AD 96 Accession of Nerva, who takes an oath that he will not execute any senator.
97 Nerva adopts Trajan as co-ruler and successor. He institutes alimentary schemes to help the urban poor, and loans to landowners, the interest on which will go to support the children of needy families. He appoints as superintendent of aqueducts Frontinus, who writes a book on the subject of water supply.
98 Death of Nerva. He is succeeded by Trajan, who is campaigning on the Rhine.
99 Trajan arrives in Rome, having made preparations along the Danube frontier for a forthcoming campaign.
100 Hadrian, first-cousin once removed of Trajan, who is also Hadrian’s guardian, marries Vibia Sabina, Trajan’s great-niece. Frontinus is consul with Trajan.
101 Trajan crosses the Danube with his army on a bridge designed by Apollodorus of Damascus.
102 Decebalus, Dacian king, capitulates and becomes a client king of Rome.
104 New war against Decebalus.
105 Arabia annexed.
106 Death of Decebalus and annexation of Dacia.
107 Trajan’s 123-day triumph.
111 Correspondence between Pliny, governor of Bithynia, and Trajan about the Christians.
112 Dedication of Trajan’s forum, incorporating Trajan’s market.
113 Dedication of Trajan’s column. Trajan prepares for Parthian campaign.
114-116 Trajan conquers Mesopotamia, capturing Babylon and Ctesiphon, capital of the Parthian empire.
116 Jewish risings are brutally put down, with the virtual destruction of the Jewish communities in north Africa, Alexandria, and Cyprus.
117 Trajan dies in Cilicia on his way home, having left Hadrian in charge of the armies in the east. Trajan’s widow, Pompeia Plotina, announces that he had adopted Hadrian, who is hailed emperor by the army in Syria. Roman empire at its greatest extent.


118 Four former consuls and senior commanders, all Trajan’s men, are executed on the orders of the senate. Hadrian reaches Rome.
121 Hadrian in Gaul, Upper Germany, Raetia, and Noricum. Birth of Marcus Aurelius.
122 Hadrian in Lower Germany, Britain (where he begins construction of Hadrian’s Wall), Gaul, and Spain. Suetonius is dismissed from his post as director of the imperial correspondence for some disrespectful behaviour relating to the empress Sabina.
122/123 Hadrian’s rescript to Minicius Fundanus on procedure towards Christians.
123 Hadrian in north Africa, Crete, Syria, and Asia Minor.
124 Hadrian in western Europe and Greece.
125 Hadrian in Greece and Sicily, before returning to Rome.
c.126 Rebuilding of the Pantheon in its present form.
127 Hadrian divides Italy into four regions, each under an imperial legate of consular rank, a system which was abolished by his successor.
128 Hadrian in Africa, Athens, and Sparta.
129 Hadrian tours eastern provinces.
130 Hadrian in Judaea, where he proposes the foundation of Aelia Capitolina on the site of the old Jerusalem and the building of a temple to Jupiter where the Temple had stood. Then in Egypt, where Antinous drowns in the Nile; Hadrian founds Antinoopolis in his memory.
131 Official publication of Salvius Julianus’s codification of praetors’ edicts, commissioned by Hadrian.
132-135 Second Jewish War, at the end of which Jerusalem is razed and Judaea is renamed Syria Palaestina, or “Palestine”.
136 Death of Sabina. Hadrian adopts Ceionius Commodus as his successor.
138 Death of Commodus. Hadrian adopts Antoninus, consul in 120 and more recently governor of Asia, whom he causes to adopt Lucius Verus, son of Commodus, and Marcus Aurelius, Antoninus’s nephew. Death of Hadrian (10 July). Accession of Antoninus.


139 Antoninus persuades the senate to confirm Hadrian’s deification, for which act he is granted the surname Pius.
141 Death of Antoninus’s wife, the empress Faustina. She is deified by the senate; Antoninus establishes in her honour an alimentary programme for the care of orphaned girls (“Puellae Faustinianae”).
