Chronography of the Roman Empire, from Romulus to Byzantium
Also Etruscans, Carthage, Germanic tribes
Page last modified 19/12/2021
Second split into East & West; end (or Germanification) of West, 340-552.
First split into East & West (285-323)
Emperor Theodosius I (347-395)
Emperor Trajan (53-117 )
Emperor Nero (37-68)
Julius Caesar (100-44 BCE)
�The sick die here because they cannot sleep; For when does sleep come in rented rooms? It costs a lot merely to sleep in this city� Juvenal, Roman poet.
1748, Excavations on the site of Pompeii began.
1461, The last Byzantine outpost, at Trabzon, fell to the Ottoman Turks.
6/1/1449, Constantine XI was crowned Byzantine Emperor at Mistra. He was the last in a line of rulers that can be traced to the founding of Rome.
6/9/1422. Sultan Murad gave up besieging Constantinople.
1391, Byzantine Emperor John V Paleologus died aged� 59. He was succeeded by his 41-year-old son who ruled until 1425 as Emperor Manuel II Paleologus.
15/6/1341, Following the death of Byzantine Emperor Andronicus III, aged 45, this day his 9-year-old son was challenged by his guardian, John Cantacuzene, for the rulership.
11/6/1329, Ottoman Turks defeated the Byzantine Empire in the Battle of Maltepe (Pelekanon)
See also Greece-Turkey, 1326 onwards
6/4/1326. Orkhan, son of Osman, the founder of the Ottoman Empire, captured Brusa from the Byzantines and made it his capital. By 1341 Orkhan had reinforced his influence in the Byzantine Empire by marrying twice into it; first to Theodora, daughter of Byzantium�s new joint Emperor John Cantacuzene, whom he had lent 6,000 troops for his coup. Secondly, Orkhan�s new sister in law, Helen, married the other joint Emperor and coup victim, John Paleologus.
27/7/1302, The Ottoman Turks defeated the Byzantine Empire in the Battle of Bapheus, heralding the Turkish conquest of Bithynia.
15/8/1261. Restoration of the Byzantine Empire. Michael VIII Paleologus seized Constantinople, ending the Latin empire and restoring the Byzantine Empire. The Greeks had taken advantahge of the absence of the Venetian fleet to to cross the Bosphorus and on 25/7/1261 Constantinople fell to the Greeks under Alexius Stragopulos. Emperor Baldwin II (Latin ruler since 1228) was driven out. The Paleologi Family now took power, and ruled until 1453. Michael VIII Paleologus, aged 27, began a 21-year reign.
13/4/1204, The Crusaders captured Constantinople. Start of the Latin Empire, 1204-1261. Venice had provided the shipping to carry the Fourth Crusade eastwards, but in order to repay Venice the Crusaders were obliged to seize, on behalf of Venice, the port of Zara on tye Adriatic from Christian Hungary. Meanwhile the exiled Byzantine Prince Alexius Angelus , son of the deposed King Isaac II, also offered to pay the Crusaders if they would restore him to the Byzantine throne. In June 1203 therefore, the Crusaders arrived in Constantinople and set up Alexius as Emperor. However in February 1204 Emperor Alexius was murdered, and replaced by courtier Alexius Doucas, who told the Crusaders to leave. Moreover the promised 200,000 Marks fee for installing Alexius Angelus was never paid. The Crusaders responded by besieging and attacking Constantinople. The Crusader nobleman Baldwin of Flanders was installed as Byzantine ruler, but most of Byzantium refused to recognise him, and the Empire fragmented into four disunited States.
1195, Emperor Isaac II Angelus was deposed whilst on a hunting trip by his brother Alexius. Alexius now became Emperor Alexius III Angelus; he captured Isaac at Satgira, Macedonia, and blinded him.
1185, Emperor Isaac II Angelus began a 10-year reign. However he allowed the corruption to rerappear that his predecessor Andronicus had begun to eliminate. Under his rule the Byzantine Empire began to disintegrate.
1183, Emperer Alexiius II Comnenus was strangled by agents of his uncle and co-emperor; he now took sole power as Andronicus I Comnenus.
1180, Emperor Manuel I Comnenus died aged 60 after a 37-year reign. Continual conflict with the Normans had weakened his empire financially. He was succeeded by his 12-year-old son who reigned briefly, with his mother Maria of Antioch as Regent.
17/9/1176, Emperor Manuel of Byzantium was defeated by the Muslims, in the Crusades.�
13/9/1087, John II Comnenus, Byzantine Emperor, was born.
1082, Emperor Nicephorus III abdicated under pressure from his 33-year old General, Alexius Comnenus, who then assumed the throne as Emperor Alexius I Comnenus.
1078, Emperor Michael VII abdicated. He was replaced by a soldier who began a 3-year reign as Nicephorus III Botaniates.
26/8/1071. The armies of the Byzantine leader Emperor Romanus Diogenes and the Turkish leader Mohammed Ibn Da�ud clashed at Manzikert, or Malazagird, north of Lake Van. The Byzantines had entered Armenia with the French and Normans, and some Turks from the Uzes tribe, and the Turkish leader had to abandon a campaign in Syria and hurry north to meet this invasion. The Turkish cavalry routed the enemy. Ibn Da�ud died on 24/11/1072.
1067, Byzantine Emperor Constantine X Dukas died, aged 60. His widow Eudoxia Macrembolitissa married a General, who ruled jointly with her until 1071 as Romanus IV Diogenes.
1059, The Byzantine Emperor Isaac I Comnenus abdicated in favour of a senior financial officer who began an 8-year reign as Constantine X (Dukas). The new Emperor antagonised the army by shifting resources towards the civil service, the church and scholars.
1057, The Comnenus Dynasty, which endured until 1185, began in Byzantium with the reign of Isaac I Comnenus, a military leader proclaimed ruler by the barons of Anatolia.
1056, Byzantine Empress Theodora died, aged 76, ending the Macedonian Dynasty that had begun with the reign of Justinian the Great in 527. Theodora�s successor, Michael VI (Stratioticus) was overthrown in early 1057 by� a rebellion of the feudal barons of Anatolia.
1055, Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX died, aged 55, leaving Theodora to rule alone.
