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Great Events from History: The Ancient World, Prehistory-476 c.e.

Table of Contents

San Peoples Create Earliest African Art

Bering Strait Migrations

BaTwa Peoples Thrive in Central Africa

Early Australians Create the Bradshaw Rock Paintings

Early Europeans Create Lascaux Cave Paintings

Humans Enter the South American Continent

Paleo-Indian Culture Flourishes in North America

Jōmon Culture Thrives in Japan

Saharan Peoples Create Rock Art

Clovis Culture Rises in New Mexico

Settlement Established at Abu Hureyra in Syria

Cochise Culture Thrives in American Southwest

Nilo-Saharan Peoples Produce Food and Pottery

Folsom People Flourish in New Mexico

Permanent Settlement of the Andean Altiplano Begins

Plano Culture Flourishes in Great Plains Area

Archaic Indians Adapt to Warmer Climates

Native Cultures Flourish on the North Pacific Coast

Birth of Shintō

East Asian Grain Cultivation Begins

Kennewick Man Lives in North America

Khoisan Peoples Disperse Throughout Southern Africa

Çatalhüyük Flourishes as Center of Anatolian Culture

Kitoi People Live Near Lake Baikal in Siberia

Nilo-Saharan Farmers Spread Cultivation and Herding

Ubaid Culture Thrives in Mesopotamia

Niger-Congo Religion Takes Hold Across West Africa

Yangshao and Longshan Cultures Flourish in China

Omotics Advance Farming Practices in Horn of Africa

Chinchorro Inhabit the Peruvian and Chilean Coasts

Halafian Culture Flourishes in Northern Mesopotamia

Niger-Congo Peoples Spread Agriculture in Africa

Aleutian Coastal Hunters Flourish

Kelteminar Culture Flourishes in Central Asia

Red Paint Culture Flourishes in Eastern North America

Horse Is Domesticated

Sumerian Civilization Begins in Mesopotamia

Old Copper Complex Flourishes in North America

Ban Chiang Culture Flourishes in Thailand

Cities and Civic Institutions Are Invented in Mesopotamia

Indus Valley Civilization Begins in South Asia

Valdivia Culture Forms Villages in Coastal Ecuador

Sumerians Invent Writing

Building of Stonehenge

Unification of Lower and Upper Egypt

Australian Aborigines Create Wandjina Cave Paintings

Canaanites Inhabit the Levant

Elamite Empire Rises in Near East

Reign of China’s Legendary First Ruler, Fu Xi

Early Dynastic Period Flourishes in Southern Mesopotamia

Gash Civilization Thrives in Africa

Old Kingdom Period Begins in Egypt

Legendary Founding of China by Huangdi

Leizu Discovers Silk Making

Building of the Great Pyramid

Construction of Monumental Architecture at Caral in Peru

Wawat Chiefdom Flourishes in Lower Nubia

Southeast Asians Migrate into the South Pacific

Sumerian Uruk-Agina Makes Social and Political Reforms

Sargon of Akkad Establishes the Akkadian Dynasty

Old Choso#x0306;n State Founded in Korea

Enheduanna Becomes First Named Author

First Great Expansion of Berber Peoples Across North Africa

Beaker People Live in Western Europe

Kerma Kingdom Develops and Dominates Lower Nubia

First Intermediate Period Begins in Egypt

Ur-Nammu Establishes a Code of Law

Xia Dynasty Marks Start of Historical China

Mogollon Culture Rises in American Southwest

Middle Kingdom Period Begins in Egypt

Composition of the Gilgamesh Epic

Mon-Khmer Migrate into Southeast Asia

Mongols Inhabit Steppes North of China

Kerma Kingdom Rules Nubia

Early Villages Form in Oaxaca

Construction of El Paraíso in Peru

Poverty Point Culture Builds Earthworks

Promulgation of Hammurabi’s Code

Andronovo Culture Rises in Central Asia

Hyksos Create Second Intermediate Period

Hattusilis I Establishes the Old Hittite Kingdom

Shang Dynasty Develops Writing and Bronzework

Flowering of Minoan Civilization

Mitanni Kingdom Flourishes in Upper Mesopotamia

City of Mycenae Flourishes

New Kingdom Period Begins in Egypt

Mixtec Civilization Develops in Western Oaxaca

Dissemination of the Book of the Dead

Compilation of the Vedas

Aryans Appear in India

Olmec Civilization Rises in Southern Mexico

Lapita Culture Colonizes the South Pacific

International Age of Major Kingdoms Begins in the Near East