142-143 Building of the Antonine Wall in Britain between the Clyde and Forth estuaries.
145 Marcus Aurelius marries Faustina, daughter of Antoninus.
147 Marcus Aurelius receives imperial powers.
161 Death and deification of Antoninus in his 75th year, having named as his successor Marcus Aurelius, who, however, insists that Verus rules with him.
161-166 Parthian wars, successfully conducted by Verus with the help of his generals.
164 Verus marries Lucilla, 14-year-old daughter of Marcus Aurelius.
c.165 Antonine Wall is dismantled.
166 Verus’s army brings back with it the most virulent plague (probably smallpox) experienced in the empire.
167 Rising of Marcomanni. Barbarian invasions of Danube provinces. Famine and plague.
169 Marcomanni and Quadi invade Italy and besiege Aquileia. The two emperors oppose them with an army into which slaves have been enlisted. Death and deification of Verus. Marcus Aurelius returns to Rome with the body, then goes back to the northern frontier, where he spends most of his remaining years.
c.174-c.180 Marcus Aurelius composes his Meditations.
175 Revolt and death in Syria of Avidius Cassius. Death and deification of Faustina.
176 From Syria, Marcus Aurelius travels to Alexandria and Athens, where he endows chairs of philosophy. Back in Rome, he celebrates a triumph and makes his 15-year-old son Commodus joint ruler.
177 Pogrom of the Christian community in Lugdunum (Lyon).
178 Further rising of Marcomanni and other tribes.
180 Death of Marcus Aurelius at the age of 59. Accession of Commodus, who, having made peace with the northern tribes, enters Rome and holds a triumph.


182 Conspiracy in which the emperor’s sister Lucilla is involved; she is exiled and then executed. Tigidius Perennis becomes commander of the imperial guard, in which capacity he effectively runs the state.
184 Commodus acclaimed as imperator and takes the title Britannicus for victories by Ulpius Marcellus in northern Britain.
185 Soldiers from the British station travel to Rome to complain about Perennis, whom, with his family, Commodus hands over to the imperial guard for execution. Aurelius Cleander, the emperor’s chamberlain, becomes commander of the imperial guard. Helvius Pertinax averts major mutiny in Britain.
190 Death of Cleander, whom the people hold responsible for the famine. Commodus renames the months of the year to correspond with his own names and titles.
c.191 Decimus Clodius Albinus appointed governor of Britain.
192 Pertinax, consul for that year, is appointed prefect (chief administrator) of Rome. Commodus is murdered (31 December), bringing to an end the Antonine dynasty. Pertinax is acclaimed emperor by the senate.
193 Pertinax is assassinated by the imperial guard (28 March), who acclaim Didius Julianus as emperor. In April, Septimius Severus, governor of Pannonia Superior, is proclaimed emperor by his legions at Carnuntum; Pescennius Niger, governor of Syria, is also proclaimed emperor by his troops. Severus marches on Rome, gaining the support of Clodius by appointing him Caesar (deputy emperor). As Severus approaches Rome (1 June), he is recognized as emperor by the senate. Didius is murdered (2 June). Severus enters Rome (9 June), and disbands the imperial guard, which he replaces with three of his own legions. Pescennius is defeated and his base of Byzantium is besieged.
194 Final defeat, and death, of Pescennius. Severus launches attacks on eastern tribes.
195 For his victories in Mesopotamia, Severus dubs himself Parthicus Arabicus and Parthicus Adiabenicus. He also proclaims himself the son of Marcus Aurelius and renames his elder son Marcus Aurelius Antonius (later nicknamed Caracalla) and makes him Caesar. His wife Julia Domna receives the title Mater Castrorum (Mother of the Camp). Clodius, put in an impossible position, crosses into Gaul with his army, which proclaims him emperor.
197 Final defeat of Clodius near Lyon by Severus, who purges the senate and the provinces of supporters of Clodius. He then departs for his second Parthian war.
