Chronography of the Roman Empire, from Romulus to Byzantium

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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.


Box Index

0.0, John VIII Paleologus, 1425-48

-1.0, John IV Cantacuzene, 1347-55

-2.0, Crusader asssualt on Constantinople, 1203-04

-3.0, John II Comnenus, 1118-43


20 August 1763, The ruins of Pompeii were identified as such.

1 April 1748, Ruins of Pompeii discovered by Spaniard, Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre. Excavations on the site of Pompeii began.


1461, The last Byzantine outpost, at Trabzon, fell to the Ottoman Turks.


29 May 1453. THE TURKS CONQUERED CONSTANTINOPLE, following a siege of over a year.

12 May 1453, The Ottoman Sultan ordered the walls of Constantinople be bombarded with huge cannon balls fired from an 8 metre long, 1.05 metre calibre, cannon.

6 April 1453, The Turkish attack on Constantinople began. 80,000 Turkish troops were faced by just 7,000 in Constatinople, and the city�s walls had been under-maintained for years due to lack of funds.

6 January 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.


0.0, John VIII Paleologus, 1425-48

31 October 1448, Byzantine Emperor John VIII Paleologus died childless aged 57 after a 23-year reign. He was succeeded by his 44-year-old brother who reigned until 1453 as Constantine XI Paleologus, the last of the Byzantine Emperors.

6 July 1439, Emperor John III of Constantinople (by then he ruled very little outside Constantinople, Salonika and Morea, and was known in western Europe as �Emperor of the Greeks�, not as he was officially, Roman Emperor) travelled to an Ecumenical Council in Florence and accepted papal primacy and union with Rome. The Decree of Union (Laetentur Caeli) formally uniting the Latin and Greek churches was issued. This was a last-ditch attempt to save his dominions from the Ottoman Turkish advance. However the Greek clergy rejected this union; there were too many fundamental differences of doctrine between the two Churches. Those who had formally accepted the union recanted upon return home. They preferred, in the words of a Byzantine dignitary, �the power [in Constantinople] of the Turkish turban rather than the Latin tiara.

21/ July 1425, Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus died aged 75. He was succeeded by his 35-year-old son who ruled until 1448 as John VIII Paleologus.


6 September 1422. Sultan Murad gave up besieging Constantinople.

1391, Byzantine Emperor John V Paleologus died aged59. He was succeeded by his 41-year-old son who ruled until 1425 as Emperor Manuel II Paleologus.

10 October 1369, Byzantine Emperor John V Paleologus visited Rome., in an attempt to obtain Papal aid to repel the Ottoman Turks.


-1.0, John IV Cantacuzene, 1347-55

11 November 1355, Byzantine Emperor John VI Cantacuzene was deposed and retired to a monastery after an 8-year rule during which he imposed heavy taxes to pay for a foreign mercenary army. He was succeeded by John V Paleologus.

2 March 1354, The Ottoman Turks seized Gallipoli from Byzantium.

21 May 1347, Former Byzantine rebel John Cantacuzenus became co-Emoeror as John VI Cantacuzenus, with John V Paleologus. This ended the civil war in the Byzantine Empire that began with the death of Andronicus III


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.

2 March 1331, Ottoman ruler Orkhan took Nicea from the Byzantines.

11/6/1329, Ottoman Turks defeated the Byzantine Empire in the Battle of Maltepe (Pelekanon)

See also Greece-Turkey, 1326 onwards

6 April 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.

2 February 1325, In Byzantium, Andronicus II Paleologus and his grandson Andronicus III were crowned co-Emperors in an effort to ha;t the civil war.

27 July 1302, The Ottoman Turks defeated the Byzantine Empire in the Battle of Bapheus, heralding the Turkish conquest of Bithynia.

11 December 1282, Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Paleologus died. He was succeeded by his son Andronicus II Paleologus, who renounced the reconciliation with the western Catholic Church.


Restoration of the Byzantine Empire, end of the Latin occupation

15 August 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 July 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.

25 July 1261, Greek General Alexius Strategopoulos launched a surprise attack on Constintinople, soon capturing it.

13 March 1261, The Genoese made the Treaty of Nymphaeum with the Byzantines. Genoa undertook to help recover Byzantium from the Latins, in return for trading concessions in the Byzantine lands formerly given to the Venetians.


1/6/1216, Henry of Flanders, Latin Emperor of Constantinople, died. He wa ssucceeded by Peter de Courtenay.

20 August 1206, Henry of Flanders was crowned Latin Emperor of Constantinople, after the death of his brother Baldwin I in captivity in Bulgaria.

14 April 1205, Kaloyan of Bulgaria defeated and captured the Latin Emperor Baldwin outside Constantinople.


-2.0, Crusader asssualt on Constantinople, 1203-04

16 May 1204, Baldwin, Count of Flanders, was crowned Latin Emperor of Constantinople. In October 1204, Venice and Baldwin partitioned the Byzantine Empire. Venice gained the Adriatic coast,Rhodes and the Aegean Islands. Other Crusaders held their territories as fiefs of Baldwin. The Fourth Crusade had ended, never having reached the Holy Land, diverted from the aims of Pope Innocent III by Venetian and Byzantine politics.

13 April 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 the 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.

25 January 1204, Increasing resentment by the Byzantine nobility against the Crusaders and thrir puppet rulers, Isaac II and Alexius IV. Alexius Ducas Mourtzouphlous, son in law of Alexius III, mounted an insurrection. Isaac II was imprisoned and Alexius IV executed. Alexius Ducas now seized the throne as Alexius V. The Crusaders now planned an all-out assault on Constantinople.

1 August 1203, Alexius IV was officially crowned co-Emperor of Byzantium, alomgside his father.

17 July 1203, The Crusader assault on Constantinople began. The Crusader Army attacked by land from the west whilst the venetian fleet assaulted the sea wall. Alexius III fled the city by night. The Byzantine nobles released Isaac II from prison and restored him as Emperor. Alexius IV became co-emperor.

23/6/1203, The Crusader force arrived at Chalcedon, on the Asiatic shore opposite Byzantium, then, despite efforts by Byzantium, established a fortified camp at Galata. The Venetian fleet then forced its way into the Bosphorus and then into the Golden Horn, the water between Galata and Constantinople. Venice was seeking to recover lands lost in the Balkans; Pope Innocent III objected that Christian Venetians were now killing other (Balkan) Christians.

15 November 1202, The Crusdaers took Zara (now in Croatia) from Hungary and transferred it to Venice. The Crusaders agreed to help deposed Byzantine Emperor Isaac II Angelus, an ally of Venice, regain the throne.

For more on the Crusades, see Christianity


8 April 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.

12/ September 1185, Byzantine Emperor Andronicus I Connenus was killed in a riot in Constantinople. He was succeeded by Isaac II Angelus.

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 September 1176, Emperor Manuel of Byzantium was defeated by the Muslims, in the Crusades.


-3.0, John II Comnenus, 1118-43

8 April 1143, John II Comnenus, Byzantine Emperor, was killed accidentally, aged 55, after a 25-year reign. Hed was succeeded by his 23 year old son, who reigned as Maunel I Comnenus until 1180.

15 August 1118, By\antine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus died aged 70 after a 37-year reign. He was succeeded by his 30-year-old son who ruled until 1143 as John II Comnenus.


13 September 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.

31 March 1078, Emperor Michael VII abdicated. He was replaced by a soldier who began a 3-year reign as Nicephorus III Botaniates.

24 October 1071, Byzantine Emperor Romanus IV was deposed and imprisoned. Michael VII Ducas succeeded him, and made an appeal for help, in vain, from the Western Christian kingdoms.

26 August 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 under Alp Arsalan routed the enemy. Ibn Da�ud died on 24 November 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.

25 December 1059, 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.

31 August 1057, Byzantine Emperor Michael IV Stratioticus abdicated. 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.

21 August 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 bya rebellion of the feudal barons of Anatolia.

11 January 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.

12/6/1042, In Byzantium, Empress Zoe�s third husband, Constantine IX Monomachus, became Emperor.

11 April 1034, Byzantine Emperor Romanus III died. He was succeeded by Michael IV, who married Romanus�s widow, Zoe.

15 December 1025, Byzantine Emperor Basil II (the Bulgar Slayer) died. His brother, and previous co-Emperor, Constantine VIII, succeeded him.

