800 =09 Increase in trade and the establishment of governmental
defense fortifications allowed for the emergence of Greek city-states
from tribal communities. These grew up around marketplaces and include
Athens, Thebes and Megara on the Greek mainland. The Greek city-states
are considered the most famous units of Greek political life to
develop in this society.
800 - 500 =09This period, often referred to as the Archaic period,
marked the developments of literature and the arts, politics,
philosophy and science. The Peloponnesian city of Corinth, Sparta and
cities along the coast of the Aegean Sea flourished. For the most
part, the Greek city-states were similar in their political evolution,
with the exception of Sparta's elite dictatorship.
Most began their political histories as monarchies, evolved to
oligarchies, were overthrown during the age of the tyrants (650-500
BCE), and eventually established democracies in the sixth and fifth
centuries. Of the Greek city-states, Athens and Sparta were the two
783 - 748 =09Jeroboam II King of Israel during period of prosperity.
776 =09First known dated occurrence of the Olympic Games in Greece.
753 =09Traditional date for the founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus on
one of seven hills overlooking the Tiber River.
760-750 =09Probably composition of Amos in Israel during the reign of Jerob=
c. 750 =09Probably composition of Micah in Judah during the reigns of
Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.
c. 745 =09Probable composition of Hosea in Israel during the reign of Jerob=
c. 740-700 =09Probable composition of the prophetic book of Isaiah.
Judah ruled by Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.
722 =09Sargon II of Assyria captured Samaria and brought the Kingdom of
Israel to an end. Only Judah remained and the ten tribes deported to
Assyria became the "Ten Lost Tribes."
c. 722 =09Sometime after this year the J and E documents were edited
together in an attempt to create a single narrative of Hebrew history
and culture, forming the core of the Books of Moses.
715 - 687 =09King Hezekiah ruled Judah.
c. 700 =09Horseshoes were invented in Europe.
c. 600s =09Probable composition of the first Proverbs.
689 =09Assyrians destroyed Babylon and flooded the site of the entire city.
687 =09Latest probable date for the composition of the Priestly (P)
document, one of the four basic documents of the Books of Moses.
683 =09Athens ended the rule of hereditary kings and began rule with
nine archons, chosen each year from among the nobles.
682 =09Judah surrendered to Assyria.
c. 650 =09Colaeus, Greek merchant, discovered the Strait of Gibraltar for G=
c. 650 - 600 =09Composition of the "Deuteronomist" (D) document, one of
the four major sources believed to have been the basis of the
Pentateuch (Books of Moses): Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers,
625-610 =09Probable composition of Nahum in Judah under Josiah.
c. 626-585 =09Probable composition of Jeremiah in Judah.
622 =09Law of Moses (Deuteronomy - D) was "discovered" in the Temple at
Jerusalem by the priest Hilkiah, during the reign of King Josiah, and
adopted as law.
621 =09Probable composition of Zephaniah in Judah under Josiah.
621 =09Dracon introduced Athens' first written laws. They were noted for
their severity and nearly every offense was punishable by death - thus
the term Draconian.
615-598 =09Probable composition of Habakkuk, perhaps in Judah.
608 =09Necho of Egypt defeated and killed Josiah, King of Judah, at the
Battle of Megiddo.
605 =09Nebuchadrezzar II the Great became the King of Babylon (until
561). He defeated Necho and the Egyptians at Carcemwash in Syria -
Judah thus came under Babylonian rule.
c. 605 =09Persian religious leader Zoroaster (Zarathustra) founded
Zoroastrianism - a faith which would dominate the Persian empire for
centuries and later had a profound influence upon Judaism,
Christianity and Islam.
c. 600 =09Aesop, Greek writer, may have lived (but is believed to have
c. 600 =09Probable composition of I and II Kings.
c. 600 =09Indian priests came to believe that repeating a prayer made it
more powerful, so they began using knotted strings as rosaries in
order to keep track of the number of times a prayer was said. Monks of
the eastern Christian church adopted this practice in the third
c. 600-400 =09Probable composition of the Book of Job.
594 =09Solon became the sole archon of Athens and introduced a new,
milder legal code. He also created a court of citizens and reformed
the election of magistrates.
c. 592-570 =09Probable composition of the Prophetic Book of Ezekiel.
586 =09Destruction of Jerusalem by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar (c.
630-532) ends the "Golden Age" of Old Testament literature.
Nebuchadrezzar II took the populace into captivity in Babylon. The
Temple was also destroyed at this time, leading to the development of
synagogues as centers of Jewish religious life.
580 =09Nebuchadrezzar II began building the Hanging Gardens of Babylon,
which became one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
565 =09Daoism (Taoism) was created by Chinese philosopher Lao-tse in the
563-483 =09Probable life of Siddhartha Gautama, later called The Buddha
559 =09Cyrus the Great became King of Persia (until 530), creating the
551-497 =09Probable life of K'ung Fu-tzu (Confucius).
