History

The following list of historical events is intended mostly for entertainment purposes. Although a number of significant events in structural and probabilistic analysis are included, and while it is interesting to compare those events with other milestones, the list is merely an arbitrary hodgepodge of events. More events are steadily added in the same random fashion. If you are interested in additional big picture glances at history then you might also like the Big History Project. Infographics that visualize evolution are also interesting to look at, including Leonard Eisenberg’s Tree of Life and John B. Sparks’ Histomap of Evolution. The latter was developed by Sparks after his famous Histomap, which shows the relative power of states, nations, and empires from 2,000 BC to present. You may also find neat visualizations of the history of Europe here.

  • 2017
    • Donald Trump took office as US President
  • 2016
    • Data showed warmest months on record since measurements began in 1880
    • The 362 metre long cruise ship Harmony of the Seas set sail as the World’s largest with 16 decks and the capacity to carry 6,360 passengers and 2,100 crew members
  • 2013
    • Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield returned to Earth on May 13 after staying at the International Space Station since December 21 the previous year; the record for longest stay in space (437 days 18 hours) was set by Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov in the mid-1990s
  • 2012
    • Evidence of the existence of the Higgs boson emerged at CERN, tentatively upholding the “standard model” of particle physics
    • World population reached 7 billion
    • The summer Olympic Games were held in London
  • 2011
    • The Mecca Royal Clock Tower in Saudi Arabia was completed; it is 601 meters high and presently the world’s second tallest building
  • 2010
    • The Burj Khalifa building in Dubai was completed; at 828 meters it is still the tallest building in the world
    • The winter Olympic Games were held in Vancouver, Canada
  • 2009
    • Barack Obama took office as US President
  • 2008
    • The summer Olympic Games were held in Beijing, China
  • 2007
    • Ang and Tang published the second edition of Vol. 1 of their 1975 textbook with the revised title “Probability concepts in engineering: emphasis on applications in civil and environmental engineering”
  • 2006
    • The InRisk research project commenced
    • The winter Olympic Games were held in Torino (Turin), Italy
  • 2005
    • Steve Jobs of Apple announced on June 6 that their Mac computers would switch to Intel x86 processors; Mac-sales increased multifold in the following years, also due to Jobs’ obsession with perfection, which gave Mac computers sleek designs and unrivalled reliability, somewhat contrasting the beta-strategy of companies like Microsoft and Google
    • The National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) became objective-based, in which each technical requirement was linked with at least one objective and functional statement
  • 2004
    • Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February
    • The summer Olympic Games were held in Athens, Greece
  • 2002
    • The winter Olympic Games were held in Salt Lake City, USA
  • 2001
    • In a coordinated attack on September 11, several airplanes were hijacked and crashed into important buildings on the East Coast of the United States; the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York collapsed and the Pentagon building was hit; another plane aimed at the White House crashed in a field in Pennsylvania after passengers intervened
    • George W. Bush took office as US President on January 20
  • 2000
    • The summer Olympic Games were held in Sydney, Australia
  • 1999
    • NATO started airstrikes against Serbia on Marcy 24; the campaign lasted until June 10 when Serbia agreed to withdraw from Kosovo
    • World population reached 6 billion
  • 1998
    • The core module of the International Space Station was launched; it is divided into a Russian segment (ROS) and a United States segment (USOS)
    • After George P. Mitchell invented commercially viable shale gas fracturing, Mitchell Energy conducted “fracking” on an economic scale for the first time; in the following years shale gas became a rapidly growing contributor to primary US energy
    • The winter Olympic Games were held in Nagano, Japan
  • 1997
    • The forerunner for OpenSees, named G3 after a research area in the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center, was published in Frank McKenna’s doctoral thesis supervised by Professor Gregory L. Fenves
  • 1996
    • The 472 metre tall reinforced concrete platform Troll A was moved from Vats in Rogaland to its position 80 kilometres north-west of Bergen, Norway; it is the tallest and heaviest structure to be moved between positions
    • Google started in March as a research project carried out by the students Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Stanford University
    • The summer Olympic Games were held in Atlanta, USA
  • 1995
    • The Internet was commercialized and the web grew rapidly in popularity
  • 1994
    • The BOCA, ICBO, and SBCCI formed the International Code Council (ICC) and developed the International Building Code (IBC) for application across the US; it was first published in 1997
    • The winter Olympic Games were held in Lillehammer, Norway
  • 1993
    • The web browser Mosaic was created; it was later renamed Netscape
    • Bill Clinton took office as US President; later the same year he met Russian President Boris Yeltsin at the “Vancouver Summit” at the University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • 1992
    • The winter Olympic Games were held in Albertville, France, and the summer Olympic Games were held in Barcelona, Spain
  • 1991
    • The “Sleipner A” Condeep platform sank during construction in Stavanger in the morning of August 23; no one was injured
  • 1990
    • The first web browser was invented, called WorldWideWeb and later renamed Nexus
  • 1989
    • Responsibility for writing the Eurocodes was given to the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the conversion from European pre-standards (ENVs) to European standards (EN) started; by 2010 all national rules were replaced by the EN Eurocodes, which for structural engineering include Eurocode 0: Basis of structural design, Eurocode 1: Actions on structures, Eurocode 2: Design of concrete structures, Eurocode 3: Design of steel structures, Eurocode 4: Design of composite steel and concrete structures, Eurocode 5: Design of timber structures, Eurocode 6: Design of masonry structures, Eurocode 7: Geotechnical design, Eurocode 8: Design of structures for earthquake resistance, and Eurocode 9: Design of aluminium structures
    • George H. W. Bush took office as US President
  • 1988
    • The winter Olympic Games were held in Calgary, Canada, and the summer Olympic Games were held in Seoul, South Korea
  • 1987
    • World population reached 5 billion
    • Stock market crash on October 19, referred to as Black Monday
  • 1984
    • The winter Olympic Games were held in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, and the summer Olympic Games were held in Los Angeles, USA
    • Bruce Springsteen released the Born in the USA album on June 4; the subsequent tour filled stadiums around the world and his concert at the Ullevi stadium in Gothenburg, Sweden on June 8 the following year caused substantial foundation settlements and almost collapse
  • 1982
    • The Canada Act was passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which finalized the official autonomy of Canada
    • Falklands War (Guerra de las Malvinas) between the United Kingdom and Argentina, starting with the Argentine invasion on April 2 and ending in the Argentine surrender on June 14
  • 1981
    • IBM introduced the Personal Computer (PC) on August 12
    • Ronald Reagan took office as US President
    • The HIV/AIDS pandemic broke out; it has killed 25 million people worldwide
  • 1980
    • John Lennon of the Beatles was shot on December 8
    • President Tito of Yugoslavia died on May 4; he had been in power since 1953; his death precipitated the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1999 after eight years of civil war
    • The winter Olympic Games were held in Lake Placid, USA, and the summer Olympic Games were held in Moscow in the Soviet Union
    • IBM approached Bill Gates of Microsoft to discuss the idea of home computers, the future PC; at Gates’ suggestion, IBM contacted Gary Kildall for a meeting about the operating system, but because he refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement they came back to Bill Gates for an operating system; Microsoft then created MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System) by purchasing QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) from Tim Paterson of Seattle Computer Products for $500,000 without telling him about the IBM contact; QDOS was ironically based on Kildall’s CP/M (Control Program for Microcomputers); Microsoft became the word’s largest company and Bill Gates the world’s wealthiest person
  • 1979
    • Ove Ditlevsen published a paper in the Journal of Structural Mechanics entitled “Generalized second moment reliability index,” which defined the reliability index as we know it today
    • Iran hostage crisis, in which 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, after students and militants in Iran overtook the American Embassy in Tehran
    • A referendum in Iran took place on April 1, which finalized the Islamic Revolution where Iran’s monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was replaced by an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini; demonstrations against the Shah started in October 1977
  • 1978
    • Rudiger Rackwitz and Bernd Flessler published a paper in Computers & Structures entitled “Structural reliability under combined random load sequences,” which together with the 1974 paper by Hasofer and Lind forms the basis for present-day FORM reliability analysis; the last two letters in the HLRF algorithm identify these two authors
  • 1977
    • Elvis Presley died on August 16
    • Jimmy Carter took office as US President on January 20
  • 1976
    • Steve Wozniak created the Apple I computer and on April 1 Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak formed Apple Computer; Steve Jobs became a ruthlessly quality-oriented developer of hardware and software products that looked and worked beautifully, later including the iPod, iPhone, and iPad products
    • The winter Olympic Games were held in Innsbruck, Austria, and the summer Olympic Games were held in Montreal, Canada
  • 1975
    • Ang and Tang published their textbook “Probability Concepts in Engineering Planning and Design: Basic principles;” it was accompanied by a Vol. 2 entitled “Probability Concepts in Engineering Planning and Design: Decision, risk and reliability”
    • The Commission of the European Community took the initiative to harmonize national building codes and standards, which ultimately lead to the Eurocodes
    • Bruce Springsteen released the Born to Run album on August 25
  • 1974
    • Abraham M. Hasofer and Niels Lind published a paper in the ASCE Journal of Engineering Mechanics entitled “Exact and invariant second-moment code format,” which formed the basis for present-day FORM reliability analysis; the two first letters in the HLRF algorithm identify these two authors
    • Gerald Ford took office as US President after the resignation of Richard Nixon
    • World population reached 4 billion
  • 1972
    • Hewlett-Packard released the HP-35 pocket calculator, the first handheld calculator, prompting a decline in the use of the slide rule that had been extensively used in engineering work since its invention in 1622
    • The winter Olympic Games were held in Sapporo, Japan, and the summer Olympic Games were held in Munich, Germany
    • Stephen Timoshenko died on May 29
  • 1971
    • The Intel 4004 was the first microchip to put all functions of a computer on one chip, thus starting a revolution in computer design
    • On August 15 the United States terminated the convertibility of dollar to gold, thus ending the Bretton Woods order; many currencies became free floating and the US Dollar effectively became a reserve currency
  • 1970
    • The first handheld calculator became available
    • Benjamin and Cornell published their textbook “Probability, statistics, and decision for civil engineers”
    • Seismic provisions in the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) were strengthened and the intensity was based on exceedance probabilities
  • 1969
    • Two schools of thought had appeared in the field of structural safety in the 1960’s, reflecting the division among statisticians between the objectivists (frequentists) and the subjectivists (Bayesians); after Cornell’s naming of the reliability index the latter took the nickname “The Beta Club”
    • Alin C. Cornell published seminal work on structural safety with the first formulation of the reliability index
    • Appollo 11 landed on the Moon on July 20; there were six more US manned landings until 1972
    • Richard Nixon took office as US President
  • 1968
    • Hewlett-Packard released the HP-9100A scientific calculator
    • Tanks from the Soviet Union entered Czechoslovakia to quell the Prague Spring; at the end of an overnight operation the country was occupied by the morning of August 21
    • The winter Olympic Games were held in Grenoble, France, and the summer Olympic Games were held in Mexico City
  • 1966
    • Sergei Korolev, chief engineer and a key to the success of the Soviet space program, died unexpectedly on January 14; this was a major setback for the space program, although his leading role was a Soviet state secret that became known much later
  • 1964
    • The winter Olympic Games were held in Innsbruck, Austria, and the summer Olympic Games were held in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1963
    • Ed Wilson created a computer program for structural analysis of two-dimensional problems during his doctoral studies; this became the forerunner for the programs SAP (1970), NONSAP 1974), SAP-80 (1980) and the popular present-day program SAP2000
    • Studies concluded that the sea floors and continents are drifting horizontally, which explains strong earthquakes, leading to a paradigm shift in geology and a 1968 paper that coined the phrase plate tectonics
    • Lyndon B. Johnson took office as US President
    • US President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22
  • 1962
    • Edward A. Abdun-Nur published a paper in the ACI journal entitled “How Good is Good Enough?” to explain why the concrete industry needed to introduce probability-based strength requirements
    • Cuban missile crisis in October; a thirteen day confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States over Soviet missile bases in Cuba
  • 1961
    • Yuri Gagarin was the first human to travel in outer space when he was carried by a spacecraft that orbited the earth on April 12
    • Ernst Basler published on structural safety
    • Invasion of the Bay of Pigs in April by Cuban exiles trained by the CIA and supported by the US Government
    • John F. Kennedy took office as US President in January
  • 1960
    • Timoshenko moved to his daughter in Wuppertal in Western Germany
    • World population reached 3 billion
    • The winter Olympic Games were held in Squaw Valley, USA, and the summer Olympic Games were held in Rome, Italy
  • 1959
    • J. Brinch Hansen published on structural safety
    • Revolution in Cuba, led by Fidel Castro, ousted dictator Fulgencio Batista on January 1
    • The Luna 2 landed on the Moon on September 13; this was the first human-made object to reach the surface of the Moon
  • 1958
    • Jack Kilby at Texas Instruments developed the microchip, which is a key ingredient in modern calculators and computers
  • 1957
    • Sputnik 1, a metal sphere with 58 cm diameter and four radio antennas, were launched into orbit by the Soviet Union on October 4; the launch prompted a “sputnik crisis” in the West and the start of rapid technological development
    • The European Economic Community (EEC) was formed by the “inner six” European countries that formed the ECSC six years earlier; the EEC is a forerunner for the present-day European Union
  • 1956
    • The winter Olympic Games were held in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, and the summer Olympic Games were held in Melbourne, Australia, while the equestrian events took place in Stockholm, Sweden
    • An influenza pandemic broke, called the Asian flue; it lasted for two years and killed between one and four million people worldwide
  • 1955
    • Albert Einstein died on April 18
  • 1954
    • Alan Turing, father of theoretical computer science and Bletchley Park code breaker, died on June 7 of cyanide poisoning; whether suicide or accident, this came after he was prosecuted for homosexuality by the UK two years earlier; the Queen pardoned him posthumously on December 24, 2013
  • 1953
    • Seismic provisions became part of the main body of the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC)
    • A. I. Johnson published on structural safety
    • A coup took place in Iran on August 19 supported by the United States (Eisenhower and the CIA) and the United Kingdom (Churchill) in which Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, who had sought greater democracy, less power by the shah, and nationalization of the oil industry (which was under control of today’s BP); the coup resulted in a military government led by General Fazlollah Zahedi with Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as monarch
    • Armistice was reached on July 27 in the Korean War
    • The Cuban Revolution started on July 26 when armed rebels led by Fidel Castro attacked the Moncada Barracks in Santiago, Cuba
    • Dwight D. Eisenhower took office as US President on January 20
  • 1952
    • The winter Olympic Games were held in Oslo, Norway, and the summer Olympic Games were held in Helsinki, Finland
    • King George VI of the United Kingdom died and his daughter Elizabeth II took the throne; she is the present-day Queen of the United Kingdom
  • 1951
    • The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was formed by the “inner six” European countries Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands
  • 1949
    • The Republic of China led by Chiang Kai-shek lost the civil war to Mao Zedong and withdrew to Taiwan; Mao established the People’s Republic of China on the mainland
  • 1948
    • R. Lévi published on structural safety
    • The airlift started that provided supplies to the allied part of Berlin, which was under blockade by the Soviet Union
    • The winter Olympic Games were held in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and the summer Olympic Games were held in London
  • 1947
    • S. Luthander published on structural safety
    • The British Raj in India ended when the British Indian Empire was partitioned into India and Pakistan
  • 1945
    • A. M. Freudenthal published his seminal work on structural safety entitled “The safety of structures”
    • World War II ended
    • United States aircrafts dropped atom bombs on Hiroshima on August 6 and on Nagasaki on August 9
    • Harry S. Truman took office as US President on April 12 after the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt
    • Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin met at the “Yalta Conference” on February 4-11 to discuss the reorganization rebuilding of Europe after the war; they had met two years earlier in Tehran and they met again in July of 1945, then with Roosevelt replaced by Truman
  • 1944
    • The first electronic computer became operational
    • D-Day landings started on June 6 in France, which was an important event in the end of World War II
    • The Norwegian artist Edvard Munch died
    • 44 allied nations reached an agreement about a new monetary order in July in Bretton Wood, New Hampshire; the agreement included tying the value of many currencies to the US Dollar and the formation of the International Monetary Fund
    • The winter Olympic Games that were planned in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, and the summer Olympic Games that were planned in London were cancelled due to World War II
  • 1941
    • The first edition of the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) was published
    • The British started using “degaussing,” i.e., running electric current through a wire around ships, to decrease the ship’s magnetic field, thus reducing the risk of triggering Germany’s magnetic floating mines
    • Bombing of Pearl Harbour, which lead to the United States joining World War II
  • 1940
    • W. Kjellman and G. Wästlund published early work on structural safety
    • The Tacoma Narrows bridge collapsed on November 7
    • The Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI) was established and developed the Standard Building Code (SBC), which was primarily applied in the Southern US
    • The evacuation of Dunkirk took place by a fleet of small boats under constant air attacks
    • Nazi invasion of France, Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway
    • Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on May 10, the same date as the German invasion of France
    • The winter Olympic Games that were planned in Sapporo, Japan, and the summer Olympic Games that were planned in Tokyo were cancelled due to World War II
  • 1939
    • The Soviet Union invaded Finland on November 30 and thus started the “Winter War;” it ended the year after with Finland ceding territory to the Soviet Union
    • The Nazi invasion of Poland marked the beginning of World War II on September 1; in Germany’s Blitz Krieg Warsaw surrendered by September 27