1018, Bulgaria was now part of the Byzantine Empire.

6 July 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.

1 October 989, Byzantine rebel usurper Bardas Phocas surrendered.

14 September 987, Bardas Phocas proclaimed himself Byzantine emperor.

24 March 979, Bardas Sclerus was defeated by the Byzantine Army.

19/6/978, Rebel Byzantine General Bardas Sclerus defeated Byzantine Imperial forces in Anatolia.

10 January 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.

14 April 972, Otto II was married to Theophano, niece of Byzantine Emperor John I Tzimisces. This allied the �Western Roman Empire� with Byzantium.

10 December 969, Byzantine Emperor Nicephoras II Phocas was murdered. He was succeeded by John I Tzimisces.

28 October 969. After a prolonged siege, Byzantium captured Antioch from the Arabs.


Reign of Romanus II

16 August 963, Nicephoras II Phocas was crowned Byzantine Emperor.

963, Byzantine Emperor Romanus II, a dissolute ruler, died aged 25, probably poisoned by his wife Theophano. He was succeeded by his infant son, Basil II, who ruled until 1025, with assistance from General Nicephorus Phocas, at that time aged 41.

961, Byzantium recaptured Crete from the Muslims.

968, Byzantine victory at Raban, Syria.


Reign of Constantine VII

7 November 959, Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus died after a reign of 47 years. He was succeeded by his son Romanus II, who misruled for 4 years.

957, Byzantine General Nicephorus Phocas captrured the Syrian city of Hadath.

16 December 944, Byzantine Emperor Romanus I was deposed by his sons.

927, As a famine hit the Byzantine Empire, Emperor Constantine VII passed laws to prevent largelandowners buying up the land of smallholders.

17 December 920, Romanus I Lecapenus seized power in Byzantium and became co-Emperor with Constantine VII.

913, Byzantine Emperor Alexander II died, and was succeeded by his 8-year-old nephew, son of the late Leo VI, who ruled until 959 as Constantine VII (Porphyrogenitus, �born to the purple�).


Reign of Leo VI

912, Byzantine Emperor Leo VI died after a 26-year reign. He was succeeded by his brother Alexander II, who ruled for less than a year.

29 July 904. The Arabs sacked Thessalonica, the second greatest city of the Empire after Byzantium itself, before withdrawing.

29 August 886, Byzantine Emperor Basil I died after a 19-year reign. He was succeeded by a son of the late Emperor Michael (by Basil�s widow, Eudocia); he reigned until 912 as Leo VI (The Wise).


24 September 867, Byzantine Emperor Michael III was murdered. His successor Basil I founded the Macedonian Dynasty.

23 April 866, The Logothete (senior government official) Bardas wasmurdered by Byzantine Emperor Michael III.

865, The Vikings sacked Constantinople.

6 March 845, 42 Byzantine officials were killed by the Abbasid Caliphate for refusing to convert to Islam.

829, Byzantine Emperor Michael II died. He was succeeded by Theophilus, a religious fanatic who ruled until 842.

25 December 820, Byzantine Emperor Leo V was murdered. He was succeeded by Michael II, who began the Amorian Dynasty.

2 October 811, Michael I was proclaimed Byzantine Emperor.

26 July 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 August 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.

25 March 717, Emperor Theodosius III was deposed.

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.

15 July 668, Byzantine Emperor Constans was assassinated in his bath. He was succeeded by his sons Constantine IV Pogonatus, Heraclius, and Tiberius, whom he had named as co-emperors.

641, Death of Heraclius.

15 August 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 August 629, The Avars admitted defeat and called off their siege of Constantinople.

29/6/629, An Avar army with also many Germans, Slavs and Bulgars began a siege of Constantinople.

10 July 626, Persian ships had allied with Avar lad forcesin 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 fighting 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.

5 October 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 the 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 April 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 September 569 and Lombard rule established in northern Italy. The Avars overran what is now the Croatia / Zagreb region.

14 November 565, Byzantine Emperor Justinian I died after a 38-year reign (born 483); succeeded by his nephew, Justin II (died 578).

24 December 563, The church of Hagia Sofia, Constantinople, was re-dedicated, after reconstruction (see 7 May 558).

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 December 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.

541, Emperor Justinian prepared plans to conquer Gaul and Britain, was was forced to abandon them when Plague struck.

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.

12 March 538, Vitiges realised that Rome was not being starved, and the arrival of a Byzantine fleet in the Tiber with 5,000 more men forced him to raise the siege. Vitiges then marched to Ravenna where he besieged John the Sanguinary in Rimini.

27 December 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 collapsedon 7 May 558, severely weakened by an earthquake in December 557. A third St Sophia was built, and completed on 24 December 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.

21 March 537, Defenders of Rome using arrows, catapults and ballistae inflicted heavy losses on the Goths besieging the city. The Goth forces under King Witgis were now too depleted to keep a continuous siege ring around the city.

2 March 537, Vitiges, leader of the Goths, began laying siege to Rome.

9 December 536. The Byzantine commander Belisarius, having captured Naples earlier in 536, now took Rome from the Ostrogoths. In 534 Belisarius had defeated the Vandals in north Africa.

24 March 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).


End of the Vandal Kingdom in North Africa; triumph of Byzantium

12/533, Battle of Tricameron. Gelimer, reinforced by Tzazo, now had 50,000 men, mainly cavalry. He now advanced on Carthage. Belisarius, however, attacked the Vandal forces before they were ready for battle, and despite being greatly outnumbered he routed them. Tzazo was killed and Gelimer fled. In 3/534 Gelimer surrendered, ending rhe Vandal Kingdom.

15 September 533, Byzantine forces under Belisarius occupied Carthage.

13 September 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 January 532, Major riot in Constantinople against Emperor Justinian I, 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 August 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.

30 August 526, Theodoric the Great, King of the Ostrogoths, died. He was succeeded by his 10 year old grandson Athalaric, with his grandmother Amalasuntha as Regent.
523, The last recorded games in the Coliseum of Rome, a century after they were officially banned.

9 July 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).

508, Theodora, wife of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, was born (died 548).

For later events in Italy. see Italian history � Byzantium / Constantinople after 500 here

11 August 490, Theodoric defeated Odoacer at the Battle of the Adda. Odoacer fled to Ravenna.

489, The Croatia / Zagreb region was conquered by the Ostrogoths.

30 September 489, Theodoric conquered Verona.

28 August 489, Odoacer was defeated by Theodoric at the Battle of the Sontius (now, Isonzo).

480, The Visigoth Empire extended from Gibraltar to the Rhine,with its capital at Toulouse.

25 January 477, King Gaiseric of the Vandals died.

28 September 476, German chieftain Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustulus, the last Western Roman Emperor.

474, Death of Leo I, Eastern Roman Emperor 457 � 474.

2 November 472, Olybrius died.

19 August 472, Ricimer died.

472, Ricimer, a Germanic General in the Roman Army, killed the West Roman Emperor Anthermius and replaced him with Olybrius.

16/6/455. Rome was sacked and plundered by the Vandals, under Gaiseric, just 45 years after it was conquered by the Visigoths.


Attila of the Huns

467, With Attila gone and the Hun Empire disintegrating, Constantinople now felt it was possible to reconquer North Africa from the Vandals, regaining Rome�s breadbasket. Roman admiral Basiliskos was sent with a fleet of one thousand ships to accomplish this (this emptied the Constantinople Treasury). In Summer 468 Basiliskos approached the North African coast. The breeze should have been westerly at this time of year, but it shifted, trapping the Roman ships against the coast. The Vandals sent burning fireships into the close-packed Roman fleet, which panicked and was heavily defeated.

19 October 439. The Vandals, led by King Gaiseric, took Carthage. Gaiseric brought 80,000 people with him across the Straits of Gibraltar from Spain in 429, including 15,000 soldiers; he then marched east along the North African coast, looting the cites there. With the loss of its African territories Rome lost the fertile wheat lands on which the Empire depended for its bread. Local Roman administrators remained and Roman law was maintained, to the benefit of the Vandals, who lived in unaccustomed luxury in the Roman villas. The Vandals were Arians and persecuted the Catholic Christians. Gaiseric began to build a fleet of fast ships to dominate the western Mediterranean.

