Western Civilization from c. 3000 BCE to c.1650 AD

By ccooke
  • 3000 BCE

    Mesopotamia Civilization

    Mesopotamia Civilization
    The Mesopotamia is where the birthplace of civilization began. The Fertile Crescent is the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Because the lands beyond this area were too desolate, the rich soil and available natural resources made the collection of societies a thriving possibility.
  • 2580 BCE

    The Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

    The Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
    The great pyramids @ Giza date back to the fourth dynasty of Egyptian Pharaohs. The largest of the great pyramids belongs to Pharaoh Khufu: c. 2580 - 2560 B.C., taking 20 years to construct. The middle of the great pyramids is that of Pharaoh Khafre, constructed c. 2570 B.C., and the third and smallest of the Great Pyramids is believed to belong to Pharaoh Menkaure, constructed c. 2510 B.C.
  • 2500 BCE

    Bronze Age Civilizations

    Bronze Age Civilizations
    The Cycladics, Minoans, and the Mycenaean (c. 3000 - 1200 BC)
  • 1750 BCE

    The Code of Hammurabi

    The Code of Hammurabi
    The best preserved Babylonian law code of ancient Mesopotamia, consisting of 282 Sumerian law/codes. The code of King Hammurabi: c. 18th c. BCE (c.1750 BC), issued on a basalt stone stele monument where upon the laws are engraved in cuneiform.
  • 1653 BCE

    Eruption of Thera

    Eruption of Thera
    The eruption of the super caldera volcano marked the beginning of the end for the Minoan civilization. The explosion of Thera and the Tsunami that followed eliminated the majority of the population and the rest was absorbed into the Mycenaean civilization. This is what is believed to be the fabled location of the Lost city of Atlantis as later recounted by Plato, as he discovered Thera stories from Egyptian records. Thera is modern Santorini.
  • 1260 BCE

    Trojan War

    Trojan War
    The Trojan War is said to have been between C. 1260 - 1180 BC. The war over Helen, who was said to have had a face that launched a thousand ships. Greeks go after the Trojans because Paris kidnaps Helen, wife of Menelaus of Sparta. Homers stories the Iliad and Odyssey recount the heroes, Achilles, Ajax, and Hector. The story of the Trojan Horse is attributed to this war. "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts."
  • 850 BCE

    Homer

    Homer
    Homer is believed to have lived between c. 850 - 800 BC. He is attributed as the author of the epic poems, The Iliad and The Odyssey.
  • 776 BCE

    The First Olympic Games

    The First Olympic Games
    The first Olympics started in ancient Greece, Athens, 776 BC
  • 753 BCE

    Founding of Rome

    Founding of Rome
    The city of Rome has two mythological foundations stories, the first being that it was founded by the Trojan War hero, Aeneas and the other is the story of Romulus and Remus, the two orphaned boys, raised by the She-wolf.
  • 509 BCE

    Beginning of the Roman Republic

  • 509 BCE

    Expulsion of Etruscan King

    Expulsion of Etruscan King
    Lucius Tarquinius Superbus the Etruscan King was ousted from the city of Rome due to the rape of a noblewoman Lucretia, by Tarquin's son Sextus. This date also marks the commencement of the Roman Republic.
  • 484 BCE

    Herodotus

    Herodotus
    Herodotus was a Greek historian, attributed to be the Father of History, (c. 484 - c. 420 BC) He recorded information about the people in and around the Mediterranean, the Peloponnesian War, and accounts about the Persians.
  • 479 BCE

    Battle of Thermopylae

    Battle of Thermopylae
    Spartan King Leonidas stands with his 300 soldiers in defiance of the Persian Invasion led by Xerxes.
  • 470 BCE

    Life of Socrates

    Life of Socrates
    Socrates (c. 470 - 399 BC) Greatest of the ancient Greek philosophers, Teacher of Plato, He was not a Sophist. The "Socratic" method is attributed to Socrates, which is the teaching by questioning everything. He was executed; by the consumption of hemlock poison.
  • 427 BCE

    Plato - Greek Philosopher

    Plato - Greek Philosopher
    Plato (c. 427 - 347 BC) - one of the great philosophers, pupil of Socrates, and teacher of Aristotle. Visited Egypt and recorded the story of Atlantis. Founded the Platonic Academy school.
  • 384 BCE

    Aristotle

    Aristotle
    Aristotle (C. 384 - 322 BC) Greek philosopher and teacher. He was a student of Plato and a Tutor for Alexander The Great. Aristotle also founded a school at the lyceum.
  • 356 BCE