    • After Stalin failed to create an alliance with Britain and France, in April he surprisingly signed a “non-aggression” pact with Hitler, thus agreeing that Germany and the Soviet Union share Poland, while the Baltic states were “given” to the Soviet Union; in effect this leads to a declaration of war by Britain and France, who had promised to defend Poland
    • Madrid fell to Franco’s forces after three years of civil war and war atrocities in Spain
  • 1938
    • Sudetenland, an area in Czechoslovakia populated by many Germans, was subject to negotiations; with Mussolini as mediator Hitler signed an agreement that he would make no more territorial claims if Sudetenland is given to Germany; upon his return, English prime minister Neville Chamberlain showed the signed document and declared “peace in our time”
    • On March 12, on the eve of a referendum in Austria to join Germany, Hitler’s forces invaded Austria
  • 1937
    • The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco opened on March 27; more than 200,000 pedestrians attended
    • Japan invaded China and engaged in ruthless warfare with large civilian losses, including six weeks of fighting to occupy the Chinese capital of Nanking; by 1938 the Japanese forces were deep into China
  • 1936
    • M. Prot published early work on structural safety
    • Timoshenko became a professor at Stanford University
    • The Hoover Dam was completed
    • The Great Purge began under Stalin in the Soviet Union, ending two years later after the death of 700,000 people
    • The winter Olympic Games were held in Garmish-Partenkirchen, Germany, and the summer Olympic Games were held in Berlin
    • Civil War broke out in Spain, between the Republicans (an anti-fascist movement supported by Stalin and International Brigades of left-leaning westerners) and the Nationalists (led by Francisco Franco and supported by Hitler and Mussolini)
    • King George V of the United Kingdom died and his son Edward VIII took the throne on January 20; he abdicated the throne on December 11 to marry Wallis Simpson and his brother George VI took the throne
  • 1935
    • Adolf Hitler revealed Germany’s new airforce, Luftwaffe, which was against the terms of the Treaty of Versailles; formerly German territories were also reoccupied
    • Mussolini’s Italy invaded Abyssinia, today’s Ethiopia; emperor Haile Selassie appealed to the League of Nations but was ultimately forced into exile
  • 1934
    • The Danish carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen gave the name Lego (from Danish “leg godt” meaning “play well”) to the toys he had made for a couple of years in his carpentry shop in Billund, Denmark
    • The “dislocation mechanism” was formulated by Sir Geoffrey Taylor
    • German President Hindenburg died and Hitler declared himself head of state as Fuhrer and Reichskanzler; in the following three years he focuses on overt and covert building of infrastructure
  • 1933
    • Kolmogorov established the axioms of probability theory
    • New Deal began in the United States
    • Franklin D. Roosevelt took office as US President and stayed in office until his death in 1945
    • The Reichstag building in Berlin burned after arson on 27 February
    • After repeated pressure from Adolf Hitler, German President Hindenburg made Adolf Hitler Chancellor of Germany
  • 1932
    • In German elections, the Nazi Party led by Adolf Hitler became the largest party in the Weimar Republic, but Paul von Hindenburg was re-elected president, narrowly defeating Hitler
    • The winter Olympic Games were held in Lake Placid, USA, and the summer Olympic Games were held in Los Angeles
  • 1931
    • The Statute of Westminster was passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom on December 11, which gave official autonomy to dominions of the British Empire, including Canada
    • Prompted by the Great Depression, the Nazi Party became a mass movement in Germany
    • Japanese forces occupied Manchuria in China, initially not approved by the Japanese civilian government
    • The left-wing political coalition Popular Front wins over the National Front in the elections in Spain, raising fears of a communist take-over
  • 1930
    • Hardy Cross published the moment distribution method
    • The planet Pluto was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh
    • The R101 airship crashed on October 5; the loss of life was less than the USS Akron crash in 1933 but greater than the Hindenburg crash in 1937
    • Haile Selassie went from being Ethiophia’s regent, which he was from 1916, to being Emperor of Ethiopia (King of Abyssinia), which he was until 1974
  • 1929
    • Crash on Wall Street starts in late October and marks the beginning of the Great Depression; hardship followed around the world
    • Herbert Hoover took office as US President
  • 1928
    • Richard von Mises published the book “Probability, Statistics and Truth”
    • Penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming; it took more than a decade to become mass produced; mould had been used in earlier times to treat wounds
    • Chiang Kai-shek became leader of the Nationalist Party in China; his National Revolutionary Army was armed by the Soviet Union but once he established a unified central government in Nanjing he cut his ties with the communists and expelled them from the Nationalist Party
    • The winter Olympic Games were held in St. Moritz, Switzerland and the summer Olympic Games were held in Amsterdam
  • 1927
    • The International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) was established and developed the Uniform Building Code (UBC), which was primarily applied in the Midwest and Western US
    • Werner Heisenberg published his uncertainty principle, or principle of indeterminacy, which states that the location and velocity of an electron cannot both be determined, not because of limitations in measuring devices but as a physical property
    • Josef Stalin became leader of the Soviet Union
    • World population reached 2 billion
  • 1926
    • Max Mayer published early work on structural safety
    • John Logie Baird, a Scottish engineer and inventor, gave the first demonstration of a television (TV) system; broadcasts commenced in Great Britain and the United States within a couple of years; after a slow start, TV rapidly spread a couple of decades later, after the war
  • 1925
    • The city of Oslo was renamed from Christiania to its original name Oslo
  • 1924
    • The summer Olympic Games were held in Paris from May 4 to July 27
    • The first winter Olympic Games were held, in Chamonix, France from January 25 to February 4
  • 1923
    • Calvin Coolidge took office as US President
    • Hyperinflation in Germany created fertile conditions for extremists; Adolf Hitler attempted a coup in October that failed; as a result he was sentenced to 9 months in prison, where he authored the book Mein Kampf; in the next five years the Weimar Republic prospers
  • 1922
    • Timoshenko moved to the United states, first working for the Westinghouse Electric Corporation from 1923 to 1927 and later as faculty member at the University of Michigan and Stanford University
    • Ronald Aylmer Fisher published the paper “On the mathematical foundations of theoretical statistics” and founded the method of maximum likelihood
    • The Soviet Union (USSR) was formed
    • Benito Mussolini became prime minister of Italy and organized the “fascist” movement; he took on dictatorial powers in 1925
    • The 1200-strong student body of the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver marched down Granville Street in the “Great Trek” to move to a better Point Grey campus; the first lectures there commenced on September 22, 1925; the Point Grey campus is still the main campus of UBC and it is the present-day home of this website
    • Most of Ireland left the United Kingdom, which was consequently renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • 1921
    • Warren G. Harding took office as US President but died in 1923
    • Adolf Hitler became leader of the Nazi Party in the Weimar Republic
  • 1920
    • A.A. Griffith published a paper with the “critical crack length” hypothesis
    • C. Forsell published early work on structural safety
    • End of the Mexican Revolution
    • A decade of economic boom started in the United States
    • The summer Olympic Games were held in Antwerp, Belgium from April 20 to September 12
  • 1919
    • The Treaty of Versailles altered the map of Europe after World War I and created new countries, including Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Yugoslavia, and also the Weimar Republic in Germany, which existed until 1945 but effectively ended with Hitler’s Third Reich in 1933
    • The “League of Nations” was created, promoted by US President Woodrow Wilson, who ultimately failed to get US Congress approval for the United States to join the league
    • Prohibition against alcohol was passed as law in the United States, and lasted until the repeal in 1933
  • 1918
    • World War I officially ended at 11:11am on November 11; German Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated on November 9; the Ottoman Empire was partitioned and the new Middle East was created
    • An influenza pandemic broke out; it lasted for two years and killed 75 million people worldwide; only war-neutral Spain freely reported the devastation, leading to the nickname Spanish flu; the only other pandemic involving the H1N1 virus was in 2009
  • 1917
    • Collapse of the Russian Empire in March, followed by the October revolution; Russia left World War I by the end of the year
  • 1916
    • Daylight Savings Time was introduced for the first time
    • Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria died
    • The Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire began; Thomas Edward Lawrence, known from the movie Lawrence of Arabia, played an important role on the Arab side
    • The summer Olympic Games that were planned in Berlin were cancelled due to World War I
  • 1915
    • The Building Officials and Code Administration (BOCA) in the US was established and developed the National Building Code (NBC), which was primarily applied in the Northeastern US
    • As the Russian Caucasus Army advanced on the Ottoman Empire, aided by some Ottoman Armenians, the Ottoman government started what is known as the Armenian Genocide, killing more than a million people
    • Italy declared war on Austria, an old ally
  • 1914
    • World War I began with the assassination of Gavrilo Princip, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, in Sarajevo; the German Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire (the Habsburg’s), Ottoman Empire, and Kingdom of Bulgaria were the “Central Powers” who fought the “Allied Powers” Britain, France, Russia, Italy, and the United States; interestingly, German Emperor and King of Prussia Wilhelm II, British King George V, and Russian Tsar Nicholas II were cousins
    • The Panama Canal was opened after a 24 year construction period, making it unnecessary for ships to go around Cape Horn
  • 1913
    • C.E. Inglis published a paper on stress concentrations around cracks in materials, which helped explain failures in ships and other structures at apparently acceptable stress levels; the stress concentration had been calculated earlier by Kirsch in Germany in 1898 and Kolosoff in Russia in 1910
    • Richard Edler von Mises published a paper with the famous yield criterion; Maxwell is also said to have contributed to this criterion as early as 1865
    • Woodrow Wilson took office as US President
  • 1912
    • Alan Turing was born; he became a great British mathematician and computer scientist; his contributions range from the concept of an “algorithm” to the LU decomposition; during World War II he worked at the Bletchley Park code breaking centre
    • The Titanic sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15
    • The Republic of China was formed, after the Qing Dynasty had ruled from 1644, preceded by the Ming Dynasty
    • The summer Olympic Games were held in Stockholm from May 5 to July 22
  • 1911
    • Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole in December
  • 1910
    • Frederic W. Lanchester invented the air-supported roof, as the one previously used at the BC Place stadium
    • King Edward VII of the United Kingdom died and his sone George V took the throne
    • Start of the Mexican revolution, which was a revolt against the established order that turned into a multi-sided civil war
  • 1909
    • President Roosevelt appointed George Washington Goethals chief engineer of the Panama Canal; it was completed in 1914, two years ahead of schedule
    • William Howard Taft took office as US President
    • Geronimo died from pneumonia at Fort Sill, Oklahoma
  • 1908
    • The summer Olympic Games were held in London from April 27 to October 31
  • 1906
    • Large earthquake in Valparaiso, Chile on August 16
    • Large earthquake in San Francisco on April 18
  • 1905
    • Albert Einstein published four groundbreaking papers at age 26, including one on special relativity
    • The city of Las Vegas was founded
    • Trying to expand eastward, Russia lost the war against Japan, which had studied military traditions in Europe
  • 1904
    • The year-and-a-half long Russo-Japanese War started in February between the Russian Empire and Japanese Empire over Manchuria and Korea
    • The summer Olympic Games were held in St. Louis in the US from July 1 to November 23
  • 1903
    • Ludwig Prandtl published the membrane analogy for torsion, known as Prandtl’s stress function
    • Roald Amundsen traversed the Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in a voyage that lasted until 1906
  • 1901
    • Theodore Roosevelt took office as US President
    • Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom died and her son Edward VII took the throne
  • 1900
    • The summer Olympic Games were held in Paris from May 14 to October 28
  • 1898
    • The United States took control of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines after the Spanish-American War
  • 1897
    • William McKinley took office as US President
    • Start of the Klondike Gold Rush in the Yukon in northwestern Canada, after the gold discovery was made one year earlier; the rush lasted until 1899
  • 1896
    • The Olympic Games were revived in Athens; these games were held from April 6 to April 15
  • 1893
    • Grover Cleveland took office as US President yet again
  • 1890
    • Frederic W. Lanchester developed the theory of aerodynamics in this decade
    • The Wounded Knee Massacre, which was the last battle in the American Indian Wars, marking the end of the American Old West
  • 1889
    • The Eiffel Tower was completed after two years of construction
    • Benjamin Harrison took office as US President
  • 1888
    • Francis Galton, cousin of Charles Darwin, defined the concept of correlation and developed linear regression
    • Wilhelm II, grandson of British Queen Victoria, became Kaiser (emperor) of the German Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia, dismissing Chancellor Otto von Bismarck
  • 1886
    • Bauschinger published the lowered yield strength of steel in compression after it has been subject to yielding in tension
    • Adhémar Jean Claude Barré de Saint-Venant died in January
    • Geronimo, leader of the Bedonkohe Apache, surrendered to United States forces after a lengthy pursuit
    • The Great Vancouver Fire occurred on June 13, beginning as a regular brush fire to clear land at the outskirts of the city
  • 1885
    • Andrey Markov defended his PhD thesis and he later succeeded his supervisor Chebyshev as professor in St. Petersburg; Markov chains and Markov processes are among his well-known contributions
    • Grover Cleveland took office as US President
  • 1884
    • Lord Kelvin (William Thomson) gave his Baltimore lectures on the theory of elasticity
  • 1883
    • Karl Marx died, leaving notes that Friedrich Engels published as Das Kapital Volume II in 1885 and Volume III in 1894; Karl Marx had published Volume I in 1867
  • 1882
    • Otto Mohr presented his graphical representation of the stress at a point
  • 1881
    • The gunfight at O.K. Corral took place on October 26 in Tombstone, Arizona, where Virgil, Morgan, and Wyatt Earp, together with Doc Holiday, faced off against Tom and Frank McLaury, Ike and Billy Clanton, and Billy Claiborne; both McLaurys as well as Billy Clanton were killed
    • Chester A. Arthur took office as US President
    • James A. Garfield took office as US President but was assassinated only 200 days later
  • 1879
    • J. V. Boussinesq published new derivations of for thin bars and plates
    • Thomas Alva Edison invented the lightbulb
    • Albert Einstein was born on March 14
    • The Tay bridge in Scotland collapsed in high winds on December 28; a train was passing at the time an all aboard were killed; apparently the design did not explicitly consider high wind forces
  • 1878
    • First commercial telephone call made in New Haven, Connecticut
    • Stephen P. Timoshenko was born on December 22
    • European nations met in Berlin to divide various territories; discussions were led by Bismarck
  • 1877
    • Lord Rayleigh (John William Strutt) published, within two years, two volumes on The Theory of Sound, with use of generalized coordinates to solve vibration of strings and membranes
    • Lévy published his work on plates
    • Thomas Alva Edison invented the carbon microphone and the phonograph, i.e., gramophone
    • Rutherford B. Hayes took office as US President
  • 1876
    • G. R. Kirchhoff published his book on mechanics, including the theory of plates
    • Battle of Little Big Horn, where natives led by Sitting Bull defeated the forces of General Custer, who died in the battle
  • 1875
    • Building regulations were put in place in Chicago after the 1871 city fire
  • 1873
    • Alberto Castigliano published his engineering degree thesis with the theorem that states that forces are obtained by partial differentiation of the strain energy with respect to displacements, and vice versa
    • Prince Edward Island joined the Canadian Confederation
  • 1872
    • Buffalo Bill (William Frederick Cody) started touring with his “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West” show, featuring legends like Anne Oakley, Wild Bill Hickok, and Sitting Bull; the show visited Europe eight times from 1887 to 1906
  • 1871
    • The Colony of British Columbia was incorporated into the Canadian Confederation
    • The German states, including Prussia with its capital Berlin, united and thus created the German Empire under Prussian leadership; Prussia was effectively abolished in 1932 and officially abolished in 1947
  • 1870
    • HMS Captain sank on September 6
    • A 20-year long depression started in Western Europe and North America
    • The Franco-Prussian War, also called the War of 1870, broke out on July 19 and lasted until May 10 the year after; France declared the war but Germany won and the German states united to a nation-state; the Reichstag the year after adopted a constitution and adopted the name German Empire
  • 1869
    • Ulysses S. Grant took office as US President
    • The Suez Canal through Egypt was opened, thus linking the Mediterranean and the Red Sea
  • 1867
    • Pafnuty Chebyshev published the proof of what is known as Chebyshev’s Inequality; this theorem had been formulated earlier by Chebyshev’s friend Irenee-Jules Bienayme and another proof was given in the PhD thesis of Chebyshev’s student Andrey Markov around 1884
    • Napoleon III lost an unnecessary war in Mexico; he then declared war against Germany, perhaps forced by Bismarck; the Germans were better equipped and captured a large part of the French army at Sedan, including Napoleon III; a month’s siege of Paris ensued
    • John A. Roebling started the design of the Brooklyn Bridge
    • Canada emerged by the forming of the Canadian Confederation, still under British sovereignty, when on July 1 the colony Province of Canada was divided into Ontario and Quebec, which together with the colonies New Brunswick and Nova Scotia constituted the new Canada; Sir John Alexander Macdonald became Canada’s first Prime Minister
    • Alaska was purchased by the United States from Russia
  • 1866
    • Culmann showed that the stress in a two-dimensional system can be represented by a circle
    • Bernhard Riemann died on July 20
    • Italy was unified, after two wars with Austria under Franz Joseph; Cavour’s move to gain support from Bismarck, the prime minister of Prussia, contributed to the victory by attacking Austria from the north while the Italians attacked from the south; subsequently Austria had to leave the German Confederation leaving Prussia its strongest member
    • The Colony of British Columbia and the Colony of Vancouver Island merged into a single Colony of British Columbia
    • The Austro-Prussian War between the German Confederation led by the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia with German allies and Italy, leading to a shift in power to the Prussians
  • 1865
    • Andrew Johnson took office as US President
    • US President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 15
    • End of the American Civil War and thus abolishment of slavery all over the United States; General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant on April 9
  • 1864
    • Saint-Venant published his notes on strength of materials in the third edition of Navier’s book, adding to the theory of beam bending
    • Henri Édouard Tresca carried out a variety of tests that explored the validity of his shear-stress-based material failure criterion
    • The Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol was completed, five years after the death of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a famous and innovative British civil engineer
  • 1863
    • The Norwegian artist Edvard Munch was born
  • 1862
