Highly recommended by Bill Gates
A recent article in The New York Times Magazine described Bill Gates’ experience with The Great Courses, specifically Big History: The Big Bang, Life on Earth, and the Rise of Humanity.
"I just loved it," he said. "It was very clarifying for me. I thought, God, everybody should watch this thing!"
After getting in touch with award-winning Professor David Christian — a pioneer of this ground-breaking academic discipline — Gates started down the path to bring Big History to schools across the country.
|www.TheGreatCourses.com||Course #8050 Big History|
Even if you subscribe to the notion of the God Particle, you still have to ponder from whence it came and whither it goest.
First hominid evolves in East Africa.
Hominid 'Lucy' dies in Ethiopia, where her complete skeleton will one day be found.
First hominid species considered human, Homo habilis evolves in Africa.
The Ice Age begins.
First human species to leave Africa, Homo erectus begins migrating to Asia and later Europe.
First evidence of the use of fire by humans in Africa.
Humans sharing characteristics of Homo erectus and Homo sapiens appear. Known as archaic
sapiens, they may be the ancestors of Neanderthals.
Homo Sapiens, or modern humans, are living in Africa and begin migrating to other parts of the world.
Neanderthals disappear, and Homo Sapiens continue to spread across the earth.
Ice Age reaches its peak, exposing land bridge from Siberia to North America.
The Ice Age ends and the earth grows warmer. Homo sapiens make the revolutionary leap from hunter-gatherers to farming, domesticating plants and animals. The resulting surplus food means being able to establish permanent dwellings and storehouses. The settlement develops and populations grow. Stone and wooden tools are used in food preparation, Prosperity leads to security concerns and the developments of weapons and a warrior class.
The world's first known permanent settlements are founded in the Fertile Crescent (from Iraq
to Egypt). The regular flooding of the great rivers, the Tigris, Euphrates, Jordan and Nile create
fertile lands perfect for the cultivation of wheat, barley, lentils and peas. The domestication of
sheep, goats, cattle and pigs feeds a burgeoning population.
The world's oldest known settlement, Jericho, is founded in the Jordan Valley.
World population is estimated at 5 million.
There is extensive trade in surplus foods and transfer of knowledge between the
growing settlements in the Fertile Crescent.
Catal Huyuk, the first walled town with irrigated crops, rather than a scattered collection of huts, is founded in Turkey.
Pottery is an important invention for the storage of food.
Large towns are flourishing in the world's great river basins, the Tigris and Euphrates (the Middle East), the Nile (North Africa), the Indus (southern Asia) and the Yellow River (eastern Asia).
Evidence of beer production and fermentation process.
Sumerians invent the wheel, man's greatest invention and still is in widespread use.
The weavers loom is invented.
The first city-state is founded between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Mesopotamia.
The cart is invented pulled by oxen or donkey.
The first horses are domesticated.
In Mesopotamia (the Tigris-Euphrates river valley), the plow is invented, greatly increasing crop output. Advances in food production causes a huge spike in population growth.
Sumerian civilization mix tin with copper to invent a new harder metal - bronze.
Molten bronze can be poured onto molds improving tool and weapon making.
Sumer civilization begins in Mesopotamia with city-states ruled by kings worshiped as gods.
Trade and warfare between them spurs great leaps in technology, such as the potter's wheel.
Sumerians develop a complex society featuring urban areas built around temple complexes presided over by priests.
Sumerians begin to develop a writing system inscribed on clay tablets called cuneiform script, the first known system of writing,
King Narmer from Upper Egypt conquers Lower Egypt (the Nile Delta), unifying the country and
establishing the capital at Memphis.
The sail is invented in Egypt, increasing travel and the transfer of knowledge.
The abacus is invented.
Sumerians and Egyptians develop number systems, mathematics, and astronomy.
The lands of Upper and Lower Egypt are united by Aha (Menes) becoming the first pharaoh.
The Egyptians invent hieroglyphics with pictures representing words, syllables and sounds.
Egyptians brew beer.
World population estimate: 14 million
Nubian Kush culture in northern Sudan. The earliest known black African civilization develops on the upper Nile River, trading gold, ivory and ebony with Egypt.
Powerful city-states ruled by dynasties emerge in Sumer.
Sumerians invent glass making.
Sumerian mathematicians divide the day into 24 hours and hours into 60 minutes.
Chinese invent silk.
First Wonder of the Ancient World and the only one still standing.
The largest (covering 13 acres) and tallest stone structure in the world for more than 4,000 years, the Great Pyramid at Giza in Lower Egypt, is built by the Pharaoh Cheops or Khufu, 2,579 -2,556 B.C.E. using cut stone.
The process of cutting stone involved an iron saw, a jig and sand. The large block of stone placed under the jigs holding the saw square. The saw scribes a groove across the surface of the stone into which sand is poured. The rapid movement of the saw back and forth abrades the stone in a smooth predictable manner. The two freshly cut edges mate cleanly when joined together.
King Ur unites the warring tribes between the fertile lands between the two great rivers, the
Tigris and the Euphrates, in the Land of Sumer.
