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Timeline of Antiquity
From "Ancient Civilizations: Almanac," Volume One, pp xxi - xlii

c. 2,000,000 - c. 10,000BC: Paleolithic Age.
c. 10,000 - c. 4000BC: Neolithic Age. (was orig after "last ice age ends")
c. 10,000BC:Last ice age ends.
c. 3500BC:Beginnings of Sumerian civilization.
c. 3100BC:Pharaoh Menes unites the kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt.
c. 3000BC:Babylon established.
c. 2950BC:First examples of heiroglyphs in Egypt.
c. 2920BC:First Dynasty begins in Egypt.
c. 2800BC:Mycenaeans leave the Black Sea area, moving toward Greece.
c. 2650BC:Beginning of Old Kingdom in Egypt.
c. 2650BC:Step Pyramid of Saqqara, designed by Imhotep, built under reign of pharaoh Zoser.
c. 2550BC:Great Pyramid of Cheops built in Egypt.
c. 2500BC:Indus Valley civilization begins in India.
c. 2300BC:Early Dynastic Period ends in Sumer; Sargon of Akkad, first great Mesopotamian ruler, establishes Akkadian Empire.
c. 2200BC:Hsia, semi-legendary first dynasty of China, begins.
2150BC:End of Old Kingdom in Egypt; beginning of First Intermediate Period.
c. 2150BC:Akkadian Empire ends with Gutian invasion of Mesopotamia; rise of Ur.
c. 2000BC:Origins of Gilgamesh Epic in Sumer.
c. 2000BC:Phoenician civilization established.
c. 2000BC:Beginnings of Mayan civilization in Mesoamerica.
c. 2000BC:Establishment of Kushite civilization in Africa.
c. 2000BC:Beginnings of Minoan civilization in Crete.
1986BC:Pharaoh Mentuhotep II unites all of Egypt; end of First Intermediate Period and beginning of Middle Kingdom.
c. 1900BC:Indus Valley civilization begins to decline.
1813BC:Shamshi-Adad, first important Assyrian ruler, takes throne.
1792BC:End of Old Babylonia in Mesopotamia; Hammurabi, who later establishes first legal code in history, takes throne.
1766BC:Shang Dynasty, first historic line of Chinese kings, begins.
c. 1760BC:Hammurabi of Babylonia takes control of Assyria.
1759BC:Middle Kingdom ends in Egypt; beginning of Second Intermediate Period.
c. 1750BC:Beginning of Hittite civilization, establishment of capital at Hattush in Asia Minor.
c. 1700BC:Crete experiences earthquake; later the Minoans rebuild their palaces at Knossos and other sites.
c. 1700-1500BC: Phoenicians develop the world's first alphabet.
c. 1670BC:Hyksos invade Egypt.
c. 1650BC:Beginnings of Mycenaean civilization in Greece.
1539BC:Second Intermediate Period ends in Egypt; beginning of New Kingdom.
c. 1500BC:Indo-Europeans invade India; beginning of Vedic Age.
c. 1500BC:Thebes founded on Greek mainland.
c. 1500-c. 1300BC: Kingdom of Mitanni flourishes in Mesopotamia.
1473BC:Pharaoh Hatshepsut assumes sole power in Egypt; becomes first significant female ruler in history.
c. 1450BC:Minoan civilization in Crete comes to an end, probably as a result of volcanic eruption on Thera.
1363BC:Ashur-uballit, who establishes the first Assyrian empire, begins reign.
c. 1347BC: Pharaoh Amenhotep IV changes his name to Akhenaton and introduces sweeping religious reforms.
1323BC:Death of Tutankhamen in Egypt; power struggle follows, along with effort to erase memory of Akhenaton.
c. 1300BC:City of San Lorenzo established in Mesoamerica.
1200s BC:Moses dies.
1279 BC:Beginning of Pharaoh Ramses II's reign in Egypt.
1285BC:Battle of Kadesh between Egyptians and Hittites.
c. 1200BCSea Peoples bring an end to Hittite civilization in Asia Minor.
c. 1200BC:Armaeans, after briefly controlling Babylonia, conquer Syria.
c. 1200BC:Olmec civilization established in what is now Mexico.
c. 1200BC:Bantu peoples migrate southward from what is now Nigeria.
c. 1200BC:Trojan War.
c. 1200BC:Etruscans settle on Italian peninsula.
c. 1200-900 BC: Carving of giant heads by Olmec in Mesoamerica.
c. 1140BC:Macedonians move southward, displacing the Dorians from northern Greece.