    Alexander The Great

    Alexander The Great
    Alexander The Great (c. 356 - 323 BC) Son of Macedonian King Philip II, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle. He became King after the death of his father. Alexander conquered the Persians, united the Greeks, and reestablished the Corinthian League.
  • 196 BCE

    The Rosetta Stone

    The Rosetta Stone
    A stone stele from the Egyptian Ptolemaic period c. 196 BC, bearing a priestly decree concerning the agreement made with the Pharaoh Ptolemy V. The stele is engraved with three language scripts, the first: Hieroglyphic, second: Demotic, and third: Greek. The Rosetta Stone (discovered in 1799) was the key tool that Thomas Young and Jean-Francois Champollion used to decipher Egyptian Hieroglyph script in 1822.
  • 44 BCE

    Julius Caesar

    Julius Caesar
    Julius Caesar (100 - 44 BC) Roman general who became a dictator. Created the First Triumvirate (Caesar, Pompey the Great, and Crassus) Crossed the Rubicon during civil war with Pompey, Pompey sought refuge with Ptolemy in Egypt. Ptolemy kills Pompey. Caesar goes after Ptolemy, Hooks up with Cleopatra, Has son named Cesarean, he later dies. Cleopatra hooks up with Marc Antony after Caesar is assassinated on the steps of the Senate, betrayed by Brutus and some Senators. End of the Republic is near
  • 27 BCE

    Beginning of the Roman Empire

    Beginning of the Roman Empire
    The Roman Empire commenced with Octavian, who becomes the First Roman Emperor, Augustus. He was the adopted son and grandnephew of Julius Caesar.
  • 6 BCE

    Jesus Christ

    Jesus Christ
    Jesus was born 6 BC and died 30 AD. Believed to be the Son of God. He is the worlds most iconic religious figure. Betrayed by Judas, one of his 12 disciples, ordered to be crucified by the Roman perfect, Pontius Pilate. Believed to have risen.
  • 79

    Destruction of Pompeii

    Destruction of Pompeii
    August 24, 79 AD, Mt. Vesuvius erupts an destroys the Italian city of Pompeii.
  • 272

    Constantine

    Constantine
    Constantine (272 - 337 AD) First Christian Roman Emperor. Changed Roman polytheism to monotheism and establishing Christianity as the religion of Empire. He split the Roman Empire, into the East and West. He relocated his capital to Constantinople which later became the capital for the Byzantine Empire.
  • 406

    Attila the Hun

    Attila the Hun
    Attila the Hun, (c. 406 - 453) Mongolian warlord, was a profound enemy of the Eastern and Western Roman Empires. Planned many unsuccessful attacks against the Byzantine Empire.
  • Dec 25, 800

    Charlemagne

    Charlemagne
    Charlemagne - c. 4/2/742 - 1/28/814, Frankish King and Roman Emperor. aka: Charles the Great. Founder and the first King of the Carolingian Empire. He united Western Europe in the Middle Ages, for the first time since the fall of the Roman Empire. 12/25/800, He was crowned Emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III, at St. Peter's Basilica, Rome.
  • Dec 24, 999

    Leif Erickson - Viking Explorer

    Leif Erickson - Viking Explorer
    Leif Erickson - Viking (Norse) Explorer (c. 970 - c. 1020 C.E.) Believed to be among the first Europeans to actually or originally discovered the North American continent, in and around Newfoundland, Canada, c. 999. It is also believed that the Viking explorers made it inland by way of the Hudson River to as far as Minnesota.
  • Jan 8, 1324

    Marco Polo

    Marco Polo
    Explorer, Venetian merchant, Marco Polo (1254 - 1324 AD) Recorded his world travels and wrote a book, "Livres des Merveilles du Monde" (Book of the Marvels of the World) known as the travels of Marco Polo in 1300 AD. He exposed the wonders of the far-east (Central Asia and China) to the Europeans, and inspired Christopher Columbus.
  • Jun 24, 1346

    The Black Plague

    The Black Plague
    The Black Plague, later known as The Black Death, occurred in Central Asia and was transmitted to Western Europe (1346 -1353) through the rats and their fleas that traveled along trade routes and shipping cargo. One of the most devastating Pandemics in human history. Approximately 1/3 to 2/3 of Europe's population succumbed to the plague. The plague is attributed to the Yersinia pestis bacteria
  • Apr 22, 1451

    Queen Isabella - Spanish Ruler

    Queen Isabella - Spanish Ruler
    Isabella (4/22/1451 - 11/24/1504) was known as: "The Catholic" queen of Castile. She was married to King Ferdinand of Aragon. She was mother of Catherine of Aragon, who married Henry VIII and grandmother to Queen Mary I. She supported the exploration of the New World by agreeing to fund Columbus and later Ponce De Leon.
  • Mar 16, 1452

