If men would examine how many are killed with weapons and how many eat and drink themselves to death, there would be found more dead from the cup and the kitchen than from the thrust of a sword. — Thomas More

Timelines of Ancient Rome

    Kingdom of Rome     Early Republic     Punic Wars     Decline of Republic     Age of the Caesars     Height of Empire     Fall of Empire     Rise of Christianity

Kingdom of Rome—753 to 510 B.C.

Founding of Rome to Exile of Tarquins


BC YearEvent
753 Rome founded by Romulus and Remus, twin descendents of Aeneas.
Romulus declares Rome a sanctuary city for slaves and debtors.
Capture of Sabine maidens and subsequent War with the Sabines.
715-674 Reign of Numa Pompilius
Updated Roman calender, assigned holidays
Established priests and vestal virgins
673-642 Reign of Tullus Hostilius
Combat of Horatti and Curatii
650 Conquest of Alba Longa
616-579 Reign of Tarquin the Elder
Built sewer, Circus Maximus, Forum
579-535 Reign of Servius Tullius begins after the murder of Tarquin the Elder
Servian wall built around Rome.
Citizens organized into classes based on wealth
535-510 Tarquin Superbus murders Servius, his father-in-law, and assumes the throne.
Acquired Sibyline books from a Greek priestess.
War with Volscians, besieged city of Gabii.
Built temple of Jupiter on Capitoline hill.
510 Lucretia commits suicide after being attacked by Sextus Tarquin.
510 The last king of Rome, Tarquin Superbus, is expelled; Roman republic is founded.
510-496 Wars against Tarquin and his allies
508 Horatius repels the army of Lars Porsena at the Battle of Sublican Bridge.
496 Final defeat of Tarquin at the Battle of Lake Regillus.

Early Republic—510 to 275 B.C.

Defeat of Tarquin Superbus to Unification of Italy


BC YearEvent
510-496 Wars against Tarquin and his allies
508 Horatius repels the army of Lars Porsena at the Battle of Sublican Bridge.
496 Final defeat of Tarquin at the Battle of Lake Regillus.
494 Office of the tribune is established to protect plebian rights.
491 Coriolanus is sent into exile but returns with an army to threaten Rome.
458 During a War with the Aequii, Cincinnatus rescues a Roman army caught in a trap.
451 Decimvirs create ten tablets; Virginia is killed to keep her out of the hands of a tyrant.
443 Censorship established.
396 Romans under Camillus Conquer Veii, their great Etruscan foe.
390 Battle of AlliaGauls invade and sack Rome.
343-341 First Samnite War—Etruria and Campania annexed to Rome.
326-304 Second Samnite War—Roman humiliation at Battle of Caudine Forks.
312 Via Appia—famous Roman road started.
312 Aqueduct building project started.
298-290 Third Samnite War—Roman victory at the Battle of Sentium.
280-275 Pyrrhic Wars in Italy in southern Italy—First encounter between Greek and Roman armies.
269 First Roman coins minted.

Punic Wars—274 to 146 B.C.

First Punic War to Destruction of Carthage


BC YearEvent
264-242 First Punic War
264 Rome intervenes in a land war against Carthage in Sicily..
260 Roman naval victory at Battle of Mylae.
256 Roman victory at Battle of Ecnomus—the largest naval battle of the age.
253 Defeat and capture of Regulus at Battle of Bagradas.
250 Regulus defies Carthage and is murdered
219-202 Second Punic War
219 Hannibal lays siege to Saguntum, a Roman ally, on the coast of Spain.
218 Hannibal crosses the Alps and meets a Roman army at the Battle of Trebia River.
217 An Roman legion is ambushed and Consul is killed the Battle of Lake Trasimene.
216 Low point: Roman disaster at Battle of Cannae.
212 Death of Archimedes at the Siege of Syracuse.
207 Hasdrubal Barca killed at the Battle of Metaurus River.
202 Carthage decisively defeated by Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama.
214-205 First Macedonian War—Inconclusive
200-196 Second Macedonian War—Roman victory at Battle of Cynoscephalae.
190 Wars of Antiochus the Great—Antiochus III of Syria defeated at Magnesia.
168 Third Macedonian War—Roman victory at Battle of Pydna.
149-146 Third Punic War—Carthage destroyed
146 Rome destroys Corinth after putting down a rebellion of the Achaean League

Decline of Republic—146 to 60 B.C.

