World History Timeline

Mesopotamia

Natufians

15,000 BCE

Hunter-gatherers of the near and middle east. After the Younger Dryas Event, they were forced to establish semi-permanent villages along rivers and adopted farming and domesticating crops.

Jericho

8,000 BCE

A small city located in the West Bank, Palestinian Territory. The ruins date back to about 8000 BCE, making it one of the oldest Neolithic cities in the world.

Polytheism

5,000 BCE

Greek for “many gods”. The belief of many deities. Pantheon of gods and goddesses. Mythology and rituals

Ziggurats

5,000 BCE

The stepped and elevated temple structures that the ancient Mesopotamian civilization erected in honor of its gods.

Cuneiform

3,000 BCE

One of the earliest known forms of written expression. It emerged around 30th century BCE in Mesopotamia. It began as a system of pictographs. The characters were wedge shaped.

Sargon the Great

2,300 BCE

A Semitic Akkadian emperor famous for his conquest of the Sumerian city-states in the 22nd and 23rd centuries BCE. He founded the dynasty of Akkad.

Hammurabi

1,792 BCE - 1,750 BCE

The emperor of post-Sumerian Mesopotamia during 1,700s BCE. He is known for creating the Hammurabi’s Code of Laws.

Epic of Gilgamesh

1,700 BCE

The oldest known work of western literature. It analyzes the relationship between gods and humans. It portrays a society in search of a religious basis for human action.

Early Africa and Egypt

Narmer

3100 BCE

The first pharaoh who is also known as Menes. He unified Upper and Lower Egypt in 3050 BCE to create the first dynasty of the Old Kingdom.

Old Kingdom

3,100 BCE - 2,200 BCE

This dynasty began with Narmer and ended with the 1st Intermediate Period. This was Egypt's most successful era socially, and economically.

Memphis

3,000 BCE

The capital city of Egypt where the pharos ruled from during the Old KIngdom.

Maat

3,000 BCE

Goddess that represented predictability and stability in nature and man.

Horus

3,000 BCE

The falcon god who symbolized the forces in order. Also, the first pharaoh ruled in his name.

Hieroglyphics

3,000 BCE

The pictographic writing system of Ancient Egyptians.

Osiris

3,000 BCE

He was a chief Egyptian god and the ruler of the underworld.

Anubis

3,000 BCE

She was Osiris’ consort and the goddess of the underworld. Her job was to weigh the souls, or ka, of the dead.

Middle Kingdom

2,100 BCE - 1,650 BCE

During the kingdom, political stability continued and art was even more refined. In this era, rule extended further south, upstream of the Nile, and trade increased to Phoeaicia, Crete, and Nubia. Also, labor conditions worsened and religion became more democratic.

Hyksos

1650 BCE - 1570 BCE

A mysterious people who invaded Egypt in 1650-1570 BCE. They ruled during the second intermediate period.

New Kingdom

1,550 BCE - 770 BCE

This dynasty began after second intermediate period and the invasion of the Hyksos people. The first 300 years were attempting to invade Mesopotamia, but it failed. From 1250-700 BCE the civilizations in Egypt declined.

Akhnaton

1,367 BCE - 1,350 BCE

He tried to change the Egyptian religion from polytheistic to monotheistic, under the rule of sun god, Aton. He failed his mission, and was assumed to be killed by his priests.

Ancient India

Mohenjo- Daro and Harappa

2,500 BCE - 1,200 BCE

The two cities along the Indus River that were apart of the Dravidian civilization. Each city was more than 3 miles across and housed more than 100,000 people. Streets are at precise right angles, there were 2 or 3 story buildings, indoor sewage, and other evidence of advanced technology.

Vedas

1,500 BCE

The four oral epics of the Aryans. It told the citizens in Ancient India all of their duties.

Laws of Manu

1,500 BCE

An ancient compilation of teachings from Hindu India. From these laws, devout Hindus could learn what was needed for perfection and the attainment of moksha. The laws were the cornerstone of Hindu traditional opinion on the rights and duties of sexes, family members, and castes.

Caste System

1,500 BCE - 500 BCE

The social unit in which individuals are born and which dictates most aspects of daily life. Each caste has their own special duties and tasks.

Siddhartha Gautama

563 BCE - 483 BCE

An Indian aristocrat who became the Buddha. As a young man, he wandered for several years through north India to seek answers to the riddles of life. After intense meditation, he came to terms with himself and human existence. He became a teacher to a large group of disciples, who spread his word.

Chandragupta Maurya

340 BCE - 298 BCE

The founder of the first historical dynasty. He succeeded in seizing supreme powers in northwestern India upon the withdrawal of Greeks. The rule of the dynasty was brief yet important.

Ashoka

269 BCE - 232 BCE

The third and greatest ruler of the Mauryan rulers. He was admired by Indians as the founding spirit of Indian unity and nationhood. He greatly expanded the Mauryan empire by conquest, and later spread Buddhism in India; therefore, he became a pacifist.

