Timelines of Christian Europe

    Frankish Empire     Norman and Crusaders     Medieval France     Renaissance France     Early Modern France     Holy Roman Empire     German Reformation     Renaissance Italy

Frankish Empire—500 to 845

Baptism of Clovis to Treaty of Verdun

AD YearEvent

Merovingian Kings

448 Merovech succeeds Clodio as king of the Salian Franks.
451 Romans, Visigoths, and Franks under Merovech, defeat Attila the Hun at the Battle of Chalons.
465 Clovis I, grandson of Merovech, succeeds as leader of the Salian Franks.
486 Clovis defeats Syagrius, the last Roman appointed ruler of Gaul at the Battle of Soissons.
492 Clovis marries Clotilda, a Catholic princess of Burgundy.
496 Clovis baptized in Christmas day in 496 in the Abbey of Rheims by St. Remigus.
507 Clovis defeats a Visigoth army and conquers Aquitaine in Southwest France at the Battle of Vouille.
511 Frankish kingdom divided among sons of Clovis at his death. Capitals were at Soissons, Paris, Orleans, and Rheims.
558 Chlothar I becomes sole ruler of Franks. Kingdom later divided into four regions: Burgundy, Neustria, Austrasia, Aquitaine.
575 Brunhilda ruled Austrasia after Sigebert I. Feuded with Fredogunda of Nuestria.
613 Chlothar II (Fredogunda son) rules Franks after executing Sibebert II and Brunhilda.
632 Dagobert I becomes king of Franks by treachery. Later Merovingian are "do-nothing" kings.

Mayors of the Palace

680-714 Pepin II (of Herstal) (father of Charles Martel) served as "Mayor of Palace" of Austrasia, then for entire kingdom.
718-723 Charles Martel, illegitimate son of Pepin Herstal, fought to claim 'Mayor of Palace' office from his step-brother.
731 Martel leads army against Odo, Duke of Aquitaine, who had made a truce with the Moors. Odo submits to Martel.
732 Battle of Tours: Franks and Burgundians under Martel severely defeat invading Moors of the Umayyad Caliphate.
741 Frankish realms divided between Pepin the Short and Carloman. Pepin sole ruler after Carlomon withdraws to Monastery (747).

Carolingian Kings

751 Pepin the Short crowned king of the Franks, first Carolingian ruler of the Franks.
751 Lombards conquer 'Exarchate of Ravenna' in central Italy, from Byzantines. Rome under rule of pagan Lombards.
756 Donation of Pepin: Pepin forces the Lombards to surrender conquests in central Italy to Pope of Rome. Legal basis for Papal States.
771 Charlemagne, son of Pepin, becomes ruler of the Franks.
774 Charlemagne surrounds Pavia, exiles Desiderous, and is crowned king of the Lombards.
778 Battle of Roncevaus Pass: Charlemagne leads Franks over the Pyrennes to oppose Basques and Moors. Basis for 'Song of Roland'.
782 Alcuin becomes Master of the Palace School in Aachen. Begins educational and ecclesiastic reforms.
785 Saxon leader Wittekind is baptized and swears fealty to Charlemagne.
789 Charlemagne issues laws that guide reforms throughout the Frankish kingdom.
780-840 Carolingian Renaissance: increased activity in art, literature, law, architecture, liturgy, and religion throughout Frankish realms.
795 Charlemagne creates 'Spanish March' as buffer between Franks and Spanish Moors.
800 On Christmas, 800, Charlemagne is crowned 'King of the Romans' by Pope Leo III.
814 Charlemagne dies and his only legitimate son, Louis the Pious, inherits the Empire.
840 On death of Louis the Pious, his three sons, Lothair I, Louis the German, and Charles the Bald fight over Frankish dominions.
843 Treaty of Verdun: Sons of Louis the Pious divide the Empire into three Parts.

Norman and Crusaders—845 to 1270

Viking's besiege Paris to Battle of Bouvines

AD YearEvent

Last of the Carolingian Kings

843 Treaty of Verdun: Sons of Louis the Pious divide the Empire into three Parts.
875 Charles the Bald crowned Holy Roman Emperor, but then dies "suddenly".
879 Grandsons of Charles the Bald succeed him as joint kings of West Francia.
888 Charles the Simple, crowned HRE in 881, briefly reunites Frankish Empire, but dies without an heir.
888-898 Odo of Paris serves as the first Robertian king of France.
898 Charles the Simple declared king of Franks on death of Odo. Period of weak Franksih kings.
910 Monastery at Cluny is established (influential in Gregorian Reforms during 11th century).
987 Death of Last Carolingian king. Hugh Capet chosen as successor.
996-1031 Robert II, son of Hugh Capet succeeds his father as king of West Franconia.

