Ancient History & Civilisation

CHRONOLOGY

BC

753

Traditional date for foundation of Rome by Romulus.

509

Traditional date for expulsion of Rome’s last king, Tarquinius Superbus.

396

The Romans introduce pay for their army.

390

Gauls under Brennus rout a Roman army at the River Allia and sack Rome (these events were dated to 387 by Polybius).

295

Romans achieve a great victory over an army of Gauls, Samnites, and Umbrians at Sentinum.

280–275

War with Pyrrhus, who had been hired by the Tarentines to fight Rome.

c. 275

Birth of Fabius Maximus.

c. 271

Birth of Marcellus.

264–241

First Punic War.

c. 236

Birth of Scipio Africanus.

228

Birth of Aemilius Paullus.

225

Invading Gallic army defeated at Telamon.

222

Marcellus wins right to dedicate spolia opima during his consulship.

218–201

Second Punic War.

217

Dictatorship of Fabius Maximus.

216

Romans suffer massive defeat at Cannae. A smaller army is ambushed and defeated by Gauls.

214–205

First Macedonian War.

213–211

Marcellus takes Syracuse after long siege.

209

Scipio Africanus captures New Carthage. Fabius Maximus recaptures Tarentum.

208

Marcellus killed whilst on reconnaissance.

206

Scipio wins decisive victory in Spanish campaign at Ilipa.

204

Scipio invades Africa.

203

Death of Fabius Maximus.

202

Scipio defeats Hannibal at Zama.

200–196

Second Macedonian War.

197

Philip V decisively beaten at Cynoscephalae.

192–189

The Syrian War against the Seleucid Antiochus III.

191

Antiochus’ invasion of Greece defeated at Thermopylae.

189

Antiochus defeated at Magnesia.

c.184

Death of Scipio Africanus. Birth of Scipio Aemilianus.

172–167

Third Macedonian War.

168

Macedonians under Perseus defeated at Pydna.

c.160

Death of Aemilius Paullus.

157

Birth of Marius.

154–138

Lusitanian War.

153–151

Second Celtiberian War.

149–146

Third Punic War.

146

Destruction of Carthage and Corinth.

143–133

Numantine War.

139

Viriathus murdered.

137

Roman army under Mancinus is defeated and surrenders to Numantines.

133

Numantia surrenders to Scipio Aemilianus.

129

Death of Scipio Aemilianus.

c.125

Birth of Sertorius.

113

A Roman army under Cn. Papirius Carbo is defeated at Noreia by the migrating tribes, the Cimbri and Teutones.

112–106

Jugurthine War.

106

Birth of Pompey.

105

Cimbri and Teutones destroy a large Roman army at Arausio.

102

Marius defeats Teutones at Aquae Sextiae.

101

Marius and Catulus defeat Cimbri at Vercellae.

c.100

Birth of Julius Caesar.

91–88

The Social War, the last great rebellion by Rome’s Italian allies. The Socii are defeated only after a hard struggle.

88

Sulla marches on Rome when Marius takes the command against Mithridates from him.

86

Death of Marius.

82–72

Sertorius campaigns in Spain.

74–66

Final defeat of Mithridates of Pontus.

73–70

A major slave rebellion led by Spartacus.

67

Pompey given extraordinary command to clear the Mediterranean of pirates, and succeeds in a brief, but highly organised campaign.

66

Pompey given extraordinary command to complete the war with Mithridates.

58–50

Caesar given the provinces of Transalpine and Cisalpine Gaul, and Illyria, which he uses as a base to conquer Gallia Comata.

58

Caesar defeats the migrating Helvetii. Caesar defeats the Germanic king, Ariovistus.

57

Caesar defeats the Belgic tribes, winning the battle of the Sambre.

55

Caesar bridges the Rhine for the first time and leads an expedition to Britain.

54

Caesar crosses the Rhine a second time and leads a larger invasion of Britain.

54–53

First major Gallic rebellion against Caesar.

53

Crassus defeated and killed by Parthians under Surenas at Carrhae.

52

Second major Gallic rebellion led by Vercingetorix.

49–45

Civil War between Caesar and Pompey.

48

Caesar is checked at Dyrrachium, but defeats Pompey at Pharsalus. Pompey flees to Egypt and is murdered. Caesar pursues to Egypt and intervenes in power struggle to place Cleopatra on the throne.

47

Caesar leads swift campaign to defeat Pharnaces, King of the Bosporus, at Zela.

46

Caesar suffers a near defeat at the hands of Labienus at Ruspina in North Africa, but finally defeats Pompeian army at Thapsus.

45

Caesar wins final victory at Munda in Spain.

44–42

Caesar’s assassination provokes a further cycle of civil war between the conspirators and Caesar’s supporters led by Mark Antony, later joined by Octavian, Caesar’s nephew and adopted son.

42

Brutus and Cassius defeated in twin battles of Philippi.

36

Antony launches major offensive against the Parthians, but this bogs down when he fails to take Phraapsa, and he loses many men to disease and starvation in the subsequent retreat.