20/6/451. Having mounted an invasion of Gaul, Attila and the Huns were defeated in the Battle of the Cataulanian Fields (Chalons) by a combined force of Romans, Visigoths, and other barbarians, all under the command of Aetius. This joint effort succeeded in preventing any further advance by the Huns into Europe. Attila, their leader, burst a blood vessel during a drinking bout and died. Without Attila the loose-knit Hun Empire began to disintegrate.

7 April 451, Attila's forces invaded Gaul and sacked Metz. The major cities Strasbourg, Worms, Mainz, Trier, Cologne, Reims, Tournai, Cambrai, Amiens and Beauvais were destroyed by the Huns.

28 July 450. Death of Emperor Theodosius II, who fell off his horse, after ruling for 42 years. He left no direct heir.

441, The Huns,moving south from what is now Romania, sacked Constantinople. The Huns then moved west towards Greece.


Loss of north Africa

19 October 439. The Vandals, led by King Gaiseric, took Carthage. Gaiseric brought 80,000 people with him across the Straits of Gibraltar from Spain in 429, including 15,000 soldiers; he then marched east along the North African coast, looting the cites there. With the loss of its African territories Rome lost the fertile wheat lands on which the Empire depended for its bread. Local Roman administrators remained and Roman law was maintained, to the benefit of the Vandals, who lived in unaccustomed luxury in the Roman villas. The Vandals were Arians and persecuted the Catholic Christians. Gaiseric began to build a fleet of fast ships to dominate the western Mediterranean.

429, What is now Morocco (Roman, Mauretania) was overrun by the Vandals, who took it from Roman rule, crossing over from Spain. 15 centuries of maritime piracy from this region began. See also Islam for Morocco in the Islamic era.


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 February 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 October 424, Emperor Theodosius II nominated his cousin Valentinian, aged 5, the imperial title nobilissimus Caesar ("most noble") of the Western Roman Empire.

2 September 421, Roman Emperor Constantius III died.

416, The Goths continued westwards, entering what is now Catalonia, Spain,

8 May 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.


Abandonment of Britain, 383 - 446

446, Britons appealed, unsuccessfully, to Aetius, to help them fend off invading Saxons.

436, No Roman troops were now left in Britain.

410, The last Roman legions began to leave Britain, as they were needed to protect France and Italy from Germanic invasions.

383, Roman legions began to leave Britain, see 410.


23 August 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 September 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 October 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 August 408, Flavius Stilicho, soldier, was assassinated, on the orders of Emperor Honorius, as Rome was under siege from the Visigoths.

31 December 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 August 406, Radagaisus, King of the Goths, was executed by the Romans. He had attempted an invasion of Italy but was defeated by Stilicho.


Rome, economic and political problems

405, The Coliseum in Rome was closed by Emperor Honorius in an austerity move, as amusements were curbed.

1 January 404, Last known gladiatorial combat in Rome.

402, The Roman capital was moved to Ravenna, a town in N E Italy protected by coastal marshes and once a centre for the Ronan Adriatic fleet. Ravenna was more defensible; the Romans were fearful of the growing power of the Visigoths.

6 April 402, Stilicho led the Romans to victory over the Visigoths at the Battle of Pollentia (Piedmont).

401, The Visigoths invaded Italy, moving north and west from Adrianople through what is now Serbia.

400, The Roman Empire was facing serious economic difficulties. Once, Rome had been able to support its pampered and idle nobility through a huge slave class, who totalled one thord of the population. Meanwhile the poor non-slaves received a daily allowance of 1.5 kg of bread, whilst meat, olive oil, and wine werevplentiful and cheap, and ample water was supplied to Rome by its aqueducts. Entertainment too was plentiful with the circus and cariot races laid on; there were also theatres and dancing. However by the 5th century the remoter provinces had become harder to control. This left no spare manpower for further conquests, or a fresh supply of slaves. Furthermore, former slaves had escaed and joined bands of outlaws, creating further burdens for the Roman State. The Roman elite meanwhile were unwilling to pay the high taxes needed for defence and maintenance of law and order.

400,The Huns, continuing their westward migration, reached the Danube River in what is now western Romania and eastern Serbia.


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 January 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 September 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 mid flight.

Eugenius was killed in battle against the barbarian legions of Emperor Theodosius. The Frankish general, Arbogast, escaped into the mountains butcommitted suicide two days later.

393, Emperor Theodosius outlawed the Olympic Games, which has been held for 1,000 years.

15 May 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 July 388, Theodosius I, Byzantine Emperor, defeated the Roman Emperor Maximus near Aquileia.

15 August 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 January 379, The Roman Emperor Theodosius assumed power at Sirmius.

9 August 378. The Romans were defeated by the Visigoths under Fritigern at the Second 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 August 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 November 375, EmperorValentian 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 August 383.

Reign of Valentinian

17 November 375, Roman Emperor Valerntinian died of apoplexy, aged 53, whilst attending a meeting on the Danube. He had 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 became so enraged that he died in a fit of apoplexy at Brigetio (Hungary). His reign had been cruel but he had also founded schools and provided physicians for the poor of Constantinople. His nominal successor was his 4-year-old son, Valentinian II. However the boy�s half-brother Flavius Gratianus, aged 17, became real Emperor and ruled as Emperor Gratian.

374, The present-day Swiss city of Basel was founded by Emperor Valentinian.

370, Theodosius expelled the Picts and Scots from Roman Britain.

367, The Great Conspiracy; the Saxons, Irish and Attacotti joined with a revolt in the garrisons along Hadrian�s Wall to seek independence from Rome.This Conspiracy was defeated by Theodosius in 370.

26 February 364. Valentinian became Roman Emperor, succeeding Jovian who surrendered the gains of Diocletian to the Persians. On 28 March 364 Valentinian appointed his brother Valens as governor of the eastern Empire. For the first time the division of empire was accompanied by a true division of resources and army between East and West.


Reign of Julian the Apostate

26/6/363. Julian the Apostate, Roman Emperor, was killed fighting the Persians. The Emperor Julian was determined to reinstate the old Roman gods and eliminate Christianity. A cousin of Constantius II, he declared himself a pagan in November 361 when Constantius II died, leaving him as sole emperor. On 17/6/362 Julian forbadeChristians from teaching grammar or rhetoric. He was succeeded by the captain of his bodyguard, Flavius Jovianus, who ruled for 7 months as the Emperor Jovian.

11 December 361, Following the death of Constantius II, his 30-year-old cousin Flavius Claudius Julianus was acknowledged by Constantinople as sole Emperor. He entered the city this day to begin an 18-month reign as Emperor Julian.


Reign of Emperor Constantius II

3 November 361, Emperor Constantius II died near Tarsus, Cilicia, aged 44.

25 September 357, Julian defeated the Alamanni at Strasbourg and drove them back across the hine.

25 August 357. Julian, who was made Caesar by his cousin Constantius II on 6 November 355, defeated the Alemmani at Argentoratum, near Strasbourg and drove them back across the Rhine.

19 February 356. Constantius II, ruler of all of Rome (see 22 May 337), ordered all pagan temples in the Roman Empire to be closed.

8 November 355, Roman Emperor Constantius II proclaimed his cousin Julian, aged 24, deputy Emperor over the Western Roman Empire,

8 December 353, Silvius, Roman military Commander proclaimed Emperor by his troops in August 353, was killed by German tribesmen.

August 353, Rebel leader Magnentius, pursued by Constantius II, was defeated at Seleucis and committed suicide.

352, The Alemanni and the Franks defeated the Roman Army, and took control of 40 towns along the River Rhine.

28 September 351, Magnentius, rebel leader, was defeated by Constantius II, Eastern Roman Emperor.

350, Constans was assassinated by military commander Magnentius.

11 January 347, The Roman Emperor, Theodosius the Great, was born.

340, The Roman Empire again split into East and West, with Constans as Emperor of the West and Constantiius II as Emperor of the East.

9 September 337, Constantine�s three sons are declared co-Emperors. Constantius ruled the East and Constans and Constantine II shared the West.


Reign of Emperor Constantine

22 May 337. Constantine, born 27 February 274, died after a baptism on his death bed at his villa near Ancyra in Nicomedia. His sons, Constantine II and Constans, shared the west, whilst Constantius II. took control of the eastern Empire. In March 340, Constans killed his brother Constantine II. He was buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople. On 9 September 337 Constantine�s at three Aquileia in northern Italy and became sole ruler of the west. However Constans was himself murdered by the military commander Magnentius in 350, and in turn Magnentius was defeated in Gaul by Constantius II, ruler of the eastern Empire, at Mursa in 351.Once again Magnentius was defeated by Constantius II in Gaul in 353, following which Magnentius committed suicide and Constantius II was ruler of both east and west.