The invention of the 'shaduf', a long wooden pole with a weight at one end and bucket on the other makes watering crops easier.
The wealth of Sumerian cities makes them important trade centres.
Prince Gilgamesh, ruler of Uruk builds mud-brick ziggurats, step terraced temples.
Royal burials at Sumerian city-states of Ur include human sacrifices.
King Sargon of Akkad Conquers Sumer in 2,334 B.C.E.
The Harappan civilization develops in the Indus Valley as trade flourishes and cities emerge.
The technique of making bronze reaches Northern Europe.
King Sargon of Akkad conquers Sumer and goes on to forge the first Mesopotamia empire.
Drought disrupts the seasonal flooding of the Nile, destabilizing the Old Kingdom and leading
to a century of unrest known as the First Intermediate Period.
The Egyptians invert paper, using the papyrus plant.
"As for me, behold my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations." God, Genesis 17:4
The Egyptians invent the shadow clock. A wood device with a crossbar which casts a shadow
on a measured beam pointed east in the morning and west in the afternoon.
The 365 day year is established by the Egyptians. The missing quarter day per year would confound accurate dating of Egyptian antiquities.
Looms are used in Egypt. Only the Pharaoh and top officials are allowed to wear clothes of the finest linen. Linen is made from the fibers of flax. The mucilaginous seed of flax yields linseed oil.
Egypt is unified by rulers from Thebes, ushering in the Middle Kingdom.
Troops invade Nubia, extending Egypt's frontier south from the First Cataract of the Nile th the Second Cataract.
Minoan civilization emerges on Crete as rulers accumulate wealth through maritime trade in the
Mediterranean. Palace building begins with this wealth.
The Minoan society is very prosperous, with the world's first 'leisure society'. Indoor plumbing and flush toilets.
Europe's Bronze Age begins
Harappan civilization declines and cities are abandoned.
The Beaker people settle in the British Isles.
The Hittites attack and plunder Babylon.
The Jebusites build the wall Jebus (Jerusalem).
The Babylonians have conquered and assimilated the Akkadian Empire. King Hammurabi takes
power in Babylon. unites his kingdom and embarks on conquests establishing the first Babylonian
Babylonians develop multiplication tables., invent the the first windmills to pump water for irrigation, and create the world's first written laws.
Hammurabi institutes his 281 laws of order providing the first of all legal systems defining criminal law and the laws of inheritance carved into an eight foot high stone column. The laws are numbered from #1 to #282 because there is no law #13.
Groundwork laid for Stonehenge near Salisbury, Wiltshire, England. The giant "sarsen" stones weigh 25 tons.
Hittite attacks on Syria.
The Pharaohs lose to the Hyksos (rulers of desert uplands) invaders taking over the Nile Delta using horse drawn chariots, ending the Middle Kingdom and inaugurating the Second Intermediate Period.
Massive volcanic eruption on Thera causes earthquakes and volcanic ash falls on Crete. The island of Thera explodes creating a tidal wave of 150 feet. The Minoan civilization on the nearby island of Crete is devastated.
Phoenicians develop a phonetic alphabet based on characters representing sounds rather than objects or concepts. It is the basis of our modern alphabet.
Mycenaean civilization arises at the southern end of the Greek mainland, where rulers construct hilltop fortresses and are buried with treasure acquired through trade. the Mycenaean people are using the writing called Linear A in their great civilization.
Hittites sack Babylon ending the Babylonian Empire.
Their homeland is in Anatolia (Turkey).
Theben kings launch a campaign against the Hyksos, leading to the reunification of Egypt and the rise of the New Kingdom, with its capital at Thebes.
Pharaoh Thutmosis forges an Egyptian empire extending from the Forth Cataract in Nubia to
Three generations of pharaohs rise to power in Egypt. Thutmosis is the first to have his tomb cut into the rocks of the Valley of the Kings on the west bank of the river Nile opposite the capital city of Thebes.
The earliest known medical textbook is written in Egypt.
Aryans infiltrate the Indus Valley from the north and take control of the region, imposing a class
system in which Aryan chieftains and priests occupy the top rank.
The Vedas, four collections of hymns that will become part of the basis for Hinduism, are written in India.
Hatshepsut, Queen of Egypt builds a temple in honour of her reign. She was one of the first
female rulers of Egypt.
Egypt conquers Israel and Syria, and becomes an empire.
The Hittites invade Anatolia (Turkey). Their empire now stretches from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf.
Mycenaeans take control of Crete, bringing Minoan civilization to an end.
Mycenae warriors from Crete invade Greece. Their settlements develop into the Greek
On Crete, Linear B script is being used forming the early Greek written language.
Pharaoh Tuthmosis marries a princess from Mitanni (Syria) ending years of war between Egypt and Mesopotamia.
Pharaoh Amenophis the Third proposes the of singularity in god. Monothiesism would rise and fall on the reign of his son Amenophis the Fourth.
'Splendid you rise in heaven's lightland, O living Aten, creator of life... Your rays embrace the
lands to the limits of all that you made.' - Hymn to Aten
Pharaoh Akhenaten ' the Sun King' of Egypt introduces a new religion with only one god.
