NOTE: Many of the dates given below are approximate and some are the subject of intense debate.
6.5 million years ago (mya)
- Possible human ancestor Sahelanthropus tchadensis, which lives in trees but may be bipedal, appears in Africa (Chad).
- Possible human ancestor Orrorin tugenensis, which lives in trees but is probably bipedal, appears in Africa (Kenya).
- Hominid Ardipithecus kadabba, which lives in trees but may be bipedal, appears in Africa (Ethiopia).
- Bipedal, tree-living hominid Ardipithecus ramidus appears in Africa (Ethiopia).
- Bipedal hominid Australopithecus anamensis appears in Africa (Ethiopia; Kenya).
- Bipedal hominid Australopithecus afarensis appears in Africa (Ethiopia; Kenya; Tanzania).
- Bipedal hominid Kenyanthropus platyops (possibly an Australopithecine) appears in Africa (Kenya; Ethiopia).
- Bipedal hominid Australopithecus africanus appears in Africa (South Africa).
- Australopithecus afarensis becomes extinct.
- Bipedal hominid Paranthropus aethiopicus appears in Africa (Kenya; Ethiopia).
- The Quarternary glaciation period begins.
- Hominids begin making Oldowan-type stone tools (Ethiopia).
- Bipedal hominid Australopithecus garhi appears in Africa (Ethiopia).
- Homo habilis, the first member of the genus Homo, appears in Africa (Kenya; Tanzania).
- Bipedal hominid Paranthropus boisei appears in Africa (Tanzania; Kenya).
- Paranthropus aethiopicus becomes extinct.
- Australopithecus africanus becomes extinct.
- Bipedal hominid Paranthropus robustus appears in Africa (South Africa).
- Homo ergaster and Homo erectus appear in Africa (Kenya).
- Homo erectus begins to migrate out of Africa.
- Earliest fossil evidence of hominids (Homo erectus) outside Africa, from Dmanisi, Georgia.
- Earliest evidence of hominids (Homo erectus) in China.
- Hominids begin to make Acheulean-type hand axes and stone tools carved on both sides (Kenya).
- Possible evidence of control of fire, by Homo erectus, at Koobi Fora (Kenya).
- Homo habilis becomes extinct.
- Homo heidelbergensis appears in Africa (Zambia).
- Homo antecessor, which may practice cannibalism, is the first hominid to appear in Europe.
- Paranthropus boisei and Paranthropus robustus become extinct.
- Definitive evidence of controlled use of fire by Homo erectus at Bnot Ya’akov Bridge site (Israel).
- Homo antecessor has become extinct (Europe).
- Homo heidelbergensis begins to migrate out of Africa.
- The Denisovans, a species of Homo, appear in Europe.
- Homo neanderthalensis appears in Eurasia.
- Hominids in Europe are making sharp knife-like tools and scrapers using the Levallois technique.
- Spoken language may begin at this time.
- Hominids are cooking food by this date (and possibly much earlier).
- Homo heidelbergensis becomes extinct.
- First evidence of anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens) (Ethiopia).
- Based on studies of body lice genes, humans in Africa begin to wear clothing.
- Homo erectus becomes extinct.
- Homo sapiens begins migrating out of Africa to Eurasia.
- Perforated seashell beads are the first evidence of personal adornment (Morocco).
- Start of the Lower Pleniglacial Ice Age.
- Eruption of the Toba supervolcano (Indonesia).
- Engraved cross-hatch patterns on pieces of ochre in Blombos Cave may be the first abstract representations, symbols or art (South Africa).
- End of the Pleniglacial Ice Age.
- Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens may be interbreeding in western Asia.
- Homo sapiens has probably reached Australia.
- Homo sapiens arrives in Europe.
- Human tool-makers in the Aurignacian culture are creating long blades (Europe).
- Flutes made from animal bones may be the first known musical instruments (Germany; Slovenia).
- The first humans arrive in New Guinea.
- Homo neanderthalensis is probably extinct.
- The Upper Paleolithic Aurignacian culture carves the Venus of Hohle Fels and the Lion Man of Hohlenstein-Stadel from mammoth tusks (Germany).
- Earliest evidence of the domestication of the dog (Russia).
- First evidence of hand woven cloth, made from flax fibers (Georgia).
- The paintings in Chauvet Cave are made (France).
- The Venus of Willendorf figurine is made by the Upper Paleolithic Gravettian culture (Austria).
- Humans bury a dog with a mammoth bone placed in its mouth (Czech Republic).
- The Upper Paleolithic Gravettian culture carves the Venus of Brassempouy figurine, the first known depiction of a human face (France).
- Beginning of the most recent Ice Age.
- The earliest known permanent human settlement, at Dolni Vestonice (Czech Republic).
- The Upper Paleolithic Gravettian culture carves the Venus of Laussel (France).
- The Venus of Kostenki figurine is made by the Upper Paleolithic Gravettian culture. (Ukraine).
- Greatest extent of glaciation during the most recent Ice Age.
- Earliest known pottery vessels (China).
- Possible start of human migration into North America across the Bering Land Bridge.
- The Upper Paleolithic Magdalenean culture carves a likeness of a bison onto a spear thrower made out of a reindeer antler (France).
- Humans begin making composite tools, such as blades fastened to a stone or wooden shaft.
- An artist sculpts two bison out of clay in Le Tuc d’Audoubert cave (France).
- Paintings in Lascaux Caves (France).
- End of the most recent Ice Age.
- The Altamira Cave paintings (Spain).
- Humans living in Franchthi Cave are eating lentils, vetch and pistachios (Greece).
- At Abu Hureyra, humans are cultivating rye (Syria).
- Founding of a permanent settlement at Jericho (Palestine).
- Humans are cultivating emmer and einkorn wheat, barley, peas, lentils, bitter vetch, chick peas and flax at various locations in the Levant (Syria, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Cyprus and Turkey).
- A hunter-gatherer community constructs the temple-shrine at Göbekli Tepe (Turkey).
- Jericho now consists of 70 dwellings, a stone wall and a tower (Palestine).
- Farmers at Klimonas build a permanent agrarian settlement with mud-brick buildings for agricultural storage (Cyprus).
- Oldest surviving wooden bows (Denmark).
- Domestication of sheep in several locations in central and southwest Asia.
- A permanent settlement begins at Amesbury (UK: England).
- A copper pendant made at this time is the first evidence of metalworking (Iraq).
- Agriculture is well-established along the banks of the Nile (Egypt).
- Domestication of goats (Iran).
- Domestication of pigs (Near East; China; Germany).
- Domestication of squash (Mexico).
- Domestication of cats (Cyprus; Near East).
- Agriculture is well-established in Mesopotamia (Iraq).
- Franchthi Cave dwellers have domesticated emmer wheat, barley, sheep and goats (Greece).
- Between 5,000 and 7,000 people live in the settlement at Çatal Hüyük (Turkey).
- Woven linen cloth is being made in Çatal Hüyük (Turkey).
- Domestication of cattle in North Africa, India and Mesopotamia.
- Agriculture using irrigation begins in Mesopotamia and Egypt.
- A fortified settlement is established at Erbil in Mesopotamia (Iraq).
- Earliest evidence of winemaking (Georgia).
- Domestication of chickens (India; Southeast Asia).
- Domestication of llamas (Peru).
- The Seated Woman of Çatal Hüyük figurine is made (Turkey).
- First evidence of sailing boats (Kuwait).
- First evidence of copper smelting (Serbia).
- First evidence of agricultural field systems and stone walls (Ireland).
- A permanent settlement is founded at Argos (Greece).
- Invention of the ard plow in Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley (Iraq; Pakistan).
- Oldest traces of beer brewing (Iran).
- Oldest evidence of rowing oars (China).
- Domestication of maize (Mexico).
- Woven flax cloth is made at Fayum (Egypt).
- Rice and sorghum are domesticated in Africa’s Sahel region.
- The Sitting Woman and Thinker of Cernavoda figurines are made by the Hamangia culture (Romania).
- First evidence of bronze making, using copper and tin (Serbia).
- Invention of the two-beamed horizontal loom (Egypt).
- The first wheeled vehicles appear in Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley and the Northern Caucasus.
- Domestication of the horse (Ukraine; Kazakhstan).
- The Sumerians found the city of Ur (Iraq).
- The earliest date in the Jewish calendar, representing the year before the creation of the world (Anno Mundi).
- The Minoan culture begins on Crete.
- The potter’s wheel is invented in Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley (Iraq; Pakistan).
- Glassmaking begins in Mesopotamia and Egypt.
- The first forged bronze nails (Egypt).
- The Bronze Age begins in the Near East.
- Neolithic farmers construct the Newgrange monument with stone tools (Ireland).
- The first writing systems appear in Mesopotamia (cuneiform), Egypt (hieroglyphics) and the Indus Valley (Indus Script).
- Menes or Narmer (possibly the same person) unites Upper and Lower Egypt.
- First evidence of ox-drawn plows (Egypt).
- Smelting of iron ore to make wrought iron begins (Middle East).
- The Jomon culture begins making flame-style vessels (Japan).
- The Old Kingdom begins in Egypt.
- The Sumerians invent the first abacus counting machine (Iraq).
- The Indus Valley culture is using seals carved with pictographic symbols in commercial transactions (Pakistan; India).
- Egyptian architect, engineer and physician Imhotep is born.
- Imhotep begins constructing the Step Pyramid of Djoser at Saqquara (Egypt).
- Khufu is born in Egypt.
- Dwellings in the Indus Valley cities of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa have flush toilets connected to a sophisticated sewage system (Pakistan).
- The Sumerians create the earliest known works of literature (Iraq).
- The mosaic-decorated Standard of Ur is made in Sumeria (Iraq).
- Construction of the stone circle at Stonehenge begins (UK: England).
- Death of Imhotep.
- Khufu becomes the second pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty in the Old Kingdom (Egypt).
- Building of the Great Pyramid of Giza begins (Egypt).
- Death of Pharaoh Khufu (Egypt).
- The life-sized Statue of Khafre (Khafre Enthroned), the fourth Pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty in the Old Kingdom, is carved (Egypt).
- The Great Sphinx of Giza is completed (Egypt).
- Earliest surviving parchment documents, made of leather (Egypt).
- A bronze head that may represent Sargon or his grandson Naram-Sin is made in the Akkadian Empire (Iraq).
- The Victory Stele of Akkadian Emperor Naram-Sin is carved (Iraq).
- Invention of the iron plow (China).
- Sumerian King Ur-Nammu issues the earliest known law code (the Code of Ur-Nammu) and builds the Ziggurat of Ur (Iraq).
- Oldest known steel artifact (Turkey).
- First wooden pin lock (Egypt).
- The first spoke-wheeled chariots appear (Russia; Kazakhstan).