1050, The Byzantine Empress Zoe died, aged 70. Her older sister Theodora, who had been co-Empress since 1042, now ruled with Emperor Constantine IX. He spent large sums on public buildings, but this profligacy weakened the economy.
1018, Bulgaria was now part of the Byzantine Empire.
6/7/1014, Byzantine Emperor Basil II defeated the Bulgarian army, after a 28-year war, under Tsar Samuel, then ordered the defeated 15,000 men to be blinded. Basil arranged for one eye of every hundredth man to be spared so the army could find its way back to the Tsar.
995, The Byzantine Empire conquered Syria, capturing Aleppo and Homs.
10/1/976, Byzantine co-Emperor John I Tzimisces died aged 51 after returning from a second campaign against the Saracens. The other co-Emperor, Basil II, then aged 20, now ruled alone until 1025.
28/10/969. After a prolonged siege, Byzantium captured Antioch from the Arabs.
867, Basil I became sole ruler of the Byzantine Empire.
865, The Vikings sacked Constantinople.
829, Byzantine Emperor Michael II died. He was succeeded by Theophilus, a religious fanatic who ruled until 842.
26/7/811, Battle of Pliska. In May 811 Nicephorus and his son Stauracius led a Byzantine Army into Bulgaria, to curb the rising power of the Bulgarians, which Constantinople saw as a threat. Tsar Krum was unable to meet such an army head on and attempted negotiations, but Byzantium spurned this offer, intent on crushing the Bulgarians. Pliska fell easily to Nicephorus. The Byzantines then terrorised the region, massacring people, and destroying crops and animals. Having taught the Bulgarians a lesson, Nicephorus then turned back home. His route took him through the narrow Verbiza pass, which Nicephorus neglected to scout out first. The Bulgarians had laid a trap here; they sealed both ends of the gorge, then fell upon the Byzantines.and on 26 July massacred them at this point. Only a few returned to Constantiniple, and Nicephoirus was killed. Stauracius had to be carried home, paralysed by a neck wound, and .he died of this after six months agony.
801, Empress Irene was deposed and replaced by Nicephorus I.
790, An army mutiny and revolt against Empress Irene resulted in her son, Constantine VI, becoming Emperor.
780, Regency of Irene began.
741, Byzantime Emperor Leo III died aged 61 after a 24-year reign, having saved the Empire from Arab invasion (740). He was succeeded by his 22-year-old son, who ruled as Constantine V (Copronymus) until 775.
740, Emperor Leo III defeated the Arabs at Amorium, halting their advance into Asia Minor.
718, The Arab fleet besieging Constantinople was destroyed by Leo III, and the 13-month siege iof the city lifted.
15/8/717, Muslim forces attempted to capture Constantinople, but were defeated �However Emperor Theodosius was deposed and succeeded by the 37-year-old Emperor Leo III, who ruled until 741. This was the start of the Isaurian Dynasty, which endured until 802.
716, Emperor Anastasius II (died 721) was deposed in an army mutiny. He was succeeded by a former tax collector who became Emperor Theodosius; he proved to be an incapable leader and was deposed in 717.
713, Byzantine Emperor Philippicus was deposed after a 2-year reign, after a defeat by the Arabs. He was succeeded by Anastasius II, who strengthened the army and navy, and ruled until 716.
711, Philippicus instituted a rebellion against Justinian; on the assassination of Justinian, Philippicus declared himself Emperor.
705, Byzantine Emperor Justinian II (Rhinometus) regained the throne, with Bulgar help, that he had lost in 695. He took severe revenge on his opponents who had mutilated him, massacring many of them, and ruled until 711.
695, Byzantine Emperor Justinian II was deposed by army officers, who cut off his nose and exiled him to Kherson (Crimea). Leontius was made Emperor.
674, The Arabs laid siege to Constantinople. However the city�s defences proved impregnable, and the Theodosian Wells (built under the reign of Emperor Theodosius in the 5th century) provided a dependable water supply. The Arabs resorted to starving the city by blocking supply routes, forcing the Byzantine fleet to engage with the Arab ships. The Byzantines used a weapon called �Greek Fire�, a flammable liquid beliebed to have been invented by Kallinikos in Constantinople in the early 670s. This liquid was squirted out of bronze tubes directly at enemy ships; an early flamethrower. In 677 this weapon caused the Arabs to retreat.
665, Byzantine Emperor Constans was assassinated in his bath.
641, Death of Heraclius.
15/8/636. The Byzantine army was crushed by the Moslem Arabs at the Battle of Yarmuk, on the River Yarmuk, east of the Sea of Galilee. The Arabs, who took Damascus in 635, now controlled all of Syria. In 637 the Arabs destroyed the Persian army at the Battle of Qadisiyya. Jerusalem was captured by the Arabs in 638 under Caliph Umar.
630, Heraclius captured Jerusalem from the Persians.
10/7/626, Persian ships had allied with Avar lad forces� in attacking Constantinople, but this day had to withdraw, the Persians unable to land and the Avars suffering food shortages. Avar migrations had steadily arrived in the Balkans since ca. 600, albeit briefly halted by Byzantine emperor Phocas in 604. In 617 the Avars had made an assault on Constantinople, whilst Byzantium was preoccupied with frothing Persia. However this day the Byzantine Navy managed to see off the combined attack.
12/6/626, Heraclius, Byzantium,� had advanced far into Persian territory. He had crossed the Zab River, in what is now Kurdish Iraq, and was threatening Chosroe�s palace at Dastagird. At the Battle of Nineveh this day, Rhahzadh, the Sassanid commander, was killed. Chosroe II was killed by his two sons, and Byzantium and Persia agreed a truce advantageous to Byzantium, which gained territory. However the weakening of the Persian Empire created an opportunity for Islamic expansion, which was to be the next foe for Byzantium to contend with.
622, Rome won the Battle of Issus, against Persia; the first of several victories under Heraclius.
610, The son of the military garrison of Roman Africa, Heraclius, assassinated Phocas, who had proved inept at fending off threats from the Avars to th north and the Persians to the east, and made himself Emperor. Heraclius was a good military leader, and gained the advantage over the Persians.
602, During a further army rebellion led by army officer Phocas, Emperor Maurice was assassinated and Phocas became Emperor. Chosroes II of Persia took advantage of this crisis whilst the Avars invaded from the north. Chosroes II took control of Egypt and the Arabian peninsula.
