Outline of the History of Ancient Rome

753 B.C. Traditional date for the founding of Rome (according to Varro).

753-509 Roman Monarchy. Etruscan kings ruled Rome. The last monarches (Tarquinians) were chased out in 509, and the Roman Republic was established in 509 B.C. First treaty between Rome and Carthage.

499 Romans defeat Latins (natives of Latium and other regions surrounding Rome) at Lake Regillo.

494 First plebeian uprising against patricians.

493 Treaty between Latins and Romans.

477 The town of Veio defeats Rome at the Cremera River.

451-450 Twelve Tables of Law (first important code of Roman law).

455 Intermarriage between plebeians and patricians allowed.

444 First military tribunals with consular powers.

406-396 Romans attack and destroy Veio.

390 Romans defeated at Allia (on Tiber River) by Gauls (Celts) who sack Rome.

367 Plebeians allowed to become consuls; new agrarian legislation.

358-353 Wars against Etruscans.

354 Treaty between Rome and Samnites.

348 Renewal of treaty between Rome and Carthage.

343-341 First war against Samnites.

340-338 Wars against Latins.

326 Naples surrenders to Rome. Slavery due to debts is abolished.

326-304 Second war against Samnites (peace treaty signed in 304)

306 Renewal of treaty between Rome and Carthage.

310 Rome defeats the Etruscans; a forty year truce follows.

303-302 Treaty between Rome and Taranto.

300 Plebeians admitted to the college of priests.

298-290 Third war against Samnites (also known as the Italian War because Rome fought against Samnites, Sabines, Etruscans, Umbrians, and Gauls.)

287 Plebiscites are granted the power of law (plebeians gain legal rights).

283 Romans defeat Gauls at Lake Vadimone.

282 Rome breaks its treaty with Taranto.

280-275 War against Pyrrhus, king of Epirus (western Greece) who comes to the aid of Taranto. He defeats Romans at Asculum (Ascoli Piceno) but is defeated at Benevento.

278 Treaty between Rome and Carthage.

272 Taranto is taken by Rome; and Greek culture spreads to Rome.

270 With their conquest of Regium (Reggio Calabria) Rome completes its conquest of the southern Italian peninsula.

269 Rome mints its first silver coin (didramme).

264-241 First Punic War.

241 Romans defeat Carthaginians at Egadi islands (off the coast of Sicily) and sign a peace treaty which gives them all of Sicily.

238 Rome occupies Sardinia and Corsica, while Carthage occupies Spain.

229-228 First Illyrian War against Queen Teuta (ruler of region corresponding to former Yugoslavia).

227 Rome creates its first two provinces: Sicily and Sardinia-Corsica.

226 Treaty of Ebro River between Rome and Carthage establishing limits to Carthaginian territories in Spain.

225-222 First conquest of Gallia Cisalpina (Gaul beyond the Alps).

220-219 Second Illyrian War.

218 The Claudian law limits commercial enterprises of Roman senators.

218-212 Rome introduces the denarius as its standard monetary system.

218-201 Second Punic War. Hannibal (the Carthaginian commander in chief) defeats Romans at Trebbia and on the Ticino (in Lombardy), at Lake Trasimeno (in Umbria), at Canne (in Puglia).

212-211 Romans capture Syracuse (in Sicily) and Capua (near Naples).

209-206 Scipio (future Africanus) takes Spain from Carthaginians

207 Romans defeat Carthaginian general Hasdrubal at Metauro.

203-202 Scipio brings the Second Punic War on African soil and defeats the Carthaginians at Zama (Naraggara) bringing an end to that war.

200-197 Second War against Macedonia; and re-conquest of Cisalpine Gaul.

197 Roman victory at Cynoscephalae against Macedonia (northern Greece).

196 Romans free Greece from Macedonia.

193-188 War against Antioch III of Syria. Romans defeat him at Magnesia (northeastern Greece) and restructure Syria.

186 Roman Senate abolishes Dionysian cults in Italy.

173 Expulsion of Greek philosophers from Rome.

171-168 Third Macedonian War. Romans are victorious at Pynda, and partition Macedonia into four autonomous territories. Ruthless Roman repression of Epirus and Greece. The Greek historian Polybius is among the hostages; he lives in the home of the Scipio family where he writes his famous Histories.

