Period 2 Timeline

Spans from roughly 600 BCE to 600 CE. Key Concepts: Period Concept 2.1 – The Development and Codification of Cultural and Religious Traditions Period Concept 2.2 - The Development Of States & Empires Period Concept 2.3 - Emergence Of Trans-Regional Networks Of Communication And Exchange

China

Kong Fuzi (Confucius)

551 BCE - 479 BCE

A Chinese teacher and scholar, Kong Fuzi (Confucius) was the founder of Confucianism, a popular Chinese philosophy based off ordered relationships and strong, morally conscious leaders in government. Confucian thought had enormous, lasting influence on the Chinese systems of government and education. (Period Concept 2.1 - The Development and Codification of Cultural and Religious Traditions)

Qin Dynasty

221 BCE - 207 BCE

The Qin Dynasty was the first unification of China. It was founded by Qin Shihuangdi, who ruled with a centralized government and strict legalist policies. The Qin was the time period in which the Chinese began to build defensive walls, including precursors to what would become the Great Wall of China. The dynasty dissolved due to civil insurrection. (Period Concept 2.2 - The Development Of States & Empires)

Qin Shihuangdi

221 BCE - 210 BCE

Qin Shihuangdi (also known as Shi Huangdi) was the founder of China's Qin Dynasty. In his reign, marker here, he established the tradition of centralized government in China and ruled bureaucratically. His policies reflected his Legalist philosophy; they were extremely harsh. Civil opinion on his government was not favorable; revolution was frequent, and in attempts to curb criticism of his policies, Qin Shihuangdi burned all books of philosophy, ethics, and literature in China, only leaving state-sponsored histories and books of medicine and agricultural technique. Shi Huangdi improved China because he standardized Chinese systems of weights and measures, currency, and script, which facilitated trade. He died in 210 BCE, and his tomb is famous for containing hundred of terra cotta soldiers. (Period Concept 2.1 – The Development and Codification of Cultural and Religious Traditions) (Period Concept 2.2 - The Development Of States & Empires)

Han Dynasty

206 BCE - 220 CE

Founded in the ruins of the Qin Dynasty by general Liu Bang, the Han Dynasty was one of the mot influential in the history of China. The Han government was centralized, and Its greatest emperor was Han Wudi (reigned 141 to 87 BCE). His government was based off Legalist values, but he established the Imperial University of China, which taught its students according to Confucian philosophy. The Han Empire imperialized to absorb northern Vietnam and Korea, and during this period in time, Chinese trade flourished due to Han Wudi's construction of roads and canals. The Han is traditionally split into the Former and Later Han, the distinction between them being a two-year period in which the government fell to the Xiongnu, nomads from the Central Asian Steppes. The Later Han ruled much as the Former Han did, until factionalism in the upper classes and rebellions (like the Yellow Turban Rebellion) caused it to disintegrate. (Period Concept 2.2 - The Development Of States & Empires)

Yellow Turban Rebellion

184 CE - 205 CE

The Yellow Turban Rebellion was an uprising of lower class Chinese citizens against the government of the Later Han Dynasty. Rebels wanted the government to institute land reforms to lessen the socioeconomic class divide in China. Revolters were marked by their distinctive yellow turbans. The rebellion was eventually extinguished by the Han Administration, but this uprising and other like it greatly weakened the Han and contributed to its downfall. (Period Concept 2.2 - The Development Of States & Empires)

India

Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha)

563 BCE - 483 BCE

Siddhartha Gautama, better known as Buddha, was born in 563 BCE into a high class (kshtriya caste) family in India. He lived a life of relative comfort until he was in his early twenties, when he decided to give up his life of affluence in favor of being a traveling monk. He lived ascetically and eventually became enlightened, then continued traveling India and preaching his understanding of the world. His philosophy would become the Buddhist faith, in some sects of which he is considered a god. (Period Concept 2.1 – The Development and Codification of Cultural and Religious Traditions)

Mauryan Dynasty

325 BCE - 185 BCE

The Mauryan Dynasty was the first unification of India. It was founded by Chandragupta Maurya, who conquered all of Northern India and brought it under his control. The government of the Maurya was centralized, and its most prosperous period was under its third emperor, Ashoka Maurya. Under Ashoka, India went through a period of economic affluence in which trade flourished an Buddhism became popular. The empire dissolved shortly after Ashoka's death. (Period Concept 2.2 - The Development Of States & Empires)

Ashoka Maurya

268 BCE - 232 BCE

Ashoka Maurya was the third emperor of the Mauryan Dynasty in India; the period of his reign in marked here (268 - 232 BCE). He initiated and won the War Of Kalinga (ended 260 BCE), bringing all of Northern India under Mauryan control. He converted to Buddhism soon after the end of that war, and the influence of the faith was seen in his nonviolent, tolerant policies. He facilitated the spread of Buddhism through India, and helped fund its popularization and growth as a faith. (Period Concept 2.1 – The Development and Codification of Cultural and Religious Traditions) (Period Concept 2.2 - The Development Of States & Empires)