    King Ferdinand II of Aragon - Spanish Ruler

    King Ferdinand II of Aragon - Spanish Ruler
    King Ferdinand II of Aragon (3/16/1452 - 2/23/1516) King of Spain. Father of Catherine of Aragon, who married Henry VIII. Ferdinand married his cousin Isabella of Castile and Leon. Their union united all the Spanish territories and Portugal. They were most noted for the sending of explorers (Columbus in 1492 and De Leon in 1513) to search for new routes and later exploit the New World.
  • Apr 15, 1452

    Leonardo Da Vinci

    Leonardo Da Vinci
    Leonardo Da Vinci (4/15/1452 - 5/2/1519) Italian Renaissance: Inventor, artist, painter, sculptor, scientist, architect, and much, much, more. He was most known for such masterpieces as: La Gioconda or the Mona Lisa, the Vitruvian Man, the Last Supper, as well as his drawings of human anatomy. He is said to have invented the tank, scuba apparatus, and the parachute among numerous other items. He is the full embodiment of a true Renaissance man.
  • Mar 6, 1475

    Michelangelo

    Michelangelo
    Michelangelo (3/6/1475 - 2/18/1564) - Italian Renaissance Painter, sculptor, architect. Another true renaissance man. Most known for the Statue of David - made in 1504, his painting of the Sistine Chapel - which took from 1508 - 1512. He was the architect of the new St. Peter's Basilica started in 4/18/1506.
  • Nov 10, 1483

    Martin Luther - German Monk

    Martin Luther - German Monk
    Martin Luther (11/10/1483 - 2/18/1546) was a theologian monk, who created the Protestant Reformation. He rejected several teachings and practices of the late Medieval Catholic Church. Luther translated the Bible into vernacular in lieu of traditional Latin, which made it more accessible to the laity. He wrote the Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. He was responsible for the Lutheran sect of religion and the spread of Protestantism. Luther was excommunicated by Pope Leo X, in 1520.
  • Oct 12, 1492

    Christopher Columbus - Lands in the Caribbean

    Christopher Columbus - Lands in the Caribbean
    Christopher Columbus (1451 - 1506 AD) Italian Explorer who in 1492, went in search of a western route to the East Indies (spice islands of Asia) across the ocean blue, for a quicker route. Found the Caribbean islands instead, accidentally re-discovering a continent lost in history and unknown to the then modern Europe. Chris opened up the Explorer gate to the West and the exploitation and conquering followed expeditiously.
  • Jun 11, 1509

    Catherine of Aragon - First Wife of Henry VIII

    Catherine of Aragon - First Wife of Henry VIII
    Tudor Queen Catherine of Aragon (12/15/1485 - 1/8/1536) Daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. Mother of Queen Mary I. Catherine was originally married to Henry VIII's brother Arthur in 1501. Arthur died at the age of 16 in 1502. Catherine then married Henry VIII - 6/11/1509. They divorced in 1533.
  • Apr 3, 1513

    Don Juan Ponce De Leon - Claims the North American Continent for Spain

    Don Juan Ponce De Leon - Claims the North American Continent for Spain
    Ponce De Leon (1474 - 1521) Spanish explorer, was part of Columbus' crew in 1492. In 1513 with his own crew, found the mainland of the continent and claimed the territory for Spain, under King Ferdinand. Landing on the east coast of Florida, in what would become St. Augustine, he called the land La Florida. Originally, a large portion of the North American Continent was included in La. Florida. He also discovered the Gulf Stream. He is associated with searching for the Fountain of Youth.
  • Jan 25, 1533

    Anne Boleyn - Second Wife of Henry VIII

    Anne Boleyn - Second Wife of Henry VIII
    Tudor Queen - Anne Boleyn (c. 1507 - 5/19/1536) Married Henry VIII after his divorce from Catherine of Aragon 1/25/1533. Inspired Henry VIII to break from the Catholic Church and proclaim himself head of the Church of England so he could be divorced. Anne had a child with Henry, Elizabeth I, who later became queen. Anne was beheaded after a trial on charges of conspiring to kill the king, treason, Adultery, and witchcraft. She was executed 5/19/1536.
  • May 30, 1536