Vikings and Dukes of Normandy

845 Paris besieged by Ragnar Lodbrok. Seige lifted when Charles the Bald pays ransom.
858 Chartres is besieged by Northmen, and burned.
885 Vikings, lead by Rollo the Viking, besiege the City of Paris. Odo of Paris resists
911 Rollo besieges Chartres, negotiates with Charles the Simple. Made Duke of Normandy; pays homage to king of Franks.
942-996 Richard the Fearless, grandson of Rollo, expands Norman territory, donates to Church, builds alliances, rules fifty years.
1027-35 Robert the Magnificent, becomes Duke of Normandy after his brother's "sudden" death.
1035-87 William the Conqueror reigns in Normandy for over fifty years, becomes strongest baron in Northern Europe.
1066 William the Conqueror defeats Saxons at Hastings, becomes king of England.
1087-1106 Reign of Robert Curthose , son of William the Conqueror, as Duke of Normandy.

Normans in Italy

999 Normans arrive in Italy to serve as mercenaries for Byzantine wars against Lombards.
1042 William of Hauteville conquers Byzantine territory in Italy, rules as Count of Calabria.
1053 Normans begin conquest of Lombard territory in Southern Italy.
1054 Schism with Eastern Church, due in part to Norman aggression in Italy.
1059 After Battle of Civitate, Pope recognizes Robert Guiscard as Duke of Calabria, and Normans protect Papal interests.
1061 Guiscard and Roger of Sicily begin conquest of Sicily, held by Moslems for 200 years.
1077 Robert Guiscard adds Naples to his territories in Southern Italy.
1080 Christians in Sicily and S. Italy forced to switch allegiance from Constantinople to Roman.
1091 Roger of Sicily completes conquest of Sicily, attempts to conquer Moslem-held Malta.
1130 Roger II made first 'King of Sicily' with territory encompassing all of southern Italy.

Normans Heroes of the First Crusade

1095 Pope Urban II calls for a Crusade at the Council of Clermont. First Crusade led primarily by Norman princes.
1098 Baldwin I founds Crusader kingdom of Edessa, later governed by Baldwin II, lasts until 1148.
1098 Bohemond I , son of Robert Guiscard, founds Principality of Antioch, lasts until 1268.
1099 Godfrey of Bouillon founds Kingdom of Jerusalem, lasts until 1291.

Rise of the Capet Kings of France

1108-37 Louis VI (the Fat) first strong French king since Charlemagne, begins centralization of power.
1120 St Denis Abbey rebuilt in Gothic style by Abbot Suger , advisor to Louis VI and VII.
1137-80 Louis VII rules 43 years. Fifteen year marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine anulled without issue.
1147 Louis VII leads the disastrous 2nd Crusade.
1150 University of Paris Founded
1163 Begin construction of Notre Dame of Paris in Gothic style, under Bishop de Sully.
1180-1223 Philip Augustus ascends to throne, reigns for 43 years. Continues consolidation of power.
1189 Third Crusade led by Philip II Augustus and Richard I. Crusaders fail to recover Jerusalem.
1209-29 Albigensian Crusade called by Innocent III. After great loss of life, their protector, Raymond VII of Toulouse makes peace.
1214 Battle of Bouvines: Philip II victory over English-Flemish force, assuring French control over Brittany and Normandy.

Later Crusades

1202 Fourth Crusade launched; crusaders allied with Venice sack Constantinople.
1248 Louis IX leads 7th crusade to Egypt. Perishes on 8th Crusade in Tunisia.
1291 Kingdom of Jerusalem, the last Crusader kingdom falls to the Mamluks when the city of Acre was taken.

Medieval France—1200 to 1380

Saint Louis to Bernard du Guesclin

AD YearEvent

St. Louis IX and sons: Princes of the Blood

1226-70 Louis IX begins 45 year reign. Mother Blanche acts as regent during minority.
1248 Louis IX leads 7th crusade to Egypt.
1248 Sainte-Chapelle royal chapel completed in Paris. Later, held relics of the crown of thorns
1266 Charles of Anjou (youngest son of Louis IX), with aid of Pope, usurps kingdom of Sicily.
1270 Louis IX dies during failed 8th crusade to Tunisia.
1282 Sicilian Vespers. Rebels overthrow governor of Sicily, massacre thousands of Frenchmen.

