Chronology of events pre – 800

Some dates are uncertain, especially where indicated by question marks

Please use the reply function at the bottom of the page to make suggestions or note errors.

Students: this is intended only as a short guide to background knowledge on historical events with links to basic information openly available on the web. For academic work you will be expected to rely on academic material. i.e. primary sources, textbooks, monographs, journal articles, etc. In particular you should not rely on references to Wikipedia for academic coursework.

Disclaimer: links to external sites are not intended to endorse those sites or the information on them. In particular some websites are open to amendments by anyone and are vulnerable to malicious amendment.

Date Greece and Eastern Roman Empire Rome / Italy / Western Empire Elsewhere
795 Pope Leo III 795-816. First Viking attack on Ireland.
794 Western bishops modify the Creed outraging the East.
793 First Viking attack on England.
787 Seventh Council on Iconoclasm. Council of Niceae.
786 Caliphate of Harun-al-Rashid

r. 786?-809, translation of Greek works into Arabic

782 Alcuin at Aachen Franks massacre Saxons into Christianity.
774 Charlemagne conquers Lombard territory of Italy.
772 Pope Adrian I 772-795.
771 Charlemagne unites the lands of Pepin.
768 Charlemagne begins to rule (until 814).
756 Pepin defeats the Lombards.
754 Stephen II anoints Pepin and asks for help. Death of St. Boniface. Stephen II anoints Pepin and asks for help. Death of St. Boniface.
753 Stephen II crosses Alps. Stephen II crosses Alps.
752 Donation of Constantine forged? Pope described as universal vicar and supreme temporal lord
751 Lombards seize Ravenna. Pepin le Bref becomes King of the Franks (r 751-768), after asking Patriarch Zacharias who should rule.
750 Lombard king Aistulf.
745 Rachis publishes more Lombard edicts.
740 Leo III formally replaces Justinian’s laws.
732 Battle of Tours (Poitiers, Highway of the Martyrs) Charles Martel defeats Al-Ghafiqi
731 One of Liutprand’s edicts refers to “per pugnam sine iustitia” (Bellomo 50). Gregory III pope (731-41).
717 Second Arab siege of Constantinople.
715 Pope Gregory II 715- 731.
713 Lombard Liutprand begins publishing edicts (from 713-735).
712 Lex Alamannorum adopted sometime between 712 and 725 in Germanic lands.
711 Arab invasions of Spain.
700 Beowulf composed in 8th century Muslims conquer Carthage.
691 Dome of the Rock built in Jerusalem.
680 Third Ecumenical Council of Constantinople.
678 Constantinople survives Arab siege.
672 Venerable Bede 672-735.
668 Lombard Grimoald publishes another redaction.
664 Synod of Whitby prefers Roman to Celtic church.

Muslim forces enter India.

652 Arabs invade Sicily.
643 Lombard King Rothari publishes an Edictum.
641 End of the Library at Alexandria.
632 Death of Mohammed.
622 Mohammed’s hegira from Mecca
604 Gregory the Great dies.
596 Gregory dispatches Augustine (Canterbury) to England.
590 Gregory the Great becomes Pope. 590-604.
580 Maximus the Confessor 580-662.
570 Birth of Mohammed.
568 Lombard invasions of Italy.
565 Death of Justinian.
554 Byzantine armies invade Italy – reunited to the East.

Introduced Justinian’s laws.