    Jane Seymour - Third Wife of Henry VIII

    Jane Seymour - Third Wife of Henry VIII
    Tudor Queen Jane Seymour (C. 1509 - 10/24/1537) Married Henry VIII (5/30/1536) after the execution of Anne Boleyn 5/19/1536. Jane gave birth to Henry's only legitimate male heir, Edward VI (10/12/1537), who would later become King. Edward was brother to Mary I an Elizabeth I. Jane died in child birth 12 days after giving birth to Edward. Henry mourned her death.
  • Jan 6, 1540

    Anne of Cleves - Fourth Wife of Henry VIII

    Anne of Cleves - Fourth Wife of Henry VIII
    Tudor Queen - Anne of Cleves (c. 1515 - 7/28/1557) This was an arranged marriage by Cromwell as a treaty with the Duke of Cleves. On July 9, 1540 the marriage was declared null and void.
  • Jul 24, 1540

    Catherine Howard - Fifth wife of Henry VIII

    Catherine Howard - Fifth wife of Henry VIII
    Catherine Howard (c. 1520 - 2/13/1542) Tudor Queen, fifth wife of Henry VIII. Married in July of 1540, after the annulment of Henry's arranged marriage to Anne of Cleves. Catherine Howard, cousin to Anne Boleyn, was also executed under suspicion of marital infidelity. She was executed on 2/13/1542, by beheading as well.
  • Jul 12, 1543

    Katherine Parr - Sixth Wife of Henry VIII

    Katherine Parr - Sixth Wife of Henry VIII
    Katherine Parr - Tudor Queen (c. 1512 - 9/7/1548) Sixth and final wife of King Henry VIII. Married 7/12/1543. Katherine raised Henry's previous children as her own. She nurtured and groomed Elizabeth I, and reinstated Mary I as heir succession. She was with Henry till his death on 1/28/1547. Edward VI was crowned King on 1/31/1547. Katherine later remarried and was the most wed queen of England. She died 9/7/1548 due to complications from the birth of her only daughter.
  • Jan 8, 1547

    King Henry VIII - Tudor Monarch

    King Henry VIII - Tudor Monarch
    King Henry VIII (6/29/1491 - 1/28/1547) Henry was married Six times. He changed the countries religion from Catholicism to Protestant and declared himself the head of the Church of England, so he could divorce his 1st wife and marry another. He had three legitimate children, and one out of wedlock. The three would succeed him to the throne. He also executed two of his six wives, Anne Boleyn (#2) and her cousin, Katherine Howard (#5), both for alleged infidelity.
  • Jan 31, 1547

    King Edward VI - Tudor King - Son of Henry VIII

    King Edward VI - Tudor King - Son of Henry VIII
    King Edward VI (10/12/1537 - 7/6/1553) Son and only legitimate heir to King Henry VIII. Son of Jayne Seymour. Gained the throne upon the death of Henry, and was crowned 1/31/1547. He died 7/6/1553. He was the first in succession but the 3rd legitimate heir.
  • Jul 19, 1553

    Queen Mary I - Tudor Queen - Daughter of Henry VIII

    Queen Mary I - Tudor Queen - Daughter of Henry VIII
    Mary I (2/18/1516 - 11/17/1558) Queen of England and Ireland, daughter of Catherine of Aragon and King Henry VIII. She was known as "Bloody Mary" for her harsh nature with the religious Protestants, killing at least 300 people. She tried to restore the old religion after the death of her brother King Edward VI. She was proclaimed Queen on July 19, 1533.
  • Nov 17, 1558

    Elizabeth I - Tudor Queen - Daughter of Henry VIII

    Elizabeth I - Tudor Queen - Daughter of Henry VIII
    Elizabeth I (9//7/1533 - 3/24/1603) Queen of England and Ireland. Daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Sister to Queen Mary I and King Edward VI. She never married or had any heirs. She ended the succession of Henry Tudor's Heirs. She is known for defeating the Spanish Armada. Elizabeth was crowned on 11/17/1558 after the death of Queen Mary I.
  • Apr 26, 1564

    William Shakespeare

    William Shakespeare
    William Shakespeare (4/26/1564 - 4/23/1616) English Poet, Playwright, and Actor. Widely regarded as the worlds greatest and most prolific writer in the English Language.
  • May 27, 1564

    John Calvin - French Theologian

    John Calvin - French Theologian
    John Calvin (7/10/1509 - 5/27/1564) Was a French leader of Reformed Faith, a branch of Protestantism. His followers became known as Calvinists, which broke from Roman Catholic doctrine and practices. Although similar to Lutherans, Calvinists had distinct differences in the Eucharist. Calvin and Luther were contemporary and respectful of each other.
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    Western Civilization from c. 3000 BCE to c.1650 AD

    This timespan provides key dates in Western Civilization, based on class readings and events of particular interest.