1125BC:King Nebuchadnezzar I begins reign in Babylon.
c. 1100BC:Dorians bring an end to Mycenaean civiliation; beginning of Dark Ages in Greece, which last for four centuries.
1070BC:End of New Kingdom in Egypt; Third Intermediate Period begins.
1027BC:Revolt led by Prince Wu Wang brings an end to Shang Dynasty, and the establishment of Chou Dynasty, in China.
c. 1000BC:Saul killed; David becomes ruler of Israel.
c. 1000BC:End of Vedic Age, beginning of Epic Age, in India.
c. 1000BC:Beginnings of Chavin civilization in South America.
c. 1000BC:Celts begin to spread from Gaul throughout Europe.
900s BC:Phoenicians begin establishing trade routes and overseas colonies.
c. 960BC:David dies; Solomon becomes ruler of Israel.
934BC:Beginning of Assyrian conquests which will lead to establishment of Neo-Assyrian Empire.
922BC:End of Solomon's reign, and of unified kingdom of Israel.
800s BC:Dorians establish Sparta.
883BC:Ashurnaspirpal II assumes throne in Assyria, establishes Neo-Assyrian Empire.
879BC:Beginning of King Ben-Hadad II's reign in Syria.
c. 850BC:Greeks start trading with other peoples; beginning of the end of the Dark Ages.
c. 850-750BC: Rise of city-states in Greece.
c. 800BC:Carthage established by Phoenicians.
c. 800BC:Poets Homer and Hesiod flourish in Greece.
776BC:First Olympic Games held.
771BC:Invasion by nomads from the north forces Chou Dynasty of China to move capital eastward; end of Western Chou period.
753BC:Traditional date of Rome's founding; Romulus first of seven legendary kings.
c. 751BC:Piankhi takes throne in Kush.
722BC:Spring and Autumn Period, a time of widespread unrest, begins in China.
c. 732BC:Assyrians gain control of Syria.
c. 725BC:King Mita, probably the source of the Midas legend, unites the Phrygians.
721BC:Sargon II of Assyria conquers Israel and carries off its people, who become known as the Ten Lost Trives of Israel.
715BC:End of war with Messina brings a rise to Spartan militarism.
712BC:Kushites under Shabaka invade Egypt, establish Twenty-Fifth Dynasty; end of Third Intermediate Period, and beginning of Late Period.
c. 700BC:End of Dark Ages, beginning of two-century Archaic Age, in Greece.
c. 700BC:City-state of Athens, established centuries before, dominates Attica region in Greece.
600s BC:State of Magadha develops in eastern India.
600s BC:Important developments in Greek architecture: establishment of Doric order, first structures of stone rather than wood.
695BC:Cimmerians invade Phrygia, ending Phrygian civilization.
689BC:Assyrians sack Babylon.
c. 685BC:Gyges founds Mermnad dynasty in Lydia.
681BC:Sennacherib dies; Esarhaddon takes Assyrian throne.
672BC:Assyrians first drive Kushites out of Egypt, install Necho I as pharaoh.
669BC:Beginning of Ashurbanipal's reign; last great Assyrian king.
667BC:Assyrian troops under Ashurbanipal complete conquest of Egypt from Kushites.
Mid-600sBC:Mere Period begins when Kushites, removed from power in Egypt, move their capital southward.
Mid-600sBC:Establishment of Ionian Greek trading colony at Naucratis in Egypt.
Mid-600sBC:Age of tyrants begins in Greece.
c. 650BC:Scribes in Egypt develop demotic script.
648BC:Ashurbanipal of Assyria subdues Babylonian revolt; his brother Shamash-shum-ukin reportedly commits suicide.
625BC:Nabopolassar establishes Chaldean (Neo-Babylonian) Empire.
621BC:Draco appointed by Athenian oligarchs; creates a set of extreemly harsh laws.