    • Chancellor (prime minister) Bismarck convinced King William I of Prussia to contradict the constitution and build a strong army
    • King Otto was forced to leave the throne in Greece
  • 1861
    • James Clerk Maxwell published “On Physical Lines of Force,” linking magnetism and electricity
    • Encouraged by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, William Froude presented a paper to the Institution of Naval Architects in London with led to the development of optimal ship hull shapes; results of small-scale tests were used to predict the resistance of full-size hull shapes by what is known as Froude’s number
    • Start of the American Civil War, which lasted four years, over secession of the 11 southern Confederate States
    • Abraham Lincoln took office as US President
  • 1860
    • Britain and France attacked China after being refused by the imperial government to open embassies in Peking
  • 1859
    • Charles Darwin published the book On the Origin of Species, which outlined the theory of evolution, which explains how all species of life have descended from common ancestors by adaptation and “survival of the fittest”
    • The contemporary civil engineers Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Robert Stephenson died on September 15 and October 12
    • This year, and also seven years later in 1866, Austria under Franz Josef lost the Italian territory and Italy was born through the leadership of the political Camillo Cavour and the impulsive general Garibaldi, who were supported by Napoleon III and the tzar
  • 1858
    • The iron sail ship the Great Eastern, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and built by Scott Russell, was launched
    • The British Raj, i.e., British rule of India began with the transfer of the East India Company to the Crown, represented by Queen Victoria who was declared Empress of India 18 years later
    • The Colony of British Columbia was proclaimed on November 19, a move made by the British government to avoid an American takeover after the discovery of gold in the region
  • 1857
    • Augustin-Louis Cauchy died on May 23
    • James Buchanan took office as US President
  • 1855
    • Carl Friedrich Gauss died on February 23
  • 1854
    • Bernhard Riemann held his first lectures, thus establishing Riemann geometry
  • 1853
    • Saint-Venant presented his memoirs on torsion to a committee at the French Academiy consisting of Cauchy, Poncelet, Piobert, and Lamé
    • Franklin Pierce took office as US President
    • The Crimean War between Russia and the Ottoman Empire started in October and lasted until February 1856; Russia ultimately lost to an alliance of France, Britain, the Ottoman Empire, and Sardinia; during the war Florence Nightingale became known as the “Lady with the Lamp,” and Alfred Lord Tennyson later wrote the poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade” about one of its battles
  • 1852
    • August Wöler was appointed by the Prussian minister of commerce to investigate the causes of fracture in railroad axels; this led to pioneering studies of fatigue
    • Gabriel Lamé published a book on the theory of elasticity, following in 1859 by a book on mechanics in curvilinear coordinates
    • Shortly after the end of the Second Cholera Pandemic the Third started; it lasted for eight years and killed more than a million people in Russia alone; it was the deadliest of the three cholera pandemics that the world has seen
    • In a coup Napoleon III, nephew and heir of Napoleon took power and served for almost 20 years, until 1870; he helped Cavour and Garibaldi in their fight for an independent Italy, and he rebuilt Paris and other French cities
  • 1851
    • The Great Exhibition (The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations) took place in Hyde Park, London from May 1 to October 11
    • Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi died on February 18
  • 1850
    • J. C. Maxwell published a paper “On the Equilibrium of Elastic Solids” with use of the photoelastic method to verify results
    • Millar Fillmore took office as US President
  • 1849
    • Zachary Taylor took office as US President but died on July 9 the year after
  • 1848
    • Karl Marx published The Communist Manifesto together with Friedrich Engels
    • As part of the plan to end the European Revolution, Franz Joseph I of Austria became emperor of the Habsburg Empire after the abdication of Emperor Ferdinand I, who had aggressively suppressed the uprisings
    • Start of the European Revolutions, or the Spring of Nations, which was an uncoordinated wave of demands for more democracy and calls for the end of serfdom and feudalism, threatening even the Habsburg Empire
    • Start of the California Gold Rush, which lasted until 1855; the first boatloads of prospectors arrived in 1849, giving rise to the name fourty-niners
  • 1847
    • J. M. C. Duhamel published his textbook on calculus, followed in 1853 by a textbook on mechanics
    • English civil engineers Joseph Locke and Robert Stephenson, the latter son of engineer George Stephenson, became Members of Parliament; together with Brunel they formed a famous trio of engineers with major contributions to railway construction
    • Nova Scotia became the first British North American colony to attain full “responsible government;” this is the prevailing system in Canada and many other places today, where a government must resign if it loses a confidence vote in the assembly
  • 1846
    • Start of the Mexican-American War, which lasted for two years and resulted in Mexico’s loss of what is today the Southwestern United States
  • 1845
    • The pneumatic tire was patented by R.W. Thomson, then aged 23; the idea was picked up by J.B. Dunlop in 1888 for use in bicycles
    • James K. Polk took office as US President and he stayed in office until 1849
    • Texas joined the United States
  • 1844
    • The first public telegraph line, between Baltimore and Washington, sent a demonstration message on May 24
    • After uprisings in Greece demanding a constitution and removal of Bavarian officials Greece became a constitutional monarchy
  • 1843
    • The iron sail ship the Great Britain, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, was launched
  • 1842
    • Anaesthesia was used for the first time
  • 1841
    • George Green, the man behind Green’s strain, Green’s theorem, Green’s function and other important concepts died on May 31
    • John Tyler took office as US President on April 4
    • William Henry Harrison took office as US President on March 4 but died of pneumonia in April 4 of the same year
  • 1840
    • Simeon Denis Poisson died on April 25
    • Upper and Lower Canada were merged into the colony called Province of Canada
    • Britain and the Maori signed a treaty making New Zealand a colony of the British Empire, but conflicts escalated into the New Zealand Wars from 1845 to 1872
  • 1839
    • The temporary support of the eastern arch of the Maidenhead Bridge blew down in an autumn storm while the arch remained standing; Isambard Kingdom Brunel had earlier eased them away from the structure so they were not carrying load, unknown to critics
    • George Green introduced the right Cauchy-Green deformation tensor, sometimes called Green’s deformation tensor
    • Chinese authors took steps to stop the with Britain, who then attacked China to force the Chinese government to let British merchants sell opium in China
  • 1838
    • The Maidenhead Railway bridge, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, was completed; it was used from July 1 the following year; it is one of the longest and flattest brick arches in the world
    • Riots in Upper and Lower Canada continued for the second year, where the rebels felt that the progress towards democracy in Canada was too slow; some wanted to adopt American republican values and some even favoured joining the United States
  • 1837
    • American artist Samuel Morse sent the first telegram
    • King William of the United Kingdom died and Queen Victoria, granddaughter of King George III, became monarch of the United Kingdom on June 20; her reign lasted for 63 years and seven months, which is the longest of the British monarchs; her reign gave name to the important “Victorian era” in British history
    • The wood sail ship the Great Western was launched after being conceived by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1835
    • Martin Van Buren took office as US President
    • A financial crisis referred to as the Panic of 1837 took place and lasted for approximately seven years
  • 1835
    • The Texas Revolution in Mexico, which lasted until the next year and resulted in the Republic of Texas
  • 1833
    • Simeon Denis Poisson published his Treatise on Mechanics, adding to his 1829 and 1831 memoirs, establishing the differential equation for plates and solving a variety of practical problems
    • The British Parliament abolished slavery throughout the British Empire; thousands of slaves escaped from the United States and settled in Canada
  • 1832
    • Norwegian runner Mensen Ernst (Mons Monsen Øyri) ran from Paris to Moscow in 14 days (more than 200km per day); on a later run from Constantinople to Calcutta he averaged 140 km per day for 59 days
    • The Reform Act was passed in the United Kingdom parliament; this changed the electoral system of England and Wales and is considered an important preamble for the “Victorian era”
  • 1830
    • July Revolution in France, which saw a transition from one monarchy to another
    • King George IV of the United Kingdom died and his brother William IV took the throne
  • 1829
    • Thomas Young died on May 10
    • Andrew Jackson took office as US President
    • An outbreak of cholera again started in the Ganges River delta; it soon reached Europe and eventually the Americas three years later; it is called The Second Cholera Pandemic and lasted until 1851 killing far more than 100,000 people
  • 1828
    • The Thames Tunnel flooded during construction, for the second time, killing six men and almost killing Isambard Kingdom Brunel
    • George Greene published “An Essay on the Application of Mathematical Analysis to the Theories of Electricity and Magnetism,” introducing the notions behind Green’s theorem, potential functions, and Green’s functions
  • 1827
    • Georg Ohm provided a mathematical analysis of electrical circuits
    • Ludwig von Beethoven died at age 57 on March 26
    • Pierre-Simon Laplace died on March 5
    • Fort Langley was built as a Hudson’s Bay fur trading post in what is today British Columbia
    • Scottish civil engineer Thomas Telford was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London
    • In the Greek War of Independence from the Ottomans the Great Powers Britain-France-Russia made a first intervention in the Convention of London; the Ottoman refusal to cooperate led to an allied blockade of the Peloponnese coasts and subsequently the naval battle of Navarino where the Great Powers annihilated the Turkish-Egyptian fleet; Greece became an independent state in 1830; the capital was moved from Nauplion to Athens in 1834
    • Norwegian thief Gjest Bårdsen, who managed to escape more than fifty times from prison, was sentenced to life in jail; he was paroled in 1845
  • 1826
    • Claude-Louis Navier published the first edition of his book on strength of materials, in which he introduced the modern definition of Young’s modulus and applied the hypothesis that plane sections remain plane and perpendicular to the neutral axis to a variety of beam bending problems; Navier was also the first to address statically indeterminate beams
    • Bernhard Riemann was born on September 17
  • 1825
    • The first railway line was opened between Stockton and Darlington
    • Construction started on the Thames Tunnel, using the tunnelling shield invented by Marc Isambard Brunel and his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel
    • John Quincy Adams took office as US President
  • 1823
    • US President Monroe formulated the Monroe Doctrine, a longstanding cornerstone of US foreign policy, which stated that further colonialization of the Americas by Europeans would be considered acts of aggression requiring US intervention
  • 1822
    • Augustin Cauchy published his work on solid mechanics, including equilibrium considerations for a tetrahedron, essentially introducing the concept of stress on rigid infinitesimally small bodies rather than Navier’s consideration of molecular forces; none of the earlier developments in the theory of elasticity had employed the concepts of stress and strain
  • 1821
    • Michael Faraday invented the electric motor
    • Greece’s War of Independence from the Ottomans started and would last for seven years
    • Mexico became independent of Spain with the Treaty of Cordoba
  • 1820
    • Claude-Louis Navier published his memoir on plate bending
    • King George III died and his son George IV took the throne of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
  • 1818
    • The Institution of Civil Engineers was founded in London; it became renowned after they appointed Thomas Telford as their first president; this institution was the preferred society for Brunel and other civil engineers at the time
  • 1817
    • Thomas Telford commenced the design of the Menai Straits Bridge; it was opened on January 30 1826 and still carries traffic
    • James Monroe took office as US President
  • 1816
    • This was the Year Without a Summer in the Horthern Hemisphere, probably due to the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora
    • An outbreak of cholera started in Calcutta; this outbreak reached mediterranean Europe and is called The First Cholera Pandemic; it lasted for ten years and killed much more than 100,000 people
  • 1815
    • From this year until 1930, 60 million people emigrated from Europe to the Americas
    • Napoleon escaped from the island of Elba on February 26 and returned to govern for his “Hundred Days” until his final defeat on June 18 in the Battle of Waterloo; he spent the final six years in confinement on the island of Saint Helena
    • The Congress of Vienna took place, attended by ambassadors from European states and commencing a year earlier to redraw the map of Europe after the end of the Napoleonic Wars, including the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire
  • 1814
    • George Stephenson built the first effective steam locomotive and named it after the Prussian general Blucher
    • Laplace published the idea that if we knew the precise initial condition of every particle in the universe at one time, as laborious as that might be, then we could deterministically predict everything in the future
    • The Constitution of Norway, which was a liberal and radically democratic constitution, was adopted on May 16 and signed on May 17 at Eidsvoll; only the constitutions of San Marion and the United States of America are older
    • The Treaty of Ghent ended the War of 1812 between the United States and Canada, with no loss of territory for either side
    • Mainland Norway was ceded from Denmark-Norway, an ally of Napoleon, to Sweden, which was part of the anti-French camp
    • In Vienna the emperor, his chancellor Metternich, and the princes, who had defeated Napoleon the year earlier, met and agreed the Enlightenment had been a disaster; they wanted things back to how they were; the revolution in France was extinguished; this led to discontent in France and ultimately Napoleon’s return the following year
    • Major-General Robert Ross led an expedition from Nova Scotia to burn down the White House and other public buildings in Washington, DC, in retaliation for the American burning of the Government House and the Parliament Buildings in York (now Toronto)
    • The Duke of Wellington sent some of his best soldiers to defend Canada in the war with the United States; that war ended within the year, and he proceeded to defeat Napoleon the following year
  • 1813
    • Joseph Louis Lagrange died on April 10
    • In the war between Canada and the United States, Laura Second, mother of five, made a dangerous 30km journey on foot to warn Lieutenant James FitzGibbon of a planned American attack; she is a recognized heroine in Canada
    • Napoleon, being abandoned by Bavarian troops, lost the battle at Leipzig against allied enemies; he abdicated the following year and was given sovereignty of the little island Elba
  • 1812
    • Pierre-Simon Laplace published the seminal work on probability entitled “Théorie analytique des probabilités;” while earlier work on probability was primarily concerned with games of chance Laplace applied probability to many scientific and practical problems
    • The first commercially viable steamboat, PS Comet, commenced service between Glasgow and Greenock
    • The War of 1812 was fought between the United States and the British, with several invasions of Canada by the United States
    • French invasion of Russian under Napoleon, resulting in great damage to his Grande Armée
    • In England the death penalty was introduced for the act of destroying machines, which was replacing workers at that time
  • 1809
    • James Madison took office as US President
    • The Spanish-American wars of independence started, in which Spain lost its colonies and hence much of its power
    • Napoleon took seat in the Schonbrunn palace in Vienna and emperor Francis gave him the hand of his daughter Marie-Louise in marriage; the year after she gave birth to their son who Napoleon gave the name King of Rome
  • 1808
    • Sir George Cayley invented the wheel in which the spokes are in tension
    • Ludwig von Beethoven performed his Fifth Symphony
    • Fredrik Henrik af Chapman, the famous Swedish shipbuilder, died on August 19
  • 1807
    • Thomas Young published the “Course of Lectures on Natural Philosophy” that he taught around 1802, in which he defined several cross-sectional moduli for beams, such as the “weight of the modulus,” EA, which later gave name to our Young’s modulus, E; he also introduced the modern concept of energy, but his publications were not easily understood
    • The first public street light running on gas was displayed in Pall Mall, London; by 1820 both Paris and London were lit by gas lamps
    • A steamship went up the Hudson River from New York to Albany
    • Johann III Bernoulli died on July 13; he was the last famous mathematician in the Bernoulli Family
    • The British Parliament prohibited the buying and selling of slaves
  • 1806
    • Isambard Kingdom Brunel, one of the greatest engineers of the Victorian era, was born in London on April 9 to English Sophia Kingdom and French engineer Marc Isambard Brunel
    • Holy Roman Emperor Francis II abdicated and dissolved the Holy Roman Empire during the Napoleonic Wars; Napoleon soon ruled almost all Europe, giving various countries to his close relatives, and he forbade trade with his enemy England in what is called the Continental System
  • 1805
    • Battle of Trafalgar on October 21 off the coast of Spain, near Cape Trafalgar, where the British Royal Navy, led by Admiral Lord Nelson aboard HMS Victory, defeated the French and Spanish Navies during the Napoleonic Wars; Nelson was mortally wounded in the battle but Britain’s naval supremacy and dominance in the 19th century was established
  • 1804
    • Start of the expedition of Lewis and Clark, which was commissioned by President Jefferson and lasted until 1806; it went through the newly purchased Louisiana territory from the Mississippi River along the Missouri and Columbia Rivers to the Pacific Ocean and back
    • Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi, known for the Jacobian and other mathematical developments, was born on December 10
    • First steam locomotive began operation
    • World population reached 1 billion
  • 1803
    • War broke out between Britain and France, marking the start of the Napoleonic Wars, which lasted until 1815
    • American engineer Robert Fulton launched a steamboat on the river Seine
    • British engineer Thomas Telford moved to the Highlands of Scotland, where he built 117 railway bridges during the following 15 years
    • Famous engineer Robert Stephenson was born on October 16 to Fanny and George Stephenson; he had a sister born two years later who died a few weeks after birth; his mother Fanny died of tuberculosis shortly thereafter; Robert was essentially educated by his engineering father
    • The United States of America more than doubled its size with the Louisiana Purchase, beginning the expansion of the United States towards the Pacific
  • 1802
    • Thomas Young became chair of Natural Philosophy at the Royal Institution in London at age 29, at the same time as Humphry Davy became Professor of Chemistry of the same institution at age 24; their duties included lectures to a non-technical audience, where Young’s technical style was less popular than that of the better-looking Davy; Young resigned almost immediately and went back to medical practice
    • The Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel was born; he lived until 1829
  • 1801
    • Thomas Jefferson took office as US President
    • Great Britain merged with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
  • 1800
    • Alessandro Volta invented the first chemical battery
  • 1799
    • Napoleon Bonaparte took power in a coup in France; among other things he invited noblemen back from exile, and he actively encouraged the study of structures
    • The Rosetta stone, an ancient Egyptian granodiorite stele inscribed with a decree issued at Memphis in 196BC of behalf of King Ptolemy V, was discovered by a soldier of a French expedition in Rashid (Rosetta)
  • 1798
    • Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss completed Disquisitiones Arithmeticae at age 21, which was published in 1801 and is one among numerous pioneering contributions by “The Prince of Mathematicians”
    • Scottish civil engineer John Rennie (the Elder) was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in London
