Roman History


8th century BCE
• 752 BC: Latins move into Italy
• 753 BC: traditional date for the founding of Rome by Romulus, Romulus killed Remus in a fight: Rome as a kingdom
• 753/715 BC: reign of Romulus
• 715/673 BC: reign of Numa Pompilius: creation of the Roman senate and the priestly officials
7th century BCE
• 673/642 BC : reign of Tullus Hostilius
• 642/617 BC : reign of Ancus Marcius
• 616/579 BC : reign of Lucius Tarquinius Priscus
6th century BCE
• 578/534 BC : reign of Servius Tullius: defined the sacred boundary of Rome - the pomerium
o first census
• 534/509 BC: reign of Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the last Roman king
o builds temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus
• 509 BC
ROMAN REPUBLIC

o expulsion of Tarquinius Superbus
o first consuls are Lucius Junius Brutus and Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus
o First Plebeian (commoner) senators appointed (conscripti) to fill vacancies created by the overthrow of the monarchy
o possible siege of Rome : Roman-Etruscan Wars
• 508 BC: office of pontifex maximus (high priest) created when these powers are stripped from the consuls; possible second siege of Rome by Etruscans : Roman-Etruscan Wars
• 504 BC: Consul Publius Valerius Publicola grants due process rights to all Roman citizens, criminalizes all future attempts to plot to seize a tyranny
• 501 BC: Offices of Roman Dictator and Master of the Horse created
5th century BCE
• 496 BC: Rome defeats the Etruscan-led Latin League at the battle of Lake Regillus
• 494 BC: Following the first Secession of the Plebs, two tribunes of the plebs and two plebeian aediles are elected for the first time
• 471 BC: Plebeians allowed to organize by tribe, reorganization of Plebeian Council from Curia to Tribe.
• 459 BC: The college of the tribune of the Plebs is raised from two to ten tribunes
• 449 BC: Plebeian Council resolutions ("plebiscites") given full force of law over Plebeians and Patricians, but still subject to Senate veto
o The Decemviri publish the Twelve Tables of Roman law
• 447 BC: Tribal Assembly created: two quaestors elected for the first time
• 445 BC: Marriage between patricians (aristocrats) and plebeians (commoners) allowed
• 443 BC
o The office of consul is replaced by an assembly of military tribunes with consular powers, the Tribuni militum consulari potestate for this year.
o Office of Censor created. Duties of Censor were Consular duties until this point, where consuls are replaced.
• 421 BC: Number of quaestors raised from 2 to 4; office opened to plebeians
• 408 BC: Consul replaced with Tribuni militum consulari potestate .
4th century BCE
• 396 BC
o Rome captures and sacks the Etruscan city of Veii after a 10-year siege, the final assault was conducted by Marcus Furius Camillus
o Roman soldiers earn their first salary
• 394 BC: Office of consul replaces Tribuni militum consulari potestate.
• 391 BC: Office of Tribuni militum consulari potestate replaces office of consul.
• 390 BC: Gauls defeat Roman army : battle of the Allia
o sack of Rome by the Gauls
• 375/371 BC: Anarchy years: no magistrates elected
• 367 BC: Office of consul replaces Tribuni militum consulari potestate for last time.
• 366 BC: Patricians agree to allow Plebeian Consuls to be elected (the first being Lucius Sextius Sextinus). By this, Plebeians acquire de facto right to be elected Censor or appointed Dictator. As a concession, the Plebeians allow the Patricians to create the offices of Praetor and Curule Aedile, and allow only Patricians to run for these offices.
• 351 BC: Elected : first non-patrician Dictator
• 351 BC: Elected : first non-patrician censor
• 343 BC: Rome captures Campania and Capua : First Samnite War
• 342 BC
o Battle of Mount Gaurus.
o Lex Genucia passed:
 no man can hold the same office before 10 years have elapsed from the first election
o Second law passed, disallowing any man from holding two offices at once.
• 341 BC: Rome withdraws from the conflict with the Samnites. End of First Samnite War.
• 340 BC: Latin League pushes for independence : Latin War
• 339 BC: Law passed (the lex Publilia) which requires the election of one Plebeian censor for each five-year term.
