West Asia


Parthian Empire

247 BCE - 224 CE

-Based in Ctesiphon (modern day Iraq) located in southern Mesopotamia
-Parthian kings ruled for nearly half a millennium and influenced politics from Asia Minor to northern India
-They were overthrown by Sassanian armies from southwest Iran in the early third century A.D.


Birth of Jesus

0 CE

Start of the ministry of Jesus

29 CE

Jesus Christ begins his ministry in Galilee, a small region in the northern section of Israel.

Death of Jesus

30 CE

Jesus is sentenced to death and crucified outside of Jerusalem

Earliest Gospel

80 CE

Earliest Christian Gospel in written down in Syria

Latin translation of the Bible completed


St Jerome, in Bethlehem, completes the Latin translation of the Bible, which later becomes known as the Vulgate
-Commissioned by Pope Damasus I
-The definitive and officially promulgated Latin version of the Bible in the Roman Catholic Church

Roman Influence

Trajan captures Petra


Trajan (Roman emperor) captures Petra and Nabataea is annexed and turned into the province of Arabia

Trajan conquers Mesopotamia


Trajan conquers Mesopotamia and the Parthian capital Ctesiphon

Jewish Revolts in Jerusalem

130 - 136

130 – Hadrian (Roman emperor and governor of Syria) rebuilds Jerusalem as a Roman city; this prompts an uprising of the Jewish population.

132 CE – Simon Bar Kohkba, a Jewish leader who led the revolts against the Romans in Jerusalem pushes the last of the Romans out of the city

136 – Hadrian definitely crushes the Jewish resistance, forbids Jews from ever entering Jerusalem, and changes the name of the city to Aelia Capitolina

Galerius annexes Armenia, Georgia, and Upper Mesopotamia


Sassanids surrender to Roman emperor Galerius, who annexes Armenia, Georgia and Upper Mesopotamia

Byzantine Empire

330 - 1453

Constantinople is founded


Constantine (Roman emperor) founds the new capital of the Roman Empire on the existing site of the ancient Greek city Byzantium
-Byzantium was renamed Constantinople and it would become the capital of the Byzantine Empire
-Modern day Turkey

Hagia Sophia


Hagia Sophia was completed (Istanbul, Turkey)

Byzantine-Arab Wars

632 - 1050

Started during the initial Muslim conquests under the expansionist Rashidun and Umayyad caliphs in the 7th century and continued by their successors until the mid-11th century.


Sassanid Empire

224 - 651

-The Sassanids consciously sought to resuscitate Iranian traditions and to obliterate Greek cultural influence.
-Their rule was characterized by considerable centralization, ambitious urban planning, agricultural development, and technological improvements

Parthians were defeated


Ardashir I, a descendant of Sasan who gave his name to the new Sasanian dynasty, defeated the Parthians

Defeat Christian Armenia


Zoroastrian Persia (Sassanids) defeats Christian Armenia
-Zoroastrianism is an ancient Iranian religion and a religious philosophy

Internal Revolts

579 - 642

Internal revolts following the death of Khosrau I and wars with the Byzantines and Muslims weakens the Sassanid Empire

Capture of Jerusalem


The Sassanids capture Jerusalem from Byzantium
-Jerusalem falls to the Persian emperor Khosrau II (Sassanids) after a siege of a month

Muslin armies capture Ctesiphon


Muslim armies capture Ctesiphon (Iraq), and the Sassanian Empire begins to crumble

Sassanian army defeated at Nahavand


Sassanian army defeated at Nahavand (Iran); Persia comes under Muslim rule

End of Sassanid Empire


The last Sasanian ruler, Yazdegerd III, dies


Muhammad is born


Muhammad was born in Mecca (Saudi Arabia)

Muhammad travels to Medina


Muhammad travels to Yathrib (Medina) and builds the first Muslim community and gradually gathers more and more people to his side

Mecca becomes the Holy City


Mecca becomes the holy city of Islam and soon all Arabia accepts the new religion

Death of Muhammad


Rashidun Caliphate

Rashidun Caliphate

632 - 661

632–634: Abu Bakr
634–644: Umar
644–656: Uthman
656–661: Ali

Muslims conquer Jerusalem, Syria, and Persia

636 - 651

The Arab capture of Jerusalem brings Palestine and Syria under Muslim control

Qur'an written down


Caliph Uthman has the standard copy of the Qur'an written down

Ali is assassinated


Ali (Rashidun Caliphate) is assassinated and Mu'awiya becomes the fifth Muslim caliph, establishing the Umayyad dynasty
-The emergence of the Shi'a party creates a major schism within Islam

Umayyad Caliphate

Umayyad Caliphate

661 - 750

661–680: Muawiya I
744–750: Marwan II

Capital is moved to Damascus


Capital is moved to Damascus (Syria)

Dome of the Rock


The Dome of the Rock is completed as a Muslim shrine on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem

Great Mosque of Damascus


Great Mosque of Damascus (Syria)
-It is one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world. It is considered by some Muslims to be the fourth-holiest place in Islam.

Battle of Zab


Umayyad Caliphate is defeated at the Battle of Zab (Turkey/Iraq)

Abbasid Caliphate

Abbasid Caliphate

750 - 1258

750–754: As-Saffah
1242–1258: Al-Musta'sim (last)

Steady decline of Muslim rule over Persian Empire


Capital moved to Baghdad


Ismailis become a separate Shi'a sect


The Ismailis become a separate Shi'a sect when they dispute the succession after the death of the sixth imam
-Followers of Shia Islam believe the caliph should be an imam chosen by God from the Ahl al-Bayt (Muhammad's purified progeny).