616BC:Power-sharing of Sabines and Latins in Rome ends with Etruscan takeover under legendary king Tarquinius Priscus.
613BC:First recorded sighting of Halley's Comet by Chinese astronomers.
612BC:Babylonians and Medes destroy Nineveh; end of Neo-Assyrian Empire.
605BC:Nabopolassar dies; his son Nebuchadnezzar II, the greatest Babylonian ruler, takes throne.
c. 600BC:Pharaoh Necho II of Egypt sends a group of Carthaginian mariners on voyage around African continent.
c. 600BC:Nebuchadnezzar builds Hanging Gardens in Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Late 600s, early 500s BC: Romans wage series of wars against Sabines, Latins, and Etruscans.
500s BC:Careers of Lao-tzu and Confusius, Chinese philosophers.
500s BC:High point of Etruscan civilization in Italy.
594BC:Solon appointed archon of Athens.
586BC:Nebuchadnezzar II destroys Israelites' capital at Jerusalem; beginning of Babylonian Captivity for Israelites.
585BC:Thales, first Western philosopher, comes to fame in Greece for correctly predicting a solar eclipse on May 28.
c. 560BC:Beginning of Croesus's reign in Lydia.
Mid-500s:Israelite prophet Daniel, a captive in Babylon, flourishes.
559BC:Cyrus the Great of Persia takes the throne.
550BC:Cyrus the Great of Persia defeats the Medes, establishes Persian Empire.
c. 550BC:King Croesus of Lydia conquers Greek city-states of Ionia.
c. 550BC:Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is built.
546BC:Persian armies under Cyrus the Great depose King Croesus and take over Lydia.
546BC:Cyrus the Great of Persia conquers Ionian city-states of Greece.
538BC:Persians conquer Babylonia; end of Chaldean (Neo-Babylonian) Empire, and of Israelites' BAbylonian Captivity.
529BC:Cyrus the Great of Persia dies, succeeded by his son, Cambyses II.
c. 528BC:In India, Gautama Siddartha experiences his enlightenment; becomes known as the Buddha.
527BC:Peisistratus, tyrant of Athens, dies; he is replaced by his sons, Hippias and Hipparchus, who prove unpopular.
522BC:Returning to Persia to deal with rebellious forces, Cambyses II dies, and is succeeded by Darius the Great.
521BC:Darius the Great of Persia conquers Punjab region of western India.
510BC:Four years after the assassination of his brother Hipparchus, Athenians remove Hippias from power.
509BC:Traditional date of Roman overthrow of Etruscan rule.
507BC:Founding of Roman Republic.
502BC:Athenians adopt a new constitution based on reforms of Cleisthenes, ending the age of tyrants; birth of democracy.
c. 500BC:End of Epic Age in India.
c. 500BC:Kingdom of Aksum established in Africa.
c. 500BC:End of Archaic Age, beginning of Classical Age, in Greece.
c. 500BC:Celts (Gauls) enter northern Italy, while other Celtic tribes settle in Britain.
499BC:Persian Wars in Greece begin with revolt of Ionian city-states against Persians.
490BC:Persian troops under Darius the Great burn Ionian Greek city-state of Eretria.
490BC:Battle of Marathon: Greeks defeat Persians.
486BC:Darius the Great of Persia dies and is succeeded by his son Xerxes, the last powerful emperor of Persia.
481BC:End of Spring and Autumn Period of Chou Dynasty in China.
480BC:King Xerxes of Persia launches massive attack against Greece.
480BC:Battle of Thermopylae in Greece; Persians victorious despite heroic Spartan defense.
480BC:Xerxes burns Athens.
480BC:Battle of Salamis: Athenian-led Greek naval force defeats Persians under Xerxes.
479BC:Battle of Plataea: Spartan-led force overwhelms Persians under Mardonius.
479BC:Battle of Mycale: naval victory by Greeks expels Persians from mainland Greece for good.
479BC:Golden Age of Greece begins.
478BC:Delian League founded in Greece, with Athens as its leading city-state.
474BC:Carthaginians end Etruscan dreams of empire with defeat at Cumae; Etruscan civilization begins to decline.
468BC:Delian League of Greece defeats Persian fleet off Ionian coast.