• 338 BC: Latin League dissolved and Rome controls territory : Latin War Ends.
• 337 BC: Elected the first non-patrician Praetor (Q. Publilius Philo).
• 326 BC: Second Samnite War begins
o Samnites attack Campagnia
o 321 BC: Battle of the Caudine Forks.
o 316 BC: Battle of Lautulae.
o 311 BC: Etruscans join the Samnites against Rome.
o 310 BC: Battle of Lake Vadimo between Rome and the Etruscans.
o 308 BC: Second Samnite war escalates as Umbrians, Picentini, and Marsians join against Rome.
o 306 BC: The Hernici revolt against Rome (Livy ix. 42).
o 305 BC: Samnite forces broken : Battle of Bovianum
o 304 BC
o Aequi defeated.
o Rome conquers Central and Southern Italy
o Second Samnite War ends
• 300 BC: Lex Ogulnia passed: priesthoods opened to plebeians
3rd century BCE
• 298 BC: Third Samnite War begins
• 298 BC: Rome captures Samnite cities Taurasia, Bovianum Vetus and Aufidena.
• 297 BC: Consul Fabius Maximus Rullianus defeats the Samnites near Tifernum (Liv. 10.14).
• 295 BC: Battle of Sentinum.
• 294 BC: Samnite victory at Luceria.
• 293 BC: Battle of Aquilonia.
• 291 BC: The Romans storm the Samnite city of Venusia.
• 290 BC: Rome dominates Italian Peninsula : Third Samnite War ends.
• 287 BC
o Last Plebeian Secession
o Lex Hortensia ends Senate veto power over Plebeian Council
o Conflict of the Orders ends.
• 283 BC: Rome defeats the Etruscans and the Boii (a Gallic tribe) in the Battle of Lake Vadimo
• 281 BC: Mounting tensions between Rome and Tarentum. Tarentum appeals to Pyrrhus of Epirus for aid.
• 280 BC
o Pyrrhic War begins
 Pyrrhus lands army in Italy
 280 BC: Battle of Heraclea
 279 BC: Battle of Asculum
 275 BC: Battle of Beneventum
 272 BC
 Pyrrhus withdraws to Epirus
 Tarentum surrenders to Rome
o Pyrrhic War Ends
• 267 BC: Number of quaestors raised from 4 to 6
• 264/241 BC: Conquest of Sicily, First Punic War against Carthage
• 242 BC: Office of Praetor peregrinus created
• 241 BC: Sicily becomes the first Roman province : First Punic War Ends
• 238 BC: Sardinia and Corsica become Roman Provinces in the "Truceless War" with Carthage
• 229 BC: Adriatic Control : First Illyrian War begins.
• 227 BC
o Queen Teuta surrenders : First Illyrian War ends
o Number of quaestors raised from 6 to 8
o number of praetors raised from 2 to 4
• 224 BC: Rome defeats Gaul invasion : Battle of Telamon
• 222 BC: Rome defeats Gauls : Cisalpine Gaul
• 220 BC: Adriatic Control : Second Illyrian War begins.
• 219 BC: Demetrius defeated : Second Illyrian War ends.
• 218/201 BC: Conquest Western Mediterranean : Second Punic War against Carthage. Rome is defeated at the Battle of the River Trebia.