- Work begins on Karnak Temple Complex at Luxor (Egypt).
- Frescoes are painted in the Minoan city of Akrotiri on the island of Thera (Greece).
- The oldest known version of the Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic poem written in Sumerian cuneiform (Iraq).
- The Myceneans arrive in Greece from the north.
- Hammurabi becomes king of the Babylonian Empire (Iraq).
- Babylonian King Hammurabi issues his code of 282 laws (Iraq).
- Death of Hammurabi, king of Babylon (Iraq).
- The Hyksos invade Egypt and rule for 150 years.
- Minoan palaces on Crete are destroyed.
- The Hittite civilization based in Anatolia is the dominant force in the eastern Mediterranean region (Turkey).
- The Chinese writing system is fully developed.
- Making of you vessels begins (China).
- The Hittites and Kassites attack and defeat Babylonia (Iraq).
- Pharaoh Ahmose drives the Hyksos out of Egypt and establishes the New Kingdom.
- Egypt under Ahmose subjugates the Nubians (Sudan).
- The Aryans of Central Asia invade and overcome the weakened Indus Valley civilization (Pakistan).
- The Olmecs begin to carve sculptures of colossal heads (Mexico).
- The Olmecs dominate Mesoamerica (Mexico).
- The Ugarits invent the first alphabet (Syria).
- Akhenaten IV becomes Egyptian pharaoh and imposes monotheism (Egypt).
- Relief sculpture of Ahkenaten and his Family (Egypt).
- The tomb of the scribe Nebamun is built and decorated in Thebes (Egypt).
- The Bust of Queen Nefertiti is made in Thutmose’s Amarna workshop (Egypt).
- The 18-year-old Pharaoh Tutankhamun, wearing his funerary mask, is buried inside three coffins in a tomb in the Valley of the Kings (Egypt).
- Birth of Ramesses II in Egypt.
- Ramesses II the Great becomes the third pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty in the New Kingdom (Egypt).
- The Egyptians under Ramesses II defeat the Hittites under Muwatalli II in the Battle of Kadesh (Syria).
- Ramesses II and Hattusili III sign a peace treaty between Egypt and the Hittites in Kadesh (Syria).
- Death of Ramesses II (Egypt).
- The Hallstatt culture dominates central Europe (Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Switzerland).
- End of the Bronze Age in South Asia and the Near East.
- The Iron Age begins in the Near East, India and Europe.
- The Greeks capture Troy, marking the end of the Trojan War (Turkey).
- End of the Hittite empire (Turkey).
- Egyptian forces led by Pharaoh Ramesses III defeat the invading Sea Peoples on land (at the Battle of Djahy) and at sea (at the Battle of the Delta) (Egypt).
- The destruction of Mycenae signals the end of the Mycenaean Greek civilization (Greece).
- Date of legendary Dorian invasion of Greece (Greece).
- The Nubian Kingdom of Kush achieves independence from Egypt (Sudan).
- The Phoenician alphabet – the basis for most later alphabets – is established (Lebanon, Syria).
- King Wu defeats the Shang Dynasty and establishes the Zhou Dynasty (China).
- According to the Bible, David, king of Israel and Judah, captures the Jebusite fortress of Jerusalem and makes it his new capital (Israel; Palestine).
- The I Ching is written in Early Old Chinese (China).
- According to the Bible, King Solomon builds the First Temple in Jerusalem (Israel; Palestine).
- The Chavín civilization is established in the northern Andean highlands of Peru.
- The Cascajal Block, possible evidence of an Olmec writing system, is inscribed (Mexico).
- The Phoenicians establish a settlement at Carthage (Tunisia).
- The first Olympic Games are held at Olympia (Greece).
- Legendary date of founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus (Italy).
- Tiglath-Pileser III establishes the Assyrian Empire (Iraq).
- The Iliad, an epic poem attributed to Homer, is written down in Ancient Greek (Greece).
- The Assyrians conquer Israel and take thousands of Israelites into slavery (Israel).
- Assyrian King Sargon II begins building a new capital at Dur-Sharrukin, with entrances protected by winged human-headed bulls or lamassu (Iraq).
- Shintoism develops in Japan.
- First lock and key that requires a keyhole (Greece).
- The first umbrellas are used to provide shade from the sun (Assyria).
- Archimedes’ Screw is invented, long before Archimedes is born (Greece).
- The Odyssey, an epic poem attributed to Homer, is written down in Ancient Greek (Greece).
- The Assyrians under King Ashurbanipal conquer Egypt.
- Accession of Jimmu, legendary first Japanese Emperor (Japan).
- A Babylonian revolt against Assyria results in the Assyrian destruction of Babylon (Iraq).
- The Lion Frieze of Assyrian King Ashurbanipal is carved on the walls of the North Palace in Nineveh (Iraq).
- Sparta puts down the 20-year revolt of the Messinians, led by Aristomenes (Greece).
- Lao Tzu (Laozi) writes the Tao Te Ching, the founding document of Taoism (China).
- Draco drafts the first Athenian constitution (Greece).
- Lyric poet Sappho is born on the island of Lesbos, Greece.
- The conquest of Nineveh by an alliance of Babylonians, Medes and Scythians leads to the fall of the Assyrian Empire.
- The Medes begin to establish an empire (Iran).
- The Kingdom of Judah, under Josiah, defeats the Egyptians, under Necho II, at the Battle of Megiddo, but Josiah is killed in battle (Israel; Palestine).
- The Babylonians, under Nebuchadnezzar II, defeat the Egyptians, under Necho II, at the Battle of Carchemish (Turkey; Syria).
- Sappho is exiled to the Greek colony on Sicily for 10 years during political disturbances on Lesbos (Italy).
- The 16 Maha Janapadas (“great kingdoms”) arise in India.
- Zoroastrianism becomes formalized as a monotheistic religion (Iran).
- The crossbow is invented (China).
- The Zapotec culture develops a writing system (Mexico).
- Greek sculptors begin carving large free-standing nude statues of kouros (boys) in a semi-realistic style.
- The Classic of Poetry (Book of Odes), an anthology, is published (China).
- Aesop’s Fables are written down in Ancient Greek (Greece).
- Birth of Cyrus the Great in Persia (now Iran).
- Solon begins legal reforms in Athens (Greece).
- The Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar II take Jerusalem, destroy Solomon’s Temple and force many Jews into exile in Babylon (Israel; Iraq).
- Nebuchadnezzar II builds the Ishtar Gate in Babylon (Iraq).
- Death of Sappho (Greece).
- Pythagoras is born in Samos, Greece.
- Birth of Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha) in Nepal.
- Cyrus the Great becomes Achaemenid King of Anshan, a Persian vassal state under the Medes (Iran).
- The Avesta, the central text of Zoroastrianism, is written down in Avestan (Iran).
- Birth of Darius the Great in Persia (now Iran).
- Birth of Confucius in China.
- After four years of rebellion, Cyrus the Great overthrows the Medes and establishes the Persian Empire (Iran).
- Cyrus the Great of Persia conquers the Babylonian Empire and frees the Jews, who return to Jerusalem (Iraq).
- According to legend, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus becomes the seventh and final King of Rome (Italy).
- According to legend, Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha) abandons his life as a prince to lead the life of a mendicant (Nepal).
- Earliest reference to theater in Athens, which would have included the choros, a circular dance, and frenzied Dionysian dances (Greece).
- Pythagoras establishes a religious sect in the Greek colony at Croton that pursues his philosophical, mathematical and musical theories (Italy).
- Death of Cyrus the Great of Persia (Iran).
- The Persians under Cambyses II conquer Egypt.
- Darius I becomes leader of the Persian Empire (Iran).
- The Euphronios Krater, a terracotta bowl depicting the death of Sarpedon in the Trojan War, is made by potter Euxitheos and painted by Euphronios (Greece).
- Darius begins building the city of Persepolis, which will serve as the Persian capital during the Achaemenid Dynasty. (Iran).
- According to legend, the rape of noblewoman Lucretia by the son of Roman king Lucius Tarquinius Superbus and her subsequent suicide leads to a popular uprising, the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of the Roman Republic (Italy).
- Athens adopts democratic government under Cleisthenes (Greece).
- The Nok culture thrives (Nigeria).
- The Jains propose that all matter is made of tiny particles (atomism) (India).
- The temples at the Greek colony at Paestum (now Campania) are completed (Italy).
- Invention of the moldboard plow (China).
- The Chinese discover a method for making cast iron.
- Traditional date of Sun Tzu’s Art of War (China).
- The Greek Ionian city-states in Asia Minor, led by Aristagoras of Miletus, rebel against Persian rule (Turkey).
- Pindar begins writing his Victory Odes in Ancient Greek (Greece).
- Pythagoras dies.
- Birth of Pericles in Athens, Greece.
- The Greek city-states stop the Persian invasion at the Battle of Marathon (Greece).
- Death of Darius the Great (Iran).
- Death of the Buddha (India).
- After losing to the Persians under Xerxes at Thermopylae, the Greeks defeat the Persian fleet at the Battle of Salamis (Greece).
- Greek sculpture enters the Early Classical phase with the Kritios Boy.
- Birth of Athenian playwright Euripides in Salamis, Greece.
- The Greeks defeat the Persians at the Battle of Plataea (Greece).
- The Analects of Confucius, the basis of Confucianism, is written (China).
- Death of Confucius.
- The Zhou Dynasty wanes and the Warring States period begins (China).
- Birth of Socrates in Athens, Greece.
- After the expulsion of Cimon and the murder of Ephialtes by the oligarchs, Pericles becomes the unchallenged leader of Athens (Greece).
- A bronze statue of Zeus or Poseidon (the Artemision Bronze) is created (Greece).
- Greek sculptor Myron creates the bronze original of The Discus Thrower.
- The Riace Bronzes, two bronze statues of warriors, are created (Greece).
- Hippocrates is born in Kos, Greece.
- Democritus is born in Abdera, Greece.
- The Oresteia Trilogy, plays by Athenian playwright Aeschylus, is written in Ancient Greek (Greece).
- Hallstatt culture evolves into La Tène culture, which then spreads through much of Europe (Belgium, France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania).
- Celtic artisans create the Basse-Yutz flagons (France).
- Oedipus the King, a play by Athenian playwright Sophocles, is written in Ancient Greek (Greece).
- Phidias creates a 38-foot-tall statue of Athena for the Parthenon in Athens (Greece).
- Antigone, a play by Sophocles, is written in Ancient Greek (Greece).
- The Histories, by Herodotus, is written in Ancient Greek (Greece).
- Leucippus and Democritus develop a theory of atomism (Greece).
- Phidias creates a 42-foot-tall Statue of Zeus at the Temple of Zeus in Olympia; a sculpture of ivory plates and gold panels over a wooden framework, it shows the god sitting on a cedar wood throne decorated with ebony, ivory, gold and precious stones. It was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (Greece).