Monotheism in Egypt dies along with Pharaoh Akhenaten in 1,353 B.C.E. and all evidence of his
new religion is virtually eradicated.
Revolutionary artworks displayed realistic human traits and scenes from family life rather than the self indulgent militaristic victory works produced before Akhenaten...and after.
The Queen of Egypt and wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten. Step-mother to Tutenkhamen
The Hittites (in Turkey) develop iron smelting, improving tools and weaponry - the Near Eastern Iron Age begins.
Beginning of the 19th Dynasty
One of the greatest Pharaohs to rule Egypt.
Memphis the royal city.
Walled city of Troy is destroyed by the Greeks or Mycenaeans, ending the Trojan Wars.
Athens is founded.
"Ye have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought
you unto myself." GOD, Exodus 19 : 4
Moses leads the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt.
The Ten Commandments are codified.
"Yahwey!" "I AM!" With these words God reveals himself to Moses on Mount Sinai in the form of blinding light from a burning bush and delivers the laws of the Ten Commandments. "I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Hittite homeland in Anatolia (Turkey) is overrun by invaders, ending the Hittite Empire.
The sea faring ancestors of the Lebanese, their fame derived from the purple dye extracted from the glands of the shellfish, Murex trunculus. It took 10,000 shellfish to produce a single gram of purple dye used to stain purple the robes of royalty.
Mycenaean civilization declines.
The first books of the Hebrew Bible are written.
New Kingdom ends and Egyptian power declines; rulers of foreign origin often control all or part
of the country.
Iron smelting begins in Mesopotamia.
Aryan chieftains expand their domain from the Indus Valley into the Ganges River Valley.
World population estimate: 50 million
Saul becomes first king of Israel and is defeated by Philistines.
'Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.' - King David;
Miserere, Psalm 51
The shepherd-muse, David, didn't cower from the Philistine giant, but with cunning and a sling, slew the mighty Goliath. Whereupon he entered the palace of the king, Saul, and was adopted as his son and heir.
Second king of Judah and Israel. David, 1040- 972 B.C.E.
King David attacks and captures Jerusalem. Jerusalem becomes the City of David and capital
of the Kingdom of Israel.
Two triangles overlapping, one pointing to the heavens and on pointing to earth, interlocking into a six pointed star. The symbol of a people returning from exile, victory over the Philistines and the pride of nationhood representing a renewed covenant with God. The Star of David.
Third king of Israel noted for Wisdom. The son of King David and Bethsheba.
King Solomon builds the Yahwey Temple in Jerusalem as a Jewish spiritual centre.
Phoenicians established trading centre at Tyre (Lebanon). Their maritime prowess establishes trade with Egypt transporting the cedars of Lebanon.
King Solomon builds the First Temple in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem becomes the capital of the southern Kingdom of Judah led by Rehoboam after the split of the United Monarchy of Israel.
Palestine divides into Israel in the north and Judah in the south.
And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be the mighty one in the earth.
Assyrians in northern Mesopotamia (Iraq) begin imperial expansion.
Wealthy Phoenician city-states along the eastern rim of the Mediterranean (Lebanon) send out merchant fleets and establish trading posts that evolve into colonies. Phoenicians settle in Cyprus.
Etruscans settle in northern Italy.
The Phoenicians found the city of Carthage in Tunisia on the North African coast, emerging as the primary trade centre in the Mediterranean for the next 400 years.
The Greek poet Homer writes the Illiad and the Odyssey, legends of the Trojan War.
The first Olympic games are held at the foot of Mount Olympus in Greece.
The approximate time of the writing of the Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer in Greece.
Romulus and Remus were the sons of Mars, the god of war. They were left as infants to die by
the Tiber river. Twins were left by local custom that one may die and the stronger of the two be
nurtured to manhood. As adults, Romulus and Remus argued over which hills to build the city on.
A fight to the death ensued, Romulus won.
Roma was built on the Palatine hill at the ford crossing the River Tiber. The groundwork of building, what would become, the world's mightiest city was begun. As Roma prospered, Rome would come to dominate the neighboring tribes, the Sabines and the Latins.
"Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14
Nubians (black Africans from northern Sudan) conquer Egypt; their leaders become pharaohs and rule the country for several decades until Assyrians take control.
A new, simpler Phoenician alphabet consisting sixteen characters used by the Phoenicians.
Prince Cadmus, son of the king of Tyre, is attributed with its spread throughout the Mediterranean world when he searches for his sister, Princess Europa, who has been abducted by the king of the Gods of Mount Olympus, Zeus. But their true legacy was the simplified alphabet with 22 letters; the source of the English alphabet.
Samaria, the capital city of the Kingdom of Israel, falls to the Assyrians under Sargon the second
who expels the Jewish people (the basis for the legendary lost tribes of Israel.
The population is supplanted by Assyrians who mate with local inhabitants producing followers of the Torah called Samaritans, loathed by displaced orthodox Jews.
Musical notation is first used in India.
The Assyrians lay an unsuccessful siege on Jerusalem.
