A Concise Chronology of Ancient Rome: 1,229 Years of Significant Events

Over 1,500 years since the fall of the Empire in the West, the legacy of Ancient Rome endures. Our fascination with the Eternal City, along with its cultural legacy — from Roman law to the Catholic Church — has continued to endure for a longer time than Roman rule itself lasted.

Here is a brief chronology of major events of the Ancient Roman civilisation, from its humble beginnings to the rise of the Republic and Empire, and finally its dissolution.

The Kingdom of Rome: 753 – 661 BC

753 BC

Legendary founding of Rome by Romulus. Chronological evidence shows beginnings of civilisation at Rome

Romulus and Remus by Peter Paul Rubens

Romulus and Remus were said to have been raised by a she-wolf

616 – 509 BC

Etruscan Rule and beginnings of the Roman State or res publica, meaning loosely, ‘the state’

The Roman Republic: 509 – 27 BC

509 BC            

Establishment of the Roman Republic

509 – 350 BC

Regional wars with the Etruscans, Latins, Gauls

449 – 450 BC  

Classification of Roman Law under patrician dominance

390 BC

1st Gallic sack of Rome after victory at the battle of Allia

341 – 264 BC

Rome conquers Italy

287 BC

Roman law progresses towards plebeian ascendancy

264 – 241

First Punic War — Rome conquers Sicily

218 – 201

Second Punic War — Against Hannibal

149 – 146       

Third Punic War — Carthage destroyed and significant expansion of Roman territory

Carthiginian war Elephants

Hannibal crossing the Rhone

215 – 206 BC

1st Macedonian War

200 – 196 BC

2nd Macedonian War

192 – 188 BC

War of Antiochos

171 – 167 BC

3rd Macedonian War

146 BC

Achaean War — Destruction of Corinth, Greece becomes Roman territory

113 – 101 BC  

Cimbrian Wars

112 – 105 BC

Jurgurthine War against Numidia

90 – 88 BC

Social War — between Rome and other Italian cities

88 – 63 BC

Mithridatic Wars against Pontus

88 – 81 BC

Marius vs. Sulla — plebeian vs. patrician, loss of plebeian power

60 – 59 BC      

First Triumvirate (Crassus, Pompey Magnus, Julius Caesar)

58 – 50 BC

Julius Caesar’s conquest of Gaul

49 — 45 BC

Julius Caesar vs. Pompey; Caesar crosses the Rubicon and marches on Rome

44 BC              

Julius Caesar made life long dictator and assassinated shortly thereafter

43 – 33 BC

Second Triumvirate (Mark Antony, Octavian, Lepidus)

32 – 30 BC

Final War of the Roman Republic (Octavian vs. Antony & Cleopatra)

Caesar crossing the Rubicon

Caesar crossing the Rubicon

The Roman Empire: 27 BC – 476 AD

27 BC – 14 AD

Imperial Rule of Augustus Caesar (Octavian)

43 AD             

Conquest of Britain begins under Emperor Claudius

64 AD

Great Fire of Rome — Emperor Nero places blame on Christians

66 – 70 AD

Great Revolt — First Jewish-Roman War

69 AD

‘Year of the 4 Emperors’ (Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian)

70 – 80 AD

Colosseum built in Rome

96 – 180 AD

Era of the ‘5 Good Emperors’ (Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius)

101 – 102 AD

First Dacian War

105 – 106 AD

Second Dacian War

112 AD                       

Trajan’s Forum constructed

114 AD

Parthian War

122 AD           

Building of Hadrian’s Wall in Britannia

Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian’s Wall

132 – 136 AD

Bar Kokhba Revolt — Third Jewish-Roman War; Jews banned from Jerusalem

193 AD

Year of the 5 Emperors (Pertinax, Didius Julianus, Pescennius Niger, Clodius Albinus, Septimius Severus)

193 – 235 AD

Reign of the Severan Dynasty (Septimius Severus, Caracalla, Severus Alexander)

212 AD                       

Caracalla grants citizenship to all free men in the Roman provinces

235 — 284 AD

Crisis of the Third Century — Empire nearly collapses due to assassination, civil war, plague, invasions and economic crisis

284 – 305 AD

A ‘Tetrarchy’ of co-Emperors rule Roman territory in 4 separate parts

312 – 337 AD

Reign of Constantine the Great — Reunites Rome, becomes first Christian Emperor

The coinage of Constantine's Empire. His economic policies were one of the reasons for the decline of the west and the sundering of the Empire.

The coinage of Constantine’s Empire. His economic policies were one of the reasons for the decline of the west and the sundering of the Empire.

330 AD           

Capital of Empire placed in Byzantium (later Constantinople)

376 AD

Visigoths defeat the Romans at the Battle of Adrianipole in the Balkans

378 – 395 AD

Rule of Theodosius the Great, final ruler of the united Empire

380 AD           

Theodosius declares Christianity as the one legitimate Imperial religion

395 AD

Final East-West division of the Roman Empire

402 AD

Capital of Western Empire moves from Rome to Ravenna

407 AD

Constantine II withdraws all forces from Britain

410 AD                       

The Visigoths, led by Alaric, sack Rome

455 AD           

Vandals sack Rome

476 AD

Western Emperor Romulus Augustus is forced to abdicate, ending 1,000 years of Roman power in Western Europe

The sack of Rome by Alaric

The sack of Rome by Alaric

Graham is an editor and contributor at Made From History. A London-based writer originally from Washington, DC, he holds a master's degree in Cultural History from Malmö University in Sweden. Graham also contributes environmental news articles to asiancorrespondent.com and latincorrespondent.com.