Timeline of Ancient History - Classical Antiquity

Classical Antiquity

Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. It refers to the timeframe of ancient Greece and ancient Rome. Ancient history includes the recorded Greek history beginning in about 776 BC (First Olympiad). This coincides roughly with the traditional date of the founding of Rome in 753 BC and the beginning of the history of Rome.

  • 776 BC: First recorded Olympic Games. The history of the Games is believed to reach as far back as the 13th century BC but no older written record survives.
  • 753 BC: Founding of Rome (traditional date)
  • 745 BC: Tiglath-Pileser III becomes the new king of Assyria. With time he conquers neighboring countries and turns Assyria into an empire
  • 728 BC: Rise of the Median Empire
  • 722 BC: Spring and Autumn Period begins in China; Zhou Dynasty's power is diminishing; the era of the Hundred Schools of Thought
  • 700 BC: the construction of Marib Dam in Arabia Felix
  • 660 BC: purported date of the accession of Jimmu, the mythical first Emperor of Japan
  • 653 BC: Rise of Persian Empire
  • 612 BC: An alliance between the Babylonians, Medes, and Scythians succeeds in destroying Ninaveh and causing subsequent fall of the Assyrian empire.
  • 600 BC: Sixteen Maha Janapadas ("Great Realms" or "Great Kingdoms") emerge in India.
  • 600 BC: Evidence of writing system appear in Oaxaca used by the Zapotec civilization
  • c. 600 BC: Pandyan kingdom in South India
  • 586 BC: Destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem (Solomon's Temple) by the Babylonians
  • 563 BC: Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha), founder of Buddhism is born as a prince of the Shakya tribe, which ruled parts of Magadha, one of the Maha Janapadas
  • 551 BC: Confucius, founder of Confucianism, is born
  • 550 BC: Foundation of the Persian Empire by Cyrus the Great
  • 549 BC: Mahavira, founder of Jainism is born
  • 546 BC: Cyrus the Great overthrows Croesus King of Lydia
  • 544 BC: Rise of Magadha as the dominant power under Bimbisara.
  • 539 BC: The Fall of the Babylonian Empire and liberation of the Jews by Cyrus the Great
  • 529 BC: Death of Cyrus
  • 525 BC: Cambyses II of Persia conquers Egypt
  • c. 512 BC: Darius I (Darius the Great) of Persia, subjugates eastern Thrace, Macedonia submits voluntarily, and annexes Libya, Persian Empire at largest extent
  • 509 BC: Expulsion of the last King of Rome, founding of Roman Republic (traditional date)
  • 508 BC: Democracy instituted at Athens
  • c. 500 BC: completion of Euclid's Elements
  • 500 BC: Panini standardizes the grammar and morphology of Sanskrit in the text Ashtadhyayi. Panini's standardized Sanskrit is known as Classical Sanskrit
  • 500 BC: Pingala uses zero and binary numeral system
  • 499 BC: King Aristagoras of Miletus incites all of Hellenic Asia Minor to rebel against the Persian Empire, beginning the Greco-Persian Wars.
  • 490 BC: Greek city-states defeat Persian invasion at Battle of Marathon
  • 483 BC: Death of Gautama Buddha
  • 480 BC: Persian invasion of Greece by Xerxes; Battles of Thermopylae and Salamis
  • 479 BC: Death of Confucius
  • 475 BC: Warring States Period begins in China as the Zhou king became a mere figurehead; China is annexed by regional warlords
  • 469 BC: Birth of Socrates
  • 465 BC: Murder of Xerxes
  • 458 BC: The Oresteia by Aeschylus, the only surviving trilogy of ancient Greek plays, is performed.
  • 449 BC: The Greco-Persian Wars end.
  • 447 BC: Building of the Parthenon at Athens started
  • 432 BC: Construction of the Parthenon is completed
  • 431 BC: Beginning of the Peloponnesian war between the Greek city-states
  • 429 BC: Sophocles's play Oedipus the King is first performed
  • 427 BC: Birth of Plato
  • 424 BC: Nanda dynasty comes to power.
  • 404 BC: End of the Peloponnesian War
  • 400 BC: Zapotec culture flourishes around city of Monte Albán
  • 399 BC: Death of Socrates
  • 384 BC: Birth of Aristotle
  • 331 BC: Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of Gaugamela, completing his conquest of Persia.
  • 326 BC: Alexander the Great defeats Indian king Porus in the Battle of the Hydaspes River.
  • 323 BC: Death of Alexander the Great at Babylon.
  • 321 BC: Chandragupta Maurya overthrows the Nanda Dynasty of Magadha.
  • 305 BC: Chandragupta Maurya seizes the satrapies of Paropanisadai (Kabul), Aria (Herat), Arachosia (Qanadahar) and Gedrosia (Baluchistan)from Seleucus I Nicator, the Macedonian satrap of Babylonia, in return for 500 elephants.
  • 300 BC: Construction of the world's largest pyramid, the Great Pyramid of Cholula, begins in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico.
  • 273 BC: Ashoka the Great becomes the emperor of the Mauryan Empire
  • 257 BC: Thục Dynasty takes over Việt Nam (then Kingdom of Âu Lạc)
  • 250 BC: Rise of Parthia (Ashkâniân), the second native dynasty of ancient Persia
  • 232 BC: Death of Emperor Ashoka the Great; Decline of the Mauryan Empire
  • 230 BC: Emergence of Satavahanas in South India
  • 221 BC: Qin Shi Huang unifies China, end of Warring States Period; marking the beginning of Imperial rule in China which lasts until 1912. Construction of the Great Wall by the Qin Dynasty begins.
  • 207 BC: Kingdom of Nan Yueh extends from North Việt Nam to Canton.
