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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

287 BCE: Rome - The plebeians pass a law which allows the decisions of the assembly to override the Senate.

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.

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.

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: 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.

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.

107 BCE: Rome - Marius is appointed to consulship and rules the state by military means until his death in 86 BCE.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

75-80 CE: Rome - The Roman emperors build the Colosseum as a place of gladiatorial combat.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

313 CE: Rome - CONSTANTINE signs the Edict of Milan, establishing a policy of toleration for Christians in the Empire.

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.

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.

330 CE: Rome - 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).

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.

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.

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.

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.