• 216 BC: Hannibal defeats Roman forces : Battle of Cannae
• 214/205 BC: Stalemate : First Macedonian War
• 213/211 BC: Rome captures Syracuse : Siege of Syracuse
• 204/202 BC: Scipio Africanus Major invades Africa, Hannibal recalled and defeated : Battle of Zama
• 202/196 BC: Philip V of Macedon defeated : Second Macedonian War
2nd century BCE
• 197 BC:
o Hispania Ulterior and Hispania Tarraconensis become Roman provinces
o Number of quaestors raised from 8 to 12
o number of praetors raised from 4 to 6
• 192/189 BC: Mediterranean Dominance : Roman–Syrian War
• 180 BC : Lex Villia annalis:
o minimum ages for the cursus honorum offices
o established an interval of two years between offices
• 172/167 BC: Macedon divided into 4 client republics : Third Macedonian War
• 154/138 BC: Roman conquest south of Lusitania : Lusitanian War
• 149/146 BC: Iberian Conquest : Third Punic War
• 149/148 BC: Macedon brought under Roman rule : Fourth Macedonian War
• 149 BC: Permanent extortion court established : Lex Calpurnia
• 146 BC: Scipio Aemilianus Africanus :
o destroys Punic and Achean capitols : Carthage and Corinth
o annexation : Macedonia and Africa : provinces
• 133 BC: Tribune Tiberius Gracchus secures agrarian reform and is murdered
• 121 BC:
o Rome acquires Transalpine Gaul province (south of modern France)
o Safe land route to Hispania
o Senatus consultum de re publica defenda approved to pacify tribune Gaius Gracchus
• 112 BC: Jughurta of Numidia attacks in Numidia : Jugurthine War Starts
• 107 BC:
o Gaius Marius elected consul based on election promise to end the war in one year.
o Marian reforms of the Roman Legions put into effect.
• 106 BC
o Gaius Marius re-elected consul in absentia, to continue the Jugurthine War
• 105 BC
o Jughurta captured : Jugurthine War ends
o Cimbri tribes inflict a major defeat on the Roman army : Battle of Arausio
• 104/102 BC: Gaius Marius elected consul for three years in a row
• 102 BC: Gaius Marius Consular armies defeat Teutons : Battle of Aquae Sextiae
• 101 BC: Proconsul Marius and Consul Quintus Lutatius Catulus lead defeat of Cimbri : Battle of Vercellae
• 100 BC
o Gaius Marius re-elected consul for 6th term
o Lucius Appuleius Saturninus political scandal forces Gaius Marius to retire from public life.
1st century BCE
• 91/88 BC– Social War, the last rebellion of the Italian nations against Rome
• 88 BC– Sulla crosses the pomerium with his legions and invades Rome
• 88/85 BC– First Mithridatic War against Mithridates VI of Pontus
• 83/82 BC– First Roman civil war, between Sulla and the popular faction; Sulla wins and becomes dictator; censor office abolished (to be recreated in 70 BC)
• 83/82 BC– Second Mithridatic War; Sulla returns to Rome and is nominated dictator
• 82/72 BC– Sertorius, the last Marian general continues the civil war in Hispania
• 74/66 BC– Third Mithridatic War, eventually won by Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, aka Pompey
• 73/71 BC- Servile War led by Spartacus
• 67 BC– Pompey clears the Mediterranean of pirates
• 63 BC
o Fall of Jerusalem
o consulship of Cicero; Catiline conspiracies
• 60/54 BC– An informal coalition is formed by Gāius Jūlius Caesar, Pompey and Marcus Licinius Crassus to govern the Roman republic. This coalition is often referred to as the First triumvirate, even though it did not have the official sanction of law required for a legal triumvirate.
