Annotated Chronology

of Military Events

1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 Copyright. Richard R. Orsinger
". . . [T]hat the great deeds of men may not be forgotten . . .
and especially, the causes of the war between them."


Herodotus


-4000 The Baltic Basin sees competition between Finno-Ugrians, Slavs, Balts, and Germans. [More]

-3500 Egyptians invent the sail.

-3100 Pharaoh Menes unites Egypt, building his capital at Memphis.

-2560 Great Pyramid of Pharaoh Cheops built.

-2500 Parts of Western Europe see the first use of metals, wheeled vehicles, managed woodlands, simple irrigation systems, and a wider use of the plough. These technological advancements lead to increased regional trade and the rise of chiefs. [More]

-2370 Sargon of Akkad conquers Sumer; founds Agade.

-2200 Wide-spread drought in western Asia begins, which leads to the collapse of the Old Kingdom in Egypt, early bronze age cities in Palestine, the early Minoan civilization of Crete, and city-based civilizations in the Indus Valley. The Akkadian Empire also collapses, leading to the rise of the UR III dynasty. [More]

-2112 Sumerian ruler Ur-Nammu builds ziggurat of Ur.

-2006 Elamites capture Ur.

-2000 Arabs of the kingdom of Magan (now known as the Sultanate of Oman) control the sea-trading routes between the Middle East, the East Indies, China, the coast of Africa to Zanzibar, and the Straits of Hormuz. From these strategic areas, the people of Magan regulate trading routes to Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula, and ultimately to the Mediterranean Sea and Europe. The seafaring traders of Magan dominate shipbuilding with the "dhow." [More]

-1950 Egypt conquers lower Nubia. Sumerian empire falls to W Amorites and Guti.

-1792 Hammurabi acsends Babylonian throne.

-1755 Law Code of Hammurabi carved into stele.

-1700 Horses are introduced into warfare.

-1628 Volcano explodes on the Minoan island of Thera, near Akrotiri, Greece. The blast, which is twice as violent as that of Krakatau and 40 times more violent than that of Mount St. Helens, destroys the island's civilization, and through tidal waves, destroys Minoan cities on surrounding shores, especially on Crete. The cataclysmic eruption brings about the abrupt transition from the Minoan to the Mycenean culture. [More] [Still more]

-1600 Hittite King Mursili conquers Babylon.

-1560 Egyptians conquer Nubia.

-1550 Hittites sack Babylon.

- 15th Century Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III documents a rebellion of Canaanite Kings who attempt to overthrow Egyptian rule. The confederation of rebels is led by the city state of Megiddo (Armageddon). Pharaoh Thutmose besieges Megiddo for 7 months, then wins the decisive battle of Qinnah Brook (wasdi Lajjun). According to the report of Thutmose III, the Canaanites are forced to yield 924 chariots and 207,300 kur of wheat to the Egyptians. This is the earliest reported battle in history.

-1479 Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut sends trade expedition by boat through the Red Sea, around the Horn of Africa, to Punt, in modern day Somalia.

-1380 Assyrians overthrow Mitannian empire.

-1299 Egyptians under Ramesses II fight Hittites under King Muwatallis, at Qadesh.

-1200 Hittite empire ends. Barbarian invasions of the Middle East. Mycenae ceases to be a powerful city-state.

-1168 Elamites, under Shutruk-Nahtunte attack Babylon, acquire the stele contining the Law Code of Hammurabi, and return it to their capital, Susa.

-1100 Babylonians defeat Elamites.

-11th Century Trojan War.

-1000 Israelite King David captures Jerusalem, and makes it the Jewish capitol.

-950 King Hiram builds the fortified City of Tyre.

-930 Jewish King Solomon dies, and Jews split into Israel and Judah.

-925 Pharaoh Shishak conquers city of Megiddo.

-853 Battle of Qarqar.

-814 Carthage is founded by Phoenician traders, in modern Tunisia.

-776 First Olympic games are held.

