Ancient Rome Timeline Project


The City of Rome is Founded

753 BC

There is a legend that the twin sons of Mars, the god of war, Romulus and Remus founded the city. Romulus killed Remus and named the city after himself.

Rome Becomes a Republic

509 BC

The last king is overthrown and the city is now ruled by elected government officials called senators. There is a constitution that includes the laws of the new republic. This was important to the Romans because they no longer had a leader that ruled over them. Even though it was a big deal to the Romans back then, it isn't really remembered today.

The First Punic War

264 BC - 241 BC

The First Punic War was the first of three wars fought between Ancient Carthage and the Roman Republic. Rome is expanding too close to Carthage, an older empire, threatening to take over Carthage's territory. Carthage attacks Rome to defend their territory. After 17 years of war, Rome eventually comes out victorious. This is important to Rome because it showed how powerful they were. They also gained wealth and territory. This event is remembered today because it is one of ancient Rome's most famous battles.

The Second Punic War

218 BC - 201 BC

The Second Punic War, also referred to as The Hannibalic War and the War Against Hannibal, lasted from 218 to 201 BC and involved Carthage, Rome, Macedonia, and Numidia. Rome again gains victory.

Hannibal invades Italy

218 BC

Hannibal leads Carthage's army into Italy by travelling through the Alps to attack Rome. This is part of the second Punic War.

The Third Punic War

149 BC - 146 BC

The Third Punic War was the third and last of the Punic Wars fought between the colony of Carthage and the Roman Republic. The Punic Wars were named because of the Roman name for Carthaginians: Punici, or Poenici. Rome pulls off a third victory, leaving Carthage destroyed.


73 BC

Spartacus the gladiator leads slaves in an uprising.

Julius Caesar Becomes the First Dictator of Rome

45 BC

Caesar makes his famous Crossing of Rubicon and defeats Pompey in a civil war to become the Supreme Ruler of Rome, therefore ending the Republic.

Julius Caesar's Assassination

44 BC

Julius Caesar is assassinated on the Ides of March by Marcus Brutus, in hopes of bringing back the republic. However, civil war breaks out and all hope is lost.

The Empire Begins

27 BC

The Roman Empire begins as Caesar Augustus becomes the first Emperor.

The Great Fire of Rome

64 AD

Much of Rome burns in a devastating fire. Legend has it that Emperor Nero watched Rome burn as he was playing the lyre. He later blames the devastation on Christians.


79 AD

In 79 AD, the dormant volcano, Mt. Vesuvius, erupted. The day had started out normally, but slowly turned into doomsday for the citizens of Pompeii. The volcano's eruption buried the ancient Roman city of Pompeii under a thick layer of volcanic ash. This event was important to Rome because they could have learned not to build cities by volcanoes. Two thousand people died, and the city was abandoned for almost 2000 years. In 1748, when archeologists rediscovered Pompeii, perfectly preserved, everything was left as it had been before the historical disaster. Since then, Archaeologists have found perfectly preserved items such as bread, fruit and other everyday household items. This event is remembered today because of the remains that were found almost perfectly preserved. We can learn a lot about ancient Roman life from this event.

The Colosseum is Built

80 AD

The Colosseum, one of the great examples of Roman engineering, is built. It could seat 50,000 spectators.

The Hadrian Wall is Built

121 AD

A long wall that surrounds most of Rome is built to keep out the barbarians.

Constantine Becomes Emperor

306 AD

Constantine would convert Rome to a Christian empire. Prior to Constantine's rise to power, Rome had persecuted Christians.

Theodosis I

380 AD

Theodosis I declares Christianity as the one and only religion of the Roman empire.

Rome Splits


Rome splits into 2 empires. By 285 CE the Roman Empire had grown so big that it was no longer possible to govern all the provinces from one place in the empire. Emperor Diocletian divided the empire into halves with the Eastern Empire governed out of Byzantium (later Constantinople) and the Western Empire governed from Rome. This was important to the Romans because there were two parts of Rome now and there were 2 rulers, one for each half of the Roman empire. This was a very important event to the Romans, but we don't really remember it as important today.

Rome is Defeated

410 AD

The Visigoths defeat Rome. This was the first time the Roman empire had fallen to an enemy in 800 years.

the Western Roman Empire Ends and the Fall of Ancient Rome

476 AD

The last Roman Emperor, Romulus Augustus, is defeated by the German Goth Odoacer. This signals the beginning of the Dark Ages in Europe.

The Byzantine Empire ends

1453 AD

The Byzantine Empire comes to end end as it falls to the Ottoman Empire.