Philip IV and sons: Fall of the Capets

1285-1315 Reign of Philip the Fair begins. Reigned 30 years, consolidated power, taxed clergy, feuded with Pope.
1296 Pope Boniface VIII's bull 'Unam Sanctam' excoriates French king when he attempts to tax the clergy.
1302 Rebellion in Flanders, 'Matins of Bruges', Battle of the Golden Spurs was Flemish victory.
1303 'Outrage of Anagni, death of Pope Boniface VIII
1306-78 Avignon Papacy: Papal court of Clement V relocated from Rome to Avignon. Remains for 72 years.
1307 Philip expels Jews from French dominions, Knights Templars order disbanded, leaders arrested.
1314 Philip IV orders the execution of Jacques de Molay and Knights Templars for heresy. Philip IV and Clement V die soon thereafter.
1314-28 Within 14 years of the execution of Knights, Philip's three sons die suspiciously, bringing an end to the Capet dynasty.
1316 Louis X decreed that slaves should be freed, or allowed to purchase their freedom.
1317 Salic law used to excluded infant daughter of Louis X from throne. Philip V crowned instead.

End of Capet Dynasty—Beginning of Valois Dynasty

Philip VI 'the Fortunate' and Hundred Years War Begins

1328-50 Philip VI (the fortunate) succeeds to the throne as first Valois King, but claim disputed (by Edward III.
1328 Flanders rebels against Philip VI but defeated at the 'Battle of Cassell'.
1339 Cities of Bruges, Ghent, Ypres rebel against Philip VI, encourage Edward III to claim throne.
1341 Institution of "Gabelle" permanent salt tax to pay for Wars, based on government monopoly of salt.
1346 Hundred Years War begins: English Victory at Crecy; Siege of Calais ends in another English Victory.
1349 French king adds County of Dauphine to his domain. Heir apparent designated 'Dauphin'.
1350 Black Plague strikes France. Hundreds lost.

John II 'the Good': Battle of Poitiers and the Captive King

1350-64 Reign of John II, second Valois king. Rivals were Charles the Bad, the Black Prince, and Etienne (Stephen) Marcel.
1356 Charles II of Navarre (the Bad) imprisoned by John II after a quarrel and series of murders.
1356 Battle of Poitiers: John II and his son taken prisoner by the Black Prince. Begin 'Seven Years of Misery'.
1358 Jacquerie: Peasant Riots in Paris, Stephen Marcel attempts to open city gates to Charles the Bad, and is murdered.
1360 Treaty of Bretigny end imprisonment of King. Southwest France granted to English.
1364 John II voluntarily returns to captivity in England and dies.

Charles V 'the Wise': France Recovers, Bertrand du Guesclin

1364-80 Reign of John II, Second Valois king.
1364 Du Guesclin wins decisive victory over Charles the Bad on coronation day of Charles V.
1366 Du Guesclin leads 'Great Companies' in Castilian Civil War (to get them out of France).
1369-70 Charles V fortifies/provisions French towns and wins back much territory from English.
1370s Charles V builds the Bastille, expands the Louvre, and other building projects in Paris.
1376 Death of the Black Prince. Many French nobles had drop allegiance to England.
1378 Western Schism in Church. 'French Pope' elected and continues to govern from Avignon.

Renaissance France—1380 to 1560

Charles the Mad to Italian Wars

AD YearEvent

Reign of the Mad King: Armagnac-Burgundian War

1380-1422 Reign of Charles VI. Regents were Uncles, called 'Princes of the Lilies'.
1382 French victory at Roosebeke ends rebellion of Ghent. (Death of van Artevele)
1385 Charles VI marries Isabella of Bavaria.
1392 First bout of insanity inflicts king soon after releasing regents, forming new privy council.
1394 Expulsion of Jews from France (second time, first time under Philip IV).
1407 Duke of Orleans (brother of King) murdered by John the Fearless Duke of Burgundy.
1415 Count of Armagnac as Constable of France leads opposition to Burgundy faction.
1415 Battle of Agincourt, victory for Henry V of England over Armagnacs.
1415-17 Death of two eldest sons of king, probably by poisoning.
1417 Count of Armagnac regent for Dauphin Charles. Queen mother Isabella imprisoned.
1418 By treachery, Paris is handed over to Burgundians. Isabella makes alliance with English.
1419 Duke of Burgundy slain by Armagnacs. Armagnacs retreat south, make Capital at Bourges.
1420 Treaty of Toyes, Henry V marries Catherine of Valois, made regent of France.
1422 Death of Henry V of England, Charles VI of France. Birth of Henry VI of England.