- The Parthenon is built on the Acropolis in Athens. Sculptor Phidias oversees the artwork, including the Parthenon Frieze (Greece).
- Start of the Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens (Greece).
- Medea, a play by Euripides, is written in Ancient Greek (Greece).
- Death of Athenian leader Pericles (Greece).
- Birth of Plato in Athens, Greece.
- Invention of the catapult (Greece).
- Lysistrata, a comic play by Athenian playwright Aristophanes, is written in Ancient Greek (Greece).
- Several of the medical treatises that make up the Hippocratic Corpus are written (in Ancient Greek), possibly by Hippocrates of Kos. (Greece).
- Death of Euripides (Greece).
- The Erechtheion, dedicated to Athena and Poseidon, is built on the Acropolis in Athens (Greece).
- First performance of The Bacchae, a play by Euripides, written in Ancient Greek (Greece).
- Sparta captures Athens, ending the Peloponnesian War (Greece).
- The Birds, a play by Aristophanes, is written in Ancient Greek (Greece).
- The Peloponnesian War, by Athenian historian Thucydides, is written in Ancient Greek (Greece).
- The Bhagavad-Gita is written in Sanskrit (India).
- Plato writes the Apology and the Crito in Ancient Greek (Greece).
- The trial and execution of Socrates in Athens for impiety and corrupting the minds of the youth (Greece).
- The Celts sack Rome (Italy).
- Plato founds the Academy in Athens and writes the Meno in Ancient Greek (Greece).
- Aristotle is born in Chalkidiki, Greece.
- Plato writes his philosophical dialogues The Republic, The Symposium and the Phaedo in Ancient Greek (Greece).
- Thebes, led by Epanimondas, defeats Sparta at the Battle of Leuctra (Greece).
- Lysippos creates a bronze statue of Heracles, which is now lost; a marble copy by Glykon is called the Farnese Hercules (Greece).
- Hippocrates dies.
- Democritus dies.
- Birth of Alexander the Great in Macedonia (now Greece).
- The Mausoleum of Helicarnassus – the tomb of Mausolus, a satrap in the Persian Empire, and Artemisia II of Caria, his wife-sister – is completed. (Turkey).
- A Greek sculptor, possibly Praxiteles, carves the marble statues Hermes and the Infant Dionysus and Aphrodite of Cnidus, both of which are lost and known only from Roman copies (Greece).
- Leochares carves a bronze statue of Apollo, which is now lost; the Apollo Belvedere is a Roman copy (Greece).
- The Recognition of Sakuntala, a play by Kalidasa, is written in Sanskrit (India).
- Aristotle founds the Lyceum in Athens (Greece).
- Death of Athenian philosopher Plato (Greece).
- Mahapadma Nanda founds the Nanda Dynasty and begins building the Nanda Empire (India).
- Aristotle begins a three-year position tutoring Alexander (the Great), son of King Philip of Macedonia (Greece).
- The bronze Marathon Boy is created (Greece).
- Philip II of Macedon defeats an alliance of Greek city-states, including Athens and Thebes, at the Battle of Chaeronea, resulting in Macedonian hegemony in Greece.
- Alexander the Great becomes King of Macedonia (Greece).
- Between 335 and 322 BCE, Aristotle writes Poetics, Nicomachean Ethics, Physics, Politics, Rhetoric, Metaphysics and On the Soul in Ancient Greek (Greece).
- Alexander the Great defeats the Persians under Darius III at the Battle of Issus, although Darius escapes (Turkey).
- Alexander the Great defeats King Porus of the Punjab in the Battle of the Hydaspes (India).
- The Nanda Empire reaches its greatest extent, under Dhana Nanda (India).
- Death of Alexander the Great in Babylon (Iraq).
- Chandragupta Maurya overthrows the Nanda Dynasty and founds the Mauryan Empire (India).
- Aristotle dies.
- Birth of Ashoka Maurya in Pataliputra, Patna (now India).
- Earliest known inscription in the Mayan language (Mexico).
- Construction begins on the Great Pyramid of Cholula (Mexico).
- First known watermill (Greece).
- Euclid’s Elements, a 13-volume work on geometry, is written in Ancient Greek (Egypt).
- The epic Sanskrit poem the Mahabharata reaches its modern form (India).
- Vishnu Sharma’s work of fiction and poetry Panchatantra is written in Sanskrit (India).
- Archimedes is born in Syracuse, Sicily, Magna Graecia (now Italy).
- The first true lock is built in the Canal of the Pharoahs between the Nile and the Red Sea (Egypt).
- Chares of Lindos creates the 98-foot-tall Colossus of Rhodes, a statue of the god Helios and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, which is erected on the island of Rhodes (Greece).
- At 393-450 feet tall, the Lighthouse of Alexandria is the tallest man-made structure and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (Egypt).
- Ashoka the Great becomes leader of the Mauryan Empire (India).
- The Mauryan Empire reaches its greatest extent (India; Pakistan; Bangladesh).
- Birth of Qin Shi Huang in Handan, China.
- Archimedes publishes On the Equilibrium of Planes (explaining the law of the lever), On the Measurement of a Circle (estimating pi), and On Floating Bodies (explaining the principle of buoyancy), written in Ancient Greek (Italy).
- The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is completed (Turkey).
- Ashoka the Great begins erecting stone pillars, some with carved animal capitals, at important Buddhist sites (India).
- The Roman Republic annexes Sardinia and Corsica.
- Death of Mauryan Emperor Ashoka the Great (India).
- Dying Gaul, a bronze sculpture, is created in Greece.
- Emperor Qin Shi Huang defeats the other Warring States and unites China for the first time under the Qin Dynasty.
- The Carthaginians, led by Hannibal, defeat the Romans, led by Lucius Aemilius Paullus and Gaius Terentius Varro, at the Battle of Cannae (Italy).
- Archimedes dies.
- Death of Emperor Qin Shi Huang.
- The Terracotta Army is buried with Emperor Qin Shi Huang (China).
- The Romans under Scipio Africanus defeat Carthage, led by Hannibal, at the Battle of Zama (Tunisia).
- The City of Petra is founded (Jordan).
- Apollonius of Perga writes On Conic Sections, a mathematical treatise, in Ancient Greek (Greece).
- Invention of paper (China).
- Invention of the treed saddle (China).
- Winged Victory of Samothrace and The Three Graces are carved in Greece.
- The Nazca culture begins to draw huge figures of animals, plants, geometric figures and straight lines in the Nazca desert (Peru).
- Hipparchus of Nicaea is born in Iznik, Bithynia (now Turkey).
- The Pergamon Altar is built by King Eumenes II in Asia Minor (Turkey).
- The third Macedonian War ends when the Romans under Consul Aemilius defeat the Macedonians at the Battle of Pydna (Greece).
- The Kingdom of Judea, led by Judas Maccabeus, achieves independence from the Seleucid Persians (Israel; Palestine).
- The astrolabe is invented, possibly by Hipparchus of Nicaea (Greece).
- Roman armies conquer Greece.
- Rome captures and destroys Carthage after a three-year siege (Tunisia).
- The Roman conquest of Iberia is complete (Spain; Portugal).
- Hipparchus of Nicaea dies.
- Sima Qian publishes Records of the Grand Historian, a historical chronicle (China).
- Mesoamericans establish the city of Teotihuacan (Mexico).
- The Romans invent the warded lock (Italy).
- Glassblowing is invented (Syria, Lebanon, Israel).
- The silver Gundestrup Cauldron is made, possibly by the Thracians (Denmark).
- Alexandros of Antioch sculpts the marble Venus de Milo. (Greece).
- The most recent books of the Old Testament are written (Palestine, Israel).
- Birth of Julius Caesar in Rome (Italy).
- Sulla is elected dictator of Rome and begins a brutal repression of his opponents (Italy).
- Spartacus, a Thracian-born gladiator, leads a slave revolt against Rome (Italy).
- A Roman army led by Praetor Crassus puts down the Spartacus-led slave revolt (Italy).
- Birth of Roman poet Publius Vergilius Maro (Virgil) in Andes, Cisalpine Gaul, Roman Republic (now Italy).
- Birth of Cleopatra in Alexandria, Egypt.
- The Romans, under Pompey, defeat Mithridates VI of Pontus in Anatolia (Turkey),
- Pompey conquers Jerusalem and makes Judea a Roman province (Israel; Palestine).
- Birth of Gaius Octavius (Octavian, later Augustus) in Rome (Italy).
- Pompey, Marcus Crassus and Julius Caesar form the First Triumvirate to rule the Roman Republic (Italy).
- Frescoes are painted in the Villa of the Mysteries near Pompeii (Italy).
- The Temple of Horus at Edfu is completed (Egypt).
- The Romans, under Julius Caesar, conquer parts of England and establish Roman rule (UK).
- Peace treaty between the Han Dynasty and the Hsiung-nu of Central Asia (China).
- Cleopatra VII Philopator begins a 21-year reign as the last pharaoh of the Ptolemaic Dynasty (Egypt).
- Julius Caesar crushes the revolt of the Celtic Gauls, led by Vercingetorix (France).
- The founding of the Three Kingdoms of Korea: Koguryo, Silla and Pakche (Korea).
- The Romans build the aqueduct of Segovia (Spain).
- The Battersea Shield, a bronze sheet with La Tène style decorations that covered a wooden shield, is made by the Celts (UK).
- Lucretius publishes his Latin philosophical poem, On the Nature of Things (Italy).
- Julius Caesar crosses the Rubicon, starting a Roman civil war (Italy)
- Julius Caesar defeats Pompey the Great at the Battle of Pharsalus (Greece).
- Julius Caesar defeats Pompey’s sons at the Battle of Munda, ending the civil war (Spain).
- Julius Caesar is declared dictator for life (Italy).
- Sosigenes of Alexandria develops a 365-day, 12-month calendar with leap years, which Caesar adopts as the Julian Calendar (Italy).
- Brutus, Cassius and others assassinate Julius Caesar in Rome (Italy).
- Octavian, Marcus Lepidus and Mark Antony form the Second Triumvirate and rule Rome as dictators (Italy).
- Assassination of Cicero (Italy).
- Forces of the Second Triumvirate defeat the armies of Brutus and Cassius at the Battle of Philippi in Macedonia (Greece).
- Rome conquers Egypt.
- Octavian’s fleet, led by Agrippa, defeats the forces of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium (Greece).
- According to legend, Cleopatra commits suicide with an asp (Egypt).
- Octavian, now Augustus, becomes the first leader of the Roman Empire and brings Pax Romana during his 41-year reign (Italy).
- Livy publishes the first books of his History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita Libri), written in Latin (Italy).
- Agesander, Athenodoros & Polydorus of Rhodes create the marble sculpture Laocoön and His Sons (Greece).