198 Severus captures Ctesiphon, Babylonia’s chief city. He names himself Parthicus Maximus, promotes Caracalla to Augustus and his younger brother Geta to Caesar. Mesopotamia, annexed by Trajan, abandoned by Hadrian, becomes a province again.
199-202 Severus, with his family, tours the east, including Egypt.
202 Severus holds lavish celebratory games but refuses a triumph. Marriage of Caracalla with Fulvia Plautilla, daughter of G. Fulvius Plautianus, commander of the imperial guard, who had held the fort while Severus was away. Severus and his family leave for a triumphal tour of his native Africa.
203 Erection of Arch of Severus in the Forum.
205 Plautianus and others are executed for alleged conspiracy; Caracalla divorces Plautilla. The lawyer Papinian replaces Plautianus, heralding an Augustan age of Roman law.
208 The imperial family and their court leave for Britain and establish their base at Eboracum (York).
209 Geta is promoted to Augustus, but is left behind while Severus and Caracalla campaign in Scotland.
210 Severus claims victory. Further revolt of the Caledonians and Maeatae.
211 Severus dies at York (4 February). His family returns to Rome, Caracalla (22) and Geta (21) to be joint emperors.


212 Caracalla has Geta murdered in his mother’s arms, and instigates wholesale slaughter of sympathizers and innocent citizens. All free inhabitants of the empire are now entitled to be Roman citizens.
213 Caracalla defeats the Alamanni, and then campaigns on the Danube frontier and in Asia Minor.
215 Caracalla visits Alexandria, where there are riots; the governor of Egypt is executed along with thousands of young men. He institutes the antoninianus (worth two denarii but weighing less), which contributes to inflation.
217 Caracalla, campaigning in the east, is killed near Carrhae by members of his entourage on the instructions of Macrinus, commander of the imperial guard, whose troops proclaim him emperor. Death of Julia Domna.
218 Macrinus buys peace with Parthia. Julia Maesa, sister of Julia Domna, promulgates a story that her 15-year-old grandson Bassianus, priest of the cult of Elagabalus at Emesa, is Caracalla’s son. He is proclaimed emperor by the troops in Syria. Macrinus is defeated and subsequently put to death.
218-228 The historian Cassius Dio is successively administrator of Pergamum and then Smyrna, governor of Africa, and military commander of Dalmatia and then Upper Pannonia.
219 Bassianus reaches Rome and takes office as Elagabalus.
221 Elagabalus adopts his 15-year-old cousin Severus Alexander, son of Julia Maesa’s daughter, Julia Mammaea.
222 Elagabalus is murdered by soldiers and succeeded by Severus Alexander, who rules with the help and under the influence of his mother.
225 Severus Alexander marries Sallustia Orbiana.
226 The Aqua Alexandrina, the last of Rome’s eleven significant aqueducts, is operative.
227 Sallustia’s father, a senior figure in the establishment, is executed and she is banished, after an assassination threat. The Sasanid dynasty, having succeeded the Parthians, threatens to overrun all the former Persian territories in the east.
229 Cassius Dio is consul, with Severus Alexander, after which he retires to Bithynia, land of his birth.
231-233 Severus Alexander’s eastern campaign restores the status quo in the region.
234 Trouble on the Rhine. Severus Alexander, and his mother, go to Mainz, to oversee a response to further threats from the Alamanni.
235 Severus Alexander and his mother are killed in an army mutiny. A senior officer, Maximinus Thrax, becomes the emperor on the spot.


236 Maximinus campaigns successfully across the Rhine and Danube.
238 A year in which there are six emperors. The senate declares as emperor Gordian I, governor of Africa, who includes his son Gordian II in the invitation. Both die after their forces are attacked by the army commander of Numidia, who supports Maximinus. The senate deifies them and selects two replacements, Pupienus and Balbinus. Maximinus invades Italy but is murdered by his troops. The imperial guard kills Pupienus and Balbinus and proclaims as emperor Gordian III, 13-year-old nephew of Gordian II.