154 Greek philosophers are again expelled from Rome.

154-139 Anti-Roman rebellions in Spain.

149 Tribunals established to fight extortion in Roman provinces.

149-146 Third Punic War. Scipio Aemilianus destroys Carthage.

149 Revolt in Macedonia.

146 Creation of the Province of Macedonia. Romans destroy the Greek city of Corinth, and dissolve the Greek league.

143-133 Revolt of Iberian Celts (northern Spain) crushed by Scipio Aemilianus.

136-132 First slave rebellions against Romans in Sicily.

133 Tiberius Graccus, as tribune, proposes a redistribution of "public lands" to help small farmers and the unemployed. He and 300 of his followers are assassinated by the Senate's reactionary forces.

125 Fulvius Flaccus' proposes granting Roman citizenship to Rome's allies (especially the Italians) and the right to appeal against Roman magistrates. His proposals are rejected by the Senate. The Latin colony of Fregellae reacts to this decision by rebelling against Rome; and the Romans react by destroying the entire colony.

125-118 Romans conquer Gallia Narbonense (Narbonese Gaul in southern France).

123 Gaius Graccus (brother of Tiberius) is elected tribune by the plebeians. His legislation included having equites (young nobles who originally served as cavalry), instead of senators, try extortion felonies in the tribunals. In 121 Gaius, like his brother, is also assassinated by reactionary forces.

112-105 The First Jugurthine War (in North Africa).

111 The agrarian laws of the Gracci brothers are modified and never implemented.

107 Marius is consul and reforms the Roman army: it becomes voluntary and formerly recognizes the recruitment of members of the lower classes. Generals like Marius (not the Senate) will have greater control over the army.

105 Teutones and Cimbri defeat Romans at Orange (southern France).

104-100 Second slave rebellion in Sicily.

102-101 Marius defeats Teutones and Cimbri.

100 Popular unrest in Rome. The tribune Saturninus is killed under orders of Marius.

95 Law passed denying Roman citizenship to those who obtained it illegally.

91 Marcus Livi Drusus is tribune and proposes legislation in favor of Italian people. He is assassinated.

90-88 Violent uprising by the Italians against Rome.

90 The lex Julia grants Roman citizenship to those Italians who remained faithful to Rome, or put down their arms.

88 The Plauzia-Papiria extends Roman citizenship. Social War in Rome between Sulla's supports and those of the former consul Marius.

85 First War against Mithradates VI, king of Ponto (in northern Turkey).

87-86 Sulla lays siege to Athens and eventually destroys it. In the meantime his political enemy Marius returns to power as consul (for the seventh times) and dies shortly thereafter.

83-82 Sulla returns to Italy brings an end to the civil war and initiates his dictatorship.

83-81 Second War against Mithradates.

81-80 Sulla reorganizes the Roman government in favor of Senate; he also created permanent courts in Rome to deal with major crimes.

79 Sulla voluntarily gives up his dictatorial powers and dies the following year.

74-63 Third War against Mithradates.

73-71 Third slave rebellion against Romans led by Spartacus.

70 Pompey and Crassus are consuls.

67 Law passed giving Pompey extraordinary powers over several provinces in order to fight pirates.

66 Another law is passed giving Pompey similar powers to end the war against Mithradates.

66-63 Pompey's military campaign against Mithradates which ends with the creation of two Roman provinces: Syria-Judaea and Bithynia-Ponto (in northern Turkey).

63 Cicero is consul and suppresses Catilinarian conspiracy.

62 Battle of Pistoia and death of Catalinus. Pompey returns to Italy. Julius Caesar is pretor of Spain.

60 Pompey, Caesar, and Crassus agree to share power in the first triumvirate.

59 Caesar is consul. New agrarian laws. Caesar becomes proconsul of Cisalpine Gaul and other regions north of the Alps.

58-51 Caesar conquers Gaul.