462BC:Pericles and Ephialtes institute a series of democratic reforms in Athens.
460BC:Pericles becomes sole archon of Athens, beginning the Age of Pericles.
450s BC:Athenian Empire subdues various Greek city-states, wages wars throughout Mediterranean and Aegean seas.
459BC:Spartans and Athenians clash over control of Megara; first of conflicts leading to Peloponnesian War in 431BC.
453BC:Warring States Period begins in China, only ending when Ch'in Dynasty replaces the Chou dynasty in 221BC.
453BC:Pericles of Athens becomes first leader to establish pay for jurors.
451BC:The "Twelve Tables," the first Roman legal code, established.
449BC:Persian Wars officially come to an end.
c. 440BC:Parthenon built in Athens.
c. 440BC:Phidias sculpts Statue of Zeus at Olympia, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
431BC:Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta begions in Greece.
430BC:Herodotus begins publishing The History.
429BC:Plague breaks out in war-torn Athens.
425BC:Athens defeats Sparta in battle, bringing temporary end to Peloponnesian War.
420BC:Because it broke Olympic truce by attacking Athens, Sparta keeps its athletes out of the Olympic Games.
412BC:Ionian revolt effectively ends power of Delian League.
404BC:Athens surrenders to Sparta, ending Peloponnesian War.
404BC:Golden Age of Classical Greece comes to an end.
c. 400BC:Decline of Chavin civilization in South America.
300s BC:Ch'in state emerges in western China.
300s-200s BC:Romans conquer most Etruscan cities.
396BC:Rome breaks a century-long peace treaty by conquering Etruscan city of Veii.
395BC:Athens, Corinth, and Thebes revolt against Sparta, beginning Corinthian War.
390BC:Celts (Gauls) invade Rome.
390BC:Beginnings of Roman military buildup after expulsion of Gauls.
386BC:Spartans put down revolt of Athens and other city-states, ending Corinthian War.
Mid-380s BC:Plato establishes Academy in Athens.
371BC:Theban commander Epaminondas defeats Spartans at Leuctra, bringing an end to Spartan power over Greece.
Mid-300s BC:Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is built.
369BC:Philip II takes throne in Macedon, and five years later begins conquest of Balkan peninsula.
346BC:Philip II of Macedon brings an end to war between Greek leagues over control of Delphi, calls for Hellenic unity.
339BC:Philip II of Macedon completes conquest of Balkan peninsula.
338BC:Macedonian forces under Philip II defeat Greek city-states at Charonoea; Macedonia now controls Greece.
336BC:Philip II assassinated; 20-year-old Alexander III (Alexander the Great) becomes king of Macedon.
335BC:Alexander consolidates his power, dealing with rebellions in Macedon and Greek city-states.
335BC:Aristotle establishes the Lyceum, a school in Athens.
334BC:Alexander begins his conquests by entering Asia Minor.
334BC:Beginning now and for the last twelve years of his life, Aristotle writes most of his works.
333BC:In April, Alexander's forces defeat Persian armies under Darius III in Cilicia; Darius flees.
332BC:Alexander conquers Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine, and invades Egypt.
332BC:End of the Late Period in Egypt; country will not be ruled by Egyptians again for some 1500 years.
331BC:Alexander establishes city of Alexandria in Egypt.
331BC:Alexander's army completes defeat of Persians under Darius III at Gaugamela in Assyria; Darius is later assassinated.
331BC:Alexander conquers Mesopotamia.
330BC:Persepolis, capital of the Persian Empire, falls to Alexander the Great.
330BC:Alexander embarks on four-year conquest of Iran, Bactria, and the Punjab.
324BC:Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of Mauryan dynasty, takes the throne of Magadha in eastern India.
323BC:Beginning of Hellenistic Age, as Greek culture takes root over the next two centuries in lands conquered by Alexander.
323BC:Ptolemy, one of Alexander's generals, establishes dynasty in Egypt that lasts for three centuries.
312BC:Seleucid empire established over Persia, Mesopotamia, and much of the southwestern Asia.
c. 310BC:Greek explorer Pytheas sets off on voyage that takes him to Britain and Scandinavia.
c. 300BC:Composition of Mahabharata, an Indian epic, begins; writing will continue for the next six centuries.
c. 300BC:Hinduism develops from the Vedic religion brought to India by the Aryans.