588, Emperor Maurice faced a financial crisis, because Tiberius�s overspending and militarily-ineffective campaigns against the Persians, Lombards and Avars had emptied the treasury.This year, his economising efforts led to a mutiny by the eastern army;there was a further mutiny by the Balkans army in 593. Maurice installed his father, Paul, as head of the Senate, and made his brother in law Philippicus head of the Palace Guard. This nepotism further increased his unpopularity.
584, Maurice renewed the war with Persia, appointing Philippicus to oversee it. However the attack on Arzanene was disruoted by the defection of the Ghassanid Arabs.These former allies had been alienated by the arrest of their King, al-Mundhir. The mutiny of the eastern army in 588 stalled efforts further,and in 589 Byzantium lost the town of Martyropolis (in what is now Turkey) to the Persians. However the outbreak of civil war in Persia and a succession conflict saved Byzantium. Martyropolis and Dara were regained in 592.
582, Emperor Maurice succeeded Tiberius II. He ruled until 602.
578, Emperor Justin died, insane. He was succeeded by his general Tiberius as Tiberius II Constaninius.
1/4/568. King Albion of the Lombards (King since 565, died 573), a Germanic tribe, assembled an army that included his allies, 20,000 Saxons, in order to cross the Alps and form a settlement in Italy. The Lombards may have been invited to attack Italy by the Byzantine General Narses. Milan was occupied by the Lombards on 4/9/569 and Lombard rule established in northern Italy. The Avars overran what is now the Croatia / Zagreb region.
14/11/565, Byzantine Emperor Justinian I died after a 38-year reign (born 483); succeeded by his nephew, Justin II (died 578).
559, Belisarius defeated a Hun army near Constantinople.
554, Battle of Volturnus, on the banks of the Volturnus River in Campania, Italy. The Franks, Goths and Alemanni formed an alliance to stop the Byzantine advance in Italy. Narses, leading the Byzantine forces. Heavily defeated the Franks and Giths, although Byzantine Emperor Justinian could not claim toi rule all of Italy until 562.
552, King Totila, Ostrogoth, killed fighting Byzantium (King Narses) at the Battle of Taginae. In 553 Narses again took Rome and Naples for Byzantium.
550, The Ostrogoth King Totila reconquered Rome.
548, Byzantine Empress Theodora (born 508) died.
17/12/546. The Ostrogothic King Totila captured Rome after a years siege. The city had been deserted by all but 500 of its civilian inhabitants.� However the Byzantine commander Belisarius re-occupied the deserted city of Rome in 547 and rebuilt its defences.
542, The Plague hit Constantinople, imported by rats from Egypt. Justinian�s soldiers and the traders who fed them carried the Plague around the western Mediterranean, and in 547 it reached Britain. The Plague bacillus probably existed long before this in the Great Lakes area of Africa, and was endemic in the rat population of Ethiopia. However the plague-bearing fleas are only active between 59 F and 68 F so Egypt, hotter than this, created a heat barrier to the disease. This barrier came down when several years of unusually cold weather ensued in Egypt, perhaps caused by a comet tail or a volcanic eruption. Bubonic Plague appeared in Egypt in 541, reaching Comstantinople a year later.
540, Ostroghtic King Totila took Italy from Byzantium. Meanwhile a Persian army attacked and plundered the Byzantine province of Syria.
539, Belisarius recovered the province of Istria from the Goths.
27/12/537. Emperor Justinian of Constantinople opened the Church of St Sophia, five years after building started. It was hailed as the finest church in Christendom. It replaced an original church to St Sophia built by Constantine in 330 but burnt down in the rebellion of 532. However this church collapsed� on 7/5/558, severely weakened by an earthquake in December 557. A third St Sophia was built, and completed on 24/12/562. The dome was designed by the mathematician Anthemius of Tralles, who is also said to have invented a device that used steam power to produce artificial earthquakes.
9/12/536. The Byzantine commander Belisarius, having captured Naples earlier in 536, now took Rome �In 534 Belisarius had defeated the Vandals in north Africa.
24/3/536, Procopius, Cassiodirus and other Roman historians recorded that a heavy dust cloud spread across Europe from this day onwards. It was to stay put for 18 months, and in 539 another such cloud stayed in the sky for several months. There were summer frosts and snow showers as temperatures plummeted, and crops failed to ripen because of lack of light and the cold. Widespread food shortages led to the Justinian Plague (541-3), named after the Roman Emperor of the time, which wiped out a third of Europeans. The cause has been linked to a series of huge volcanic eruptions in North America in 535-6, and again in 539 AD.
535, Justinian recovered the province of Albania, which had been overrun by the Goths in the 4th and 5th centurie. He also recovered what is now the Croatia / Zagreb region.
534, Malta taken by Byzantium (who held it until 870).
13/9/533, At the Battle of Ad Decimum, near Carthage (Tunisia), Byzantine forces under Emperor Belisarus defeated the Vandal army under King Gelimer, and his brother Tzazo. The Byzantimes captured North Africa from the Franks.
13/1/532, Major riot in Constantinople against Emperor Justinian, caused by heavy taxes and corrupt government.
531, Battle of Callinicum. The Sassanids defeated the Byzantines, and forced them to pay an annual tribute in return for an uneasy peace.
530, Battle of Dara. Belisarius, military commander of Byzantine Emperor Justinian, defeated the Sassanid Empire.
1/8/527, The Byzantine Emperor Justin I died aged 77. He was succeeded by Justinian I (Flavius Petrus) who began a 38-year reign, strongly influenced by his 19-year-old wife Theodora, until her death in 545.
the Great died
523, The last recorded games in the Coliseum of Rome, a century after they were officially banned.
9/7/518. Death of the Roman Emperor Anastasius I, in Constantinople. Born no later than 430, he became Emperor at the death of Zeno, 491. He reduced taxation but was so prudent financially he gained a reputation for avarice and became unpopular. He fight with Persia, 502 � 505; neither side gaining much by the time peace was made in 506. The Roman Balkan provinces were overrun by Slavs and Bulgars; to protect Constantinople Anastasius built the �Anastasian Wall� in 512. He also had to deal with a rebellion in the European provinces in 514-515, the rebels being assisted by the Huns. He was succeeded by Emperor Justin I (died 527).