56 The triumvirate renews agreements. Caesar gets Gaul, Pompey gets Spain, and Crassus gets Syria for five more years.

55 Pompey and Crassus are consuls while Caesar is engaged on a military expedition in the British isles.

53 Crassus goes to war against Parthians (beyond the Euphrates River) and dies defeated at the battle of Carrhae.

50 The Roman Senate asks Caesar to renounce his proconsulship; he refuses. Caesar and Pompey split up.

49 Caesar crosses the Rubicon: "the die is cast" and the civil war which will bring down the Roman Republic begins. In the meantime, Pompey withdraws to the orient.

48 Caesar defeats Pompey at Pharsalia (northern Greece). Pompey flees to Egypt, and is killed by Ptolemy XIII.

47 Caesar goes to Egypt and allies himself with Ptolemy's sister Cleopatra.

46 Caesar defeats Pompey's forces in Africa and is named dictator for ten years.

45 Caesar defeats Pompey's forces in Spain and is named dictator for life.

44 Caesar refuses the crown Mark Anthony offers him; and is assassinated on March 15th by pro-republican sympathizers.

43 Octavian (future Augustus) defeats Mark Anthony at the battle of Modena, and then marches on Rome where he has himself elected to consul. Octavian, Mark Anthony and Lepidus form the second triumvirate. Anti-caesarians are prosecuted and executed, including Cicero.

42 At the battle of the Philippi, Caesar's two assassins, Brutus and Cassius commit suicide. To celebrate the occasion, Augustus erects a temple to Mars the Avenger using, for the first time, marble from Carrara. During his reign, many of the important brick buildings in Rome will be covered with marble.

40 At Brindisi (in Puglia) the second triumvirate rule the Roman empire among themselves: Octavian rules Italy, Gaul (France) and Spain; Mark Anthony rules the Orient; Lepidus rules Africa and Sicily.

39 At Miseno (in Latium) the second triumvirate allows Sextus Pompey (son of Pompey) to keep control of the islands and Tyrrhenian coast.

37 The second triumvirate renews its accords at Taranto. Mark Anthony marries Cleopatra.

36-35 Mark Anthony's military expedition against the Parthians (east of the Euphrates River) fails.

36 Sextus Pompey is defeated at Nauloco by Octavian. Lepidus is excluded from the second triumvirate, but is allowed to keep title of Pontifex Maximus (chief of the college of priests, which consisted of Rome's highest religious authorities).

35-33 Octavian engages in a military expedition in Illyria (former Yugoslavia).

34 Donation of Alexandria: Mark Anthony gives some Roman territories in Egypt to Cleopatra's children, raising the wrath of the Roman Senate.

32 Italian allies and western provinces of the Roman empire swear allegiance to Octavian as he prepares to go to war against Mark Anthony and Cleopatra.

31 Octavian defeats Anthony and Cleopatra at Azio. The couple flee to Egypt and the following year commit suicide.

30 Egypt becomes the personal property of Octavian.

27 Octavian proclaims the restoration of republican regulations (suppressed during the civil war). He obtains from the Senate the title of Augustus and proconsular command of those provinces in the Roman empire where the Roman army is stationed. In reality Augustus brings an end to the Roman republic and creates the Principate (a more governable system to rule the empire by). Senate still has a say in choosing the emperor and other important leaders, but Augustus has control of the armies and the empire's finances.

25-19 Spain is pacified.

25 Galatia (in central Turkey) becomes a Roman province.

23 Augustus (Octavian) renounces his title of consul but broadens his powers of proconsul and obtains all the prerogatives of the plebeian tribunes.

18 Augustan legislation governing marriage and morals.

16-14 New Roman provinces: Reatia (now Switzerland and southwestern Germany), Noricum (now Austria), and the Maritime and Cottian Alps (now bordering France and Italy).

12-9 Conquest of Pannonia (now Hungary). Military campaigns of Augustus' step-sons, Tiberius and Drusus, in Germany. Drusus dies on the Elbe river.

12 Lepidus dies leaving Augustus, now the sole surviving member of the second triumvirate, with the title of Pontifex Maximus (a title which will later be used by the Church to designate the Pope).

