Roman Timeline


First Secession of the Plebs

494 BC

The plebs threatened to found a new town, leading patricians to create the office of the Plebian Tribune, who could veto any law that could harm the plebians.

Social Conflict

Formation of the Plebian Council

494 BC

The Plebian Council was a legislative group composed of plebians that elected the plebian tribunes and aediles and passed laws specific to plebians alone.

Second Secession of the Plebs

449 BC

Plebians seceded again, forcing patricians to create the Twelve Tables, which presented a basic set of laws and rights to the Roman Public.

Social Conflict

Twelve Tables

449 BC

This law stood as the foundation of the Roman Republican Constitution and of all Roman. It was the culmination of increasing tensions between the patricians and the plebians. They wer carved into ivory tablets and posted in the Roman Forum for all to see and read.

Social Conflict

Gallic Sack of Rome

387 BC

The Battle of the Allia occured, leaving the Romans humiliated and defeated. Many Roman records and gold was lost to the vengeful Gauls.

Military Conflict

Samnite Wars

343 BC - 290 BC

These three wars were between the Romans and the Samnites, a tribe in Italy. It led to total unification of Italy during the battle for Sentinum, where Rome's incredible self discipline, well-trained armies, and superior leadership led to victory.

Military Conflict

Lex Ogulnia

300 BC

This law was passed, allowing the plebians into the priesthood. This allowed the plebians to break into religious power.

Social Conflict

Lex Hortensia

284 BC

This law was the final result of the class struggle. It says that the plebians (through the Plebian Assembly) could make and pass laws that applied to the Roman citizens as a whole, both plebians and patricians. This allowed wealthy plebians to have just as much power and prestige as the patricians and the gap between the classes was somewhat closed.

Social Conflict

Pyhrric War

280 BC - 275 BC

Pyrrhus of Epirus, the Greek leader and most able general at the time, wanted to build a large empire. As the Greeks and their allies and the Romans and their allies (including Carthage) fought, Rome left its Italian home and entered international affairs within the Mediterranean. The term "Pyhrric Victory" came to be because when Phyrrus did win, he lost at too high a cost and many of his men were killed.

MIlitary Conflict

1st Punic War

264 BC - 241 BC

This was largely a naval war for the control of Sicily between Carthage and Rome. It was essentially a string of Roman victories leading to the addition of Sicily to Rome's territories.

Military Conflict

2nd Punic War

218 BC - 202 BC

This war is known for the legendary general Hannibal and his crossing of the Alps with war elephants. Though Hannibal's idea was brilliant, his long-term stratgey did not work as he lost most of his elephants and all of his seige engines to the cold of the mountains. This war is also when Scipio Africanus gets his cognomen. It led to Carthage's control being reduced to just around the city itself. Rome became the dominant power of the Mediterranean.

MIlitary Conflict

1st Macedonian War

214 BC - 205 BC

Philip V of Macedonia allied himself with Hannibal in the 2nd Punic War. Afraid of what would happen if Macedonia backed Hannibal in his Italian campaign, the Romans sent soldiers to occupy them across the Adriatic Sea. This distracted the Macedonians long enough and the war ended indecisively.

MIlitary Conflict

2nd Macedonian War

200 BC - 196 BC

This was a more minor war, leading to the signing of the Treaty of Tempea, which stated Philip V could not venture or meddle in affairs outside his borders. After this war, Rome declared Greece "free" and lost intrest in them for the time being.

Military Conflict

3rd Punic War

149 BC - 146 BC

Rome began a seige againt Carthage and lay in wait for three years. Cato the Elder finished all his speeches with "Carthage must be destroyed." Eventually, Scipio Aemilianus broke through the gates and burned Carthage, destroying it and salting the land.

MIlitary Conflict


Marcus Camillus

403 BC - 367 BC

Marcus Camillus was dictator five times and a military hero of Rome. His death was mourned greatly and he was dubbed the "Second Founder of Rome". His victories led to conquests that increased the territory of Rome by 70% and made the city the most powerful in the Italian Peninsula.

Military Conflict

Marcus Manlius

392 BC

Marcus Manlius was consul when the Gauls beseiged Rome. Holed up and trapped on the Capitoline Hill, he was alerted by the sacred geese of Juno honking, allowing him to become the savior of Rome by spotting the advancing Gauls. Later in life, he supported plebian reforms and power and was thrown off the Tarpeian Rock to his death by the Senate.

MIlitary Conflict


307 BC - 272 BC

Phyrrus was the King of Epirus and fought in the Phyrric War against Rome. He was the most notable general of his time. His aggression gave Rome a reason to expand outside of Italy and be involved in international affairs. He was killed in battle because an old woman hit him with a roof tile, allowing an Argive soldier to behead him.

Military Conflict

Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Asina

261 BC

Scipio Asina was the commander of the first Roman naval fleet and was humiliated by the Carthaginians in the Battleof the Lipari Islands when his inexperienced sailors fled the ships and left him to be captured. Thus, he got the cognomen Asina, or "donkey".

Military Conflict

Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus

205 BC - 202 BC

Scipio Africanus was a Roman general that defeated Hannibal at the Battle of Zama in the 2nd Punic War. After the age of 25, he never lost a battle and was rvered as known as one of the greatest military tacticians and leaders the world has seen.

Military Conflict

Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus Minor

147 BC

Scipio Aemilianus was he commmander who was in charge during the 3rd Punic War, allowing for the destruction fo Carthage. He also led the senators opposed to the Gracchi brothers.

MIlitary Conflict

Tiberius Gracchus

146 BC - 143 BC

Tiberius Gracchus introduced land reforms, reassigning the land from the patricians to the plebians. He and his brother Gaius are credited to be the first populares and are the fathers of socialism and populism. He was assasinated and clubbed to death along with 300 of his supporters by the Senate when they felt threatened by his political popularity and influence.

Social Conflict

Cornelia Africana

146 BC - 121 BC

Cornelia was the daughter of Scipio Africanus and the mother of the Gracchi brothers. She supported them fully throughout their political careers, giving advice and help when asked. She is known as the perfect Roman woman. When asked about riches, she gestured to her sons and said, "These are my jewels."

Social Conflict

Gaius Gracchus

123 BC - 122 BC

Gaius Gracchus, brother of Tiberius, was another revolutionary politician and legendary speaker. His reforms were more far-reaching and radical than his brother. He first meddeled in the justice system, then he expanded his brother agrarian reforms. He continued to gain the pople's support as he changed the military and made the people the priority. Gaius comitted suicice after his enemies chased him through the streets of Rome and out of the city.

Social Conflict