Timeline of Greek & Roman Antiquity

I before 3500 Stone Age: the « neolithic revolution » of near east civilizations (esp. Mesopotamia) sees the rise of irrigation & agriculture; towns & cities; temple architecture; writing; intense social stratification
II 3500-1100 Bronze Age (note that, in antiquity, the historical ages were Gold, Silver, Bronze, [Heroic,] & Iron)
3500-1450 Minoan civilization at Crete (non-Greek-speaking); Linear A syllabary
c. 2000 First Greek-speaking (IE) tribes enter Greece (the Achaeans?)
1700-1100 Late Bronze Age Mycenean civilization (Greek-speaking) on mainland; about 1450 takes over Crete. Linear B syllabary. Homer sometimes hearkens back to this world
1250 Trojan war (traditional)
1200-1100 Second group of tribes (Dorians) enters Greece and destroys Mycenean civilization; many Achaeans emigrate to Asia Minor & become known as Ionian Greeks; others resist and stay on at Athens. Disappearance of Linear B.
III 1100-750 Iron (or Dark) Age: the Age of Homer (the world of the Iliad and Odyssey); Havelock’s total non-literacy
1100-875 Proto-geometric period in pottery
875-750 Geometric period in pottery; monarchies overthrown by oligarchies; rise of the polis; beginnings of Athenian cultural prominence; « eighth century renaissance »
776 First Olympic games
IV 750-480 Archaic period: Havelock’s craft literacy; Cole’s pre-rhetoric
750 adaptation of Phoenician alphabet; revival of writing in Greece
750-500 era of Greek colonization in West and East; continued development of polis culture; rapid increase in commercial & agricultural activity; hoplite revolution; rise of panhellenic religious festivals and games; emergence of rational and scientific thought
725-675 writing down of the Iliad
720-620 Orientalizing period in pottery
620-480 Archaic period proper; oligarchies overthown by tyrants; rise of democracy; standardization and diffusion of Homeric epics; esp. at Athens
V 480-323 Classical period
480-400 Fifth Century: Havelock’s semi-literacy; Cole’s proto-rhetoric
534-400 Drama at Athens: Aeschylus 525-456; Sophocles 496-406; Euripides 485-406.
492-479 Persian Wars: defeat of Darius at Marathon 490 and Xerxes at Salamis 480 & Plataea 479
494-434 Empedocles of Sicily (teacher of Tisias & Gorgias?)
476 Corax and Tisias (teacher of Gorgias?) in Sicily (democracy in Syracuse)
462 Legislation of Ephialtes (pay for jurors)
461-429 Pericles strategos in Athens
451 restriction of citizenship in Athens
450-400 The First or Great Sophists at Athens: Protagoras of Abdera (485-410); Gorgias of Leontini (485-380) (teacher of Isocrates); Antiphon (480-411); etc.
469-399 Socrates
431-404 Peloponnesian War; oligarchic interlude in Athens
399-323 Fourth Century: Havelock’s general literacy; Cole’s rhetoric
392 Isocrates (436-338) opens his school
380 Plato (420-348) opens Academy
367 Aristotle (384-322) comes from Stagira to study at Academy; later opens Lyceum
350 Demosthenes (384-322); Philip of Macedon most powerful ruler in greater Greece
323 death of Alexander the Great
VI 323-30 Hellenistic period; school rhetoric; Kennedy’s letteraturizzazione
323-279 struggle of the diadochoi: Alexander’s Macedonian generals (Antipater; Perdiccas; Antigonus; Ptolemy; Seleucus; etc.) and their descendants (Cassander; Demetrius; Ptolemy II; Antiochus; etc.) jockey for power. Three dynasties emerge:
a. the Ptolemies: Egypt & South Syria (capital Alexandria)
b. the Seleucids: Asia Minor & Persia (capital Antioch)
c. the Antigonids: Macedonia & Greece (capital Athens)
241 a fourth power is born when Attalus names himself ruler of part of the Seleucid kingdom with Pergamum as capital (the Attalid dynasty)
c. 250 confederacies and leagues spring up in Greece; giving groups of cities some autonomy