11 May 330. The Emperor Constantine made Byzantium the new capital of the Roman Empire, and renamed it Constantinople.

327, Constantine executed his son Crispus for plotting against him.

25 July 325. Major celebrations were held at Nicomedia, Asia Minor, to mark the twentieth year of Constantine as Emperor. Also celebrated was Constantine�s victory over his former ally Licinius, ruler of the eastern half of the Roman Emperor. The rift came when Licinius broke a promise to Constantine to tolerate the Christian religion. Constantine defeated Licinius in 324 and captured Byzantium.The Council of Nicea closed this day.

18 September 323, Battle of Chrysopolis. Licinius had gathered a new army of some 60,000, but was defeated by Constantine I. Licinius fled, but in 324 he surrendered, and was executed.

7/323. Battle of the Hellespont. Crispus, eldest son of Constantine I, defeated Licinius in a naval battle. Licinius managed to escape to Chalcedon (now Kadikoy, eastern Bosphorus)as the seige of Byzantium continued.

3 July 323, First Battle of Adrianople. Constantine I, Western Roman Emperor, defeated Licinius, the Eastern Emperor. Licinius fled to Byzantium, which was then besieged by Constantine.

3 December 321. Sunday was made a day of rest throughout the Roman Empire. Under the Edict of Milan, 3 February 313, Christianity was now tolerated in the Empire. Persecution of Christians had begun under Diocletian in 303 and peaked under his successors Galerius and Maximian. Constantine, born in Naissus in what is now Yugoslavia, was son of a Christian mother, Helena. When Constantine (born 274) became Emperor in 306 he followed the cult of Sol Invictis, the Unconquered Sun. However in 312, whilst fighting Maxentius the son of Maximian, he saw a cross of light superimposed on the sun. From then on Constantine identified the sun with the God of the Christians. He ordered his men to fight Maxentius with Christian symbols painted on their shields, and they won a famous victory at the Milvian Bridge just outside Rome, on 28 October 312. Constantine became ruler of the western Roman Empire.

8 October 314, Battle of Cibalae. Emperor Constantine defeated his co-emperor Licinus, who lost all the Balkans except for Thrace.

27 February 272, Roman Emperor Constantine was born in Naissus.


Constantine and Maxentius battle for the role of Emperor � Constantine wins

28 October 312, Battle of Milvian Bridge. Maxentius had been declared Emperor in Rome, with the backing of the Senate. However Constantine was marching down from Gaul to claim title as Emperor. Constantine�s army was smaller, its infantry tired from marching, and relied on cavalry, performing best on open ground. Maxentius had dismantled the Milvian Bridge over the Tiber to halt Constantine�s advance; Maxentius� troops had to ford the Tiber to attack Constantine, this move put them in the open, favouring Constantine�s cavalry. Maxentius fought in the name of Mars, the Roman God of War; Constantine saw a flaming cross in the sky and fought in the name of Christianity. Constantine�s cavalry charged, disrupting Maxentius� ranks; Maxentius was killed and his head paraded through Rome the next day on a spear.

28 October 306, Maxentius was proclaimed Western Emperor by the Praetorian guard.

25 July 306, Constantius died whilst quelling a rebellion in Britain. Constantine, son of Constantius, now made a bid for leadership of the Western Empire, from Britain;but he faced a rival in Rome, Maxentius.

31 March 250, Constantius, Western Roman Emperor, was born in Illyricum.


Reign of Diocletian

3 December 311, Roman Emperor Diocletian died. Born in Salona, he was Emperor 284 to 305. He defeated the Sarmatians and Carpi during several campaigns between 285 and 299. He is perhaps best remembered for The Diocletianic Persecution (303�11), the empire's largest and bloodiest official persecution of Christianity.

1 May 305. Diocletian, Emperor since 284, became the first Roman Emperor to abdicate. He retired to a palace at Salona on the Adriatic. There was now a division of responsibility, one emperor for the east and one (Constantius, the former deputy of Diocletian) for the west of the Empire.

24 February 303, Emperor Diocletian ordered a massive persecution of the Christians. This was at the persuasion of the Thracian, Galerius Valerius Maximanus.

297, Rome took the Kingdom of Armenia from Persia, also capturing the Persian Harem. Galerius defeated the Persians, who were also compelled toi cede western Mesopotamia and 5 provinces on the eastern bank. There was then peace between Persia and Rome for 40 years.

286, The Roman Empire was partitioned into East and West by Diocletian.

21 July 285, Roman Emperor Diocletian appointed Maximian as Caesar and co-ruler

20 November 284, Roman soldier Diocletian was proclaimed Emperor by the army.

29 August 284, Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Numerius was assassinated. He was succeeded by General Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus Jovius, a 39-year-old Illyrian. He began a 21-year despotic rule of the Eastern Roman Empire whilst Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus Herculius was to rule the West.


Reign of Emperor Probus

282, Probus was assassinated at Sirmium, Illyria, during a mutiny. His soldiers resented being ordered to work on civil engineereing projects.

279, Probus expelled the Franks from Gaul

276, Probus became Emperor, after a brief 6-month reign by Tacitus.


Reign of Emperor Aurelius

275, Emperor Aurelian was assassinated; succeeded by Tacitus.

274, The Romans under Aurelian defeated a breakaway �Kingdom of the Gauls� comprising modern-day France, Spain and Britain.

272, Aurelian now moved against Palmyra, defeating Queen Zenobia�s forces at the Battles of Immae and Emesa. Queen Zenobia was taken back to Rome as a prisoner and paraded in Aurelian�s triumph.

271, Aurelian defeated the Marcomanni tribe, who in 270 had advanced from Bohemia across the Danube; this re-establsihed Roman rule in the Balkans, although he could not recover Dacia.. He also started to rebuid the walls of Rome this year (completed in 276). They were maintained until the unification of Italy in 1861, but were subsequently neglected.

270, Emperor Aurelian (Lucius Domitius Aurelianus) acceded after the Illyrian Enperor Claudius Gothicus had died of plague this year and Gothicus� brother Quintillus had succeeded him, but was deserted by his troops and committed suicide.


Reign of Gallienus

268, Enperor Gallienus was assassinatedby his own soldiers at Medoilanum (Milan) whilst besieging the Pretneder, Aureolus. Aureolus weas himself then slain by another Pretender, Marcus Aurelius Claudius, who reigned as Emperor until 270.

267, Until now, King Odenathus of Palmyra was content to rule as a client State of Rome. However this year he died and his widow, Zenobia, now proclaimed Palmyra independent of Rome. Rome was facing uprisings across Europe, in Spain, Gaul, Germany and the Balkans, and was unable to stop Queen Zenobia extending her rule from Asia Minor down into Egypt.

260, Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus, son of Valerian, became Emperor. He ruled until 268.


Reign of Emperor Valerian

260, Persia defeated another Roman army at the Battle of Edessa. Roman Emperor Valerian had marched against Persia to win back lost border territories, but by the time the Romans reached Edessa, in what is now south eastern Turkey, his troops were tired. They set up camp in Edessa, which Shapur of Persia promptly besieged. Plague struck the Roman Army, and when Valerian led a deputation to Shapur�s camp to negotiate he and hs staff were taken prisoner, Valerian was held in a cage for a year, and then killed.

258, The Alemanni and Suevi invaded northern Italy, but were defeated by the Romans at Milan.The breakaway �Kingdom of the Gauls�, comprising Britain, France and Spain, seceded from the Roman Empire.

256, The Franks crossed the Rhine, as the Alemanni reached Milan. Cities in the Roman Empire began to build walls for their own defence as the frontiers of the Roman Empire crumbled. The Empire wqas also weakened by a Plague that lasted from 251 to 265.

253, Valerian became Roman Emperor. He resolved to win back border territories which Persia had taken from Rome.


253,The Goths invaded Asia Minor and reached the gates of Thessalonica.


Reign of Emperor Decius

251, The Goths defeated the Romans at the Battle of Abrittus. Joint Emperors Decius and Herennius Etruscus were killed.

250, The Goths invaded Moesia (present-day Serbia and Bulgaria).

