Historical Timeline

Date(s) Greek Event(s) Roman Event(s)
ca. 1900-
1100 BCE
Bronze Age ("Heroic" age, prehistoric). Palace cultures flourish on the Greek mainland and elsewhere (Crete, Cyprus, Turkish coastline). Much Greek mythology (Trojan war, etc.) rooted in dimly remembered events from this period.  
ca. 1100-
Iron Age/"Dark Ages." Period of decline, then recovery, following the collapse of the palace cultures. Most of the old kingdoms break up. Exeptions: Athens, the Greek kingdoms on the island of Cyprus.  
ca. 800-490 Archaic period. Introduction of alphabetic writing to Greece. The birth of the polis. The rise of hoplite warfare. Overseas colonization. A period of oligarchy and tyranny in Greece, perhaps some democracy.  
  Homer, Hesiod, Alcman, Sappho active. Period of mostly aristocratic rule in the Greek states (or poleis).  
753-510   Roman Regal period. Rome ruled by kings.
560-514 Tyranny of Peisistratus and sons at Athens.  
550 Sparta dominant power in Peloponnese.  
510-27   Roman Republic. (Mostly) oligarchic (i.e., power concentrated within an elite class, non-monarchial).
507 Cleisthenes institutes reforms at Athens (some regard Cleisthenes as founder of democracy.)  
490-323 Classical Period  
490-479 Persian Wars (Persia tries to conquer mainland Greece; fails).  
463-322 "Radical" or direct democracy at Athens. Citizens govern selves, legislate. More at "Dēmos" site.  

Pericles' ascendancy at Athens. Highpoint of the radical democracy, Athenian empire (states rimming the Aegean sea, plus islands).

411-410 Period of oligarchy at Athens. Democracy soon restored.  
404 Athens defeated by Sparta.  
404-403 Period of oligarchy at Athens. Democracy soon restored.  
336-323 Reign of Alexander III ("the Great") of Macedon  
334-323 Alexander's conquests in the east  
323 Death of Alexander.  
323-30 Hellenistic Period. Period of broad-based Greek cultural expansion, especially easward. Macedonian-Greek kingdoms in Asia Minor, Near East, Mesopotamia, South Asia, Egypt.  

Date(s) Roman/Mediterranean Event(s)
246-241 1st Punic War, Rome v. Carthage (North African city).
218-201 2nd Punic War. Carthaginian forces commanded by Hannibal.
200s-40s Rome conquers much of Mediterranean world, Western Europe.
186 Crackdown on worship of Bacchus at Rome.
149-146 3rd Punic War. Rome destroys Carthage.
58-51 Julius Caesar conquers Gaul (= France).
49-31 Period of political strife at Rome, including dictatorship of Caesar (46-44).
31 Battle of Actium: Octavian (Caesar's nephew and adoptive son — future Augustus) defeats Cleopatra (queen of Egypt) and Marc Antony.
27 BCE-
235 CE
Roman Empire Phase One — "Principate"
27 BCE Octavian assumes the name Augustus; becomes first "emperor" (rules 27 BCE-14 CE). Final end of the Republic.
18 BCE Lex Iulia de adulteriis coercendis, "Julian law on the punishment of adulterors." First piece of Augustus' marriage legislation.
18 BCE Lex Iulia de maritandis ordinibus, "Julian law concerning marriage and socio-political status."
9 CE Lex Papia Poppaea, Augustus' sequel to the marriage legislation of 18 BCE.
14-37 CE Reign of Tiberius.
37-41 Reign of Caligula.
41-54 Reign of Claudius.
54-69 Reign of Nero.
66-70 Jewish War (revolt of Jewish province; destruction of the Temple in 70).
69 Reigns of Galba, Otho, Vitellius.
69-79 Vespasian.
79 Erruption of Vesuvius; destruction of Pompeii, Herculaneum.
79-81 Titus.
81-96 Domitian.
96-98 Nerva.
98-117 Trajan.
117-139 Hadrian.
139-196 various emperors, including the Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius (161-180). . . .
212 Caracalla's (r. 196-217) citizenship edict: all free inhabitants of Roman empire now Roman citizens. From the Roman perspective, Rome was now the whole world, and the world, Roman.


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