By Tim Lambert

Part One: The Ancient World

C. 35,000 BC The Cro-Magnon people enter Europe

C. 9,000-8,000 BC Farming begins in the Middle East

C. 8,000 BC Jericho, the first walled town, is built

C. 6,500 BC

Catal Huyuk, a town in what is now Turkey flourishes

Farming begins in Northwest India

C. 6,000 BC

Farming spreads to Greece and later across Europe

Rice is cultivated in Thailand

C. 5,000 BC Farming begins in Egypt

C. 4,000 BC

Farming spreads to Northern Europe

The plow is invented in the Middle East

Bronze is used in the Middle East

C. 3,500 BC

The sail is invented in Egypt

The potters wheel is invented in Iraq

C. 3,300 BC Writing develops in Sumer and Egypt

C. 3,000 BC Bronze is used in Thailand

C. 2,500 BC

Farming begins in Peru

The Minoan Civilization arises on Crete

C. 2,250-1,250 BC

Stonehenge is built in England

C. 2,000 BC

Bronze is used in Northern Europe and in China

The Hittite Civilization arises in what is now Turkey

C. 1.790 BC - 1,750 BC Hammurabi is king of Babylon in what is now Iraq

C. 1,700 BC The Indus Valley Civilization arises

C. 1,200 BC

The Hittite Empire in Turkey collapses

The Olmec Civilization in Mexico arises

C. 1,000 BC

King David rules Israel

C. 900 BC

The Phoenicians flourish is what is now Lebanon and go on long voyages

The Chavin civilization arises in Peru

C. 880 BC The Assyrians of Northern Iraq begin to create a great empire

814 BC The Phoenicians found Carthage in Tunisia

C. 800 BC

A new civilization arises in Greece

The Etruscan Civilization arises in Italy

776 BC The first Olympic Games are held in Greece

C. 750 BC Rome is founded

C. 650 BC

The Celts introduce iron tools and weapons into Britain

The Chinese begin using iron

The Assyrian Empire is at its peak

620s BC The Assyrian Empire is split by civil war

612 BC A rebellion led by Babylon brings the Assyrian Empire to an end. The Babylonians then create their own empire.

C. 600 BC Hindu Civilization arises in India

C. 563 BC-483 BC Buddha lives

551-479 BC Kong-Fuzi or Confucius lives in China

559-529 BC Cyrus the Great founder of the Persian Empire reigns

546 BC Cyrus conquers Lydia in Asia Minor

539 BC a href=babylon.html>Babylon is captured by the Persians

525 BC The Persians conquer Egypt

490 BC The Greeks defeat the Persians at the Battle of Marathon

480 BC The Greeks defeat another Persian invasion

399 BC The Greek philosopher Socrates is condemned to death

391 BC The Romans defeat the Etruscans

C. 427-347 BC The Greek philosopher Plato lives

384-322 BC The Greek philosopher Aristotle lives

338 BC Philip of Macedon conquers Greece

334 BC Alexander the Great invades the Persian Empire

333 BC Alexander wins the Battle of Issus

332 BC Alexander conquers Egypt

330 BC Alexander controls all of the former Persian Empire

323 BC Alexander dies and his general split his empire between them

273-236 BC The great Indian Emperor Asoka lives

264-241 BC The First Punic War is fought between Rome and Carthage (on the North African coast). Rome wins and gains Sicily.

218-201 BC

The Second Punic War is fought. The great Carthaginian general Hannibal leads an expedition through Spain over the Alps against Rome.

217 BC Hannibal crushes the Romans at Lake Trasimene

216 BC Hannibal crushes the Romans at Cannae

214 BC Work begins on the Great Wall of China

206 BC The Romans defeat the Carthaginians in Spain. They take control of southern Spain.

202 BC The Han dynasty is founded in China

200 BC The Chavin civilization in Peru collapses

149-146 BC The Third Punic War is fought between Rome and Carthage. Rome destroys Carthage.

135 BC Roman slaves in Sicily rebel but are defeated

89 BC All Italians are given Roman citizenship

73-71 BC Spartacus leads a slave rebellion

A history of slavery

63 BC Roman general Pompey captures Jerusalem

58-51 BC Julius Caesar conquers Gaul (France)

49 BC Julius Caesar seizes control of Rome

44 BC Julius Caesar is assassinated

31 BC Octavian's fleet defeats the fleet of his rivals Mark Anthony and Cleopatra

30 BC Egypt becomes a province of the Roman Empire

C. 4 BC Jesus is born

C. 29 AD Jesus is crucified

43 AD The Romans invade Britain

C 45 AD Paul begins his missionary journeys

64 AD Most of Rome is destroyed by fire. Nero uses Christians as a scapegoat.

98-117 AD Trajan is Emperor of Rome. The Roman Empire reaches its peak.