Reign of the Charles VII (the Victorious): End of Hundred Year's War

1422 Marriage of Charles VII to Marie of Anjou (daughter of Yolande of Aragon).
1429 Joan of Arc leads French to victory at Orleans, Charles VII crowned at Reims.
1431 John of Arc burned at the stake.
1435 Burgundians desert the English, sign the Treaty of Arras, Isabella of Bavaria dies.
1436 Jacques Coeur of Bourges, made Master of the Mint, advisor to Charles VII.
1438 Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges: Charles VII granted privilege to nominate bishops in France.
1440 Dauphin Louis takes part in "Praguerie" rebellion against his father Charles VII.
1449 Reconquest of Normandy with new 'professional' army. Roeun recaptured.
1451 Downfall of Jacques Coeur, wealthiest man in France. Property seized.
1453 English driven out of all French cities but Calais. End of Hundred Years' war.
1461 Death of Charles VII by starvation. Refused food for fear of poisoning.

Reign Louis XI-Spider King: Burgundian Wars

1461-83 Reign of Louis XI, "Spider-king". Cunning, treacherous, and vengeful king.
1465 "League of the Public Good" formed by enemies of Louis IX. They besiege him in Paris; he pretends to submit.
1468 Charles the Bold and Louis XI meet at Peronne, and together crush the rebellion at Liege.
1469 Louis XI founds chivalric "Order of St. Michael".
1477 Establishes Postal service controlled by the crown (used for spying on enemies).
1477 Louis XI adversary, the Duke of Burgundy, killed at the Battle of Nancy. Louis confiscates Duchy of Burgundy.
1483 Death of Louis XI

Charles VIII and Louis XII: Italian Wars: 1495 to 1515

1483-98 Reign of Charles VIII, Regent was older sister, Anne of France.
1488 Dukes of Orleans and Brittany conspire against Charles VIII, declared traitors.
1491 After war between France and Brittany, Anne of Brittany marries Charles VIIII.
1494 Charles VIII invades Italy to claim Naples, but is repulsed by the League of Venice.
1498 Charles VIII dies of head injury. No issue, so crown passes to cousin.
1498-1515 Reign of Louis XII. Marries Anne of Britany, widow of Charles VIII.
1499 Louis XII renews Italian Wars. Sends army to press claims in Milan and Naples.
1508 Papacy, France, Spain, Germany, establish League of Cambrai to defeat Venice.
1510 War in Italy takes a turn for the worse. Pope Julius II deserts alliance.
1515 Louis XII dies without and heir. Crown passes to second cousin from Valois-Ange

Francis I and Henry II: Italian Wars: 1515 to 1560

1515-47 Reign of Francis I of France; married to Claude, daughter of Louis XII.
1515 With help of Venetians, Francis wins Milan at at Marignano, 1515. Knighted by Bayard.
1516 Leonardo da Vinci enters the service of Francis I after Milan is captured.
1520 Field of the Cloth of Gold, tournament between Francis I of France and Henry VIII.
1524 Death of Chevalier de Bayard, great French general of the Italian Wars.
1525 Francis defeated by Imperial forces at the Battle of Padua in Italy and captured.
1529 "The Ladies Peace" of Cambrai negotiated between Valois and Hapsburgs.
1536 Eldest son of Francis dies "suddenly" soon after Catherine de Medici arrives at court.
1545 Francis's captain Montmorency slays Waldensians, sells children as slaves.
1520-47 Construction of Paris landmarks: Louvre, Fontainebleau, Hotel de Ville, etc. Royal Library established.
1547 Reign of Henry II of France, married to .
1541 John Calvin's "Institutes of the Christian Religion" published.
1559 Henry II renounces claims in Italy, ends Italian Wars.
1559-89 Henry II dies at tournament celebrating end of Italian Wars
1562-98 French Wars of Religion fought mainly over political control rather than religion.

Early Modern France—1560 to 1715

Amboise Conspiracy to Spanish Succession Wars

AD YearEvent

French Wars of Religion (Really about power, Religion was a Stalking Horse)

1559 Francis II ascends to throne; Duke of Guise, uncle of Mary Queen of Scots, is regent.
1560 Amboise Conspiracy: Plot to kidnap king, murder Duke of Guise thwarted.
1560-74 Charles IX ascends to throne on death of Francis II. Catherine de Medici is regent.
1562 Massacre of Vassy, first major conflict in the French Wars of Religion.
1572 St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of Huguenots following wedding of Henry of Navarre.
1574-89 Henry III ascends to the throne on death of Charles IX.
1578 War of Three Henrys: Henry of Guise forms "Catholic League" to prevent Huguenot from ascending to the throne.
1588 Henry Guise murdered by agents of Catherine de Medici and Henry III
1589 Henry III murdered by an agents of the Catholic league.