King Hezekiah builds the Pool of Siloam tunnel in order to supply the Gihon Spring water to the city.
Assyrian leader Sennacherib lays siege to Jerusalem the capital city of Judah. 185,000 men in Sennacherib army are slain by an angel according to Sennacherib's own account.
Greek colonists settle on the coasts of Sicily and southern Italy, while Etruscan civilization develops in northern Italy.
Indian teachers interpret Aryan beliefs ion scriptures called the Upandishads, which form the basis of Hinduism.
Athens replaces hereditary kings with Archons, chief magistrates.
Greeks use standardized coins, initiating the concept of government sanctioned money to be used in trade.
The Babylonian empire is conquered by the Assyrian Empire in 639 B.C.E. and in turn is defeated by the Persian empire in 539 B.C.E.
Thales, statesman, astronomer and mathematician, regarded as the first Greek philosopher. He suggested sailors navigate by Ursa Minor, which contains the North Star and professed that everything was ultimately made of water.
Etruscan engineers drain the marshy ground under what will to be the Roman Forum to make the famous sewer, the Cloaca Maxima.
Babylonians defeat Assyrians and seize control of their empire.
The first diaspora (Gk; dispersion, scattering) was the Babylonian Exile of 612 B.C.E.
Anaximander, Greek philosopher, proposed the universal element to be 'apeiron', nothingness out of which certain qualities, like hot or cold, wet or dry, could be extracted. He also suggested humans evolved from fishlike creatures.
Zoroasterism is founded by Zoroaster in Persia. It is the first monotheistic religion and the first to define the concepts of good and evil.
Taoism is founded by Lao Tzu in China.
Lycurgus lays down the laws of Sparta.
Second Wonder of the Ancient World. Nebuchanezzar starts building the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (Baghdad) for his wife, Amyitis, who was homesick for the mountains of her native land. Watered from the nearby Euphrates River.
The Assyrians are conquered by the Babylonians under King Nebuchadnezzar the Second. The
Babylonians destroy Jerusalem in three waves of attacks and its inhabitants carried off into
captivity, including the young King Jehoiachin.
Fall of Judah, the southern kingdom, destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.
World's first democratic constitution is established in Athens, Greece.
In Jerusalem, King Zedekiah, who had been placed on the throne by Babylonian Emperor
Nebuchadnezzer, rebelled against his overlord. The Emperor recaptured Jerusalem and killed
Zedekiah's entire family in front of him. Then plucked out the miserable Zebediah's eyes that would
be the last thing he ever saw.
Nebuchanezzar burns Solomon's Temple and destroys the city's walls.
Pythagoras, Greek philosopher, declared everything in the universe was fundamentally mathematical.
Prince Siddhartha Gautama is born at the foothills of the Himalayas east of the Ganges. Later becoming the Buddha, the Enlightened One, founder of one of the world's great religions.
"I entered Babylon as a friend and... I established the seat of the government in the palace of the ruler under jubilation and rejoicing... My numerous troops walked around in Babylon in peace, I did not allow anybody to terrorize... I brought relief to their dilapidated housing, putting an end to their main complaints... I am Cyrus, king of the world, great king, legitimate king, king of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four rims of the earth..." - Cyrus the Great Cyrus the Great, first ruler of the Achaemenid dynasty, reigns over Persia. During his rule he conquers Asia Minor and Babylon. Zoroastrianism is its main religion.
Third Wonder of the Ancient World built in the ancient city of Ephesus (Turkey). The most
beautiful structure on earth.
Built by King Croesus, the marble Temple of Artemis at Ephesus with pillars of gold and four bronze statues of Amazons (women warriors) and Artemis' faithful followers. Artemis, goddess of the moon often depicted as a huntress, was the daughter of Zeus and sister to the sun god, Helios.
Destroyed by fire in 356 B.C.E., rebuilt and destroyed again in Christian times as a pagan site.
Confucius is born in China's Lu province. The collection of precepts of right behavior written down by his followers is known as the 'Analects'. Confucianism was China's oldest and strongest religion until Mao Zedong tried unsuccessfully to eradicate the philosophy in 1949. Confucius's principles are still widely practiced today, in both government and private lives.
Athens and other city-states on the Greek mainland become centers of learning and artistry and undergo political ferment.
Heraclitus, Greek philosopher, defined the universe in terms of opposites, 'what's hot without cold and happiness without sorrow. Forerunner of Sir Isaac Newton's 'For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction'.
Beginning of the Persian Empire with Cyrus the Great of Persia (Iran) conquering Babylon (Iraq).
The Persians conquer Babylon and release the Hebrews from captivity. Many return to Israel and Judah.
Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, "To Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue
nations before him;" - Isaiah 45:1
King Cyrus the Great allows the Israelites to return from the Babylonian captivity and rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem. The first wave, led by Sheshbazzar, repatriates and reestablishes sacrificial worship on the site of the destroyed Temple. The second wave, led by Zerubbabel, the appointed governor of Judah and the high priest Joshua, son of Jehozadak.
Darius rules Persia and extends the boundaries of the Persian Empire to the Indus valley.