passim spread of Greek culture; Greek ruling class; Greek language; rise of cosmopolitan cities (e.g. Alexandria; Antioch; Pergamum; Athens); rhetoric becomes chief tool of education esp. in cities of Greek Asia (e.g. Rhodes)
215 Rome involved in affairs of Macedonia
146 Greece a Roman province
30 conquest of Egypt by Rome
VII 753-30 Rome: rise of the republic
753 legendary founding of Rome by Romulus (fr. Aeneas)
the 7 kings – some Etruscan – elected by people & advised by senate of elders
three tribes based on kinship & 30 wards; later tribes based on residence + wealth (5 classes: richest control assembly/senate)
600 literacy – based on Gk. alphabet
510-270 early republic: aristocratic; 2 consuls elected annually; dictator possible; senate governs
conflict of the orders: plebians seek security; land; debt relief; equality from patricians; they est. their own magistrates (tribunes) & assembly; threaten secession
451 the Twelve Tables; intermarriage (445); consulship = 1 + 1 with a veto for each (366)
287 debt relief; full sovereignty of concilium plebis (287)
outcome of the conflict of the orders is a mixed patrician/plebian oligarchy of about 50 noble families who monopolize magistracies & thus senate which is composed of all ex-magistrates
also at this time: conquest of Italian peninsula
390 Rome almost destroyed by Gauls
280 war with Greek cities in S. Italy
features of republic: right to take part given to all adult male citizens but wealthy had more rights: voting first; magistrates control right to address assembly; assemblies not deliberative; only the aristocratic senate debated; the cursus honorum of magistracies: quaestor; aedile; praetor; consul; censor; oratory in law courts and senate (educated; trained; wealthy; intelligent)
270-120 middle republic
in Italy: peace; common culture; language; and law
outside Italy: expansion – Sicily; Punic War with Carthage; Cisalpine Gaul; Illyricum; Macedonia; Greece; Spain; Asia; Gaul; etc.
immense wealth coming in; rise of non-senatorial equestrian class
Greek influence on art; architecture; literature; oratory; etc.
120-30 late republic
provincial misconduct; army uprisings; senate increasingly oligarchic
struggles between the optimates & populares; 1st civil war
populist Gracchi; conservative reaction; populist Marius; time of great oratory
88 Sulla vs. Marius; 2nd civil war
later Pompey & Cicero (senatorial party) vs. Caesar & Crassus (popular)
60 first triumvirate: Caesar; Pompey; Crassus
rivalry b/w republican Pompey & dictator Caesar; increasing anarchy
45 by 45 Pompey dead; Caesar killed in 44. Cicero dead in 43 (Ciceronian Age of literature 70-30: Cicero; Caesar; Lucretius; Catullus; Sallust; and Varro)
3rd civil war: first Antony vs. Octavian (both Caesarian); then the two of them vs. Brutus & Cassius (republican)
second triumvirate: Octavian; Antony; & Lepidus
30 death of Antony 30; Octavian becomes emperor (Augustus)
VIII 30 BCE -410 CE Rome: the Empire
30 BCE -14 CE Augustan Age (literature: Vergil; Horace; Ovid; Livy)
14 –68 CE the Julio-Claudian emperors: Tiberius; Caligula; Claudius; Nero (literature: Lucan; Seneca the Younger; Petronius)
69 CE « year of the four emperors »: Galba; Otho; Vitellius; Vespasian
70-96 CE the Flavian emperors: Vespasian; Titus; and Domitian (literature: Elder Pliny; Martial; Quintilian)
98-117 CE Trajan peak of the empire (literature: Tacitus; Juvenal; the Younger Pliny)
117-138 CE Hadrian
138-192 CE the Antonines (Marcus Aurelius: 161-180)
193-235 CE the Severi
235-305 CE the Soldier Emperors (Diocletian: 285-305)
313 CE Constantine’s Edict of Milan grants religious freedom to Christians
330 CE Constantine moves capital to Byzantium (Constantinople)
395 CE empired divided between East and West
410 CE Rome sacked by Gauls
527-565 CE reign of Justinian – last eastern emperor to use Latin; beginning of Byzantine age (to 1453)

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