that all Western bishops are to be under the jurisdiction of the pope.

    474 CE: Rome

  • Educated in Constantinople from the time he was seven, Theodoric the Great succeeds his father as king of the Ostrogoths, eastern relatives of the Visogoths.

    476 CE: Rome

  • Odovacar, the leader of the united German tribes, assumes the title of king of Rome. 476 CE is commonly dated as the end of the Western Roman Empire. After 476 CE, there are no Roman Emperors occupying the West at all.

    477 CE: Rome

  • Cassiodorus, inspired by ST. AUGUSTINE, is a Benedictine monk who believes that knowledge of the classics is mandatory for understanding the Bible. He also includes copying manuscripts as "manual labor" suitable for monks. The preservation of all classical Latin texts is due to the persistence of Benedictine monks, under the guide of Cassiodorus who dies in 570 CE.

    480 CE: Rome

  • St. Benedict founds a monastery in the West and promotes monastic obligations similar to those of St. Basil in the east. The Benedictine monks help shape Western religious civilization through their missionary work in places such as England and Germany. St. Benedict also promotes manual labor to protect the self from idleness, "the enemy of the soul." He dies in 547 CE.

    493 CE: Rome

  • Theodoric the Great assumes control over Italy. An admirer of Roman civilization, he attempts the preservation of culture and system of government.

    500 CE: Greece

  • Barberini Ivory (image).

    500 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Clovis, founder of the Frankish state, conquers most of France and Belgium, converting his territories to Western Catholic Christianity. He founds the Merovingian dynasty and passes his kingdom on to his sons, who begin fighting one another for additional territory.

    500-550 CE: Greece

  • The Archangel Michael (image).

    500-600 CE: India

  • Aihole - Shiva (image).
  • Aihole - Pilastre (image).

    500-600 CE: China

  • Tête de Bodhisattva (image).

    500-700 CE: The Near East

  • Bowl (image).

    500-700 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The Attarouthi Treasure (image).

    524 CE: Rome

  • Born in 480 CE, Boethius, Roman statesman and author of treatises on music, mathematics and philosophy, is charged with treason and tortured to death under the reign of Theodoric. His most famous treatise, The Consolation of Philosophy, is written while in prison. He is the last philosopher and Latin prose writer of the West for many centuries.

    527 CE: Rome

  • Justinian, Roman Emperor in the East, assumes the throne and is responsible for the revision and codification of Roman Law. His Corpus Juris Civilis is studied and instituted as the basis of all European law in the Middle Ages, with the exception of England. Justinian builds the church of St. Sophia in Constantinople. His ecclesiastical policy includes the closing of Greek schools of philosophy, including Plato's Academy. His presence in canto 6 of Dante's Paradiso is an examination of the progress of Roman history.

    530-560 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Benedict of Nursia: The Rule of St. Benedict (text).

    532-537 CE: Greece

  • Anthemios and Isidorus, Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (image).
  • Exterior, Apse, Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (image).
  • Interior, Main Dome, Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (image).
  • Nave from the West, Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (image).
  • Interior, North Side, Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (image).
  • Detail, North Side, Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (image).
  • Detail, Capital and Arcade, Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (image).
  • Interior, South East Exedra, Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (image).
  • Detail, Marble Faced Wall, Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (image).
  • Interior, South Aisle, Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (image).
  • Detail, Ceiling Mosaic, Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (image).
  • South Gallery and Central Loggia, Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (image).
  • Detail, Capital from the South Gallery, Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (image).
  • North Gallery, Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (image).
  • Detail, Capital from the North Gallery, Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (image).
  • Loggia of the Empress, Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (image).
  • Detail, Double Capital and Columns from the Gallery of the Empress, Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (image).
  • Main Entrance Doors, Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (image).
  • Window in the Apse, Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (image).

    532-548 CE: Greece

  • S. Vitale, Ravenna (image).
  • Interior, S. Vitale, Ravenna (image).
  • S. Vitale, Ravenna (image).
  • Detail, Apse, S. Vitale, Ravenna (image).
  • Presbyterium Wall, S. Vitale, Ravenna (image).
  • Triforium in the Presbyterium, S. Vitale, Ravenna (image).
  • Detail, Presbytery Arch, S. Vitale, Ravenna (image).
  • Detail, Cushion Capital, S. Vitale, Ravenna (image).
  • Detail, Apse, S. Vitale, Ravenna (image).
  • Mosaic on the Chancel Vault, S. Vitale, Ravenna (image).
  • Detail, Apse Mosaic, Emperor Justinian and His Court, S. Vitale, Ravenna (image).
  • Detail, Apse Mosaic, Empress Theodora and Her Court, S. Vitale, Ravenna (image).
  • Detail, Apse Mosaic, Portrait of the Emperor Justinian, S. Vitale, Ravenna (image).
  • Detail, Apse Mosaic, Portrait of the Empress Theodora, S. Vitale, Ravenna (image).
  • Detail, Mosaic in the Vault, S. Vitale, Ravenna (image).
  • Detail, Apse Mosaic, S. Vitale, Ravenna (image).
  • Table, Mosaic Detail, Angels in the Left Lunette of the Presbytery, S. Vitale, Ravenna (image).

    532-549 CE: Greece

  • S. Apollinare, Classe (image).
  • Interior, S. Apollinare, Classe (image).
  • Interior, Presbytery, S. Apollinare, Classe (image).
  • Interior, Apse Mosaic, St. Apollinare in Prayer, S. Apollinare, Classe (image).
  • Detail, Apse Mosaic, S. Apollinare, Classe (image).
  • Detail, Archangel, S. Apollinare, Classe (image).
  • Table and Couch, Mosaic, The Last Supper, S. Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna (image).

    533 CE: Rome

  • Justinian conquers the Vandal kingdom in northwest Africa to begin the restoration of the Western Roman Empire. By 536 the conquest is welcomed by the Catholic subjects of the Ostrogoths, but the Ostrogoths resist the Roman invasion and begin a war which lasts until 563.

    547 CE: Greece

  • Chair of Maximian (image).
  • Carved Panel, Chair of Maximian 1 (image).
  • Carved Panel, Chair of Maximian 2 (image).

    565 CE: Rome

  • Roman Emperor Justinian dies, having reconquered as Roman territory all of Italy, northwest Africa, coastal Spain and the Mediterranean.

    568 CE: Rome

  • Though not strong enough to conquer the whole Italian peninsula, the Lombards, a Germanic tribe, invade Italy and assume control over a large part of the territory. Italy is fragmented into three regions of rule claimed by the Lombards, the Eastern Roman Empire and the Papal States.

    570 CE: Greece

  • Cross of Justinian (image).

    570 CE: Early Islam

  • Born in Mecca, Muhammad is the founder of Islam, which has profound influence on Africa, India, western Asia and Europe. He is considered by Muslims to be God's last and greatest prophet. The Koran (Qur'an), 114 chapters of Muhammad's divinely inspired revelations, is the Islamic scripture, which resembles Judaism and Christianity -- two religions that largely influence Muhammad. These three religions are the world's only monotheistic faiths.