249, Decius, proclaimed Emperor by the Army, deposed and killed the incumbent Emperor Philip the Arab (Philippus) at Verona. In 250 Decius instituted a major persecution of Christians, in an attempt to reinforce the traditional religion of Rome.


Reign of Emperor Philippus

248, The Roman Emperor Philippus hosted a great festival with games to mark the 1,000th anniversary of the founding of Rome in 753 BCE.

244, The Sassanid Persians defeated a Roman army, killing Emperor Gordian III who was leading it. He was succeeded by Emperor Philip The Arab.


Reign of Emperor Gordian III

243, Gordian III defeated a Persian army under Shapur I at the Battle of Resaena.

242, Roman Emperor Gordian III ceded control of the Cimmerian cities in the Bosphorus region to the Ostrogoths.

238, North Africa rebelled against Roman rule, starting half a century of conflict. Emperor Maximinius was deposed, and the 80-year-old proconsul Marcus Antonius Gordianus Africanus as Emperor. However supoorters of Maximinius besieged Gordianus at Carthage for 36 days. Gordianus, hearing that his 46-year old son had died, committed suicide. Gordianus� 14-year-old grandson Marcus Antonius Gordianus III was then elected Emperor. Maximinius was then assassinated in 238 by the Praetorian Guard.


10 May 238, Roman Emperor Maximinius, acceded 235, was assassinated by the Praetorian Guard.

20 March 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.


Reign of Emperor Alexander Severus

18 March 235. The Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander, was killed by his own troops after he had bought off German invaders in Gaul. Born on 1 October 208 at Arca Caesarea, Phoenicia, Alexander was Roman Emperor from 222 to 235. In the early 230s he fought against the Persians, returning to Rome in triumph in 233,having secured the province of Mesopotamia. He improved the Empire economically; luxury and extravagance at the Roman Court were reduced, the standard of the coinage was raised, taxes were lightened, the lot of the soldiers was improved, and literature, science, and art were encouraged,. He instituted loan offices to lend money to the people at a reasonable rate of interest.

230, Ardashir I of Persia invaded the Roman province of Mesopotamia, but was repulsed.

230, The Romans built a fort at Ghadames, western Libya.


Reign of Emperor Elagabulus

27/6/221. The 19 year old Emperor Elagabalus was assassinated by a member of the Praetorian Guard. Alexander Severus became Emperor.

8/6/218, Emperor Macrinus was assassinated near Antioch after he tried to reduce the pay of the Roman soldiers. He was succeeded by Variua Avitus Bassianus, a 14-year-old from Syria, a grand-nephew by marriage of the late Septimus Severus. He claimed to be a son of Caracalla, and named himself Heliogabalus, or Elagabalus, from the name of the Syrian Sun King.


Reign of Emperor Caracalla.

8 April 217, Roman Emperor Caracalla was assassinated after a bloody reign. He was succeeded by M Opellius Severus Macrinus, a 53-year-old from \Mauretania, as Emperor Macrinus.

212, Caracalla granted citizenship to virtually all freeinhabitants of the Empire.

4 February 211. The Emperor Septimus Severus died at York aged 64 whilst fighting the Caledonian tribes. He was succeeded by his eldest son Augustus,who was called Caracalla after the long hooded tunic he introduced from Gaul.


202, Rome banned female gladiators.

19 February 197, The Battle of Lugdunum (Lyons, France). The Romans under Septimus Severus defeated Clodius Albinus.

14 April 194, Lucius Septimus Severus was crowned Emperor of Rome.

9 April 194, Septimus Severus was proclaimed Roman Emperor by the army in Illiricum.

28 March 193, The Roman Emperor Pertinax was assassinated.


Reign of Emperor Commodus

31 December 192, Emperor Commodus was assassinated, see 27 March 180.

190, The Column of Marcus Aurelius, Rome, was erected.

4 April 188, The Roman emperor Caracalla (211-17) was born at Lyons in Gaul.

180, The Roman attempt to subdue Scotland failed; Rome withdrew south of the Hadrians Wall.

17 March 180. Marcus Aurelius (Emperor from 161) died of the plague. He was succeeded by his son Commodus. However Commodus fell prey to insanity due to excessive power. He attempted to rename Rome as Colonia Aurelia Nova Commodiana; also renaming the fleet, wheat, the legions, and the months of the year. On 31 December 192 Commodus, who saw himself as the reincarnation of Hercules, planned to sacrifice the new consuls on 1 January 193; the consul had an athlete called Narcissus strangle Commodus in his bath. His death ended the Antonine Dynasty.


167, The smallpox / measles epidemic reached Rome.

7 March 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 April 147. Emperor Antoninus celebrated the 900th anniversary of Rome� s foundation.

11 April 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 July 138. Hadrian, who became Emperor of Rome on 8 August 117, died at his villa on the Bay of Naples. See 8 August 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.

125, The city of Aachen (Aix la Chapelle) was founded.

13 September 122, Construction of Hadrian�s Wall in Britain began (completed 127).

26 April 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.


Reign of Emperor Trajan, 98-117

8 August 117. The Emperor Trajan died, and was succeeded by his adopted son Hadrian. See 24 January 76, and 10 July 138. Hadrian abandoned the expansionist policy of Trajan and earlier emperors and sought to stabilise the frontiers of Rome. To achieve defensible frontiers the provinces of Assyria and Mesopotamia were abandoned, although there was as yet no thought of giving up Britain. Instead, Hadrian built a wall from the Solway Firth to the Tyne to keep out the Picts. Work on building this wall began in 122, and was completed in 130.

115, Jewish revolt in Cyrenecia against Roman rule.

114, Rome took Mesopotamia from the Parthians; however this land was too far from Rome to control, and was given up 3 years later. Rome tried 4 more times to occupy Mesopotamia and its fertile land, each time to fail to hold it.

105, Trajan invaded the Danube region for the second time (previously, 101-2 AD), to conquer and annex the Dacian territories. He founded the Roman colonial city of Ulpia Trajana. King Deecebalus escaped but then committed suicide rather than be humiliated by being paraded as a prisoner in Rome.

101, The Kingdom of Dacia was conquered by Rome, reducing it to the status if a client state. This took Roman control to the north and east of the Danube River. However Dacian King Decebalus continually flouted the peace treaty terms with Rome, necessitating further military incursions by the Romans.

99, An ambassador from India arrived in Rome.

98, In Britain, the city of Colonia Nervia Glevensis (Gloucester) was founded (named after Emperor Nerva).

25 January 98,Nerva, Emperor of Rome, died.He was succeeded by his son Trajan, with whom he had ruled jointly for the last three months of his life.


Reign of Emperor Nerva, 96-98

18 September 96, Nerva (35 � 98) became Emperor of Rome.He purchased large areas of agricultural land in Italy and gave these to the poor.�� He also reformed the tax system and streamlined the Roman bureaucracy.On this day Emperor Domitian was murdered, by assassins in the pay of his wife, Domitilla. See 25 January 98


Reign od Domitian, 81-96

96, Domitian was assassinated.

23 August 93, Gnaeus Julius Agricola, Roman general renowned for his conquests, died in Rome. In 83 AD he had won a decisive victory against Caledonian tribes at the Battle of Mons Graupius, probably the Killiecrankie Pass. Had he been able to follow up this victory Rome might have conquered the whole of Britain up to the northern end of Scotland. However to Rome, Caledonia (Scotland) and the raids from its unsubdued tribes was a minor issue; the main problem then was the Germanic threat from east of the Rhine and north of the Danube. Agricola was recalled to Rome with Caledonia unconquered.

86, Rome was forced to withdraw a legion from Scotland to deal with trouble in Dacia, in the Danube region (now Romania). King Decebalus of Dacia had crossed into the Roman territory of Moesia and killed the Governor there. Domitian defeated the Dacians but did not occupy their territory, nor depose Decebalus,leaving him in place to cause further trouble later on.This left insuffieient strength to garrison northern Scotland, which was evacuated by the Romans.

83, Battle of Mons Graupius; Roman forces defeated the Caledonni in Scotland.

81, Arch of Titus erected in Rome, to commemorate the Roman victory in Jerusalem.

13 September 81, Roman Emperor Titus died, aged 40, after a 2-year reign. He was succeded by his 29-year old brother, Titus Flavius Domitianus, who ruled until 96 as Emperor Domitian.