    • Napoleon Bonaparte with his French army defeated the Egyptian armies
  • 1797
    • Adhémar Jean Claude Barré de Saint-Venant was born on August 23
    • John Adams took office as US President
  • 1796
    • The Republic of Venice was occupied by Napoleon’s army; the metropolitan part of the disbanded republic came under Austrian rule
  • 1795
    • The Revolutionary Tribunal was abolished in France
  • 1794
    • Ecole Polytechnique was founded in France
    • Maximilien Roberpierre, one of the key figures in the French Revolution, was arrested and executed in July, ending what is called the Reign of Terror, in which tens of thousands of people had been killed throughout France
  • 1793
    • George Green was born on July 14
    • The emperor of China sent a respectful letter to the king of England suggesting China did not need any goods from trade, suggesting they keep trade at the level of that day; almost fifty years later China took action to put an end to the trade
    • Upper Canada, led by Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe, a Loyalist military officer, became the first province in the British Empire to abolish slavery
    • The Reign of Terror started in France in September and lasted for almost a year as the rivals the Girondins and the Jacobins engaged in politically motivated mass murder
  • 1792
    • The French Revolutionary Wars against several European states started and lasted until 1802, shortly before the Napoleonic Wars; several European nations had tried to interfere in the French revolution
    • Captain George Vancouver met Captains Malaspina and Galiano of the Spanish expedition near present-day Vancouver on June 21 and worked with them until July 13, thereafter they proceeded to determine the insularity of Vancouver Island separately; during four days from June 12 Captain George Vancouver carted Point Roberts, Point Grety, Burrard Inlet, Howe Sound, and Jervis Inlet in the Pacific Northwest together with his lieutenant Peter Puget
    • Many black Loyalists, i.e., freedmen and slaves having fled from the American Revolution to Canada, had been given poor land in Canada and moved to establish the new British colony for freed slaves called Freetown in Sierra Leone in West Africa
  • 1791
    • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in Vienna at age 35 on December 5 after a period of great productivity, but leaving his Requiem unfinished
    • Captain George Vancouver started an almost five-year-long expedition, in part to search for the Northwest Passage, from Falmouth in England, which included Tenerife, Cape Town, Australia, Tahiti, and Hawaii, and a significant exploration of the Pacific Northwest
    • The Constitutional Act divided the Province of Quebec onto Upper Canada (later Ontario) and Lower Canada (later Quebec); this also marked the introduction “Canada” as an official name
    • King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Anoinette was guillotined on September 4 in the French Revolution
  • 1790
    • Johann II Bernoulli died on July 17
  • 1789
    • Augustin-Louis Cauchy was born on August 21
    • George Washington took office as US President
    • Jacob II Bernoulli drowned while bathing in the Neva on July 3; a few months earlier he had married the granddaughter of Leonhard Euler
    • The French revolution started, in part because of France’s high debt and high taxation of the poor by the extravagant aristocracy; key leaders of the revolution like Danton and Robespierre were ultimately beheaded in the guillotine like thousands of others at the hands of the Revolutionary Tribunal, including Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
  • 1787
    • The United States Constitution was adopted on September 17 and went into effect on March 4 of 1789
  • 1784
    • C. A. Coulomb published his memoir on torsion
  • 1783
    • Leonhard Euler died on September 18
    • By the signing of the Treaty of Paris, Great Britain acknowledged the independence of the United States of America, a move supported by Louis XVI
  • 1782
    • Daniel Bernoulli died on March 17
  • 1781
    • Simeon Denis Poisson was born on June 21
    • The United States and its ally France won the American Revolutionary War; the peace treaty was signed in 1783
    • Spanish settlers founded Los Angeles
  • 1777
    • Carl Friedrich Gauss was born on April 30
    • Joseph II, who was ruling the Habsburg empire with his mother Maria Theresa, worried about the extravagance and frivolity in the French upper class, wrote a letter to his sister Marie Antoinette saying “things cannot go on like this, there will be a terrible revolution if you do not do something to prevent it”
  • 1776
    • After the declaration of independence by the thirteen British colonies south of Quebec, more than 40,000 people loyal to the Crown (Loyalists) fled the oppression of the American Revolution and settled in Nova Scotia and Quebec
    • Persuaded by John Adams, Thomas Jefferson wrote the United States Declaration of Independence, which was announced on July 4; George Washington became the commander of the American Revolutionary War; he was later famously depicted crossing the Delaware River on a surprise attack against the British to take back New Jersey
    • Third voyage of Captain James Cook, being the first European to visit Hawaii and this time including the Pacific Northwest in search for the Northwest Passage; the voyage returned in 1779
  • 1775
    • The American Revolutionary War of the Thirteen Colonies against British rule started
  • 1774
    • The British Parliament passed the Quebec Act, which is one of the constitutional foundations of Canada; the Act restored French civil law but maintained British criminal law
    • King Louis XV of France was succeeded by his grandson Louis XVI who was twenty years old; prompted by the Enlightenment but against the advice of French nobility he attempted reforms to abolish serfdom and tolerate non-Catholics
  • 1773
    • C. A. Coulomb published a famous paper on the mechanics of elastic bodies; Coulomb is credited with the concept of a “thrust line” in load-bearing structures
    • Thomas Young was born on June 13
    • Jorge Juan y Santacilia, the Spanish naval architect, died
    • The Boston Tea Party was formed in protest against British taxes, particularly on tea imports
  • 1772
    • Second voyage of James Cook, covering even larger parts of the Southern Hemisphere, returning in 1775
  • 1770
    • Eastern half of Australia was claimed by Great Britain and settled by penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from January 26, 1788
    • Marie Antoinette second youngest of Maria Theresa’s 16 children married, at age 14 years and 5 months, the heir of the French throne, who became King Louis XVI four years later
  • 1769
    • The San Francisco Bay was first discovered by a Spanish exploration party from Mexico; a military fort was built by another expedition seven years later; George Vancouver visited San Francisco in 1792
    • Napoleon was born to the lawyer Bonaparte in Corsica, which was under French rule
  • 1768
    • First voyage of James Cook, circumnavigating the Earth via the Southern Hemisphere, returning in 1771
  • 1766
    • J. L. Lagrange prepared Mecanique Analytique, published in 1788, in which no figures appear, exposing the use of d’Alembert’s principle, the principle of virtual work, and the concept of generalized coordinates
    • Lured by a better offer from Russian Empress Catherine II than that of Prussian King Frederick II, Leonhard Euler left Berlin and returned to St. Petersburg; cataract was discovered in his left eye; because he had lost sight on his right eye decades earlier he was now nearly blind; with help from his students this did not affect is enormous productivity; he produced more than 400 papers during the remainder of his life and the Russian Academy of Sciences was still publishing his work forty years after his death
  • 1765
    • In protest against high taxation prescribed by the Danish King, and randomly executed by Norwegian police, farmers around Bergen in Norway started a violent protest that is known as Strilekrigen, the last “war” within the country
    • Maria Theresa was joined by her son Joseph II in the rule of the Habsburg Empire
  • 1763
    • Two years after the death of Thomas Bayes an essay with his probability theorem was presented to the Royal Society; it was published in a paper the following year
    • James Watt was asked to repair a Newcoment steam engine, leading him to improve the steam engine in many ways over the next thirteen years, which was fundamental in the Industrial Revolution that lasted from 1750 to 1850
    • The Seven Years’ War ended and most North American colonies went from French to British control
  • 1762
    • Catherine II became empress of Russia; she sought to promote scientific development and urged Leonhard Euler to return to the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences
  • 1760
    • King George II died and George III, son of Frederick Prince of Wales and grandson of King George II became King of Great Britain and King of Ireland; unlike his predecessors he was born in Great Britain and spoke English as his first language; he did not even visit Hanover
    • Russian forces invaded Berlin during the Seven Years’ War and among other things pillaged the house of Leonhard Euler; when the Russian General Totleben found out he immediately apologized to Euler and ordered compensation; Russian Empress Elizabeth sent an additional amount to Euler that more than offset his original loss
  • 1759
    • Maupertuis died and Leonhard Euler became in charge of the Berlin Academy of Sciences during the challenging time of the Seven Years’ War
    • Nicolaus I Bernoulli died on November 29
    • Jacob II Bernoulli, son of Johann II Bernoulli, was born on October 17; along with his older brother Johann III he became the last of the notable Bernoulli mathematicians
    • The British defeated the French in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham at Quebec City, marking the end of France’s empire in America; the commanders of both armies, Brigadier James Wolfe and the Marquis de Montcalm were killed leading their troops in battle; following the war, Great Britain renamed the colony the “Province of Quebec”
  • 1758
    • Pierre Bouger, the French naval architect, died on August 15
    • The first representative assembly in Canada was elected in Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • 1756
    • After two years hostilities, the Seven Years’ War broke out; at issue were primarily conflicts in colonial regions; Great Britain with its royal connection in Hanover in Germany fought the Bourbon Dynasty in France and Spain, and the Hohenzollern Dynasty in Prussia fought the Habsburg Dynasty in Vienna
  • 1753
    • English engineer John Smeaton (“the father of civil engineering”) was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London
  • 1750
    • Leonhard Euler and Daniel Bernoulli established the theory of beam bending, based on developments by Jacob Bernoulli, which correctly identified the neutral axis and assumes that plane sections remain plane and perpendicular to that axis during deformation
    • Peak of the Little Ice Age, which was a period of cooling after the Medieval Warm Period
  • 1749
    • Pierre-Simon Laplace was born on March 23
  • 1748
    • Johann Bernoulli died on January 1
  • 1744
    • Johann III Bernoulli, son of Johann II Bernoulli, was born on November 4; along with his younger brother Jacob II he became the last of the notable Bernoulli mathematicians
    • Leonhard Euler published “Methodus inveniendi lineas curvas” with pioneering application of calculus to strength of materials, including buckling loads and a differential equation for beam bending from an expression of potential energy provided to him by Daniel Bernoulli; Euler distinguished clearly between energy methods, i.e., the method of “final causes” and the direct method of “effective causes;” in the latter the differential equation is established by equilibrium considerations, while in the former it is derived from potential energy
  • 1743
    • D’Alembert published the book “Traite de Dynamique”
  • 1741
    • In part due to unrest in Russia and in part due to the invitation from King Frederick II of Prussia, Leonhard Euler moved from St. Petersburg to Berlin in the summer; he maintained contact with St. Petersburg and also published there; during his time in Berlin he published several textbooks on calculus that remained important for mathematicians for decades
  • 1740
    • Modern steel was developed by Benjamin Huntsman
    • Frederick William I of the Hohenzollern dynasty died and Frederick II (Frederick the Great) became King of Prussia; he became important for the world of science because he sought the world’s best talents to come to the Berlin Academy of Sciences; for example, the king’s invitation to Leonhard Euler was accepted; Frederick II was in conflict with Austria, France, Sweden, and Russia but was supported by England
    • Emperor Charles VI of the Habsburg Empire died and his daughter Maria Theresa became Archduchess of Austria and Queen of Hungary and Croatia; five years later she became Holy Roman Empress and German Queen; like her opponent King Frederick of Prussia she was a reformer focused on education; she had 16 children with her her husband, Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, among them Marie Antoinette
  • 1738
    • Daniel Bernoulli published “Specimen theoriae novae de mensura sortis” (Exposition of a New Theory on the Measurement of Risk), establishing expected utility as basis for decision-making, in part motivated by the St. Petersburg paradox formulated by Nicolaus I Bernoulli in 1713; this year he also published the famous “Hydrodynamica”
  • 1736
    • Leonhard Euler published his famous book on mechanics entitled “Mechanica dive motus scientia analytice exposita;” after a near-fatal fever a few years earlier he was now nearly blind on his right eye
    • Joseph-Louis Lagrange was born on January 25
  • 1733
    • Benjamin Franklin started to publish the annual Poor Richard’s Almanack, which ran until 1758
    • Daniel Bernoulli left St. Petersburg and returned to Basel; Leonhard Euler took his position as head of the department of mathematics
  • 1727
    • Isaac Newton died on March 20
    • Leonhard Euler moved to the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences
    • King George I died and his son George II became King of Great Britain; he was the last British monarch to be born abroad
  • 1726
    • Nicolaus II Bernoulli died of appendicitis; at the time he was working together with his brother Daniel Bernoulli at the Imperial Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg; their father Johann Bernoulli recommended that Leonhard Euler take the vacant position, which he did because he could not get a professorship at the University of Basel
    • The Chinese encyclopedia Gujin Tusha Jicheng with over 800,000 pages and over 100 million Chinese characters was printed in 60 copies using copper-based Chinese movable type printing
  • 1724
    • Nicolaus II Bernoulli and his younger brother Daniel Bernoulli became professors at the newly founded St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences
    • The St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences was established by Peter the Great prompted by Gottfried Leibniz
  • 1723
    • Leonhard Euler received the Master of Philosophy at the University of Basel, comparing the philosophies of Descartes and Newton; Euler was receiving Saturday afternoon lessons from Johann Bernoulli in Basel
  • 1721
    • Fredrik Henrik af Chapman was born on September 9; he became a famous Swedish shipbuilder and officer in the Swedish navy; he is considered to be the first naval architect and the first to apply scientific methods to shipbuilding
  • 1720
    • Leonhard Euler entered the University of Basel at age 13; this was a centre of mathematical research at the time due to the lectures of Johann Bernoulli, who soon gave weekly private lectures to the talented Leonhard Euler
  • 1718
    • Abraham de Moivre, exiled in England and friend of Newton, published in English the probability textbook The Doctrine of Chances; de Moivre’s work included contributions on the Normal distribution
    • City of New Orleans was founded by the French in North America
    • King Charles XII of Sweden, having returned from exile in the Ottoman empire after his 1706 defeat to Peter the Great, died in the Siege of Fredriksten after attacking Norway to get the Danish king out of the war so he could refocus on Russia
  • 1716
    • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz died on November 14
  • 1715
    • Johann Bernoulli wrote a letter to Pierre Varignon clarifying an important precursor for the present-day principle of virtual displacements
    • Louis XIV of France (Louis the Great, the Sun King) died after reigning for 72 years and 110 days; he was succeeded by his great-grandson Louis XV who was five years old
  • 1714
    • Queen Anne died; she had no children so George I became King of Great Britain; he was born in Hanover, Germany, and he was the the son of Sophia of Hanover, who was the daughter of Elizabeth of Bohemia, who was the daughter of James VI and I of Scotland and England
  • 1713
    • Eight years after his death, Jacob Bernoulli’s work on probability, Ars conjectandi (the art of guessing), was published by his nephew Nicholas I Bernoulli
    • Nicolaus I Bernoulli formulated the St. Petersburg paradox in a letter to Pierre Raymond de Montmort on September 9
    • Parent published two memoirs that remedied several inaccuracies in earlier beam theories; however, typos, publication outside the Academy, and an unclear presentation style caused continuous use of Mariotte’s theory
    • Jorge Juan y Santacilia was born on January 5; he became a Spanish mathematician who made important contributions to naval architecture
    • Frederick I, first King of Prussia died and his son Frederick William I became King of Prussia and also Elector of Brandenburg
  • 1712
    • A woman was convicted of witchcraft for the last time in England; thousands had been burned at the stake in Europe after being forced to confess under torture
  • 1710
    • Johann II Bernoulli, youngest son of Johann Bernoulli and brother of Daniel Bernoulli, was born on May 18; he became his father’s successor as professor of mathematics and had two sons who became the last notable mathematicians in the Bernoulli family
  • 1708
    • Niklaus Bernoulli died
  • 1707
    • Leonhard Euler was born on April 15, son of a pastor in the village Riechen near Basel
    • The Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland merged to the Kingdom of Great Britain on May 1; Queen Anne then became Queen of Great Britain
  • 1706
    • King Charles XII of Sweden, having won several battles while outnumbered, marched on Moscow, it ended in a disastrous defeat in 1709
  • 1705
    • Jacob Bernoulli died on August 16 after publishing his collected works, which including studies of the deflection of beams; this work had elements of the final beam theory but had the same inaccurate location of the neutral axis assumed by Galileo and Mariotte, who studied strength rather than deflection; Jacob Bernoulli’s work on probability, Ars conjectandi, was published eight years later by his nephew Nicolaus I Bernoulli; the grudge of his brother Johann shifted to Johann’s own son Daniel Bernoulli after Jacob’s death
  • 1703
    • Robert Hooke died on March 3, while Newton lived on for twenty-five years in which he questioned Hooke’s contributions and the importance of applied science
  • 1702
    • Queen Anne became Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland on March 8
  • 1701
    • In Canada the French and the First Nations tribes Iroquois made peace
  • 1700
    • Daniel Bernoulli, son of Johann Bernoulli, was born on February 8; his father later became resentful at Daniel’s exceptional mathematical talent and they developed a poor relationship and the father held the grudge until his death; in contrast, Daniel Bernoulli became a close friend of Leonhard Euler
    • The Berlin Academy of Sciences was founded on July 11
    • Magnitude 9 megathrust subduction earthquake hit the Pacific Northwest in North-America on January 26 at 9pm; within the previous 6,000 years they occurred in this region with intervals ranging from 250 to 850 years
    • Around this time, first in England and later in France, the thinking changed towards tolerance, reason, and humanity in what is called the Enlightenment
  • 1699
    • The brothers Jacob and Johann Bernoulli was elected foreign members of the French Academy of Sciences; in a rather jealous and competitive relationship they spearheaded the progress of calculus at the time, led by the younger brother Johann
  • 1698
    • Pierre Bouger was born on February 15; he became a French mathematician known as the father of naval architecture
  • 1697
    • At age fifteen King Charles XII came to power in Sweden, at the time the greatest power in northern Europe; he defeated much larger armies, including that of Russia
  • 1696
    • As a result of the teaching of Johann Bernoulli, Guillaume de l’Hôpital published the first book on calculus
  • 1695
    • Leibniz published Specimen Dynamicum; he is famous for formulating the conservation of “vis viva” (living force), i.e., twice today’s expression for kinetic energy, instead of conservation of momentum advocated by Newton in England and Descartes in France
    • Christiaan Huygens died on July 8
    • Nicolaus II Bernoulli, son of Johann Bernoulli and older brother of Daniel Bernoulli, was born on February 6; he would later die at a relatively young age in St. Petersburg
  • 1690
    • Count Frontenac refused to surrender Quebec to the English, responding that “My only reply will be from the mouths of my cannons!”