31

Antony defeated by Octavian in naval battle at Actium. Octavian becomes effectively the sole ruler of the Roman Empire.

29

M. Crassus campaigns successfully in the Balkans, killing the king of the Bastarnae with his own hand, but is denied the right to dedicate the spolia opima by Octavian.

27–AD 14

Principate of Augustus.

15

German tribes raid into the Roman provinces and defeat Lollius Urbicus. Birth of Germanicus.

12–9

Tiberius conquers Pannonia, whilst his brother, Drusus, campaigns in Germany.

9–7

Tiberius campaigns in Germany.

 

AD

4–5

Tiberius resumes command in Germany and completes the conquest of a new province extending to the Elbe.

6–9

Massive revolt in Pannonia and Dalmatia. Huge numbers of troops, including cohorts of freed slaves, sent to suppress the rebels, many of whom had previously served as Roman auxiliaries. Tiberius and Germanicus eventually defeat the rebels.

9

German revolt led by Arminius of the Cherusci massacres three legions led by Varus in the Teutoberg Wald.

10–11

Tiberius and Germanicus secure the Rhine frontier and lead brief punitive expeditions against the German tribes.

14

Death of Augustus followed by mutinies of the legions on the Rhine and Danube, which are suppressed by Germanicus and Tiberius’ son, Drusus.

14–37

Principate of Tiberius.

15

Germanicus leads Rhine armies against the Germans and buries the remains of Varus’ army.

16

Germanicus defeats Arminius at Indistaviso, but fails to gain final victory in the conflict and is recalled to Rome.

19

Arminius murdered by rival chieftains. Death of Germanicus.

37–41

Principate of Gaius (Caligula).

41–54

Principate of Claudius.

41

Birth of Titus.

43

Claudius launches invasion of Britain.

47

Corbulo suppresses the Frisii.

53

Vologaeses I of Parthia occupies Armenia and places his brother Tiridates on the throne.

54–68

Principate of Nero.

55

Corbulo given eastern command.

56

Birth of Trajan.

64

Corbulo mounts demonstration of force in Armenia. Following a peace settlement Tiridates receives his crown from Nero.

66–74

The Jewish rebellion.

66

The Syrian governor, Cestius Gallus, leads an expedition to Jerusalem, but is forced to retreat and suffers heavily in the pursuit.

67

Vespasian given command in Jewish War and subdues Galilee. Josephus surrenders to him after the fall of Jotapata. Corbulo forced to commit suicide.

68–69

Year of Four Emperors. Nero’s death prompts a civil war as the provincial armies nominate their commanders as successor.

70–79

Principate of Vespasian.

70

Titus captures Jerusalem after a long siege.

79–81

Principate of Titus.

81–96

Principate of Domitian.

85

Decebalus, King of Dacia, invades Moesia and inflicts a heavy defeat on its governor.

86

Cornelius Fuscus defeated in Dacia.

88

Another Roman army invades Dacia and defeats Decebalus at Tapae.

96–98

Principate of Nerva.

98–117

Principate of Trajan.

101–102

First Dacian War.

105–106

Second Dacian War. Dacia is annexed as a province.

113–117

Trajan’s Parthian War.

117–138

Principate of Hadrian.

138–161

Principate of Antoninus Pius.

161–180

Principate of Marcus Aurelius.

324–337

Reign of Constantine as undisputed emperor.

332

Birth of Julian.

337

Imperial power divided between Constantine’s sons, Constantinus II in the west, Constans in Africa, Italy and Illyricum, and Constantius II in the east.

340

Constantinus killed in civil war with Constans.

355

Julian appointed Caesar in the west.

356

Julian campaigns against the Alamanni.

357

Julian defeats the Alamanni in a pitched battle at Strasbourg.

358

Julian campaigns against the Franks.

360–361

Julian proclaimed Augustus by his army. Death of Constantius.

363

Julian launches massive Persian offensive.

429

Vandals invade and overrun Africa.

451

Aetius turns back the offensive of Attila’s Huns at Chalons (Campus Mauriacus).

469–478

Visigoths overrun Spain.

476

The last emperor of the west, Romulus Augustus, deposed by Odovacer who creates the Ostrogothic kingdom of Italy.

502–506

Anastasian war with Persia. Persians capture Amida, but this is returned to the Romans as part of the peace treaty.

505

Birth of Belisarius.

528

Belisarius defeated at Minduos.

530

Belisarius wins great victory at Dara.

531

Belisarius defeated at Callinicum and removed from the eastern command.

533–534

Belisarius defeats the Vandals in Africa.

535–554

Attempt made to reconquer Italy with armies led by Belisarius and later Narses. Rome captured and recaptured several times.

552

Narses defeats Totila’s Ostrogoths at Taginae.

553

Narses wins another victory over the Goths near Mt Vesuvius.

554

Narses defeats an invading army of Franks at Casilinus.

565

Death of Belisarius.

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