Reign of Henry IV

1589 Henry IV becomes 1st Bourbon King, but is not accepted by many cities, including Paris.
1560 Henry IV besieges Paris, attempts to assume the throne but is denied entry.
1593 Henry IV converts to the Catholic Religion.
1598 Henry IV issues Edict of Nantes to end persecution of Huguenots and Religious Wars.
1600 Henry IV marries Maria de Medici, has six children in ten years.
1608 Samuel de Champlain founds the city of Quebec, establishes colony of New France.
1610 Henry IV assassinated by Catholic fanatic. Queen Mother, Maria de Medici regent for Louis XIII.
1617 Louis XIII exiles his mother and her "favorites" and takes control of the government.

Richelieu and Mazarin: 1624 to 1661

1624-42 Cardinal Richelieu serves as chief minister of the state. Persecutes Huguenots in France, but funds Protestant enemies of the Hapsburgs abroad.
1643 Five-year-old Louis XIV succeeds to throne with Jules Cardinal Mazarin as regent.
1648 Peace of Westphalia ends Thirty Years' War. France annexes eastern territories.
1648-59 Wars of the Fronde: Last effort of nobles to reduce the power of the French king.
1648 Cardinal Mazarin ordered the arrest of the leaders of the parliament of Paris, provoking widespread rioting.
1659 France ends war with Spain, annexes northern Catalonia and French Flanders.

Age of Louis XIV: 1661 to 1715

1661 Louis XIV assumes personal rule at age 23 after the Death of Mazarin.
1668 War of Devolution. France obtains Lille and other territories of Flanders from Spain.
1678 Franco-Dutch war. France obtains the Franche-Comte and cities in Flanders.
1678 Louis XIV begins large scale remodel of the palace of Versailles.
1684 War of the Reunions. France obtains territories in the north-west from Spain.
1682 Explorer Rene La Salle claims the Mississippi valley for France.
1685 Edict of Fontainebleau. Louis XIV revokes Edict of Nantes, removing the religious liberties of Huguenots.
1697 War of the Grand Alliance ends with French losses. Some territories returned to Hapsburg powers.
1701-14 War of the Spanish Succession
1715 Treaty of Utrecht: Bourbon Philip V assumes throne of Spain, renounces rights to French throne.
1715 Louis XIV is succeeded by five-year-old great-grandson Louis XV.

Holy Roman Empire—912 to 1350

Henry the Fowler to Great Interregnum

AD YearEvent
962 The imperial coronation of Otto I by Pope John XII in St Peter's puts in place the formal role of a Holy Roman emperor
1024 Conrad II is elected as the German king, beginning the dynasty variously known as Franconian or Salian
1075 Pope Gregory VII decrees that only the church may make ecclesiastical appointments, thus initiating the investiture controversy between pope and emperor
1077 The emperor Henry IV stands as a penitent outside the pope's castle at Canossa, so as to be released from excommunication.
1138 Conrad III, is elected as the first Hohenstaufen King of Germany. The title remains in the family for over a century.
1152 Frederick Barbarossa becomes king of Germany and Holy Roman emperor, greatly extending the power of the empire during a long reign
1197 The three-year old Frederick II has a claim to the thrones of both Sicily and Germany on the death of his father, the emperor Henry VI
1220 Frederick II is crowned Holy Roman emperor by a somewhat reluctant pope, Honorius III
1254 The death of the last Hohenstaufen ruler, Conrad IV, leaves a vacancy on the German throne which is not filled for nineteen years
1260 The Bohemian prince Otakar II, ruler also of Austria, extends his territories after defeating the Hungarians at Kressenbrunn
1273 The period without a German king, known as the Great Interregnum, ends with the election of a Habsburg prince, Rudolf I
1278 At Durnkrut Rudolf I defeats and kills Otakar II, his rival for Austria - thus bringing the Austrian territories into the Habsburg domain
1346 Charles IV, king of Bohemia, German king and Holy Roman emperor, makes Prague a glittering centre of learning and architecture
1356 Charles IV establishes a permanent group of seven electors - four hereditary German rulers and the archbishops of Mainz, Cologne and Trier
1438 The office of Holy Roman emperor becomes a hereditary title within the Habsburg dynasty
1477 Maximilian I weds Mary of Burgandy, in the first of the great marriage alliances which form the Habsburg empire
1496 Philip of Hapsburg marries Joanna of Castile. Their son Charles V reigned over both Spanish and Austrian Hapsburg Empires.