• 58/50 BC– Caesar fights the Gallic Wars, acquiring the province of Gallia Comata
• 54/53 BC– First campaign against the Parthian Empire; Crassus utterly defeated and killed
• 49 BC– Caesar crosses the Rubicon (alea iacta est) and begins the Second Roman civil war against the Optimates, the conservative faction of the Senate, led by Pompey
• 48/45 BC– Caesar pursues and defeats the Optimates in Greece and Africa
• 44 BC– Caesar is assassinated on the Ides of March
• 44/42 BC– Third Roman civil war, between the assassins of Caesar (led by Cassius and Brutus) and Caesar's heirs, Octavian and Mark Antony
• 43 BC– Octavian, Antony and Lepidus form the second triumvirate
• 36 BC– Antony's Parthian campaign ends in failure
• 32 BC– End of peaceful relations between Octavian and Antony
• 31 BC– In the battle of Actium, Octavian decisively defeats Antony and Cleopatra
• 30 BC– Antony and Cleopatra commit suicide; Egypt becomes a Roman province
ROMAN EMPIRE
• 27 BC– End of the Republic, beginning of the Roman Empire: Octavian is now called Augustus Caesar and becomes the sole ruler of Rome
• 28/24 BC– Augustus' campaigns against the Cantabrians in Hispania Tarraconensis (see Cantabrian Wars)
• 16/15 BC– Augustus' campaigns against the Alpine tribes
• 12/7 BC– Tiberius and Drusus conquer Pannonia and campaign against the Germanic tribes
1st century CE
• 5– Tiberius conquers Middle East
• 6– Judaea becomes a Roman province
• 6/9– Rebellions in Pannonia and Dalmatia suppressed by Germanicus
• 9– Three Roman legions are ambushed and massacred by the Germans in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest
• 11– Germania Inferior and the Rhine secured by Germanicus
• 14– Death of Augustus, Tiberius becomes emperor
• 14/15– Germanicus campaigns against the Germanic tribes
• 25– Caesar Germanicus adopts his nephew Castor as his heir
• 26– Tiberius retires to Capri, governing Rome by proxy
• 28– The tribe of the Frisii rebel because of taxes
• 31- The fall of Sejanus
• 37– Tiberius dies; Caligula becomes emperor
• 41– Caligula assassinated, Claudius becomes emperor
• 43– Claudius orders the Roman invasion of Britain
• 54– Claudius is allegedly poisoned by his wife Agrippina. Her son Nero becomes emperor
• 58/63– Nero orders war then peace with Parthia. Armenia is secured.
• 60/61– Boudica, queen of the Iceni, leads a rebellion in Britain.
• 64– Great Fire of Rome
• 66/74– First Jewish–Roman War
• 68– military coup leads to Nero's suicide– end of the Julio-Claudian dynasty; succeeded by Galba, Zealot Temple Siege in Jerusalem
• 69– Year of the Four Emperors: after the assassination of Galba, Otho and Vitellius briefly become emperors before Vespasian's accession to power in the end of the year; Flavian dynasty begins
• 69/70– Civilis leads the Batavian rebellion in Germania Inferior; defeated by Quintus Petillius Cerialis
• 71/84– Pacification of Britain, conquest of modern Wales and Scotland
• 79
o Titus becomes emperor
o August 24, An eruption of Vesuvius destroys much of Pompeii and Herculaneum
• 80–Rome partially destroyed by fire
March– Inauguration of the '"Colosseum'"
• 81– Titus dies suddenly; his brother Domitian becomes emperor
• 85– King Decebalus of Dacia rebels and invades Moesia
• 89– Rebellions in Germania Inferior and Pannonia force peace with Decebalus of Dacia
• 96– Domitian assassinated– end of Flavian dynasty; succeeded by Nerva, the first of the Five good emperors
• 98– Trajan becomes emperor
2nd century CE
• 101/102– First Dacian War
• 105/106– Second Dacian War; king Decebalus commits suicide and Dacia becomes a province
• 106– Building of Trajan's Forum and construction of Trajan's column
• 113/117– Trajan's successful campaigns against the Parthian Empire
• 115/117– Jewish rebellion that started in Egypt (Kitos War)
• 117– Hadrian becomes emperor
• 121/125– Hadrian travels through the Northern Empire
• 122– construction of Hadrian's Wall begins
• 128/132– Hadrian travels through Africa and the Eastern Empire
• 131/135 - Jewish Bar Kokhba revolt
• 138– Antoninus Pius becomes emperor
• 140/143– After a rebellion Antoninus conquers Scotland; construction of Antonine Wall begins
• 150/163– rebellions in Scotland, Antonine Wall is abandoned and reoccupied several times
• 161– Marcus Aurelius becomes emperor
• 162/166– Lucius Verus successful campaigns against the Parthian Empire
• 167– The tribe of the Marcomanni crosses the Danube and invades Dacia
• 168/175– Marcus Aurelius' campaigns against the Marcomanni
• 180– Death of Marcus Aurelius, the last of the Five good emperors; Commodus becomes emperor
• 184– Antonine Wall abandoned for the last time
• 193– Commodus is murdered. After the short reigns of Pertinax and Didius Julianus, Septimius Severus becomes emperor. There is opposition from first Pescennius Niger and then Clodius Albinus
• 197– Septimius Severus secures the empire after the battle of Lugdunum
• 198– Septimius Severus invades Parthia
3rd century CE
• 208/211– Severus campaigns against the Caledonians
• 211– Severus dies. His sons Caracalla and Geta become joint emperors. Caracalla has Geta murdered shortly thereafter.