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation: lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass." Zechariah. Prophesying Palm Sunday and Jesus' entry into Jerusalem.
The Second Temple of Jerusalem is built on the sixth year of Darius the Great.
The Etruscan dynasty of the Tarquins are expelled and a republic established, with power concentrated in patrician hands.
The last king of Rome, Lucius Superbus (the Proud) dies and the Romans drive the Etruscans out of Rome. Establishing the Roman Republic largely based on Athenian Democracy. Europe's Iron Age begins.
Pericles rules Athens after successfully leading the Athenians in war.
Empedocles, Greek philosopher, the father of rhetoric and medicine claimed he was a god. His philosophy gave us the four elements, earth, air, fire, and water, from which everything was supposed to be made, in varying amounts. An idea which would be believed for two thousand years.
Protagoras, Greek philosopher and 'Sophist'. His proposition that there was no objective truth, everything had to be viewed through its relationship with man. To quote, "Man is the measure of all things." His flagrant moral relativism was not popular and he was expelled from Athens.
The Persian wars begin when Greek cities on the Ionian coast expel their Persian overlords.
Over the next two decades, Persian emperors Darius and Xerxes fight repeated battles against
Greek allies on land and sea, with the Persians eventually retreating.
The 10,000 Greek army was outnumbered by more than two to one. The Greek general Miltiades ordered Pheidippides to run the 100 miles to the Spartan camp for reinforcements but the Spartans would be delayed due to religious reasons. Pheidippides ran back to give Miltiades the bad news. Undaunted Meltiades wages war. A brilliant manoeuvre surrounding the larger Persian force. The Greeks lose 192 men to the Persians 6,000 who retreat to their ships. The Spartans arrive later that day.
Pheidippides is sent to deliver the good news to Athens, 26 miles away. Upon arrival he proclaimed "Nike!" (victory) and then collapsed and died.
Xerxes (Biblical Ahasuerus) becomes Persian king. Marries Esther and orders his advisor Haman executed, saving the Jewish people from Haman's conspiracy and possible annihilation.
King Leonidas and three hundred Spartan soldiers fight to the death against thousands of King Xerxes' Persian soldiers.
Death of Buddha at age 70.
Death of Confucius Chin, at the age of 72 in China. Persians capture and destroy Babylon.
Legendary deaths of 306 vastly outnumbered Roman Fabii in battle with Etruscan forces.
Temple of Apollo at Delphi.
Foundation of the Delian League, an alliance of city-states led by Athens.
Birth of Socrates.
Assassination death of Xerxes, King of Persia from 485 B.C.E. Succeeded by his son, Artaxerxes.
Fourth Wonder of the Ancient World. The Temple of Zeus at Olympia, original site of the Olympic Games in Greece featuring a 40 foot high statue of Zeus sitting on his throne. The body of the enormous statue was of ivory and his beard, robe and sandals were of gold. His throne was also of gold encrusted with precious stones. Destroyed by fire in 462 C.E.
Sparta versus Athena
Democritus, Greek Philosopher, was, along with his mentor Leucippus, an 'atomist' - a proponent of the idea that everything we see is made of countless little bits of matter we can't see, and these little bits were ultimately indivisible.
Ezra, Hebrew scribe, leads 1,800 Jews from Babylonia to Jerusalem to restore the laws of Moses. Ezra builds the Wall of Jerusalem with Nehemiah.
Death of Aeschylus, the founder of Greek tragedy.
Three Roman senators sent to Athens to study the laws of Solon.
The Decemvirs codify Roman Law in the publication of the law code contained in the Twelve
Temple of Theseus at Athens.
The Peace of Callias establishes a demilitarized zone between Greece and Persia on the coast of Asia Minor.
Pericles orders the building of a magnificent temple to Athena, Athens' goddess and protector. The Parthenon is built on the Acropolis, the highest point in the city.
The appointed governor of Judah, Nehemiah, rebuilds the Old City walls of Jerusalem. Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sunium.
Under the leadership of Pericles as General of Athens, the city enters a great age of building
and supports an outstanding community of artists and philosophers.
The Celts, a tribe from northern Italy, dominate the British Isles.
The Torah becomes the moral essence of the Jewish state.
Carrier pigeons used in Greece.
Consecration of the completed Parthenon.
Rebuilding of the Acropolis, Athens, designed by Ictinus and Callicrates; much of the sculpture by Phidias. The building process takes fifteen years.
Sparta, Corinth and Persia versus Athens Temple of Apollo in Rome.
Life of Plato, Greek philosopher in his own right and student of Socrates, is devoted to
expounding Socratic philosophy at the Academy of Athens which he founds.
Plato expounds the concept of 'forms'. These were perfect, totally realized versions of everything (horses, trees etc.) against which the versions we actually see are but poor copies. Plato communicated this idea in his "Parable of the Cave," in which men chained to face one direction see shadows on a cave wall and think the shadows to be true representations of the world, when in fact they are merely two dimensional, featureless flickering shadows. This idea is that we are all chained cavemen, the real world is flickering shadows, and the out-of-sight 'forms' casting the shadows are the real objects.
