Humanities 102 Medieval World

  • Period: 161 to 180

    Reign of Marcus Aurelius

    Citizens in Rome reach a level of material comfort not reattained until the 18th century (according to Edward Gibbon)
  • 180

    Trinity incorporated into standard Roman religious doctrine

  • 212

    Constitutio Antoniniana

    Emperor Caracalla grants citizenship to all residents on the Empire, seen as the apogee of the Roman Empire
  • Period: 251 to 356

    St. Anthony

    an Egyptian hermit who's life comes to us through the hagiography written by Athanasius.
  • Period: 285 to 305

    Emperor Diocletian

  • Period: 290 to 379

    St. Pachomius

    Founder of cenobitic Christian monasticism. Was an ex-soldier in the Roman Empire, founded monasteries in Egypt, added obedience to the rules of chastity and poverty.
  • Period: 316 to 397

    Martin of Tours

    Anchorite, Roman soldier, brought Egyptian Christian monasticism to Gaul and possibly influenced Celtic monasticism.
  • Period: 342 to 420

    St. Jerome

    Established a monastic community of both men and women in Bethlehem, wrote hagiographies of other hermits.
  • 354

    Birth pf St. Augustine

    Born in Thagaste in Roman North Africa to a citizen father of modest means. Christian mother was highly influential
  • 378

    Battle of Adrianople

    Massive defeat for the Wester Roman Empire, never fully recovers
  • Period: 379 to 395

    Reign of Emperor Theodosius

    Emperor Theodosius establishes Christianity as the state religion of the Empire
  • 387

    St. Augustine converts to Christianity

    Augustine is baptized by Ambrose, Bishop of Rome, during Easter Vigil. Exact day and month are unknown
  • Period: 390 to 459

    St. Symian Stylites

    Syrian hermit, spent 37 years living in seclusion in a small platform atop a pillar
  • Period: 395 to May 29, 1453

    Byzantine Empire

    Seperate from Western Roman Empire after death of Theodosius I, last emporer to rule over entire Roman Empire. Spans over a thousand years, but reaches its height in the 6th century CE under the rule of Justinian. Mortally weakened after the sack of Constantinople in 1204, and finally succumbs to Ottoman seige in 1453. Considered itself to be the continuation of the Roman Empire in the East, not a distinct successor state.
  • 398

    Augustine completes confessions

  • 410

    Alaric and Visigoths sack Rome

  • 430

    Death of St. Augustine

    St. Augustine dies at age 75 in Hippo-Regius, Numidia (present day Algeria), as Bishop of Hippo.
  • 431

    Vandals sack Hippo

  • 440

    Pope Leo I installed

  • 450

    Events of Beowulf

    Earliest date for events of Beowulf, not date of composition
  • 476

    Fall of Western Roman Empire

    Emporer Romulus Augustulus deposed by Odoacer
  • 480

    Birth of Boethius

    Exact date unknown. Born Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius.
  • 480

    Birth of St. Benedict

    Exact date is unknown, but born in Nursia (present day Umbria, Italy). Established monastic orders with strict rules, creating the environment necessary for the preservation of many works of classical literature.
  • Period: 485 to 580


    Roman Statesman in the government of Theodoric, successor to Boethius as advisor to the Gothic king. Like Boethius, he worked to preserve Classical works and ideas.
  • 510

    Boethius Consul

    Exact month and day unknown. Boethius is consul of Ostrogoth Rome, has favor with the Ostrogoth king Odoacer
  • 525

    Death of Boethius

    Exact date unknown. Boethius is executed in present day Pavia, Italy. He is later declared a martyr by the Catholic Church. In the final days of his imprisonment he composes his "Consolation of Philosophy".
  • Period: 526 to Jan 1, 726

    Iconoclasm in Byzantine Empire

    Two waves of iconoclasm, destroyed many priceless works of art. Eventual victory of the iconodules, icons are once again accepted.
  • 529