539 =09Greeks defeated Carthaginians.
Cyrus conquered Babylon and made both Judah and Phoenicia Persian provinces=
538 =09Edict of Cyrus allowed some Jews to return to Judah after 49
years of exile by the Babylonians.
c. 538 =09Probable composition of Second Isaiah (Isaiah 40-66).
520 - 515 =09Jews who returned from the exile constructed the Second Temple=
521 =09Darius I became ruler of Persia (until 486).
520 =09Restoration work was resumed on the Temple in Jerusalem (completed i=
510 =09Tarquinius Superbus, last king of Rome, was overthrown in a rebellio=
509 =09Traditional date of the founding of the Roman Republic.
c. 500 =09Work began on the Grand Canal in China to link major river
systems. Eventually extended 1,000 miles.
Chinese invented crossbow.
c. 500 =09First cataract operations performed in India.
490 =09Athenians defeated the second Persian expedition at Battle of Marath=
480 =09Third Persian expedition was launched against Athens, this time
under leadership of Xerxes I (King from 486-465).
Persian army numbered at least 180,000 and the Greek rearguard (King
Leonidas & personal guard of 300 men) was massacred at Pass of
Thermopylae, but they buy time. The Greek fleet later defeated
Persians at battle of Salamis.
479 - 438 =09The philosopher Mo-tzu, founder of Mohism, was born. He
taught a message of universal love and compassion for the common
plight of ordinary people.
460-451 =09First Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta.
460-429 =09Age of Pericles in Athens.
458 =09Ezra returned to Jerusalem. Ezra may have been the one who
redacted the J, E, D and P documents into a single narrative.
458 =09Roman farmer, Cincinnatus, resigned as dictator after defending
the city from invaders.
447 =09Athenians began building the Parthenon.
445 =09Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem.
430 =09Greek philosopher Leucippus argues that all natural events have a
429 =09Acropolis was finished in Athens.
Philosopher Plato was born.
c. 400 =09The Torah, or "Law," was established as canon and included
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
c. 400 =09Festival of Samhain (October 31) was first observed in Ireland
by Celts. This celebration of summer's harvest included bonfires to
scare off evil spirits. Eventually it became known as Halloween.
399 =09Greek philosopher Socrates was condemned to death for his
heretical ideas and teachings.
387 =09Plato created the Academy, the most influential school of the
380-343 =09Last native Egyptian dynasty, the XXXth.
373 - 288 =09The Confucianist Meng-tzu (Mencius) was born. He departed
from Confucius by positing a theory of just rebellion against immoral
320 - 235 =09The philosopher Hsun-tzu, founder of Legalism, was born. A
heterodox Confucianist, he believed in moral education and repudiated
any belief in a spiritual realm; he also believed that human beings
were evil by nature.
c. 350 =09Probable composition of the Book of Jonah.
350 =09Jewish revolt against Persians failed.
334 =09Alexander the Great began his campaign in Persia. He defeated
Darius at Issus and later died at Babylon in 323.
325 =09Earliest known book on strategy and war, The Art of War, was
written by Sun-tzu.
301 =09Ptolemy I ruled Jerusalem.
300 =09Mayan civilization ruled Yucatan and farther south in Central Americ=
264 =09Gladiator combat became popular in Rome.
250 - 100 =09Hebrew scriptures were translated into Greek, creating the
221 - 207 =09Qin Dynasty ruled in China.
214 =09Construction began on the Great Wall of China. It was designed to
keep out a destitute and starving people, the nomadic Hsiung Nu.
215 =09Shih Huang Ti, first emperor of China, attempted to destroy
212 =09Chinese emperor Shihuang burned writings of dissidents and some
203 =09Ptolemy V Epiphanes ruled Egypt (until 181) - at this time the
Rosetta Stone was carved, recording his accession.
202 BCE - 220 CE =09Han Dynasty in China.
c. 200s =09Probable composition of I and II Chronicles, Song of Songs,
and many psalms and proverbs.
c. 200 =09The books known as " The Prophets" were established as
canonical. They include Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah,
Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and 12 minor prophets.
165 =09Hanukkah was first celebrated by Jews in Palestine as memorial to
their victory in Maccabean revolt against Syrians.
167 =09Zeus was worshipped in the Temple of Jerusalem under persecution
of Jews by Antiochus IV. The Jews revolted under leadership of Judas
c. 165 =09Probable composition of the Book of Daniel.
c. 150 =09Ecclesiastes was written and Old Testament was complete.
146 =09Romans sold 500,000 Cathaginians into slavery.
141 =09Jews liberated Jerusalem.
c. 100 =09Date for the earliest surviving Hebrew texts, the Dead Sea Scroll=
63 =09Pompey captured Jerusalem & annexed Syria and Judea.