1000 BC Iron Age begins. David is King of Israel.
990 BC David conquers Jerusalem.
970 BC Solomon is King of Israel.
950 BC Solomon builds the Temple.
930 BC King Solomon dies – Hebrew kingdom divided in Israel and Judah.
900 BC Homer writes Iliad and Odyssey perhaps at around this time.
810 BC Phoenicians establish Carthage. Homer composes Iliad and Odyssey around this time.
800 BC Time of the prophets Amos, Hosea and Isaiah. Traders who visited the mysterious far East empires of Cathay and T’chin speak of carriages which moved with the aid of fire (instead of horses).
776 BC First Olympiad in Greece.
753 BC Rome founded by Romulus.
721 BC Sargon, king of Assyria, takes Samaria and moves large numbers of Israelites to Media and Mesopotamia: the northern kingdom of Israel never revives.
691 BC The aqueduct introduced to bring water from distant sources to a large urban population. One of the first known aqueducts is ordered by the Assyrian King Sennacherib for Nineveh – it is about 90 km (50 miles) long.
660 BC Byzantium founded by Greeks.
621 BC Draco writes the first code of law for Athens and Greece. The penalty for many offenses were so severe that the word “draconian” comes from his name. (Citizens adored Draco and upon entering an auditorium one day to attend a reception in his honor, they showered him with hats and cloaks as was their custom. By the time they dug him out from under the clothing, he was smothered to death.)
606 BC Nabopolassar of Babylon and Cyaxares of Media destroy Nineveh; end of Assyrian Empire.
604 BC Nebuchadnezzar rules Babylon.
598 BC Nebuchadnezzar takes Jerusalem.
586 BC Nebuchadnezzar destroys Jerusalem.
585 BC Aesop’s fables thought to be written about this time. (They include “The Hare and the Tortoise” and “The Fox and the Grapes.” Aesop’s moral lessons usually are summarized in one-sentence parables at the end of his fables, such as “don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”) Very little is known about the author; some scholars believe Aesop was a slave, some believe he was legendary.
563 BC Buddha (Siddhārtha Gautama) born in India.
551 BC Confucius born in China.
550 BC Cyrus conquers Media and founds Persian Empire.
538 BC Cyrus conquers Babylon.
536 BC The Book of Punishments written in in China. Punishment for offenses include tattooing as a way to mark criminals, cutting off of the nose, castration, feet amputation and death.
535 BC The first Roman calendar introduced: it had 10 months, with 304 days in a year that began in March.
532 BC? Pythagoras of Crotona describes the relations between sides of right-angled triangle, and tone vibrations.
525 BC Tragedy and comedy theater performed. Celebratory songs and dances held in honor of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and merrymaking, evolved into the earliest plays.
515 BC Second Temple built in Jerusalem.
500 BC End of monarchy in Rome, Republic founded. Completion of original Hebrew manuscripts which make up the 39 Books of the Old Testament. Thales (624 BC?-548 BC?) of Miletus calculates the geometry of the circle. (He also discovered electricity.)
490 BC Greeks defeat Persians at Battle of Marathon
486 BC Spurius Cassius of Rome passes First Agrarian Law (land reform).
483 BC Buddha dies.
471 BC Lex Publilia passed at Rome; tribunes to be chosen by Comitia Tributa (popular assembly).
470 BC Socrates born near Athens. (He introduced the great tradition of Western philosophy. He was executed in 399 BC)
458 BC Ezra leads Jews from Babylon to Jerusalem.
450 BC The Twelve Tables ordered to be written by 10 Romans to establish the legal system of the Rome. Written on bronze and wood and tablets, the laws protected the lower class (plebes) from legal abuse by the ruling class (patricians); judges alone did not have the right the interpret the law; the organization of public prosecution was promoted; injured parties were allowed compensation by guilty parties. The Twelve Tables are considered the foundation of all modern law. (The tablets were destroyed by invading Gauls in 390.)
445 BC Nehemiah begins rebuilding of walls of Jerusalem.
440 BC Greek philosopher Leucippus and his student Democritus puts forward the notion that all matter consists of fundamental particles called atoms; they taught that everything is composed of infinitely tiny indivisible particles called atoms. (The word atom comes from the Greek word meaning”indivisible.”)