    St. Benedict's Regula

    Regula establishes systemized rules for monasticism.
  • Period: 532 to 537

    Rebuilding of the Hagia Sofia

  • 547

    Death of St. Benedict

    Exact day and month are unknown. Died in the monastery of Monte Casino.
  • 570

    Birth of Prophet Muhammed

    Exact month and day are unknown. Born in Mecca, orphaned at an early age
  • Jan 1, 610

    Muhammed recieves first vision

    Exact day and month are unknown, but the vision occurred during the holy month of Ramadan.
  • Jan 1, 622

    First Hijra

    Month and day unknown. This marks the year 1 in the Islamic calender, which is based on the lunar cycle
  • Jun 8, 632

    Death of Prophet Muhammed

    A schism forms after his death concerning who the rightful heir to lead the Muslim comunity. Regarded by Muslims as the last Prophet in a long line starting with Abraham. Formed a tribal nomadic society into an integrated and powerful Muslim state over the course of his life. By the 8th century Muslim lands stretch from Spain, across North Africa and Western Asia, and into Northern India.
  • Period: Jan 1, 730 to Jan 1, 787

    First Byzantine Iconoclastic Period

    Started by Leo III, possibly after military reversals at the hands of Muslim forces.
  • Period: Jan 1, 730 to Jan 1, 804

    Alcuin of York

    Influential member of Carolingian court, played a role in the Caraolingian 'Renaissance"
  • Jan 1, 732

    Muslim Empire Reaches Greatest Extent

    Empire stretches from Central Asia, the West Asia, North Africa, and the Iberian Peninsula
  • Period: Jan 1, 750 to Jan 1, 775

    Lombards reach height of their power

  • Period: Jan 1, 814 to Jan 1, 842

    Second Byzantine Iconoclastic Period

    Instigated by Emporer Leo V, ended by Empress Theodora.
  • Jan 1, 900

    Cordoba reaches population of half a million

  • Jan 1, 900

    Beowulf first written around this time

    Earliest date for Beowulf to be written. Surviving manuscript dates from the 11th century.
  • Jan 1, 900

    Beowulf written around this time

    First transcription of Beowulf thought to date from this time, surviving transcription dates from the 11th century.
  • Period: Jan 1, 980 to Jan 1, 1037

    Life of Avicenna

    Persian physician and Aristotelian philoosopher.
  • Jan 1, 1030

    Umayyed Caliphate in Cordoba defeated by the Christian Reconquista

  • Period: Jan 1, 1050 to Jan 1, 1200

    Romanesque Period

    Romanesque art and architecture was no deliberate attempt to mimic imperial design, but rather shows the staying power and influence of the Roman Empire centuries after its fall in the West
  • Jan 1, 1071

    Seljuk Turks defeat byzantine forces at the Battle of Manzikert

    Byzantine Empire never fully recovers from this massive defeat. Loses much of its eastern territory.
  • Jan 1, 1079

    Birth of Peter Abelard

  • Jan 1, 1095

    First Crusade

  • Jan 1, 1099

    Christian Crusaders capture Jerusalem

    Crusaders sack the city, massacring Muslims and Jews alike
  • Period: Jan 1, 1126 to Jan 1, 1198

    Life of Averroes

    Philosopher and writer, sought to intergrate and reconcile Islam with Greek philosophy
  • Jan 1, 1140

    Abelard condemned

  • Period: Jan 1, 1140 to Jan 1, 1400

    Age of Cathedrals in Western Europe

  • Jan 1, 1142

    Death of Abelard

  • Jan 1, 1175

    Pope Alexander wants schools in every cathedral

  • Jan 1, 1182

    Notre Dame Cathedral completed

    Construction of the massive edifice took 19 years
  • Jan 1, 1200

    Marie de France

    The Lais of Marie de France date from about this time
  • Jan 1, 1265

    Birth of Dante Alighieri

    Born in Florence
  • Jan 1, 1301

    Dante exiled from Florence

    Dante's association with the White Guelph faction lead to his exile. He never returns.
  • Jan 1, 1321

    Death of Dante

    Writes the Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso before his death.