Warriors and Deities in the Near East

Tyre and Sidon

1,000 BCE

Ports that made the Phonecians the greatest maritime traders in luxury wares and colonizers of the ancient Near East.

Solomon

970 BCE - 935 BCE

The son of David and was the most renowned king of the Hebrews. During his reign, the Hebrews were important trade intermediaries between Egypt and Mesopotamia, and a wonder of the ancient world, Temple of Jerusalem, was built. But many of his subjects hated Solomon because of his heavy taxes and luxurious living.

Ninevah

900 BCE - 612 BCE

The main city and later the capital of the Assyrian Empire. It lay in the upper valley of the Tigris.

First Diaspora

722 BCE

Samaria/Israel was ended by the failed rebellion against the Assyrians, which resulted in the scattering of the populace, and eventually the loss of them.

Assurbanipal

685 BCE - 627 BCE

One of the last kings of the Assyrian empire. He established the largest known to the Near East in ancient times.

Talmud

586 BCE - 539 BCE

The new interpretations of the Covenant created after the Jews release from the Babylonians. The Talmud aided the Jews to reappraise God and their relationship to him.

Cyrus

576 BCE - 530 BCE

He united the Persians in the mid 16th century BCE. He quickly overcame the Medes and extended his domain from the borders of India to the Mediterranean coast. His government sheltered many different peoples and beliefs under the supervision of the “Kings of Kings” because he realized that he could learn from his new subjects.

Darius 1

522 BCE - 486 BCE

The third great Persian ruler. During his reign, the empire reached its maximal extent. A stable coinage of god and silver, a calendar, and a more advanced and refined law code helped the people of Persia flourish during this time.

Zarathustra

500 BCE

The mythical founder and chief prophet of the ancient Persian religion known as Zoroastrianism, which influenced Jewish and Christian beliefs. He is also known as Zoroaster.

Avesta

200 CE

The teachings of Zarathustra which were written down in the 3rd century CE (long after his death). It tells about the belief of a man who founded a new type of religion, a faith that linked gods and humans in a new fashion.

Ancient China

Hsia Dynasty

2,200 BCE - 1,700 BCE

The first dynasty in ancient China.

Oracle Bones

2,200 BCE

On the flat surfaces of bones, Shang sages incised the earliest surfing examples of Chinese writing. The messages are questions for the gods, and the sages red the answers by examining the pattern of cracks in the bones after hot iron had been pressed against them.

Shang Dynasty

1,700 BCE - 1,100 BCE

The Shang Dynasty rise is associated with two important innovations: writing and bronze casting. The Shang society was strictly hierarchical. War was very common; therefore, warriors were favored. The ranks went from a king, to warriors, to skilled artisans, and the peasants. They believed in deities and ancestor spirits who controlled natural forces.

Mandate of Heaven

1,100 BCE

A theory of rule originated by the Zhou Dynasty in China, emphasizing the connection between imperial government's rectitude and its right to govern.

Zhou Dynasty

1,100 BCE - 221 BCE

The first Zhou kings were powerful rulers who depended mainly on their swords. The faint beginning of professional bureaucracy is seen in the Zhou Dynasty. Eventually, power slipped and a feudal society developed. By the end of the dynasty, local aristocrats had command of much of the empire.

Confucius

551 BCE - 479 BCE

The fifth century BCE philosopher, Kung Fu-tzu, whose doctorines were permanently influential in Chinese education and culture. He was the molder of Chinese education and what the Chinese should and shouldn't do. The great model for Confucius's politics was the Chinese family. Within a family, the father/husband had all authority, and children and wives accorded the father absolute obedience.

Lao Zi

500 BCE

Mythical author of the Dao de Jing, or Book of Changes, which served as the text for various versions of Daoist folklore and philosophy for many centuries in China. He believed that a ruler should follow the Way of Nature, which is perceived through meditation and observation. He looked for a lifestyle that was in tune with the natural world, and avoided all extremes.

Mandarins

400 BCE

Chinese scholar-officials who had been trained in Confucian principals. Usually associated with the landed elite. They were the actual administrative class of China for 2,000 years.

Legalism

400 BCE - 225 BCE

A Chinese philosophy of government emphasizing strong authority. It was popularized in the Era of the Warring States, between collapse of the Zhou Dynasty and the rise of the Qin Dynasty. Legalism was a rationalized form of government manipulation. Its basis was the conviction that people were inclined to evil selfishness; therefore, it was the task of the government to restrain them and guide them to do good.

Ancient Greece

Knossos

2,000 BCE - 1,400 BCE

A palace complex called the Great Palace at Knossos. It consisted of hundreds of rooms built on three levels and arranged loosely around a series of courtyards.

Minoan culture

2,000 BCE - 1,400 BCE

Minoans were led by Knossos, and were masters of a wide ranging maritime empire. Their written language has not yet been deciphered. They established a seaborne commercial network that spanned most of the eastern Mediterranean. Their wealth produced a socially complex society that was organized into tiny states centered on powerful kings.

Odyssey

1,700 BCE

He served as one of the chief role models for the ancient Greeks. He embodied in an epic work of of literature, the Odyssey, the qualities of craftiness and effective action that the Greeks considered most commendable in a man.

