Ancient Rome Timeline

Timeline created by ALMC13
In History
  • -509 BCE

    Roman Republic Begins

    Roman Republic Begins
    After Tarquin the Proud's son, Sextus, raped the noblewoman Lucretia, a rebellion against the Etruscan monarchy began, marking the fall of the Etruscan society and leading to the development of the Republic of Rome.
  • -494 BCE

    The Concilium Plebis is Established

    Since Rome's conception, there had been a division of wealth and power between the aristocrats, called patricians, and the poor, called plebeians; in an attempt to fix this imbalance, the concilium plebis, or Plebeian Tribal Council, was formed to give the plebeians a voice and create a more equal political system.
  • -451 BCE

    Roman Law is Codified

    As a strategy for dividing the law from the power of the elite, ten men were appointed to consular power with the sole purpose of recording laws, now known as the Twelve Tables, which were the first recorded law in Roman history and the basis for many legislations in western society.
  • -390 BCE

    Rome Defeats the Senones

    When Brennus, the leader of the Senones, attempted to besiege and ransack Rome, the Romans struck back, defeating the Gauls and marking the beginning of Rome's expansion.
  • -264 BCE

    The First Punic War

    The First Punic War
    The First Punic War, which was fought over control of Sicily and other surrounding islands, was the first of three battles between the two great powers of the western Mediterranean, Rome and Carthage, whom were very different; results of these wars would determine which powerful nation would remain, and which would crumble.
  • -146 BCE

    The Third Punic War

    Fifty years after their defeat in the Second Punic War, the Carthaginians began to grow in power; fearing invasion, a neighbouring kingdom appealed for help to Rome, and Rome, remembering the losses of the Second Punic War, responded by destroying Carthage and the Carthaginian civilization.
  • -146 BCE

    The Romans Ravage Corinth

    The Romans Ravage Corinth
    When a senatorial deputation of Rome arrived in Corinth and was poorly treated, the Romans, highly offended, attacked and destroyed Corinth, acquiring their artwork and luxury items; which, inevitably, led to the Romans adoption of Greek art, architecture and lavish lifestyle.
  • -100 BCE

    Marius Reforms the Military

    Marius Reforms the Military
    Perceiving that the army and economy were closely tied, in that many of the soldiers were farmers and could only fight seasonally or were poor and had no job, Gaius Marius created a standing army in Rome, where men could serve on a permanent basis; this left farmers with the ability to work the land year round, providing more food for Rome, and also established a strong, trained army that would serve well in conquering foreign territories.
  • -90 BCE

    Civil War Between Roman and Non-Roman Citizens

    After multiple failed attempts at reform for the urban poor in Rome, the non-Roman communities began to desire the privileges of Roman citizenship and initiated an uprising, which was quickly quashed by the Roman Republic in 89 BC; however, several successions were made in favour of the non-Roman citizens, granting them some privileges of citizenship.
  • -60 BCE

    First Triumvirate is Formed

    Around the same period of time, three men, Julius Caesar, Crassus and Pompey the Great, came to power, forming the first triumvirate in Roman history, and collectively decided to divide Rome amongst themselves, usurping the Democratic Republic.
  • -43 BCE

    Second Triumvirate is Formed

    Just after Caesar's assassination, Rome fell into a power struggle between Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, Marc Antony and Lepidus which was hastily solved with the formation of a second triumvirate where Antony took the East, Lepidus took Africa and Octavian took the West; officially dissolving the Roman Republic and forming the Roman Empire.
  • -31 BCE

    Battle of Actium

    Battle of Actium
    Marc Antony and Cleopatra, having fallen madly in love, attempted to divide the Roman East amongst themselves and their children; however, Octavian found out, and sent his admiral, Marcus Agrippa, to defeat them, successfully making Octavian the sole ruler of the Roman Empire.
  • -27 BCE