-771 Chou dynasty in China forced to abandon its western capital in Hao, of the Wei River Valley, and move its seat eastward to Loyang, due to threat of barbarian invasion.

-750 Homer writes The Iliad and The Odyssey.

-729 Tiglath-Pileser III captures Babylon; becomes Babylonian king.

-717 Assyrian King Sargon II (son of Tiglath-Pileser III) captures city of Carchemish.

-709 Sargon II captures Babylon.

-701 Hezekiah, King of Judah, withstands attack on Jerusalem by Assyrians under Sennacherib.

-689 Assyrians under Sennacherib sack Babylon.

-667 Assyrians under Assurbanipal defeat Elamites, sack Memphis and Thebes, bringing end to Nubian Dynasty of Egypt.

-649 Assyrians under Assurbanipal capture and destroy Babylon. [More]

-615 Medes, under Cyaxares (Uvakhshatra) capture the Assyrian border city of Arraphkha.

-614 Cyaxares besieges Nineveh, but fails to capture it. The Medes capture the Assyrian city of Assur. [More]

-612 After Medes and Babylonians enter alliance through marriage of Cyaxares' granddaughter to Nebuchadnezzar II, son of Babylonian ruler Nabopolassar, Ninevah falls to Medes and Babylonians. Some segments of the Assyrian army move capital to Harran.

-610 Harran falls to the Babylonians. Assyrians set up headquarters at Carchemish.

-605 Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar II defeat the Assyrians and their leader Ashur-uballitt II, at Carchemish. Pharoh Necho of Egypt arrives too late to help, having been delayed by Jewish forces under King Josiah who was slain at Megiddo and being further delayed at Riblah. Upon arrival at Carchemish, Necho's army is defeated, chased to Hamath, and the Egyptian soldiers killed.

-604 Babylonians capture Jerusalem, take Jewish leaders into captivity.

-600 According to Herodotus, a crew of Phoenicians hired by Egyptian Pharaoh Necho II sails around Africa, from the Red Sea, through the Atlantic, into the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. The journey takes 3 years. Along the way, sailors set up camp, sowed, grew and reaped grain which they took on the continuation of their journey.

-600 Greeks found the colony of Massalia (now Marseilles, France). -597 Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar II capture Jerusalem, and imprison King Jehoiachin. Zedekiah appointed as Jerusalem's ruler.

-587 Nebuchadnezzar II beseiges Jerusalem for 18 months, takes the city, and relocates Jews to Babylon.

-586 Nebuchadnezzar II captures Tyre.

-585 Peace established between Media and Lydia (in Greece), with the Halys (Kizil) River as the boundary between the two kingdoms. This establishes a balance of power between the Medes, Lydians and Babylonians, with the Egyptians farther to the south.

-551 Zoroaster (Zarathustra) dies.

-550 Cyrus the Great (Cyrus II) defeats his Median overlords, and begins expansion through Middle East, establishing the Persian Empire.

-549 Cyrus II defeats Astyages, the last king of the Medes.

-549 Cyrus II, turning against the Lydians, captures Cilicia, cutting off supply routes to the Lydians in Greece, under Croesus.

-547 Croesus attacks Cyrus II, at the Halys River, but the battle is inconclusive.

-546 Cyrus II beseiges Croesus at his capitol Sardis, and captures him. One-by-one the Greek city-states along the coast of Asia Minor succumb to Persian armies. Lydia becomes province of Persia.

-540 Cyrus II attacks Babylonian empire.

-539 Cyrus II captures Babylon "without a battle" from Nabonidus.

-537 Cyrus II permits the Jews to return to Jerusalem.

-529 Cyrus II dies fighting near the Oxus and Jaxartes rivers. Cyrus' son Cambyses kills his brother, Smerdis, and rules for 7 years.

-525 Cambyses conquers Egypt.

-522 Cambyses is killed (or commits suicide), and his spearbearer Darius becomes Persian ruler (from 521 to 484 BCE).

-518 Darius I founds the city of Persepolis.