Urnfield Culture Flourishes in Northwestern Europe

Aqhat Epic Is Composed in Ugarit

Failure of Akhenaton’s Cultural Revival

Israelite Exodus from Egypt

Battle of Kadesh

Fall of Troy Marks End of Trojan War

Transmission of the European Alphabet

Karasuk Culture Flourishes on Eurasian Steppes

Sea Peoples Contribute to Mediterranean Upheaval

Berbers Expand Across North Africa

Arameans Emerge in Syria and Mesopotamia

Hallstatt Culture Dominates Northern Europe

Third Intermediate Period Begins in Egypt

Western Zhou Dynasty Begins in China

Queen of Sheba Legends Arise

Establishment of the United Kingdom of Israel

Greek Alphabet Is Developed

Sub-Saharan Ironworking Begins

Ionian Confederacy Forms

Mashariki Bantu Establish Chifumbaze Ironworking Culture

Cimmerian Culture Rises in Russia

Nok Artists Develop Terra-cotta Sculpture

Compilation of the Upaniṣads

Adena Mound Builders Live in North America

Urban Commerce Develops in the Sudan Belt

Woodland Culture Flourishes in Northern America

Building of the Temple of Jerusalem

Composition of the Book of Genesis

Establishment of the Kingdom of Israel

Chavín de Huántar Is Peru’s Urban Center

Second Assyrian Empire Displays Military Prowess

Kushite King Piye Conquers Upper Egypt

Scythians Drive the Cimmerians from Central Asia

Phrygian Kingdom Rises

Phoenicians from Tyre Found Carthage

Ironworking Spreads into Sub-Saharan Africa

Napata Kingdom Flourishes in Kush

Olympic Games Are First Recorded

Delphic Oracle Provides Guidance for City-States

Eastern Zhou Dynasty Begins in China

Homer Composes the Iliad

Marib Dam Is Built in Yemen

Tiglath-pileser III Rules Assyria

Spartan Conquest of Messenia

Greeks Colonize the Mediterranean and Black Sea Regions

Founding of Syracuse

Shabaka Reunites the Nile Valley

Founding and Flourishing of the Achaemenian Dynasty

Sennacherib Invades Syro-Palestine

Hesiod Composes Theogony and Works and Days

Dorset Culture Extends into Labrador, Newfoundland, and Greenland

Phalanx Is Developed as a Military Unit

Paracas Culture Develops a Sophisticated Textile Tradition

Mound Builders Rise in Ohio Valley

Saite Dynasty Begins in Egypt

Lydia Rises to Power Under the Mermnad Family

Greek City-States Use Coins as Means of Exchange

Rise of Etruscan Civilization in Rome

Draco’s Code Is Instituted

Nebuchadnezzar Creates the First Neo-Babylonian State

Celebration of the Eleusinian Mysteries

Birth of Buddhism

Meroitic Empire Rules from Southern Egypt to the Blue Nile

Suśruta, Indian Physician, Writes Medical Compendium

Appearance of Zoroastrian Ditheism

Greek Philosophers Formulate Theories of the Cosmos

Legislation of Solon

Birth of Judaism

Greek Poet Sappho Dies

Construction of Trireme Changes Naval Warfare

Vālmīki Composes the Rāmāyaṇa

Cyrus the Great Founds the Persian Empire

Fall of Babylon

Jews Return from the Babylonian Captivity

Founding of the Pythagorean Brotherhood

Death of Vardhamāna, Founder of Jainism

Sibylline Books Are Compiled

Darius the Great Conquers the Indus Valley

Scylax of Caryanda Voyages the Indian Ocean

Rape of Lucretia

Roman Republic Replaces Monarchy

Reforms of Cleisthenes

Composition of the Spring and Autumn Annals

Creation of the Jātakas

Composition of The Art of War

Composition of The Great Learning

Acupuncture Develops in China

Pāṇini Composes Sanskrit Work of Grammar

Hecataeus of Miletus Writes the First Geography Book

Creation of the Wujing

Greek Physicians Begin Scientific Practice of Medicine

Libyan Garamantes Flourish as Farmers and Traders

Socially Stratified Kingdoms Arise Around the Middle Niger River

Mithraism Emerges as Significant Religion

Zapotecs Build Monte Albán

Ionian Revolt

Institution of the Plebeian Tribunate

Battle of Marathon

Naval Law of Themistocles Is Instituted

Persian Invasion of Greece

Confucius’s Death Leads to the Creation of The Analects

Athenian Empire Is Created

China Enters Chaotic Warring States Period

Gośāla Maskarīputra, Founder of Ājīvika Sect, Dies

Greek Tragedian Aeschylus Dies