290BC:Romans defeat Samnites, establish control over much of southern Italy.
287BC:Plebians establish power over Roman Senate.
282BC:Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, completed; destroyed in earthquake fifty-four years later.
c. 280BC:Lighthouse of Alexandria, last of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, built.
279BC:Celts invade Greece, but are driven out by Antigonus Gontatas.
275BC:Romans defeat Greek colonists in southern Italy, establishing control over region.
272BC:Bindusara, ruler of Mauryan dynasty of India, dies; his son Asoka, the greatest Mauryan ruler, later takes throne.
264BC:First Punic War between Rome and Carthage begins.
262BC:Mauryan king Asoka, disgusted by his killings in battle with the Kalinga people, renounces violence.
260BC:Asoka begins placement of rock and pillar edicts throughout India.
c. 250BC:Kushite civilization reaches its height. It will remain strong for the next four centuries.
247BC:Beginning of Parthian dynasty in Iran.
246BC:End of Shang Dynasty in China.
241BC:First Punic War ends with Roman defeat of Carthage. Rome controls Sicily, Corsica, and Sardinia.
230s BC:Asoka loses power over Indian court as rebellious advisors gain influence over his grandson Samprati.
229BC:Rome establishes military base in Illyria; first step in conquest of Greece.
223BC:Antiochus the Great, most powerful Selucid ruler, begins reign in Syria.
221BC:Ch'in Shih Huan Ti unites China, establishes Ch'in Dynasty as first Chinese emperor.
221BC:Chinese under Ch'in Shih Huang Ti begin building Great Wall.
221BC:Unification of China under Ch'in Shih Huang Ti begins driving the nomadic Hsiung-Nu and Yeh-Chih tribes westward.
218BC:Hannibal of Carthage launches Second Punic War against Romans, marching from Spain, over Alps, and into Italy.
216BC:Carthaginians under Hannibal deal Romans a stunning defeat at Cumae.
213BC:Emperor Ch'in Shih Huang Ti calls for burning of most books in China.
207BC:End of shortlived Ch'in Dynasty in China; power struggle follows.
206BC:Rebel forces under Hsiang Y take capital of China.
202BC:Having defeated Hsiang Y, Liu Pang (Kao Tzu) becomes emperor, establishes Han Dynasty in China.
202BC:Roman forces under Scipio defeat Hannibal and the Carthaginians at Zama.
c. 200BC:Eratosthenes, librarian of Alexandria, makes remarkable accurate measurement of Earth's size.
198BC:Seleucids gain control of Palestine.
197BC:Romans defeat Macedonian forces under Philip V at Cynocephalae; beginning of end of Macedonian rule in Greece.
195BC:Antiochus the Great, at height of his power, arranges marriage of his daughter Cleopatra I to Ptolemy IV of Egypt.
195BC:Hannibal flees Carthage, takes refuge with Antiochus the Great.
191BC:Roman forces defeat Antiochus the Great at Thermopylae.
190BC:Romans under Scipio defeat Seleucid king Antiochus the Great at Magnesia, and add Asia Minor to their territories.
186BC:Mauryan Empire of India collapses.
170s BC:Parthians begin half-century of conquests, ultimately replacing Seleucids as dominant power in Iran and southwest Asia.
165BC:Nomadic Yeh-Chih tribes, driven out of China, arrive in Bactria; later, Kushans emerge as dominant tribe.
c. 150BC:Greco-Bactrians under Menander invade India.
149BC:Romans launch Third Punic War against Carthage.
146BC:Romans complete their conquest of Greece.
146BC:Romans completely destroy Carthage, ending Third Punic War.
133BC:Chinese emperor Han Wu-ti launches four decades of war which greatly expand Chinese territory.
130BC:Wu Ti establishes first civil-service exams in China.
c. 130BC:Kushans begin a century-long series of conquests, ultimately absorbing Greco-Bactrian kingdom.
128BC:Emperor Wu Ti effectively destroys the power of feudal lords in China.
