Antiquity is a term that refers to the historical epoch between the 4th millennium BC and the 5th century AD. During this time, many significant civilizations and events shaped human history. Here are some numbers and facts illustrating antiquity:
• The oldest known writing systems come from Mesopotamia and are dated to around 3200 BC. • The Pyramids of Giza were built in the 26th century BC and are some of the most well-known architectural wonders of antiquity. • The first Olympic Games took place in 776 BC and were held in honor of the Greek god Zeus. • Ancient Greece experienced a golden age of arts, sciences, and philosophy in the 5th century BC, known as the "Golden Age." • In 44 BC, Julius Caesar, the famous Roman general and statesman, was assassinated. • The Roman Empire reached its greatest extent in the 2nd century AD, encompassing almost the entire Mediterranean basin at that time. • In 313 AD, Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan, which guaranteed religious freedom in the Roman Empire and marked an important step toward the Christianization of Europe. • Antiquity ended with the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD when the last Roman emperor, Romulus Augustus, was deposed.
These numbers and facts provide only a small glimpse into the fascinating and complex history of antiquity, which continues to influence our understanding of politics, culture, art, and science today.
800 BC: Trade between Greece and the Near East flourishes; later, Italy joins. Etruscan civilization spreads in the areas of present-day Tuscany.
753 BC: Rome is founded. Homer (Greek philosopher) composes the "Odyssey" and "Iliad."
750 BC: Beginning of Greek colonization towards the East.
660 BC: Byzantium is founded. >Flourishing of Nineveh (present-day ruins city on the Tigris; capital of the Assyrian Empire; most powerful trading city in the Orient; destroyed around 612 BC).
597 BC: Temple of Jerusalem is destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar (ruler of the Neo-Babylonian Empire; conquered Syria & Palestine).
575 BC: Zenith of Etruscan power. Tarquinius the Elder (5th King of Rome) rules over Rome, drains marshland, and establishes the Forum. Servius Tullius (6th King of Rome) fortifies the city. The temples of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva are erected on the Capitoline (one of the 7 Roman hills) in Rome. Dramatic art begins in Greece.
561 BC: Pisistratus rules as a tyrant over Athens. Autocracy of Greek cities.
510 BC: Pisistratus is expelled from Athens. The Roman Republic is born.