242 Roman victories over Goths.
243 Roman victories over Persians.
244 Gordian is murdered in Mesopotamia. Philippus the “Arabian”, commander of the imperial guard, becomes emperor and makes peace with the Persians.
248 Decius, commander in Moesia, proclaimed emperor by his troops. Celebrations of the thousandth anniversary of Rome’s foundation.
249 Decius defeats and kills Philippus near Verona.
250 Widespread persecution of Christians by Decius. Plague rages for 15 years.
251 Invasion of Goths. Decius is killed trying to prevent them returning home. Trebonianus Gallus, governor of Moesia, declared emperor by the troops.
253 Aemilius Aemilianus, commander in Moesia, declared emperor by his troops, as also is the elderly Licinius Valerianus (Valerian), who is in Moesia gathering troops to oppose him. Aemilianus defeats and kills Trebonianus, but is himself killed by his troops. Valerian reaches Rome and is recognized as emperor jointly with his son Gallienus.
255 Further invasions of Goths, and also Scythians and Alamanni. Persians reach Antioch.
257 Edict of Valerian against the Christians. The Alamanni are checked by Gallienus, and the Goths by his army commander Aurelian. Valerian goes to the east
258 Postumus makes himself ruler of Gaul, and the following year establishes the imperium Galliarum.
259 Gallienus defeats the Alamanni at Milan and also in Gaul. Valerian captured by the Persians.
260 First edict of toleration for Christians.
260-261 Some nine usurpers to the title of emperor come and go in various parts of the empire.
268 Postumus and three successors murdered by local troops; the senate of Gaul appoints Tetricus ruler. Gallienus, having successfully campaigned against the Goths, is murdered by his own officers in northern Italy. Claudius emerges as emperor.
270 Death of Claudius by plague. Aurelian, now commander-in-chief of all Roman cavalry, is proclaimed emperor by his troops in Sirmium while campaigning against the Goths, though Claudius’s brother Quintillus has been chosen in Rome for the office. Aurelian defeats Quintillus and is confirmed as emperor by the senate after Quintillus dies in mysterious circumstances. Zenobia, regent of Palmyra for her young son, occupies Egypt and much of Asia Minor.
271 Aurelian defeats Vandals in Pannonia and foils an invasion into Italy by the Alamanni. He begins the building of the Aurelian Wall round Rome and defences of other cities.
272 Aurelian abandons Dacia north of the Danube, and creates a new province south of the river, with its capital at Serdica (Sophia). In the east he defeats Zenobia and captures Palmyra.
273 In the west Aurelian defeats the Carpi, and in the east he puts down a revolt in Palmyra, which he destroys.
274 Aurelian defeats Tetricus, bringing Britain and Gaul back into the empire. He celebrates his second triumph and makes Sol Invictus the supreme god of the Roman empire.
275 Aurelian is murdered in Thrace in a palace plot while on his way to fight the Persians. The army asks the senate to choose an emperor; after a delay, its members elect Tacitus, an elderly senator.
276 Tacitus is killed by his own troops in Cappadocia. Florianus, commander of the imperial guard, is chosen emperor in Rome, while Probus is proclaimed in the east. They meet in battle at Tarsus, where Florianus is killed by his own men. Probus is now sole emperor.
277-280 Probus campaigns successfully on the Rhine and the Danube and then moves to the east, where he restores order in Egypt and undertakes civil engineering work along the Nile.
280-281 Revolts of Proculus and Bonosus in the west, and of Saturninus in the east.
281 Probus celebrates a triumph and completes the Aurelian Wall.
282 Probus leaves Rome to embark on an invasion of Persia. Carus, commander of the imperial guard, is proclaimed emperor. Troops sent by Probus defect to Carus, and Probus is killed by those who are still with him.
283 Carus, after subduing the Quadi and Sarmatians in the west, embarks on a campaign against the Persians, but dies suddenly, probably of natural causes.


284 The empire is shared between Carus’s sons, Carinus and Numerianus. On the death of Numerianus in mysterious circumstances, Diocles, commander of the cavalry of the imperial guard and suffect consul in 283, is proclaimed emperor in his place, and changes his name to Diocletian.