Mycenaean Culture

1,600 BCE - 1,100 BCE

The history and culture of the earliest known Indo-European inhabitants of the Greek peninsula.

Troy

1,250 BCE

A powerful city- state. In the Odyssey, it was the place if the Trojan war. Archeologist have found the actual city of Troy which they concluded was destroyed in 1300 BCE. It is situated on a hill commanding the entrance into Hellespont, and it has 9 different layers which signifies the period each "new" Troy was rebuilt after being destroyed.

Dorians

1,100 BCE - 800 BCE

Nomads from the north that conquered the Myceneans in 1200 BCE. During there reign, the period was called the Dark Age because from 1100 to 800 BCE, the culture of the Greek peninsula declined. Arts, crafts, and the ability to read and write were lost.

Polis

800 BCE

The community of adult free persons who make up a town or any inhabited place. Also known as a “city-state”. Each polis thinks of themselves as independent of every other politically and culturally, but they all called themselves Greek. In a polis, men were only excepted as citizens; women and slaves were aliens. Many polis had similar features: economy, surroundings, and a mixture of citizens.

Homer

800 BCE - 701 BCE

The legendary author of the two epic poems of ancient Greece, the Iliad and the Odyssey. The identity of Homer is not known.

Messenians

700 BCE

Neighbors of the Spartans who engaged in a war with them. The Spartans won the war, which from that point, the Messenians were reduced to a state near slavery to the Spartans. They rebelled again and again, but could never succeed.

Solon

638 BCE - 558 BCE

The most important oligarch who ruled during the early sixth century. When the polis faced economic and agricultural crisis by lack of agrarian land, he was given supreme power to fix the issue. He responded by creating a constitution that struck an uneasy balance with the wealthy and the impoverished masses, but eventually neither groups were satisfied, so the contest resumed.

Cleisthenes

508 BCE - 494 BCE

An aristocrat and the true founder of Athenian democracy. He believed that the people should have the last word in their own government because it was just it was the best way to keep civil peace.

Ostracism

500 BCE

Cleisthenes introduced this idea to enforce the will of the majority without resorting to bloodshed or civil war. A citizen who would not conform to the will of his neighbors. An ostracized person had to go into exile and lost all rights of citizenship for a certain length of time.

Battle of Salamis

480 BCE - 478 BCE

The Athenian navy routed a large Persian Navy in 479, and the Persians never seriously threaten Europe again.

Peloponnesian War

431 BCE - 404 BCE

The great civil war between Athens and Sparta and their respective allies in ancient Greece, fought between 431 and 404 BCE and eventually won by Sparta, but for a very long time, the war was at a deadlock.

Battle of Chaeronea

338 BCE

The battle in 338 BCE when Philip of Macedon decisively defeated the Greeks and brought them under Macedonian rule.

Alexander the Great

336 BCE - 323 BCE

Son of King Philip 2 of Macedon. Remembered for his conquest of the Persian Empire and most of the Near East, 336- 323 BCE, from which the Hellenistic era began.

Greek Humanism

Zeno

490 BCE - 430 BCE

The founder of the philosophy called Stoicism. He emphasized the unity of all humanity and disdained the social conventions that falsely separated the human race.

Socrates

470 BCE - 399 BCE

The first philosopher to focus on ethical and epistemological questions. He concentrated on human rationality, and was more intersted in "How do I know?".

Parthenon

432 BCE

A building on the top of the Acropolis in Athens built by Pericles that required 46 13-ton columns to build. Also required 20,000 tons of marble, $100,000,000 and eight years. It is the most imitated building in the world. It housed a soft statue of patron goddess Athena, called the Pallas Athene, for 92 total statues. It was used a place for worship.

Plato

427 BCE - 347 BCE

The pupil of Socrates, Plato tried to solve the problem of how the mind can experience and recognize Truth and ultimate reality. He believed that a kingdom should be run by a philosopher king, and not a democracy.

Diogenes

412 BCE - 323 BCE

The major figure of Cynicism. He called the return to absolute simplicity and a rejection of artificial divisions, whether political or economic. Relatively few people could adapt to the rigid poverty and absence of egotism that the religion demanded.

Aristotle

384 BCE - 322 BCE

The pupil of Plato, he was known to be a universal genius. He was interested in every field of science and formal analysis of thought and action.

Metaphor of a Cave

350 BCE

Plato’s explanation of the difficulties encountered by those who seek philosophical truth and the necessity of a hierarchy of leadership.

Epicurus

341 BCE - 269 BCE

The founder of Epicureanism. He taught in Athens during the third century BCE. He taught that the principal good of life was pleasure, which he defined as avoidance of pain. He was mainly talking about mental and spiritual pleasure pain rather than physical pain. His religion taught that it was better to focus on finding your own serenity and to ignore the affairs to the world.

Alexandria, Egypt

300 BCE - 50 BCE

The location of the biggest center of science where the Ptolemaic kings established and supported many research centers and the ancient world's largest library and museum.