25/1/477, King Gaiseric of the Vandals died.
28/8/476, German chieftain Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustulus, the last Western Roman Emperor.
474, Death of Leo I, Eastern Roman Emperor 457 � 474.
16/6/455. Rome was sacked and plundered by the Vandals, under Gaiseric, just 45 years after it was conquered by the Visigoths.
425, Large areas of the Western Roman Empire had been settled by Germanic tribes. The Vandals in southern Spain. Huns in Pannonia. Ostrogoths in Dalmatia. The Visigoths and Suevi in Portugal and northern Spain.
27/2/425. Emperor Theodosius II founded, in effect, the University of Constantinople. He gathered a group of professors and gave them a monopoly over higher education in the city.
23/10/424, Emperor Theodosius II nominated his cousin Valentinian, aged 5, the imperial title nobilissimus Caesar ("most noble") of the Western Roman Empire.
2/9/421, Roman Emperor Constantius III died.
416, The Goths continued westwards, entering what is now Catalonia, Spain,
8/5/413, Honorius signed an edict providing tax relief for the Italian provinces Tuscia, Campania, Picenum, Samnium, Apulia, Lucania, and Calabria, who were plundered by the Visigoths.
23/8/410. The Visigoths under Alaric I sacked Rome after a third siege. Alaric had been left embittered by the Battle of the Frigidus River (6/9/394). Slaves opened the Salarian Gate and the Goths looted the city for three days. It was the first time since 390 BC that Rome had fallen to an enemy. This marked the decline of the Roman Empire. The Goths then continued westwards through what is now southern France.
409, The Huns briefly invaded Greece. However some of them were bribed by Aetius and switched sides to help the Romans defend against further invasions.
13/10/409, The Vandals, led by King Gunderic, crossed the Pyrenees into the Iberian Peninsula. They received land from the Romans, in southern Spain. The Alans occupied lands in Lusitania and the Suebi controlled parts of Gallaecia (modern Portugal).
408, The Eastern Roman Emperor Arcadius, whose eunuch general Eutropius had been unable to prevent barbarian invasions, died aged 31 after a 13-year reign. He was succeeded by his 7-year-old son who ruled until 450 as Emperor Theodosius II, but under the domination of his sister Pulcheria.
23/8/408, Flavius Stilicho, soldier, was assassinated, on the orders of Emperor Honorius, as Rome was under siege from the Visigoths.
31/12/406. The Rhine, for long the frontier of the Roman Empire, froze over in an exceptionally cold winter. A wave of tribes, the Vandals, Sueves, and Alans, moved across and into Gaul.
23/8/406, Radagaisus, King of the Goths, was executed by the Romans. He had attempted an invasion of Italy but was defeated by Stilicho.
397, Stilichio drove out the Visigoths under Alaric from Greece after a 2-year campaign.
395, The Huns continued moving west and south, and entered eastern Asia Minor and the north east Mediterranean area.
17/1/395. Emperor Theodosius I died and was succeeded by his two sons. The Empire was once again divided; Arcadius, aged 17, husband of Eudoxia (the daughter of Frankish leader Bauto), controlled the east from Constantinople. Meanwhile �Honorius, aged 10, ruled the west from Milan (under the regentship of his Vandal master of troops, Stilichio). The border between the east and west crossed the Libyan Desert and the Balkans. Stilichio�s daughter, Maria, married Honorius in 398.
6/9/394, Battle of Frigidus. Eugenius had seized power in Rome in 392 (Western Roman Empire) and now wanted to forcibly reunite the Eastern Roman Empire (ruled from Constantinople), with himself as head of a pagan Empire, worshipping the god Jupiter. Emperor Theodosius Eastern ruler, set out to stop him. Emperor Theodosius had the Visgoths under Alaric as allies, which he both needed but also feared for their potential power might be turned against him one day.
The two armies met on the banks of the Frigidus River in the Slovenian Mountains; Emperor Theodosius placed the Visigoths in his vanguard, however they could not break Eugenius�s lines,despite repated charges. With some 3,000 Visigoths killed, but Eugenius�s army scarcely damaged, Eugenuis was poised for victory. However, supposedly in answer to the Christian Emperor Theodosius prayers, a strong wind started up, blowing sand in Eugenius�s soldiers� faces, a wind so strong that it reputedly turned back Eugenius�s arrows in muid flight.
Eugenius was killed in battle against the barbarian legions of Emperor Theodosius. The Frankish general, Arbogast, escaped into the mountains but� committed suicide two days later.
393, Emperor Theodosius outlawed the Olympic Games, which has been held for 1,000 years.
15/5/392, Roman Emperor Valentinian II was assassinated in Gaul, at the instigation of his Frankish General Arbogast, who then set up Eugenius as Emperor. Emperor Theodosius, enraged, marched against Eugenius.
28/7/388, Theodosius I, Byzantine Emperor, defeated the Roman Emperor Maximus near Aquileia.
15/8/383. The Byzantine Emperor Theodosius signed an agreement with the Visigoths giving them land and political autonomy within the Empire, as foederati (non-Roman citizen allies of Rome) �under King Alaric I in return for military service. They were allowed to settle south of the Danube. See 375.
19/1/379, The Roman Emperor Theodosius assumed power at Sirmius.
9/8/378. The Romans were defeated by the Visigoths under Fritigern at the Battle of Adrianople (Erdine, Turkey), Emperor Valens was killed. Rather than wait for Roman reinforcements under his nephew Gratian, who was marching in from Rhaetia (Switzerland), Valens, reluctant to share any credit for defeating the Visigoths , attacked prematurely with insufficient men to defeat them. The Roman Army had also endured an 8-mile march in summer temperatures of 100 F to reach the Visigoths. In 376 the Visigoths had been allowed to move into Roman territory to escape pressure from the Huns. In 377 the Visigoths revolted against Rome and the Roman Emperor Valens determined to subdue them. He attacked on 9/8/378 when the main body of the Goth�s cavalry was away foraging, but suddenly the Goth�s cavalry re-appeared on the battlefield. Two thirds of Valerian�s army was killed. That battle ushered in the supremacy, in the Roman army, of the cavalry over the legions.