9 The Pax Augusta (Augustus' Peace) is commemorated with the construction of the Ara Pacis (Altar of Peace) in Rome.

2 B.C. Augustus proclaimed pater patriae (father of his country) 4 A.D. After the death of several adopted heirs, Augustus designates Tiberius as his successor.

5 Election laws modified to favor the candidates of the emperor.

6 Judaea becomes a Roman province.

6-9 Tiberius suppresses rebellions in Pannonia, and the region eventually becomes a Roman province.

14 Augustus dies.

14-37 Reign of Tiberius.

14-31 Sejanus becomes praetorian prefect (i.e. commander of the Praetorian Guard, made up of the best soldiers from the best legions, and established to protect the city of Rome). The Praetorian Guard will become powerful enough to choose future emperors.

14-18 Germanicus, Tiberius' adoptive son, engages in successful military campaigns in Germany, Cappadocia and Commagene (in Turkey).

19 Germanicus dies.

23 Sejanus suspected of the death of Drusus (Tiberius' other step-son).

24 Revolt in Mauretania (northwestern Africa) is put down.

29 Sejanus exiles Agrippina the Elder, daughter of Julia (who in turn was the daughter of Augustus) and wife of Germanicus.

31 Sejanus shares Tiberius' proconsular power. Tiberius has Roman Senate condemn Sejanus to death.

33 Agrippina and her son Drusus commit suicide in exile.

37 Tiberius dies and Caligula (son of Germanicus) succeeds him.

37-41 Reign of Caligula

40 Caligula has king Ptolemy of Mauretania killed.

41 Cassius Cherea, a tribune of the Praetorian Guard, assassinates Caligula. Caligula's uncle Claudius succeeds him.

41-54 Reign of Claudius.

42 Creation of two provinces in Mauretania.

43-44 Claudius' military campaign in Britain, and the creation of the first Roman province in Britain.

46 The creation of a Roman province in Thrace (modern Bulgaria, northern Greece, and western Turkey)

48 Claudius has his wife Messalina killed.

49 Claudius marries Agrippina the Younger (daughter of Germanicus) and adopts her son Nero.

51 Afrianus Burrus named prefect of the Praetorian Guard.

54-68 Reign of Nero.

55 Nero has Britannicus, the son of Claudius and Messalina, killed.

59 Nero has his mother, Agrippina the Younger, killed.

60-61 Queen Boudicca (Boadicea) of Britain rebels against the Romans.

62 Afranius Burrus is killed. Seneca, Nero's teacher and Rome's best known stoic philosopher, forced into exile. Nero kills his wife Octavia and marries Poppea.

64 Rome is set ablaze (on orders of Nero) and Christians are blamed.

65 Gaius Piso's conspiracy against Nero is discovered, and Seneca, Lucan (author of the Latin epic poem Pharsalia), and Petronius (author of Satyricon) are ordered to commit suicide.

66 Jewish revolts in Palestine are crushed by Vespasian. Nero travels to Greece.

68 Rebellions by Galba, governor of Tarraconese (northern and eastern) Spain, Otho, governor of Lusitania (Portugal and southwestern Spain), Vindex, governor of Lugdunese Gaul (northwestern and central France), and by the Praetorian Guard in Rome. Nero dies.

68-69 Civil war among four emperors: Galba is killed by the Praetorian Guard who supported Otho. Otho commits suicide after Vitellius defeats him at Cremona. Vitellius is in turn defeated at Cremona by Vespasian whose troops occupy Rome.

69-79 Reign of Vespasian (first member of the Flavian dynasty).

70 Vespasian's son Titus destroys Jerusalem and brings about the Jewish diaspora.

77-84 Agricola, governor of Britain, conquers Scotland.

79 Vespasian dies and Titus succeeds him. Mount Vesuvius erupts and destroys Pompei, Ercolano, and Stabia.

79-81 Reign of Titus.

80 Colosseum inaugurated.

81 Titus dies.

81-96 Domitian is emperor.

85-89 War against Decebal along the Danube River

90 The creation of two provinces along the Rhine: Upper Germany and Lower Germany.

93 Philosophers expelled from Rome.

96 Domitian, the last member of the Flavian dynasty, is assassinated.

96-98 Reign of Nerva. He begins the practice of adopting the most able man to succeed him as emperor.