-500 Mycenaeans build the first triremes.

-490 10,000 Athenians under Miltiades defeat Darius' Persian forces at Marathon, Greece. The Greek front being wider than the Persian phalanx results in the ends of the Greek lines enveloping the sides of the Persian phalanx. Disagreement exists as to whether the envelopment was an intentional tactic, a happenstance of the Greek center giving way when the forces collided, or perhaps even the semi-circular shape of the hills from which the Greeks descended as they joined the battle.

-486 Darius II dies, and is succeeded by his son, Xerxes I.

-483 Death of Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha).

-480 Gelon, tyrant of Syracuse, defeats Carthaginian general Hamilcar, at Himera.

-480 Leonidas I and Spartan army defeated by Xerxes I and Persian army at Thermopylae.

-479 Athens under Themistocles destroys Persian navy at Salamis and Platea. Persian army leaves Greece.

Chinese philosopher K'ung Fu-tzu (Confucius) dies.

-471 After political reversals, Themistocles is banished from Athens and goes to live with Persian King Artaxerxes.

-465 Persian ruler Xerxes I murdered; succeeded by Artaxerxes.

-415 Start of Siege of Syracuse.

-410 Naval battle of Cyzicus.

-404 Spartan alliance defeats Athens, ending the Peloponnesian Wars.

-09 __ 401 Persian King Artaxerxes II defeats and kills his brother Cyrus at Cunaxa, near the Median wall northwest of Babylon. 10,000 Greek mercenaries in the employ of Cyrus head home, under the direction of Xenophon. [More]

-400 End of Bronze Age; beginning of Iron Age in Britain. [More] In the fourth century B.C.E., Celts (called Gauls by the Romans) invade northern Italy, pushing out the Etruscans. When the Romans intervened, Celts, after suffering a diplomatic insult from the Romans, marched on and besieged Rome for 7 months. They left only after Rome paid a tribute of 1,000 pounds of gold. ["To the brave belong all things"]

-390 Celts (or Gauls) defeat Roman army at Allia and capture Rome. Mahaffey, p. 76.

-371 Greek city of Sparta defeated at Levetra.

-356 Alexander III of Macedon born.

-338 Phillip II of Macedon prevails at the Battle of Chaeronea.

-336 Philip II of Macedon assassinated. His son, Alexander III, ascends the throne. Darius III Codomanus ascends to Persian throne.

-334 Alexander the Great defeats a Persian army at the battle of Granicus River.

Alexander defeats Persians at Granicus River, near the Hellespont (Dardanelles).

-333 Alexander invades northern Syria and defeats Darius III at Issus, but does not give chase. Alexander declares himself King of Persia. Mahaffey, p. 23. Memnon, commander of the Persian fleet, dies. Mahaffey, p. 19.

-332 Alexander captures Phoenecian city of Tyre after a seige, then Gaza, then enters Egypt unopposed.

-331 Alexander defeats Persian army at Gaugamela (or Arbela), in northern Iraq. Alexander then takes Susa and Persepolis, which he loots.

-330 Alexander chases Darius III to Ecbatana (former capital of the Medes) then Bactria, then Sogdia, where Alexander meets and marries princess Roxanne. Darius is killed by a cousin Bessus, who assumes the Persian throne. Alexander captures and executes Bessus, ending the Achaemenid dynasty. Alexander succeeded to the Persian throne.

-326 Alexander defeats Indian army under Porus at Hydaspes (Jhelum River).

-324 Alexander invades the Punjab, but at the Beas River his soldiers refuse to go further, so Alexander turns back.

-323 Alexander the Great dies at Babylon, of a fever, at age 32 His empire is carved into 4 empires: Cassander rules over Greece and Macedonia. Lysimachus rules over Asia Minor. Ptolemy captures and rules over Egypt, Judea and part of Syria.

-312 One of Ptolemy's generals in Syria, Seleucus Nicator, establishes a kingdom ranging from Syria in the west to India in the east (approximately the scope of the ancient Assyrian or Babylonian Empires). Founds the Seleucid empire.