  • 1689
    • Tzar Peter the Great took over in Russia after Ivan the Terrible; they rivalled each other in drinking and violence but Peter was intent on westernizing Russia; he worked as a ship carpenter first in Holland and then in the dockyard of the Royal Navy in England; he brought the know-how home and using 80,000 labourers he created the port in St. Petersburg out of marshlands; opponents to his ideas, including his son, was killed
  • 1688
    • Frederick William of Prussia died and Frederick I became ruler; he later upgraded the role of Duke of Prussia to royalty and hence became King of Prussia; he was a member of the House of Hohenzollern, a dynasty of princes, electors, kings, and emperors of Hohenzollern, Brandenburg, Prussia, the German Empire, and Romania
  • 1687
    • Isaac Newton published “Philosophie Naturalis Principia Mathematica” (Principia) that founded classical mechanics
    • Nicolaus I Bernoulli, son of Nicolaus Bernoulli, was born on October 21; he would later assist in the publication of Jacob Bernoulli’s Ars conjectandi and formulate the St. Petersburg paradox although, unlike his cousin Nicolaus II, he did not live there; his father, who had the same name but less mathematical influence, was the brother of Jacob and Johann Bernoulli
    • The Parthenon at Akropolis exploded, destroying the central part of the temple, caused by a mortar shell dropped through the roof by a German artillery crew of the forces of the Republic of Venice onto a load of gunpowder stored in the temple by the Turks, who had earlier used the Parthenon as a mosque
  • 1686
    • Edme Mariotte’s pioneering work on strength of materials, albeit not with a fully accurate beam theory, was published in a paper on motion of fluids two years after his death
    • Peter the Great became the ruler of the Tsardom of Russia at age 10, first as a joint ruler with his half-brother but as sole ruler from 1696; he oversaw the expansion and modernization of the Tsardom into the Russian Empire
  • 1684
    • Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibnitz independently developed calculus
    • Edme Mariotte died on May 12
  • 1683
    • The sultan gathered troops from all the Ottoman Empire to meet a request for help from the Hungarian nobility to quell an uprising there; more than 200,000 troops led by prime minister Kara Mustafa marched on Austria; the Habsburg emperor’s troops in Hungary soon retreated; sixty thousand people fled Vienna and imperial troops, Germans and Austrians aided by Polish, arrived only after weeks of siege; the Battle of Vienna ultimately marked the end of the Ottoman expansion in Europe; troops of the Habsburg empire led by French Prince Eugene of Savoy continued to take country after country
  • 1680
    • The Medicine Man Juan de Popé of the Native American Pueblo tribe, led an uprising against the Spanish, revenging a century of Spanish cruelty, driving the Spanish out of New Mexico and releasing thousands of their mustangs in what has become known as North America’s Great Horse Dispersal, which changed the culture of the American West
  • 1678
    • Robert Hooke published on the elastic properties of springs, “De Potentia Restitutiva,” giving name to Hooke’s Law; because the concepts of stress and strain were unavailable, Hooke considered entire components rather than material points
  • 1676
    • Mariotte published the four “Essais de physique” in a three-year period, including the recognition of Boyle’s law for gases (the Boyle-Mariotte law) and seminal work on beam analysis with an improvement of Galileo’s beam capacity model; the new theory was still not fully correct but was used long after his death; his testing of cantilevered beam was made in the presence of Roberval and Huygens and he is largely responsible for introducing experimental methods in French science; he had become interested in the strength of beams during his work on water pipelines for the Palace of Versailles
  • 1675
    • G. W. Leibniz, who invented infinitesimal calculus concurrently with Newton, used integral calculus to compute the area underneath a function
  • 1672
    • The Dutch flooded polders to defend the Netherlands against the armies of Lous XIV, a plan devised by Simon Stevin
  • 1670
    • The Hudson’s Bay Company was founded in Canada; King Charles II of England granted the company exclusive trading rights of the the watershed draining into Hudson Bay; for the next century the company competed with the Montreal-based traders
  • 1667
    • Johann Bernoulli, son of Niklaus Bernoulli, was born on July 27; he became one of the greatest mathematicians of his time and he later had the sons Daniel and Nicolaus II Bernoulli; he also tutored Leonhard Euler
  • 1666
    • The French Academy of Sciences was founded under Lois XIV with help from minister Colbert, who invited Edme Mariotte as one of the first members; Mersenne had earlier organized the academic meetings, which had been continued after Mersenne’s death in the house of Habert de Montmor
    • The Great Fire of London in September destroyed two-thirds of the city and prompted Parliament to write the “London Building Act” over the next couple of years, which is one of the earliest building codes
  • 1665
    • Robert Hooke published “Micrographia,” about microscopes and other ideas
    • Pierre de Fermat died on January 12
    • The Great Plague of London broke out; it lasted for two years and killed 100,000 people
  • 1664
    • Robert Hooke became professor of geometry at Gresham College, but continued actively his work at the Royal Society of London
  • 1662
    • Blaise Pascal died on August 19
    • The textbook Port-Royal Logic was first published, by Antoine Arnauld and Pierre Nicole; it includes material on probability
    • The Royal Society of London was officially formed when the First Charter was sealed on July 15; among the invited members were Robert Boyle and John Wallis, and Robert Hooke was at Boyle’s recommendation made curator responsible for coming up with experiments
    • Nicolaus Bernoulli, son of Niklaus Bernoulli, was born; he became a painter and alderman, i.e., member of the municipal assembly, in Basel, but he did not gain fame as scholar like his brothers Jacob and Johann; his son Nicolaus I Bernoulli became famous for formulating the St. Petersburg paradox and assisting in the publication of Jacob Bernoulli’s Ars conjectandi
  • 1660
    • Edme Mariotte had discovered the eye’s blind spot and amazed the French royal court by his demonstration of it
  • 1658
    • Robert Hooke worked together with Robert Boyle to perfect an air pump
  • 1657
    • Christiaan Huygens, a teacher of Leibniz, published the first textbook on probability theory in the context of gambling (“De Ratiociniis in Ludo Aleae”), encouraged by Blaise Pascal and with knowledge about the communication between Pascal and Pierre de Fermat a few years earlier; this year he also developed the first functional pendulum clock based on ideas from Galileo
    • Galileo’s students Viviani and Borelli founded the Accademia del Cimento in Florence, with support of Prince Leopoldo and the Grand Duke; Galileo’s student Torricelli, who invented the barometer, also participated
  • 1654
    • Blaise Pascal and Pierre de Fermat exchanged letters that solved two problems posed by Chevalier de Mere and thus established the first theory of probability
    • Jacob Bernoulli, son of Niklaus Bernoulli, was born on December 27; he did important work on analysis of beams and became together with his younger brother a famous mathematician
  • 1650
    • Rene Descartes died on February 11
  • 1649
    • Charles I of England, grandson of Mary Stuart, was beheaded after he had tried to reverse the promises of Magna Carta; his opponent Oliver Cromwell of the Parliament became ruler, not as king but Lord Protector of the Commonwealth; England had not been part of Europe’s Thirty Years War; Cromwell increased English power through colonies in America and trading settlements in India
  • 1648
    • The priest and mathematician Marin Mersenne died on September 1; until then he had organized academic meetings attended by Gassendi, Descartes, Pascal, and others, ultimately leading to the establishment of the French Academy of Sciences in 1666
    • Robert Hooke entered Westminster School at age 13, where he learned Latin, Greek, some Hebrew, and ultimately the works of Euclid and other mathematicians
    • Treaties were signed as part of the Peace of Westphalia to end Europe’s Thirty Years War; by this time the war had very little to do with the Protestant-Catholic conflict
  • 1646
    • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was born on July 1
  • 1644
    • René Descartes published “Principles of Philosophy,” stating three laws of nature, one being later named Newton’s first law
  • 1643
    • City of Brno was under siege by the Swedish army, and again in 1645
    • Five days after the death of Louis XIII in May, France won the Battle of Rocroi, marking the end of the military rise of Spain and the beginning of France’s domination
    • After Cardinal Richelieu’s death in December the previous year, King Louis XIV took reign over France at age five; he ruled for 72 years, first aided by Cardinal Mazarin, Richelieu’s successor, but soon on his own; he was diligent and hardworking but had 200 personal servants and daily life consisted of elaborate theatrical procedures; he built the Palace of Versailles and engaged in expensive battles in Holland and Germany
  • 1642
    • Blaise Pascal invented a mechanical calculator
    • Isaac Newton was born on December 25
    • Galileo Galilei died on January 8
    • After Polynesians had settled New Zealand in 1250-1300, New Zealand was discovered by the Dutch
    • The English Civil War between the Parliamentarians (Roundheads) and Royalists (Cavaliers) broke out and ended nine years later with Parliamentary victory at the Battle of Worcester; the battles featured three-quarter armour suits and visored helms
  • 1640
    • Frederick William became ruler of Brandenburg-Prussia, i.e., Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia
  • 1638
    • Galileo published Two New Sciences (published by Elzevirs at Leiden) with an impressive treatment of strength of materials, including the “square-cube law” and ultimate capacity of beams; he erroneously assumed the neutral axis to be at the edge of the cross-section and all fibres in tension; he was under house arrest by the Inquisition and almost seventy when he started the work; in addition to this publication his thoughts on structures are found in letters to the Jesuit priest Marin Mersenne
  • 1637
    • Pierre de Fermat formulated his Last Theorem in the margin of the book Arithmetica, claiming he had proof that no three positive integers a, b, and c can satisfy the equation a^n+b^n=c^n; however, this became one of history’s most difficult mathematical problems and no successful proofs were published until 1995
  • 1636
    • Harvard University was founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 1635
    • Robert Hooke was born on July 28
    • The Peace of Prague was signed on Ferdinand’s terms; it did not end the Thirty Years War but led France, who had not participated in the war until this time but was worried about a strong Holy Roman Empire, to sign the Treaty of Compiegne with Sweden; French Minister/Cardinal Richelieu was the man in power, achieving as much for France as Cromwell later did for England; by Richelieu’s death in 1642 France was the most powerful country in Europe
  • 1634
    • Wallenstein, the power general of the Habsburg Empire was murdered
  • 1633
    • At the order of the Inquisition, Galileo had to live in strict seclusion in his villa in Arcetri, in the hills south of Florence, where he started is work on elasticity
    • Plague broke out in Amsterdam; it lasted for two years and killed almost 25,000 people
  • 1632
    • Galileo published “Dialogues on the Two Chief World Systems,” which explicitly favoured the hypothesis of Copernicus; its sale was prohibited by the church and he was called to Rome by the Inquisition, where he was condemned and forced to read his recantation
    • Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden fell in battle but the Swedish forces ultimately reached the outskirts of Vienna
  • 1631
    • Mount Vesuvius erupted
  • 1629
    • Christiaan Huygens was born on April 14
    • Plague broke out in Italy; it lasted for three years and killed 280,000 people
  • 1626
    • St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican was completed
  • 1625
    • Present day’s New York was founded under the name New Amsterdam by the Dutch West India Company
  • 1624
    • King Christian IV changed the name of Oslo to Christiania; it was renamed back to Oslo in 1925
  • 1623
    • Blaise Pascal was born on June 19
    • Niklaus Bernoulli was born; he was the son of Jacob Bernoulli, the spice-trader who had moved to Basel three year earlier; Niklaus later married Margarethe Schönauer and had the sons Jacob, Nicolaus, and Johann, two of which became famous mathematicians
    • Maffeo Barberini, a friend and admirer of Galileo, became Pope Urban VIII on August 6; this event led Galileo to expect more favourable treatment of his publications on astronomy
  • 1622
    • The English mathematician William Oughtred invented the slide rule for multiplication and division based on logarithms invented by John Napier and the logarithmic rulers by Edmund Gunter; it was a very commonly used calculation tool until the electronic calculator was invented in the 1970’s
    • The Bernoulli’s headed by Jacob Bernoulli, the spice-trader, was granted citizenship in Switzerland
  • 1620
    • Simon Stevin died
    • Edme Mariotte was born; he was one of the first members of the French Academy of Sciences and he did important work on strength of beams and many other topics
    • Jacob Bernoulli, spice-trader and grandson of the Jacob Bernoulli who had moved from Antwerp to Frankfurt, relocated to Basel, Switzerland
    • The Mayflower ship transported 102 English pilgrims from Southampton in England to New England in America, arriving inside the tip of present-day Cape Cod
  • 1619
    • The English mathematician Edmund Gunter was appointed professor of astronomy at Gresham University; among other things he invented “Gunter’s scale” (called the “Gunter” by seamen), which was a predecessor for the slide rule invented a few years later
  • 1618
    • Europe’s Thirty Years War started as a religious war between Protestantism and Catholicism in the Holy Roman Empire, ultimately resulting in a decentralization of that empire, as well as a decline in feudalism and a restriction of the Hapsburg empire
    • Protestants threw three of the emperor’s Catholic councillors out of a window at Prague Castle; they landed in a pile of manure and survived but this became known at the Defenestration of Prague, a prologue to the Thirty Years War
  • 1616
    • The work of Copernicus was condemned by the church as part of the Inquisition
  • 1615
    • Galileo received a warning from the Inquisition to avoid theology and limit himself to physical reasoning
  • 1614
    • The scottish landowner, mathematician, and astronomer John Napier (of Merchiston) introduced the logarithm to simplify calculations; this was the foundation for the work of William Oughtred and others to develop the slide rule for calculations before the present-day calculator was invented
  • 1610
    • Due to a prestigious nomination by the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Galileo moved from Padua to Florence where he was relieved from teaching and admin duties
    • Galileo published “Sidereus Nuncius” with astronomical observations that implicitly supported Copernicus’s hypothesis of our solar system
    • With his homemade telescope, Galileo saw Jupiter’s satellites for the first time in January
    • English settlements began in “New Founde Land,” explored more than a century earlier by John Cabot
  • 1609
    • Based on rumours that a telescope had been invented, Galileo built his own with a magnifying power of 32
  • 1608
    • Quebec City was founded by Samuel de Champlain in what was then called New France in present-day Canada
  • 1607
    • Jamestown in Virginia was settled and later became the first permanent British colony in North America
  • 1606
    • Australia was discovered by Dutch explorers
  • 1604
    • The first European settlement north of Florida was established by French explorers Pierre de Monts and Samuel de Champlain, first on St. Croix Island (now Maine) and then at Port-Royal in Acadia (now Nova Scotia); Champlain joined forces with the Algonquin, Montagnais, and Huron First Nation tribes, which were historically at odds with the five (later six) tribes Iroquois
  • 1603
    • Accademia dei Lincei was founded in Rome, and Galileo became one of its members
  • 1601
    • Pierre de Fermat was born on August 17 but the records are ambiguous so he may have been born in 1607 or 1608
  • 1600
    • Johannes Kepler met Tycho Brahe in Prague, and replaced him as imperial mathematician the year after, following Brahe’s death
    • The constitution of San Marino was written, which is the oldest surviving constitution of a sovereign state
  • 1597
    • In a letter to Kepler, Galileo expressed support for Copernicus’ theory rather than the Ptolemaic system, which said the Earth is stationary, which he had taught at Padua until then
  • 1596
    • Rene Descartes was born on March 31
  • 1594
    • The Republic of Venice, which had instituted a patent law more than a century earlier, awarded Galileo a patent for a mechanism to raise water
    • Galileo wrote the treatise on mechanics entitled “Della Scienza Meccanica”
  • 1592
    • Galileo had to leave Pisa due to others’ dissatisfaction that the young scientist had too blatantly rejected the tenets of Aristotelian mechanics about falling bodies; upon returning to Florence his friends helped him get a professorship at the University of Padua, where started on December 7; he became an exceptionally productive researcher and popular lecturer
  • 1591
    • Flush toilet was invented by the writer Sir John Harrington of Kelston in England
  • 1590
    • Galileo published “De Motu Gravium” on the topic of falling bodies while in Pisa, which originated the study of dynamics
  • 1589
    • William Shakespeare started to produce most of his known work, in the period until 1613
    • Galileo, having become famous for techniques for measuring density and for determining centres of gravity went back to Pisa University as a mathematics professor at age twenty-five
  • 1588
    • English artillery and fire-ships filled with combustibles played an important role in the English victory over the Spanish Armada consisting of 130 heavy ships sent by Philip I partly in revenge for Queen Elizabeth’s support of the victory of the protestant forces in the Low Countries nine years earlier; the English victory led to increased attacks by the English and Dutch on Spanish shipments in America and India, leading to the formation of merchant East India Companies
    • Merin Mersenne was born in France on September 8; he became a priest and a mathematician how supported and communicated with Galileo, and facilitated scientific meetings in France
  • 1586
    • Simon Stevin, a merchant’s clerk in Antwerp, published “De Beghinselen der Weeghconst” (Statics and Hydrostatics) where he invented the theorem of the triangle of forces; Stevin also brought decimal fractions into daily use, and he refuted Aristotle’s hypothesis about large velocity of large falling bodies three years before Galileo’s thesis on the subject
  • 1585
    • Galileo withdrew from Pisa University due to lack of finances and went back to Florence without a degree, where he did research and gave private lessons in mathematics and mechanics
  • 1582
    • The Gregorian calendar was introduced on February 24, by Pope Gregory XIII, dropping 10 days and replacing the Julian calendar; however, due to the Protestant Reformation many countries did not initially adopt it
  • 1581
    • After studying Greek, Latin, and logic, Galileo was admitted to Pisa University to study medicine; however, the mathematics lectures interested him far more so he studied Euclid and Archimedes instead
  • 1580
    • Venetian architect Andrea Palladio died; the year after his book on architecture appeared, “I quattro libri dell’ architettura”
  • 1579
    • Sir Francis Drake came ashore on the Pacific Coast of North America on June 17; the exact location is unclear, with theories ranging from San Francisco to Alaska