542 Death of St. Benedict.
540 Gregory I (540-604).
538 Justinian’s Novels?
534 The Codex, and the Institutions?.
533 The Digests.?
532 Initial Codex.?
529 Justinian closes the Academy. Council of Orange confirms Augustine against Pelagian heresy.
527 Justinian comes to power.
524 Theodoric kills Boethius. Cassiodorus founds a monastery at Vivarium

Boethius (477-524) writes the Consolations of Philosophy while in jail

520 St. Benedict founds Monte Cassino.
511 Death of Clovis. Lex Salica.
506 Alaric, Visigothic Spain, promulgates a “law” – lex romana visigothorum (Bellomo, 36).
500 Clovis becomes Christian?
494 Pope Gelasius I announces the theory of the two authorities.
492 Gelasius I (492-6).
476 Romulus Augustus – last Roman emperor. Deposed by Odoacer.
470 Boethius 470-524. Author of On the Consolations of Philosophy.
461 Death of St. Patrick.
453 Death of Attila.
452 Pope Leo I persuades Attila not to pursue his attacks.
440 Leo I Pope (440-461)
438 Codex of Theodosius II.
430 Augustine (of Hippo) dies.
413 Augustine (of Hippo) writes City of God 413-426
410 Sack of Rome by Alaric the Goth.
397 St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan, dies.
392 Last Olympic Games.
378 Theodosius (r 378-395)
354 Augustine (of Hippo) born.
340 Ambrose born.
337 End of Constantine.
330 Foundation of New Rome, later Constantinople and Istanbul
325 First Council of Nicaea.
313 Edit of Milan allows toleration of Christians
313 Constantine seizes Rome
306 Constantine becomes Emperor. Rules 306-337.
305 Diocletian abdicates.
300 Lactantius regards the state as a necessary evil
293 Diocletian introduces rule by 4 emperors (tetrarchy).
284 Diocletian comes to power.
254 Death of Origen.
215 Ulpian
200 Ulpian asserts that the emperor is above the law. Death of Irenaeus.
185 Birth of Origen
180 Death of Marcus Aurelius. Death of Gaius? Birth of Irenaeus?
131 Galen 131-201.
130 Birth of Gaius?
121 Birth of Marcus Aurelius
70 Romans destroy Jerusalem
68 Nero kills himself
65 Nero orders the Stoic Seneca to kill himself
33 Death of Jesus Christ?
14 Death of Augustus
0 Dates below are BCE/BC (indicated by italics)    
5     Birth of Jesus Christ?
27   Octavian named Augustus.  
30   Death of Anthony and Cleopatra.  
31   Battle of Actium, Octavian defeats Mark Anthony and Cleopatra.  
43   Second Triumvirate until 31. Death of Cicero.  
44   Assassination of Caesar.  
49   Dictatorship of Caesar.  
50   Publication of Caesar’s Gallic War. End of first triumvirate.  
52   Battle of Alesia; Caesar defeats Vercingetorix  
60   First triumvirate until 50.  
63   Catiline conspiracy  
79   End of Sulla’s dictatorship.  
82   Dictatorship of Sulla.  
106   Birth of Cicero.  
133   Assassination of Tiberius Gracchus.  
146 Romans sack Carthage and Corinth.    
155   Athenian philosophers visit Rome, promote closer links.  
196 Rome defeats Macedonia at Cynoscephalae.    
212   Rome conquers Syracuse and Sicily. Death of Archimedes.  
218   Second Punic War 218-201.  
264 Death of Zeno (stoicism) (or 263/2).  First Punic War begins  
266   End of Pyrrhic wars – Rome occupies Greece.  
270 Death of Epicurius.    
287   Birth of Archimedes.  
300 Euclides (author of Elements) flourishes at Alexandria.    
321 Or 322? Aristotle dies a natural death.    
322 Alexander dies (or 323?), Athens revolts. Aristotle’s position tenuous and flees. Macedonians occupy Athens.    
323 Death of Diogenes the Cynic.    
333 Birth of Zeno (stoic).    
334 Alexander invades Persia.    
335 Aristotle returns to Athens after 13 years. Establishes the Lyceum.    
336 Philip murdered. Alexander becomes king.    
338 Philip defeats Athens and Thebes.    
341 Birth of Epicurius.    
343 Philip invites Aristotle to teach his 13 year old son, Alexander.

Persian king kills Hermias.