285 Carinus is killed in battle. Diocletian appoints his Dalmatian colleague Maximian Caesar, with responsibility for the western empire.
286 Maximian is promoted to Augustus. Carausius declares himself ruler of Britain and part of northern Gaul.
287-290 Diocletian campaigns on the Danube and in the east.
293 Galerius and Constantius “Chlorus” are appointed Caesares, to serve respectively in the eastern and western halves of the empire. Constantius takes Boulogne, the headquarters of Carausius, who is murdered and supplanted as ruler of Britain by his finance officer, Allectus.
296 Constantius’s troops defeat and kill Allectus, and slaughter his Frankish mercenaries in London.
c.297 Diocletian begins a policy of dividing the provinces of the empire into smaller units.
298 Great victories by Galerius over the Persians.
301 Diocletian’s edict on prices.
303 Edict against the Christians. Diocletian visits Rome for the only time.
305 Diocletian abdicates, forcing Maximian to do the same, and retires to his palace at Split. Galerius and Constantius become Augusti; Maximinus, nephew and adopted son of Galerius, and Flavius Severus are the new Caesares.
306 Constantius dies at York while mounting a campaign against the Picts. His son Constantine, who is with him, is proclaimed Augustus by the troops in Britain. Galerius, having given the title of Augustus to Severus, appoints Constantine Caesar. In Rome, Maxentius, son of Maximian, is proclaimed Augustus, but Maximian comes out of retirement and reclaims his title.
307 Constantine, in charge now of his father’s former territories of Britain, Gaul, and Spain, is visited by Maximian, who appoints him Augustus and gives him his daughter Fausta in marriage.
308 At Carnuntum in Pannonia, Galerius gives the title of Augustus to Valerius Licinianus Licinius, upon which Maximinus has his troops in the east proclaim him also Augustus.
309/310 Galerius recognizes Constantine and Maximinus as Augusti.
310 Death of Maximian.
311 Galerius, Constantine, and Licinius issue the Edict of Toleration, ending persecution of Christians. Death of Galerius. Maximinus drives Licinius out of Asia.
312 Vision of Constantine, who attributes his victory over Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge to the “god of the Christians”. With the suicide of Maxentius, Constantine becomes sole ruler of the western empire. He abolishes the imperial guard, which he replaces with a corps of scholares.
313 Constantine meets Licinius at Milan, and gives him his half-sister Constantia in marriage. In Nicomedia, Licinius issues an edict agreeing with Constantine on religious freedom. At Adrianople, Licinius defeats Maximinus, who commits suicide. Death of Diocletian.
315 Erection of Arch of Constantine, celebrating his visit to Rome.
316 War against Licinius, who cedes all his European territories except Thrace.
317 Constantine appoints three new Caesares: his sons Crispus (12), with whose mother he had had a long-term affair, and Constantine (about 7 months), and Licinius’s son Licinius (20 months).
322/323 Great victories of Constantine over the Sarmatians and Goths.
324 Further war against Licinius, who is defeated at Adrianople and Chrysopolis, and subsequently executed. Constantine appoints as Caesar his son Constantius.
325 Council of Nicaea, with Constantine in the chair. Formation of Nicene Creed.
326 Executions of the empress Fausta, Crispus, and Licinius junior.
330 Dedication of new capital city, Constantinople.
332 Great victory over the Goths, 40,000 of whom enter Roman service as allies.
333 Constantine appoints as Caesar his youngest son Constans.
334 Victories over the Sarmatians, 300,000 of whom settle within the empire.
335 Constantine appoints his nephew Flavius Dalmatius Caesar.
336 Constantine campaigns across the Danube.
337 Baptism of Constantine, who dies on 22 May. Purge of rivals, including Dalmatius. Constantine II, Constantius II, and Constans recognized as Augusti (9 September).