Twelve Tables of Roman Law Are Formulated

History Develops as a Scholarly Discipline

City-State of Yeha Flourishes in the Ethiopian Highlands

Building of the Parthenon

Establishment of the Canuleian Law

Sophists Train the Greeks in Rhetoric and Politics

Greek Lyric Poet Pindar Dies

Peloponnesian War

Yuezhi Culture Links Persia and China

Athenian Invasion of Sicily

Greek Dramatist Euripides Dies

Thirty Tyrants Rule Athens for Eight Months

March of the Ten Thousand

Kauṭilya Compiles a Treatise on Practical Statecraft

Founding of Mohism

Bantu Peoples Spread Farming Across Southern Africa

Dong Son Culture Appears in Vietnam

Composition of the Mahābhārata

Death of Socrates

Xenophon Writes the Anabasis

King’s Peace Ends Corinthian War

Greek Playwright Aristophanes Dies

Plato Develops His Theory of Ideas

Philip II Expands and Empowers Macedonia

Diogenes Popularizes Cynicism

Origin of Municipia

Battle of Chaeronea

Alexander the Great Begins Expansion of Macedonia

Aristotle Writes the Politics

Battle of Issus

Founding of Alexandria

Battle of Gaugamela

Alexander the Great Invades the Indian Subcontinent

Aristotle Isolates Science as a Discipline

Founding of the Ptolemaic Dynasty and Seleucid Kingdom

Diadochi Divide Alexander the Great’s Empire

Mauryan Empire Rises in India

Theophrastus Initiates the Study of Botany

First Roman Aqueduct Is Built

Building of the Appian Way

Commercial City of Jenne Is Founded on Niger River

Jimmu Tennō Becomes the First Emperor of Japan

Laozi Composes the Dao De Jing

Euclid Compiles a Treatise on Geometry

Izapan Civilization Dominates Mesoamerica

Hohokam Culture Arises in American Southwest

Stoics Conceptualize Natural Law

Yayoi Period Begins

Berber Kingdoms of Numidia and Mauretania Flourish

Khoikhoi and Kwadi Adopt Pastoral Lifestyle

Construction of the Māhabodhi Temple

Lex Hortensia Reforms the Roman Constitution

Xunzi Develops Teachings That Lead to Legalism

Composition of the Zhuangzi

Greeks Advance Hellenistic Astronomy

Aśoka Reigns over India

First Punic War

Discoveries of Archimedes

Third Buddhist Council Convenes

Tipiṭaka Is Compiled

Commissioning of the Septuagint

Dead Sea Scrolls Are Composed

Buddhism Established in Sri Lanka

Diodotus I Founds the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom

Rise of Parthia

Exploitation of the Arch

Qin Dynasty Founded in China

Building the Great Wall of China

Legalist Movement in China

Advances Are Made in Chinese Agricultural Technology

Second Punic War

Construction of the Qin Tomb

Maodun Creates a Large Confederation in Central Asia

Liu Bang Captures Qin Capital, Founds Han Dynasty

Battle of Zama

Silk Road Opens

Birth of Hinduism

Composition of the Intertestamental Jewish Apocrypha

The Bhagavad Gita Is Created

Nasca Lines Drawn in Desert Near Coast of Peru

Hopewell People Construct Earthworks

Establishment of the Cursus Honorum

Revolt of the Maccabees

Roman Playwright Terence Dies

Greco-Bactrian Kingdom Reaches Zenith Under Menander

Third Punic War

Sack of Corinth

Wudi Rules Han Dynasty China

Composition of the Huainanzi

Rise of the Pharisees

Pergamum Is Transferred to Rome

Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus Is Tribune

Marius Creates a Private Army

Dong Zhongshu Systematizes Confucianism

Sātavāhana Dynasty Rises to Power in South India

Indian Buddhist Nuns Compile the Therigatha

Sima Qian Writes Chinese History

Compilation of the Lotus Sutra

Celtic Hill Forts Are Replaced by Oppida

Zapotec State Dominates Oaxaca

East African Trading Port of Rhapta Flourishes

Armenian Empire Reaches Its Peak Under Tigranes the Great

Julian Law Expands Roman Citizenship

Spartacus Leads Slave Revolt

Catiline Conspiracy

Druidism Flourishes in Gaul and Britain

Caesar Conquers Gaul

Roman Poet Catullus Dies

Cicero Writes De Republica

Cleopatra VII, Last of Ptolemies, Reigns

Establishment of the Julian Calendar

Second Triumvirate Enacts Proscriptions

Battle of Actium

Completion of the Augustan Settlement

Roman Poet Vergil Dies

