43 BCE - 1066 CE : A Timeline of Important Dates and Events in Early British History and Lit. (Alina, Deanne, Andrew, & Connor)

  • 100

    Battle of Medway, Year: 43 AD

    Battle of Medway, Year: 43 AD
    The English are defeated by Roman Emperor Claudius' troops near Kent. Opened the door to Roman rule in England.
  • 122

    Hadrian's Wall begun

    Hadrian's Wall begun
    In 122 AD the Emperor Hadrian ordered the construction of a wall: running for 120 km between the Solway and the Tyne it was designed to establish the bounds of the Roman Empire, but not of Roman power.
  • 142

    The Antoinine Wall Begun

    The Antoinine Wall Begun
    The Antonine Wall served to protect the province of Britainnia from the raiding Caledonian tribes. The Wall stretched from West Kilpatrick on the Clyde to Carriden on the Forth. The wall may also have operated as a customs and surveillance post. Trade flowed across the frontier but it all had to pass through the gates of the wall forts where information could be gathered and taxes collected.
  • 306

    Constantine Becomes Emperor

    Constantine Becomes Emperor
    Significance: Constantine says Christians have freedom to worship. Persecution stopped and Christianity began to spread.
    Also, reign of Constantine the Great leads to adoption of Christianity as official religion of the Roman Empire
  • 313

    Edict of Milan

    Edict of Milan
    Constantine's Edict of Milan effectively 'legalised' Christianity and is sometimes seen as the point at which the empire and the emperor became Christian. In reality, Constantine maintained an ambiguous stance somewhere between Christianity and paganism, and was only baptised on his death bed.
  • 367

    'Barbarian' raiders launch a coordinated attack on Roman Britain

    'Barbarian' raiders launch a coordinated attack on Roman Britain
    The Franks, Saxons, Irish, & Picts attempted to take over Roman Britain, but the emperor would not allow it. By the summer of 369 AD Theodosius drives out the 'barbarians' and restores Britain's defences
  • 367

    Festal Epistle of St. Athanasius delivered

    Festal Epistle of St. Athanasius delivered
  • 405

    St. Jerome completes Vulgate

    St. Jerome completes Vulgate
    St. Jerome completes Vulgate, Latin translation of the Bible that becomes standard for the Roman Catholic Church
  • 410

    Roman Rule Ends in Britain

    Roman Rule Ends in Britain
  • Period: 410 to 520

    Migration to British Isles begins

    Angles, Saxons and Jutes begin their migration to the British Isles and settle in England
  • 432

    St. Patrick Begins Mission to Convert Ireland

    St. Patrick Begins Mission to Convert Ireland
  • 523

    Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy (Latin)

    Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy (Latin)
    523 Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy (Latin)
  • 565

    St. Columba founded monastery at Iona

    St. Columba founded monastery at Iona
    After founding the monasteries of Derry and Durrow in Ireland, Columba - a Christian missionary - exiled himself from Ireland, possibly as a penance for some misdemeanour. He founded a monastery at Iona, an island off the Isle of Mull, Scotland.
  • 597

    Christian Missionaries Arrive in Britian

    Christian Missionaries Arrive in Britian
  • 597

    St. Augustine, sent by Pope Gregory, founded abbey at Canterbury

    St. Augustine, sent by Pope Gregory, founded abbey at Canterbury
    At the instigation of by Pope Gregory I, Augustine led a mission to England in 596 AD, probably as the result of a request of Æthelberht, king of Kent whose wife was Christian. He arrived In 597 AD and Æthelberht gave him land in Canterbury to build a church, which he did. St. Augustine of Canterbury's mission to Kent begins conversion of Anglo-Saxons to Christianity
  • Sep 26, 600

    England is Divided

    England is Divided
    England is divided into seven major kingdoms (view map);Kent, Northumbria, Wessex, Essex, Sussex, Mercia and East Anglia
  • Sep 29, 635

    St. Aidan founded monastery at Lindisfarne

    St. Aidan founded monastery at Lindisfarne
    When Edwin, king of Northumbria, died in battle, the Christian mission in his lands collapsed. At the request of Oswald, the new king, the abbot of Iona sent the Irish missionary Aidan to be the new bishop. Near the royal castle of Bamburgh, he founded the island monastery of Lindisfarne, where many of the missionaries who converted the rest of England were trained. Aidan was made a saint.
  • Sep 27, 658

    Cædmon's Hymn,

    Cædmon's Hymn,
    Cædmon's Hymn, earliest poem recorded in English (ca. 658-80)
  • Sep 27, 731

    Bede completes Ecclesiastical History of the English People

    Bede completes Ecclesiastical History of the English People
    Bede completes Ecclesiastical History of the English People
  • Sep 27, 735