377, The Visigoths began a revolt against Rome, having been aliented by the efforts of local Roman governors to strip their wealth.
376, The Goths moved southwards down the west coast of the Black Sea towards Asia Minor, Adrianople, and Greece.
17/11/375, Emperor� Valentian I concluded an enduring peace with the Alamanni in Germany, then marched into Illyrium to repel an invasion of the Quadi and the Sarmatians on the Danube frontier. While negotiating with the Quadi, Valentinian, age 54, became so enraged that he died in a fit of apoplexy at Brigetio (Hungary). Extreme cruelty marked his 11-year reign but he founded schools and provided physicians to serve the poor of Constantinople.
375,. The Huns began to move westwards from Lake Baikal and the steppes of central Asia, conquering the Goths who in turn were driven westwards and massed on the Danubian borders of the Roman Empire as refugees. Ostrogoths, Visigoths and Alans are all Germanic tribes, warlike themselves, who were nevertheless driven west by the Huns. The Visigoths sought and were granted permission by the Romans to cross south-west over the lower Danube. See 15/8/383.
253,The Goths invaded Asia Minor and reached the gates of Thessalonica.
20/3/235, Maximinius Thrax, aged 62, was proclaimed emperor. He had a Gothic father and an Alan mother. Maximinus a Thracian, was the first foreigner to hold the Roman throne.
202, Rome banned female gladiators.
28/3/193, The Roman Emperor Pertinax was assassinated.
167, The smallpox / measles epidemic reached Rome.
7/3/161. Emperor Antoninus died at Lorium and was replaced by Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Aurelius inherited a stable Empire but soon had to deal with a Parthian invasion of Syria, and then the crowded Roman troop camps in Syria provided the perfect place for an epidemic (probably smallpox or measles) to break out.
21/4/147. Emperor Antoninus celebrated the 900th anniversary of Rome� s foundation.
11/4/146, Birth of Roman Emperor Septimus Severis.
143. The Antonine Wall was built in Britain, north of Hadrian�s wall. However in 165 the Romans retreated back south to Hadrian�s wall.
140, The Roman theatre at Verulamium (St Albans) was built.
See also Great Britain
138, Hadrian was succeeded as Emperor by his adopted son Antoninus Pius.
10/7/138. Hadrian, who became Emperor of Rome on 8/8/117, died at his villa on the Bay of Naples. See 8/8/117.
127, Hadrian�s Wall, Britain, was completed (work began in 122). This fixed the boundary between the Roman Empire and Caldedonia as a line from the River Tyne to the Solway Firth.
13/9/122, Construction of Hadrian�s Wall in Britain began (completed 127).
26/4/121, Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor, was born.
120, Hadrian,of Spanish origin, began a seven-year tour of the Roman Empire, to gain first hand experience of the provinces; he was the first Emperor to do this. He was also exceptional in that he grew a beard, Greek style,and had Grecophile tendencies.
19/4/69, Aulus Vitellus sent two legions to the Po Valley where they defeated supporters of Otto in the Battle of Bedriacum, near Cremona. The Roman Emperor Otto then committed suicide. Vitellus now faced a challenge from Titus Flavianus Sabinus Vespasianus, 59, Legate of Judea.
15/1/69, The Roma� Emperor Galba was assassinated by Marcus Salvius Otho, 36, a friend of the late Nero. Eight legions on the Rhine had denied their allegiance to Galba and claimed legate Aulus Vitellus, 54, as Emperor instead. The Senate recognised Otho as Emperor.
68-69, The Helviticans (Swiss) rebelled, and were crushed by Roman General Caecina.
30 BCE, Rome replaced its army of conscript soldiers with career soldiers.
12/8/30 BCE, Cleopatra died.
1/8/30 BCE,� Octavian Caesar captured Alexandria. This marked the official annexation of Ancient Egypt to the Roman Republic. Egypt came to be a key grain supply area for the Roman Empire.
2/9/31 BCE. Octavian and his general, Agrippa, defeated Mark Anthony and Cleopatra�s fleet off Actium. Anthony followed Cleopatra to Egypt, to which she had escaped with 60 ships. There, pursued by his enemies and deserted by his troops, Anthony, aged 52, committed suicide in the mistaken belief that Cleopatra had already done likewise.
This battle traditionally marks the end of the Roman Republic and the start of the Roman Empire.
34 BCE, Dalmatia became a Roman Province. Rome conquered what is now Croatia and the Zagreb region.
16/11/42 BCE. Tiberius, the second Emperor of Rome, whose rule was marked by cruelty and debauchery, was born in Rome. He was the son of the High Priest Tiberius Claudius Nero, and of Livia Drusilla, her husband�s cousin.
23/10/42 BCE. Marcus Brutus, whose army was crushed by Anthony and Octavian at the Second Battle of Philippi, committed suicide in Rome by falling on his own sword.
7/12/43 BCE. Cicero (Marcus Tullus), the great Roman orator, (born 106 BCE) was killed by a soldier, Herennius, as he attempted to flee by ship to Macedonia. He had fallen into disfavour �for writing The Philippics, a series of attacks on Mark Anthony. In 44 BC he had been in a powerful position, when Julius Caesar was assassinated, but Cicero has then opposed Caesar�s successor, Octavian.
10/10/43 BCE, The city of Lyons was founded by Lucius Plancus.
20/3/43 BCE, The poet Ovid was born.
60 BCE, The Romans founded colonies in Switzerland.
29/9/61 BCE, September 29 � Pompey the Great celebrated his third triumph for victories over the pirates and the end of the Mithridatic Wars.
62 BCE, City of Florence was founded.
5/1/62 BCE, The forces of the conspirator Catiline were defeated by the loyal Roman armies of Antonius Hybrida led by Gaius Antonius in the Battle of Pistoria.
3/12/63 BCE, In Rome the conspirators in the failed Catiline revolt were executed. Lucius Sergius Catiline himself has already fled but died in battle a month later. The episode exposed the discontent in Rome with an oligarchic ruling elite.
23/9/63 BCE. Birth of the first Roman Emperor, Gaius Octavius Caesar, adopted son and heir of Julius Caesar.
8/12/65 BCE. Horace, Roman poet, was born in Venusian Apulia.