    • The Protestant towns of the Low Countries, i.e., Belgium and Holland, were liberated from the rule of the Duke of Alba who had been sent by Philip II to enforce the rule of the Roman Catholic Church; the protestant forces were aided by Queen Elizabeth I of England
  • 1578
    • The first stone was laid in the construction of the Pont Neuf bridge over the river Seine in Paris, France; it was complete in 1607
  • 1577
    • Sir Francis Drake started a travel that became the second circumnavigation of the world; the travel lasted for three years; on the trip he is rumoured to have made a “secret voyage” all the way to British Columbia
  • 1576
    • Gerolamo Cardano died on September 21
  • 1572
    • The French queen invited the Huguenot nobility, i.e., the French Protestants to a wedding court, only to assassinate them
  • 1571
    • Led by the Venetian fleet supported by Philip II the Turkish Ottman fleet was destroyed at Lepanto
  • 1570
    • Jacob Bernoulli, son of Leon Bernoulli who died nine years earlier, emigrated from Antwerp in Spanish Netherlands to Frankfurt am Main to escape the Spanish persecution of the Huguenots, i.e., members of the protestant reformed church
    • The galley battle of Lepanto took place, which ultimately loosened the Turkish grip on the Mediterranean, was another proof that guns were changing warfare and shifting power
  • 1567
    • Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland, was forced to abdicate in favour of her one-year-old son James; she fled south and sought the protection of Queen Elizabeth I of England, who 20 years later had Mary Stuart executed because she had a potentially legitimate claim to the English throne
  • 1566
    • Ottoman Sultan Suleiman I died
  • 1564
    • Michelangelo died on February 18 at age 89; he had always complained that he was poor and near starvation but he left a little fortune
    • Galileo Galilei was born on February 15 to a noble house in Florence
  • 1561
    • Leon Bernoulli died in Antwerp in Spanish Netherlands; he had been a doctor and he was the forefather of the famous Bernoulli Family of scholars
  • 1560
    • The Accademia Secretorum Naturae was founded in Napoli; this the first of many National Academies of Science worldwide; the original purpose was to bring people with scientific interest together without control of the church, and to facilitate experimental work
  • 1558
    • Queen Elizabeth I, the fifth monarch of the Tudor Dynasty, became the ruler of England
  • 1556
    • Abricola from Germany published an important book on mining, called “De re metallica;” it was translated into English by Herbert Hoover in 1912
    • A fatigued Charles V of the Habsburg Empire withdrew to the Spanish monetary of San Geronimo de Yuste, repairing clocks, after installing his brother Ferdinand as ruler of Austria and emperor of Germany and giving Spain and the Netherlands to his austere hard-working son Philip II who had thousands of Protestants, Jews, and Muslims burned for heresy
    • The Shaanxi Earthquake occurred in China, which is the deadliest known earthquake
  • 1555
    • Nostradamus, Michel de Nostredame, published the first version of Les Propheties
  • 1548
    • Simon Stevin, inventor of the triangle of forces, was born
  • 1546
    • Pope Paul III chose Michelangelo to complete the St. Peter’s cathedral, continuing and improving work that had been done decades earlier by Donato d’Agnolo in Urbino (“Bramante”); most of Michelangelo’s work was art but he was also a capable engineer; both in Florence and in Rome he had been called to build fortifications against expected sieges, which he did only to subsequently flee through enemy lines when he observed the defenders’ poor state
  • 1545
    • Girolamo Cardano published Ars Magna (The Great Art), which is one of his many works in mathematics, including the theory of complex numbers; he also wrote a book on probability called Liber de Ludo Aleae (The Book on Games of Chance) a hundred years before the work of Pascal and Fermat, which was published posthumously in 1663 and included a section on how to cheat effectively; he was a compulsive gambler with a colourful and often arduous life
    • The Roman Catholic Church gathered in Trent in southern Tirol; this Counter-Reformation gathering lasted until 1563 after which priests were less landowning princes and the Church took better care of the poor
  • 1543
    • Nicolaus Copernicus published “On the Revolutions of Celestial Orbs” with the theory that the Earth circles the Sun; he produced early outlines, called Commentariolus, in 1512
  • 1540
    • Biringuccio published a treatise on metallurgy, called “Pirotecnia,” which was influence by his German colleague Agricola, who published his own book on mining in 1556
    • Francisco Vasques de Coronado encountered the Grand Canyon
    • Construction started on the Pont Neuf bridge at Toulouse; it was completed sixty years later and featured arches that were semi-ellipses
    • The Pope accepted the offer of help from the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits, founded by wounded warrior but now highly educated Ignatius of Loyola; prompting the gathering in Trent five years later and essentially a reformation of the Roman Catholic Church
  • 1538
    • The Venetian and Genoese fleet attacked the mighty Turkish navy; the Italian introduced the use of cannons, which proved effective and the Turkish fleet withdrew
  • 1536
    • Denmark declared Norway a Danish province
    • The first book on shipbuilding was published, Bayfius’ “De re navali;” earlier knowledge of shipbuilding was maintained by word-of-mouth through families and guilds
    • After relocating to Basel, John Calvin published “The Institutes of the Christian Religion;” he became an inspiration to the Huguenots, i.e., the member of the Protestant Reformed Church in France who were persecuted and fled to Protestant nations in Europe and elsewhere
  • 1534
    • Baghdad was captured by the Ottoman Empire
    • The French explorer Jacques Cartier started the first of three voyages, the last completed in 1542, from France to what is now Canada to claim the land (“New France”) for King Francis I of France; Cartier heard two captured guides speak the Iroquoian word “kanata,” which means “village,” leading to the name “Canada” being used on maps since 1550
  • 1533
    • After the Pope denied Henry VIII divorce from Catherine of Aragon, aunt of Charles V, Henry VIII withdrew England from the Roman Catholic Church and in a move that was never reversed created the Church of England; Henry VIII then married Catherine’s lady-in-waiting Anne Boleyn, who he later beheaded to immediately marry another who soon died; he then divorced his fourth wife and beheaded the fifth; the sixth outlived him; Henry VIII was in frequent conflict with Charles V of the Habsburg Empire and Francis I of France
    • The Inca Empire ended with the death of Atahualpa, the last Sapa Inca (ruler) on August 29; Spanish conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro and his brothers had reached the Incas in 1526 and had received permission from the Spanish Queen in 1529 to conquer the land; the Incas were weakened by smallpox and emperor Atahualpa was held hostage by the Spanish until he was killed; during the following century the Inca population vanished in outbreaks of smallpox, influenza, measles, and diphtheria brought from Europe
  • 1530
    • John Calvin, the French theologian, broke with the Roman Catholic Church and soon relocated to Basel in Switzerland due to violent uprisings in France against the Protestants; he became an important inspiration for the Protestants, i.e., the Huguenots
  • 1529
    • After conquering Hungary the Ottomans laid siege to Vienna at the height of the Ottoman Empire’ the battle was won by the Hapsburg Empire but was followed by 150 years of tension and conflicts until the Battle of Vienna in 1683
  • 1528
    • Albrecht Durer died on April 6
  • 1527
    • Rome was sacked by German troops in the fight between King Francis I, who ruled the rich and stable France, and Charles V, who ruled the Habsburg Empire including Spain and hence America; they were engaged in a drawn-out battle over Italy
  • 1526
    • The Turks of the Ottoman empire defeated the Hungarian army; the king and almost every Hungarian nobleman was killed
  • 1523
    • The Kalmar Union was dissolved with Sweden’s declaration of independence after decades of conflict between Denmark and Sweden
  • 1521
    • Belgrade was captured by the Ottoman Empire
    • Hernan Cortes and indigenous allies conquered the Aztec capital and founded Mexico City in that location
    • Charles V ordered Martin Luther to present himself before parliament in Worms; it ended with Luther being declared an Outlaw but Frederick the Wise had him rescued to his castle, the Wartburg; there Luther worked to translate the bible into a language that could be understood by Saxons, Bavarians, and others, essentially creating a language similar to today’s German
  • 1520
    • Suleiman I, later known as Suleiman the Magnificent, became Sultan of the Ottoman Empire; he became the longest-reigning Sultan, ruling at the height of the empire, which included southeastern Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa, still with Constantinople as capital
  • 1519
    • Portugese navigator Ferdinand Magellan started a Spanish expedition that was the first to sail from the Atlantic Ocean into the Pacific Ocean, which he called the peaceful sea, and ultimately circumnavigate the Earth; Magellan died in battle in the Philippines in 1521 before the return of the expedition in 1522
    • Hernando Cortez with 150 Spanish soldiers with horsemen and cannons killed thousands of natives in Mexico, ultimately reaching King Montezuma in the capital, where more killing ensued and an uproar in which Montezuma was killed and the Spaniards escaped; they returned later to burn the beautiful city
    • Charles V sought to arrest Martin Luther, who had popular support, but Luther was protected by Frederick, Duke of Saxony and Prince of Wittenberg
    • Maximilian I, the Holy Roman Emperor and ‘Last Knight’ died on January 12 in Wels, Austria; on June 28 Charles V, the ruler of the Spanish Empire took over the reign
    • Leonardo da Vinci died on May 2
  • 1517
    • In Wittenberg, prompted by the pope and priests offering forgiveness of sins through the purchase of indulgences to finance the new St. Peter’s cathedral under construction by Raphael, Martin Luther started the Protestant movement by publishing the Ninety-Five Theses, arguing that salvation cannot be purchased but is a free gift of faith
  • 1516
    • Charles V, son of Joanna I and Philip I of Castile, and grandson of Isabella of Castile, became ruler of the Spanish Empire; a few years later he would also become ruler of the Holy Roman Empire
  • 1515
    • First Congress of Vienna, attended by among others the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I (the last Knight); the congress was a turning point in the history of central Europe, shifting power to the Habsburgs from the Jagiellonian dynasty, which then stretched between the Baltic, Black, and Adriatic Seas
    • Leonardo da Vinci started the painting of Mona Lisa, which he completed three or four years later
  • 1513
    • Machiavelli (Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli) wrote the seminal treatise on political philosophy called The Prince, describing the use of cunning, unscrupulous, i.e., Machiavellian, strategies to gain power and advance one’s career
  • 1509
    • King Henry VIII became King of England
  • 1508
    • Venetian architect Andrea Palladio was born on November 30; he invented the effective use of trusses in bridge structures
  • 1504
    • Michelangelo completed the statue of David in Florence
  • 1502
    • Leonardo da Vinci apparently built a first-of-a-kind turret windmill at Cesena, with a revolving turret with sails atop a big solid main structure
  • 1501
    • Gerolamo Cardano was born on September 24; his father was a friend of Leonardo da Vinci
  • 1500
    • Leonardo da Vinci, dignified and almost fifty, returned from Milan to Florence where one day his acquaintances were arguing over a passage in Dante in the piazza when he passed; they called to ask for his interpretation when Michelangelo, aged twenty-five and already grumpy and unkept, entered; Leonardo apparently said “You better ask Michelangelo, he will explain it to you” to which Michelangelo apparently shouted “Explain it yourself” and bursting into a tirade, berating Leonardo for not completing the Sforza statue
    • Peter Henlein of Nuremberg invented the spring-driven watch; the clock is called the “Nuremberg Egg” and was the size of a modern alarm clock but hung from a chain around the neck (Maximilian I of Bavaria said centuries later: “If you want troubles, buy a watch”)
  • 1498
    • Portugese expedition led by Vasco da Gama reached India by sailing around Africa
  • 1497
    • John Cabot, an Italian immigrant to England, mapped what is now Canada’s Atlantic coastline, claiming “New Founde Land” for England
  • 1495
    • France and Britain, and much later the Dutch, joined the Iberian monopoly of Portugal and Spain in world exploration
    • King Charles of France brought cannons to Italy for the first time to fight King Ferrandino in the conquest of the Kingdom of Napoli; the invention of the cannon ultimately eradicated the feudal system because cannons could shatter the castles built by local landlords who dominated the countryside and defied the king; this ultimately paved the way for all-powerful kings, who in turn were overthrown when conventional guns came in the hands of people, which brought the republics
  • 1492
    • Christopher Columbus (Cristóbal Cólon) originally from Genoa but hired by Isabella I landed in the Americas on October 11 after leaving Spain on August 3; the Earth’s human population, around 400,000 at this time, had been divided on two continents for the past 15,000 years
    • The Muslims surrendered Granada and thus the reconquest of Spain was complete; the Arabs had first arrived at the Iberian peninsula in 711 AD; under Christian rule the country’s infrastructure and know-how deteriorated drastically
  • 1485
    • The complete version of Leon Battista Alberti’s “On the Art of Building” was published and became very popular
  • 1483
    • Leonardo da Vinci moved to Milan, then a bigger city than Paris; he was 31 years old and stayed in Milan for 16 years
  • 1482
    • Valturio published “De re military” with a survey of the state of military engineering
  • 1479
    • Isabella I of Castile married Ferdinand II of Aragon, which became the basis for the unification of Spain under their grandson, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V
  • 1475
    • Michelangelo (Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni) was born on March 6; he became a genius of the renaissance world, albeit a peculiar, difficult, and cantankerous one; at a young age a fight broke his nose and disfigured him for life
  • 1474
    • The Republic of Venice adopted the first formal patent law, an important incentive for innovation
  • 1472
    • Leon Battista Alberti, the renaissance man and friend of Brunelleschi, died on April 20
  • 1471
    • Albrecht Durer, the greatest artist of the northern Renaissance, was born on May 21
  • 1469
    • Queen Isabella of Castile and Leon in Spain married her second-cousin King Ferdinand II of Aragon; he was King Ferdinand III and V of other territories; Isabella and Ferdinand completed the reconquest, ordered conversion or exile for Muslims, and bankrolled Christopher Columbus’ 1942 voyage that found the New World
  • 1462
    • Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II conquered the city of Trabzon in present-day Turkey
  • 1457
    • An engineer in Kocs in Hungary built a four-wheeled passenger wagon; the concept quickly spread and the word “coach” is simply the phonetic spelling of Kocs; by 1534 the company of Ferrara built many of them
  • 1456
    • Gutenberg printed a new edition of the Bible
  • 1453
    • Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, was conquered by Mehmet II (Sultan Muhammad II), Sultan of the Ottoman state, which now became an empire; the Haghia Sophia cathedral of present-day Istanbul was converted into a mosque
  • 1452
    • Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15 to a farm servant girl as an illegitimate son of a notary in Vinci; he created a large body of famous paintings and engineering inventions until he died in 1519, many of them unfinished
    • Leon Battista Alberti published “On the Art of Building” where he also describes the structural properties of wood and stone; the complete version of this work was not published until, after his death
  • 1451
    • Berlin became the capital of the kingdom Prussia, ruled by the House of Hohenzollern
  • 1450
    • Johannes Gutenberg of Mainz invented the printing press and developed mechanical movable type printing, independent of earlier inventions in China and Korea
  • 1446
    • Filippo Brunelleschi, the early Renaissance engineer, died
  • 1445
    • Bessarion, a leading scholar in Italy, wrote to Emperor Constantine Palaeologus (the last reigning Byzantine Emperor) to send young men to Italy to study Western techniques, which was far more advanced than those of Byzantium, i.e., Constantinople
  • 1438
    • The Inca Empire started with an expansion from the capital Cuzco and the famous site Machu Picchu, an estate for ruler Pachacuti, was built during the next several decades; the Incas were masters of stone construction, as shown in the “twelve angle stone” in the Hatun Rumiyoc street of Cuzco; the Inca Empire lasted until 1533
  • 1436
    • Brunelleschi’s Duomo structure over the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral in Florence was completed; construction of some parts started in 1296 and the finishing touches were not complete until 1888
  • 1431
    • Joan of Arc was burned for witchcraft, near the end of the Hundred Years War between England and France
  • 1427
    • The Aztec empire started as an alliance between the city-states Tenochtitlan, Texcoco and Tlacopan
  • 1423
    • The Milanese won over the Florenteines in the Battle of Zagonara; due to the invention of full-body plate armour “no death occurred except those of Lodovico degli Obizi and two of his people, who having fallen from their horses were drowned in the morass;” the same scenario played out when the Florentines beat the Milanese at Anghiari seventeen years later
  • 1421
    • The Republic of Florence awarded the first known patent to Brunelleschi for one of his inventions, a canal boat equipped with cranes to handle heavy cargo
  • 1420
    • Particularly in Firenze (Florence) a shift occurred, called Rinascimento (rebirth) in Italian and Renaissance in France, away from assigned professions to appreciating individual skills and the art and knowledge from antiquity
  • 1419
    • Brunelleschi received the order to build the roof over the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral
  • 1418
    • Start of the Age of Discovery when Portugal began systematically exploring the Atlantic coast of Africa, commencing two centuries of pioneering explorations and world dominance by Portugal and Spain
  • 1415
    • The battle of Agincourt in northern France took place on October 25, the victory of the English Henry V is due in part to the extensive use of the English longbow
    • Jan Hus, who had in Prague expressed thoughts similar to what Martin Luther would do a hundred years later, was brought before Church dignitaries in Constance and burned as a heretic
  • 1407
    • Brunelleschi hurried home to Florence from Rome to present to a conference of architects his plan to build the roof over the cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore, which had been under construction for over a century; Brunelleschi’s plan was deemed too daring
  • 1404
    • Leon Battista Alberti was born on February 14; he was an archetypical renaissance man and friend of Brunelleschi, as well as a painter, poet, philosopher, musician, architect, and engineer; he mostly worked for the popes
  • 1397
    • The Kalmar Union of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden was formalized by the Treaty of Kalmar
  • 1379
    • Filippo Brunelleschi was born; he was one of the earliest Renaissance engineers
  • 1368
    • Ming overthrew the Yuan dynasty in China; China had led the world in technology and engineering until this time, but within decades lost the lead
  • 1364
    • Giovanni di Dondi, member of an Italian clock-making family, published a description of an escapement-regulated clock that was essentially our modern clock