98-117 Reign of Trajan (first Spanish born emperor). During his reign the Roman Empire will reach it greatest expansion ever.

101-102 First War against Dacians (modern day Rumania).

105-106 Second War against Dacians; Dacia becomes a Roman province.

113-116 Parthian Wars result in the creation of the following Roman provinces: Armenia (eastern Turkey), Mesopotania (Iraq), and Assyria (Iraq and western Iran). The Roman empire now stretches as far as the Persian Gulf: this is the largest it will ever get.

117 Trajan returns from Parthian wars and dies in Cilicia (southeastern Turkey).

117-138 Reign of Hadrian.

122 Construction begins on Hadrian's wall (separating Britain from Scotland).

128 Hadrian goes to the orient.

132-135 Second Jewish revolt in Palestine is quashed.

138 Hadrian dies.

138-161 Reign of Antoninus Pius.

161-180 Reign of the philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius (author of the Meditations).

161-169 Marcus Aurelius asks Roman Senate to give Lucius Verus tribunician and proconsular power.

162-165 War against Vologese III, king of the Parthians.

166 Roman soldiers bring back the plague from the Parthian campaigns. It spreads to other parts of the empire.

167-175 Wars against Marcomanni and Quadi (German tribes).

169 Death of Lucius Verus.

172-175 Avidius Cassius, who defeated the Parthians in Mesopotania (166) and quelled a revolt in Egypt (172), has supreme power in the orient and rebels against Marcus Aurelius.

177 Marcomanni and Quadi cross the Danube and attack northern Italy, while the Jazyges attack the Romans in Dacia. First persecution of Christians at Lyon (France).

180 Marcus Aurelius dies and is succeeded by his son Commodus.

180-192 Reign of Commodus (the mad son of Marcus Aurelius).

192 Commodus is assassinated, and a struggle ensues for control of the empire.

193 Pertinax is made emperor by the Praetorian Guard; three months later he is killed and replaced by Didius Julianus, himself chosen by the Praetorian Guard. Military commanders from other parts of the empire proclaim themselves emperor, and the one to come out on top is Septimius Severus (commander of Roman legions in Pannonia).

193-198 Reign of Septimius Severus (Carthaginian born). Powerful influence of Severian women over most of the emperors in this dynasty. Foreign recruits are allowed in the Roman army.

198-211 Severus shares power with Caracalla and his brother Geta.

211 Severus dies in Britain; Caracalla and Geta succeed him; the following year Caracalla kills Geta.

211-217 Reign of Caracalla.

212 The Constitutio Antoniniana grants Roman citizenship to all freemen living within the Roman empire.

214-215 More wars against the Parthians.

217 Caracalla is killed, and the soldiers make Macrinus the first eques to become emperor. He is killed by his soldiers the following year.

218-222 Reign of Caracalla's cousin Elagabalus. He is killed by Praetorian Guard and replaced by the young Alexander Severus and his mother (both of whom were controlled by the Senate).

224 Ardashir I founds the Sasenide dynasty in Persia (modern Iran) replacing the Parthian Arsacide dynasty. Rome's wars in this part of the empire will be against this new Persian dynasty.

222-235 Reign of Alexander Severus. He fought a disastrous war against Persians and bought peace from the Germans.

228 Ulpian, one of Roman's best known jurist, becomes prefect of the Praetorian Guard but is later assassinated by them.

235 Alexander too is killed by his soldiers, and replaced by Maximin the Thracian "the first professional soldier emperor" and one of the first "foreign" emperors.

235-238 Reign of Maximin the Thracian. He defeats the Germans, but is killed during the siege of Aquilea (near Trieste).

238 The Goths invade Moesia (modern Bulgaria and Serbia). Gordian I and II (father and son) are named emperors by Senate, but die shortly thereafter. The Senate names Balbinus and Pupienus Maximus emperors; but both are killed by the Praetorian Guard. Gordian III (another son of Gordian I) is named emperor by the people and the Praetorian Guard.