121BC:Roman reformer Gaius Gracchus commits suicide after some 3,000 of his followers are murdered.
c. 120BC:Chang Chi'en, on a mission for Emperor Wu Ti, makes first Chinese contact with Greek-influenced areas.
108BC:China, under Wu Ti, conquers Korea.
101BC:Marius defeats Cimbri, a northern European tribe.
c. 100BC:End of Olmec civilization in Mesoamerica.
95BC:Tigranes II, who later makes Armenia a great power, assumes throne.
88BC:Social War ends; Rome extends citizenship to non-Roman Italians.
88BC:Sulla, rival of Roman consul Marius, becomes commander of forces against Mithradates the Great of Pontus in Asia Minor.
77BC:Roman general Pompey sent to crush uprising in Spain.
c. 75BC:Julius Caesar distinguishes himself with successful attacks against Cilician pirates, as well as Mithradates of Pontus.
73BC:Slaves under Spartacus revolt in Capua, beginning Gladiatorial War; soon they have an army of 100,000.
71BC:Gladiatorial War ends with defeat of slave army by Crassus.
69BC:Rome begins taking over lands conquered by Tigranes of Armenia; conquest largely complete within three years.
60BC:Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus form First Triumvirate.
55BC:Roman troops under Julius Caesar invade, but do not conquer, Britain; another invasion follows the next year.
51BC:After death of her father, Ptolemy XII, Cleopatra becomes coruler of Egypt with her brother and husband.
49BC:Pompey orders Julius Caesar to return from Rome; Caesar crosses the River Rubicon with his army.
48BC:Cleopatra forced out of power in Egypt by a group loyal to her brother.
48BC:Julius Caesar's forces defeat Pompey at Pharsalus in Greece; Pompey flees to Egypt, where he is assassinated.
48BC:Julius Caesar arrives in Egypt, meets and begins affair with Cleopatra.
47BC:Julius Caesar helps Cleopatra defeat her brother, Ptolemy XIII.
46BC:Cleopatra goes to Rome with Julius Caesar.
44BC:On March 15, a group of conspirators assassinates Julius Caesar in the chambers of the Roman senate.
44BC:Octavian, Mark Antony, and Ledipus form Second Triumvirate.
41BC:Cleopatra and Mark Antony begin political and personal alliance.
37BC:Mark Antony leaves his wife, Octavians's sister, and joins Cleopatra; launches military campaigns in southwest Asia.
37BC:Herod the Great becomes vassal king in Roman-controlled Judea.
36BC:Octavian removes Lepidus from power, begins dealing with Mark Antony.
32BC:Roman senate, at the urging of Octavian, declares war on Cleopatra.
31BC:Roman forces destroy Mark Antony and Cleopatra's fleet at Actium in Greece on September 2; Antony commits suicide.
31BC:Beginning of Octavian's sole control of Rome, end of a century of unrest.
31BC:Beginning of Pax Romana, or "Roman Peace," which prevails throughout Roman world for two centuries.
30BC:Suicide of Cleopatra VII; Romans establish control of Egypt.
27BC:Octavian declared Emperor Agustus Caesar by Roman senate; Roman Empire effectively established.
24BC:Romans attempt unsuccessfully to conquer south-western Arabia.
17BC:Vergil's Aeneid published.
c. 6BC:Jesus Christ born.
9AD:Wang Mang usurps throne of Han Dynasty in China, establishing Hsin Dynasty.
9AD:Forces of Augustus Caesar defeated by Germans, ending Roman expansion to the north.
14AD:Augustus Caesar dies; his stepson Tiberius becomes emperor, marking official establishment of Roman Empire.
23AD:Han Dynassty regains control of China; beginning of the Later Han Period.
c. 30AD:Jesus Christ dies.
c. 36AD:Saul has vision on road to Damascus which leads him to embrace Christianity; becomes most important apostle.
41AD:Caligula killed by Roman military; Claudius becomes emperor.
43AD:Rome launches last major conquest, in Britain.
47AD:Victorious in Britain, Romans demand that all Britons surrender their weapons.
49AD:Council of Jerusalem, early meeting of Christians attended by the apostle Paul, is held.
c. 50AD:Josephus, Jewish historian whose work is one of the few non-biblical sources regarding Jesus, flourishes.