    583 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Medallion of the Emperor Maurice Tiberius from a Girdle of Medallions and Coins (image).

    590 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Pope Gregory, originally a Benedictine, creates a religious policy for western Europe by fusing the Roman papacy with Benedictine monasticism. He creates the Latin church, which serves to counteract the subordination of the Roman popes to Eastern emperors. As the fourth great "church father," St. Gregory the Great draws his theology from Ambrose of Milan, Jerome and AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO. His concepts of purgatory and penance widen the gulf between the Eastern and Western Churches. He reigns until his death in 604 CE.

    600 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The early Middle Ages begin in 600 CE and last until 1050 CE.

    600-700 CE: China

  • Bouddha (image).

    600-800 CE: Greece

  • Fabric Fragment 1 (image).

    600-900 CE: India

  • Hirapur - Temple des Mères 1 (image).
  • Hirapur - Temple des Mères 2 (image).
  • Hirapur - Temple des Mères 3 (image).
  • Hirapur - Temple des Mères 4 (image).
  • Hirapur - Temple des Mères 5 (image).
  • Hirapur - Temple des Mères 6 (image).

    600-1000 CE: China

  • Falaise des mille Bouddhas 1 (image).
  • Falaise des mille Bouddhas 2 (image).
  • Falaise des mille Bouddhas 3 (image).

    610 CE: Early Islam

  • Originally adhering to a polytheistic notion of the divine, Muhammad has a religious experience that changes not only his life, but the history of a large part of the world. He hears a divine voice, later believed to be the angel Gabriel of the Christian religion, tell him that Allah is the only god. He receives further instructions to adopt the name of "Prophet" and convert the Quaraish to accept the monotheism.

    610 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Heraclius becomes Emperor in Constantinople as the Persian Empire is attempting the takeover of Byzantine civilization. For the sake of convenience, the rule of Heraclius generally marks the beginning of Byzantine history, though it can be argued that Byzantine civilization begins with Diocletian, Constantine or Justinian.

    610-632 CE: Early Islam

  • The Koran (text).

    622 CE: Early Islam

  • The Quaraishs resist the new religion. Muhammad and his small band of followers migrate to the town of Yathrib in the north, which is open to his new faith. The Hijrah of 622, the migration, marks the beginning of the Muslim era. After making himself ruler, Muhammad changes the name of the town to Medina ("city of the Prophet"), and Medina becomes the seat of the caliphate.

    627 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Persia is conquered by Byzantine forces. The Jerusalem cross is retrieved from the Persians, who stole the relic in 614 CE. Heraclius reigns until his death in 641 CE.

    628-630 CE: Medieval Europe

  • David and Goliath from the David Plates of the Second Cyprus Treasure (image).

    630 CE: Early Islam

  • Muhammad and his followers overtake Mecca. With the Quaraish in submission, the Kabah, the central place of worship for Arabian tribes, becomes the main shrine of Islam.

    632 CE: Early Islam

  • With the death of Muhammad, his father-in-law, Abu-Bakr, and Umar devise a system in which Islam can sustain religious and political stability. Accepting the name of caliph ("deputy of the Prophet"), Abu-Bakr begins a military exhibition to enforce the caliph's authority over Arabian followers of Muhammad. He thereafter moves northward overtaking Byzantine and Persian forces. Abu-Bakr dies two years following his succession of Muhammad. Umar succeeds him as the second caliph and begins a campaign against the neighboring empires.

    637 CE: Early Islam

  • The Arabs occupy the Persian capital of Ctesiphon. By 651, the entire Persian realm is under the rule of Islam as it continues its westward expansion.

    638 CE: Early Islam

  • The Romans are defeated at the Battle of Yarmouk and the Muslims enter Palestine. Before entering Jerusalem, Caliph Umar forms a covenant with the Jews, pledging protection of their religious freedom. The Muslims continue their conquest of Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, which is completed in 641 CE.

    641 CE: Early Islam

  • Islam spreads into Egypt. The Catholic Archbishop invites the Muslims to help free Egypt from Roman oppressors. This exemplifies the alliances formed between Muslims, Christians and Jews due to the Muslims' establishment of religious freedom for Christians and Jews. Muslim conquest is based on liberation, rather than subjugation, of conquered peoples. Egypt, Persia and the Fertile Crescent are ruled by the four "Righteous Caliphs" until 662 CE.

    644 CE: Early Islam

  • Umar dies and is succeeded by Caliph Uthman, a member of the Umayyad family which rejected Muhammad's prophesies. Rallies arise to establish Ali, Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, as caliph.

    650 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Arab forces conquer most of the Byzantine territories, formerly occupied by the Persians.

    654 CE: Early Islam

  • Islam spreads into all of North Africa.

    656 CE: Early Islam

  • Caliph Uthman is murdered, and Ali becomes the new caliph.

    661 CE: Early Islam

  • Not satisfied with Ali, Uthman's followers murder Ali. One of Uthman's relations takes the title of caliph, and Damascus replaces Medina for the seat of the caliphate. The Umayyad family rules Islam until 750. Ali's followers form a religious party called Shiites and insist that only descendants of Ali deserve the title of caliph or deserve any authority over Muslims. The opposing party, the Sunnites, insist on the customs of the historical evolution of the caliphate rather than a hereditary descent of spiritual authority.

    662 CE: Early Islam

  • Egypt falls under the control of the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates until 868 CE. A year prior, the Fertile Crescent and Persia yield to the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates, whose reigns last until 1258 CE and 820 CE, respectively.

    669 CE: Early Islam

  • The Muslim conquest reaches to Morocco in North Africa. The region is open to the rule of the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates until 800 CE.

    677 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The Arabs attempt to conquer Constantinople but fail.

    687 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Pepin of Heristal, a Merovingian ruler, unites the Frankish territories and builds the center of his kingdom in Belgium and other Rhine regions. He is succeeded by his son, Charles Martel, who forms an alliance with the Church which helps the Merovingian Dynasty (and Christianity) to expand into Germany. Pepin the Short succeeds his father, Charles Martel, and strengthens the alliance between Benedictine missionaries and Frankish expansion.

    689-716 CE: Greece

  • Bench, Footstool, Table and Cupboard, Miniature, from the Codex Amiatinus (image).

    700 CE: Early Islam

  • The beginning of the eighth century sees the rise of Islamic mysticism. Known as Sufism, this tradition is marked by the individual's effort to establish an intimate relationship with Allah. One of the most critical passages of the Koran for Sufis is verse 7:172 which describes the covenant between God and the individual's soul before the creation of the universe. Renunciation is more than a rejection of the material realm; its objective is a level of freedom that promotes harmony with one's physical life, resulting in mystical union.

    700 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Benedictine missionaries complete the conversion of England begun by St. Gregory the Great.

    700-800 CE: India

  • Pattadakal - Temple Virupaksa (image).
  • Pattadakal - Mithuna 1 (image).
  • Pattadakal - Mithuna 2 (image).
  • Aihole - Temple (image).

    700-800 CE: China

  • Dame de cour (image).
  • Tête de cheval Sanca (image).