  • 1356
    • The first general Diet of the Hansa was held in Lubeck, giving the Hanseatic League an official structure; their trading posts were called “kontor,” which remains the word for “office” in several languages
  • 1351
    • The Black Death plague retreated in Europe but continued for two more years in Russia
  • 1348
    • Charles IV founded the University of Prague
  • 1347
    • William of Ockham died
    • Charles IV started his rule of Bohemia, seated in Prague
  • 1346
    • The battle of Crecy in northern France took place on August 26; the English with the vertically held longbows won over the Genoese with the crossbow rifles
  • 1345
    • The Old Bridge in Florence, i.e., Taddeo Gaddi’s Ponte Vecchio, was constructed with circular arches less than a semi-circle
  • 1338
    • Plague broke out in Asia and Europe; known as the Black Death and killing 100 million people it is the most devastating pandemic in human history; it peaked in Europe ten years later; the plague is a disease caused by a bacteria called Yersinia pestis, which is carried by rodents, such as rats, and spread to humans by fleas
  • 1337
    • The Hundred Years War broke out between England and France when the rulers of England claimed France when no heir was born to the French throne; the popular resistance in France was later led by seventeen-year-old Joan of Arc
  • 1326
    • Walter de Milemete published “De offices degum,” showing a primitive gun called a “vase”
  • 1324
    • Marco Polo died
  • 1323
    • William of Ockham published the textbook on logic called Summa Logicae
  • 1313
    • The gun had apparently been invented in Germany; the Chronicle of the City of Ghent, perhaps a forgery, mentions the use of guns
  • 1309
    • The French kings, the most powerful in Europe, ruling also southern Italy, forced the pope to move from Rome to Avignon in France; the period 1305 to 1376 is known as the Babylonian Captivity of the Popes, a name echoing the captivity of the Jews at the hands of the Babylonians from 597BC to 538BC
  • 1299
    • The Ottoman Empire was founded by Turkish tribes under Osman Bey in northwestern Anatolia, i.e., Asia Minor, present-day Turkey
  • 1292
    • The use of explosive devices in warfare arrived in Japan from China
    • Roger Bacon, the lecturer at the University of Paris, died
  • 1291
    • The last Christian stronghold in the Holy Land fell at Acre in present-day Northern Israel; the city capitulated to the Mamluks led by Sultan al-Ashraf Khalil after a bloody siege
    • Rudolf I of Habsburg died after overseeing the beginning of the Habsburg Empire and major changes in Europe, which now had vibrant cities
  • 1287
    • William of Ockham was born; he is known for the concept “Ockham’s Razor” and he was a key figure of the time, publishing in physics, logic, and theology
    • Eyeglasses were invented around this time
  • 1282
    • The Cologne Hansa joined the Lubeck and Hamburg Hansa in the English trade, which formed the most influential Hanseatic colony in London
    • Rudolf of Habsburg, King of Germany, bestowed Austria, which he had won in a war nine years earlier, to his son, Rudolf II
  • 1280
    • The Syrian al-Hasan ar-Rammah wrote “The Book of Fighting on Horseback and with War Engines,” where he describes the use of explosive devices, i.e., gun-powder
  • 1277
    • A great storm broke the dunes that served as protective dyke between the North Sea and the lake Flevo Lacus; thousands of people drowned
  • 1274
    • Thomas Aquinas died
  • 1273
    • Rudulf of the castle Habsburg (Hawk’s Castle) in Switzerland was elected king of Germany; he went to war with the rebellious King Otakar of Bohemia; he won and confiscated that kingdom, i.e., Austria, which he nine years later bestowed upon his son
  • 1269
    • Marco Polo and his father and uncle left for the 24-year famous journey to Asia; his father and uncle had met Kublai Khan earlier; the pioneering journey of Marco Polo inspired many travellers including Christopher Columbus; it was written by a cell-mate of Marco Polo who had been arrested upon his return because Venice was at war with Genoa
  • 1266
    • Henry III granted a charter to the Lubeck and Hamburg Hansa for trade in England
    • The Polo brothers Niccolo and Maffeo met Kublai Kahn in Beijing on their first travel; among other things they built larger catapults for the Mongol emperor than was used there before; these catapults threw 150 kg stones against the city of Hsyang-yang; in Chinese chess one piece is still called catapult
  • 1265
    • The Byzantine city Thebasion was captured by Osman I, who eventually gave name to the Ottoman Empire
  • 1261
    • Constantinople was recaptured by Michael Palaeologus, ruler of the Empire of Nicaea; he burned the Venetian quarter as a retaliation for the 1204 crusade
  • 1260
    • Cologne joined Lubeck and Hamburg in the trading alliance that was the precursor for the Hanseatic League
    • The brothers Niccolo and Maffeo Polo, the former being the father of Marco Polo, left Constantinople after living there several years since leaving Venice; they were correctly worried that Constantinople would be recaptured
    • Kublai Khan became the fifth king of the Mongol Empire; he founded the Yuan Dynasty in China and among other things he extended the Grand Canal to his capital Khanbaliq (called Cambalu by Marco Polo)
  • 1258
    • Mongol Hulagu Khan sacked Baghdad and ended the Abbasid Caliphate; the caliphate resumed as the Mamluk Sultanate Egypt three years later, from which they claimed authority until 1519, when religious power was formally transferred to the Ottoman Empire
  • 1254
    • Marco Polo was born; he was a traveling merchant from the Republic of Venice
  • 1250
    • Fredrick II, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Sicily, member of the House of Hohenstaufen, and ruler of the empire including Germany and Italy died; he had been an ambitious, foresighted, and well-learned leader but he failed to make the progress he wanted in the face of Pope Gregory and the establishment
  • 1241
    • The city of Lubeck formed a trading alliance with Hamburg, which gave them control over most of the salt-fish trade; this was one precursor to the Hanseatic trading league
  • 1230
    • First metal movable type system for printing was made in Korea during the Goryeo Dynasty
    • Jordanus de Nemore worked on statics around this time, analyzing forced in structures and trying to decompose forces into components
  • 1225
    • Thomas Aquinas (Tomaso d’Aquino, Saint Thomas Aquinas) was born on January 28; he argued that there is no conflict between religion and science, a viewpoint later followed by Europe, while Islam more followed the viewpoint of Al-Ghazali
  • 1220
    • Construction started on the Gothic Amiens Cathedral; it was completed in 1269; Amiens is today the administrative capital of the Picardy region of France
  • 1218
    • As proof that the onager, a Roman siege engine featuring an arm that throws objects and called mangonel at the time, was still in use, Simon de Montfort was hit by a flying object fired by a crew of women during the siege of Toulouse while he was riding around the city walls, killing him instantly; the onager later morphed into the trebuchet, i.e., counterweight catapult
  • 1215
    • The Magna Carta was signed by King John of England at Runnymede near London, shifting power from the arbitrary rule of the king to the rule of law; it started with King John refusing to obey orders of Pope Innocent III who then excommunicated King John and forbade priests in England to celebrate mass, leading to a popular revolt
  • 1214
    • Roger Bacon was born; he studied at Oxford and taught at the University of Paris; published much later, his large body of written work is a mix of superstition and interesting material, some on optics from the Muslim scientist ibn-al-Haytham
  • 1209
    • The University of Cambridge was founded when a dispute caused scholars to leave Oxford University
  • 1204
    • The Fourth Crusade, originally aimed at Jerusalem, conquered and sacked Constantinople; this is one reason for the Great Schism between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church; hundreds of ancient classical works were burned; the empire was carved up into feudal domains with castles on many mountain tops; the Venetian empire was formed from Greek islands taken from the Byzantines
  • 1202
    • Fibonacci (Leonardo Pisano Bigollo) published his Liber Abaci (Book of Calculation), thus spreading the Hindu–Arabic numeral system in Europe
  • 1200
    • The magnetic compass, invented in China, came into use all over the world
  • 1177
    • Construction started on the bridge at Avignon, also called Pont d’Avignon or Pont Saint-Benezet; construction took almost a decade
  • 1176
    • Construction started on the Old London Bridge, which was completed in 1209; the nineteen pointed Gothic arches were all of different sizes
  • 1170
    • The Age of Chivalry commence with the formalization of a code of conduct; the development of the code lasted for the next 50 years; concepts of knighthood and the crusades were already known and became central parts of the Age of Chivalry
  • 1167
    • Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris, essentially funding the University of Oxford
  • 1159
    • Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony and Bavaria, rebuilt Lubeck after capturing the area from Adolf II, Count of Schauenburg and Holstein; this is seen by many as a precursor to the Hanseatic League that was officially formed in 1356, a trading confederation that included many coastal cities in Northern Europe, including Bergen in Norway
  • 1152
    • The marriage of Louis VII and Eleanor of Aquitaine was annulled, in part because no male heir had been produced but officially because they were closely related; perhaps a problem was also an affair with Henry Plantagenet who she immediately married; two years later Henry became King Henry II of England; this marriage was one reason Louis VII started a war against England
  • 1150
    • University of Paris, the second-oldest university after Bologna, was founded by the Catholic Church
  • 1137
    • Louis VI died and his son Louis VII took the throne in France at age seventeen
  • 1109
    • After several years of siege, Tripoli fell to the Crusaders on July 12 and 100,000 volumes of the Dar-em-Ilm library were burned
  • 1099
    • The Siege of Jerusalem took place in the First Crusade; it lasted from June 7 to July 15 when the forces from Fatimid Egypt surrendered to the Crusaders and a massacre ensued
  • 1095
    • Pope Urban II proclaimed the first crusade with the goal of restoring Christian access to holy places in and near Jerusalem; among the many effects of the crusades the Byzantine empire was substantially weakened and fell centuries later to the Ottoman Empire
  • 1088
    • The word “university” was created with the founding of the University of Bologna; this was the first institution to award degrees for higher education
  • 1085
    • The Christians took Toledo in Spain from the Muslims; this was a devastating defeat for the Arabs, who had conquered the city in 711 AD
  • 1073
    • The monk Hildebrand became Pope Gregory VII; in what is called the Investiture Controversy he argued vehemently with Henry IV about who could appoint bishops, who were also landowners; Henry IV was excommunicated and ended up walking alone over the alps to Canossa, with his wife but not his army, where he made peace with the pope
  • 1071
    • The Battle of Manzikert took place on August 26 in the eastern-most part of present-day Turkey; Byzantine Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes was captured and the Byzantine Empire lost Asia-Minor (present-day Turkey) to the Turks
  • 1070
    • Omar Khayyam published his Treatise on Demonstration of Problems in Algebra that sets forth the principles of algebra, which fostered the use of Arab work on algebra in Europe
  • 1066
    • The Battle of Hastings was fought on October 14 during the Norman conquest of England; the Normans who now spoke French but were originally Nordic seafarers won the battle between the Norman-French army of Duke William II of Normandy, who brought a company of crossbowmen, and an English army under the Anglo-Saxon King Harold II; the French-speaking Norman family ruled England until the Anarchy period (1135-1154) but this was the last time an enemy army succeeded invading England
  • 1058
    • Al-Ghazali was born of Persian descent; he became a very influential Muslim theologian who argued against scientific studies because they could shake peoples’ faith and thus undermine religion; this view contributed to the decline of science in the Islam world, while Europe later tended towards the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas
  • 1044
    • The Chinese had found that saltpeter added to charcoal and sulfur, which were already known to have incendiary effects, made the fire more dramatic; explosive mixes were invented sometime in the next two centuries
  • 1043
    • Russian attack on the Byzantine Empire was fought back with the use of the flame-throwing weapon brought to Constantinople by Kallinikos centuries earlier
  • 1040
    • The first known movable type system for printing was developed in China during the Song Dynasty
  • 1028
    • The Battle of Stiklestad in Norway on July 29, where Olav II Haraldsson died, which marked a milestone in the introduction of Christianity in Norway; Olav den Hellige was later buried in Nidarosdomen in Trondheim
  • 1016
    • England was conquered by the Danish seafarer Cnut (Canute); he also ruled Norway and his Anglo-Scandinavian empire was also called the North Sea Empire
  • 1003
    • The Norse explorer Leif Ericson (Leifr Eiriksson) traveled from Iceland to Vinland (North America); he was the son of Erik the Red from Western Norway and is regarded as the first European to arrive in North America
  • 1000
    • King Olaf I Tryggvason died at the Battle of Svolder, leading to a relapse to paganism in Norway
    • Around this time, Vikings from Iceland reached what is now Labrador and Newfoundland in Canada; they created a settlement that is now the World Heritage site L’Anse aux Meadows
  • 998
    • Olaf Tryggvason pursued the Viking høvding Raud the Strong (Raud den rame) who escaped by sailing against the wind; this sailing technique was unusual in Northern Europe at that time; Olaf Tryggvason subsequently caught Raud and killed him because he refused to convert; Raud’s high-quality ship was renamed “Ormen” and served as model for Olaf Tryggvason’s new ship called “Ormen Lange” that had 34 pairs of oars for 68 rowers
  • 997
    • Olaf Tryggvason founded the city of Trondheim in Norway
  • 995
    • Olaf Tryggvason became King Olaf I of Norway, who made it a priority to convert the country to Christianity by destroying temples and killing pagan resisters
  • 987
    • Duke Hugh Capet became King of France
  • 962
    • Otto I was crowned Holy Roman Emperor and became the first in a continuous chain of emperors that ran until 1806
  • 955
    • King Otto (Otto the Great), the successor of Henry, won a ferocious battle against the Magyars (Hungarians) and forced them out of Germany to Hungary where they remain today
  • 941
    • Russian attack on the Byzantine Empire was fought back with the use of the flame-throwing weapon brought to Constantinople by Kallinikos centuries earlier
  • 919
    • After the end of the Carolingian line almost thirty years earlier the independent tribal dukes of Germany elected Henry, duke of Saxony as leader to fend off the attacks from the Magyars (Hungarians) coming from the East as the Huns and Avars had done earlier
  • 888
    • The Frankish Empire dissolved at the death of Charles the Fat, after more than a decade of increasing attacks by the Vikings in the North and West
  • 886
    • The Northmen besieged Paris
  • 874
    • Ingolfur Arnarson began settlements on Iceland and gave name to the current capital, Reykjavik
  • 872
    • Harald Fairhair (Harald Hårfagre) became the first King of Norway
  • 868
    • The oldest known printed book was printed in China on May 11 by Wang Jye, dedicated to parents
  • 850
    • The Gokstad Ship was built; it is the Viking ship that is on display in the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo
  • 843
    • The Kingdom of France was founded from the Western half of the Carolingian Empire (today France and Germany) at the Treaty of Verdun; France started as a decentralized feudal state
  • 820
    • Persian mathematician and member of Baghdad’s House of Wisdom, Muhammad bin Musa al-Khwarizmi, published the Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing (Al-Ktab al-Jabr wa’l-Muqabala); the title of this book gave rise to the word algebra
  • 814
    • Vikings (Danes and Normans) began raiding coastal regions of the former Wester Roman Empire; they formed kingdoms in the ast among the Slavs and in the west Normandy
    • Charlemagne died and his empire was divided into Germany, France, and Italy; also the Slavs proclaimed themselves free; the schools that Charlemagne had founded were soon closed and reading and writing became rare
  • 800
    • Charlemagne was crowned the first Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III; he thus became the first emperor in the western empire (called the Carolingian Empire and covering present-day France and Germany) in more than three hundred years; this milestone took place in the late period of the Franks and early period of the Kingdom of France and the Holy Roman Empire; the title “Holy Roman Emperor” was not methodically passed on until it was revived in 962; each Holy Roman Emperor was blessed by the pope and served the role of protector of the Catholic Church
  • 796
    • Carolingian forces under Charlemagne’s son Pepin of Italy destroyed the main Avar fortress; by 820 the Avars had disappeared
  • 780
    • The Persian mathematician and astronomer Muhammad Ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi (Algoritmi in Latin) was born; he translated many Hindu texts into Arabic at the House of Wisdom in Baghdad and his name is the basis for the word Algorithm; those who used the Hindu-Arabic number system were called Algorists and those using the Roman numerals were called Abacists because they calculated with the abacus
  • 768
    • Charlemagne (King Karl or Charles I – magnus means great in Latin), Grandson of Carles the Hammer, and son of Pepin who had overthrown the Merovingian king and proclaimed himself king of the Franks, became king of the Franks; after conquering all of France he drove the king of the Lombards out of Italy and became the protector of the pope; he later fought the Saxons in present-day Germany for thirty years; he emphasized education and spoke German, Latin, and also Greek
  • 766
    • The Brahmasphutasiddhanta was brought to the House of Wisdom in Baghdad, where it was translated into Arabic, thus bolstering the Hindu-Arabic number system that is currently in use
  • 762
    • The Abbassid caliphate moved the capital to Baghdad
  • 751
    • After a feud between two Turkish tribes, in which Arabs and Chinese took different sides, emperor Tang was defeated at a battle at the Talas River; the Chinese retreated from Turkstan but the Arabs captured some paper makers, which they brought to Samarkand (in present-day Uzbekistan) for the trade on the Silk Route; in the following decades paper spread to Baghdad in 793, Cairo in 900, Marocco in 1100, and Spain in 1150
  • 750
    • The Umayyad caliphate ended and the Abbassid caliphate was founded in Kufa, 170 km south of Baghdad; the new caliphate lasted until 1258
  • 732
    • The Arabs on the Iberian Peninsula, i.e., the Moors were defeated by the Franks under Charles Martel, Charles the Hammer, at Tours-Poitiers; this battle stopped the Arabs from conquering what is now France and Germany
  • 724
    • The first clock with escapement (the device in mechanical clocks that gives pace to the time-keeping component) was built by Lyang Lingdzan in China
  • 722
    • The reconquest of Spain began with the Muslims’ defeat in Covadonga
  • 718
    • The Byzantines broke a two-year Arab siege with the help of the new flame-throwing weapon; of 800 attacking Arab ships only a handful returned
    • Charles Martel, grandfather of Charlemagne, became de facto ruler of the Frankish empire; the dukeship (ducere) of the Franks was one of several; others were the Bavarians, the Swabians, and the Alemanni
  • 711