-301 Antigonus and his son Demetrius meet the combined forces of Lysimachus, Casander, Seleucus, and Antiochus, at the Battle of Ipsus, in Phrygia. Antigonus, aged 81, dies, and Demetrius is put to flight. Mahaffey, p. 67.

-297 Casander dies.

-283 Ptolemy dies.

-282 Messina falls to Mamertine mercenaries.

-281 Seleucus defeats and kills Lysimachus (age 80), in the plain of Coron, near Ipsus. Mahaffey p. 73.

-278 Celts (or Gauls) invade Macedonia and Thrace. Mahaffey p. 76.

-277 Antigonus Gonatus (grandson of Antipater) defeats Celts at Lysimacheia . Mahaffey p. 76.

-264 Start of the First Punic War. (Carthage vs. Rome)

-260 Antiochus Theos II initiates war with Ptolemy Philadelphus. Roman ships defeat Carthaginian ships at Mylae.

-256 Roman ships defeat Carthaginian ships at Cape Ecnomus.

Chou dynasty of China falls (began in 12th Century B.C.E.)

-252 The war between Antiochus Theos II and Ptolemy Philadelphus ends, upon the banishment of Antiochu's wife, Laodice, and the marriage of Antiochus to Ptolemy's daughter, Bernice.

-250 Pytheas of Massalia sails with a crew of 25 men to present-day British Isles, visiting the tin mines of Cornwall. Pytheas continues on to Scotland and perhaps Iceland or Norway. He also visited Samland, on the west coast of present day Denmark, the source of amber.

-247 Ptolemy Philadelphus dies, and Antiochus Theos II banishes his wife Bernice (Ptolemy's daughter), and accepts back his prior wife Laodice. Laodice murders Antiochus, assassinates Bernice, and installs her son as Seleucus II.

-245 Bernice's brother, Ptolemy III, attacks Syria, and avenges his sister by murdering Laodice. He acquires most of Syria, from Cilicia to the Tigris River. Seleucis II remains in control of the northern part of the kingdon.

-243 Aratus captures Corinth. Mahaffey p. 168.

-241 Roman ships defeat Carthaginian ships off the Aegadian Isles. First Punic War ends. Mahaffey p. 184.

-239 Antigonius dies of old age. Mahaffey p. 119.

-235 Attalus I defeats the Galatians. Mahaffey p. 188.

-227 Earthquake nearly destroys Rhodes. Mahaffey 194.

-221 Ch'in armies gain control of Wei River valley (in China, source of the Chou state), and Ch'in king takes the title of Shih Huang-ti (First Emperor).

-219 Hannibal captures Saguntum in Spain.

-218 Declaration of Second Punic War (Carthage vs. Rome)

-217 Hannibal crosses Alps from Gaul into Italy. Prince Cheng, founder of the Ch'in Dynasty (from which the name "China" is taken), unifies China and takes the title of Shih Hwang-ti (First Emperor). Shih Hwang-ti builds much of the Great Wall of China, and a network of roads and canals that converge on his capitol, near modern Sian, Shensi province.

-216 Hannibal defeats Roman army at Cannae.

-214 Roman General Marcus Claudius Marcellus besieges Syracuse, which is allied with Carthage. War machines designed by Greek mathematician Archimedes devastate Roman war ships. The siege fails and the blockade begins.

-212 Marcellus attacks Syracuse and gains the city. He gives his soldiers one day's leave to loot the city. A Roman soldier runs Archimedes through with a sword. [More]

-210 Ch'in "First Emperor" Shih Huang-ti, dies, leading to revolts and civil war (which will overthrow the dynasty in less than 20 years).

-205 Antiochus III, with the aid of Philip of Macedonia, attacks Egpyt.

-202 Liu Pang, a military leader of peasant origins, defeats rival warlords and becomes emperor of China, establishing the Han dynasty ( 206 B.C.E t 220 A.D.)