238-244 Reign of Gordian III. He is killed by the prefect of the Praetorian Guard, Philip of Arabia, during a military campaign against the Persians.

244-249 Reign of Philip of Arabia. He chases the Goths back across the Danube river.

248 Rome celebrates its first millennium.

249 The Roman senator Decius is called to fight the Goths on the Danube, and is proclaimed emperor by the Roman army. Philip is killed at Verona.

249-251 Reign of Decius

250 Persecution of Christians and other religious sects whose followers refuse to sacrifice to the emperor.

251-253 Decius is killed while fighting the Goths. A number of emperors came to power during this brief period: Gallus, Aemilian, Volusian, and Valerian, who was declared emperor by the Roman army stationed on the Rhine. During this period the Roman empire comes under attack in the Rhineland (Germany), in Thrace, and in Persia.

253-260 Reign of Valerian. He recognizes the need to have two emperors rule the Roman empire in order to defend it from invaders. He has his son Gallienus rule the western half (253-268), while he goes east to secure the eastern half which is attacked by Persians. Valerian is captured in the war against the Persians (260).

257-258 Persecution against Christians and martyrdom of St. Ciprian, bishop of Carthage.

258 Postumus, the commander of Roman army in Gaul, rebels against the emperor and proclaims Gaul an autonomous kingdom.

260 Gallienus issues an edict of tolerance in favor of Christians.

267 Odenatus, the Roman general who had successfully defended Syria against Persian invaders, dies. His widow Zenobia founds the autonomous kingdom of Palmyra, and looks for an alliance with Rome.

268 Gallienus is killed at Milan in a conspiracy led by his equestrian cavalry commanders, one of which, Claudius II, will become the first Gothic emperor of Rome.

268-270 Reign of Claudius II. He defeats his fellow Goths at Naisso and the Almanni (German tribe) that had reached Lake Garda (near Verona). After his death his co-conspirator against Gallienus becomes emperor:

270-275 Reign of Aurelian. He gets the autonomous kingdoms of Gaul and Palmyra to submit to his control. He gives up Dacia (modern Rumania) to the Goths.

275-276 After Aurelian is assassinated, Claudius Tacitus is made emperor (the last emperor to be named by the Roman Senate). He too is assassinated while the Franks and the Almanni cross the Rhine and invade parts of the empire.

276-282 Reign of Probus, prefect of the Praetorian Guard. He defeats the Franks and Alamanni in Gaul and Raetia (southern Germany), and defeats the Goths in Asia minor.

282-284 After Probus' assassination, another praetorian prefect, Carus, is named emperor by his soldiers. After his death, the empire is ruled by his two sons Numerian (in the east) and Carinus (in the west). The first dies in 284, the second is assassinated the following year after being defeated by Diocletian.

284-305 Reign of Diocletian (Illyrian born). Like Valerian, he too has a second emperor, Maximian, help him rule the Roman empire. He also created two Caesars (Constantius and Galerius) to help him and Maximian rule and maintain the loyalty of the army. This is the first tetrarchy (the administration of the Roman empire by four supreme commanders). The Principate comes to an end and the Dominate begins. The government of the western Roman empire is in Milan, whereas the government of the eastern Roman empire is in Nicomedia (Asia minor).

298 Galerius, with the help of Diocletian, defeats the Persians and signs a peace treaty which gives Rome control of land east of the Tigris river.

301 Edict on prices to counter the effects of inflation and the mass unemployment resulting from the vast number of slaves (i.e. prisoners of war) the Romans brought back with them from their military campaigns. The coloni (veterans and their sons who work the land the empire gave them) are now required to live on the land in order to keep it. These indentured servants slowly replaced slaves.

303-304 Edict persecuting Christians.

305 Diocletian and Maximian resign as emperors; they nominate their two Caesars, Galerius and Constantius, as their successors. The latter, however, dies in York (England) and his army proclaims his son Constantine his successor.

306-307 Constantine (the Great) becomes emperor at the same time that Galerius (305-311), Maximian (307-308) and his son Maxentius (308-312), Licinius (308-324), and Maximinus (310-313) claim to be emperor.