Age of Gracchi to Pompey Defeats Pirates


BC YearEvent
143-133 Following the destruction of Carthage, Rome Conquers the Interior of Spain
133 Ten-year Siege of Numantia is concluded by Scipio the Younger
133 Tiberius Gracchus, a proponent of land reform, is elected Tribune, then murdered.
123 Gaius Gracchus is elected Tribune, passes Sempronian Laws, then is murdered.
111-106 Jugurthine War in Africa reveals significant corruption in Roman Senate.
107 Marius is elected consul, for the first of seven times. Begins reform of the Roman army.
105-101 Marius leads Roman against Germanic invaders in the Cimbrian War
102 Teutone tribe defeated at the Battle of Aquae Sextiae.
101 Cimbri tribe defeated at the Battle of Vercelli.
90-89 Roman Social War —Italian allies win rights of Roman citizenship.
90-85 First Mithridatic War—king of Pontus overruns Asia Minor and causes Greece to revolt.
88-83 Civil War of Marius and Sulla between the optimates and populares political parties.
88 Marius attempts to take over the army, but is exiled from Rome by Sulla's party.
87 With Sulla's army in Greece, Marius returns to Rome and takes vengeance on his enemies.
86 Sulla is victorious at Siege of Athens and sets up a government in exile.
83 Sulla returns from Greece, overthrows the Marian party and retaliates against his enemies.
83-72 Sertorius, a former ally of Marius, leads a major Rebellion in Spain
75 Pompey is dispatched to put down Sertorian Rebellion.
72 Spartacus leads a wide-spread Slave Revolt.
67 Pompey conquers the pirates of the Mediterranean.
63 Cicero discovers and puts down the Catiline Conspiracy.

Age of the Caesars—60 B. C. to 14 A.D.

First Triumvirate to Death of Augustus


BC YearEvent
63 Cicero discovers and puts down the Catiline Conspiracy.
60 Pompey, Crassus, and Julius Caesar form the First Triumvirate.
58-51 Julius Caesar Conquers Gaul
57 Caesar annihilates the rebellious Nervii at the Battle of Sabis River.
54 Caesar invades Britain for a second time.
52 Caesar wins a great victory over Vercingetorix at the Battle of Alesia.
54 Death of Caesar's daughter, the wife of Pompey, strains the alliance between the two.
53 Death of Crassus at the Battle of Carrhae brings and end to the First Triumvirate.
49-44 Caesar plunges Rome into Civil War when he refuses to surrender his command.
49 Caesar crosses the Rubicon with his army and marches on Rome unopposed.
48 Caesar defeats Pompey at Battle of Pharsalia.
48 Caesar puts Cleopatra on throne of Egypt at Battle of Alexandria.
46 Suicide of Cato (the younger) after the Republican cause is defeated at the Thapsus.
44 Assassination of Julius Caesar
43 Octavius and Antony form Second Triumvirate and agree to the murder of Cicero.
42 Defeat of Republican army at Battle of Philippi.
40 Octavius marries his sister to Antony to strengthen their political alliance.
36 Antony renews his relationship with Cleopatra and moves to Alexandria.
31 Octavio defeats Antony at the Battle of Actium.
27 Octavius appointed imperator for life and becomes Augustus Caesar.
27 Gates of Janus shut. Beginning of Pax Romana.
0 AD Birth of Christ.
9 AD German chieftain Hermann Annihilates 3 Roman Legions at the Battle of Teutoberg Forest.
14 AD Tiberius, the eldest son of Livia becomes emperor on the death of Augustus, .

Height of Empire—14 to 235 A.D.