Rhine-Danube Frontier Is Established

Roman Lyric Poet Horace Dies

Birth of Jesus Christ

Pyu Kingdom Develops Urban Culture

Kingdom of Aksum Emerges

Tai Peoples Migrate into Southeast Asia

Fourth Buddhist Council Convenes

Caṅkam Literature Composed in South India

Alani Gain Power

Kingdom of Funan Flourishes

Development Begins at Teotihuacán

Ovid’s Metamorphoses Is Published

Battle of Teutoburg Forest

Wang Mang’s Rise to Power

Guang Wudi Restores the Han Dynasty

Condemnation and Crucifixion of Jesus Christ

Preaching of the Pentecostal Gospel

Trung Sisters Lead Vietnamese Rebellion Against Chinese

Roman Conquest of Britain

Creation of the Roman Imperial Bureaucracy

Compilation of the New Testament

Paul Writes His Letter to the Romans

Boudicca Leads Revolt Against Roman Rule

Buddhism Enters China

Nero Persecutes the Christians

Year of the Four Emperors

Roman Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem

Destruction of Pompeii

Founding of the Classic Period Maya Royal Dynasty at Tikal

Synod of Jamnia

Ban Zhao Writes Behavior Guide for Young Women

Kushān Dynasty Expands into India

Roman Juvenal Composes Satires

Construction of the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon at Teotihuacán

Moche Build the Huaca del Sol and Huaca de la Luna

Cai Lun Invents Paper

Trajan Adopts Anti-Christian Religious Policy

Kanishka’s Reign Brings Flowering of the Arts

Dedication of Aelia Capitolina

Zhang Daoling Founds the Celestial Masters Movement

Aśvaghosa Composes Complete Biography of the Buddha

Galen Synthesizes Ancient Medical Knowledge

Gaius Creates Edition of the Institutes of Roman Law

Yellow Turbans Rebellion

Christian Apologists Develop Concept of Theology

Lima Culture Flourishes on the Central Andean Coast

Maya Civilization Flourishes

Anasazi Civilization Flourishes in American Southwest

Wang Bi and Guo Xiang Revive Daoism

Huns Begin Migration West from Central Asia

Giant Stelae Are Raised at Aksum

Cai Yan Composes Poetry About Her Capture by Nomads

Three Kingdoms Period Begins in China

Ulpian Issues Dictum in Rome

Ardashīr I Establishes the Sāsānian Empire

Manichaeanism Begins in Mesopotamia

Himiko Rules the Yamatai

Outbreak of the Decian Persecution

Saint Denis Converts Paris to Christianity

Sima Yan Establishes the Western Jin Dynasty

Inauguration of the Dominate in Rome

Saint Anthony of Egypt Begins Ascetic Life

West African Gold First Reaches North Africa

Licchavi Dynasty Begins in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

Bantu People Invent Copper Metallurgy

Three Kingdoms Period Forms Korean Culture

Kofun Period Unifies Japan

Ezana Expands Aksum, Later Converts to Christianity

Ancient Ghana Emerges

Shāpūr II Reigns over Sāsānian Empire

Conversion of Constantine to Christianity

Inception of Church-State Problem

Western Jin Dynasty Falls

Adoption of the Nicene Creed

Constantinople Is Founded

Failure of Julian’s Pagan Revival

Asanga Helps Spread Mahāyāna Buddhism

Battle of Adrianople

Theodosius’s Edicts Promote Christian Orthodoxy

Gupta Dynasty Reaches Its Peak Under Chandragupta II

Saint Jerome Creates the Vulgate

Toba Establishes the Northern Wei Dynasty in China

Ōjin Tennō, First Historical Emperor of Japan, Reigns

Ge Chaofu Founds the Lingbao Tradition of Daoism

Chinese Monk Faxian Travels to India

Kālidāsa Composes Sanskrit Poetry and Plays

Lydenburg Bantus Sculpt Life-Size Terra-cotta Heads

First Major Text on Hinduism’s Great Goddess Is Compiled

Statesman Tao Qian Becomes Farmer and Daoist Poet

Gothic Armies Sack Rome

Saint Augustine Writes The City of God

Mathematician and Philosopher Hypatia Is Killed in Alexandria

Southern Dynasties Period Begins in China

Nestorian Controversy

Vandals Seize Carthage

Invasions of Attila the Hun

Saxon Settlement of Britain Begins

Conversion of Ireland to Christianity

Era of the Nine Saints

Battle of Châlons

Council of Chalcedon

Buddhist Temples Built at Ajanta Caves in India

Bodhidharma Brings Chan Buddhism to China

Fall of Rome