    700-800 CE: Greece

  • Fabric Fragment 2 (image).

    710 CE: Early Islam

  • Tariq ibn Malik crosses the straight separating Africa and Europe with a group of Muslims and enters Spain. A year later, 7000 Muslim men invade Gibraltar. Almost the entire Iberian peninsula is under Islamic control by 718 CE.

    711 CE: Early Islam

  • With the further conquest of Egypt, Spain and North Africa, Islam includes all of the Persian empire and most of the old Roman world under Islamic rule.
  • Muslims begin the conquest of Sindh in Afghanistan. Until 962 CE, Afghanistan witnesses different regional rules, periodically controlled by the Umayyad and the Abbasid caliphates and other locally-based rulers.

    717 CE: Early Islam

  • The Umayyads attempt to conquer the Byzantine capital and fail, resulting in the weakening of the Umayyad government.

    717 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The Arabs attempt to conquer Constantinople for the second time. Byzantine Emperor Leo the Isaurian, who reigns until 741 CE, counters the Arab attempt with "Greek Fire" (a liquid mixture of sulfur, naphtha and quicklime which is released from bronze tubes, situated on ships and on the walls of Constantinople) and great military strength. Leo defeats the Arab forces and reconquers most of Asia Minor. The territory of Asia Minor, together with Greece, becomes the seat of Byzantine civilization for several centuries.

    732 CE: Early Islam

  • At the Battle of Poitiers, Islamic expansion is halted in France but continues into parts of Asia and Africa.

    735 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Venerable Bede, an Anglo-Saxon Benedictine scholar, writes the History of the English Church and People in Latin, perhaps the best historical writing of medieval history.

    740 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The Iconoclastic movement is initiated by Byzantine Emperor Leo the Isaurian, but the movement flourishes under the reign of his son Constantine V who rules until 775 CE. The Iconoclasts advocate doing away with paganistic icon worship (images of Christ or saints). For them, Christ cannot be manifested or conceived of through human art. The Iconoclast controversy ends in the ninth century when a new Byzantine spirituality recognizes that the contemplation of icons may help someone assend from the material to the immaterial.

    750 CE: Early Islam

  • The Abbasids overtake the rule of the Islamic world (except for Spain which falls under the rule of a descendant of the Umayyad family) and move the capital to Baghdad in Iraq. Their orientation resembles Persian absolutism. The Arabian Nights, a compilation of stories written under the reign of the Abbasids, is representative of the lifestyle and administration of this Persian influenced government. Abd al-Rahman of the Umayyad dynasty flees to Spain to escape the Abbasids and is responsible for the "Golden Caliphate" in Spain, the greatest Islamic civilization yet known.

    750 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The first great English epic poem, Beowulf, is written in Old English. The work is anonymous and untitled until 1805. It is a Christian poem that exemplifies early medieval society in England and shows roots in Old Testament Law.
  • Irish monks establish early-medieval art. The greatest surviving product of these monks is the Book of Kells, a Gospel book of decorative art.

    751 CE: Medieval Europe

  • St. Boniface anoints Pepin a divinely sanctioned king, and the Frankish monarchy is fused into the papal order. The western European empire, based on the alliance between the Frankish monarchy and the Latin Church, provides the image of Western cultural unity for Europeans, though it does not last long.

    768 CE: Early Islam

  • Formerly passed down as an oral record, the history of Muhammad is first recorded by the historian Ishaq ibn Yasar.

    768 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Pepin's son, Carolus Magnus (Charlemagne), succeeds his father and is one of the most important rulers of medieval history. In time, his empire, known as the Carolingian dynasty, includes the greater section of central Europe, northern Italy and central Italy in addition to realms already conquered by Frankish rule. Charlemagne's system of government divides the vast realm into different regions, ruled by local "counts" who are overseen by representatives of Charlemagne's own court. In addition, to aid expansion and administration of the kingdom, Charlemagne promotes, what is called later, the "Carolingian Renaissance." Prior to this revival of learning, practically the entire realm (with the exception of Benedictine England) is illiterate due to the decay of the Roman Empire. The director of the "renaissance" is Anglo-Saxon Benedictine Alcuin, who receives his learning from a student of Bede. Alcuin sets up schools, sees to the copying of classical Latin texts and develops a new handwriting.

    786 CE: Early Islam

  • Caliph Harun al-Rashid, a major figure in the Arabian Nights, rules until 809 CE.

    789 CE: Early Islam

  • With the Idrisid dynasty of Morocco, which lasts until 985 CE, local rulers begin to control North Africa.

    800 CE: Early Islam

  • North Africa falls under the rule of the Aghlabi dynasty of Tunis, which lasts until 909 CE.

    800 CE: Medieval Europe

  • On Christmas Day, Charlemagne is crowned emperor by the pope in Rome. This event indicates an autonomous Western culture based on Western Christianity and Latin linguistics. Charlemagne establishes schools in all bishoprics and monasteries under his control.

    800-900 CE: Greece

  • The Prayer of Isaiah, Paris Psalter (image).
  • Bed, Miniature, Constantine I (image).

    800-1000 CE: Greece

  • Pectoral Reliquary Cross (image).

    814 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Charlemagne dies without leaving competent successors to continue the glory of the Carolingian dynasty. His sole surviving son, Louis the Pious, divides his inheritance between his own three sons, who engage in civil war. Charlemagne's united realm is invaded by Scandinavian Vikings, Hungarians and Muslims during these civil wars. The Carolingian Empire falls apart.

    819 CE: Early Islam

  • Persian unity begins to disintegrate with the Samanid rulers in Northern Persia, whose rule in this region lasts until 1055 CE. One year later, the Tharid dynasty begins to control Khorastan (lasting until 874 CE), and in 864 CE, the Alid dynasty begins rule over Tabaristan (lasting until 1032 CE).

    827 CE: Early Islam

  • Aghlabi rulers of Tunis begin conquests of Sicily which last until 878 CE.

    857 CE: Early Islam

  • Sufi Al-Muhasibi introduces the study of conscience into Sufism.

    865 CE: Early Islam

  • Rhazes discovers the difference between measles and smallpox. He is considered the greatest physician of medieval times. Rhazes dies in 925 CE.

    868 CE: Early Islam

  • The Sattarid dynasty, whose rule continues until 930 CE, extends control throughout most of Persia. In Egypt, the Abbasid and Umayyad caliphates are ended and rule turns to Egyptian-based control with the beginning of the Tulunid dynasty (lasting until 904 CE).

    871 CE: Medieval Europe

  • King Alfred the Great of England constructs a system of government and education which allows for the unification of smaller Anglo-Saxon states in the ninth and tenth centuries. Alfred is responsible for the codification of English law, public interest in local government and the reorganization of the army. He founds schools and promotes Anglo-Saxon literacy and the establishment of a national culture. Alfred dies in 899 CE. His innovations are continued by his successors.

    877 CE: Early Islam

  • Syria and different sects of Lebanon are ruled periodically by the Tulunid, the Ikhidid, the Fatimid and the Ayyubid dynasties of Egypt until 1250 CE.