Reign of Tiberius to Last Severan Emperor


AD YearEvent
14 Death of Augustus Caesar, after reign of more than 45 years.
14-37 Reign of Tiberius, stepson of Augustus Caesar.
19 Tiberius is accused of murdering Germanicus, his rival for the throne.
31 Sejanus, captain of the Praetorian guard, executed for conspiring against Tiberius.
33 Death of Christ.
41 Assassination of imperial madman, Caligula, after short, tyrannical reign.
41-54 Reign of Claudius
43 Romans Reconquer BritainCaractacus defeated at the Battle of Medway.
54-68 Nero becomes emperor while still in his teens after the (suspicious) death of Claudius.
59 Nero murders his mother Agrippina the Younger, his wife Octavia, and his brother .
61 Widespread Revolt of the Britons under Boadicea is crused by the Romans.
64 Major fire in Rome, probably set by Nero, is blamed on "Christians".
68 Nero driven from throne by Praetorian Guards.
69 Civil War: Year of the Four Emperors as Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian contend for the throne.
70-81 Reign of Vespasian and his son Titus.
70 Fall of Jerusalem, and destruction of the temple.
79 Destruction of Pompey after the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.
80 Dedication of the Coliseum.
70-81 First widespread Christian Persecution under Emperor Domitian.
96-180 Era of the Five Good Emperors.
96-98 Nerva becomes the first Roman Emperor appointed by the Senate.
98-117 Trajan expands Roman territory, Conquers Dacia
117 Roman Empire reaches Maximum extent, as Dacian territory is incorporated.
117-138 Hadrian builds wall in Britain at Scottish border, consolidates empire.
138-161 Antoninus Pius presides of an exceptionally long and benevolent reign.
161-180 Marcus Aurelius, philosopher emperor, Fights the Alemanni.
180-192 Reign of Commodus, son of Marcus Aurelius is marked by decadence and corruption.
193 Septimus Severus claims the throne after a Civil War following the death of Commodus.
197 Severus Campaigns in Parthia, expanding Roman rule to its furthest eastward extent.
211-239 Reign of the later Severans: Caracalla, Elagabalus and Alexander.
211 Caracalla murders his brother Geta so that he can rule alone.
239 Alexander Severus is assassinated—throne usurped by barbarian chief Maximinus.

Fall of Empire—235 to 565 A.D.

Military Anarchy to Reign of Justinian I


AD YearEvent
239 Alexander Severus is assassinated —throne usurped by barbarian chief Maximinus.
239-284 Military anarchy.
259 Emperor Valerian taken prisoner by the Persians after the Battle of Edessa and tortured to death.
270 Civil War in the East with Zenobia of Palmyra, Queen of Palmyra.
285-305 Diocletian takes control of the Roman government and divides it into four provinces.
306 Constantine proclaimed Augustus by his legions after the death of his father.
312 Constantine gains Control of the Western Empire at Battle of Milvian Bridge.
313 Edict of Milan: Christianity is made legal throughout Roman Empire.
324-337 Constantine becomes sole ruler of both Eastern and Western Empires.
325 First Council of Nicaea is held to combat the Arian heresy.
330 The City of Constantinople is founded as the capital of Constantine's empire.
337-361 Empire languishes under waring sons of Constantine.
362 Julian the Apostate tries to restore paganism.
379-395 Theodosius reigns in the east. Fends off Usurpers in the West and briefly reunites the empire.
410 Alaric the Visigoth, leader of the Visigoths, Invades Rome.
451 Visigoths and Romans Fend off Attila and his Huns at the Battle of Chalons.
455 Genseric Sacks and Plunders Rome.
468 Failed Expedition against the Vandals of Africa sent by Emperor Leo.
476 Imperial leadership passes to a barbarian king, Odoacer.
486 Clovis defeats Syagrius, the last Roman governor in Gaul, at the Battle of Soissons.
496 Clovis is baptized as a Catholic Christian in Reims on Christmas Day..
493 Theodoric the Ostrogoth reigns in the Ostrogoth kingdom of Italy.
527-565 Reign of Justinian the Great in the Eastern Roman Empire.
533 Belisarius Reconquers Vandal Kingdom of Africa.
538 Belisaurius Besieges Ravenna, and regains Italy for the Eastern Kingdom.
572 The Lombards, under Alboin, cross the Alps and Conquer Italy.