347 Death of Plato. Philip devastates Stagira, Aristotle’s birthplace. Aristotle’s rival becomes leader of the Academy. Aristotle leaves Athens and travels to Assos where Hermias sought to be a philosopher king.    
350 Aristotle’s Ethics?Aristotle’s Politics?    
351 Demosthenes’ first philippic.    
353 Dion – Plato’s friend – murdered.    
355 Birth of Zenon the Stoic.    
357 Dion ousts Dionysius the Younger. Death of Hippocrates.    
359 Philip becomes the Macedonian king.    
360 Plato again becomes entangled with Dionysius the Younger. Plato’s The Republic? The Laws?    
361 Death of Democritus.    
362 Thebes defeats Sparta at the Battle of Mantinea.    
367 Plato at Syracuse again. Attempted to train Dionysius the Younger.    
368 Aristotle sets out for Athens and the Academy?    
371 Thebes defeats Sparta at Leuctra.    
378 Thebes and Athens align against Sparta.    
380 Plato establishes the Academy – the first university?    
384 Birth of Aristotle in Macedonia?    
387   Gauls sack Rome.  
389 Plato goes to Sicily (Syracuse), befriends Dion.    
390   Celts sack Rome.  
399 Death of Socrates    
403 Democracy restored in Athens.    
404 End of the Second Peloponnesian War. Athens surrenders to Sparta. Tyranny of the Thirty. Socrates refuses to order an illegal arrest of Leon. Oligarchic revolution in Athens (Critias). Carthage besieges Syracuse.  
405 406? Socrates refuses to vote against nine generals, on constitutional grounds.    
407 Plato meets Socrates?    
411 Oligarchic revolution in Athens (Alcivb?iades).    
412 Birth of Diogenes the Cynic.    
414   Athens besieges Syracuse.  
427 Birth of Plato    
428 Death of Anaxagoras.    
429 Death of Pericles.    
431 Second Peloponnesian War until 404. The main period of conflicts were 431-421 and 414-404. (Roberts, 33)    
433 Death of Empedocles (elements divided into fire, air, earth, water).    
442 Sophocles’ Antigone?    
450 Aristophanes (comedian) born. Roman delegation visits Greece to study Solōn’s laws.

Twelve Tables

Gautama (Buddha) flourished
457 First Athens Sparta conflict.    
460 Democritus born – atomist theory. Hippocrates born. Anaxogoras begins teaching in Athens.    
461 First Peloponnesian War, until 446.    
479 Greeks defeat Persia in the second war. Battle of Plataea.  The classical age begins.   Death of Confucius
480 Birth of Socrates. Battle of Salamis.    
490 Battle of Marathon – Persia defeated.    
492 First Persian war.    
495 Birth of Pericles.    
497 Death of Pythagoras ??.    
500 Heraclitus flourishes at Ephesus. Birth of Anaxagoras.    
507 Cleisthenes reforms.    
509   Expulsion of the monarch Tarquin.  
510 Sparta drives out Peisistratos.    
530   Pythagoras in Syracuse.  
539     Cylinder of Cyrus?
546 Death of Thales    
560 Psistratus and his sons govern through manipulation in Athens until 510??.   Cyrus ruler of Persia 560-529?
572 Birth of Pythagoras.??    
594 Solōn ruler of Athens?    
600 ?Thales ponders the nature of the natural world, as does Anaximander, both in Miletus.   Greeks found Marseille.
612     Nineveh destroyed.
636 Birth of Thales?    
638 Birth of Solōn?    
700 ? Homer’s works take final form between now and 600 – possibly influenced by Assyrian epics?    
733   Greek colony at Syracuse?  
753   Founding of Rome?  
776 Pan-hellenic games.    
1068 Codrus last king of Athens.    
1200-1000? Iron age begins????    
1200 Disasters at Mycenae – dark ages for 300 years.    
1772     Code of Hammurabi ??

Usage: © Rory O’Connell, 2012. Please feel free to link to this page or make use of it for teaching purposes provided the source is acknowledged.