307-308 Galerius proclaims Severus as Constantius' successor (instead of Constantine); Maximian revokes his resignation as emperor in an attempt to help his son Maxentius becomes emperor again. Maxentius defeats Severus and chases Galerius out of Italy.

308 Galerius meets with Diocletian and Maximian. They agree that Maximian should again resign as emperor, and that Licinius should be made emperor of the west (with Constantine and Maximinus as his Caesars).

310 Attacked by Constantine at Marseille (southern France), Maximiam commits suicide.

311 Galerius revokes the edicts of persecution against the Christians with an edict of tolerance. When he dies, Licinius occupies his European provinces while Maximinus occupies Asia minor.

312 Constantine defeats Maxentius at the Ponte Milvio (the bridge still stands in Rome) and becomes emperor of all the west. He converts to Christianity.

313 Maximinus attacks Licinius, but is defeated. Licinius becomes emperor of all the east. He and Constantine meet in Milan and proclaim the Edict of Milan, granting freedom of worship to all Christians.

314-324 Conflicts between Constantine and Licinius. Constantine kills Licinius and becomes sole emperor of the entire Roman empire.

325 Council of Nicea: a major gathering of Christian bishops from all parts of the Roman empire. They condemn the Aryan sect, and write the Credo; but by then most barbarians have become Aryans.

326 Constantine has his wife Fausta and his son Crispus killed.

330 Dedication of Constantinople (former Byzantium, now Istanbul) as the new capital of the Roman empire. It is meant to be a Christian capital, far from Rome (a city strongly rooted in its pagan past).

332-334 Campaigns against Sarmatians (north of Dacia [Rumania]) and Goths. Armenia is invaded by Sapore II.

337 Constantine dies.

337-361 Constantine's three sons fight to succeed him.

351-354 Gallus is Caesar in the orient.

355 Julian is Caesar in Gaul

357 Julian defeats the Alamanni at the Battle of Strasbourg.

360-361 Roman army proclaims Julian emperor in Paris. Constans, son and successor of Constantine, leaves Rome to do battle with Julian, but dies on the road.

361-363 Reign of Julian the Apostate. He passed legislation re-establishing pagan cults (thus the epithet "Apostate").

363 Julian's military campaign against Persia.

363-364 After Julian's death, Roman army first elects Jovian and then Valentinian as emperor.

364-375 Reign of Valentinian. In 364 he gives the eastern empire to his brother Valens.

367 Valentinian makes his son Gratian emperor.

374-397 St. Ambrose is bishop of Milan and mediates disputes within the Roman government.

375 Valentinian dies and is succeeded by another son, Valentinian II; the other two emperor (Valens and Gratian) give him Italy, Africa and Illyricum (former Yugoslavia).

376-378 Visigoths cross the Danube and defeat and kill Valens at the battle of Adrianople.

379-395 Reign of Theodosius in the east.

380 Visigoths allowed to stay in the Balkans as foederati (federates) of Rome.

383 Gratian dies; Valentinian II moves to Milan; Symmachus becomes prefect of Rome.

383-388 Magnus Maximus usurps Britain, Gaul and Spain.

391-392 Paganism is definitively condemned; and Christianity becomes the state religion.

392 Valentinian II dies, and Theodosius becomes emperor of eastern and western Roman empire. Eugenius usurps Italy, Gaul, and Spain.

394 Eugenius is defeated in the battle of Frigidus.

395 Theodosius dies in Milan, and is succeeded by his two sons, Arcadius (ruler of eastern empire until 408) and Honorius (ruler of western empire until 423). The new emperors are aided by the able half-Roman, half-Vandal general Stilicho.

395-396 Alaric, chief of the Visigoths, occupies Balkans.

397-398 Stilicho, commander in chief of Rome's western armies, represses Gildo's rebellion in Africa.

402 Honorius moves the seat of government from Milan to Ravenna.

401-403 Alaric attacks Italy, and is defeated by Stilicho at Verona.

405 Stilicho defeats Radagaisus' Ostrogoths at Florence and Fiesole.

406 Gaul is invade by Vandals, Sueves, Burgundians, and Alani.

407-411 Constantine III usurps Britain, Gaul, and Spain.