• 217– Caracalla assassinated; Macrinus becomes emperor
• 218– Macrinus deposed and executed, Elagabalus is installed on the throne
• 222– Elagabalus is murdered. Alexander Severus becomes emperor
• 231-33– War against Persia
• 235– Alexander killed in a soldier mutiny. Maximinus Thrax becomes emperor.
• 238– Year of the Six Emperors. The Senate supports a revolt of Gordian I and Gordian II in Africa. These two are defeated by an ally of Thrax, and the Senate appoints Balbinus and Pupienus as co-emperors. They are soon assassinated, and Thrax is killed in a mutiny. The young Gordian III becomes emperor.
• 241– Victory over the Persians at Resaina.
• 244– Romans defeated at Misiche. Philip the Arab becomes emperor.
• 249– Decius usurps the throne with support from the Danubian legions. He names his son Herennius co-emperor.
• 251– Decius and Herennius defeated and slain by Cniva, king of the Goths. Another son of Decius, Hostilian, is briefly emperor, but dies in a plague outbreak. Gallus and his son Volusianus become emperors.
• 252– King Shapur I of Persia defeats the Romans at Barbalissos.
• 253– Aemilianus becomes emperor after leading a revolt and Gallus and Volusianus are slain by their own troops. Valerian and his son Gallienus become emperors after Aemilianus is killed by his own soldiers. Shapur captures Antioch.
• 257– Valerian retakes Antioch. The Franks invade Gaul and Hispania. The Alemanni invades Italy but are defeated at Milan.
• 258– Goths invade Asia Minor
• 260– Valerian is taken captive by the Persians. Retreating Persian army attacked by Odaenathus of Palmyra. Postumus proclaimed emperor in Gaul. He is also supported in Hispania and Britain.
• 267– Odaenathus assassinated. His widow Zenobia takes control of Palmyra
• 268– Gallienus defeats Gothic invasion, but is later assassinated. Claudius II becomes emperor.
• 269– Postumus is killed. Victorinus proclaimed emperor in Gaul and Britain. The Palmyrenes takes Egypt and Syria. Claudius defeats the Goths at Naissus in Moesia.
• 270– Claudius dies of plague. After a brief rule by Claudius' brother Quintillus, Aurelian becomes emperor.
• 271– Aurelian campaigns against the Vandals, Juthungi and the Sarmatians. Victorinus is murdered and his soldiers proclaim Tetricus I emperor
• 272– Aurelian defeats Zenobia at Antioch and Emesa and takes Palmyra. Zenobia is captured. The province of Dacia is abandoned.
• 273– Palmyra revolts. The city is destroyed by Aurelian.
• 274– Aurelian defeats the army of Tericus at the Catalaunian fields.
• 275– Aurelian is murdered. Tacitus becomes emperor.
• 276– Tacitus dies. After the brief reign and assassination of Florianus, Probus becomes emperor.
• 277– The Burgundians, Longiones, Alemanni and Franks defeated.
• 279– Probus campaigns against the Vandals in Illyricum.
• 282– Carus proclaimed emperor. Probus killed by his own troops.
• 283– Carus dies during an invasion of Persia. His sons Carinus and Numerian become emperors.
• 284– Numerian dies. Diocletian proclaimed emperor and marches against Carinus.
• 285– Carinus dies in battle against Diocletian. Diocletian splits the empire into two halves and appoints Maximian emperor of the Western portion while Diocletian rules the East.
• 286– Carausius revolts in Britain.
• 293– Diocletian appoints Constantius I and Galerius as caesars. Carausius murdered by Allectus who proclaims himself emperor.
• 296– Allectus defeated and slain.
• 299– Galerius defeats the Sarmatians and the Carpi
4th century CE
• 301– Diocletian issues the Edict on Maximum Prices.