Death of Herodotus, "Father of History" in Greece at age 61. Death of Artaxerxes, King of Persia.
The Great Assembly is established in Jerusalem.
The Peloponnesian War comes to an end when Sparta defeats Athens
Marseilles flourishes as the west's portal to Greek and Etruscan civilization.
Plato writes 'The Republic'.
The site of London is first inhabited.
"And you too, judges, must face death with a good courage, and believe this as a truth, that no
evil can happen to a good man, either in life, or after death. His fortunes are not neglected by the
gods, and what has come to me today has not come by chance. I am persuaded that it is better
for me to die now, and to be released from trouble... But now the time has come, and we must go
hence; I to die and you to live. Whether life or death is better is known to God, and to God only." -
Socrates, Greek philosopher, is put to death by poison at age 71 in Athens, Greece. Forced to commit suicide by poison for corrupting the youth of Athens with a process of enquiry known as 'dialectic' questioning whereby the truth was to arise by critically examining the statements of those around him.
Carthaginians destroy Messina, Sicily.
Capture of Etruscan Veii, 9 miles north of Rome.
Under the leadership of Brennus a horde of predatory Gauls invade, occupy and sack Rome. Brennus, outraged with the ransom agreement hurled his sword onto the scale exhorting "Vae victis!", "Woe to the vanquished."
The Academy of Athens founded.
The "Five Books of Moses" (Pentateuch) receive their definite form.
Aristotle, Greek philosopher, dazzling thinker, wrote exhaustively on subjects ranging from
astronomy to logic to politics to theology.
Up to the Renaissance, the Roman Catholic Church borrowed heavily from his brand of philosophy known as 'Scholasticism.'
Death of Hippocrates at age 83. Considered to be the father of modern medicine.
Plebeians gained the right to be consuls; the two chief magistrates, elected annually.
Temple of Concordia built in Rome.
King Philip and his wife Olympias sire a son Alexander in Pella, Macedon.
Fifth Wonder of the Ancient World located in southwestern Turkey.
Queen Artemisia built it as a tribute to her husband and brother, King Mausolus on his death, giving birth to the word mausoleum.
Death of Plato at age 80.
The Sabines to the north and Samnites to south east conquered by Romans.
Aristotle comes to Macedon to tutor the young Alexander (the Great).
Demosthenes tries in vain to persuade his fellow Athenians to resist Philip of Macedon's attacks.
Cities of Latium formed into a league under Roman control.
Upon the death of his father (Philip), Alexander becomes king of Macedon. Conquering the
Mediterranean region and Persian empire in 331 B.C.E. instituting the Hellenic language (Greek)
as the "lingua franca" in the region. Merchants adopt Greek as the language of trade.
Alexander the Great carves an empire from Macedonia to the Indus River.
Alexander the Great breaks the power of Darius the third of the Persian Empire at the battle of Issus. Greek culture spreads throughout the Middle East.
Phoenicia (Lebanon) conquered by Alexander the Great.
Jerusalem dominated by Alexander the Great.
Battle of Gaugamela, Persia. Forty thousand Macedonians against two hundred and fifty
Alexander sacks and burns the Persian city of Persepolis.
The armies of Alexander cross the Hindu Kush into Afghanistan.
Alexander marries Roxana, daughter of the Bactrian chief Oxyartes. Alexander the Great invades Indian territory to the Indus River.
Alexander's troops refuse to advance farther into India. The army begins its return journey.
Alexander returns to Persepolis.
Alexander the Great falls ill with fever in Babylon and dies. After his death at age 32 and the collapse of his empire, his generals, the Diadochi vie for power.
Death of Aristotle, Greek philosopher, at age 62 in Athens.
Chandragupta Maurya founds a dynasty that controls most of northern India.
Ptolemy the first of Egypt rules Jerusalem.
The Selecuid dynasty rules Persia until defeated by the Roman army in 84 B.C.E.
The first permanent naval organization is established by the Roman Empire with the appointment of navy commissioners. Its purpose to rout out pirates and also to prevent foes from becoming naval powers.
Battle of Kings. Warring successors of Alexander the Great.
Alexander the Great's companion-in-arms Ptolomy 'Soter' (Savior) lays claim to Egypt becomes
the Greek God replacing the pharaohs.
Intended to be the civic "gift of the Gods", Alexandria would be built on the alluvial delta of the River Nile on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt.
Alexandria was the most Greek of cities named after Alexander the Great who had united an immense empire under a common Macedonian culture and Greek language throughout the Mediterranean East.
The body of Alexander the Great was brought to Alexandria being finally interred in a massive mausoleum called "to soma", ( Gk: the Body).
Ptolemy founded the Mouseion, the Museum which housed among other things, the multilingual Library which boasted housing "all the books (of consequence) that had ever been written". A half million texts in all.
The Library was burned three times: accidently by Julius Caesar in 47 B.C.E., deliberately by Christians toward the end of the fourth century A.D. and finally in 642 A.D. by the forces of Caliph Omar.
Palestine taken by Ptolemy.
The Huns drive the Goths out of Romania. The Goths ask for protection and land in exchange for service in the Roman army. The Romans approve.