    Republic Returned to Control of the Senate

    In a cunning political move, Augustus, formerly Octavian, returned control of the republic to the senate, dividing the provinces among himself and the senate; but keeping provinces with larger armies for himself, giving him military might but also the esteem of the people.
  • 14

    Tiberius Inherits the Empire

    Tiberius Inherits the Empire
    After Emperor Augustus's death, his adopted son, Tiberius, rose to power; his reign was the first in a string of harsh and cruel emperors that greatly impacted the peace Emperor Augustus had established.
  • 68

    Nero Commits Suicide

    Nero Commits Suicide
    Emperor Nero, leaving no heirs, committed suicide; which was followed by an era of political instability as several people attempted to gain power, resulting in Vespasian winning in 69 AD and restoring peace.
  • 79

    Mount Vesuvius Erupts

    Mount Vesuvius Erupts
    During the reign of Titus, Vespasian's eldest son, Mount Vesuvius erupted, destroying the villages in the Bay of Naples, including Pompeii.
  • 126

    The Pantheon is Rebuilt

    The Pantheon is Rebuilt
    One of the most infamous structures, the Pantheon, was rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian in 126 AD, and is one of the most influential structures in modern western architecture.
  • 293

    The Roman Emperor is Divided into East and West

    The beginning of the end of the Roman Empire began when Emperor Diocletian instituted the division of Rome into the East and the West, each ruled by a senior emperor, called a Augusti, and a junior emperor, called a Caesar; the split permanently divided the Roman Empire for the rest of its history.
  • 312

    Constantine's rise to Augusti

    Constantine's rise to Augusti
    After Augusti Diocletian abdicated, Caesar Constantine and another Caesar, Maxentius, fought at the Milvian Bridge to determine who the new Augusti would be; succeeding, Constantine became the first Christian emperor of the Italian Peninsula.
  • 391

    Pagan Worship is Outlawed

    In what is seen as one of the most radical reforms in the history of the Roman Empire, Emperor Theodosius the Great outlawed all worship of pagan gods and had all pagan temples closed, even going to the extent of banning the Olympics because they were honouring the greek god Zeus.
  • 451

    The Huns invade Italy and attack the Roman Empire

    The Huns invade Italy and attack the Roman Empire
    Under the rule of Atilla, the Huns invaded Italy marking their first advance into the Roman Empire; however, they were driven back into the area that is now modern day France.
  • 476

    End of the Roman Empire

    End of the Roman Empire
    When general Odoacer dethroned Emperor Romulus Augustulus, he became emperor; however, his reign was brief, and he was soon replaced by Theodoric the Great, the first Gothic king of the Italian Peninsula, concluding the reign of the Roman Empire.
  • Period:
    -264 BCE
    to
    325

    Gladiator Fights

    Marking one of the moral low points in Rome, gladiator fighting, most commonly between two trained gladiators or a trained gladiator and a criminal, took place frequently until the were outlawed by Emperor Constantine I in 315 AD.
  • Period:
    -218 BCE
    to
    -202 BCE

    The Second Punic War

    Hannibal, the Carthaginians military leader, crossed the Alps from Spain into Italy, to launch a land-based attack on the Romans, causing massive casualties for the Romans and temporary success for the Carthaginians; until, in 202 BC, the Romans retaliated, driving Hannibal and his army out of Italy and securing Rome's position as the preeminent power in the western Mediterranean.
  • Period:
    -133 BCE
    to
    -121 BCE

    The Gracchus Brothers

    Both Tiberius Gracchus and Gaius Gracchus were reformers, aiming to solve the problems of Rome's urban poor by redistributing land, forming new colonies and proposing citizenship rights to non-Romans; however, both were killed by mobs before many of the reformations could take hold, illustrating Roman citizens unwillingness to change.
  • Period:
    117
    to
    138

    Emperor Hadrian's Rule

    Hadrian, who had spent his adolescence as a soldier and administrator prior to his reign, was one of Rome's greatest emperors, as seen by the interest he took in his subjects and his refurbishment of the Pantheon; his reign was an example for future emperors.