    879 CE: Early Islam

  • The Seljuk Empire unites Mesopotamia and a large portion of Persia.

    880 CE: Greece

  • Throne and Footrest, Miniature, from The Homilies of Gregory of Nazianzus (image).

    888 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Asser: The Life of Kind Alfred (text).

    890 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (text).

    900 CE: Early Islam

  • The Fatimids of Egypt overtake north Africa and include the territory as an extension of Egypt until 972 CE.

    900-1000 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Three Panels from a Casket depicting the Story of Joshua (image).

    900-1100 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Panels from Adam and Eve Caskets (image).

    900-1200 CE: China

  • Vase (image).

    900-1300 CE: China

  • Palais des mille Bouddhas (image).

    909 CE: Early Islam

  • Sicily falls under the control of the Fatimids' united rule of North Africa and Egypt until 1071 CE. From 878 until 909 CE, the rule of Sicily is uncertain.

    910 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The Benedictine monastery of Cluny in Burgundy becomes a place of monastic reform. The two major innovations here are the direct subjection of monasteries to the pope -- avoiding secular, local and ecclesiastical powers -- and the building of "daughter monasteries" subordinate to the Cluniac "family," which grows to sixty-seven monasteries by 1049 CE.

    925-975 CE: Greece

  • Chair and Table, Miniature, St. Luke the Evangelist, From the Greek New Testament (image).

    935 CE: Early Islam

  • Until 969 CE, the rule of Egypt is under the Ikhidid dynasty.

    936 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Otto the Great is crowned king in Germany and is responsible for Germany's strength through the latter part of the eleventh century. Otto establishes a pattern of resistance to political fragmentation and a close alliance with the Church.

    945 CE: Early Islam

  • A Shiite band invades Baghdad, and the Abbasid Empire becomes a powerless symbol of unity and legitimate government to the Muslim community. Until the sixteenth century, rule of Islamic civilization is decentralized and different sects are ruled by different rulers.

    950 CE: Early Islam

  • Al-Farabi, the greatest of the faylasufs (Arabic for philosopher), lives most of his life in Baghdad and teaches that the enlightened individual could perfect his life through philosophy without being corrupted by the common beliefs of the public.

    950-1000 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Icon with Saint Demetrios (image).
  • Codex Junius 11 (text).

    955 CE: Medieval Europe

  • John XII becomes pope at the age of eighteen and rules for nine years. His title as pope exemplifies the decline in value of the Church in the early-medieval period. Local lords establish control over churches and monasteries, and Church officials are often unqualified. The majority of priests are illiterate and live with concubines. The majority of popes, mostly sons of powerful Roman families, are corrupt or incompetent.

    962 CE: Early Islam

  • Afghanistan is stabilized by the rule of the Ghaznavid dynasty which lasts until 1186 CE.

    962 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Otto the Great is named emperor in Rome after defeating the Hungarians. This provides Germany with the power to resist invasion. Following Otto are several competent and enthusiastic successors, who continue to shape a stable German government.

    969 CE: Early Islam

  • The Fatimid dynasty assumes the title of caliphate in Egypt until 1171 CE.

    972 CE: Early Islam

  • North Africa is under the control of the Zayri rulers in Tunis. Their control lasts until 1148 CE, much longer than the Aghlabi rulers were able to sustain control.

    987 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Hugh Capet replaces the last of the Carolingian monarchs in France. The Capetian dynasty rules until 1328. The Capetian dynasty is too weak in the beginning to have any influence on the unification of France.

    997 CE: Early Islam

  • Mahmud, ruler of a Turkish dynasty in Gujarat, conducts seventeen raids into northwestern India before his death in 1030. He is named the "Sword of Islam."

    1000 CE: Greece

  • Textile Fragment (image).

    1000-1050 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Processional Cross (image).

    1000-1100 CE: Greece

  • The Archangel Michael, Gold and Enamel Book-Cover (image).

    1000-1100 CE: Early Islam

  • Bracelet (image).
  • Cloisonné Pendant (image).

    1000-1100 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Casket with Warriors and Dancers (image).
  • Cloisonné Pendant (image).

    1000-1200 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Carved Capital with Christ and Eight Other Figures (image).

    1025 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The Byzantine aristocracy gains control over the government and begins to limit the freedom of the peasantry, thereby beginning the destruction of the economic base of Byzantine civilization.

    1037 CE: Early Islam

  • Avicenna, a faylasufs in the east, teaches a rationalistic philosophy which borders Sufi mysticism. Also a physician, Avicenna discovers that disease can be spread through the contamination of water and that tuberculosis is contagious. Among his medical writings, the Canon is accepted as authoritative until the late seventeenth century.
  • A region of Persia, Azerbajjan, falls under the rule of the Sajid dynasty. Azerbajjan is periodically ruled by different rulers from the end of the Seljuk Empire until 1502.

    1046 CE: Medieval Europe

  • German Emperor Henry III arrives in Italy and names a German monastic reformer as pope. The series of reforming popes that follow enacts decrees against simony and clerical marriage.

    1049 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The Cluniac monastic reform sparks interest in the reform of the clerical hierarchy.

    1050 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The period from 1050 to 1300 is generally considered the High Middle Ages. Western Europe rises as a great power with only China equaling it in political, economic and cultural flourishing. It also witnesses profound religious and intellectual change, including the organization of the papal monarchy.

    1050-1150 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Temple Pendant and Stick (image).
  • Saint George from a Set of Medallions from an Icon Frame (image).

    1050-1200 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The first agricultural revolution of Medieval Europe begins in 1050 CE with a shift to the northern lands for cultivation, a period of improved climate from 700 CE to 1200 CE in western Europe, and the widespread use and perfection of new farming devices, some previously discovered by the Carolingians and the Romans. Technological innovations include the use of the heavy plow, the three-field system of crop rotation, the use of mills for processing cloth, brewing beer, crushing pulp for paper manufacture and many other advantages that before were not available, and the widespread use of iron and horses. With an increase in agricultural advancements, Western towns and trade grow exponentially and Western Europe returns to a money economy.
  • Double-Faced Enkolpion (image).

    1056 CE: Early Islam

  • The Al-Moravi rulers of Morocco begin control over North Africa (lasting until 1147 CE).

    1059 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The reforming popes, following from the acts of Henry III, issue a decree on papal elections which gives the cardinals sole right of appointing new popes. This decree allows papal elections to escape the whims of political leaders.

    1066 CE: Medieval Europe

  • William the Conqueror invades England and asserts his right to the English throne at the Battle of Hastings. The Norman Conquest fuses French and English cultures because William is both the King of England and the Duke of Normandy. The language of England evolves into Middle English with an English syntax and grammar and a heavily French vocabulary. French art and literature prevail over previous English art and literature, and the French language eventually becomes the language of the political realm. William achieves political stability in England with the introduction of the feudal system. The system progresses over the next two centuries into a national monarchy.

    1071 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The Seljuk Turks of Islam defeat the Byzantines at Manzikert in Asia Minor and reconquer most of the eastern Byzantine provinces.