68 BCE. Crete was captured by the Romans.
15/10/70 BCE, Virgil, Roman poet, was born.
72 BCE, The Suevi, a Germanic tribe, crossed the Rhone and� invaded Gaul led by KingAriovistus.
73 BCE, Rome�s Third Servile War began as slaves revolted under the leadership of the Thracian slave and gladiator, Spartcacus. He seized the Mount Vesuvius region and gathered other slaves to his cause. He was defeated by Roman armies in 72 BCE.
74 BCE, Bithynia became a Roman province.
78 BCE, Sulla died.
1/11/82 BCE, Conflict in Rome between democratic reformist populares and wealthier anti-reformist optimates. This dispute had begun in 83 BC; in Autumn 82 BC an army of Samnites, under King Pontius Telesinus, who favoured democratic reform, was laying siege to Rome itself. Sulla outflanked the Samnites, and Telesinus was killed; the Samnites then fled in disarray. Sulla then became Dictator of Rome.
83 BCE, Rome conquered Pontus.
13/1/86 BCE, Gaius Marius, Roman soldier and politician, died.
88 BCE, Upsrising against Roman rule in Athens.
90 � 89 BCE, Civil war in Rome; Sulla defeated Marius.
12/7/100 BCE. Roman Emperor Julius Caesar was born, but not by Caesarean section, though his name does derive from the Latin �to cut�.
102 BCE, At the Battle of Aquae Sextiae (Aix en Provence), Rome under Consul Gaius Marius defeated the Teutones and Sciri tribes. These celtic-germanic tribes, wandering across Europe pillaging, had been a thorn in the side for Rome, and had previously defeated four Roman armies. Marius ambushed them with his main army after attacking the tribes with a small detachment of his troops. Subsequently, Marius introduced political reforms that redistributed wealth to poorer citizens, the populares, ensuring their loyalty to Rome.
105 BCE, Rome defeated Jugurtha, King of Numidia (northern Algeria)l and brought him to Rome in chains. He was executed in 104 BCE. Meanwhile, two Roman armies were defeated at Arausio, on the Rhone, by the Cimbri, Celtic or Germanic tribes who had migrated westwards from the Alpine region.
106 BCE, Gaius Marius was elected Consul, and sent to north Africa to fight Jugurtha.
3/1/106 BCE, Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman statesman, was born.
111 BCE,War broke out between Rome and Jugurtha, King of Numidia (northern Algeria). Jugurtha had acceded in 118 BCE.
123 BCE, As the cost of living soared in Rome, Gaius Gracchus began seeling subsidised grain, for bread, from the State granaries.
126 BCE, Revolt against Roman rule in Sardinia.
133 BCE, Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, aged 30, was elected Roman Tribune on a promise of social reform. He tried to limit individual landholdings in an effort to break up the large latifundia but largely failed.
186 � 155 Invasion of Yugoslavia area
149 BCE, Following the Fourth Macedonian War, Macedonia became a Roman province.
155 BCE, Rome invaded Dalmatia.
22/6/168 BCE, The Romans defeated the Macedonians, who were led by Perseus, at Pydna.
171 BCE, The Macedonians under Perseus attacked Rome, starting the Third Macedonian War.
186 BCE, Rome conquered Illyria, which included modern-day Albania.
1/1/153 BCE, 1st January became the start of the civil year in Rome, rather than the traditional 15 March; a revolt in Spain had forced the earlier accession of the Roman Consuls.
168 BCE Rome conquered Egypt.
170 BCE, The first paved streets appeared in Rome. They were passable in all weather and easier to keep clean, but traffic noise was increased.
174 BCE, Rome had now conquered most of the Iberian Peninsula, despite fierce resistance from the Lusitanians (Portugal).
179 BCE, The first stone bridge in Rome was completed, the Pons Aemilius over the Tiber.
183 BCE, Hannibal, born 246 BCE, poisoned himself at the court of King Prusia of Bithynia, who was about to hand him over to the Romans.
183 BCE, Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, Roman General and politician (born 233 BCE) died.
190 BCE, The Battle of Magnesia; Roman victory by Cornelius Scipio over Antiochus III of Syria. The Syrians surrendered their territory to Rome as far as the Taurus Mountains and agreed to pay 15,000 talents over 12 years, also to surrender Hannibal to Rome (however he escaped).
191 BCE, Cisalpine Gaul became a Roman province.
197 BCE, At the Battle of Cynoscephalae in Thessaly, the Romans under T Quinctius Flaminius defeated the Macedonians under Philip V. The Romans forced Philip V to surrender Greece to Rome, reduce his army to 5,00 men and his navy to five ships, promise not to make war without Rome�s permission, and to pay Rome 1,000 talents over ten years.
201 BCE, Under surrender terms, Carthage handed over all her territories, including the Iberian peninsula, to Rome. Carthage also agreed to pay Rome 200 talents a year for 50 years, and not to make war without Rome�s permission. All but ten of Carthage�s warships were destroyed.
19/10.202 BCE, Battle of Zama, Tunisia, end of the Second Punic War. The Romans under Scipio defeated a combined force of Carthaginians and Numidians under Hannibal, Carthage capitulated.
204 BCE, The Romans under Cornelius Scipio laid siege to Carthage. The Carthaginians burnt alive 100 sons of noblemen in an effort to appease their god, Molech, and raise the siege.
207 BCE, The Battle of Metaurus, Umbria, ended Carthaginian hopes of success in Italy. Hasdrubal attempted to get reinforcements to Hannibal but failed; he was defeated by the Romans and killed.
207 BCE. The Romans under Scipio the Elder heavily defeated the Carthaginians at Baecula, now Bailen, in southern Spain. The Roman conquest of southern Spain gave them control of the area�s silver mines, which vastly increased the wealth available to pay soldiers and make further conquests across Europe.
212 BCE, Numidian chiefs rebelled against Carthage; rebellion suppressed by Hasdrubal.
213 BCE, The Romans constructed a large port at Adria, which operated until the 12th century. Situated in the Po delta, it gave its name to the Adriatic Sea; however by 1900 it was 14 miles inland from the sea.