220 AD The Han dynasty in China ends

224 AD In Persia a member of the Sassanid family kills the last Parthian king and founds the Sassanid Empire

313 AD Roman Emperor Constantine tolerates Christianity

395 AD The Roman Empire permanently splits into two parts, East and West

C. 400 AD Writing is introduced into Japan

407 AD Germanic tribes overrun Gaul (France)

410 AD The Goths capture Rome

434-453 AD Attila is king of the Huns

451 Attila the Hun is defeated at Chalons in France

455 AD The Vandals capture Rome

476 AD The Western Roman Empire ends completely

Part Two: The Middle Ages

481-511 Clovis is king of the Franks. He marries a Christian and in 1496 becomes a Christian himself.

527-565 AD Justinian rules the Byzantine Empire (the Eastern Roman Empire)

C. 570 Mohammed is born

597 Augustine arrives in England to help convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity

C. 600 The Mayans of Mexico are at their peak

618-907 The Tang Dynasty rules China

632 Mohammed dies

642 The Arabs conquer Egypt and Persia

698 The Arabs conquer Carthage in Tunisia

C. 700 Arab merchants begin to trade with Saharan cities

711 The Moors invade Spain

732 The Franks defeat the Moors at the Battle of Tours

793 The Vikings raid Lindisfarne monastery in England. It is the first of many Viking raids on England.

800 Charlemagne is crowned Emperor. He rules a great Empire including France, Germany and North Italy.

814 Charlemagne dies. After his death his empire splits up.

843 Scotland is united

865-870 The Danes conquer Northern and Eastern England

871 Alfred the Great become king of Wessex (Southern England)

874 The Vikings settle Iceland

878 Alfred the Great defeats the Danes

911 A Viking chief named Rollo is granted land in Normandy by the French king

C. 950 The Maoris arrive in New Zealand

955 The Germans defeat the Magyars (ancestors of today's Hungarians) at the Battle of Lechfeld

976 The Great Byzantine emperor Basil II rules. He strengthens the Byzantine Empire.

985 The Vikings settle Greenland

1014 Brian Boru, High King of Ireland defeats the Vikings at Clontarf

1044 A Burmese state is founded

1054 The Eastern (Orthodox) Church formally splits from the Western (Catholic) Church

1055 The Seljuk Turks, a people from Central Asia take Baghdad

1066 The Normans conquer England

1071 The Seljuk Turks defeat the Byzantine Empire at the battle of Manzikert

1076 The Seljuk Turks take Damascus and Jerusalem

1086 The Domesday Book, a survey of who owns the land in England, is written

1096-1099 The First Crusade takes place

1099 The Crusaders capture Jerusalem

1123 Omar Khayyam the Persian poet dies

1147-49 The Second Crusade is fought

1171 Oxford University is founded when the English king orders all English students to return from France

1171 The English King Henry II makes himself Lord of Ireland

1182-1226 Francis of Assisi lives

1187 Saladin recaptures Jerusalem

1189-1192 The Third Crusade is fought

1206 Genghis Khan unites the Mongols and begins to build a huge empire

1211 The Mongols invade Northern China

1215 King John seals Magna Carta. It gives all free men in England certain rights.

1215-1274 Thomas Aquinas the Italian theologian lives

1221The Mongols attack Delhi

1227 Genghis Khan dies

1236 The Mongols invade Russia

1241 The Mongols invade Poland and Hungary but they retreat after the death of Ogedei, Genghis Khan's son

1250 The Mamelukes take power in Egypt

1258 The Mongols capture Baghdad

1260 The Mamelukes of Egypt defeat the Mongols

1279 The Mongols capture Southern China

1281 A Mongol invasion of Japan fails

1283 The English complete the conquest of Wales

1290 Jews are expelled from England

1300 Statues are erected on Easter Island

1306 Jews are expelled from France

1314 The Battle of Bannockburn is fought. The Scots crush the English.

1324 Mansa Musa the great king of Mali goes on a pilgrimage to Mecca and impresses everyone with his wealth

C. 1325 The Aztecs found their capital at Tenochtitlan

1337 The Hundred Years War begins between England and France


The English win a naval battle against the French at Sluys

The first recorded use of a gun in battle takes place

C. 1340-1400 The English writer Geoffrey Chaucer lives

1347-1353 Europe is ravaged by the Black Death

1353 Ibn Battuta, a Moroccan traveler reaches Timbuktu. He writes an account of his travels in West Africa.

1368 The Ming dynasty begins in China

1373 A treaty of friendship is made between England and Portugal

1381 In England the Peasants Revolt takes place


Tamerlane king of Samarkand builds up a great empire in Asia. He conquers Herat in 1381 and destroys Delhi in 1398. In 1401 he takes Baghdad and in 1402 he defeats the Ottoman empire in Turkey.