- Virgil completes the Aeneid, an epic Latin poem about the founding of Rome (Italy).
- Death of Virgil (Italy).
- The Ara Pacis Augustae, a gift of the Roman Senate to Augustus, is completed (Italy).
- The frescoes in the Villa of Agrippa Postumus at Boscotrecase are painted (Italy).
- Herod the Great of Judea builds the city of Caesaria on the Mediterranean coast, with the first artificial harbor built in the open sea (Israel).
- Likely date for birth of Jesus of Nazareth (Israel; Palestine).
- Birth of Saul of Tarsus in Cilicia, Asia Minor (now Turkey).
- Metamorphoses, a Latin poem by Roman poet Ovid (Italy).
- Germanic tribes led by Ariminius defeat three Roman legions under Quinctilius Varnus, leading to German independence.
- The bronze Flying Horse of Gansu is created (China).
- A wooden amphitheater built by Atilius at Fidenae collapses, killing 20,000 spectators (Italy).
- Satyricon, a work of fiction, is written in Latin by Petronius (Italy).
- Jesus of Nazareth is crucified by the Romans (Israel; Palestine).
- Assassination of Roman Emperor Caligula (Italy).
- The population of the Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacan is now 125,000, making it the sixth largest city on Earth (Mexico).
- Paul the Apostle (formerly Saul of Tarsus) writes the First Epistle to the Thessalonians, the oldest document in the Christian New Testament, in Greek (Greece).
- Roman Emperor Claudius is murdered by his wife Agrippina so that her son Nero can become emperor (Italy).
- Boudica, queen of the Celtic Iceni tribe, leads a British rebellion against the Romans, destroying three cities and killing 80,000 before being defeated at the Battle of Watling (UK).
- The province of Judea rebels against Roman rule (Israel; Palestine).
- Death of Paul the Apostle in Rome, possibly by execution (Italy).
- The Year of the Four Emperors in the Roman Empire (Italy).
- Assassination of Roman Emperor Nero (Italy).
- Roman armies under Titus crush the rebellion in Judea and destroy the Temple in Jerusalem (Israel; Palestine).
- First evidence of metal-backed glass mirrors (Lebanon).
- The Mt. Vesuvius volcano erupts, burying Pompeii and Herculaneum (Italy).
- The Colosseum (also known as the Flavian Amphitheater) is built in Rome (Italy).
- Claudius Ptolemy is born in Alexandria, Egypt.
- Trajan becomes Roman Emperor (Italy).
- The Moche culture is thriving (Peru).
- First glass windows (Egypt).
- Sumo wrestling is invented (Japan).
- The modern version of the epic Sanskrit poem the Ramayana appears (India).
- Tacitus publishes the Histories, a Latin history of Rome from 69-96 CE (Italy).
- Trajan’s Column is erected in Rome (Italy).
- Tacitus is writing the Annals, a Latin history of Rome from 14-68 CE (Italy).
- The Roman Empire reaches its greatest extent (Italy).
- Birth of Marcus Aurelius in Ucubi, Hispanica Baetica (now Spain).
- The Romans build Hadrian’s Wall in northern England as a defensive fortification; the gates become customs posts for control of trade (UK).
- Plutarch’s historical biography, Parallel Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, is written in Attic Greek (Greece).
- The Pantheon is built in Rome (Italy).
- Galen is born in Pergamon, Asia Minor, Roman Empire (now Turkey).
- A Jewish revolt, led by Simon bar Kokhba, begins in the Roman province of Judea and leads to the creation of a short-lived independent state of Israel (Israel; Palestine).
- Roman troops crush the Bar Kokhba revolt; as punishment, Emperor Hadrian bans the practice of Judaism, forbids Jews from entering Jerusalem and replaces Judea with Syria Palestine (Israel; Palestine).
- The Almagest, a mathematical and astronomical treatise written in Greek by Claudius Ptolemy (Egypt).
- Marcus Aurelius becomes Roman Emperor (Italy).
- Claudius Ptolemy dies.
- On the Natural Faculties, a medical treatise written in Greek by Galen of Pergamon (Italy).
- Meditations, a philosophic memoir written in Greek by Marcus Aurelius (Serbia; Italy).
- Death of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
- Start of the Revolt of the Yellow Turbans, a peasant uprising led by Taoist Zhang Jiao (China).
- The Mayan city of Tikal becomes a regional power (Guatemala).
- By this date, troops of the Han Dynasty have successfully put down the Revolt of the Yellow Turbans (China).
- Porcelain ceramics are invented (China).
- The magnetic compass is invented (China).
- Galen dies.
- Persian Shah Ardashir defeats Artabanus IV, the last king of the Parthian Empire, at the Battle of Hormizdagan and begins the Sassanid Empire (Iran).
- Roman Emperor Decius requires all subjects to sacrifice to the Roman gods, or face death, leading to the death of Pope Fabian and other Christians (Italy).
- Beginning of the Classic Period of Mayan civilization, marked by increased urbanization and building projects (Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador).
- The Ludovisi Sarcophagus is made (Italy).
- The Buddhist Amaravati Stupa in Andhra Pradesh is completed (India).
- Pope Sixtus II and other Christians are executed during persecution by Roman Emperor Valerian (Italy).
- Birth of Flavius Valerius Constantinus (Constantine the Great) in Dardania, Moesia (now Serbia).
- Roman Emperor Diocletian names Maximian co-emperor and divides the Roman Empire into western (based at Rome) and eastern (based at Nicomedia) empires (Italy; Turkey).
- Emperor Diocletian begins the systematic persecution of Christians (Italy).
- Aurelius Carausius rebels against Roman rule and establishes an independent kingdom in England (UK).
- Roman troops led by Constantius Chlorus defeat the British rebels and reassert sovereignty (UK).
- The Kingdom of Axum erects the 79-foot-tall Obelisk of Axum (Ethiopia).
- Beginning of the 12-year-long Wu Hu uprising, in which five nomadic tribes overthrow the Western Jin dynasty (China).
- Constantine becomes Emperor over part of the Western Roman Empire (Italy).
- According to legend, Constantine the Great converts to Christianity prior to defeating his rival, Maxentius, at the Battle of Milvian Bridge (Italy).
- Constantine becomes Emperor of the entire Western Roman Empire (Italy).
- Emperor Constantine issues the Edict of Milan, which recognizes Christianity and proclaims religious tolerance in the Western Roman Empire (Italy).
- The Arch of Constantine is built in Rome (Italy).
- Chandragupta I founds the Gupta Dynasty (India).
- After defeating Licinius at the Battle of Adrianople, Constantine becomes Emperor of both Eastern and Western Roman empires (Turkey).
- Constantine convenes the First Council of Nicaea, which resolves questions about the Christian faith and rejects Arianism (Turkey).
- Byzantium (to be renamed Constantinople) becomes the capital of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire (Turkey).
- The death of Constantine the Great leads to the redivision of the Roman Empire into Eastern and Western empires (Italy; Turkey).
- Birth of Augustine of Hippo in Thagaste, Roman Africa (now Algeria).
- The Romans under Julian drive the Franks out of Gaul at the Battle of Argentoratum (France).
- The Huns invade the Balkans; many Ostrogoths flee; the Huns subjugate those who remain (Serbia; Croatia; Bosnia & Herzegovina).
- A heavily-armed band of Visigoths rises up against the Romans, defeating them and killing Byzantine Emperor Valens at the Battle of Adrianople (Turkey).
- Roman Emperor Theodosius I bans public non-Christian religious customs (Italy).
- Birth of Attila the Hun.
- Confessions, a religious memoir in Latin by Roman Catholic Bishop Augustine of Hippo (Algeria).
- The Romans withdraw from Britain (UK).
- The Visigoths under Alaric sack Rome (Italy).
- City of God, a book about Christianity by Augustine of Hippo (Algeria).
- Death of Augustine of Hippo (Algeria).
- Debate over the meaning of Jesus’s birth and the rejection of Nestorianism at the Council of Ephesus leads to the Roman Catholic Church’s first schism and the formation of the separate Persian Church (Turkey).
- The Vandals under Genseric capture Carthage from the Romans and make it their capital (Tunisia).
- The Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacan, population 150,000, is at the height of its power and influence in the region (Mexico).
- At the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains, a combined army of Romans and Visigoths defeat Attila the Hun (France).
- A debate over the relationship between the divine and human natures of Jesus at the Council of Chalcedon leads to the second schism in the Roman Catholic Church and the formation of the separate Oriental Orthodox Church in Egypt and Syria (Turkey).
- According to legend, Pope Leo I convinces Attila the Hun not to sack Rome (Italy).
- Death of Attila the Hun.
- The Vandals sack Rome (Italy).
- The Saxons, led by brothers Hengst and Horsa, defeat the Britons at the Battle of Aylesford (UK: England).
- Buddha Preaching the Law, a sandstone sculpture, is made at Sarnath (India).
- Odoacer, chieftain of the Germanic Heruli tribe, forces Emperor Romulus Augustus to abdicate, marking the end of the Western Roman Empire (Italy).
- Clovis I, King of the Salian Franks, defeats the Roman occupiers of Gaul and establishes the Kingdom of the Franks (France).
- Ostrogothic King Theodoric the Great invades Italy and establishes a kingdom there.
- Svealand, the first Swedish state, is established.
- The Wari civilization is established in the south-central Andes and the coast of what is now Peru.
- The Vishnu Temple, one of the first stone Hindu temples, is built in Deogarh (India).
- The Franks under Clovis defeat the Visigoths under Alaric II at the Battle of Vouille, forcing the Visigoths to retreat into Spain (France).
- The Consolation of Philosophy, a book of religious philosophy written in Latin by Boethius (Italy).
- The Barberini Ivory, a leaf from a Byzantine imperial diptych, is made in Constantinople (Turkey).
- An earthquake in Antioch kills 250,000-300,000 people (Turkey; Syria).
- Benedict of Nursia founds the first Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino (Italy).
- Byzantine Emperor Justinian’s general Belisarius brutally suppresses the populist Nika Revolt in Constantinople (Turkey).
- Byzantine forces led by Belisarius retake North Africa from the Vandals (Tunisia).
- Byzantine Emperor Justinian I completes his Code of Civil Law (Turkey).
- The original Byzantine Hagia Sophia basilica is built in Constantinople by Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles (Turkey).
- The Byzantine Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna is completed (Italy).
- The Greek language Rossano Gospels are illuminated in Syria or Italy.
- The Virgin and Child Between Saints Theodore and George, a Byzantine icon, is painted (Egypt).
- The Byzantine army invades Italy and defeats the Ostrogoths at the Battle of Taginae (Italy).
- Death of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I the Great after a 38-year reign (Turkey).
- After three wars, peace is established between the Persians and the Byzantines (Turkey).
