Sunday, August 22, 2010

Some Great Events in the History of Western Civilization prior to 1000 AD

Some brainstorming - Here is a list of some key events in the history of Western Civilization prior to 1000AD. There is obviously room for more detail but each one of these has been vital to the evolution of the culture.

1. The Agricultural Revolution in Mesopotamia and Egypt
2. Birth of Irrigation Science
3. Coming of the Bronze Age
4. The Early Development of the City (Akkad, Ur, Erich, Lagesh etc)
5. Hebrews introduce Ethical Monotheism
6. Iron Age championed by the Hittites. Age of Glory for Asia Minor Civilizations.
7. Egyptians and Babylonians inspire numerical revolution
8 Code of Hammurabi and the Ten Commandments
9. Phoenicians explore, settle and trade across much of the Mediterranean. Minoans dominate Crete.
10. Homer writes the Iliad and Odyssey. Growth of Mycenean Civilization.
11. Milesians kick start the scientific revolution by looking for a non-divine explanation for the nature of things.
12. System of Greek City States (Polis). Greek colonies spread throughout Eastern Mediterranean and Italy.
13. Athenian Democracy is born.
14. The Era of the Athenian Trio (Plato, Socrates, Aristotle). Birth of formal logic and reason as well as academic classification and systems of questioning

15. Greeks drive disciplines of Math and Science forward building on contribution from Near East.
16. The Persian Wars
17. Rome becomes a Republic (decline of the Etruscans)
18. Celts dominate Western Europe
19. Rise of Macedonia. Empire of Alexander the Great.
20. The post Alexander Hellenic Era - Spread of Greek culture
21. Rome dominates the Italian Peninsula
22. Rome defeats Carthage in the Punic Wars (three altogether)
23. Rome eclipses Greece as Principal Western Power
24. Roman contribution to Western Civilization: Roads, Sewers, Baths, Galley Ships, System of Law etc.
25. Transition of Rome from Republic to Empire. The Rise of the Julian Dynasty.
26. Writing of Christian gospels. Spread of Pauline version of Christianity. Decline of Paganism.
27 . Roman culture permeates much of Europe.
28. Roman Empire splits and then reforms before finally splitting into East and West.
29. Religious toleration in Rome Empire promised by Edict of Milan.
30. Council of Nicea sets ground rules for Christianity.
31. Rome adopts Christianity as State Religion.
32. Rome is sacked by the Visigoths, Vandals and Ostrogoths. Decline of the Western Empire.
33. Atilla the Hun is defeated but not before laying waste to much of the Western Empire
34. Fall of Western Empire in 476 AD. Vandals driven from Spain spread to North Africa.
35. Arianism rivals Catholicism as chief religious force in early Dark Ages Europe. Arianism will however lose out to Catholicism in the long run.
36. Franks dominate France and Germany. Lombards powerful in Italy.
37. Justinian builds up Byzantine Empire in the East but it will decline in strength after his death.
38. Saxons invade Britain.
39. Merovingian Dynasty in France converts to Christianity (under Clovis).
40. Christianity spreads throughout Western Europe driven by Order of Irish Monks.
41. Arab invasions threaten the integrity of Western and Eastern Europe.
42. Charles Martel prevents the Arab take over of France by defeating Muslim forces at Poitiers.
43. Muslim influence in Spain grows.
44. Feudal system dominates Western Europe
45. Vikings attack and set up colonies in Britain, Normandy and Sicily - amongst others.
46. Byzantine Empire undergoes revival under Basil II but will gradually shrink under Arab and Persian pressure.
47. Christian Power in North Africa in decline.
48. Charlemagne declared Holy Roman Emperor after saving the Pope from the Lombards.
49. Charlemagne's court develops into a central portal of learning.
50. Scholasticism dominates Western philosophy.
51. Charlemagne's great Empire divides into three portions after his death roughly resembling the modern areas of France, West Germany and Northern Italy
51. Alfred the Great consolidates Saxon Power in England.
52. Great Monasteries (and Monastic Orders) dominate religious cultural milieu of France.
53. German King Otto the Great establishes himself as Holy Roman Emperor.
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