2/8/216 BCE. Hannibal defeated the Romans at the Battle of Cannae. The Phoenicians originated in modern day Lebanon but grew rich on trade and expanded throughout the western Mediterranean. Their original city was Sidon in Lebanon, which was a wealthy trading entrepot by 1500 BC. From Sidon came the colony of Tyre, 20 miles further south; Tyre came to eclipse Sidon. From Tyre trading colonies were sent out across the Mediterranean, trading as far as �Tarshish�, perhaps southern Spain or even Cornwall; Tarshish had many valuable metal mines. Carthage was the foremost Phoenician colony of Tyre. Carthage, in Tunisia, was founded around 814 BC. By 480 BC, when the Carthaginian Himilco landed in tin-rich Cornwall, Carthage was a major power. Other Carthaginians sailed around west Africa perhaps as far as Cameroon. There was conflict with Greece and in 535 BC the Carthaginians, helped by their Etruscan allies, drove the Greeks out of Corsica and Sardinia. A dispute for control of Sicily continued. Meanwhile Rome was rising in power. In 246 BC Rome started the First Punic War in an effort to gain Sicily and in 241 BC Rome gained Sicily, Corsica, and Sardinia. The Carthaginians moved into Spain and set up Cartagena or New Carthage. Carthage again grew rich and there was further conflict with Rome in 218 BC. Hannibal set off from Cartegana in Spain and marched through Spain Gaul and Italy with nearly 40 elephants, defeating the Romans at Cannae in 216 BC. Hannibal�s army wiped out a Roman force nearly twice its size, killing 70,000 Romans whilst losing only 6,000 of its own men. The Roman forces were less manoeuvrable than the Carthaginian forces. Hannibal, however, lacked the catapults and battering rams necessary to take Rome itself, so contented himself with laying waste to the surrounding countryside, greatly increasing food prices in Rome.
Rome continued to harass Hannibal for the next 13 years, and when Rome invaded Carthage it was abandoned by its allies; Rome occupied Spain and Sicily. Hannibal was defeated by Rome in 202 BC at Zama, south west of Carthage, and Hannibal himself fled to King Antiocus III of Syria in 195 BCE, Hannibal committed suicide in 183 BC, to avoid extradition to Rome.
Carthage again prospered under peace and once again became a threat to Rome. In 150 BC Rome found an excuse to attack Carthage and besieged it for three years, capturing it in 146 BC. The city was totally destroyed, and of its population of 500,000, only 30,000 survived, to be sold into slavery. However the city was rebuilt in 123 BCE and a century later Julius Caesar established a Roman colony there. In 439 AD the city was razed by the Vandals as Roman power waned. The Byzantine conquest revived Carthage but in 698 the city fell to the Arabs, who demolished it and used the stone to build Tunis. Some of Carthage�s granite and marble was exported to build cathedrals in Pisa, Genoa, and perhaps even Canterbury.
24/6/217 BCE, Carthaginian forces, allied with Gauls, under Hannibal defeated the Romans at Lake Trasimene, 10 miles north west of Perusia. Some 16,000 Romans, including their commander Flaminius were killed, the lake turned red with their blood.
218 BCE, The Second Punic War began as the Carthaginians attacked Rome�s allies on the Iberian Peninsula. Hannibal besieged and then conquered the town of Sagunto, then crossed the Alps, defeating the Romans first at the Ticino River and then a second time at the Trebbia River.
220 BCE, The Flaminian Way was completed between Rome and Rimini.
221 BCE, Hasdrubal was assassinated. Control of the Carthaginian army now passed to Hannibal, 26 year old son of the late Hamilcar Barca.
222 BCE, Rome conquered northern Italy, including the city of Mediolanum (now Milan).
225 BCE, Rome defeated the Gauls near Telamon, Etruria, Italy..
228 BCE, Hamilcar Barca killed in battle. Command of the Carthaginian army in the Iberian Peninsula passed to his son-in-law, Hasdrubal.
228 BCE, Carthage founded the city of Carthago Nova, now known as Cartagena.
238 BCE, Carthage began the conquest of Spain. under Hamilcar Barca, aged 33. Sardinia and Corsica conquered by Rome.
10/3/241 BCE, End of the First Punic War; Hamilcar made peace with Rome. Carthage was forced to cede all of Sicily to Rome.
246 BCE, Hamilcar Barca took control of Carthaginian forces fighting Rome in Sicily.
249 BCE, Rome had now invaded most of Sicily, except for the Drepana in western Sicily which still held out for Carthage.
254 BCE, Rome took Panormus, in Sicily, from the Carthaginians.
256 BCE, The Roman navy defeated Carthage at Cape Ecnomus. However the ineptitude of the Roman Consul, Regulus, resulted in the failure of a Roman invasion of North Africa against Carthage.
260 BCE, Rome defeated Carthage at the naval Battle of Mylae, off the north coast of Sicily. The Roman commander, Gaius Duilius Nepos, used quinquiremes, based on the design of a Carthaginian ship found stranded on the Italian coast; he also pioneered the use of grappling irons and boarding bridges which enabled him to defeat the larger and more manoeuvrable Carthaginian fleet. Rome captured Corsica.
264 BCE, Rome sent soldiers to help the Mamertines of southern Italy in their fight against Syracuse; Syracuse was an ally of Carthage.
264 BCE, Appius Claudius Pulcher defeated Hiero of Syracuse at Messana. Rome�s First Punic War with Carthage began; it lasted until 241 BCE.
266 BCE, Rome conquered Calabria.
272 BCE, Rome subjected Tarentum; gained control of central and southern Italy.
279 BCE, Pyrrhus defeated Rome at Asaculum. However he failed to follow up this victory and was defeated by Rome at Beneventum, and left Italy in 275 BCE,
280 BCE, Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, sent forces to aid Tarentum in its fight against Rome (282 � 272 BCE). Pyrrus defeated Rome at Heraclea.
283 BCE, Rome captured Corsica.
287 BCE, Full equality between the Patricians and Plebeians in Rome.
289 BCE, Rome defeated by the Senones (from Gaul) at Arretium. Defeat of the Senones gave Rome control of all of northern Italy.