- The Lombards, a Germanic tribe, establish a kingdom in Italy.
- Birth of the Muslim prophet Muhammed in Mecca (Saudi Arabia).
- The Saxon conquest of England is nearly complete after the Saxons defeat the Welsh at the Battle of Deorham (UK: England).
- The Sui Dynasty under Yang Jian unites China for the first time in nearly 400 years.
- Earliest reference to use of toilet paper (China).
- Gregorius Anicius becomes Pope Gregory I (Gregory the Great) (Italy).
- In Cambodia, the Northern Kingdom of Chenla occupies the Kingdom of Funan.
- The Tiwanaku culture begins to expand into an empire (Bolivia).
- The modern Hindu-Arabic numeral system is developed in India.
- First use of paper money (China).
- Pope Gregory I reorganizes the use of plainchant in Christian services, collecting chants from a variety of sources and establishing a more uniform standard (Italy).
- The Horyu-ji Buddhist Temple is constructed in Ikarauga (Japan).
- The Grand Canal between Beijing and Hangzhou, the longest in the world, is completed (China).
- Li Yuan establishes the Tang Dynasty, which will rule China for 286 years.
- The toothbrush is invented (China).
- Muhammad flees to Medina from Mecca in the hejira (Saudi Arabia).
- Islamic calendar year 1 AH (anno Hegirae).
- The Byzantines, led by Emperor Heraclius, defeat the Persians under Khosrau II at the Battle of Nineveh (Iran).
- The Muslims, led by Muhammad, take control of Mecca (Saudi Arabia).
- Islam’s most sacred text, the Qur’an, is written in Arabic (Saudi Arabia).
- Death of Muhammad.
- A mostly Muslim Arab army under Omar conquers Jerusalem (Israel; Palestine).
- The Muslims under Omar complete their conquest of Persia by defeating the Persian army at the Battle of Nehawand (Iran).
- The Muslims conquer Egypt.
- After the fall of the Soga clan in 645 CE, the Nara period begins (Japan).
- The Slavs complete their occupation of the Balkans.
- The Descent of the Ganges is carved in Mahabalipuram (India).
- Yan Liben paints the Thirteen Emperors scroll (China).
- Ali ibn Abi Talib defeats Umayyad rebels at the Battle of the Camels to become leader of the Muslims (Saudi Arabia).
- Jayavarman I begins his reign as king of Chenia (Cambodia).
- Following the assassination of Ali ibn Abi Talib, Mu’awiyah I becomes Muslim Caliph and establishes the Umayyad Dynasty at Damascus (Syria).
- Building of the Great Mosque of Kairouan begins (Tunisia).
- Under King Munmu, Silla defeats Goguryeo and Baekje to unite the Korean peninsula for the first time (Korea).
- When the Muslims fail to take Constantinople after a three-year siege, they sign a 30-year peace treaty with the Byzantines (Turkey).
- The Bulgars defeat the Byzantines and establish the First Bulgarian Empire (Bulgaria).
- Malik I becomes Muslim caliph (Syria).
- The Muslims build the Umayyad-style Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem (Israel; Palestine).
- An Arab army defeats the Byzantines at Carthage, completing the Muslim takeover of North Africa (Tunisia).
- The North South States Period begins in Korea.
- The Srivijaya Empire becomes the dominant power in Indonesia.
- Building of major pyramids at Tikal begins (Guatemala).
- Eadfrith of Lindisfarne creates the illuminated Latin-language Lindisfarne Gospels (UK: England).
- Empress Wu Hou of the Tang Dynasty becomes first woman to lead China.
- The Muslims under Musa ibn-Nusayr capture Tangier from the Berbers (Morocco).
- A Muslim army of Arabs and Berbers under Tariq ibn Ziyad invades the Iberian Peninsula and defeats Roderick, last king of the Visigoths, at the Battle of Wadi Bekka (Spain).
- The Umayyad-style Great Mosque of Damascus is completed (Syria).
- A Muslim-Arab siege of Constantinople fails after Bulgarian leader Khan Tervel comes to the aid of the Byzantines (Turkey).
- Muslim armies on the Iberian Peninsula reach the Pyrenees (Spain).
- Mai Thúc Loan leads a revolt against the Chinese rulers of Vietnam, captures the capital and becomes Emperor of an independent region before the armies of Tang Dynasty Emperor Xuanzong put down the rebellion (Vietnam).
- The Khazars, led by Barjik, defeat the Muslims of the Umayyad Caliphate at the Battle of Ardabil (Iran).
- Bede completes the Ecclesiastical History of the English People, written in Latin (UK: England).
- The Franks, led by Charles Martel, defeat the advancing Muslim army, led by Adb-el-Rahman, at the Battle of Tours (France).
- Beginning of the Great Berber Revolt against Umayyad Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik, which results in the creation of several independent Berber states (Morocco; Algeria).
- Charles the Great (Charlemagne) is born in Germany or Belgium.
- The Abbasids, led by Abu Al-Abbas, overthrow the Umayyad Caliphate, whose leader, Marwan II, is defeated at the Battle of the Zab (Iraq).
- The pit-treadle loom is in use in Syria, Iran and East Africa.
- By this date, the Christian Church has adopted a uniform liturgical sequence of plainchants known as Gregorian chant (Italy).
- The Carolingian Dynasty begins with the reign of Pepin the Short, King of the Franks (France).
- Dantidurga, king of the Rashtrakutas, defeats the Badami Chalukyas under Kirtivarman II and takes control of the northern regions of the Chalukya Empire (India).
- General An-Lushan rebels against the Tang Dynasty and establishes himself as Emperor of the Yan Dynasty in northern China.
- The Man’yōshū poetry anthology is published (Japan).
- Muslim Abbasid Caliph Mansur moves his capital to Baghdad (Iraq).
- The Tang Dynasty puts down the An Lushan Rebellion (China).
- Byzantine Emperor Constantine V defeats the Bulgarians at the Battle of Anchialus (Bulgaria).
- Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmi is born in Khwarezm (now Uzbekhistan).
- Byzantine Empress Irene calls the Second Council of Nicaea, which ends a 57-year period of iconoclasm in the Christian Church (Turkey).
- The sack of Lindisfarne marks the beginning of Viking raids on Britain (UK: England).
- The new city of Heian-kyo (Kyoto) becomes the seat of Japan’s imperial court, marking the beginning of the Heian period (Japan).
- Pope Leo III crowns Charlemagne as the first Holy Roman Emperor (Germany).
- First windmills are used to mill grain in Persia; they are horizontally-configured (Iran).
- Gunpowder is invented (China).
- The illuminated Latin-language Aachen Gospels is created (Germany).
- The Book of Kells, a Latin-language gospel book, is created (Ireland; UK).
- Jayavarman II unites Cambodia and establishes his capital at Angkor.
- Original construction of the Carolingian-Gothic Aachen Cathedral is completed (Germany).
- Death of Charlemagne.
- The Vikings bury two women and numerous objects in a burial ship under a mound of earth in Oseberg (Norway).
- The illuminated, Latin-language Ebbo Gospels is made at the Benedictine abbey at Hautvillers, France.
- Muhammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī’s The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing, written in Arabic, establishes algebra as a separate discipline (Iraq).
- Byzantine Emperor Michael II the Amorian executes Thomas the Slav, a Byzantine military commander who led a massive, but ultimately unsuccessful revolt (Turkey).
- Borobudur, a Mahayana Buddhist Temple, is built on Java (Indonesia).
- Weakened by a famine and civil war, the Uyghur Khaganate is overrun by the Kirghiz people (Mongolia).
- The Treaty of Verdun divides the Kingdom of the Franks among Louis II, Lothair I and Charles the Bald (France).
- The Council of Orthodoxy under Byzantine Empress Theodora ends the second period of iconoclasm in the Christian Church.
- Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmi dies.
- The Vikings sack London and Canterbury before being defeated by Ockley, King of the West Saxons (UK).
- The Great Mosque of Samarra is completed (Iraq).
- A Byzantine army led by Petronas defeats Arab forces under Umar al-Aqta at the Battle of Lalakaon in Paphlagonia (Turkey).
- Playing cards are invented (China).
- Ali bin Muhammad, a descendant of slaves, leads the 15-year-long Zanj revolt of enslaved Bantus (Zanj) against the Abbasid caliphate (Iraq).
- Alfred the Great becomes king of England (UK: England).
- Harold I unites Norway.
- Norsemen settle Iceland.
- The High Cross of Muiredach is made at the Monasterboice monastery, in County Louth, Ireland.
- The Saxons under Alfred the Great defeat the Danes at the Battle of Edington (UK: England).
- The Kievan Rus’ is established (Russia).
- Abbasid caliphate armies finally suppress the Zanj Slave Revolt (Iraq).
- The first Muslim fortress is built on the site of the Alhambra in Granada (Spain).
- The Early Cyrillic script is developed in the First Bulgarian Empire (Bulgaria).
- Publication of the Latin-language treatise Musica enchiriadis, which contains the earliest known reference to the organum musical style.
- The Srivijaya Empire based in Palembang controls Java, Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula, the Straits of Malacca and much of the region (Indonesia; Malaysia).
- The southern portion of the Mayan empire collapses (Guatemala, Honduras, Belize).
- The fire lance, precursor to modern firearms, is invented (China).
- The period of the Five Dynasties begins in China.
- In the Battle of Pressburg, Hungarian forces under Grand Prince Árpád defeat a Bavarian army led by Margrave Luitpold (Hungary).
- After signing the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte, Vikings led by Rollo settle in the newly-created Kingdom of Normandy (France).
- The Ottonian Dynasty begins with Henry the Fowler, Duke of Saxony (Germany).
- Abbasid Caliph Al-Muqtadir orders the execution of Mansur al-Hallaj, a Persian Sufi mystic, for heresy (Iraq).
- The caliphate of Córdoba is begun by Abd-ar-Rahman III (Spain).
- Wang Geon of the Koryo Dynasty unifies the Later Three Kingdoms (Korea).
- Ahmad ibn Buwah enters Baghdad and declares himself caliph, beginning the Buwayhid Dynasty (Iraq).
- Kuya-Shonin, an advocate of the Jodo (New Land), form of Buddhism, founds the Rokuharamitsuji temple in Kyoto (Japan).
- Chola Dynasty artists develop the classic iconography of the Hindu god Shiva in the form of Shiva Nataraja,, and create many statues, sometimes called Chola bronzes (India).
- Otto the Great, King of the Germans, defeats the invading Hungarians, led by Bulcsú, at the Battle of Lechfeld (Germany).
- Mieszko I, Duke of Polans, founds the Polish state (Poland).
- Zhao Kuangyin becomes Emperor Taizu of Song, the first emperor of the Song Dynasty, and reunites most of China.