Gupta Dynasty

320 CE - 550 CE

The Gupta Dynasty was India's second unification. It was founded by Chandra Gupta in 320 CE, with the help of several powerful families from the Ganges River region. There was no central government policy in the Gupta Dynasty, and it fell to the invasion of nomads called the White Huns in the sixth century CE. (Period Concept 2.2 - The Development Of States & Empires)

Greece

Greco-Persian Wars

492 BCE - 449 BCE

The Greco-Persia Wars (also called the Persian Wars) were a series of conflicts between the Persian Empire and Greece. They began in 492 BCE when Greek Colonies in Ionia (in Anatolia in modern Turkey) revolted against Persian rule, and requested assistance from the Greeks on the Balkan Peninsula. This led to several battles, one notable one being the Battle Of Salamis, and the eventual triumph of Greece over Persia. The wars led to the formation of the Delian League in Greece, and immediately after they ended in 449 BCE, Greece entered a short golden age. (Period Concept 2.3 - Emergence Of Trans-Regional Networks Of Communication And Exchange)

Socrates

470 BCE - 399 BCE

An Athenian philosopher, Socrates wandered Athens and speculated about human nature and the role of government and the gods in people's lives. Many young Athenian men followed him and listened to his teachings, notable Plato, who wrote down much of Socrates' philosophy. Socrates was sentenced to death by the Athenian Council in 330 BCE because of his refusal to stop questioning the gods and the government during a time when both authorities were needed by the Athenian people - the Peloponnesian Wars. He drank hemlock sap before he could be publicly executed. (Period Concept 2.1 – The Development and Codification of Cultural and Religious Traditions)

Peloponnesian Wars

431 BCE - 404 BCE

The Peloponnesian Wars were a series of conflicts between Athens and Sparta, the two most powerful poleis (city-states) in Greece. Athens, as the leader of the Delian League, was demanding large sums of money from other poleis in the League, and was using the money not, as it was intended, to fend off the Persians, but for the advancement of Athens as a society. Athens was looking to lead Greece, and so Sparta, along with all the other poleis, waged war on it. Sparta eventually won, but the wars caused social and economic devastation throughout Greece. (Period Concept 2.2 - The Development Of States & Empires)

Plato

430 BCE - 347 BCE

Plato was an Athenian philosopher and a student of Socrates who wrote down much of Socrates' philosophy. However, after Socrates' death, Plato lost faith in the Athenian government and came to favor the Spartan system of administration instead. He wrote several essays of his own philosophy and taught several students, most notable among them Aristotle. (Period Concept 2.1 – The Development and Codification of Cultural and Religious Traditions)

Aristotle

384 BCE - 322 BCE

Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and a student of Plato's who wrote several original works of philosophy. He was also tutor to Alexander of Macedon (Alexander the Great). (Period Concept 2.1 – The Development and Codification of Cultural and Religious Traditions)

Rome

Roman Republic

509 BCE - 27 BCE

The Roman Republic was founded by members of the Roman nobility, who deposed the last Etruscan king in 509 BCE. Rome was governed by a republican constitution from that point onward. However, due to civil wars and a huge socioeconomic class divide (among other things), the republic disintegrated. Though the exact ending point of the Republic is disputed by historians, it is here marked as being in 27 BCE, when the Roman senate granted extraordinary powers to Augustus Caesar and essentially made him emperor of Rome (though the Republic continued in name). (Period Concept 2.2 - The Development Of States & Empires)

Founding Of The Roman Republic

509 BCE

The Roman Republic was formed when Roman nobility replaced the last of the Estruscan kings with an aristocratic republic. A republican constitution was instituted, and consuls and senate members were elected to create Roman legislation. The original Roman Republic did not in any way represent the opinions of the lower class, the plebeians, and was fully controlled by the upper class, the patricians. However, in 449 BCE, the plebeians were allowed to elect tribunes to represent them in the government. (Period Concept 2.2 - The Development Of States & Empires)

Augustus Caesar (Octavian)

63 BCE - 14 CE

Nephew of Julius Caesar and founder of the Roman Republic, Augustus Caesar (also known as Octavian) defeated Marc Antony and Cleopatra in 31 BCE and consolidated his rule over the Roman Empire. His rule was a monarchy disguised as a republic; though he technically used the system of administration of the Roman Republic, he was in charge of all major government functions. Under Octavian, Rome gained contra of all the land surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, allowing for trade monopoly and economic security. Augustus' reign facilitated the Pax Romana, and he also made some land reforms to help bridge the socioeconomic class divide between the plebeians and the patricians. (Period Concept 2.1 – The Development and Codification of Cultural and Religious Traditions) (Period Concept 2.2 - The Development Of States & Empires)