The English win another great victory at Agincourt in France

The Czech religious reformer Jan Hus is martyred

1429 The French win a victory over the English at Orleans

1439 The Russian and Greek Orthodox Churches are formally separated

1445 The printing press is invented


The Hundred Years War ends with English defeat. The English lose all of their territory in France except Calais.

The Ottoman Turks capture Constantinople and bring the Byzantine Empire to an end

1476 Caxton introduces the printing press into England

1480 The Spanish Inquisition is formed

1485 Henry VII begins the Tudor dynasty in England

1488 Portuguese sailors reach the Cape of Good Hope


Christopher Columbus sails across the Atlantic

Ferdinand and Isabella conquer Granada, the last Muslim stronghold in Spain

Part Three: The Modern World

1498 Portuguese sailors reach India

1514 Portuguese sailors reach Canton in China

C. 1500 Guru Nanak (1469-1539) founds the Sikh religion

1516 The Portuguese reach Vietnam by sea

1517 Martin Luther begins the Reformation. The Ottoman Turks conquer Egypt.


Cortes conquers the Aztecs in Mexico

Ferdinand Magellan is killed in the Philippines

1522 The Ottoman Turks capture Belgrade

1526 In India Babar founds the Mogul Empire

1530 The Portuguese settle in Brazil

1533 Pizarro conquers the Incas

1534 King Henry VIII becomes head of the Church of England


John Knox begins the Reformation in Scotland

The Turks conquer Hungary


Copernicus publishes his theory that the Earth orbits the Sun

Portuguese sailors reach Japan

1545 The English ship The MaryRose sinks near Portsmouth

1547-1584 Ivan the Terrible rules Russia

1564 In England the writers Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare are born. In Italy the great scientist Galileo is born.

1556-1605 In India Akbar the Great rules over the Mogul Empire

1565 The Turks fail to capture Malta

1568 The Dutch rebel against Spanish rule

1571 The Turkish fleet is badly defeated by Spanish and Venetian ships

1572 The St Bartholomew's Day massacre takes place in France. Thousands of French Protestants are murdered by Catholics.

1580 Spain annexes Portugal


Mary Queen of Scots is executed

The Mogul Emperor Akbar takes Kashmir

1588 The Spanish Armada is defeated by the English


In India Akbar the Great conquers Sind

An Englishman named John Davis discovers the Falkland Islands

1603 Queen Elizabeth I of England dies, ending the Tudor dynasty. The Scottish king inherits the English throne. He is now King James VI of Scotland and King James I of England.

1605 In England a group of Catholics attempt to blow up parliament in the Gunpowder Plot

1607 The English found Jamestown, Virginia the first permanent English colony in North America

1608 The English writer John Milton is born. The French found Quebec in Canada.


Henry Hudson discovers Hudson Bay in Canada.

Galileo writes his book The Sidereal Messenger in which he describes his observations of the heavens with a telescope.

1611 In England the King James Bible is published

1618-1648 The Thirty Years War is fought in Germany

1611-1632 Gustavus Adolphus king of Sweden and a brilliant general reigns

1620 English Puritans sail to New England in The Mayflower

1622 England sends its first ambassador to Turkey

1626 The Dutch found New Amsterdam, which later becomes New York

1627-1658 Shah Jahn, Mogul Emperor expands his empire

1639 Japan isolates itself from the outside world

1640 Portugal rebels against Spanish rule

1642-1646 In England a civil war is fought between King and Parliament

1642 Abel Tasman discovers Tasmania

1644 In China the Ming dynasty is overthrown. The Manchu dynasty takes over.

1648 Spain recognizes Dutch independence

1649 In England King Charles I is executed

1652 The Dutch found a colony in South Africa

1653 Oliver Cromwell makes himself Lord Protector of England. He rules until his death in 1658.

1655 England takes Jamaica from Spain

1661 The great scientist Robert Boyle publishes his book the Skeptical Chemist

1664 The English capture New Amsterdam, which is renamed New York

1666 The Great Fire of London devastates the English capital

1683 The Ottoman Turks besiege Vienna but fail to capture the city


The Austrians defeat the Turks at the Battle of Mohacs. The Turkish Ottoman Empire begins a long, slow decline.

Isaac Newton publishes a book describing his theory of gravity and his laws of motion.