340 Constans defeats and kills Constantine II in Italy and takes his territories.
343 Trouble in northern Britain, to which Constans crosses in January.
350 In a palace revolution in Gaul, Constans is replaced by military commander Magnentius and is then murdered.
351 Magnentius is defeated by Constantius, who makes Gallus, nephew of Constantine I, Caesar in the east.
353 Magnentius’s suicide sparks off official reprisals in Britain against his supporters.
354 Gallus is executed for misusing his authority.
355 Julian, Gallus’s half-brother, is made Caesar with charge over Gaul and Britain, and marries Helena, Constantius’s sister. He wins victories over the Alamanni and Franks.
c.356 Alliance against Rome between the Picts and the Celtic Dál Riata (later known as Scots).
361 Troops in Gaul, faced with being transferred to the east to bolster Constantius’s Persian war, mutiny and declare Julian Augustus. Constantius dies in Cilicia while marching to oppose Julian, who enters Constantinople as emperor, having publicly declared his paganism.
363 Julian dies of wounds while retreating from an encounter during his eastern campaign. His soldiers declare as Augustus his senior staff officer, Jovian, who makes peace with the Persians.
364 Death of Jovian. A convention of civilian and military officials at Nicaea elect as emperor Valentinian, a military commander, on condition he appoint a co-ruler. He chooses his brother Valens to rule the east, while he takes the west.
367 Revolt in Britain of Picts, Scots, and Attacotti, aided by Franks and Saxons. Valentinian names as Augustus his 8-year-old son Gratian.
368-374 German wars.
375 Death of Valentinian, whose 4-year-old son, Valentinian II, is named Augustus by the troops, without the consent of Valens and Gratian.
378 Valens dies at Adrianopolis fighting the Goths. Gratian appoints Theodosius supreme commander against the Goths.
379 Theodosius made Augustus in succession to Valens.
382 Theodosius makes a treaty with the Goths and gives them lands in Thrace and Lower Moesia. In northern Britain, Magnus Maximus, military commander in Britain, heavily defeats Picts and Scots.
383 Theodosius names as Augustus his infant son Arcadius . Maximus crosses to Gaul and defeats Gratian, who is murdered at Lyon while escaping to Italy.
384 Theodosius and Valentinian II recognize Maximus as Augustus over Britain, Gaul, Spain, and Africa.
386 Death of the empress Flavia Flaccilla, mother of Arcadius and Honorius (b. 384).
387 Theodosius marries Galla, sister of Valentinian II, and gives Serena, his niece and adoptive daughter, in marriage to his military commander Stilicho, son of a Vandal captain. Maximus invades Italy and expels Valentinian II.
388 Maximus is defeated and executed by Theodosius. Valentinian II is again ruler of the western empire.
390 Massacre of inhabitants of Thessalonica in response to the murder of one of Theodosius’s commanders, for which he is refused communion and ordered by the archbishop of Milan to do penance.
391 Theodosius sanctions the destruction of the temple of Serapis in Alexandria, and passes measures banning all forms of paganism.
392 Death of Valentinian II. At the instigation of Arbogast, Valentinian’s cavalry commander, Eugenius, a teacher and keeper of imperial dispatches, is proclaimed Augustus, but is not recognized by Theodosius.
393 Theodosius appoints Honorius Augustus in the west, with Stilicho as his military commander and also guardian.
394 Theodosius defeats Eugenius at the river Frigidus, and executes him. Arbogast commits suicide.
395 Death of Theodosius (23 January). Arcadius becomes emperor in the east. Visigoths under Alaric in Greece.


396 The division of the empire between east and west is now permanent. Augustine becomes bishop of Hippo.
398 Gildo, son of the king of Mauretania, having held for 12 years a powerful commission from Rome, rebels against the western government and proposes the transfer of the north African provinces to the east. He is defeated and killed. Honorius marries Stilicho’s daughter Maria.
401 Alaric invades Italy.
402-403 Stilicho twice defeats Alaric, who, however, is allowed to get away.