-202 Hannibal defeated at Zama.

-198 Antiochus III captures Sidon, and defeats Egyptian army at Mount Panium.

-190 Romans, under Consul Manlius Vulso, led by General Lucius Scipio Asiaticus, defeat Antiochus III at the Battle of Magnesia. Romans then attack the Celts and subjugate them.

-187 Antiochus III dies, and is succeeded by his son, Seleucus Philopator.

-176 Seleucus Philopater dies without an heir, poisoned by his tax
collector Heliodorus, who took control of the throne. The other son of Antiochus the Great, Epiphanes (Antiochus IV) dethrones Heliodorus.

-172 Antiochus IV, having persecuted the Jews, executes Onias III, the high priest in Judea.

-168 Antiochus IV Epiphanes captures and pillages Jerusalem.

-167 Antiochus IV Epiphanes builds a statue of Jupiter Olympus in the holiest part of the Temple in Jerusalem. Beginning of Maccabean War of Liberation against Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

-164 Maccabeans recapture City of Jerusalem.

-146 Roman general Scipio Africanus Minor captures and razes Carthage, enslaving the inhabitants. The city ceases to exist.

- 63 Romans under Pompey (Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus) capture Jerusalem.

-62 Romans build masonry bridge over River Tiber, Pons Fabricius. More.

-08 _ 55 Gaius Julius Caesar invades Britain with eighty transports and two legions, landing at Albion, between Deal and Walmer. High tides destroy many of the Romans' ships, so Caesar returns to Gaul.

-54 Caesar again invades Britain, with five legions and some cavalry, in 500 ships. A storm destroys many ships, but Caesar invades inland, is opposed by Britons under Cassivellaunus, who avoids pitched battle but continually harasses the Romans. Eventually local tribes make peace with Caesar, surrender hostages, and promise tribute. Caesar declares a victory, leaves Britain, and takes his hostages back to Rome. Britain remains free from another invasion for almost 100 years. [More]

- 53 Parthians defeat Romans at Carrhae (Harran), northern Syria.

- 52 Romans under Julius Caesar defeat Gauls under Vercengetorix, at Alesia, France. [More] [See Archaelogical work in Burgundy]

- 52 Han Chinese empire succeeds in subjugating Turkish-speaking nomands from' the northern steppes, with the southern half of the hord submitting to be tributary people of the Han emperor, and the northern half moving westward.

- 01 19 49 Caesar and his army cross the Rubicon River and march on Rome. The Senate flees.

- 48 Pompey attacks Caesar's smaller army at Pharsalus, Greece. Pompey is defeated, and flees to Egypt where he is killed.

- 47 Caesar takes his army to Egypt, then Syria and Pontus, where he defeats Pharnaces II, saying "Veni, vidi, vici."

-46 Julius Caesar appointed dictator of Rome for 10 years. More.

-03 15 44 Julius Caesar appointed dictator of Rome for life. Caesar assasinated. Marcus Antonius provokes Roman crowd to turn on Caesar's assassins, who flee from Rome.

-43 Roman Senate officially recognizes the founding of Lugdunum (present day Lyon, France). [More]

-10 __ 42 Army of Roman Emperor Octavian defeats army of Marcus Junius Brutus and Baius Cassius Longinus (two of Julius Caesar's assassins).

-09 __ 40 Antonius and Octavius sign the Treaty of Brundisium, dividing up the Roman Empire. Herod is appointed "client" king of Judea--rules for 36 years.

-37 Antonius settles in Alexandria with Cleopatra, and neglects his governmental responsibilities.

-32 Roman Senate strips Antonius of his powers, leading to civil war.

-31 Antonius' fleet vanquished at Actium, by Roman fleet under Marus Vipsanius Agrippa. When Octavian (Julius Caesar's adopted son, later Caesar Augustus) arrives at Alexandria, Antonius commits suicide, and Cleopatra joins him shortly thereafter.

0

If you would like to continue with the chronology, click here.
Last updated May 9 1999.