- Otto the Great is named Holy Roman Emperor by Pope John XII (Germany).
- The Byzantines, under Emperor Nikephoros II, recapture Crete from the Muslim Arabs.
- Byzantine armies under Niketas Chalkoutzes retake Cyprus from the Muslim Arabs.
- Murasaki Shikibu is born in Heian-kyo (Japan).
- The earliest known manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf, written in Old English (UK: England).
- Former slave Abu Mansur Subuktigin becomes leader of the Ghaznavid Empire (Afghanistan).
- Ibn Sina (Avicenna) is born in Afshona in the Samanid Empire (now Uzbekistan).
- Qiao Weiyou designs the first pound lock (China).
- After being exiled from Iceland, Eric the Red begins to colonize Greenland.
- Hugh Capet ascends to the French throne, beginning the reign of the House of Capet, which lasts until 1328.
- The Moorish-style Great Mosque of Córdoba is completed (Spain).
- The Kingdom of Ghana defeats the Lemtunas, a Saharan Berber tribe (Mauritania).
- The people of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) begin carving giant Moai statues (Chile).
- The Taos Pueblo is established in New Mexico (US).
- Song Dynasty artist Fan Kuan creates the hanging scroll Travellers among Mountains and Streams (China).
- Persian calligrapher and illustrator Ibn al-Bawwab (Ali ibn Hilal) is making elaborately-decorated copies of the Qur’an (Iraq).
- Norsemen, possibly including Leif Erikson, become the first Europeans to reach North America when they build a settlement in L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland (Canada).
- Mahmud of Ghazni begins raids into northern India.
- Malay prince Suryavarman defeats Khmer Empire King Udayadityavarman I (Cambodia).
- The Pillow Book, a diary written in Japanese by Sei Shonagon (Japan).
- Following a successful military campaign by Emperor Shengzong of the Liao Empire against the Song Empire, Song Emperor Zhengzong signs the Chanyuan Treaty, establishing peace between the two dynasties (China).
- The Book of Kings (Shahnameh), an epic historical poem written in Persian by Ferdowsi (Iran).
- The Byzantines, led by Basil II, conquer the Bulgarians at the Battle of Kleidon (Bulgaria).
- Canute II, a Dane, defeats Edmund II at the Battle of Ashington and becomes King of all England (UK: England).
- Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen) publishes the Book of Optics, a scientific treatise written in Arabic (Egypt).
- The Tale of Genji, a novel written in Japanese by Shikabu Murasaki (Japan).
- Su Song is born near Quanzhou, China.
- Ibn Sina (Avicenna) publishes The Canon of Medicine, a medical encyclopedia written in Arabic (Iran).
- Murasaki Shikibu dies.
- Mahmud of Ghazni destroys Somnath (India).
- The Book of Healing, a scientific and philosophical treatise written in Arabic by Ibn Sina (Avicenna) (Iran).
- Birth of William the Conqueror in Falaise, Normandy (France).
- Tughril Beg founds the Seljuk Empire (Turkey; Iran).
- Ibn Sina (Avicenna) dies.
- Bi Sheng invents movable type printing using first wood, then ceramic characters (China).
- Otho de Lagery (Pope Urban II) is born in Lagery, France.
- Anawrahta becomes King of Pagan and begins conquests leading to the Empire of Pagan (Burma).
- The Kandariya Mahadeva and most of the other Hindu and Jain temples at Khajuraho are completed (India).
- Shao Yong publishes Huangji Jingshi (Book of Supreme World Ordering Principles), a treatise on cosmogony, in Chinese (China).
- The Great Schism between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches begins (Italy; Turkey).
- The Seljuk Turks, under Tughril Beg, capture Baghdad and oust the Buwayhid Dynasty (Iraq).
- Seljuk vizier Nizam al-Mulk establishes the Al-Nizamiyya of Baghdad, an institution of higher learning (Iraq).
- Anawrath, King of Pagan, unifies Burma after conquering the Kingdom of Thaton.
- The Normans, under William the Conqueror, defeat English King Harold II at the Battle of Hastings (UK: England).
- William the Conqueror becomes the first Norman King of England (UK: England).
- The Seljuk Turks defeat the Byzantines and capture Byzantine Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes at the Battle of Manzikert, blocking access to Anatolia (Turkey).
- Followers of King Henry II murder Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, in Canterbury Cathedral (UK: England).
- Northern Song Dynasty artist Guo Xi creates Early Spring (China).
- The Bayeaux Tapestry, which tells the story of the Norman Conquest of England, is made (UK).
- According to Arab legend, the Berber Almoravid Dynasty conquers the Ghanaian Empire (Ghana; Mauritania).
- Alfonso VI, Christian King of León and Castile, captures Toledo from the Muslim Almoravids (Spain).
- William the Conqueror orders a survey of the land and other property in his kingdom, the results of which are cataloged in Latin in the Domesday Book (UK: England).
- William the Conqueror dies in Normandy (France).
- Otho de Lagery is elected Pope Urban II (Italy).
- Construction begins on Su Song’s 40-foot-tall water-powered astronomical clock tower in Kaifeng (China).
- The earlier, Norman Romanesque version of Westminster Abbey is completed in London (UK: England).
- El Cid (Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar), a Castilian nobleman, drives the Almoravids out of Valencia and establishes a private fiefdom (Spain).
- The Italo-Byzantine St. Mark’s Basilica is constructed in Venice (Italy).
- Pope Urban II announces the First Crusade to capture the Holy Land and remove the Turks from the Byzantine Empire (Italy).
- Al-Ghazali publishes the Arabic book The Incoherence of the Philosophers, an attack on the views of Ibn Sina and others (Iran).
- Birth of Hildegard of Bingen in Bermersheim vor der Höhe, County Palatine of the Rhine, Holy Roman Empire (now Germany)
- The Crusaders take Jerusalem from the Muslims (Israel; Palestine).
- Death of Pope Urban II.
- The White Tower, the original Tower of London, is completed (UK: England).
- The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, an epic poem written in Persian (Iran).
- Su Song dies.
- The kingdoms of Croatia and Hungary unite.
- Founding of the University of Oxford (UK: England).
- The Tale of Genji Scroll is painted, possibly by Fujiwara no Takayoshi or his workshop (Japan).
- The Jurchen people, led by Aguda, overthrow the Liao Empire and establish the Jin Dynasty (Mongolia).
- The Byzantine religious icon Our Lady of Vladimir is painted in Constantinople (Turkey).
- Original construction of the Romanesque Durham Cathedral is completed (UK: England).
- Master Hugo creates the illuminated Latin-language Bury Bible at the Benedictine Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds (UK: England).
- An earthquake in Aleppo, Syria kills 230,000 people.
- Birth of Saladin in Tikrit, Mesopotamia (Iraq).
- Publication of the epic poem The Song of Roland, the oldest known work of literature written in French (France).
- Under the Treaty of Zamora, Spain recognizes Portugal’s independence.
- Afonso I Henriques becomes King of Portugal.
- Spanish King Louis VII and German King Conrad III organize the Second Crusade.
- The Almohads, a Muslim Berber Dynasty under Abd al-Mumin, conquer Morocco.
- According to legend, Eric IX of Sweden leads the First Swedish Crusade against the Finns and forces them to convert to Christianity (Finland).
- The Buddhist temple complex at Angkor Wat is completed (Cambodia).
- Benedictine abbess Hildegard of Bingen founds the Rupertsberg monastery (Germany).
- Léonin is composing polyphonic organum (France).
- Hildegard of Bingen writes the liturgical drama Ordo Virtutum, containing her earliest known musical compositions (Germany).
- Four Buddhas (two sitting, one standing and one reclining) are carved into a granite rock face at the Gal Vihara temple at Polonnauruwa (Sri Lanka).
- The Hanseatic League, an economic defense treaty, forms in northern Europe.
- Birth of Genghis Khan in Mongolia.
- Construction of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris begins (France).
- Stefan Nemanja defeats the Byzantines at the Battle of Pantina and overthrows his older brother to become the first leader of a united Serbia.
- The Kurds build a fortress on the future site of Krak des Chevaliers (Syria).
- Beginning of the ars antiqua style in European music composition.
- English King Henry II invades Ireland and claims it for England.
- The Treaty of Windsor recognizes Henry II as King of England and Ireland.
- After England defeats Scotland, Scottish king William I accepts English sovereignty.
- Saladin becomes Sultan of Egypt and Syria and founds the Ayyubid Dynasty.
- The Lombard League defeats Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa at the Battle of Legano (Italy)
- Invention of the first clock using falling weights (France).
- In the Mishneh Torah, written in Hebrew, Maimonides determines the date of the creation of the world and establishes the Jewish calendar according to the Anno Mundi (Egypt).
- Death of Hildegard of Bingen.
- Ibn Rushd (Averroes) writes The Incoherence of the Incoherence, a response to Al-Ghazali’s The Incoherence of the Philosophers, written in Arabic (Spain).
- French goldsmith and enamellist Nicholas of Verdun creates the Verdun Altar (the Klosterneuberg Altarpiece) for the Klosterneuberg Monastery (Austria).
- Minamoto Yoshitsune defeats the Taira at the Battle of Dan no Ura, marking the beginning of the Kamakura period (Japan).
- Kamakura period artist Kosho sculpts Kuya Preaching, which commemorates Kuya-Shonin and is located in the temple Kuya founded in Kyoto (Japan).
- The sandstone Bust of Jayavarman VII, Khmer emperor, is carved in the naturalistic Bayon style (Cambodia).
- The Bulgarians successfully throw off Byzantine rule to form the Second Bulgarian Empire.
- The Muslims, led by Saladin, recapture Jerusalem from the Christians (Israel; Palestine).
- The Third Crusade, led by Richard the Lionhearted, occupies Acre but fails to take Jerusalem from the Muslims (Israel; Palestine).
- Kamakura period sculptor Jokei creates statues of Ungyo and Agyo, a pair of fearsome guardians, or nio, to protect the entrance of the Kofuku-ji Temple in Nara (Japan).
- Song Dynasty artist Ma Yuan paints and draws Bare Willows and Distant Mountains on a silk fan (China).
- Maimonides writes Guide for the Perplexed, a philosophical and religious work, in Judeo-Arabic (Egypt).
- Earliest known vertical post mill windmill (UK: England).
- Minamoto no Yoritomo becomes the first shogun of the Kamakura shogunate (Japan).
- The Muslim Ghurids led by Mu’izz al-Din inflict a decisive defeat on a Chauhan Rajput army led by Prithviraj Chauhan in the Second Battle of Tarain (India).
- Death of Saladin in Damascus, Syria.
- The hand cannon, the simplest firearm, is invented (China).
- First evidence of buttons used to fasten clothing (Germany).
- Soccer (known in most of the world as football) is being played in Europe.