404 Honorius transfers his court to Ravenna.
405-406 Ostrogoths under Radagaisus invade Italy, but are destroyed by Stilicho at Fiesole.
406 Germanic tribes cross the frozen Rhine and occupy northern Gaul, causing devastation. Some reach Spain.
407 In Britain, Constantine III, a soldier, is proclaimed emperor. He crosses to Gaul, where and in Spain his authority is accepted.
408 Constantine makes Arles his base and appoints as Caesar his elder son Constans II, with orders to put down a revolt in Spain by some relatives of Honorius. Honorius marries Thermantia, younger daughter of Stilicho. Death of Arcadius, who is succeeded by his 7-year-old son Theodosius II. Conspiracy against Stilicho, who is executed by Honorius. Alaric besieges Rome, but accepts bribes to go away.
409 Alaric again besieges Rome, whose city prefect, Attalus, he acclaims as emperor. Britons revolt against Constantine, who is recognized by Honorius. Constantine raises Constans to Augustus.
410 Alaric besieges Rome for the third time. He deposes Attalus and tries to negotiate with Honorius, who declines to do so. Alaric sacks Rome, taking away Galla Placidia, Honorius’s 20-year-old half-sister. Rescript of Honorius, allegedly informing the inhabitants of Britain that they must organize their own defence against Saxon invasions.
411 Deaths of Constantine and Constans.
414 Galla Placidia is married to Ataulf, brother-in-law of and successor to Alaric; he is murdered the following year. Death of Anthemius, effectively regent of the eastern empire, after which the role is undertaken by Theodosius’s elder sister, (St) Pulcheria, born in 399.
417 Galla Placidia is married to Constantius III, Honorius’s commander-in-chief.
418 Honorius grants Visigoths federate status in their former lands in Gaul.
421 Constantius is made Augustus, but dies seven months later.
423 Death of Honorius, whose throne is temporarily seized by Johannes.
425 Valentinian III, son of Galla Placidia and Constantius, is restored to the rule of the west with the help of Theodosius.
429-438 Publication of Theodosian Code of laws, promulgated in 438 to the senate in Constantinople and presented also to the senate of Rome.
c.435 Attila becomes king of the Huns. Aetius is commander-in-chief of the western empire.
437 Marriage in Constantinople between Valentinian and Licinia Eudoxia, daughter of Theodosius.
439 Vandals now occupy most of north Africa, Suevi north-west Spain, and Visigoths, Burgundians, Alans, and Franks almost all of Gaul.
440-461 Leo I is pope.
442-443 Attila ravages Balkan region of the eastern empire.
446 Britons appeal to Aetius, consul for the third time, for help against the Saxon mercenaries introduced by Vortigern to fight the Picts.
450 Death of Theodosius. Marcian, a soldier, accepts the imperial crown from Pulcheria, with whom he makes a political marriage, promising to respect her virginity. Soon afterwards, he marries his only daughter to Anthemius, future emperor in the west (467-472).
451 Attila invades Gaul, but is defeated for the only time by Roman and Visigoth troops under Aetius.
452 Attila invades Italy and sacks several significant cities, but withdraws under persuasion from Pope Leo.
453 Attila dies during the night after his wedding feast.
454 Valentinian murders Aetius with his own hands.
455 Valentinian is assassinated by two of his bodyguard. Vandals sack Rome from the sea. Avitus, a Gallic noble, is proclaimed emperor in Gaul, but on his arrival in Italy he is not recognized in the eastern empire and is forced to abdicate by the imperial commander-in-chief, Ricimer, who until his death in 472 effectively decides who will be emperor, and for how long.
457 Death of Marcian. The new emperor in the east is Leo I, a serving military officer.
472 Death of Ricimer, after which there are four western emperors in four years.
474 Death of Leo. His grandson, Leo II, whom he had made Augustus the previous year, rules for three weeks before promoting his father, Zeno, husband of Ariadne, daughter of Leo I, to be joint Augustus. Leo II dies of natural causes, after which Zeno rules alone until 491.