    1073 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Gregory VII initiates a new conception of Church. According to Gregory, the Church is obligated to create "right order in the world," rather than withdraw from it. Gregory seeks to create a papal monarchy with power over the secular state and to establish ecclesiastical authority. Henry IV, the German king, resists this authority thereby inaugurating the "investiture controversy." Gregory excommunicates Henry IV in 1077 CE. The Gregorian reform encourages the practice of Christian warfare in the pursuit of providing "right order in the world" and establishes religious enthusiasm in all of Christendom.

    1077 CE: Early Islam

  • The Seljuk, a Turkish dynasty, disrupts political and social structures formed by the Abbasids. The Seljuks extend their control over most of the Arab and Persian regions.

    1079 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Scholasticism emerges as an attempt to reconcile classical philosophy (primarily Aristotelean) with Christianity. Peter Abelard contributes to this movement with his great theological work, Sic et Non. He dies in 1142.

    1095 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The First Crusade is initiated when Byzantine Emperor Alexius Comnenus requests help in reconquering the lost territory of Asia Minor. Western Europe sends enormous support to rescue Jerusalem from the control of Islam. Pope Urban II calls the crusade to strengthen the Gregorian papacy by bringing the Greek Orthodox Church under papal authority and by humiliating the German emperor Henry IV who had forced Urban to flee Italy.

    1098 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The crusaders of the First Crusade capture Antioch and most of Syria, killing the Turkish inhabitants. The oldest epic poem in French, The Song of Roland, is written by an unknown author. The poem is set in northern Spain during the reign of Charlemagne and is based on the Roncesvalles massacre of Charlemagne's rearguard. It serves to establish the differing characteristics between Christianity and paganism. The death scene of Roland, devoted patriot of Charlemagne, is commonly considered one of the greatest scenes in all of world literature.

    1099 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The crusaders of the First Crusade capture Jerusalem, killing its Muslim inhabitants. The Crusaders divide their new territories into four principalities.

    1100 CE: Early Islam

  • Islamic rule is weakened due to power struggles among Islamic leaders and the Christian crusades.
  • Afghanistan falls under the control of Ghorid rulers until 1215 CE.

    1100 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Henry I, the son of Willaim the Conqueror, institutes a system of representatives dedicated to travelling the country and administering justice. He dies in 1135 CE. Around the same time, a new asceticism is sought for monks who wish to engage in contemplation and self-examination. Two new orders are created: the Carthusian and the Cistercian. St. Bernard of Clairvaux, leader of the Cistercians, establishes 343 monasteries by the time of his death. Accompanying the fervent worship of Christ Jesus during this period is the pronouncement of the Virgin Mary as a saint. This is the first time a woman is given central significance in the Christian religion.

    1100-1200 CE: China

  • Temple de Confucius 1 (image).
  • Temple de Confucius 2 (image).

    1100-1200 CE: Greece

  • Ascencion, From the manuscript Sermons on the Virgin by Jacobus of Kokkinobaphos (image).

    1100-1200 CE: Early Islam

  • Openwork Lampstand (image).
  • Openwork Lamp or Incense Burner (image).
  • Ring (image).

    1108 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Louis VI, the first important Capetian king of France, banishes the "robber barons" from the Ile-de-France, which allows agriculture, trade and intellectual activity to flourish.

    1122 CE: Medieval Europe

  • A compromise is drawn between pope and emperor over the issue of investiture. At the Concordat of Worms (a German city), religious symbols, originally invested for prelates, are replaced with symbols of temporal rule. Prelates accept the emperor as their temporal overlord and are invested with the symbol that recognizes their right to rule. Following the issue of investiture, the successors of Gregory VII develop the canon law of the Church which provides the papacy with jurisdiction over the clergy, the rights of inheritance and the rights of widows and orphans. Because the papacy begins acting as a court of appeals, it is necessary that popes are trained as legal experts, rather than as monks.

    1123 CE: Early Islam

  • The greatest of the Islamic poets is a Persian named Umar Khayyam. His poem The Rubaiyat is most popular in the West due to its use by Victorian Edward Fitzgerald.

    1125 CE: Medieval Europe

  • German princes abolish the hereditary claim to the throne and establish the right to elect new rulers.

    1126 CE: Early Islam

  • In Spain, the Aristotelian Averroes of Cordova is the last important Islamic philosopher. He supports the official faith in public and is an extreme rationalist outside of the public realm. He dies in 1198 CE.

    1130 CE: Early Islam

  • Until 1269, the Al-Mohad dynasty rules North Africa.

    1144 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The Romanesque abbey church of St. Denis, a burial shrine for French saints and kings, is torn down and replaced with Gothic architecture. Gothic architecture is highlighted by pointed arches, rather than Roman arches, ribbed vaulting, flying buttresses and intricately wrought stained-glass depictions of stories from the Bible and everyday life.

    1150-1200 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Chretien DeTroyes: Cliges (text).
  • Chretien DeTroyes: Erec et Enide (text).
  • Chretien DeTroyes: Lancelot or The Knight of the Cart (text).
  • Chretien DeTroyes: Yvain or The Knight with the Lion (text).

    1150-1250 CE: Early Islam

  • Mina'i Bowl (image).
  • Base of Lampstand (image).
  • Double-Walled Ewer in the Form of a Rooster (image).

    1152 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Frederick I of Germany entitles his realm the "Holy Roman Empire," in an attempt to bring prestige back to the German throne.

    1155 CE: Medieval Europe

  • A student of Peter Abelard, Peter Lombard, writes the Book of Sentences which answers fundamental questions of theology with passages from the Bible and various Christian thinkers. His book becomes a standard text in all universities by the thirteenth century.

    1164 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Henry II constructs the Constitutions of Clarendon in an attempt to regain power for the civil courts, which have been loosing authority to ecclesiastical ones. The archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, strongly resists the decision of Henry and a quarrel breaks out. Becket is murdered in Canterbury Cathedral. He is quickly made a martyr by the English public and is revered as the greatest saint of English history. The political result is the abandonment of Henry's court program. Aside from this event, Henry II is considered one of England's greatest kings due to his judicial reforms and legal innovations. His reforms establish a stable government which requires little, if any, attention of the king.

    1165 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Frenchman Chretien de Troyes is the first writer to condense the legendary Arthurian history, based on the Celtic hero King Arthur and his knights of chivalry, into what is known as the Arthurian Romances. Chretien is the first writer to put forth the idea of romantic love within marriage. The innovation of longer narrative poems is the earliest ancestor to the modern novel. The idea of chivalry, the literal meaning being "horsemanship," emerges about the time of the romances. Chivalry includes the defense of honor, combat in tournaments, and the virtues of generosity and reverence. The noble code of chivalry is accompanied with the improvement of noble life and the status of noblewomen.

    1168 CE: Early Islam

  • The Ayyubid dynasty rules Egypt until 1250 CE.

    1168 CE: Medieval Europe

  • English scientist Robert Grosseteste translates Aristotle's Ethics and makes technological advances in optics, mathematics and astronomy. He dies in 1253 CE.

    1170 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The first European windmill is developed.

