The ‘periods’ into which modern historians conventionally divide ancient history are in bold, with Roman periods in italics.

1575/50-1100 BC

Mycenaean Greece

1200 BC

Trojan War?

1100-776 BC

Dark-Age Greece

934-609 BC

Neo-Assyrian empire

776-479 BC

Archaic Greece

753-509 BC

Regal Period at Rome

c. 750 BC onwards

Emergence of the Greek polls (city state)

c. 750-550 BC

Greek ‘Age of Colonization’

c. 725-650 BC

Greek invention of hoplite phalanx?

550-330 BC

Achaemenid Persian empire

509-287 BC

Early Roman Republic

490-479 BC

Persian Wars

490 BC

Battle of Marathon

480 BC

Battle of Thermopylae

480 BC

Battle of Artemisium

480 BC

Battle of Salamis

479 BC

Battle of Plataea

479-323 BC

Classical Greece

472 BC

Aeschylus’ The Persians first performed

432-430 BC

Athenian siege of Potidaea

431-404 BC

Peloponnesian War

431-427 BC

Spartan siege of Plataea

430 BC

Athenians win naval battle of Naupactus against Spartans

415-413 BC

Athenian expedition to Sicily

405 BC

Athenians lose naval battle of Aegospotami to the Spartans

405-367 BC

Dionysius I, tyrant of Syracuse

371 BC

Thebans beat Spartans at battle of Leuctra

362 BC

Thebans beat Spartans at battle of (Second) Mantinea

359-336 BC

Reign of Philip II of Macedon

338 BC

Philip II defeats a coalition of Greeks at Chaeronea

336-323 BC

Reign of Alexander the Great

333 BC

Alexander defeats the Persians at the battle of Issus

323-30 BC

Hellenistic Greece

305-304 BC

Demetrius besieges Rhodes

287-133 BC

Middle Roman Republic


First Punic War

247 BC-AD 224

Parthian (Arsacid) empire


Second Punic War (Hannibal’s War)

214-205 BC

First Macedonian War

213-211 BC

Roman siege of Syracuse

200-196 BC

Second Macedonian War

197 BC

Romans defeat Macedonians at battle of Cynoscephalae

192-189 BC

Roman war with Antiochus III (Selucid king)

171-168 BC

Third Macedonian War

149-147 BC

Macedonian Revolt (Macedon made a Roman province)

146 BC

Greece added to Roman province of Macedonia

149-146 BC

Third Punic War

133-30 BC

Late Roman Republic

133 BC

Tiberius Gracchus, a Tribune of the Plebs, enacts land reform

133 BC

Kingdom of Pergamum made Roman province of Asia

107 BC

Marius, a Consul, enrols the unpropertied in the Legions

63 BC

Death of Mithridates VI of Pontus

63-2 BC

Conspiracy of Catiline

58-50 BC

Julius Caesar conquers Gaul

54-53 BC (winter)

Gauls defeat Romans under Sabinus at Atuatuca

53 BC

Parthians defeat Romans at battle of Carrhae, death of Crassus

52 BC

Julius Caesar besieges Alesia

48 BC

Julius Caesar defeats Republicans led by Pompey at Pharsalus

47 BC

Julius Caesar defeats Pharnaces II of Pontus at Zela

46 BC

Julius Caesar defeats Republicans at Thapsus

44 BC

Assassination of Julius Caesar

30 BC-ad 233

The Principate (Early, or High, Roman empire)

30 BC-AD 14

Reign of Augustus

AD 9

Germans defeat Romans under Varus in Teutoburg Forest

AD 14-16

Roman campaigns under Germanicus against the Germans

AD C. 40-C. 112

Life of Dio Chrysostom

AD 43

Roman invasion of Britain under Claudius

AD C. 50-C. 120

Life of Plutarch

AD c. 55-C. 135

Life of Epictetus

AD 73/74

Roman siege of Jewish fortress of Masada

AD 83

Romans under Agricola defeat Caledonians at Mons Grauplus

AD 86

Domitian’s forces defeat the Nasamones

AD 98

Tacitus’ Agricola written

AD 122-6

Hadrian’s Wall built

AD c. 139/42-154/8 and c. 158-64

Occupation of the ‘Antonine Wall’ in northern Britain

AD c. 160-220

Life of Tertullian

AD 172-5

Marcus Aurelius fights the Germans and Sarmatians

AD 180-92

Reign of Commodus/ construction of Column of Marcus Aurelius

AD c. 185-254

Life of Origen

AD 193-211

Reign of Septimius Severus

AD 224

Sassanid Persians overthrow Parthians

AD 235-84

The ‘Third Century Crisis’ of the Raman empire

AD 235-8

Reign of Maximinus Thrax

AD C. 257

Sassanid Persian siege of Dura-Europos

AD 284-476

The Dominate (Late, or Low, Roman empire)

AD 307-37

Reign of Constantine the Great

AD 354-430

Life of Saint Augustine

AD 357

Battle of Strasburg

AD 359

Sassanid Persian siege of Amida

AD C. 370

Huns appear in the Roman world

AD 378

Goths defeat the Romans at the battle of Adrianople

AD 451

‘Romans’ defeat the Huns at the battle of Chalons

AD 475-6

Reign of last western Roman emperor, Romulus Augustulus

AD 476-1453

The Byzantine empire

AD 604-29

Wars between Byzantium and Sassanid Persia

AD 632-3

Ridda (Apostasy) wars in Arabia

AD 633-40

Arabs conquer Syria from Byzantines

AD 636

Arabs defeat Byzantines at battle of Yarmuk

AD 642

Arabs conquer Egypt from Byzantines

AD 651

Fall of the Sassanld Persian Empire

AD 1453

Fall of Constantinople to the Turks

AD 1812/16-28

Rise of Zulu army (reign of Chaka)

AD 1976

John Keegan’s The Face of Battle

AD 1976

Edward Luttwak’s The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire

AD 2000

Ridley Scott’s Gladiator

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