60AD:After the Romans attack her family, Boadicea, queen of the Iceni people in Britain, leads revolt.
64AD:Rebuilding of Temple in Jerusalem, begun by Herod the Great in 20BC, completed.
64AD:Fire sweeps Rome; Nero accused of starting it.
64AD:Nero blames Christians for fire in Rome, beginning first major wave of persecutions.
65AD:After suicide of his advisor, the philosopher Seneca, Nero becomes increasingly uncontrollable.
69AD:Vespasian becomes Roman emperor, begins establishing order throughout empire.
70AD:Future Roman emperor Titus, son of Vespasian, destroys Jerusalem and its temple.
c. 78AD:Kaniska, greatest Kushan ruler, takes throne; later extends Buddhism to China.
79AD:Mount Vesuvius erupts, destroying the city of Pompeii in Italy.
81AD:Death of Titus; his brother, the tyrannical Domitian, becomes Roman emperor.
c. 90AD:John writes Revelation, last book in the Bible.
98AD:Roman historian Tacitus publishes Germania, one of the few contemporary accounts of German tribes and Britons.
100AD:The Sakas, a Scythian tribe, take over Kushan lands in what is now Afghanistan.
c. 100AD:Taoism, based on the ideas of Lao-tzu six centuries before, becomes a formal religion in China.
c. 100AD:Establishment of Teotihuacan, greatest city of ancient America.
c. 100AD:Old Silk Road, trade route between East and West, established.
135AD:Roman emperor Hadrian banishes Jews from Jerusalem.
c. 150AD:Nomadic Hsien-Pei tribe of China briefly conquers a large empire.
161AD:Tiber River floods, causing famine in Rome.
161AD:Greek physician Galen goes to Rome; later becomes physician to Marcus Aurelius and other emperors.
165AD:Romans destroy Parthian capital at Ctesiphon, bringing an end to Parthian control over Persia.
175AD:Roman general Avidius Cassius revolts against Marcus Aurelius in Syria, but is assassinated by one of his soldiers.
180AD:Marcus Aurelius, last of the four "good" Roman emperors, dies; he is replaced by his wild son Commodus.
184AD:Yellow Turbans lead revolt against Han Dynasty emperor of China; revolt is crushed five years later by Ts'ao Ts'ao.
192AD:Roman emperor Commodus assassinated; Septimus Severus (r. 192-211), tries unsuccessfully to restore order.
200s AD:Diogenes Laertius writes Lives of the Eminent Philosophers, primary information source on Greek philosophers.
c. 200AD:Zapotec people establish Monte Alban, first true city in Mesoamerica.
c. 200AD:Anasazi tribe appears in what is now the southwestern United States.
220AD:Later Han Dynasty of China ends.
221AD:Three Kingdoms period in China begins.
c. 226AD:Sassanian dynasty begins in Persia.
235AD:Rome enters period of unrest in which 20 emperors hold the throne in just 49 years.
mid-200s AD:Shapur I, Sassanian ruler, takes Syria from Romans.
253AD:Roamn recovery begins with the emperor Gallienus, who later brings persecution of Christians to temporary end.
265AD:Three Kingdoms period in China ends.
270AD:Aurelian begins reign as Roman emperor.
270AD:Queen Zenobia of Palmyra launches revolt against Roman Empire, conquers most of Syria and Egypt.
284AD:Aurelian assassinated, Roman army chooses Diocletian as emperor; Diocletian ends period of unrest with series of reforms.
300s AD:Buddhism enters China.
300s AD:Books of the Bible compiled; some -- the so-called Apocryphal Books -- are rejected by early Christian bishops.
301AD:Armenia becomes first nation to officially adopt Christianity.
302AD:Diocletian resumes persecution of Christians.
307AD:Constantine, last powerful Roman emperor, begins reign.
313AD:Constantine declares an end to persecution of Christians in Roman Empire.
317AD:Eastern Chin Dynasty established in China.
c. 320AD:Candra Gupta establishes Gupta Empire in India.
325AD:King Ezana of Aksum goes to war against Kush and destroys Mere.
325AD:Council of Nicaea adopts Nicene Creed, Christian statement of faith; declares Arianism a heresy.