Reign of Emperor Titus, 79-81

80, The Coliseum, Rome, was opened; 3 months of celebrations marked its inauguration. It was begun in 75 under the orders of Vespasian.

24 August 79. Vesuvius erupted, destroying the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and killing 2,000 people.

23/6/79, Death of the Roman Emperor Vespasian died, aged 69, after a 10-year reign. He was succeeded by his 38-year-old son, Flavius Sabinus Vespasianus Titus. He ruled as Emperor Titus until 81.


Reign of Emperor Vespasian, 69-79

77, Agricola, Roman Governor,extended Roman influence north to the mouth of the Clyde. He sent a Roman naval squadron to explore the north of Scotland; they reached as far as the Orkney and Shetland Isles.

76, Rome conquered Wales.

24 January 76. Birth of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. See 8 August 117.

15 April 73, To escape enslavement the male Jewish defenders of Masada, about to be overwhelmed by the Romans, killed the women and children and then committed suicide.

72, Construction work began on the Coliseum, Rome.

8 September 70. Jerusalem was stormedby the Romans after a two year siege. This ended a revolt by the Jews that began in 66. Only in Masada did the Jews still hold out for a while. See Judaism

20 December 69, Aulus Vitellius, former Emperor of Rome, was dragged from his hiding place and assassinated. Vespasian now ruled unchallenged, and held post until 79.

1 July 69 Vespasian was proclaimed Emperor of Rome by the prefect of Egypt; this was supported by the Legate of Syria and the Danubian legions. Vitellus gathered forces to oppose Vespasian�s supporters. Vitellus was defeated by Vespasian in the Second Battle of Bedriacum, late October 69.


19 April 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 January 69, The RomaEmperor 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.


Reign of Emperor Nero, 54-68

9/6/68. Nero committed suicide, having been deserted by the Praetorian Guard and lost favour with the Senate. His death ended the Julio-Claudian line of Emperors that had ruled Rome for 128 years; he was succeeded by Galba, who ruled for less than 6 months before facing challenges to his leadership. Overall the year 69 saw four Roman Emperors.

60, Revolt in Britain by the Iceni under Boudicca agsinst Roman rule.

66, Nero sent two Roman soldiers to explore the River Nile by boat. They got as far south as the Sudd, a huge swamp the size of England before turning back.

18 July 64. The great fire of Rome took place during the reign of Nero (born 15 December 37, became emperor 13 October 54). He played the lyre and was 50 miles away at his villa in Antium when he heard the news. The fire destroyed 10 of the 14 districts of Rome and burned for 6 days. Nero was blamed for starting the fire, and to divert blame he said the Christians had started it, putting them to death in cruel ways.

58, Armenia became a Roman protectorate.


Reign of Emperor Claudius I, 41-54

13 October 54, Roman emperor Claudius I died, aged 64, possibly after being poisoned by Agrippina, his wife and niece, and was succeeded by Nero, Agrippina�s son by another marriage.

15 September 53, Marcus Ulpius Traianus, the Emperor Trajan, was born near Seville, Spain. He was the first Roman Emperor to be born in the provinces.

24 October 51, Domitian, Emperor of Rome, was born.

51, The Romans captured Caractacus,leader of the British resistance,

50, The city of Cologne was founded by the Romans as Colonia Agrippina, on the site of Oppidum Ubiorum, capital of the Ubii tribe. Roman Emperoro Claudius fortified the settlement, where his niece and bride Agrippina was born in 15.

50, The Acqua Claudia, an aqueduct from Campagna to Rome, was built.

48, The Romans invaded Wales, completing their conquest of the country by 80.

45, The poor of Rome subsisted mainly on bread, olives, wine and some fish, but little meat.

44, Rome annexed the Kingdom of Thrace.

43, Roman invasion of Britain. The British, under Caractacus, were defeated at the Medway. In 47 the Roman forces paused at a line from the Severn to the Humber, establishing military camps at Lincoln and Exeter, then pushed on north and west.

7 December 43, Death of Cicero, Roman statesman and writer.

40, Rome conquered Mauretania, the region of Morocco and NWAlgeria. A revolt against Roman rule in Mauretania was suppressed in 42.

25 January 41,After a night of negotiation, Claudius was accepted as Emperor by the Senate. He ruled until 54.


Reign of Emperor Caligula, 37-41

24 January 41, Caligula, known for his eccentricity and cruel despotism, was assassinated, aged 28, by his disgruntled Praetorian Guards.

18 March 37,The Roman Senate annulled Tiberius's will and proclaimed Caligula Roman Emperor.

16 March 37, Emperor Tiberius died, aged 78. He was succeeded by Gaius Caesar, 25, youngest son of Germanicus Caesar, nephew of Tiberius, called Caligula after his habit of wearing soldier�s boots, or caligulae. He was a cruel ruler.


Reign of Emperor Tiberius, 14-37

28 April 32, The Roman Emperor Otto was born.

15 December 37, Roman Emperor Nero was born.

18 October 31, Lucius Aelius Sejanus, plotter against Emperor Tiberius, was executed in Rome.

21, Arminius (aged 38) was killed by fellow German tribesmen, who objected to his assuming the title of King over them.

26 May 17. The Romans under Germanicus won a major victory over Arminius, avenging their defeat of 9 BCE in the Teutoberg Forest.

2 January 17, The historian and poet Livy died in Rome.

24 September 15, The Roman Emperor Aulus Vitellius was born.

19 August 14. Death of the Roman Emperor Augustus, after a 41-year reign. He was born in Rome on 23 September 63 BC. He was succeeded by his stepson Tiberius Caludius Nero, aged 55. Tiberius ruled until 37 AD.


Reign of Emperor Augustus Caesar, 27 BCE - 14

31 August 12, Birth of Emperor Caligula.

18 November 9, Birth of the Roman Emperor Vespasian.

Autumn 9. Three entire Roman legions under General Quintinius Varus were defeated by the Germanic tribes under Arminius in the Teutoberg Forest. Varus had set out from his base at Minden to winter quarters further west, probably near modern-day Haltern, but was ambushed by Arminius�s forces, who caught the Romans out of battle formation whilst marching in the forest. Half the Roman force survived this ambush and marched south, only to find the route blocked by German forces at Kalkreise. The Romans fled in disarray; a few were sacrificed to German gods, most of the rest enslaved. A few Romans reached the Roman fort at Aliso, where they held out until winter, the German tribes then went home, allowing the Romans to march back to Roman territory, bringing news of the disaster. The Romans had originally hoped to push as far east as the Elbe; eliminating a salient into their territory created by the Rhine-Danube boundary. The Rhine was then settled on by the Romans as the boundary of their empire. See 26 May 17.

27 November 8, Death of Horace, Roman poet.

6, Revolt against Rome by tribes in Illyricum (Yugoslavia region).

5, Lombard tribes on the lower Elbe River were conquered by Rome.

9 BCE, Rome fought against the Marcomanni tribe, led by Marcoboduus,in the lower Danube region.

1 August 10 BCE. Roman Emperor Claudius I was born in Lyons.

15 BCE, The upper Danube region was conquered by the Romans.

21 September 19 BCE. The Roman poet Virgil, born 15 October 70 BC, died, after falling ill with sunstroke whilst on a journey to Greece. His tomb in Naples became a shrine.

1 August 19 BCE, Claudius I, Roman Emperor who invaded Britain in 43 AD, was born.

23 BCE, Rome invaded the Meroitic Kingdom, in what is now northern Sudan.

25 BCE, Julius Caesar began a conquest of what is now Switzerland, founding the Province of Rhaetia. By 19 BCE the Romans had conquered Rhaetia and Noricum, taking the border of the Roman Empire up to a line following the Rhine and Danube Rivers.

27 BCE, Augustus Caesar, formerly Imperator Caesar Octavianus, became Emperor.


30 BCE, Rome replaced its army of conscript soldiers with career soldiers.

12 August 30 BCE, Cleopatra died.

1 August 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 September 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 November 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.


Second Triumvirate Wars, 43-42 BCE

16 November 42 BCE, Second Battle of Philippi. Antony again attacked Brutus� camp, whilst Octavian mounted a distraction attack. The Republicans were routed; Brutus escaped with 4 legions but committed suicide soon after, bringing the Second Triumvirate Wars to a close. Octavian and Lepidus resumed governing the West whilst Antony ruled over the East. Antony met Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, in Cilicia, starting a love affair.