    1176 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The German troops of Frederick I are defeated by the Italian Lombard League at Legnano.

    1180 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Philip Augustus, Louis VI's grandson, assumes the title of monarch in France. He recaptures most of the western French territory, previously taken by William the Conqueror, from the English king, John. Philip installs royal officials in the conquered regions in order to win allegience to the king. Philip is one of the strongest founders of the modern French state.

    1187 CE: Early Islam

  • Muslim general Salah al-Kin al-Ayyubi, in Egypt, ends the Christian crusades.

    1187 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Muslims recapture Jerusalem, and the Third Crusade is ordered. It is led by German Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, French King Philip Augustus and English King Richard the Lionhearted. It is not successful.

    1189 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Richard the Lionhearted, son of Henry II, assumes the English crown. He rules for ten years and is only present in the country a total of six months. His rule exemplifes the strength of the governmental foundations set up by Henry II. During Richard's absence, ministers take care of administration and help to raise taxes for the support of the crusades.

    1198 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Innocent III, the founder of the Papal State, is thirty-seven when he is elected pope. He is trained in canon law and theology. His primary concern of administration is the unification of all Christendom under the papal monarchy, including the right to interfere with the rule of kings. He is the organizer of the Fourth Crusade, ordered to recapture Jerusalem from Islam.

    1200 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The growth of lay education and the intellectual renaissance begin. Students start entering schools with no intention of becoming priests, and education is offered in European languages other than Latin. The rise in lay education causes a loss in Church control over education, the growth of literacy in the West and the transformation of cathedral schools into advanced liberal arts universities. Bologna and Paris are the distinguishing schools of the High Middle Ages.

    1200-1250 CE: Early Islam

  • Figure of a Court Official (image).

    1200-1400 CE: Early Islam

  • Pitcher (image).

    1204 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The crusaders of the Fourth Crusade capture Constantinople. The sack of Constantinople causes a firm Byzantine hatred of the West.
  • King John of England loses Normandy and the surrounding area to the French king, Philip Augustus.

    1206 CE: Medieval Europe

  • St. Francis of Assisi, at the age of twently-five begins his twenty year allegiance to Christ Jesus until his death in 1226 CE. He is the founder of the Franciscan order which seeks to imitate the life of Jesus by embracing poverty. St. Francis wins the support of Pope Innocent III.

    1208 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Innocent III calls for the Albigensian Crusade in order to destroy the heretical threat of the Albigensians.

    1212 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Spain reconquers the Iberian peninsula from the Muslims in the name of Christianity.

    1214 CE: Medieval Europe

  • A student of Grosseteste, Roger Bacon predicts the technological advancement of automobiles and airplanes and extends Grosseteste's observations in optics. Both thinkers advocate concrete sensory observation for the advancement of scientific thought, rather than abstract reasoning.

    1215 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Innocent III organizes the Fourth Lateran Council in Rome in order to discuss and define central dogmas of Christianity. It recognizes the necessity of the Eucharist and penance as sacraments for salvation. The Council exemplifies the power of the papacy over kings and Church. The Council also calls for the Fifth Crusade to be warred under papal guidance by sea. It is a failure. English barons write "The Magna Carta" (Great Charter) in order to cease John's demands of money from the English without the consent of the barons and to require that all men be judged by a jury of peers in public courts, rather than privately by the crown. The Magna Carta serves as a symbol of a limited government and a crown that is bound by the same laws as the public.

    1216 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The Dominican order is founded by St. Dominic of Spain and is authorized by Innocent III. Its purpose is to convert Muslims and Jews and to put an end to heresy. The Dominicans eventually become the main administrators of inquisitorial trials.

    1223 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Louis VIII, Philip Augustus' son, rules for three years and conquers most of southern France.

    1225 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Thomas Aquinas, the most influential Scholastic theologian, is teaching at the University of Paris. Aquinas believes in the contemplation of God through the natural order, though ultimate truths are revealed only by studying the revelations of the Bible. His two greatest works are the Summa contra Gentiles and the Summa Theologica, both of which attempt to found the Christian faith on rational principles. His philosophy emphasizes human reasoning, life in the material order and the individual's participation in personal salvation.

    1226 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Louis IX (St. Louis), son of Louis VIII, is one of the most loved monarchs of French history. He is canonized by the Church for his piety and reigns over a period of internal peace in France.

    1228 CE: Early Islam

  • The Haisi rulers of Tunis in North Africa assume control.

    1228 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Frederick II, leader of the Sixth Crusade, begins a diplomatic negotiation with Islam for control of Jerusalem. It is a success. However, because Frederick was excommunicated by the pope, he crowns himself king of Jerusalem.

    1230 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Berlinghiero: Madonna and Child (image).

    1237 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The Mongols, under the leadership of Batu, cross the Urals from Asia into Russia. Prior to the thirteenth century, Russia is ruled by westerners who found the Kievan state. During the thirteenth century Russia retreats from the West, partly due to the distance between Moscow and the rest of Europe.

    1240 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Mongols enter the state of Kiev and create a new state on the Volga River, from where they rule Russia for two centuries. Over these two centuries, the Grand Duchy of Moscow emerges and eventually defeats the Mongol Khans.

    1242 CE: Medieval Europe

  • St. Bonaventura enters the Franciscan order. He becomes the seventh general of that order within fifteen years. He is a professor of theology at the University of Paris, Bishop of Albano, made cardinal by Gregory X and is canonized by Sixtus IV. St. Bonaventura's major works are the Reductio Artium in Theologiam, the Biblia Pauperum and the Breviloquium. His thought is heavily influenced by an ancient Greek philosopher, Plotinus.

    1244 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Jerusalem is lost by the West and is not recaptured again until 1917 CE.

    1248 CE: Early Islam

  • Muslim control of Spain is reduced to the Kingdom of Granada, which survives for more than two centuries more.

    1250 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The successors of Innocent III are involved in a political struggle with Frederick II, who attempts to take control in central Italy. They order a crusade against him, the first time a crusade is called for political reasons. The outcome is the death of Frederick.

    1251 CE: Early Islam

  • The last of the Egyptian-based dynasties, the Mamluk dynasty takes the caliphate until 1517 when Egypt falls under the control of the Ottoman Turkish Empire.

    1252 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The papacy approves the use of torture for religious disobedience, following Innocent III's brutal "inquisitions" against heresy (namely the Waldensian and Albigensian heretics).

    1258 CE: Early Islam

  • The Abbasid period is completely ended with the destruction of Baghdad by the Mongols.

    1260 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Several texts are translated from their original languages into Latin, including the texts of Aristotle.

    1261 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The Byzantine Empire returns to Constantinople.

    1265 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Dante Alighieri is born. Later, he will write the Divine Comedy -- perhaps the greatest literary expression of the Middle Ages -- in Italian verse. Born in Florence, Dante is extensively educated in literature, philosophy and Scholastic theology. His "Comedy" is saturated with the belief of earthly immortality through worthy deeds and the preparation of life everlasting.

    1267 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Florentine Giotto, the most important painter of the later Middle Ages, begins the modern tradition in painting. He is a naturalist whose paintings include depictions of Christ's entrance into Jerusalem and the death of St. Francis.