438 BC Construction of the Parthenon.
400 BC – 300 BC The Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament evolve. Hippocrates of Cos (430 BC?-377 BC?), the father of medicine, records medical cases. Eudoxus of Cnidus (388 BC?-355 BC) theorize planetary motions.
399 BC – Socrates is required to drink hemlock to end his life after being found guilty of corrupting the youth of Athens.
350 BC Aristotle writes Meteorologica, the first book on weather.
347 BC – 322 BC Aristotle identifies and classifies living forms. Plato establishes a philosophy academy.
336 BC Alexander the Great becomes King of Macedon and supreme general of Greeks.
330 BC Darius II dies – end of Persian empire.
325 BC Theophrastus, philosopher and student of Aristotle, takes over leadership of Aristotle’s school, the Lyceum. His writing include Inquiry into Plants and Growth of Plants (The works survived. Theophrastus is considered the founder of botany.)
300 BC Great Wall of China constructed in parts. Euclid, a Greek from Alexandria, writes Elements, introducing geometry (which means “land measurement”).
264 BC First Roman gladiatorial games.
240 BC Livius Andronicus is the first Roman poet.
221 BC China unites when the king of Ch’in, Ying Zheng, defeat the kings of other 6 kingdoms – Zheng becomes Qin Shi Huang, first emperor of a unified China.
214 BC Great Wall of China being made continuous by Emperor Shih Huang Ti.
212 BC? Archimedes explains the area of circle, principles of lever, the screw, and buoyancy.
200 BC Completion of the Septuagint Greek Manuscripts which contain The 39 Old Testament Books AND 14 Apocrypha Books. The first documented food fight takes place between Greek Mathematician Archimedes, who invented the catapult, and Egyptian King Ptolemy III. (At a dinner the king insisted that he found the geometry and physics of Archimedes’s design lacking in principle. Archimedes, so the story goes, says he’ll demonstrate the shortest distance between two points and starts pelting the king with olives. Ptolemy’s guards respond with fresh fruit, forcing Archimedes to surrender.)
194 BC? Eratosthenes determines the size of Earth and put forward theories of the climate.
166 BC Maccabaean rebellion against Seleucid rule begins in Judah.
167 BC Antiochus IV dedicates the temple in Jerusalem as a shrine to Zeus.
150 BC Chinese make paper from macerated hemp fibers, plant bark, molded over old fishnets.
141 BC Wu of Han becomes emperor of China.
120 BC? Hipparchus of Rhodes (161 BC?-122 BC?) explains the pattern of the cosmos in latitude and longitude; and makes triangular measurement of celestial navigation.
100 BC The trip hammer and the use of paper developed in China.
77 BC The Book of Esther, the last book of the Old Testament, is translated into Greek.
74 BC Xuan of Han becomes emperor of China at age 17.
63 BC The Romans take control of Judah, which they call Judea.
55 BC The Romans invade Britain.
51 BC Rule of Cleopatra in Egypt (until 30 BC). [There were seven Cleopatras in history, one became legendary.]
50 BC Julius Caesar crosses Rubicon to battle Pompey. Heron of Greece invented steam power in 50 BC but the leaders of the day thought that it would cause unemployment which may lead to unrest and the invention, well, ran out of steam.
48 BC Yuan of Han becomes emperor of China. The library of Alexandria destroyed by fire during a battle between Julius Caesar and Ptolemy XIII.
45 BC Rome bans all vehicles from within the city – and in other cities vehicles, including horses, were allowed only at night – because of traffic jams. The Julian calendar introduced.
44 BC Julius Caesar assassinated.
37 BC Herod appointed as king of Judea. Marc Antony marries Cleopatra.
33 BC Cheng of Han becomes emperor of China – he is known as a womanizer but did not leave an heir, dying in 7 BC of an aphrodisiac overdose.
30 BC Suicide of Antony and Cleopatra. Horace of Rome completes his Book of Epodes.
20 BC King Herod Agrippa begins reconstruction of the Great Temple in Jerusalem.
19 BC Roman poet Virgil completes the Aeneid.
7 BC Ai of Han is made emperor of China.
6 BC Probable year that Jesus Christ was born, perhaps in March.
4 BC The earliest known reference to the Scots was made by the Greek Pretanoi, who refers to their practice of painting faces or tattooing associated with the bluish dye known as woad.
1 BC Nine-year-old Ping of Han is made emperor of China – he is poisoned six years later. The revised Julian calendar introduced (on March 1).