The Glorious Revolution takes place in England. King James II flees abroad and parliament invites a Dutchman, William of Orange to take his place.

1689 Peter the Great becomes Tsar of Russia

C 1690 In India the Mogul Empire is at its height

1692 In New England the Salem Witch Trials take place

1699 William Dampier sails along the Northwest coast of Australia


England and Scotland are united

The Mogul Empire in India begins to break down

1700-1721 The Great Northern War between Sweden and Russia is fought

1701-1714 The War of the Spanish Succession is fought


The British capture Gibraltar from Spain

Forces led by the Duke of Marlborough defeat the French at the Battle of Blenheim


The Russians defeat the Swedes at the Battle of Poltava

Abraham Darby begins using coke to smelt iron

1718 The French found New Orleans

1722 Jacob Roggeveen discovers Samoa and Easter Island

1721-1742 Robert Walpole is the first British prime minister

1728 Vitus Bering explores the Bering Straits

1733 Georgia, the last of the original 13 North American colonies is founded

1739 John Wesley founds the Methodist Movement in England

1740-1786 Frederick the Great rules Prussia

1740-1748 The War of the Austrian Succession is fought

1752 Benjamin Franklin shows that lightning is a form of electricity

1755 Lisbon, Portugal is devastated by an earthquake

1756-1763 The Seven Years War is fought

1757 The British defeat the French at Plassey in India ensuring that India will become a British colony

1759 The British defeat the French at Quebec ensuring Canada becomes British

1762-1796 Catherine the Great rules Russia


Captain Cook sails to New Zealand

James Watt patents an efficient steam engine

Franciscan friars found a mission at Los Angeles

1772 The first Partition of Poland takes place. Russia, Prussia and Austria help themselves to Polish territory.

1773 The Boston Tea Party takes place in North America

1775-1783 The American War of Independence is fought

c. 1780 The Industrial Revolution begins to transform life in Britain

1788 The first settlers arrive in Australia from Britain


The French Revolution begins

George Washington becomes the first president of the USA


In France King Louis XVI is executed.

War begins between Britain and France

In the USA Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin

The second Partition of Poland takes place

1795 The third and final Partition of Poland takes place

1799 Napoleon Bonaparte seizes power in France

1804 Hobart the capital of Tasmania is founded. Haiti becomes independent.

1805 The French defeat the Austrians at Austerlitz but are defeated by the British at Trafalgar


The British take over the Dutch colony of South Africa

The French crush the Prussians at the Battle of Jena

1807 Britain abolishes the slave trade

1812 Napoleon's invasion of Russia ends in disaster

1812-1870 The writer Charles Dickens lives

1813 Napoleon is defeated at Leipzig

1814 Napoleon abdicates

1815 Napoleon escapes from exile and becomes emperor of France again but he is defeated at Waterloo

1816 Argentina becomes independent

1818 Chile becomes independent

1818 Shaka founds the Zulu Empire in southern Africa

1821 Mexico, Peru and Guatemala become independent

1825 Bolivia becomes independent

1828 In Africa Shaka, the Zulu emperor is murdered

1829 Following 7 years of fighting Greece becomes independent of Turkey

C. 1830 The Industrial Revolution spreads to France, Germany and the USA

1839-1842 The Opium War is fought between Britain and China is fought. China leases Hong Kong to Britain.

1840 Britain annexes, New Zealand

1845-1851 A Potato famine strikes Ireland

1846-1848 War between Mexico and the USA. Mexico is forced to surrender much of her territory.

1848 Revolutions break out across Europe

1852-1870 Napoleon III, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte is dictator of France

1853 The USA forces Japan to allow foreign trade

1854-1856 The Crimean War is fought. Britain, France and Turkey versus Russia.

1855 David Livingstone discovers the Victoria Falls

1857-1858 The Indian Mutiny takes place


Italy is united

Russian serfs are made free

1861-1865 The American Civil War is fought

1865 Abraham Lincoln is assassinated

1867 Canada becomes a dominion

1868 In Japan a period of rapid economic growth and change begins

1870-1871 The Franco-Prussian War is fought. Napoleon III falls from power and France surrenders.

Germany becomes a united country.

1876 Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone


Edison invents an electric light bulb

The War of the Pacific is fought. Chile fights Bolivia and Peru.