330AD:Constantine renames Greek city of Byzantium; as Constantinople, it becomes eastern capital of Roman Empire.
c. 335AD:Candra Gupta dies; his son Samudra Gupta takes throne, and later conquers most of Indian subcontinent.
c. 335AD:King Ezana converts to Christianity; nation of Aksum embraces the religion.
c. 355AD:Huns appear in eastern Europe.
361AD:Roman emperor Julian begins reign; later tries to reestablish pagan religion.
376AD:Samudra Gupta, ruler of Gupta Empire in India, dies; Candra Gupta II, greatest Gupta ruler, takes throne.
379AD:Theoidosius becomes Roman emperor; last to rule a united Roman Empire.
383AD:At Fei Shui, an Eastern Chin force prevents nomads from overrunning all of China.
386AD:Toba nomads invade northern China and establish Toba Wei Dynasty.
394AD:Roman emperor Theodosius I brings an end to ancient Olympic Games.
c. 400AD:End of Kushite kingdom in Africa.
401AD:Visigoth chieftain Alaric, driven out of Eastern Roman Empire, moves westward.
410AD:Visigoths under Alaric sack Rome on August 24, hastening fall of western empire.
420AD:End of Eastern Chin Dynasty in China.
434AD:Huns arrive in what is now Austria; around this time, Attila emerges as their leader.
448AD:Huns, under Atilla, move into western Europe.
c. 450AD:Hunas (Huns or Hsiung-Nu) invade Gupta Empire in India.
451AD:Huns under Attila invade Gaul; defeated at Chlons-sur-Marne.
500s AD:African kingdom of Aksum establishes control over "incense states" of southern Arabia.
c. 500AD:Japanese adopt Chinese system of writing; beginnings of Japanese history.
c. 500AD:Bantu peoples control most of southern Africa.
c. 540AD:End of Gupta Empire in India.
554AD:End of Toba Wei Dynasty in northern China.
575AD:Sassanid Persians gain control over Arabian peninsula.
581AD:Establishment of Sui Dynasty, and reunification of China.
600s AD:Rise of Islam and Arab power.
600s AD:Three kingdoms emerge as Korea establishes independence from China.
c. 600AD:Civil-service examinations, pioneered by Emperor Han Wu-ti seven centuries before, formally established in China.
c. 600AD:African kingdom of Aksum declines.
618AD:End of Sui Dynasty, beginning of T'ang Dynasty, in China.
622AD:Mohammed and his followers escape from Mecca (the Hegira); beginning of Muslim calendar.
642AD:Founding of Cairo, Egypt.
672AD:Muslims conquer Egypt.
c. 750AD:Decline of Teotihuacan in Meso america.
1300s AD:Lighthouse of Alexandria destroyed in earthquake.
1687AD:Parthenon damaged by explosion during war.
1776-88AD:British historian Edward Gibbon publishes The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
1798AD:French forces under Napoleon invade Egypt; later French scholars develop modern Egyptology.
1799AD:Rosetta Stope discovered by French troops in Egypt.
1800s AD:Gilgamesh Epic of Mesopotamia recovered by scholars.
1800s AD:Linguists discover link between Indo-European languages of India, Iran, and Europe.
1813AD:French publication of Description of Egypt, first significant modern work about Egyptian civilization.
1821AD:Jean-Franois Champollion deciphers Rosetta Stone, enabling first translation of Egyptian heiroglyphs.
1860AD:First discovery of colossal stone heads carved by Olmec in Mexico.
1871AD:Heinrich Schliemann begins excavations at Hissarlik in Turkey, leading to discovery of ancient Troy.
1876-78AD:Heinrich Schliemann discovers ruins of Mycenae in Greece.
1894AD:Pierre de Coubertin establishes modern Olympic Games; first Games held in Athens two years later.
Late 1800s AD: Archaeologists discover first evidence, outside of the Bible, of Hittite civilization in Asia Minor.
1922AD:British archaeologist Howard Carter discovers tomb of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen.
1947-50s AD: Dead Sea scrolls discovered in Palestine.
1952AD:Mycenaean Linear B script deciphered.
1960s AD:Archaeologists discover evidence of volcanic eruption on Greek island of Thera c. 1500BC.