Sixth Wonder of the Ancient World.
The completion of the Colossus of Rhodes, a huge bronze statue built in honour of Zeus' son Helios, the sun god to celebrate a military victory. Built straddling the harbor of the island of Rhodes in the Aegean Sea.
Destroyed by earthquake in 224 B.C.E.
Seventh Wonder of the Ancient World.
The completion of the lighthouse at Pharos, Alexandria, Egypt completed during the reign of King Ptolemy the Second.
The marble lighthouse stood 400 feet high guided ships into the harbor of Alexandria.
After 1,500 years as a working lighthouse it succumbed to an earthquake in the 14 century C.E.
First Punic war, Rome against Carthage, ending in a Roman victory and the annexation of Sicily.
The Parthians break away from the Selecuids and rule the Persian Empire until brought down by the Sassanids.
Force-pump is invented by Greek inventor Ctesibius.
Romans seize Sardinia from Carthage.
The Gauls are defeated near Telamon in Etruria.
The Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World is destroyed by an earthquake.
Roman conquest of Cisalpine Gaul (Lombardy, Italy). More conflict with Carthage, which was attempting to conquer Spain. Rome conquers northern Italy, including Mediolanum (Milan) Antigonus Doson of Macedonia takes possession of Sparta from Cleomenes, king of Sparta, who flees to Egypt.
China is unified under the 'First Emperor', Qin Shi Huangdi.
Carthage versus Rome. Hannibal crosses the Alps by Little St Bernard Pass and invades Italy from the north, takes Turin.
Hannibal defeats Publius Cornelius Scipio at Ticinus River winning a series of brilliant victories.
Rome appoints Quintus Fabius Maximus dictator.
Hannibal defeats Romans at Lake Trasimene.
Romans defeated at Cannae, with 50,000 killed.
Philip of Macedon makes an alliance with Hannibal.
Emperor Zheng orders the building of the Great Wall of China, 1,400 miles long, to keep out invading northern tribes.
Romans under Marcus Claudius Marcellus conquer and sack Syracuse; Archimedes killed during fighting.
Hannibal before the gates of Rome.
Roman armies in Spain under Publius Cornelius and Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio defeated.
After the defeat of his brother Hasdrubal on the Metaurus, Hannibal retires to southern Italy.
Decisive victory of General Scipio Africanus Major over Hannibal at Zama.
Inscription engraved on Rosetta Stone.
Septuagint written in Alexandria.
Syrian based Seleucid, Antiochus, takes Palestine from Egyptian Ptolemaic rule.
Romans under Flamius defeat Philip of Macedon at Cynoscephelae.
Hannibal flees to the protection of Antiochus of Syria.
Concrete is invented in Rome.
Antiochus aided by Hannibal lands in Greece.
War between Sparta and Rome.
Antiochus defeated by the Romans at Thermopylae.
Antiochus defeated by the Romans at Magnesia.
Hannibal defeated by Rhodian fleet at Eurymedon River. Armenia independent from Seleucid rule. Insurrections in Upper Egypt owing to exorbitant taxes.
Peace of Apamea confined the rule of the Seleucid king Antiochus the Great, ruler of Persia, to Asia.
Scipio Africanus goes into voluntary exile.
Pisa and Parma in northern Italy become Roman colonies.
Hannibal commits suicide in exile to avoid extradition by Rome.
Antiochus Epiphanes sacks Jerusalem and erects an altar to Zeus in the Second Temple after plundering it.
War between Rome and Macedon. Roman army defeated by Perseus.
Perseus of Macedon defeated by Romans at Pydna.
Maccabean revolt against Antiochus.
Judas Maccabaeus rededicates Temple of Jerusalem (see Hanukkah) after expelling the Syrians. Jewish autonomy is restored under the Hasmoneans.
Roman forces destroy Corinth.
War between Sparta and Achaea.
After a revolt, Greece becomes a Roman province.
The last battle of the three Punic wars between the Roman general Scipio and the
Carthaginians. The Roman army destroys the powerful North African city of Carthage. Of the
500.000 inhabitants only 50,000 remain alive and are sold into slavery. The territory is annexed into
the Roman Empire.
The victorious general, Publius Cornelius Scipio, was given the nickname Africanus. He brought back to Rome hundred of African wild animals, such as elephants, crocodiles and lions. After parading the animals through the streets, he included them in his gladiatorial games.
The Roman Empire consists of seven provinces; Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica, Gallia, Transalpina, Africa and Macedonia.
Judas' successor Jonathan Maccabaeus is assassinated. Succeeded by Simon Maccabaeus who expels Syrians from Jerusalem.
Antiochus the Seventh Sidetes recaptures the city of Jerusalem and leaves the city to John Hyrcanus who depends on Antiochus.
Tiberius Gracchus suggested agrarian reforms and was murdered at the instigation of the
Roman province of Asia formed from the kingdom of Pergamum, bequeathed to Rome by the Attalid dynasty.
Asia Minor becomes eighth Roman province.
Gaius Gracchus elected tribune and adopts reform policy of his brother, Tiberius. Gaius Gracchus is killed in a riot and his reforms abolished.