• 303– Diocletian orders the persecution of Christians.
• 305– Diocletian and Maximian abdicate. Constantius and Galerius becomes Augusti. Maximinus is appointed Caesar in the east and Severus in the west.
• 306– Constantius dies at York. His son Constantine I proclaimed emperor. Maxentius, son of Maximian, proclaims himself emperor in Rome.
• 307– Maxentius reinvests his father Maximian as emperor. Severus is put to death. Galerius lays siege to Rome.
• 308– Conference of Carnuntum. Diocletian convinces Maximian to step down. Licinius appointed Caesar in the East.
• 310– Maximian again proclaims himself emperor, but is captured by Constantine. He commits suicide.
• 311– Galerius dies at Sardica. Maximinus and Licinius split his realm between them.
• 312– Constantine defeats and kills Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge. Licinius marries Constantine's sister Constantia. Constantine converts to Christianity.
• 313– Licinus defeats Maximinus twice. Maximinus dies at Tarsus.
• Constantine issues Edict of Milan, ending persecution of Christians and establishing religious toleration throughout the Empire.
• 314– Constantine defeats Licinius at Cibalae
• 317– Constantine defeats Licinius on the Campus Ardiensis. Licinius forced to cede all his European provinces except Thrace.
• 318– Excommunication of Arius.
• 324– Constantine defeats Licinius at the Hebrus River and at Chrysopolis. Licinius abdicates.
• 325– The Ecumenical Council of Nicaea.
• 326– Constantine orders the death of his oldest son, Crispus.
• 330– Constantine makes Constantinople the capital.
• 332– Constantine campaigns against the Goths.
• 334– Constantine campaigns against the Sarmatians.
• 337– Constantine dies at Nicomedia. His three sons, Constantine II, Constantius II and Constans become emperors.
o On the years 337–361, see also: Itineraries of the Roman emperors, 337–361
• 338– Constantine II defeats the Alemanni. War with Persia.
• 340– Constantine II invades Italy. He is ambushed and slain by Constans at Aquileia.
• 341– Constans and Constantius II issue a ban against pagan sacrifice.
• 347– The Donatists revolt in Africa.
• 348– Constantius defeats the Persians at the Siege of Singara.
• 350– Magnentius usurps the throne in the west. Constans is captured and killed. Nepotianus attacks Rome with a band of gladiators
• 351– Constantius appoints his cousin Constantius Gallus as Caesar. Magnentius is defeated at Mursa.
• 353– Constantius defeats Magnentius at Mons Seleuci. Magnentius commits suicide.
• 354– Constantius Gallus is put to death.
• 355– Julian is appointed Caesar in Gaul.
• 357– Julian defeats the Franks at Strasbourg.
• 360– With a Persian war imminent, Constantius orders Julian to send several legions east. The troops mutiny and proclaim Julian Augustus.
• 361– Constantius dies of illness, naming Julian his successor. Julian openly declares himself a pagan, but his attempt at rejuvenating paganism in the empire fails.
• 363– Julian invades Persia, but forced to retreat, he is mortally wounded during a skirmish and dies. Jovian is proclaimed emperor.
• 364– Jovien dies of accidental asphyxiation. Valentinian I becomes emperor and splits the empire with his brother Valens.
• 375– Valentinian dies and is succeeded by Gratian as Western emperor.
• 378– Valens is defeated and killed by the Goths at the Battle of Adrianople. Theodosius I succeeds him as Eastern emperor.
• 380- Edict of Thessalonica issued by Theodosius I makes Christianity the State church of the Roman Empire
• 384– Gratian is murdered, Valentinian II becomes emperor.
• 392– Valentinian II dies of apparent suicide, though murder by Arbogast is more likely. Arbogast installs the puppet Eugenius on the Western throne, but Theodosius refuses to recognize the usurper.
• 394– Eugenius and Arbogast are deposed and killed by Theodosius, who briefly reunites the empire for the last time.
• 395– Theodosius I dies, leaving the Western empire to his son Honorius and the Eastern empire to his son Arcadius.