476 Romulus Augustulus (14), having ruled as western emperor for less than a year, is deposed by Odoacer, his Germanic mercenary commander, who informs Zeno that he will rule under his sovereignty. This marks the end of the Roman empire in the west, and the establishment of a Gothic kingdom in Italy.


491 Anastasius, a minor palace official, succeeds Zeno and marries Ariadne.
493 Assassination of Odoacer. Theodoric the Ostrogoth rules Italy until 526.
518 Death of Anastasius, who is succeeded by Justin, commander of the elite palace guard.
527 Death of Justin, who is succeeded by his nephew and adopted son, Justinian.
528-529 Code of Justinian.
530-533 Digest of Justinian.
532 Nika revolt in Constantinople.
532-537 Building of St Sophia, the principal church of the Byzantine world.
534 Belisarius, Justinian’s general, overthrows the Vandal kingdom in Africa and annexes it.
535 Belisarius launches attack against the Ostrogoths in Italy, and occupies Rome (10 December 536).
537-538 Ostrogoths besiege Rome.
539-540 Belisarius has successes against the Ostrogoths, and takes Ravenna, but is recalled by Justinian to fight the Persians.
542 Bubonic plague and earthquake.
544 Belisarius returns to Italy, where Totila, chosen king of the Ostrogoths in 541, has taken northern Italy.
547 Totila, having taken Rome, is driven out by Belisarius, returns, and is again defeated.
548 Belisarius is recalled. Ostrogoths retake Rome. Death of Theodora, influential wife of Justinian.
552 Justinian sends Narses, an Armenian eunuch, to Italy with enough troops to overwhelm the Ostrogoths and recapture Rome for the eastern empire. Death of Totila.
554 Narses defeats the Franks and Alamanni who are invading Italy.
558 Return of the plague.
559 Belisarius, called out of retirement, delivers Constantinople from the Huns.
565 Death of Justinian. He is succeeded by his palace administrator, Justin II, who rules until 578.
597 Pope Gregory (590-604) sends (St) Augustine to convert the Anglo-Saxons.
622 Traditional date for the founding of Islam.
633-655 Muslim conquest of Egypt, the Sassanid empire, and Syria.
664 Synod of Whitby; England becomes attached to the Roman Catholic Church.
731 Venerable Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum.
747 Muslim fleet destroyed off Cyprus by Byzantine ships, and is not re-formed until c.850.
760 Foundation of Turkish empire.
c.790 Beginning of Viking raids against Britain.
797-802 Irene, widow of Leo II and mother of Constantine VI, whom she deposes and causes to be blinded, becomes sole ruler of the empire in the east.
800 Charlemagne crowned in Rome as emperor of the west.
858 Death of Kenneth mac Alpin, first king of the Picts and Scots.
871 Alfred the Great crowned king of Wessex.
907 End of T’ang dynasty in China.
939 Death of Æthelstan, first king of all England.
1018 Malcolm II adds Lothian and Strathclyde to his kingdom of Scotia.
1035 Death of Canute, king of Denmark, Norway, and England.
1053 Split between Church of Rome and the Church in the east.
1066 Harold II defeats Norwegian invaders at Stamford Bridge (25 September). Duke William of Normandy invades England. Battle of Hastings (14 October). William crowned king of England (25 December).
1072 Malcolm III of Scotland submits to William.
1095 Pope Urban II proclaims First Crusade.
c.1138 Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae includes first appearance of many elements of the legend of King Arthur.
1143-1180 Rule of Manuel I marks the highest point in Byzantine civilization.
1187 Saladin captures Jerusalem.
1212 Children’s Crusade.
1228-1229 Sixth Crusade, led by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, recovers Jerusalem.
1244 Final loss of Jerusalem, to Egyptian Khwarazami.
1284 Statute of Wales, regulating conquered territory.
1328 Peace between England and Scotland.
1337-1453 Hundred Years War between England and France.
1453 Fall of Constantinople to Mohammed II and the Turks. End of the eastern Roman empire.