Jesus Of Nazareth

4 BCE - 30 CE

Jesus of Nazareth was the figure around whom the sect of Judaism that would eventually become Christianity was based. He was a Jewish teacher who would later become recognized as the son of God. He traveled Rome and preached his faith, performing miracles as he went. As his followers grew in number, however, the Roman Empire came to see him as a threat, and he was crucified in 30 BCE. According to the Christian doctrine, he rose from the dead three days later, and then ascended into Heaven. (Period Concept 2.1 – The Development and Codification of Cultural and Religious Traditions)

Pax Romana

Approx. 0 CE - Approx. 200 CE

The Pax Romana was a long period of political and economic stability in Rome, in which many cultural innovations occurred. Trade also flourished in the Mediterranean Region during this period. This peace was brought about around 0 CE by the unification of Rome under Augustus Caesar (Octavian), and lasted until roughly 200 CE. (Period Concept 2.2 - The Development Of States & Empires) (Period Concept 2.3 - Emergence Of Trans-Regional Networks Of Communication And Exchange)

The Practice Of Christianity Is Legalized In Rome

313 CE

The Roman Emperor Constantine was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, and he made the practice of the faith legal for Roman citizens. (Period Concept 2.1 – The Development and Codification of Cultural and Religious Traditions)

Christianity Becomes Official Religion Of Roman Empire

380 CE

Though first prosecuted, followers of the Christian faith became more and more numerous in Rome following the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. Emperor Theodosius I was the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity, and he declared the religion the official faith of his empire in 380 CE. This facilitated the popularization and spread of the faith independent of Judaism in the region surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. (Period Concept 2.1 – The Development and Codification of Cultural and Religious Traditions)

Fall Of The Western Roman Empire

476 CE

The Roman Empire fell in 476 CE due to a number of reasons. These include, but are not limited to, its uncontrollable size, corruption in the upper class, invasion by various Germanic tribes, and religious persecution of all subject who were not Christian. The last Roman Emperor was Romulus Augustus. (Period Concept 2.2 - The Development Of States & Empires)

Other

Achaemenid Dynasty

558 BCE - 330 BCE

The first dynasty of the Persian Empire, the Achaemenid Dynasty was founded by Cyrus the Great. Its most successful emperor was Darius, who established the Persian administration system that was used as a template for many civilizations to follow. The Achaemenid declined during the rule of Darius' successor, Xerxes, who did not practice his predecessors' policies of religious tolerance. The Persian Wars further weakened the empire, and it ended in 330 BCE when it was conquered by Alexander the Great. (Period Concept 2.2 - The Development Of States & Empires)

Cyrus The Great

558 BCE - 530 BCE

Founder of the Persian Empire, Cyrus the Great came from southwestern Iran. His reign is marked here. He established the Achaemenid Dynasty in Persia, and his empire stretched from Anatolia in the west to the Hindu Kush mountains in the east, including parts of northern Egypt and all of Mesopotamia. He died in battle in 530 BCE. (Period Concept 2.2 - The Development Of States & Empires)

Alexander The Great

356 BCE - 323 BCE

Alexander the Great (also known as Alexander Of Macedon), was a Macedonian prince who conquered much of the known world. He invaded and conquered Persia (ending its Achaemenid Empire), Greece, Anatolia, Syria, Mesopotamia, Bactria, and parts of Egypt. He would have continued on to India, had his soldiers not mutinied. He died in 323, before he could establish a central administration for his empire, which split into three empires under three of Alexander's most powerful generals. Up until then, he relied on the already-established government systems in the places he conquered. His empire facilitated a good deal of cultural assimilation between far-flung empires. (Period Concept 2.2 - The Development Of States & Empires) (Period Concept 2.3 - Emergence Of Trans-Regional Networks Of Communication And Exchange)

Kingdom Of Axum

Approx. 100 CE - Approx. 940 CE

The Kingdom Of Axum in modern Ethiopia was one of the first prominent centers of Christianity in Africa. They practiced Coptic Christianity, a sect which originated in Egypt. (Period Concept 2.1 – The Development and Codification of Cultural and Religious Traditions) (Period Concept 2.2 - The Development Of States & Empires)

Mayan Civilization

Approx. 300 CE - Approx. 900 CE

The Maya were a Central American civilization known for their advances in mathematics and astronomy and their inventions of the first complex calendar and chocolate. (Period Concept 2.2 - The Development Of States & Empires)

Beginning Of Trans-Saharan Trade

Approx. 400 CE

Trade routes first began to go through the Sahara Desert in Africa around the fifth century CE, due to the availability of the camel. (Period Concept 2.3 - Emergence Of Trans-Regional Networks Of Communication And Exchange)