8000 B.C.E to 600 C. E

AP World History

Early Years

AP World History

Neolithic Revolution

8000 B.C.E - 3000 B.C.E

The development of sedentary agriculture leads to the settlement of nomads into stratified society, with job specialization, religion and cities, forming civilizations.

Farming Communities in the Mesopotamian River Valley

6000 B.C.E

Farming communities appear in the Fertile Crescent.

Experimentation with agriculture in Egypt

5000 B.C.E

people learn to plant crops like barley/wheat after flooding of the Nile.

Hieroglyphics developed in Egypt

3100 B.C.E

hieroglyphics: ancient Egyptian written language made up of pictographs


3000 B.C.E

The Sumerian peoples develop a civilization in the southern part of Mesopotamia. Ur, Erech, and Kish are the major city states.

Development of Indus River Valley Civilization

3000 B.C.E - 2500 B.C.E

Centers at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro

King Hammurabi of Babylon Reigns

1792 B.C.E - 1750 B.C.E

Hammurabi's achievements include...
-organized central bureaucracy
-regular taxation
-Code of Hammurabi: distinguished between major/minor offenses, connected crimes with specific punishments

Shang Dynasty in China

1766 B.C.E - 1122 B.C.E

Shang Dynasty develops along the Yellow River. Oracle bones, on which predictions about the future were written, tell us much about this time period. Achievements: development of Chinese pictograph characters, ideographs, bronze metallurgy, horse-drawn chariots, ethnocentrism of China, spoked wheel, pottery, silk, calender decimal system

Aryans enter the Indian subcontinent

1700 B.C.E

Through the Khyber Pass, the Aryans, a nomadic people of Indo-European origin, enter the Indus River Valley and establish a racial mix in modern-day India. Their influence permeates much of Indian society, ex: caste system.

Babylonians take power over the Akkadians

1700 B.C.E

Akkad once dominated Sumer, but Babylon defeats them and becomes the new powerhouse in Mesopotamia.

Hittites take power over Mesopotamia

1500 B.C.E

Babylon falls due to the invasions of the Hittites, who became a military superpower through their knowledge of how to use iron.

Fall of Indus River Valley Civilization

1500 B.C.E

collapse after about 500 years of decline. still a mystery today.

Bantu Migrations begin

1500 B.C.E

Farmers in Niger/Benue River Valleys in West Africa begin migrating south and east, bringing Bantu language, knowledge of agriculture and metallurgy with them. Bantu speakers gradually move into areas formerly occupied by nomads.

Olmec Civilization in Mexico

1500 B.C.E - 400 B.C.E

The Olmec, an urban society supported by food surpluses from corn/beans/squash develop. Accomplishments: irrigation, large-scale buildings, polytheism, writing system, calendar. Did NOT develop in a river valley.

Exodus from Egypt

1300 B.C.E

Moses leads the Hebrews out of Egypt.

Zhou Dynasty in China

1122 B.C.E - 265 B.C.E

The Zhou Dynasty, established by Wu Wang, developed many of China's key traditions. The Mandate of Heaven, Veneration of Ancestors, social hierarchy iron metallurgy, bureaucracies, feudal system

Egypt River Valley Civilization falls into decline

1100 B.C.E - 100 B.C.E

Assyrian Empire, Persian Empire, Greeks, and Romans conquer chunks of Egypt over time.

Jews establish Israel in Palestine

1000 B.C.E

Chavin Civilization in the Andes

900 B.C.E - 200 B.C.E

An agricultural, urban, polytheistic civilization with access to the coast. Accomplishments: metallurgy, weaponry, llamas as beasts of burden. Did NOT develop in a river valley.

Axial Age Begins

600 B.C.E

Named such by Philosopher Karl Jaspers, the Axial Age refers to the time period during which major religions and philosophies developed in order to answer the questions that previous, more animist traditions, had not fulfilled.

Era of Warring States

600 B.C.E - 221 B.C.E

A time of constant fighting in chaos in China, during which no central government existed. During this time period, Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism emerged to provide possible explanations for the disorder and suffering of the Chinese.


600 B.C.E

Zoroaster, a Persian prophet, tries to explain the suffering that had troubled the Fertile Crescent since the earliest days of history. Earth was seen as a battleground between good and evil. Founded Zoroastrianism, a monotheistic religion.

Siddhartha Guatama

563 B.C.E - 483 B.C.E

Raised as a prince in Nepal, Siddhartha decided to leave the palace in order to find the answers to such questions as "why is there suffering in the world". He reached enlightenment, and became known as Buddha, or enlightened one.


551 B.C.E - 479 B.C.E

The philosopher that believed that the key to finding peace in China was finding the right kind of leadership. Founded Confucianism.

Darius Rules Persia

522 B.C.E

Emperor Darius, divided the Persian empire into 20 provinces, each ruled by a strap, allowing the people to maintain their old customs. Achievements: Royal Road, metal coins of standard value.


509 B.C.E - 476 C.E

Republic: patricians and plebeians, government composed of a Senate, Assembly, and two consuls, civil laws to protect rights, Twelve Tables of Rome, pater familias, slavery

Romans overthrow the Etruscan King

509 B.C.E

The Etruscan king ruled with an absolute monarchy that the Roman people despised. They rebelled, and replaced his absolute monarchy with a system of the republic.

Laozi founds the Daoist School of Thought

500 B.C.E

The ideas of the Way, Tao/Dao te Ching are attributed to Laozi. Founder of Daoism. Wu wei: act by not acting. Believed that knowledged was dangerous.