  • 206 BC: Han Dynasty established in China, after the death of Qin Shi Huang; China in this period officially becomes a Confucian state and opens trading connections with the West, i.e. the Silk Road.
  • 202 BC: Scipio Africanus defeats Hannibal at Battle of Zama.
  • 200 BC: El Mirador, largest early Maya city, flourishes.
  • c. 200 BC: Chera dynasty in South India.
  • 185 BC: Sunga Empire founded.
  • 149-146 BC: Third Punic War between Rome and Carthage. War ends with the complete destruction of Carthage, allowing Rome to conquer modern day Tunisia and Libya.
  • 146 BC: Roman conquest of Greece, see Roman Greece
  • 129 BC: Roman conquest of Turkey.
  • 121 BC: Roman armies enter Gaul for the first time.
  • 111 BC: First Chinese domination of Việt Nam in the form of the Nanyue Kingdom.
  • c. 100 BC: Chola dynasty rises in prominence.
  • 80 BC: The city of Florence is founded.
  • 49 BC: Roman Civil War between Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great.
  • 44 BC: Julius Caesar murdered by Marcus Brutus and others; End of Roman Republic; beginning of Roman Empire.
  • 40 BC: Roman conquest of Egypt.
  • 18 BC: Three Kingdoms period begins in Korea.
  • 6 BC: Earliest theorized date for birth of Jesus of Nazareth.
  • 4 BC: Widely accepted date (Ussher) for birth of Jesus Christ.
  • 9: Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, the Imperial Roman Army's bloodiest defeat.
  • 14: Death of Emperor Augustus (Octavian), ascension of his son Tiberius to the throne.
  • 24: The temple of Jerusalem is reconstructed.
  • 30-34: Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, exact date unknown.
  • 37: Death of Emperor Tiberius, ascension of his nephew Caligula to the throne.
  • 40: Rome conquers Morocco.
  • 41: Emperor Caligula is assassinated by the Roman senate. His uncle Claudius succeeds him.
  • 43: Rome enters Britain for the first time.
  • 54: Emperor Claudius dies and is succeeded by his grand nephew Nero.
  • 68: Emperor Nero commits suicide, prompting the Year of the four emperors in Rome.
  • 70: Destruction of Jerusalem by the armies of Titus.
  • 79: Destruction of Pompeii by the volcano Vesuvius.
  • 98: After a two-year rule, Emperor Nerva dies of natural causes, his adopted son Trajan succeeds him.
  • 106-117: Roman Empire at largest extent under Emperor Trajan after having conquered modern-day Romania, Iraq and Armenia.
  • 117: Trajan dies of natural causes. His adopted son Hadrian succeeds him. Hadrian pulls out of Iraq and Armenia.
  • 126: Hadrian completes the Pantheon in Rome.
  • 138: Hadrian dies of natural causes. His adopted son Antoninus Pius succeeds him.
  • 161: Death of Antoninus Pius. His rule was the only one in which Rome did not fight in a war.
  • 192: Kingdom of Champa in Central Việt Nam.
  • 200s: The Buddhist Srivijaya Empire established in Maritime Southeast Asia.
  • 220: Three Kingdoms period begins in China after the fall of Han Dynasty.
  • 226: Fall of the Parthian Empire and Rise of the Sassanian Empire.
  • 238: Defeat of Gordian III (238–244), Philip the Arab (244–249), and Valerian (253–260), by Shapur I of Persia, (Valerian was captured by the Persians).
  • 280: Emperor Wu established Jin Dynasty providing a temporary unity of China after the devastating Three Kingdoms period.
  • 285: Diocletian becomes emperor of Rome and splits the Roman Empire into Eastern and Western Empires.
  • 285: Diocletian begins the biggest prosecution of Christians in Roman history.
  • 292: The capital of the Roman empire is officially moved from Rome to Mediolanum (modern day Milan).
  • 313: Edict of Milan declared that the Roman Empire would be neutral toward religious worship.
  • 325: Constantine I organises the First Council of Nicaea.
  • 330: Constantinople is officially named and becomes the capital of the eastern Roman Empire.
  • 335: Samudragupta becomes the emperor of the Gupta empire.
  • 337: Emperor Constantine I dies, leaving his sons Constantius II, Constans I, and Constantine II as the emperors of the Roman empire.
  • 350: Constantius II is left sole emperor with the death of his two brothers.
  • 354: Birth of Augustine of Hippo
  • 361: Constantius II dies, his cousin Julian succeeds him.
  • 378: Battle of Adrianople, Roman army is defeated by the Germanic tribes.
  • 380: Roman Emperor Theodosius I declares the Arian faith of Christianity heretical. Traditional date for the founding of the Catholic Church.
  • 395: Theodosius I outlaws all pagan religions in favor of Christianity.
  • 406: Romans are expelled from Britain.
  • 407-409: Visigoths and other Germanic tribes cross into Roman-Gaul for the first time.
  • 410: Visigoths sacks Rome for the first time since 390 BC.
  • 415: Germanic tribes enter Spain.
  • 429: Vandals enter North Africa from Spain for the first time
  • 439: Vandals have conquered the land stretching from Morocco to Tunisia by this time.
  • 455: Vandals sack Rome, capture Sicily and Sardinia.
  • c. 455: Skandagupta repels an Indo-Hephthalite attack on India.
  • 476: Romulus Augustus, last Western Roman Emperor is forced to abdicate by Odoacer, a chieftain of the Germanic Heruli; Odoacer returns the imperial regalia to Eastern Roman Emperor Zeno in Constantinople in return for the title of dux of Italy; most frequently cited date for the end of ancient history.

Read more about this topic:  Timeline Of Ancient History

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