408 Honorius and Stilicho try to convince Roman Senate to negotiate with Alaric. Anti-barbarian sentiment in the Senate brings about the death of Stilicho.

408-450 The reign of Theodosius II, emperor in the east, after the death of Arcadius.

409 Vandals, Alani, and Sueves invade Spain.

410 After his negotiations with the Roman Senate at Ravenna fail, Alaric sacks Rome (the first time in 800 years that the city is attacked). Alaric dies in Calabria and is buried under the Busento River.

412-414 Ataulphus succeeds Alaric, and moves to Gaul. He marries Galla Placidia, sister of Honorius, who was taken hostage by Alaric when he sacked Rome.

413 The Burgundians are allowed to settle in Worms and Magonza (near Frankfurt); the Franks sack Treviri (western Germany); and the Visigoths take Toulouse and Narbonne (southern France).

416 Honorius ransoms his sister Galla Placidia after the death of Ataulphus. She will marry the Roman general Constantius (future Constantius III) the following year.

418 Visigoths establish the kingdom of Aquitania (southwestern France).

419 Vandals and Sueves fight each other in Spain.

421 Constantius III becomes emperor of west, but dies a few months later.

423 Honorius dies.

425 With the help of Theodosius II (emperor of the east), Valentinian III becomes emperor of the west, at the age of 6, and his mother, Galla Placidia, becomes regent (until 437).

425-455 Reign of Valentinian III.

428-477 Gensericus chief of the Vandals.

429 Vandals arrive in Africa and lay siege to Carthage, which they will destroy ten years later.

430-431 Vandals destroy Hippo (St. Augustine, bishop of Hippo and the most influential philosopher of the early western Church, dies during the siege).

430-454 Aetius is commander of the Roman armies in the west.

434-453 Attila is chief of the Huns.

436 Aetius defeats Burgundians and brings an end to the kingdom of Worms.

440 Vandals raid Sicily.

440-461 Pope Leo I.

450 Theodosius II (emperor of the east) and Galla Placidia die.

450-457 Reign of Marcian, emperor of the east.

451 Aetius defeats Attila in Gaul.

452 Attila invades northern Italy, and Pope Leo I convinces him to withdraw.

453 Attila dies.

454 Valentinian III is given false information about Aetius' loyalty, and decides to strangle him.

455 Valentinian III is killed by two of Aetius' barbarian retainers. The Vandals sack Rome a second time.

456 Valentinian's daughter Eudocia marries Unericus, the son of Gensericus, at Carthage.

457-474 Reign of Leo I in the east.

457-461 The barbarian general Majorian becomes emperor in the west; he is later killed by Ricimerus, a rival barbarian general.

461-465 Reign of Libius Severus in the west with the help of Ricimerus. From this point on, all western emperors are chosen by barbarian generals, and are obliged to do their bidding.

467-472 Anthemius Procopius becomes emperor thanks to Ricimerus.

468 The eastern Roman empire launches an expedition against the Vandals in north Africa; it ends with the destruction of the Byzantine navy.

472-476 Reign of the last three emperors to sit on the throne in Rome.

476 Odoacre the Ostrogoth deposes Romulus Augustulus, the last emperor of Rome. After this, no more emperors will rule from Rome (most will rule from Constantinople).

476-494 Odoacre rules Italy.

474-491 Reign of Zeno in the east.

488 Theodoric the Ostrogoth, at the request of Zeno, leaves Moesia (modern Bulgaria) and heads for Italy.

493 Theodoric and his Ostrogoths defeat and kill Odoacre at Ravenna.

493-526 Reign of Theodoric in Italy.

491-518 Anastasius is emperor of the east.

518-527 Justin is emperor of the east

527-565 Reign of Justinian. During this period the Byzantine empire regains a foothold in Italy, making Ravenna its western capital. The long war between Byzantines and Goths (known as the Gothic Wars) will result in further social and economic depression on the Italian peninsula. Justinian's Codex (a compilation of all Roman laws) will become a major contribution to western civilization.