293 BCE, Rome defeated the Samnites at Aguilonia.
295 BCE, Battle of Sentium, A coalition of Samnite warriors, Umbrians, Etruscans, and Celtic tribes from northern Italy set out to check the inexorable rise of Rome. They amassed an army twice the size of Rome�s. In response the Romnans mounted small diversionary attacks on the Etruiscans and Umbrians, drawing away some of the enemy, but this still left Rome outnumbered by some 40,000 or 50,000 men. The Roman hero Decius Mus dived straight into the enemy ranks, inspiring his men to attack. He was killed but the Romans perseverance paid off and the Romans routed the enemy as they fled.
298 BCE, The Samnites attacked Rome and the Lucanians, starting the Third Samnite War.
300 BCE, Plebeians admitted to the priesthood.
304 BCE, After some years of conflict, Rome defeated the Samnites. End of the Second Samnite War; Rome�s victory brought it no further territory.
310 BCE, Rome conquered the Etruscan town of Perusia (now Perugia).
312 BCE, Appius Claudius Caecus constructed the Appian aqueduct; the first aqueduct in Rome. He also began constructing the Appian Way, which ran from Rome to Capua.
321 BCE, Rome was defeated by the Samnites at the Caudine Forks.
344 BCE, War started between Rome and the Latin League. Rome had been just one of several cities in the Latin League (originally formed to fight the Etruscans in the 6th century BCE), and had risen to prominence amongst these cities because of the leading riole it had taken in fighting their common enemy, the Gauls. However the other Latin cities now felt that Rome was taking dictatorial powers within the League; Rome�s attitude was also alienating another former ally, the Campanians to the south. When Rome refused to acknowledge the equal status of the other latin cities, these joined with Campania in attacking Rome. At the Battle of Trifanum, near Mount Vesuvius, the Roman hero Torquatus rode directly into the enemy ranks, causing total confusion. Rome, with its allies the Samnites, routed the Latin League and Campania, assuring Roman dominance in the region. Rome gave generous terms,with many Latins being granted Roman citizenship. Rome absorbed the Latin League, putting it on the road to dominance of all of Italy.
348 BCE, Rome and Carthage signed a trade agreement.
360 BCE, Rome�s expansion was alarming its neighbours; war started between Rome and the town of Tibur.
366 BCE, First Plebeian Council elected in Rome.
377 BCE, The city walls of Rome were rebuilt.
380 BCE, The Servian Walls were built to protect Rome.
387 BCE, Following the attack by the Gauls under Brennus, Rome was rebuilt.
18/7/390 BCE. The Romans suffered a major defeat by the Gauls on the banks of the River Allia, a small tributary of the Tiber, about 11 miles north of Rome. Rome�s seasoned troops held the central position firm against the Gallic attack, but the junior infantry on the flanks broke and ran, allowing the Gauls to encircle the centre. The Gauls then attacked into Rome itself, and an assault on the Capitol at night was only thwarted by the geese of Juno�s temple sounding the alarm. The Gauls then withdrew, apparently having suffered an outbreak of the Plague; they negotiated an end to the conflict.
393 BCE, Rome conquered Veii, an imoortant Etruscan city just west of Rome.
409 BCE, The Catharginians and Greeks began fighting for possession of Sicily. They agreed to divide the island between them,
396 BCE, Rome captured the Etruscan city of Veii, after a 10-year siege. This ended any further significant Etruscan threat to Rome.
406 BCE, Rome started paying� its troops a wage (instead of them relying on plunder). The Roman State also instituted taxation at this time.
413 BCE, The Athenians attempted to invade Sicily, but their fleet was destroyed.
439 BCE, The Plebeian Revolt in Rome; Plebeians won the right to marry Patricians. Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus was appointed dictator.
Ca. 450 BCE. Rome defeated the Sabines, who had coveted Rome�s access to the sea and its salt works.
450 BCE, Rome conquered the Greek trading city of Tarentum, Italy.
493 BCE, Rome and the Latins formed an alliance, to fight the Etruscans.
496 BCE, Rome defeated the Latins at the Battle of Lake Regillus. Rome signed its first treaty with Carthage.
494 BCE, Rome�s Plebeians threatened to withdraw from the city and set up their own state. This would have severely weakened Rome as a military power. They were persuaded back only by the promise of a tribune to represent their interests within Rome.
504 BCE, Tarquinius attenmpted to regain his position as King of Rome, but failed.
509 BCE, Rome overthrew its last (Etruscan-lineage) King, Tarquinius, and became a Republic. Tarquinius had alienated the aristorcracy with his increasingly autocratic rule, and a group led by Lucius Junius Brutus and Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus (a cousin of King Tarquinius) won over the army to their side and then barred the gates of Rome to King Tarquinius, exiling him. The new Roman Republic was governed by two magistrates known as Consuls, who faced re-election by the peopleevery year.
520 BCE, Tarquinius began building the Capitol in Rome.
534 BCE, Rome�s last King, Tarquinius Superbus, acceded to the throne.
534 BCE, Death of Servius Tullus, 6th and penultimate King of Rome (578 � 534 BCE). He established a clsss system based on property. He also built the first walls of Rome.
590 BCE,The first drainage system was installed in Rome.
Ca. 600 BCE Rome rose to prominence as it was settled by Etruscans. The Tiber was easily forded at Rome, allowing access to the rich volcanic soils of Latium to the south.
616 BCE, Tarquinius Priscus I, (Etruscan) 5th King of Rome, acceded. He won a series of victories over the Sabines, Latins and Etruscans, expanding Rome�s control.
617 BCE, Death of Ancus Marcus, 4th King of Rome (acceded 641 BCE). He founded Ostia, the main port town for Rome.
642 BCE, Death of Tulius Hostilius, 3rd King of Rome.
658 BCE, Byzantium (later, Constantinople) was founded by Greek colonists from Megara.
674 BCE, End of the reign of Numa Pompilius , 2nd King of Rome (acceded 716 BCE). Tulius Hostilius became King of Rome.
713 BCE, King Numa Pompilius of Rome reformed the calendar, adding the months of January and February
21/4/753 BCE. Traditional date for the founding of Rome by the two twins, Romulus and Remus.
814 BCE, Carthage (Tunisia) was founded by the Phoenicians, as a trading centre with Tyre (Lebanon).
850 BCE, Earliest settlement on the site of Rome.
900 BCE, The first towns in Italy were founded by the Etruscans, migrants from Lydia (now western Turkey). They utilised iron ore deposits ar0und Etruria to create strong weaponry.