- Pérotin, a member of the Notre Dame school of polyphony, is writing organum in three and four parts at this time (France).
- Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade agree to sack the town of Zadar in Croatia so that Venice will transport them to Egypt, leading Pope Innocent to excommunicate the Crusaders.
- Italian mathematician Fibonacci (Leonardo of Pisa) introduces Arabic numerals and the Fibonacci sequence to Western Europeans in his book Liber Abaci (Italy).
- Soumaoro Kanté, king of the Sosso people, seizes Koumbi Saleh, the capital of the weakened Ghanaian Empire (Mauritania).
- The Crusaders sack the Byzantine capital of Constantinople (Turkey).
- Genghis Khan establishes the Mongol Empire with a capital at Karakorum (Mongolia).
- The epic Poem of the Cid (Cantar de Mio Cid) is written in Old Spanish (Spain).
- Founding of the University of Cambridge (UK: England).
- Founding of the Franciscan order of friars (Italy).
- The Nibelungenlied, an epic poem, is written in Middle High German (Germany).
- Christian forces defeat the Muslims in the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, a key victory in the Reconquista of the Iberian peninsula (Spain).
- Nicolas of Cologne leads Christians on a pilgrimage to Italy.
- Stephan of Cloyes, age 12, leads a group of 30,000, many of them children, on a Crusade to the Holy Land, making it as far as Marseilles (France).
- At the insistence of his nobles, King John signs the Magna Carta restricting his own powers (UK: England).
- English victories at the battles of Lincoln and Sandwich stop a French invasion (UK: England).
- Roger Bacon is born in Somerset, England (now UK).
- Fall of Chichen Itza, a Mayan city that had flourished from 600 CE (Mexico).
- Ken Arok founds the Singhasari Kingdom in east Java (Indonesia).
- Snorri Sturlusson writes down Iceland’s mythological stories in the Prose Edda, written in Icelandic (Iceland)
- The Crusading Knights Hospitaller complete work on Krak des Chevaliers (Syria).
- Birth of Roman Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas in Roccasecca, Kingdom of Sicily (now Italy).
- Death of Genghis Khan, probably in battle.
- The Sixth Crusade, under Frederick II, obtains Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Nazareth through a treaty with Kurdish ruler Malik al-Kamil, the fourth Ayyubid sultan of Egypt (Israel; Palestine).
- First known use of rockets as weapons (China).
- Sundiata Keita founds the Mali Empire in West Africa.
- Ferdinand III, King of Castile and León takes Córdoba from the Moors (Spain).
- Mohammed I ibn Nasr, founder of the Nasrid Dynasty, begins building a palace at the Alhambra in Granada (Spain).
- The Russians under Alexander Nevsky defeat the invading Swedes at St. Petersburg (Russia).
- The Mongols take Kiev, capital of the Kievan Rus, effectively completing their takeover (Russia).
- The Mongols defeat an alliance of Polish and Christian troops, led by Henry II the Pious, Duke of Silesia, at the Battle of Legnica, resulting in fragmentation of the Polish state (Poland).
- Genghis Khan’s son Batu leads his Golden Horde to southern Russia and establishes his capital at Sarai near the Volga River (Russia).
- Work begins on the Gothic Cologne Cathedral (High Cathedral of St. Peter) (Germany).
- The French Gothic cathedral of Sainte-Chapelle is built in Paris (France).
- Castel del Monte, with its unusual octagonal design, is constructed in Apulia by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II (Italy).
- Gita Govinda, an epic poem written in Sanskrit by Jayadeva (India).
- Birth of Marco Polo in the Republic of Venice (now Italy).
- The University of Paris is founded (France).
- Bustan (The Orchard), poems in Persian by Saadi Shirazi (Iran).
- The Mongols under Hulagu Khan capture Baghdad, ending the Abbasid caliphate (Iraq).
- The Mongols conquer Korea.
- The Mamelukes, under Baybars, defeat the invading Mongols, under Julegu Khan, at the Battle of Ain Jalut (Israel; Palestine).
- Major construction of the French Gothic Chartres Cathedral is completed (France).
- Nicola Pisano completes the proto-Renaissance Pisa Baptistry Pulpit (Italy).
- Nicaean emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos retakes Constantinople from Latin ruler Baldwin II (Turkey).
- Norway under King Haakon IV annexes Iceland and Greenland.
- Roger Bacon publishes Opus Majus, a treatise written in Latin on science, mathematics, philosophy, language and religion (UK: England).
- Major construction on the French Gothic Amiens Cathedral (Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Amiens) is complete.
- Summa Contra Gentiles, a book about Christianity by Thomas Aquinas (Italy).
- Rudolf I is named King of the Romans and King of Germany, marking the beginning of the Hapsburg Dynasty (Switzerland).
- The Masnavi, poems in Persian by Jalalu’l-din Rumi (Iran).
- Publication of Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica, a Latin compendium of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church (Italy).
- Death of Thomas Aquinas.
- Completion of the French Gothic Reims Cathedral (Notre-Dame de Reims) (France).
- The Mongols conquer China and their leader Kublai Khan establishes the Yuan Dynasty.
- The Santa Trinita Maestà, a proto-Renaissance altarpiece painted by Cimabue for a Florence church (Italy).
- English composer W. de Wycombe is active (UK).
- Japan successfully repels a Mongolian invasion.
- Sicilians rebel against the rule of French King Charles I, starting the War of Sicilian Vespers (Italy).
- The Republic of Genoa defeats the city-state of Pisa (Italy).
- Eyeglasses with convex lenses are invented (Italy).
- Expulsion of the Jews from England and Wales.
- The League of the Three Forest Cantons is formed in Switzerland.
- After King Kertanegara of Singhasari refuses to pay tribute to Mongol leader and Yuan Dynasty Emperor Kublai Khan, Khan invades Java and takes the city of Jayakatwang but is repulsed by a surprise attack by Raden Wijaya (Indonesia).
- Raden Wijaya founds the Majapahit Empire on Java (Indonesia).
- Roger Bacon dies.
- The First War of Scottish Independence begins when Edward I of England invades Scotland.
- Construction begins on the Gothic Duomo (Basilica of St. Mary of the Flower) in Florence (Italy).
- Scottish armies under William Wallace defeat English troops.
- The Dutch are playing a game that may be the precursor of golf; it involves hitting a leather ball with a stick into a distant hole using the least amount of strokes (The Netherlands).
- England defeats the Scottish rebellion.
- Rustichello da Pisa publishes The Travels of Marco Polo, written in Old French and based on conversations with Marco Polo (Italy).
- The Oghuz Turks under Osman Bey found the Ottoman Empire in northern Anatolia (Turkey).
- Earliest existing version of One Thousand and One Nights, a set of linked stories written in Arabic (Syria).
- The Montepellier Codex, containing 336 polyphonic works, is compiled in Paris (France).
- Proto-Renaissance artist Giotto di Bondone paints the frescoes on the walls of the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua (Italy).
- Pope Clement V moves the Roman Catholic papacy from Rome to Avignon (France).
- Start of the ars nova style in European music composition.
- Duccio di Buoninsegna completes the painting of the Byzantine Maestà Altarpiece (Italy).
- The Scots under Robert the Bruce defeat the English under Edward II at the Battle of Bannockburn (UK: Scotland).
- William of Ockham sets out the principle of Ockham’s Razor in his Commentaries on Peter Lombard’s Sentences, written in Latin (UK: England).
- The satirical poem Roman de Fauvel, written in French by Gervais de Bus and Chaillou de Pesstain, is published in a deluxe version featuring 169 musical insertions in all styles (France).
- The Divine Comedy, an epic poem, is written in Italian by Dante Alighieri (Italy).
- Death of Marco Polo.
- The Aztecs found the city of Tenochtitlan (Mexico).
- Ibn Battuta leaves his home in Morocco to spend the next 24 years traveling through the Muslim world and beyond.
- The Osmali Turks, led by Osman Bey, take the Byzantine fortress of Bursa after a nine-year siege (Turkey).
- The Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton establishes Scottish independence from England.
- Ivan I Kalita, Prince of Moscow, obtains Grand Prince of Vladimir status from the Golden Horde and uses it to strengthen the Muscovite state (Russia).
- Casimir III The Great ascends to the throne of Poland.
- First phase of building at the Kremlin in Moscow is completed (Russia).
- Original construction of Himeji Castle finished (Japan).
- The International Gothic St. Ansanus Altarpiece is painted by Simone Martini and Lippo Memmi for a side altar of the Siena Cathedral (Italy).
- Harihara I and his brother Bukka Raya I of the Sangama Dynasty found the Vijayanagara Empire in the Deccan Plateau region of southern India.
- England and France begin the Hundred Years’ War, which rages on and off for 116 years.
- Proto-Renaissance artist Ambrogio Lorenzetti paints the Allegory of Good and Bad Government frescoes on the walls of the Council Room in the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena (Italy).
- Birth of Geoffrey Chaucer in London, England (now UK).
- Notre Dame de Paris, a French Gothic cathedral, is completed (France).
- The Black Death (bubonic plague) arrives in Europe. Between 1347 and 1353, the plague will kill an estimated 30-60% of the population.
- The University of Prague is founded (Czech Republic).
- Founding of the University of Kracow (Poland).
- Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains, a landscape scroll by Song Dynasty artist and Yuan master Huang Gongwang (China).
- Polish King Kasimir III defeats and annexes the Kingdom of Galicia-Volhynia.
- The traditional date for the beginning of the Italian Renaissance in Florence (Italy).
- The Decameron, linked stories in Italian written by Giovanni Boccaccio (Italy).
- King Ramathibodi I establishes the Kingdom of Ayutthaya (Thailand).
- The alliance known as the Old Swiss Confederacy now includes eight cantons: first Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden in 1291; then Berne (1323), Lucerne (1332) and Zürich (1351); and lastly, Glarus and Zug, taken from the Hapsburgs in 1352.
- Ibn Battuta completes Rihla (The Journey), an Arabic-language account of his travels (Morocco).
- The English and French sign the Treaty of Brétigny and Treaty of Calais, establishing a temporary truce in the 100 Years’ War (France).
- Guillaume de Machaut’s Messe de Notre-Dame is the first polyphonic setting of the Ordinary of the Christian Mass that is attributable to a single composer (France).
- The Ming Dynasty is founded (China).
- Timur (Tamerlane) defeats his former ally Husayn at the Siege of Balkh and becomes ruler of the western Chaghatai in Transoxiana (Uzbekistan).
- The Ottomans under Lala Shahin Pasha defeat the Serbs under King Prilep Vukašin Mrnjavčević and his brother despot Uglješa (both of whom are killed) in the Battle of Maritsa near the village of Chernomen (Greece).
- The Campanile of the Pisa Cathedral (Leaning Tower of Pisa) is completed (Italy).