    Alcuin's Life (735-804)

    Alcuin's Life (735-804)
    Alcuin was educated at York by Archbishop Egbert, a student of the Venerable Bede.He joined a group of scholars surrounding Charlemagne, but he quickly emerged as the leading light at court. Alcuin also did a significant amount of writing himself, including letters, poetry, theological treatises, Biblical commentaries, and textbooks on grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric. Most interestingly, he also produced a textbook on mathematics, which included 53 word problems including a number of river cro
  • Sep 26, 750

    Beowulf is composed

    Beowulf is composed
  • Sep 26, 793

    Vikings sack Lindisfarne monastery

    Vikings sack Lindisfarne monastery
    One surviving contemporary record of the attack comes from Alcuin of York, an Anglo-Saxon scholar at the court of the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne. He heard about the attack on the monastery in his native Northumbria and wrote: 'Never before has such an atrocity been seen.' He said it was God's punishment on the kingdom for its fornication, adultery, incest and greed.
  • Period: Dec 30, 865 to Dec 31, 867

    Norse 'Great Army' raids across England

    Norse 'Great Army' raids across England, captures York
  • Sep 26, 867

    Viking army kills rival kings of Northumbria, capturing York

    Viking army kills rival kings of Northumbria, capturing York
    Osberht and Ælle, two rivals for the Northumbrian throne, were engaged in battle outside York when a Viking force arrived. The Vikings - who had assembled a 'Great Army' equipped for conquest rather than raiding - took advantage of the opportunity to defeat and kill both kings. They also slaughtered many people both inside and outside the city, before moving south. The city became Yorvik, the Viking capital in England.
  • Sep 27, 868

    The Diamond Sutra is printed in China

    The Diamond Sutra is printed in China
    The earliest dated printed book, known as the Diamond Sutra, was produced in China in 868 CE, but it is believed that the practice dates back well before this date.
  • Apr 23, 871

    Reign of Alfred the Great

    Reign of Alfred the Great
    April 23, 871- October 26, 899. Alfred the Great was King of Wessex from 871 to 899. Alfred successfully defended his kingdom against the Viking attempt at conquest, and by the time of his death had become the dominant ruler in England.
  • Sep 26, 886

    Alfred, King of Wessex, agrees a treaty with Vikings to divide England

    Alfred, King of Wessex, agrees a treaty with Vikings to divide England
    Alfred, king of Wessex, had retaken London and now brought the Vikings under King Guthrum to terms. The treaty between Wessex, Guthrum and the East Angles divided England. Alfred and Wessex retained the west, while the east (between the Thames and Tees rivers) was to be Viking territory - later known as the 'Danelaw' - where English and (Danish) Vikings were equal in law.
  • Jun 16, 900

    The Book of Kells and The Lindisfarne Gospels

    The Book of Kells and The Lindisfarne Gospels
    The practice of hand-copying texts used in courtly circles was also the chief means of distribution in the Church. Scribes were paid to laboriously copy out by hand the ornate Gothic script that was the staple of religious discourse. A room in the monastery reserved for this activity was called the scriptorium and here they not only transcribed texts but provided "illumination"--elaborately conceived initial letters, ornamental borders and gilded illustrations. Particularly The Book of Kells and
  • Sep 27, 1000

    Unique manuscript of Beowulf and Judith

    Unique manuscript of Beowulf and Judith
    Unique manuscript of Beowulf and Judith ca. 1000
  • Jan 6, 1017

    Danish imperialism began under kingship of Cnut

    Danish imperialism began under kingship of Cnut
    As a Prince of Denmark, Cnut won the throne of England in 1016 in the wake of centuries of Viking activity in northwestern Europe. His accession to the Danish throne in 1018 brought the crowns of England and Denmark together. Cnut maintained his power by uniting Danes and Englishmen under cultural bonds of wealth and custom, rather than by sheer brutality.
  • Sep 27, 1042

    The Saxon, Edward the Confessor is King of England

    The Saxon, Edward the Confessor is King of England
    The Saxon, Edward the Confessor is King of England from 1042-1066
  • Dec 26, 1065

    Westminster Abbey is consecrated

    Westminster Abbey is consecrated
  • Dec 25, 1066

    William of Normandy defeats and kills Harold II at Hastings

    William of Normandy defeats and kills Harold II at Hastings
    Harold II met William of Normandy near Hastings. The two armies were evenly matched in numbers, but Harold's men were exhausted after a long march back from the hard-fought Battle of Stamford Bridge. Nonetheless, the battle lasted the whole day. The English defensive shield wall was finally broken by the Norman tactic of using feigned retreats to lure Harold's troops into charging then cutting them down with cavalry. The Norman triumph was total. Harold was killed along with many Saxon nobles.