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Major Events of Roman History and Legend

through AD 68 (all dates BC unless otherwise noted)

c. 1180: legendary fall of Troy, Aeneas sails to Italy
753: legendary founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus

7 Kings of Rome:

    Wolf, Rape of Sabine Women, Alliance with Sabines and Titus Tatius
    started many of Rome’s religious practices
Tullus Hostilius
    conquest of Alba Longa
Horatii and Curiatii
Ancius Marcius
    beginning of ritual of fetiales for declaring war
Tarquinius Priscus
    from Etruria; wife Tanaquil
Servius Tullius
    born a slave; taken in by Tanaquil and Tarquinius; Servian wall, census
Tarquinius Superbus
    kills Servius at instigation of wife Tullia; conquest of Gabii; building of cloaca maxima

509: Rape of Lucretia by Sextus Tarquinius: Romans under Lucius Brutus expel kings

287: lex Hortensia ends centuries-long strife between patricians and plebeians over such matters as intermarriage, magistracies, and distribution of grain.
    major figures in this period: Coriolanus, Cincinnatus
    wars in this period with Latins, Aequi, Volsci, and Samnites

281-272: War with Pyrrhus finishes Rome’s conquest of Italy south of Po
    major figure: Appius Claudius Caecus

264-241: First Punic War brings Rome Sicily; Corsica and Sardinia taken shortly thereafter
    major figures: Hamilcar, Regulus

218-201: Second Punic War brings Rome Spain
    major figures: Hannibal, Fabius Maximus, Marcellus, Scipio Africanus
    most important battles: Trasumene, Cannae, Zama

200-196: Second Macedonian War:
    Rome becomes most powerful force in Greece
    major figures: Philip V of Macedon, Flamininus
    major battle: Cynoscephalae

2nd century: continual controversy about how best to respond to Greek culture and new wealth
    major figures: Cato the Censor, Scipio Aemilianus

192-188: War with Antiochus the Great: Rome gets foothold in Asia Minor
    major battle: Magnesia

171-167: 3rd Macedonian War: Rome controls Greece
    major figures: Perseus of Macedon, Aemilius Paullus
    major battle: Pydna

149-146: Third Punic War: Carthage destroyed, Africa a province
    major figure: Scipio Aemilianus

133: Kingdom of Pergamum willed to Rome: becomes province of Asia

133: Tribunate of Tiberius Gracchus

123-22: Tribunate of Gaius Gracchus

111-105: Jugurthine War: Jugurtha defeated after showing corruption of Roman aristocracy; first glory of Marius and Sulla

102-101: Marius defeats Cimbri and Teutones

90-88: Social Wars: Rome’s Italian allies rebel and gain citizenship

89-85: First Mithridatic War: Mithridates of Pontus troubles Asia and Greece

87-82: Civil War between Marians and Sullans

82-81: Dictatorship of Sulla

74-63: Third Mithridatic War
    major figures: Lucullus, Pompey

63: Revolt of Catiline
    major figures: Catiline, Cicero, Julius Caesar, Cato

63-49: repeated strife and violence between factions
    major figures: Cato the Younger, Cicero, Publius Clodius

60: "First Triumvirate": Julius Caesar, Pompey, Crassus

59: Caesar’s first consulship

58-50: Caesar conquers Gaul

49-46: Civil War between Caesareans and Pompeians
    major battle: Pharsalus

44: Assassination of Caesar:
    major figures: Cassius, Brutus, Marc Antony

44-42: War between Caesar’s successors and his assassins
    major figure: Octavian
    major battle: Philippi

43: Second triumvirate: Octavian, Antony, Lepidus

31: Octavian defeats Antony and Cleopatra at battle of Actium

27: Octavian becomes princeps and Augustus

First Roman emperors:

Augustus: 27-AD 14
    creation of principate; trouble over succession, exile of daughter Julia,
    urban renewal in Rome, defeat of Quinctilius Varus by Germans
    means empire will stop at Rhine (AD 9)

Tiberius: AD 14-37
    death of Germanicus (19); conspiracy and fall of Sejanus (31),
    trials for maiestas

Caligula: AD 37-41

Claudius: AD 41-54
    conquest of southern Britain: AD 43

Nero: AD 54-68:
    Great fire at Rome and first persecution of Christians (AD 64), Pisonian conspiracy (AD 65)

AD 68: Nero overthrown: end of Julio-Claudian dynasty

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Last updated May 22, 2002.

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