The Cimbri, an ancient Germanic tribe leaves Jutland, which is devastated by storms, and reach the Roman province of Noricum (Carinthia).
Rise of the Pharisees and Sadducees in Palestine.
War in Africa between Rome and Jugurtha, king of Numidia. Marius, assisted by Sulla, defeats Jugurtha.
Cimbri and Teutone tribes ally and invade Roman territory.
Marius defeats the Teutones at Aquae Sexiae and the Cimbri at Vercellae. Marius elected consul for sixth time.
Qumran by the Dead Sea is first settled.
Civil war in Rome: Marius is driven out by Sulla. Social War; revolt by the city-states forces Rome to grant citizenship to all Latins.
The Roman army led by Sulla regains control.
Risings against Roman rule at Athens.
While Sulla was repelling an invasion of Greece by King Mithridates of Pontus (in Asia Minor), Marius seized power
Sulla returned and established a dictatorship ruled by terror.
Mithridates of Pontus renews war against Rome and is defeated by Lucullus.
King Ariovistus of the Germanic tribe, the Suevi, crosses the Upper Rhine and invades Gaul.
Spartacus leads an unsuccessful revolt of 40,000 slaves against Rome. The revolt is crushed by consuls Pompey and Crassus. As punishment, and deterrent, 6,000 are crucified along the main road leading into Rome.
Sulla's constitutional changes were reversed by Pompey and Crassus.
Cleopatra the Seventh is born in Egypt.
Dynastic war in Palestine. Hyrcanus is deposed; rise of the House of Antipater.
Crete is captured by the Romans.
Defeated by Pompey, Mithridates commits suicide. Pompey enters Syria and completes the conquest of Palestine by capturing Jerusalem making it a part of the Roman province of Syria.
Catilina defeated and killed at Pistoria.
Founding of Florence, Italy.
Gaius Julius Caesar, nephew of Marius, wins his first victory in Spain.
The First Triumvirate was formed, an alliance between Pompey and the democratic leaders
Crassus and Julius Caesar.
Roman colonies in Switzerland.
Newspaper is invented by Roman dictator Julius Caesar
Rome versus Celtic tribes of Gaul. Julius Caesar's victory over Gaul.
Northern Gaul conquered by Julius Caesar; punitive expeditions sent to Britain.
When Julius Caesar invades Britain. Cassivellaunus, a powerful Belgic tribal leader in southern Britain, agrees to pay tribute to Rome.
Crassus defeated and killed by Parthians at Carrhae.
Pompey becomes consul in Rome.
Julius Caesar conquers Gaul as far as the Rhine.
Rivalry between Julius Caesar and Pompey for control of Rome.
Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, returned to Italy where civil war between Caesar and Pompey's senatorial party began. ("Alea jacta est")
The Alexandrian War rages for six months. Julius Caesar defeats Pompey at Pharsalus.
Library of Ptolemy in Alexandria, the largest archive of knowledge in the world, is accidentally
destroyed by fire by Julius Caesar's forces. As many as 100,000 ancient Greek and Roman texts
are lost forever.
Pompey murdered in Egypt by order of Queen Cleopatra. Herod the Great governor of Galilee.
Julius Caesar returns to Rome. Adoption of the Julian calendar with 365.25 days and the introduction of a leap year.
Julius Caesar, first dictator of Rome, adopts his nephew Gaius Octavius as heir.
Etruscan soothsayer Spurrina warns Julius Caesar to "beware the ides of March." Julius Caesar's dictatorship is ended by his assassination in the Roman Forum led by conspirators Brutus and Cassius Longinus.
Second Triumvirate formed by Mark Antony and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and Gaius Octavius, now renamed Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus.
Brutus and Cassius defeated by the triumvirs at Philippi and commit suicide.
Herod, at Rome, appointed king of Judaea.
Mark Anthony returns to Egypt.
Herod returns from Rome where he was confirmed King of the Jews.
Jerusalem is the capital of Roman client kingdom and undergoes a siege before being reclaimed by Herod the Great.
Dalmatia becomes a Roman province.
War between Octavian and Mark Antony.
Roman Emperor Octavian defeats Egyptian rulers Mark Antony and Cleopatra at Actium. Mark Anthony commits suicide.
Queen Cleopatra the Seventh of Egypt commits suicide by the poisonous venom of an asp. Rome annexes Egypt after the deaths of Mark Antony and Cleopatra.
The first Roman Emperor, Octavius named "Augustus", although absolute ruler, his title was
'princeps' (first citizen).
The unrest following Julius Caesar's assassination ended when Octavius took power as Caesar Augustus. The Roman Republic ends and the reign of Roman Emperors begins. Rome conquers Egypt, which they will rule for almost 700 years.
Herod expands the Temple Mount and rebuilds the Temple of Jerusalem as 'Herod's Temple'.
Roman army under Drusus and Tiberius penetrates Germania as far as the Elbe.
Judea annexed by Rome.
The Birth of Jesus of Nazareth in Bethlehem 6 miles south of Jerusalem in Judea.
Death of Herod the Great in Jerusalem.