26 October 42 BCE, First Battle of Philppi. Antony mounted a suprose attack on the Republicans, Brutus and Cassius, through a swamp.Antony successfully destroyed the camp but Brutus did much damage to Antony�s forces. Meanwhile Cassius committed suicide, beleaving the Republicans hed been defeated.

7 December 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 then opposed Caesar�s successor, Octavian.

10 October 43 BCE, The city of Lyons was founded by Lucius Plancus.


Antony and Octavian fight to be the successor to Julius Caesar; reach agreement at Bologna, 44-43 BCE. The Triumvirate established

11/43 BCE, Octavian travelled to Bologna where he reached an agreement with Antony and Lepidus to establish joint rule over the Empire, and to punish the assassins of Julius Caesar.

8/43 BCE, Octavian returned to Roma and forced the Senate to declare him Consul. He also gained acknowledgement as Caesar�s heir, and made the Senate declare Caesar�s assassins to be outlaws.

21 April 43 BCE, Battle of Mutina. Antony�s forces were again defeated by Hirtius, although Hirtius himself was killed. Antony retreated west into Transalpine Gaul to join with Lepidus, a supporter of Julius Caesar. Decimus, meanwhile, was killed by brigands.

14 April 43 BCE, At the Battle of Forum Gallorum, Mark Anthony, besieging Juluis Caesar�s assassin Decimus Junius Brutus in Mutina, defeated the forces of Consul Pansa, who was killed this day. However whilst celebrating victory, Antony�s forces were subject to a surprise attack and routed by Hirtius. Antony rallied his forces and regrouped at Mutina.

12/44 BCE, Antony marched north to Cisalpine Gaul and besieged Brutus in Mutina (Modena). The pro-Republican Consuls, Aulus, Hirtius and Pansa allied with Brutus and Octavian.

11/44 BCE, Octavian planned a temporary alliance with Decimus Brutus (whom he actually hated as an assassin of his uncle Julius Caesar) in order to remove Antony and gain control of Rome. Octavian therefore marched his forces north into Ciusalpine Gaul to link up with Brutus.

7/44 BCE, The power struggle in Rome continued, with no punitive actions against the assassins of Julius Caesar. Mark Antony, Caesar�s most trusted subordinate, campaigned for retribution but to no effect. Republicans under Gaius Cassius Longinus, a ringleader of the assassins of Julius Caesar and now Governor of Syria, still planned to regain power. The 18-year-old Octavian (Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus) considered himself the rightful heir of Julius Caesar but Mark Antony refused to acknowledge his claim. Each side started to raise military forces for further combat.


Julius Ceasar, 58 � 44 BC

Julius Caesar assassinated, as too powerful, had become too ambitious, 44 BCE

15 March 44 BCE. Julius Caesar murdered. He was born on 12 July 100 BC, but not by Caesarean section as often claimed, although his surname does derive from the Latin �to cut�. He made major conquests in his lifetime, and put down civil wars in Asia and Spain; he was honoured like a god. But he was slain by his close associates when he began claiming in name power he held in fact, and planning grand projects such as the invasion of Parthia (Persia).

15 February 44 BCE, Julius Caesar was appointed dictator for life.

1 January 44 BCE, Julius Caesar introduced the Julian Calendar. The Julian 365-day calendar was based upon the Egyptian calendar, and replaced an earlier 355-day calendar used by the Romans. The Roman year began in March, and the 5th month, Qunitilis, was renamed July after Julius Caesar himself. Augustus then named the 6th month after himself, too. The Calends was the first day of the month, and in longer months of 31 days the Nones were on the 7th and the Ides on the 15th. In shorter months the Ides and Nones fell on the 5th and 13th days. The Romans also used an 8-day week with the days lettered A to H. For a while this co-existed with the 7-day week, based on the Sun, Moon and 5 visible planets. In 321 AD Emperor Constantine ruled that the 7-day week alone was to be used.

17 March 45 BCE, Caesar defeated an army assembled by Pompey�s sons at the Battle of Munda, near Montilla, Spain.


Caesar secures North Africa from pro-Pompey forces, 47-46 BCE

46 BCE, North Africa was made a Roman Province. Vercingetorix, King of the Gauls, was executed in Rome.

8 April 46 BCE, Julius Caesar defeated Scipio�s Republican army at Thapsus in north Africa. Desertions and illness had reduced Thapsus� forces to some 60,000. North Africa was now secured for Caesar, but pro-Pompey forces remained in Spain.

10/47 BCE, Caesar, having assembled an army of 25,000 in Sicily, now crossed to Tunisia to deal with the last pro-Pompey forces there. He faced an army of 50,000 under Metellus Scipio, along with another army almost equal in size under the Numidian King Juba.


Caesar defeats a an attempted secession by Pharnaces in Asia Minor, 48-47 BCE

5/47 BCE, Caesar defated a larger force under Pharnaces at the Battle of Zela. Caesar installed his ally Mithridates as Governor of Pharances� dominions.

4/47 BCE, Caesar left Alexandria, collected reinforcements from Syria, the n marched north througnb Asia Minor to confront Pharnaces.

10/48, In Asia Minor, King Pharnaces had taken advantage of the Roman Civil war between Caesar and Pompey. Pharnaces extended his Kingdom of Pontus to include the Crimea (Cimmeria) as well as Pontus and Cappadocia (northern Turkey). This month Pharnaces defeated Domitius Calvinus (subordinate of Caesar) at the Battle of Nicopolis.


Caesar almost defeated in Egypt but gains victory with Mithridates, 48-47 BCE

23/6/47 BCE, Queen Cleopatra gave birth to Caesarion, who was probably the son of Julius Caesar.

1/47 BCE, Caesar, facing great difficulties militarily, learnt of the arrival of his ally Mithridates from Asia Minor at the Nile delta. Leaving a small garrison to hold Alexandria, Caesar ,managed to evade Ptolemy�s naval blockade and join with Mithridates. The Battle of the Nile was now fought in 2/47 BCE, in which Caesar and Mithridates defeated Ptolemy XII, who was killed. Caesar now relieved his besieged forces in Alexandria. Caesar engaged in an amorous affair with Cleopatra, and placed her still younger brother in charge, ruling as Ptolemy XIII.

8/48 BCE, Caesar pursued Pompey to Egypt. Caesar had just 4,000 men. Caesar discovered that Pompey had been assassinated by his associates, however Ptolemy XII, co-ruler with his sister Cleopatra, raised an army against Caesar and besieged him with 20,000 men in part of Alexandria. Caesar managed to get reinforcements in by sea, despite a naval blockade. However Ptolemy�s forces were getting the upper hand.


Caesar defeats Pompey in Pharsala (Thessaly), 48 BCE

9 August 48 BCE. Battle of Pharsalus. Pompey finally decided to use his numerical superiority to move against Caesar�s troops. Caesar got ready to fight. Caesar�s left flank was secure against the steep bank of the Enipeus River but he was vulnerable to the right, which he took care to reinforce as he advanced against Pompey. In a decisive bold action, Caesar charged into Pompey�s lines, then attacked the flanks of Pompey�s cavalry to his right, scattering them. Pompey fled, his army routed, escaping to Egypt with just 30 horsemen. Caesar�s losses were 230 killed and 2,000 wounded; however Pompey�s forces suffered 15,000 dead and wounded, and 24,000 were taken prisoner. Greece and Asia now declared loyalty to Caesar, leaving Egypt, north Africa and Spain still supporting Pompey.However on landing in Egypt on 28 September 48 BC, Pompey was murdered on the orders of Ptolemy XII. Caesar�s forces continued to hunt down Pompey�s forces under his sons, finally defeating them in Spain on 15 March 45 BC.


Caesar attacks Pompey in Dyracchium (Durres, Albania) but is defeated; Caesar regroups in Thessaly (Greece), 49-48 BCE

20 May 48 BCE, The Battle of Dyrrachium. Pompey in Dyrrachium, now running short of water and fodder for his horses, broke out of Caesar�s siege without difficulty, with his numerically-superior army. Caesar withdrew into Thessaly (central Greece). However Pompey failed to follow up this victory, but acted cautiously, leaving a strong garrison in Dyrrachium. Caesar now regrouped in Thessaly, and now had 30,000 infantry and 1,000 cavalry, against Pompey�s 60,000 infantry and 7,000 cavalry. Both sides now faced each other across the Plain of Pharsalus (Farsala, Thessaly); Caesar attempted to lure Pompey into battle, but Pompey did not move.