    1268 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The military champion of the papacy's crusade against the heirs of Frederick II is Charles of Anjou, who is from the French royal house. Charles defeats the last of Frederick's heirs and wins Sicily.

    1272 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Edward I of England, Henry III's son, establishes Parliament, originally a feudal court for the king and not yet a system of representative government.

    1280 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Eyeglasses are invented and later improved in the late medieval period.

    1282 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Charles of Anjou's efforts to tax Sicily provokes the "Sicilian Vespers" revolt. The rebels install the king of Aragon as their own king, thereby reinstating rule to the house of Frederick II.

    1285 CE: Medieval Europe

  • France becomes the strongest power in Europe due to the administration of St. Louis' grandson, Philip IV. He attempts to gain full control over the French Church from Rome and begins the process of governmental centralization.

    1290-1300 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Detail from Six Scenes from a Tree of Jesse Window: King David (image).

    1294 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Boniface VIII disputes with the kings of England and France over the taxation of the clergy for support of war. Later, Boniface will run into political problems with Philip IV of France.

    1300 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The Late Middle Ages begins here and ends around 1500 CE. The beginning of the Late Middle Ages witnesses the invention of the magnetic compass, greatly aiding overseas expansion and enhancing trade between places such as Italy and the North. Boniface VIII calls the first papal "jubilee," thereby recognizing pilgrimages to Rome instead of Jerusalem, which is no longer accessible to the West.

    1300-1320 CE: Early Islam

  • Bottle (image).

    1300-1350 CE: Early Islam

  • Ardashir Battling Bahman, Son of Ardawan (image).

    1303 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Boniface VIII is captured in Anagni by local citizens and is abused beyond his capabilities to sustain the mistreatment. He dies in his seventies a month after his release. After his death, the Church witnesses many institutional crises.

    1305 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The papacy is moved from Rome to Avignon, beginning the Church's "Babylonian Captivity." For most of the fourteenth century, the papacy is subordinate to French authority with the majority of cardinals and popes being French.

    1315 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Bad weather and crop failure result in famine across northwestern Europe. Unsanitary conditions and malnutrition increase the death rate. Even after the revival of agricultural conditions, weather disasters reappear. A mixture of war, famine and plague in the Late Middle Ages reduces the population by one-half.

    1327 CE: Early Islam

  • With the disintegration of the Seljuk Empire, the Arab and Persian regions are fragmented into several military kingdoms until 1500. The Ottoman Turkish Empire establishes its capital at Bursa.

    1327 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Born in 1260, German Dominican Master Eckhart defines the individual soul as a "spark" of the divine at its most basic element. By renouncing all knowledge of the self, one is able to retreat into that "spark" and reach God. Most of his teachings are condemned by the papacy. Two bands of mysticism arise from Eckhart's theories: heterodox, the belief in the unification of God and man on earth without the aid of priests as intermediaries, and orthodox, the belief in the possibility of joining the soul with God and the awareness of divine presence in everyday life.

    1328 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The last heir of the Capetian dynasty dies and is replaced by the first ruler of the Valois dynasty. Because the English kings are also descended from the Capetian line, England attempts to claim the French crown.

    1330 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Oxford theologian John Wyclif is born. He later becomes the leader of a heretical movement: finding the Church extravagant, he condemns most Church officials and begins a reform movement. He receives aristocratic support by advocating the replacement of officials with men willing to lead apostolic lives modeled on the New Testament. He dies in 1384, before the death penalty for heresy emerges in England. The use of heavy cannons in warfare begins.

    1337 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The French retaliate against the English and initiate the Hundred Years' War, a series of battles lasting until 1453 CE. The three greatest battles of the war are fought at Crecy (1346), Poitiers (1356) and Agincourt (1415). Due to the military superiority of the English, the French are defeated in most of the battles.

    1340 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Geoffrey Chaucer is born. He later begins the literary tradition with his Canterbury Tales.

    1342 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The reign of Avignonese Pope Clement VI exemplifies the French takeover of the Church. Clement offers spiritual benefits for money, appoints Church leaders for economic gains and commits sexual acts on "doctors' orders." The French Church based in Avignon rises in power, centralizes the Church government and establishes a system of papal finance.

    1347 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The Black Death appears during a time of economic depression in Western Europe and reoccurs frequently until the fifteenth century. The Black Death is a combination of bubonic and pneumonic plagues and has a major impact on social and economic conditions. Religious flagellation appears among lay groups in order to appease the divine wrath. English Franciscan William of Ockham dies. He teaches that God is free to do good and bad on earth as He wishes and developes the philosophical position known as "nominalism." His quest for certainty in human knowledge is one of the foundations of the scientific method.

    1348 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Italian Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375 CE) begins writing the Decameron, a collection of stories about love, sex, adventure and trickery told by seven ladies and three men on a journey into the country to escape the Black Death. Boccaccio's work is the first literature written in narrative prose. His prose is realistic of the men and women in the stories, rather than blatantly moral or immoral as in the earlier romances.

    1356 CE: Medieval Europe

  • A war begins between the English and the French directly following an occurrence of the Black Death in France. French peasants suffer the most economically, as is usual in medieval times during war, and physically -- their homes are pillaged and burned. The English defeat the French king, John II, at the Battle of Poitiers, and the peasants again are asked to bear the weight of the upper class.

    1358 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Economic hardship in France results in an uprising of the lower-class, called the "Jacquerie" (taken from the French peasant "Jacques Bonhomme"). The peasants burn castles, murder and rape their lords and lords' wives and take advantage of the political confusion in France by attempting to reform the governmental system. The revolt occurs during the king's captivity in England. Also, during this time, an aristocratic group plans the takeover of power. A brief revolt is put to an end when this group restores order by the massacre of the rebels.

    1360 CE: Medieval Europe

  • With the introduction of oil painting into western Europe, the earliest naturalistic painting is created. Its subject is the French king, John the Good. After this, naturalistic portraitures become prominent in European art.

    1367 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Urban V is successful in returning the pope to Rome. However, Pope Gregory XI dies in 1368. Because the papacy is now in Rome, an Italian pope, Urban VI, is elected and begins quarreling with the French cardinals. The French cardinals cancel the previous election and elect a French pope, Clement VII.

    1378 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The second phase of the Church's institutional crisis is the Great Schism. The French papacy leaves Rome due to the uprising of Urban VI and his group of newly founded cardinals. The split of the two groups causes confusion in Europe. French territories recognize Clement VII as pope, and the rest of Europe recognizes Urban VI as pope. The schism survives the death of both popes. The Florentine Ciompi, wool-combers, witnessing a depressed industry, rise against the governmental system and gain power for six weeks, in which time they institute tax relief, provide a proletarian representation in government and expand employment. All reforms are revoked with the new oligarchic power.