- Yuan master Ni Zan’s The Rongxi Studio handscroll (China).
- The Roman Catholic Papacy returns to Rome from Avignon (Italy).
- Ibn Khaldun publishes Muqaddimah, an Arabic-language overview of history, culture, science and religion (Tunisia).
- The Western Schism begins with the election of three different Roman Catholic popes, all of whom claim to be Supreme Pontiff of the Church (Italy).
- The Ayutthaya Kingdom defeats the Kingdom of Sukhothai (Thailand; Laos; Myanmar).
- An alliance of Russian principalities led by Prince Dmitri of Moscow defeats an army of the Mongol Golden Horde under Mamai at the Battle of Kulikovo.
- Venice defeats Genoa in the War of Chioggia (Italy).
- The Peasant’s Revolt, led by Wat Tyler, is put down by King Richard (UK: England).
- Jean Bondol (Hennequin of Bruges), Nicolas Bataille, & Robert Poinçon create the Apocalypse Tapestry for Louis I, Duke of Anjou (France).
- John the Great’s victory over Castile at the Battle of Ajubarrota ensures Portugal’s independence.
- The First Battle of Kosovo pits an army of Serbs and Bosnians led by Serbian Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović against the invading army of the Ottoman Empire under the command of Sultan Murad I. Both leaders die in the battle, and there is no clear victor (Kosovo).
- Lukeni lua Nimi conquers the Kingdom of the Mwene Kabunga in West Central Africa to found the Kingdom of Kongo Dya Ntotila (Angola; Congo).
- Muhammad V, Nasrid ruler of the Emirate of Granada, builds the Palace of the Lions and the Mexuar in the Alhambra (Spain).
- Charles VI expels the Jews from France.
- The Wilton Diptych is painted (UK).
- Queen Margaret I of Denmark establishes the Kalmar Union, uniting Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
- Johannes Gutenberg is born in the Electorate of Mainz (now Germany).
- Richard II abdicates the throne and Henry Bolingbroke becomes Henry IV (UK: England).
- Paramesvara establishes the Kingdom of Malacca on the Malay peninsula (Malaysia).
- The Mongols, under Timur, invade Syria.
- The Canterbury Tales, linked stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer (England).
- Timur leads the Timurid Mongols to victory over the Ottomans at the Battle of Ankara (Turkey).
- Parameswara, the last king of Singapura, flees to Malacca after a Majapahit invasion and establishes the Malacca Sultanate (Malaysia).
- First of seven Chinese naval expeditions under Zheng He (China).
- Poland, under King Władysław II Jagiełło, and Lithuania, under Grand Duke Vytautas, decisively defeat the German–Prussian Teutonic Knights, led by Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen, at the Battle of Grunwald (Poland).
- Birth of Joan of Arc in Domrémy, France.
- The British, under Henry V, defeat the French at the Battle of Agincourt (France).
- Prince Henry the Navigator conquers Ceuta, beginning the Portuguese Empire (Morocco).
- The Limbourg Brothers create the International Gothic illuminated prayer book Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry (France).
- Building of the Forbidden City at Beijing is completed (China).
- Work on the Old Hall Manuscript, a collection of English sacred music, is complete (UK).
- A French army led by a teenage Joan of Arc liberates Orleans from the English siege (France).
- The Aztec city-states Tenochtitlan, Texcoco and Tlacopan form a triple alliance to defeat the Tepanec state of Azcapotzalco, the first step toward establishing the Aztec Empire (Mexico).
- Early Renaissance artist Masaccio paints frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel and the Santa Maria Novella Church in Florence (Italy).
- Joan of Arc is tried and convicted of heresy, then burned at the stake (France).
- The Thais capture the Khmer capital of Angkor (Cambodia).
- The Ghent Altarpiece is painted by Early Netherlandish artist Jan (and possibly Hubert) van Eyck for St. John the Baptist Church in Ghent (Belgium).
- Cosimo de’ Medici returns from exile to become the de facto leader of Florence (Italy).
- The Arnolfini Portrait, an oil painting by Early Netherlandish painter Jan van Eyck (Belgium).
- The Madonna of Chancellor Rolin, a painting by Early Netherlandish artist Jan van Eyck (Belgium).
- Rogier van der Weyden’s Early Netherlandish painting Descent from the Cross (Belgium).
- Vlad II Dracula (Vlad the Impaler) becomes voivode of Wallachia for the first time (Romania).
- Florentine artist and architect Filippo Brunelleschi’s dome completes the Gothic Florence Cathedral (Basilica of St. Mary of the Flower, also known as the Duomo) (Italy).
- Pachacutec founds the Inca Dynasty (Peru).
- David, a bronze statue by Early Renaissance sculptor Donatello (Italy).
- The Venetian Gothic-style Doge’s Palace is completed in Venice (Italy).
- The Ottomans under Sultan Murad II defeat armies led by Władysław III of Poland and Hungary, John Hunyadi and Mircea II of Wallachia in the Battle of Varna (Bulgaria).
- The Second Battle of Kosovo results in a decisive victory for the Ottomans under Sultan Murad II over the Kingdom of Hungary and Wallachia led by John Hunyadi (Kosovo).
- Francesco Sforza becomes Duke of Milan (Italy).
- The Incas build Machu Picchu (Peru).
- Johannes Gutenberg independently invents movable type printing with metal type and the first modern printing press (Germany).
- The first evidence of screwdrivers (France; Germany).
- Nicholas of Cusa invents eyeglasses with concave lenses for myopia (Germany).
- Birth of Isabella (Queen of Castile and León) in Madrigal de las Altas Torres, Ávila (now Spain).
- Birth of Cristoforo Colombo (Christopher Columbus) in the Republic of Genoa (now Italy).
- Leonardo da Vinci is born in Vinci, Republic of Florence (now Italy).
- Constantinople falls to the Ottoman Turks under Muhammad II (Turkey).
- Pope Nicholas V negotiates the Treaty of Lodi, which settles hostilities among the Kingdom of Naples, the Duchy of Milan and the Republic of Florence (Italy).
- The War of the Roses between the houses of Lancaster and York begins with the Battle of St. Albans near London (UK: England).
- Johannes Gutenberg prints the first copies of the Latin-language Gutenberg Bible, the first major book printed in the West using movable type (Germany).
- Vlad the Impaler becomes voivode of Wallachia for the second time (Romania).
- Alvise da Cadamosto of Portugal discovers the Cape Verde Islands, which become part of the Portuguese Empire.
- The game of golf is being played in Scotland (UK).
- At the Congress of Mantua, Pope Pius II calls for a crusade against the Ottoman Empire (Italy).
- Birth of Vasco da Gama in Alentejo, Portugal.
- Probable date of the Requiem by Johannes Ockegham, the earliest surviving polyphonic setting of the Roman Catholic Mass for the Dead (France).
- Vlad the Impaler wreaks havoc on the Ottomans in Bulgaria, causing Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II to invade Wallachia (Bulgaria; Romania).
- Early Renaissance artist Piero della Francesca paints The Resurrection of Christ on the wall of the Comunale in Sansepolcro (Italy).
- Johannes Gutenberg dies.
- Birth of Niccolò Machiavelli in the Republic of Florence (now Italy).
- Work is halted on the unfinished Cologne Cathedral (Germany).
- Nicolaus Copernicus is born in Toruń, Royal Prussia, Kingdom of Poland.
- Early Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna completes the frescoes in the Camera degli Sposi of Castello San Giorgio in Mantua (Italy).
- The Portinari Altarpiece, painted by Early Netherlandish artist Hugo van der Goes (Belgium).
- Birth of Michelangelo Buonarroti in Caprese, Republic of Florence (now Italy).
- Vlad the Impaler returns to the Wallachian throne for the third and final time before dying shortly thereafter (Romania).
- No one expects it when Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile set up the Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition (the Spanish Inquisition) (Spain).
- The Ottomans and Venice conclude 15 years of war with the Treaty of Constantinople (Turkey).
- Birth of Fernão de Magalhães (Ferdinand Magellan), probably in Sabrosa, Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal.
- La Primavera (Spring), a painting by Florentine Early Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli (Italy).
- Martin Luther is born in Eisleben, Saxony, Holy Roman Empire (now Germany).
- Le Morte d’Arthur, a work of fiction written in English by Thomas Malory (UK: England).
- Birth of Hernando Cortés in Medellín, Kingdom of Castile (now Spain).
- The Birth of Venus, a painting by Florentine Early Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli (Italy).
- Bartholemeu Dias of Portugal becomes the first European to round the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa).
- Lady with an Ermine, a painting by High Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci (Italy).
- After encounters with the Portuguese, Kongo King Nzinga a Nkuwu converts to Christianity and takes the name of João I in honor of Portugal’s king João II (Angola; Congo).
- Birth of Henry Tudor (Henry VIII) in Greenwich, England (now UK).
- Christopher Columbus crosses the Atlantic Ocean, lands in the West Indies and claims them for Spain (The Bahamas).
- Muslim rule in Iberia ends and the Reconquista is complete when Emir Muhammad XIII surrenders the Emirate of Granada to Ferdinand and Isabella (Spain).
- Ferdinand II and Isabella I issue the Alhambra Decree expelling the Jews from Castile and Aragon (Spain).
- In the Treaty of Tordesillas, Spain and Portugal divide up the world outside Europe between them.
- French King Charles VIII invades Italy, starting the Italian Wars.
- After Piero II de’ Medici capitulates to the French, the Florentines exile him and establish a Florentine Republic under the influence of radical Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola (Italy).
- Luca Pacioli codifies the system of double-entry bookkeeping (Italy).
- Sebastian Brant publishes Ship of Fools, a German-language satire, with illustrations by Albrecht Dürer (Switzerland).
- Birth of Suleiman the Magnificent in Trabzon, Ottoman Empire (now Turkey).
- The Holy League organized by Pope Alexander VI defeats the French at the Battle of Fornovo and forces Charles VIII to leave Italy.
- While in Rome, Josquin des Prez composes the Missa L’homme armé super voces musicales, a setting of the Mass for four voices (Italy).
- John Cabot reaches Newfoundland and claims it for England (Canada).
- Josquin des Prez composes the five-voice lament Nymphes des bois, set to a poem by Jean Molinet, on the occasion of the death of Johannes Ockeghem (Italy).
- Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama becomes the first European to travel from Europe to India by sea.
- Radical Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola is executed in Florence (Italy).
- Apocalypse, a series of engraved woodcut prints by Northern Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer (Germany).
- The Last Supper, a painting by High Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci on the wall of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan (Italy).
- The Ottomans defeat the Venetians at the Battle of Zonchio (Greece).
- The Battle of Zonchio marks the first use of cannons in a naval battle (Greece).
- The Pietà, a sculpture by High Renaissance artist Michelangelo (Italy).