The Age of Religion: 100 - 600

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. In the middle of this half-millennium c.350 Christianity became the state religion of the Roman empire and was carried as far as the British Isles.

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)

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.


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.

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

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.



200 - 1500 parchment used for writing

200 Burial mounds built in Ohio by native Americans.

c.210 The Nine Chapters, a Chinese mathematical work.

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.

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.

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.


400 China: lampblack ink invented

400: South America: Moche culture established in Peru.
Pacific: Polynesians reach Easter Island.
Europe: Rustic capitals, lettering.

400 - 600 Egypt: wood blocks used for textile printing patterns

c.406 - 453 Attila, King of the Huns 434.

411 - 485 Proclus.

429 - 534: Vandals overrun the Roman empire.


c.450, (5th century) Patrick, missionary of christianity to Ireland 432.

c.450 Tsu Ch'ung-Chih and Tsu K^eng-Chih compute pi to six decimal places.

476: Fall of Roman empire.

476 - 550 Aryabhata the Elder Aryabhatiya & Indian mathematician and astronomer, uses Sanskrit syllabic numeration.

480 - 525 Boethius & & & &.


500 Europe: Anglosaxon Runes.
Arctic: Inuit begin hunting whales and seals.
Africa: Bantu people reach Southern Africa.

521 - 597 Columba, aka Colm, missionary of Christianity in Scotland, at Iona.

525 The Christian scholar Dionysius Exiguus proposes a reform of the calendar, numbering years according to the age of Jesus in that year, described as Anno Domini (abbreviated AD) meaning "In The Year of Our Lord" followed by the number from 1 upwards. Preceding years were referred to as BC (Before Christ) also numbered from 1 upwards. Thus there is no "year zero", only the time zero or datum point where 1 BC meets AD 1, and Jesus was somewhat paradoxicaly born on 25 December 1 BC. Later research however placed the birth of Jesus earlier.

535: Byzantine conquest of Italy and North Africa. (??)

c.540 - 604 Gregory I 'the Great', Pope 590, systematization of ritual and chants. The bulk of classical music is to sacred texts, and even atheists and agnostics have written Masses. The earliest music notation was a sort of shorthand called "Neumes", written aboove the text.

541; Plague of Justinian: bubonic plague affects Constantinople.


c.570 - c.632 Mohammed founder of Islam.

582: Sui dynasty reunites China.

594: Buddhism becomes official religion in Japan.


d.601 David, aka Dewi, Welsh bishop, patron saint of Wales.

d.604 Augustine of Canterbury, missionary of Christianity in England, first archbishop of Canterbury.