Persian Wars in Greece

499 B.C.E - 449 B.C.E

The Persian Wars united all Greek City states against their mutual enemy: Persia. The war ended in a stalemate-no clear winner. Led to an era of peace and prosperity.

Golden Age of Pericles

480 B.C.E - 404 B.C.E

The Golden Age saw Athens become a cultural powerhouse under Pericles. Democracy established for all males. Athens was rebuilt, with the new addition of the Parthenon. Delian League, an alliance against aggression from the city states' common enemies, was founded. Socrates, Plato , and Aristotle agree to find truth through rational thought and careful observation. Greek Drama, Doric/Ionic/Corinthian columns, Archimedes, Hippocrates, Euclid, Pythagoras.

Twelve Tables in Rome

450 B.C.E

Began Rome's system of law

Peloponnesian War

431 B.C.E - 404 B.C.E

Athens had the Delian League to lead, and Sparta had the Peloponnesian League to lead. Tensions grew as both city states grew fearful and jealous of each other's power. A dispute over the city of Corinth was the final step towards the war. Athens tried to stay inside its great walls, but a plague devastated the population and the navy was defeated at Syracuse, and thus, was weakened. Sparta did not destroy Athens, and was soon dominated by the Macedonians.

Philip III of Macedon invades Athens

359 B.C.E - 336 B.C.E

conquers the entire region, and, rather than destroying Greek culture, allowed it to flourish.

Alexander the Great conquers the Persian empire

330 B.C.E

Death of Alexander the Great

323 B.C.E

Legacy: Hellenistic Empire and Era

Mauryan Empire in India

321 B.C.E - 180 B.C.E

Founded by Cahndragupta Maurya, who united all of the smaller Aryan kingdoms into a civilization. His grandson, Ashoka Maurya, would bring the empire to its peak. The empire was powerful because of its success in trade and powerful military. However, Ashoka had a conversion to Buddhism, and preached nonviolence from thereon out. Important Rock and Pillar Edicts reminded citizens to be good and righteous.

Mayan Civilization in Mexico/Central America

300 B.C.E - 800 C.E

Mayan civilization was composed of city-states that were, interestingly, ruled over by one king. Accomplishments: Tikal, works of scholarship complex calendar, warfare with religious significance, division of cosmos into three parts (heavens above, humans in the middle, underworld below), slavery,

First Punic War

264 B.C.E - 241 B.C.E

Fought to gain control over the island of Sicily.
Rome WINS.

Punic Wars

264 B.C.E - 146 B.C.E

Conflicts involving Carthage, a city-state in North Africa, lead to a full-out war.

Death of Ashoka Maurya

232 B.C.E

The Mauyan Empire begins to crumble, in part due to economic problems and pressure from northeastern attackers.

Qin Dynasty in China

221 B.C.E - 209 B.C.E

Qin Shihuangdi, the first emperor of the dynasty, recentralized the feudal kingdoms that had broken up after the Zhou. Accomplishments: standardization of laws/currencies/weights/measures/systems of writing, Great Wall of China, Legalism

Second Punic War

218 B.C.E - 201 B.C.E

Hannibal, a Carthaginian general, initiates the war by surprise-attacking the Romans after sneaking through the Alps, who hadn't expected an attack from the north. His army destroyed many towns, and nearly destroyed Rome, but a Roman army had landed in Carthage, forcing him to return to his home. Carthage sued for peace, and Rome rose to become the undisputed power in the Mediterranean.

Death of Qin Shihuangdi

207 B.C.E

Han Dynasty in China

200 B.C.E - 460 C.E

Wu Ti, the Warrior Emperor, enlarged the Han empire even in the face of the invasions from the Xiongnu. Trade explodes on the Silk Road, Buddhism spreads, and the civil service exam, based on Confucius' teachings, is established to prepare a highly skilled bureaucracy for China. Accomplishments: paper, sundials, calendars, rudder, compass, metallurgy

Third Punic War

149 B.C.E - 146 B.C.E

Rome invades Carthage and burns it to the ground for literally absolutely no reason. This allowed Rome to continue expanding in the Mediterranean.

Wu Ti/Di

141 B.C.E - 87 B.C.E

The most prominent ruler of the Han, who built roads, established an imperial university which prepared students for the civil service exam, and pursued a foreign policy of expansion.

Julius Caesar declares himself dictator for life

46 B.C.E

Assassination of Julius Caesar

44 B.C.E

Octavian takes over

27 B.C.E

Julius Caesar's nephew, who took the title Caesar Augustus.

Birth of Christ

4 B.C.E

Jesus is born to Jewish parents in Judea.

Diaspora of the Jews

135 C.E

The Romans drive the Jews out of their homeland, and force them to scatter into communities around the Mediterranean.

Collapse of the Han Dynasty

220 C.E

After this, China remains divided in regional kingdoms for 400 years or so.

Edict of Milan

313 C.E

Issued by Constantine. Ended persecution against Christians in Rome.

Gupta Dynasty in India

320 C.E - 550 C.E

Chandra Gupta the Great revived India and established the Gupta Empire, which was less centralized and smaller than the Maurya, but still reached a golden age of peace and prosperity in the arts and sciences. Achievements: concept of pi, concept of zero, decimal system from 1-9 (known as Arabic Numerals).

Roman Empire is Divided

375 C.E

Western Roman Empire-collapses, never to be seen again
Eastern Roman Empire-Byzantine Empire

Christianity becomes the official religion of the Roman Empire

380 C.E

Emperor Theodosius proclaims Christianity the official religion.

Mayan Golden Age

500 C.E - 800 C.E

Gupta Dynasty collapses under the White Huns

550 C.E