2/48 BCE,Antony managed to evade Pompey�s blockade of Brundisium and crossed the Adriatic with his troops to join forces with Caesar at Tirana. Pompey still commanded the sea and maintained naval contact with his base at Dyrrachium. Each side conducted minor skirmishes on land. Pompey decided to sit out Caesar�s siege of Dyrarachium until his (Caeasar�s) army ran out of food; however Caeasar managed to keep his army fed.

28 November 49 BCE, Caesar mustered every ship available, and took 7 legions and a few cavalry, some 25,000 men in total. Avoiding contact with Pompey�s fleet, he sailed south of Pompey�s main base at Dyrrachium (Durres, Albania). Caesar mow sailed back across the Adriatic to Brundisium (Brindisi, southern Italy) to pick up Mark Antony, however Pompey was now alerted to Caesar�s movements, and blockaded Antony in Brundisium. Pompey now mustered an army of 100,000 and moved north from Epirus (NW Greece) to Dyrrachium. However Pompey�s troops were of inferior quality to Caesar�s soldiers, and he made noeffort (January 48 BCE)to exploit his 4:1 numerical advantage by forcing a battle. In fact Caesar took the initiative, manoeuvring around Dyrrachium.


Caesar secures Italy and Marseilles against Pompey, 49 BCE

6 September 49 BCE, Caesar landed at Massilia (Marseilles) from Spain, and the city surrendered to him. Domitius escaped by sea. Caesar went to Rome and discovered his small fleet at Curicta (Krk, Croatia) had been defeated.

24 July 49 BCE, Caesar�s legate, Gaius Curio, had established Caeasar�s authority in Sicily without trouble. However this day he was defeated by Pompey�s forces under Attius Varius, allied with Juba, King of Numidia. Pompey consolidated his hold over Africa. Curio committed suicide rather than surrender.


Caesar�s dispute with Pompey; Caesar defeats Pompey�s forces in Spain, 49 BCE

2 July 49 BCE. Caesar, having left Marcus Antonius in charge of Italy and marched to Spain, defeated Pompey�s generals Afranius and Petreius at Lerida north of the Ebro River.

9 March 49 BCE, Caesar left Rome to fight Pompey�s supporters in Spain.

10 January 49 BCE. Caesar crossed the Rubicon, a small river marking the boundary between Gaul and Italy, as he marched on Rome to fight his former ally Pompey. Pompey, fearing Caesar�s large army, fled Italy for Greece along with most of the Senate.

7 January 49. BCE. The Senate said it would declare Caesar a public enemy if he did not disband his army.


Caesar�s defeat of the Gauls, 58 � 52 BCE

3 October 52 BCE, Battle of Alesia: Caesar defeated the Gauls led by Vercingetorix (who surrendered on October 3), breaking the back of the Gallic insurrection. The final pacification of Gaul was completed the following year.

9/52 BCE. Rome defeated an army in Gaul under Vercingetorix.

54 BCE, Cassivellaunus, a major Belgic king in Britain, agreed to pay tribute to Rome.

26 August 55 BCE. Julius Caesar landed in Britain. He was attempting to deter the Britons from giving military aid to the Gauls.

56 BCE, The Conference of Luca (now Lucca); Julius Caesar, Crassus and Pompey met to patch up their differences and work together. However Crassus and Pompey had become wary of Caesar, as his power grew after his victories in Gaul. The three arranged that Pompey and Crassus would hold the Consulship in 55 BCE, whilst Caesar continued his successful campaign in Gaul; afterwards, Crassus would become Governor of Syria, from where he would campaign against tha Parthians. However Crassus was killed in a major Roman defeat by the Parthians in 53 BCE, and relations deteriorated between Caesar and Pompey, to the point of civil war, see 49 BCE.

See also Great Britain

56 BCE, Revolt by the Veneti against Roman rule in Brittany.

57 BCE, Julius Caesar subdued the Belgae and Nervae.

58 BCE, Julius Caesar began a conquest of Gaul. At the Battle of Bibractae, Helvitican tribes migrating into Gaul were defeated by the Romans under Julius Caesar. Ceasar was in debt from having spent considerably to secure popularity, and also at risk of prosecution for use of soldiers to intimidate the opposition. A succesful military campaign would therefore be highly useful to him at this point.


60 BCE, The Romans founded colonies in Switzerland.

29 September 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 January 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.

63 BCE, The Romans under Pompey conquered Palestine, Asia Minor, and Syria.

3 December 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 September 63 BCE. Birth of the first Roman Emperor, Gaius Octavius Caesar, adopted son and heir of Julius Caesar.

8 December 65 BCE. Horace, Roman poet, was born in Venusian Apulia.

68 BCE. Crete was captured by the Romans.

15 October 70 BCE, Virgil, Roman poet, was born.

72 BCE, The Suevi, a Germanic tribe, crossed the Rhone andinvaded 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 November 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 January 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.


Second Servile War 103 � 99 BCE

99 BCE, Rome�s Second Servile War ended as Consul Aquilius finally put down stubborn resistance by the slaves.

103 BCE, Romes Second Servile War began as slaves revolted under the leadership of Tryphon and Athenion. Human slaves provided the power for much of Rome�s agriculture;they could follow verbal orders, despite being less powerful and less docile than horses. The utility of horses was limited by the lack of metal horseshoes or proper harnesses.


12 July 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 January 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.


First Servile War 135 � 132 BCE

132 BCE, The First Servile War, the revolt of slaves in Sicily, ended as the Romans captured and executed the rebel leader, Eunus.

135 BCE, Rome�s First Servile War began as slaves on the large Sicilian estates revolted under the Syrian, Eunus, who styled himself King Antiochus. Roman armies were sent to put down the rebellion.


133 BCE, Asia Minor (now Turkey) came under Roman control. Rome conquered Spain.

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.

144 BCE, Rome�s third aqueduct, the Marcia, was built.


149 � 146 BCE Invasion of Greece

146 BCE, The Achaean War. Roman forces under Lucius Mumius Achaicus invaded Greece and conquered Achaea and Corinth. The Achaean army, consisting mainly of poorly-trained slaves, had earlier been attmeptoing to force Sparta, then a Roman Protectorate, to join the Achaean league.

147 BCE, Rome sacked the city of Corinth. Greece came under Roman control. A Lusitainian revolt led by Viriathus was joined,from 144 BCE, by several Celto-Iberian tribes. However the revolt petered out after Viriathus was killed in 140 BCE. The centre of this revolt, Numantia, was finally recaptured by the Romans in 133 BCE after a siege; the defenders were sold into slavery.


150 � 146 BCE, destruction of Carthage

129 BCE, Scipio the Younger, who destroyed Carthage, died (born 185 BCE).

146 BCE, The Romans destroyed Carthage, burning it and deprting its population, ending the Third Punic War. Rome created the Province of Africa from former Carthaginian territories.

149 BCE, The Romans invaded North Africa and laid siege to Carthage, The Carthaginians offered to surrender but refused to give up the city.

150 BCE, Rome again faced a threat from a resurgent Carthage, as the Carthaginians attacked Numidia, an ally of Rome. Carthage,under an earlier peace treaty,had to ask Rome�s permission to wage war withinAfrica and was prohinited totally from waging war outside Africa.. Masinna, the 88 year old king of Numidia, was now Rome�s ally. Roman Censor Marcus Porcius Cato famously urged �Delenda est Carthago� (Carthage must be destroyed).


186 � 155 Invasion of Yugoslavia area

149 BCE, Following the Fourth Macedonian War, Macedonia became a Roman province.

155 BCE, Rome invaded Dalmatia.

186 BCE, Rome conquered Illyria, which included modern-day Albania.

22/6/168 BCE, The Romans defeated the Macedonians, who were led by Perseus, at Pydna.


1 January 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.

171 BCE, The Macedonians under Perseus attacked Rome, starting the Third Macedonian War.

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.

209 BCE, Rom conquered Tarentum, a city in the heel of Italy.

211 BCE, Rome conquered Syracuse in Sicily.

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 August 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 March 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 from Catthage, who had occupied it in around 500 BCE,

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 July 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 payingits 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 April 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.


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