    1381 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The presence of the Black Death in England works to the advantage of English peasants, causing a shortage of labor, a freeing of serfs, a rise in salary and a decrease in rent. The aristocratic class, however, passes legislation that lowers wages to the amount before the plague and that requires lower wages for laborers without land. The peasants rise against this oppression in what is called the English Peasants' Revolt when a national tax is levied for every individual in England. The peasants march into London, murder the lord chancellor and treasurer and are met by Richard II. Richard promises the abolition of serfdom and a lower of rent. After the peasants leave, Richard has the peasant groups followed and murdered.

    1385 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The first German university is opened in Heidelberg.
  • Geoffrey Chaucer: The Legend of Good Women (text).

    1386 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The queen of Poland, Jadwiga, marries grand duke of Lithuania, Jagiello. The marriage creates a state double the size of Poland's previous size.

    1399 CE: Medieval Europe

  • In England, the death penalty becomes the punishment for heresy, and many Lollards, Wyclif's lay followers, convert.

    1400 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Czech students of John Wyclif bring Wyclifism to the Bohemian capital of Prague. Preacher John Hus (1373-1415 CE) adopts Wyclif's theories to support his own claims against ecclesiastical extravagance. The Northern provinces of Italy devise their own systems of government. The government of Venice becomes a merchant oligarchy; Milan is ruled by dynastic despotism; and Florence becomes a republic, ruled by the rich. The three cities expand and conquer most of Northern Italy.

    1400-1500 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The Presentation in the Temple (image).

    1409 CE: Medieval Europe

  • A council of prelates from both sides of the Great Schism meet at Pisa and decide to rename a new pope in place of the two. However, both popes enjoy great political power and refuse the deposition, causing three rivals to the papacy instead of two.

    1410 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Polish-Lithuanian forces defeat the German Teutonic Knights and extend rule eastward, almost into Russia. Eastern Orthodox Moscow begins a campaign of resistance to Roman Catholic Poland-Lithuania.

    1414 CE: Medieval Europe

  • A Lollard uprising in England fails. Some Lollards retreat underground and aid the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century.

    1415 CE: Medieval Europe

  • John Hus travels to the Council of Constance to propose his reforms for the Church. Upon his arrival at the Council, Hus is tried for heresy and burned. His death encourages futher revolt by his followers.

    1417 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The Council of Constance, the largest Church meeting in medieval history, ends the Great Schism. The council gains secular support and elects Martin V as pope. It replaces papal monarchy with a conciliar government, which recognizes a council of prelates as the pope's authority, and mandates the frequent meeting of the council. This new period is known as the Italian territorial papacy, which lasts until 1517 CE.

    1419 CE: Medieval Europe

  • The province of Burgundy breaks from France and allies with the English during the Hundred Years' War.

    1420 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Hus' supporters defeat German "crusaders." The lower-class Hussites are led by general John Zizka.

    1425-1450 CE: Early Islam

  • Qur'an Manuscript (image).

    1427 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Thomas a Kempis writes The Imitation of Christ, a manual directing the individual through Orthodox mysticism. Originally in Latin, it is translated into European languages for the lay audience. Its major themes concern the path of Christian piety for those active in everyday life, communion with Christ, biblical meditation and a moral life. The only sacrament suggested to its reader is the Eucharist.

    1429 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Joan of Arc, a peasant girl in France, seeks out the French leader and relates her divinely-inspired mission to drive the English out of France. She takes control of the French troops and liberates most of central France.

    1430 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Joan of Arc is captured and taken to England. The English accuse her of being a witch and condemn her for heresy. Joan is publicly burned in the city of Rouen.

    1434 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Aristocratic Hussites end the revolt of Hus' supporters and their attempts of social and religious reform. Bohemia does not return to Catholic Orthodoxy until the Catholic Reformation of the seventeenth century.
  • The Medici banking family dominates the government of Florence.

    1450-1500 CE: Early Islam

  • Plaque (image).

    1453 CE: Early Islam

  • The Ottomans defeat the Byzantine Empire and continue expanding into the Balkans. The Ottoman Turkish Empire moves its capital from Bursa to Istanbul (Constantinople). After 1500, the Moguls (1526-1857 CE) and the Safavids (1520-1736 CE) follow the military example set by the Ottomans and create two new empires.

    1453 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Ottoman Turks take Constantinople and end Byzantine civilization. The French king Charles VII captures Bordeaux in the southwest and ends the Hundred Years' War, during the reign of English King Henry VI and after the withdrawal of Burgandy from English alliance. The French monarchy reestablishes rule and returns to collecting national taxes and maintaining a standing army in times of peace. The monarchy becomes even stronger during the reigns of Louis XI (1461-1483) and Louis XII (1498-1515).

    1454 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Italy is divided into five major regions: Venice, Milan, Florence, the Papal States and the southern kingdom of Naples.

    1455 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Henry VI of England (1422-1461) wages the Wars of the Roses. The two sides of the war are the red rose (Henry's family at Lancaster) and the white rose (the house of York). Yorkist Richard III gains the kingship for a short time.

    1462 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Ivan III of Moscow annexes all Russian principalities between Moscow and Poland-Lithuania over a period of twenty-three years.

    1469 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Ferdinand of Aragon marries Isabella of Castile, and the two Spanish kingdoms end their conflicts but remain separate powers.

    1477 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Charles the Bold of Burgundy is captured by the Swiss, and Louis XI recaptures the lost territory.

    1482 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Ivan III of Moscow (1462-1505 CE) renounces the Mongol Khanate rule over Russia. The Mongols do not resist in the light of the rise of the Moscow state.

    1485 CE: Medieval Europe

  • With the end of the Wars of the Roses in England, the Tudor dynasty replaces Richard III. Henry VII, the first Tudor king, rules for twenty-four years and revives the English throne. He reestablishes royal power over the aristocracy, ends funding of foreign wars and reforms finances. Parliament also becomes a stable part of the governmental system.

    1492 CE: Early Islam

  • Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, later benefactors of Christopher Columbus, end Muslim rule in Spain.

    1492 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Ferdinand and Isabella annex Granada, expel all Jews from Spain and seek overseas expansion (for example, as patrons of Christopher Columbus). The flow of American gold and silver through Spain, the conquest of Mexico and Peru and superiority on the battlefield make Spain the most powerful state in Europe.

    1500 CE: Early Islam

  • Rug (detail) (image).

    1505 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Ivan the Great of Moscow extends the Russian border into the Byelorussian and the Ukrainian territories, before his death. Muscovian Russia is recognized as a major Eastern-oriented power in Europe.

    1509 CE: Medieval Europe

  • Henry VIII succeeds his father, Henry VII, for the English crown.

    1600 CE: India

  • Orchha - Mausolée de Bir Singh Deo (image).
  • Orchha - Temple de Vishnou (image).
  • Orchha - Jahangir Mahal (image).
  • Orchha - Jahangir Mahal - Donjon (image).

    1600-1800 CE: India

  • Orchha - Nécropole (image).
  • Orchha - Mausolées (image).

    1700 CE: India

  • Orchha - Temple di Lakshmi - Peinture murale (image).


    Home | Near East | India | Egypt | China | Greece | Rome | Islam | Europe
    Computer Services Provided by the University of Evansville.
    Copyright © 1997. Exploring Ancient World Cultures.