1885 The car is invented

1890 The massacre of Wounded Knee ends the Indian Wars in the USA

The industrial revolution spreads to Sweden and Russia

1893 Women in New Zealand are given the vote

1894 In France Alfred Dreyfus is unjustly convicted of treason

1898 War between the USA and Spain takes place. The USA takes the Philippines.

1899-1902 The Boer War is fought in South Africa

1900 The Boxer Rebellion takes place in China

1901 The Australian colonies are united to form the Commonwealth of Australia


The first aeroplane flies

Panama becomes independent

1904-1905 War between Russia and Japan


A revolution in takes place in Russia

Norway becomes independent from Sweden

1907 New Zealand becomes a dominion

1908 Bulgaria becomes independent of Turkey

1910 A revolution takes place in Portugal


A revolution takes place in China

Amundsen is the first man to reach the South Pole

1912 The Titanic sinks


The First World War begins

The Panama Canal opens


Tanks are used for the first time by the British

In Ireland the Easter Rising takes place

In Russia Rasputin is murdered


The USA joins the First World War

Communists seize power in Russia

1918 Germany surrenders

1919 Germany is forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles, which causes much resentment in that country

1921 Southern Ireland becomes independent

1922 Mussolini seizes power in Italy

1927 Canberra becomes the federal capital of Australia


Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin

Stalin gains complete power in Russia. He introduces the first Five Year Plan.

1929 The Wall Street Crash in the USA begins a world-wide depression


Adolf Hitler becomes ruler of Germany

Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes president of the USA

1936 The German army occupies the Rhineland (breaking the Treaty of Versailles)

1936-1939 The Spanish Civil War is fought. Franco becomes dictator of Spain.

1938 The Germans take Austria


Germany invades Poland so Britain and France declare war on Germany

Russia attacks Finland


The Katyn Massacre of Polish officers takes place

Germany conquers Norway, Holland, Belgium and France

Winston Churchill becomes prime minister of Britain


Germany conquers Yugoslavia and Greece and invades Russia

Japan attacks the USA at Pearl Harbor


The USA defeats Japan at Midway Island

The British defeat the Germans at El Alamein


The Russians defeat the Germans at Stalingrad and Kursk

German forces in North Africa surrender and allied forces invade Italy

1944 Allied forces invade France

1945 Germany and Japan surrender

1947 India becomes independent

1947-1948 Communists gain power in Eastern Europe


Israel is created

Burma becomes independent

The transistor is invented

A civil war is fought in Costa Rica


Communists gain power in China

Indonesia becomes independent

1950 China occupies Tibet

1951 Libya becomes independent

1953 Stalin dies

1956 Morocco becomes independent

1957 The EEC (forerunner of the EU) is created

1958 Charles de Gaulle becomes president of France


Echo, the first communications satellite is launched

Senegal becomes independent

1961-1973 The USA becomes involved in the Vietnam War


Tanzania becomes independent

Communists build the Berlin Wall


The Cuban Missile Crisis takes place

Uganda becomes independent

Jamaica becomes independent

1963 President John Kennedy is assassinated


Malawi and Zambia become independent

In the USA The Civil Rights Act is passed in the USA

1965 Gambia becomes independent

1966 Botswana becomes independent


War takes place between the Arab states and Israel

The first heart transplant is performed


Charles de Gaulle resigns as president of France

Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to set foot on the Moon

1971 Women in Switzerland are allowed to vote

1972 Ceylon changes its name to Sri Lanka


Britain, Denmark and Ireland join the EU

Sydney Opera House is opened

1974 President Richard Nixon resigns after the Watergate Scandal


General Franco, dictator of Spain dies. Spain becomes a monarchy again

Communists capture South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia

Mozambique becomes independent

1977 King Juan Carlos restores democracy in Spain

1979 The Shah of Iran is overthrown

1980 Solidarity, an independent trade union is formed in Poland


The space shuttle is launched

Belize becomes independent

1983 Democracy is restored in Argentina

1985 Democracy is restored in Brazil

1986 President Marcos is removed from power in the Philippines. Corazon Aquino takes over.


Communism collapses in East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Romania


Germany is reunited

Lech Walesa become President of Poland


Communism collapses in the Soviet Union. It then breaks up into separate states

The Gulf War is fought in Iraq

Elections are held in Albania


The EU nations recognize Croatia and Slovenia as independent nations

Rioting takes place in Los Angeles when white policemen are acquitted of assaulting a black driver, Rodney King

1993 Czechoslovakia splits into the Czech Republic and Slovakia

1994 Nelson Mandela becomes president of South Africa

1995 Sweden, Finland and Austria join the EU

1997 Britain returns Hong Kong to China


A terrorist attack on New York takes place

2004 Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Cyprus all join the EU

2007 Bulgaria and Romania join the EU

2011 Revolutions take place in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya

2014 Russia annexes Crimea

A timeline of England

A timeline of the USA

A timeline of Australia

A timeline of Canada

A timeline of France