The Age of Rome: 0 - 400

This age was marked by the consolidation of Roman knowledge in the histories of Plutarch and the Almagest of Ptolemy and the medicine of Galen, and the wide adoption of the Stoic philosophy including by the emperor Marcus Aurelius. Towards the end of this Age. at c.350, Christianity became the state religion of the Roman empire.

Colour coding: red = mathematics, astronomy, physics orange = materials, chemistry, geology, engineering, architecture yellow = biology, medicine, exploration, anthropology, psychology green = visual art, printing blue = literature, poetry, music mauve = history, philosophy, metaphysics, theology grey = wars, politics, events (indented)


−1 - +1 There was no "year 0": the datum "0" indicates the point in time marking the end of the year −1 and the beginning of the year +1.

1: Bantu people begin to migrate to East Africa.

d.c.64 Paul of Tarsus, Jewish Pharisee who persecuted Christians until he was converted by a vision on the road to Damascus, and became a missionary of Christianity to non-Jewish people, the 'gentiles'.

−4 - 65 Seneca the younger, Consolationes 49, stoic philosopher, statesman and satirist.

c.20 - 90 Pedianus Dioscorides, surgeon with the Roman army, gathered knowledge on medicinal plants in his De Materia Medica. @

23 - 79 Gaius Plinius Secundus, aka Pliny the elder. Author of encyclopaedic Naturalis Historia W W)

37 - 68 Nero, Roman emperor (54). Period when New Testament Gospels were written: Mark c.70, Matthew c.80, Luke 1st c. and Acts of Apostles, John later.

c.10 - c.75 Hero of Alexandria aka Heron, mathematician, engineer and inventor, Metrica, Mechanics, and Pneumatics, including description of a steam powered device (aeolipile), and wind and water operated devices. Showed how to compute square roots and cubic roots of numbers. Devised the formula for the area of a triangle from the lengths of its sides.

(1st century) Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, Roman architect and military engineer in service of Augustus De Architectura (before year 27).

c.46 - c.120 Plutarch, biographer, historian, encyclopedist.

c.55 - 135 Epictetus, freed slave, stoic philosopher.

70: Destruction of Jerusalem by Romans.

78 - 139 Zhang Heng Chinese polymath, inventor, and astronomer. W

c.85 - 165 Claudius Ptolemy made astronomical observations 127-141, compiled and systematised the knowledge of his day: Harmonics on music, Optics on light, including angles of refraction for several media, Geographia (c.150) including map projections and a world map. Tetrabiblos on astrology. Planetary Hypothesis on cosmology, Syntaxis or 'Almagest' on astronomy. M @ @


The relative peace that the empires brought encouraged international trade, most notably the massive trade routes in the Mediterranean that had been developed by the time of the Hellenistic Age, and the Silk Road, from China to Europe.

100 - 400 China: stone or wood blocks used for seal printing.

c.100: Foundation of Teotihuacan city in Mexico.
First settlers arrive in Hawaiian islands.

100 Roman lettering: Trajan column inscription.

104AD China: paper replaces wood, bamboo, silk.

c.120 - 180 Lucius Apuleius, satirical author of The Golden Ass and the Apology a speech in defence of a slander against him. W G @

121 - 180 Marcus Aurelius Roman consul (140) and emperor (161), stoic philosopher Meditations 167. W @ @ F @ @

c.130 - c.201 Galen aka Claudius Galenus of Pergamum, physician to gladiators and emperors, including Marcus Aurelius, 83 treatises extant including On the Natural Faculties, Exhortation to Study the Arts, Diagnosis in Dreams and 15 commentaries on Hippocrates. W @ @ @


c.179 Jiuzhang Suanshu [The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art] Chinese mathematics text, probably based on much earlier work. (See also: Suan shu shu −202 and Zhoubi Suanjing 210.) W


200 - 1500 parchment used for writing

200 Burial mounds built in Ohio by native Americans.

c.210 The Zhou Bi Suan Jing, a Chinese mathematical and astronomical work with 246 mathematical and astronomical problems, some claimed to be from the Zhou dynasty (−1046 - −256) but including later material from the Han dynasty (−202 - 220). W

fl.3rd century Diophantus Alexandrian mathematician, Arithmetica introduced 'diophantine equations' in theory of numbers.

212 - 275 Aurelian, Roman emperor 270. Defeated Zenobia of Palmyra (who had conquered Egypt 269 and most of Asia Minor).

dates? Diogenes Laertius biographer of the Greek philosophers. W

219 - 265 China: Three Kingdoms period. Civil War 220.

224 - 651 Sassanian dynasty rules in Persia.

245 - 313 Diocletian, Roman emperor 284-305.


250 Yamato dominates Japan.

250 - 336 Arius, theologian, anti-trinitarian.

250 - 336 Eusebius of Caesaria, theologian, Ecclesiastical History 324, not averse to 'pious forgery'.

266 Jin dynasty in China (to 317).

274 - 337 Constantine I Roman emperor 323, made Christianity the state religion 324, Christian doctrines codified at the Council of Nicea in the Nicean Creed, declaring Arianism to be a heresy 325, made Constantinople (Byzantium) the capital of the Roman empire 330.

296 - 373 Athanasius, theologian, trinitarian.


300 Central America: Rise of Maya civilisation.
Pacific: First settlers arrive in Tahiti.

320: Gupta dynasty in North India (to 535).

339 - 397 Ambrose, bishop of Milan 374, introduced hymns, ritual and codified plain-chant.

c.342 - 420 Jerome aka Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus, Vulgate Bible in Latin 386.

c.346 - 395 Theodosius I Roman emperor 379.


350: Africa: Kingdom of Axum (Ethiopia) conquers Kush. Christianity reaches Ethiopia.

354 - 430 Augustine of Hippo christian 'neoplatonist' philosopher and theologian. W @ @ @ @

c.360 - c.420 Pelagius aka Morgan, theologian, rejected the doctrines of original sin and predestination.

370: Europe invaded by Huns from Asia.
(370 - 410) Alaric I, king of the Visigoths 395, sacked Rome 410.

c.375 - 415 Hypatia Alexandrian philosopher, murdered by a christian mob, encouraged by archbishop Cyril of Alexandria (376 - 444) who also expelled the Jews, and persecuted Nestorius, patriarch of Constantinople 428 - 431 (d.451), for heresy. @