THE ANCIENT WORLD FROM THE ROMAN EMPIRE
TO THE FOURTH
The Roman Empire
The Roman Empire
27bc : Octavian receives the title of Augustuss; birth
of the Roman Empire; during the Augustan period, Vitruvius
composes his famous treatise on architecture.
19bc: death of Virgil, one of the greatest poets of
ad14: on the death of Augustus, Tiberius becomes
ad49: Jews and Christians are driven out of Rome
following an edict by Claudius.
ad64: Rome is devastated by a terrible fire.
ad70: Titus razes fhe Temple of Jerusalem to the
ground and conquers the city.
ad79: the eruption of Vesuvius destroys Pompeii,
Herculaneum, and Stabia; Pliny the Elder, author of
Naturalis Historia, perishes in the disaster.
ad96—98: Nerva introduces the principle of adoption
into the imperial succession.
ad107: after Trajan's successful military campaigns,
Dacia becomes a Roman province; Trajan's Forum is built by
the architect Apollodorus of Damascus.
ad122: the building of Hadrian's Wall begins in
ad193: the army of Illiria proclaims Septimus Severus,
of African origin, emperor.
ad212: Roman citizenship is granted to all free
citizens of the empire.
ad248: Philip the Arab celebrates the first millennium
of the foundation of Rome.
ad271: on the orders of Aurelian, Rome is
surrounded by protective walls.
ad285-305: Diocletian institutes a system to organize
the empire known as the tetrarchy.
ad324-330: Constantine, having become the sole
Augustus after the defeat at Maxentius, founds
ad395: with the death of Theodosius, the empire is definitively
divided into two parts by his sons.
The Byzantine Empire
From Late Antiquity to the Romanesque
c.400bc: the wholly Celtic La Tene civilization
becomes established in the region of the Middle Rhine,
Champagne, and the Marne.
c.300bc: the Scythians occupy part of the lowlands
between the Don and the Danube.
c.100BC: the Goths settle along the Baltic coasts of
ad64: persecutions of Christians begin.
313: Emperor Constantine, together with Licinius,
issues an edict of tolerance towards the Christian religion.
432-440: construction in Rome of Basilica of Santa
Maria Maggiore, the first of papal rather than imperial
476: deposition of Romulus Augustulus signals fall of
the western Roman Empire.
507: Clovis, king of the Franks and founder of the
Merovingian dynasty, defeats the Visigoths; Paris becomes
capital of kingdom.
568: the Lombards, led by their king Audoin, settle
614: Irish monk St Columba founds monastery of Bobbio.
726: Byzantine emperor Leo III the Isaurian condemns
the cult of images.
800: Charlemagne, king of France and conqueror of the
Lombards, crowned emperor of the West by Pope Leo III.
820-830: illumination of Utrecht Psalter, supreme
masterpiece of Carolingian art.
972: following the marriage of Otto II and the Greek
princess Theophano, the empire is influenced by Byzantine
1059: consecration of the baptistry of Florence, an
extraordinary example of Tuscan Romanesque architecture.
c.1107: the goldsmith Rainer of Huy works in Liege.
The Spread of Islam
The Artistic Cultures of Asia
500bc: Sao culture (c.300bc-ad900) widely established
around Lake Chad: in Ceylon, the cities of Anuradhapura and
321—185bc: under the Maurya Dynasty, Indian Buddhism
reaches its zenith.
206bc: Han Dynasty imposes its rule in China.
142bc: King Mithridates I of Parthia, of the Arsacid
Dynasty, conquers Mesopotamia.
c.ad200—300: in Japan, the kofun culture spreads,
seen in the ancient tombs and mounds destined for members of
the warrior aristocracy.
224—226: Sassanid Dynasty, under Prince Ardashir,
initiates its rule over Persia.
320-550: Gupta Dynasty, founded by Chandragupta I,
established in northern India.
636: Muslims conquer Syria. 645—710: during the
Hakuho period, in Japan, Shinto sanctuaries are built.
732: Charles Martel's victory at Poitiers stems the
Arab advance in the West.
750: With the defeat of the Umayyads, the Abbasids
become the new caliphs of Islam and move the heart of the
empire into Mesopotamia.
c.800-900: an elegant artistic culture develops in
the Nigerian villages of Igbo-Ukwu.
930-1250: during the eastern Java period, Indonesian
art attains great splendour.
1040: Seljuk Turks conquer Khorasan and establish
their capital in Isfahan.
c.1267-1276: China ruled by Kublai Khan, nephew of
Genghis Khan, initiating Yuan dynasty.
c.1300: an original artistic culture for the royal
court develops in Benin.
c.1490-1510: ivories in the Sapi-Portuguese style are
produced in Sierra Leone.