    • The Arabs arrived in Spain and conquered Toledo and Cordoba; within seven years they had taken the entire Iberian peninsula from the Roman-Visigothic government, except a small northern area; Arabic was adopted as language and the Arabs brought knowledge, such as irrigation systems, which greatly benefited Spain’s development but was damaged in the subsequent reconquest; in fact, for the next two centuries Spain was a constellation of Muslim and Christian statelets who fought incessantly, often with Muslim-Christian alliances; in this period many Greek and Arabic works were translated into Latin
  • 676
    • The Byzantines broke an Arab siege with the help of the new flame-throwing weapon
  • 673
    • The architect Kallinikos fled Arab invaders from Baalbek (Heliopolis) in eastern present-day Lebanon to Constantinople with the news to Emperor Constantine IV about an improved formula for liquid incendiary, i.e., flame-throwing on land and on water for warfare
  • 667
    • Severus Sebokht died
  • 663
    • Byzantine emperor Constans II visited Rome for twelve days, the first visit by an emperor in two centuries; he stripped the Pantheon and other buildings of its gold-plated tiles, bronze, and ornaments, and continued to do the same in Calabria and Sardinia; he was killed on his way back to Constantinople five years later
  • 662
    • Severus Sebokht published a work on astronomy, in which he says that the Hindus have found a way to express all numbers with nine signs; this is the first mention of our current Hindu-Arabic number system in the Islamic world
  • 661
    • Muawiyah I became caliph and established the Umayyad Dynasty after the first four caliphs, friends and relatives of Muhammad, had ruled Arabia for almost thirty years; Muawiyah had been a secretary for Muhammad and fought with the muslims against the Byzantines in Syria; Damascus in Syria was made capital and within a tolerant rule the goal was to convert Arab Christians, Jewish, and pagans to Islam, but not non-Arabs; the Arabic renaissance of science occurred under the Umayyad and later the Abbassid caliphates
  • 651
    • The Sassanid Empire in Persia fell to the Arab tribes united in the Islamic caliphate
  • 644
    • After ten years of invasions and counter-invasions the muslim conquest of Persia was complete and the Sassanid Empire fell to the Arabs; many books of the Zoroastrian Persians were destroyed
  • 640
    • Muslim conquest of Egypt; Egypt was previously part of the Byzantine Empire and thus run from Constantinople; one casualty might have been the great library of Alexandria but the Arabs soon started to appreciate the knowledge of the conquered cultures and started translating many works, like Aristotle, into Arabic; words like chemistry, algebra, and algorithm stem from here, as well as our Arabic-Indian number system that gives value to a number depending on its position
  • 639
    • Plague broke out in the town Emmaus in Palestine; 25,000 people were killed and it was one of many outbreaks of plague after the Plague of Justinian; this outbreak is particularly famous because it caused the death of many prominent companions of Muhammad
  • 628
    • The Indian mathematician Brahmagupta wrote the book called The Opening of the Universe (Brahmasphutasiddhanta) with the Hindu positional number system, which is the root of our current Hindu-Arabic number system
  • 632
    • Abu Bakr, a senior companion and father-in-law of Muhammad, became the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad’s death
  • 622
    • Being persecuted in Mecca by the guardians of the Kaaba as traitors, Islamic prophet Muhammad an his followers traveled to Medina on June 21 to July 2 in what is called the Hijra
  • 608
    • The Pantheon in Rome was turned into a Christian church
  • 600
    • The main work on China’s Grand Canal, Yun-ho, was carried out under the reign of two emperors of the Swei Dynasty; it is said that 5,430,000 were conscripted for the work and guarded by 50,000 men, and that two million people died during the construction
  • 586
    • The Germanic people called the Lombards came to Italy from the north, essentially replacing the Ostrogoths and pushing out the Roman Empire of the East from Italy
  • 575
    • Severus Sebokht was born in Nisibis, Syria; he became a Mesopotamian teacher and monk famous for bringing to the attention of the Islamic world the Indian number system, i.e., the basis for our current Hindu-Arabic number system, in a text he wrote at age 34
  • 570
    • Muhammad was born in Mecca around this time; he unified Arabia under Islam and he is seen by most Muslims as the last prophet sent by God; although some consider him to be the founder of Islam, muslims believes he restored an original faith from earlier prophets
  • 565
    • Byzantine emperor Justinian I died; by this time he had defeated the Ostrogoths whose population was down to about a thousand soldiers who disbanded and went north from Italy
  • 558
    • The Santa Sophia basilica was damaged by an earthquake; Isidoros the Younger, grandson of the original architect Isidoros, repaired it; he dismantled the original dome and built a taller one
  • 550
    • The architect Chryses of Alexandria invented the horizontal arch dam as flood-protection for the city of Daras
  • 541
    • Plague broke out in the Byzantine Empire; one of the worst pandemics in history, it lasted for two years and killed 25 million people; it is known as the Plague of Justinian
  • 537
    • Justinian’s architects Anthemios and Isidoros built the church (basilica) Santa Sophia (Hagia Sophia) of stone and brick; it was for a long time the most splendid building in the world; it still stands as a museum in present-day Istanbul
    • The Goths, led by King Witigis (Vitiges) of the Ostrogoths, besieged Rome; they broke the aqueducts into Rome but Byzantine general Belisarius managed to keep the mills running to ground flour for the city by creating river mills
  • 529
    • Byzantine Emperor Justinian I closed all philosophical schools in Athens as part of the persecution of pagans; many of the Byzantine scholars fled to Persia; this contributed to the Persian renaissance of science when Sassanid king Khusrau helped them set up a medical school at Jundishapur; Greek and Sanskrit texts were here translated to Syriac and Persian; for two centuries Jundishapur was the scientific capital of the world, only later eclipsed by Baghdad; Arabic science became less theoretical and more practical than the Greek
  • 527
    • Justinian I became emperor of the Byzantine Empire; he became known as Justinian the Great and tried to reconquer the lost western half of the Roman Empire; he was the last emperor to speak Latin as his first language; he is sometimes called the last Roman Emperor and the first Byzantine Emperor; was was a great builder of churches and fortifications, using architects Anthemios of Tralles and Isidoros of Miletos
  • 526
    • Theodoric the Great, leader of the Ostrogoths died; shortly thereafter Italy was conquered by the Eastern Roman Empire
  • 500
    • A particularly elaborate water clock was built in Gaza, at the border between Egypt and Palestine
    • The “Nazca Lines” were created by the Nazca culture in present-day southern Peru; viewed from the air or from surrounding hilltops they show animal and bird figures; the largest measure more than 200 meters
  • 493
    • Urged by the Roman Emperor of the East, the Ostrogoths left the Roman Empire of the East and conquered Italy under their King Theodoric, who killed Odoacer after inviting him to a banquet dinner
  • 490
    • Ioannes Philiponus (John Philoponus, John the Grammarian) was born; he later published on theology, philosophy, and physics; he argued against the old Greek tradition of avoiding experiments, advocating empirical scientific studies
  • 481
    • Clovis (Chlodowech) became king of the Franks, i.e., the Netherlanders; he ultimately quelled the remaining power of the Romans and Goths and founded the Kingdom of Frank-land; the Franks who remained in the Low Countries later became the Dutch people
  • 476
    • The Western Roman Empire collapsed and German general Odovacar/Odoacer deposed young Roman Emperor Romulus Augustus and declared himself King of Italy but he was soon killed by by Theodoric the Goth; this marked the beginning of the Middle Ages; the Roman number system remained in use in Europe for over 500 years
  • 458
    • The text Jain Lokavihaaga was written in India; it is the oldest known text to use the number zero
  • 454
    • The Ostrogoths, i.e., the Goths who had joined the Huns, revolted at the Battle of Nedao and settled with their leader Theodoric the Great in Italy; eventually they gained control of the entire peninsula
  • 451
    • After posing an ultimatum to the Western Roman Emperor, King Attila of the Huns, fought the Roman army on the Catalonian plains in Gaul; after an undecided outcome he proceeded to approach Rome, which was saved by the defiance of Pope Leo, known as Leo the Great
  • 444
    • Attila, King of the Huns, seated in Hungary, was at the height of his power; his army consisted of many Germans, largely East Goths, i.e., Ostrogoths
  • 395
    • Upon the death of Emperor Theodosius I, the separation of the Roman Empire into eastern and western halves was finalized, creating the Byzantine Empire
  • 373
    • Roman Emperor Valens (Valentinian I) ordered the burning of non-Christian books
  • 370
    • The Huns, a nomadic people originating three centuries earlier by the Caspian Sea, invaded the region in Europe held by the Goths, who were originally from Sweden; the Goths who joined the Huns are called Ostrogoths; the others fled across the Danube river and became known as Visigoths
  • 363
    • Basil of Caesarea, a Greek bishop in Asia-Minor (present-day Turkey), wrote that it is of no interest “whether the earth is a sphere or a cylinder or a disk, or concave in the middle like a fan”
  • 350
    • The city of Antioch, near present-day Antakya in Turkey, installed the world’s first system of public streetlights
    • Around this time the Great Palace of Ctesiphon, the capital of the Sassanid Empire south of present-day Baghdad, was built; the throne room was more than 36 meters high; badly damaged it still remains the world’s largest unreinforced brick vault
  • 306
    • Roman Emperor Constantine I became accepted as Caesar; he was accepted as Augustus the following year and he served for 31 years
  • 301
    • Roman Emperor Diocletian fixed prices and wages and bound every man in the empire to follow his father’s trade; this was done to stabilize the economic situation in Europe but had detrimental long-term effect on science and engineering in Europe; over time the Byzantine empire became characterized by a centralized and bureaucratic governments that regulated individuals; later this tradition was inherited by Russia and other countries in the east
  • 285
    • Diocletian became Roman emperor and ordered the separation of the administration into eastern and western empires, the eastern part run from Constantinople, which later became the capital of the Byzantine Empire
  • 251
    • Smallpox broke out in the Roman Empire; it lasted for almost twenty years and is known as the Plague of Cyprian
  • 235
    • Emperor Severus’ negotiations with invading German tribes led to his assassination and nearly 50 years of political unrest and civil war in the Roman Empire
  • 224
    • The Sassanid (Sasanian) Empire was founded by Ardashir I when he killed the last ruler of the Parthian Emmpire, King Artabanus V; the capital remained Ctesiphon on the east bank of Tigris; the Sassanid Empire was the last Persian Empire before the rise of Islam; among other engineering works, many bridges were built during the Sassanid Empire
  • 210
    • Athenaios of Naukratis (Athenaeus of Naucratis) published “The Dining Professors” written as dialogues during three banquets of learned men, discussing anything from engineering inventions to food, wine, and various aspects of life
  • 193
    • Petinax became Roman Emperor on January 1
  • 192
    • Roman Emperor Commodus died on December 31
  • 180
    • Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the last of the Good Emperors, died on March 17
  • 177
    • Commodus, son of Marcus Aurelius, became co-emperor of the Roman empire
  • 169
    • Roman Emperor Lucius Verus, co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius, died of the plague
  • 165
    • Smallpox, or perhaps measles, broke out in the Roman Empire; it lasted for fifteen years and killed five million people; it is known as the Antonine Plague
  • 161
    • Lucius Verus and Marcus Aurelius became co-emperors of the Roman Empire
    • Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius died on March 7
  • 142
    • At the order of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, construction started on the “Antonine Wall” in present-day Scotland to demarcate the northern border of the Roman Empire
  • 138
    • Antoninus Pius, adopted son of Hadrian, became Roman Emperor on July 10
    • Roman Emperor Hadrian died on July 10
  • 126
    • The Pantheon in Rome was rebuilt at the order of Roman Emperor Hadrian
  • 122
    • At the order of Roman Emperor Hadrian, construction started on the “Hadrian Wall” in present-day northern England to demarcate the northern border of the Roman Empire
  • 117
    • The Roman Empire was at its peak and stretched over 1.9 million square miles; the emperors Nerva, Trajan, and Hadrian, as well as the later Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius have been called the “good emperors”
    • Hadrian, adopted son of of Trajan, became Roman Emperor on August 11
    • Roman Emperor Trajan died on August 7
  • 116
    • Trajan captured Ctesiphon, the capital of the Persian Empire; the city was invaded by the Romans also in 165 and 198 and the persians kept rebuilding the city walls
  • 105
    • Greek architect, i.e., engineer, Apollodoros of Damascus built “Trajan’s Bridge” over the river Danube; it features the first definite example of a truss structure; it was used by Roman troops in the war against the Dacians in present-day Romania
    • A report was written by eunuch Tsai Lun to the emperor of China about the process of making paper; Tsai Lun later got in trouble for approaching the emperor’s women; when he was called in for questioning he “went home, took a bath, combed his hair, put on his best robes, and drank poison”
  • 100
    • Trajan’s water commissioner, Sextus Julius Froninus, published a book on the aqueducts of Rome
  • 98
    • Roman Emperor Trajan ordered the construction of the Alcantara Bridge (Puente Trajan at Alcantara) across the Tagus River; it was built between 104 and 106 AD and it still stands today
    • Trajan, adopted son of Nerva, became Roman Emperor on January 28
    • Roman Emperor Nerva died on January 27
  • 96
    • Nerva became Roman Emperor on September 18
    • Roman Emperor Domitian was assassinated by court officials on September 18
  • 81
    • Domitian, son of Emperor Vespasian, became Roman Emperor on September 14
    • Roman Emperor Titus died of the plague on September 13
  • 79
    • Mount Vesuvius erupted in August; 16,000 peopled died, including Pliny the Elder who died of a heart-attack while studying the eruption near the mountain
    • Titus, son of Emperor Vespasian, became Roman Emperor on June 24; he oversaw the completion of the Coliseum; it remained the largest structure of its kind until the Yale Bowl was built in 1914
    • Roman Emperor Vespasian died on June 24
  • 78
    • Pliny the Elder (Gaius Plinius Secundus) published “Natural History,” the oldest existing encyclopedia
  • 70
    • Heron of Alexandria died
  • 69
    • Roman Emperor Vitellius was murdered on December 20 by Vespasian’s troops, and Vespasian was declared Emperor by the Roman Senate
    • Vespasian, founder of the Flavian dynasty, was declared Roman Emperor on July 1 with support of the Eastern Legions; to replace the burned-down amphitheatre in Rome he started the construction of the Coliseum
    • Vitellius became Roman Emperor on April 17 with support of German Legions who were in opposition to former emperors Galba and Otho
    • Roman Emperor Otho committed suicide on April 16 after losing the Battle of Bedriacum to Vitellius
    • Otho became Roman Emperor on January 15, appointed by the Praetorian Guard; he committed suicide on April 16 after losing the Battle of Bedriacum to Vitellius
    • Roman Emperor Galba is murdered on January 15 by the Praetorian Guard in a coup led by Otho
  • 68
    • Galba became Roman Emperor on June 9, with support of the Spanish Legions
    • Roman Emperor Nero committed suicide on June 9 after being declared a public enemy by the Senate
  • 66
    • Emperor Nero made a grand tour of Greece; he started the construction of a big canal but was forced back to Rome the year after due to revolts there
  • 64
    • Nero employed the architects Severus and Celer to plan and rebuild Rome after the fire; the streets were organized in a grid pattern, and a certain amount of fireproof material was required in the construction
    • Much of Rome burned, including the amphitheatre, which was subsequently replaced with the Coliseum; arsonists were observed during the fire, but it is unclear who they were; perhaps correctly, Nero ultimately blamed and punished Christian fanatics
  • 62
    • A powerful earthquake struck the Napoli region; this was on of several precursors to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius seventeen years later
  • 54
    • Nero, great-great-grandson of Augustus became Roman Emperor on October 13
    • Roman Emperor Claudius died on October 13, possibly poisoned by his wife Agrippina the Younger, who wanted her son and Claudius’ adopted son, Nero, to become emperor
  • 41
    • Claudius became Roman Emperor on January 25
    • Roman Emperor Caligula was assassinated on January 24
  • 37
    • Caligula, great-nephew of Tiberius and great-grandson of Augustus, became Roman Emperor on March 18
    • Roman Emperor Tiberius died on March 16
  • 26
    • Emperor Tiberius, having grown tired of politics over several years, retires to the island of Capri
  • 14
    • Tiberius, son of Augustus’ wife Livia from her earlier marriage and adopted son of Augustus, became Roman Emperor on September 18
    • Roman Emperor Augustus died on August 19
  • 10
    • Heron of Alexandria was born; he was an exceptionally creative Greek mathematician who published extensively on engineering topics, including Mechanics, Pneumatics, Siegecraft, Automation-making; other works include The Surveyor’s Transit and optical work in Mirrors
  • 0
    • Historians habitually omit “year zero” between 1 BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini) 1, while astronomers count it as one year
    • Jesus of Nasareth from Galilee in Roman Judaea was born around this time; his teachings are the foundation of Christianity
  • 12 BC
    • Tiberius’ mother Livia, who had married Augustus 27 years earlier, forced Tiberius to divorce Vipsania now that her father was dead, to marry Julia, Augustus’ daughter; Tiberius loved Vipsania and the experience soured him for life; making him a miserly emperor later in life
    • Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa died; after Appius Claudius Crassus he had been the greatest engineer and builder of the Roman world
  • 15 BC
    • Noricum, present-day Austria, was officially made a province of the Roman Empire; it had maintained peaceful contact since 181 BC and was alongside India a major supply of steel to the Romans
  • 19 BC
    • The oldest daughter of Marcus Vipsanus Agrippa, Vipsania Agrippa, married Tiberius, Augustus’ stepson; the marriage had been planned for years
  • 20 BC
    • Construction started on Pont du Gard, the water aqueduct in France that still stands today; it was built by Marcus Agrippa and construction lasted four years
  • 27 BC
    • Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, Augustus’ son-in-law and defence minister, serving his third term as Roman Consul, commissioned and built the original Pantheon
    • Marcus Vitruvius Pollio published the ten books De Architectura, which explains Roman building methods; Vitruvius was earlier an artillery officer under Julius Caesar but this publication was addressed to Gaius Octavius, who this year took the name Augustus; the publication was explain to Emperor Augustus “all the principles of the art” of safe, useful, and beautiful construction
    • Augustus, previously named Octavian, started to reform the Roman Republic and became the first emperor of what became known as the Roman Empire; he did not refer to himself as emperor but “Principate,” i.e., “first citizen”
  • 30 BC
    • Cleopatra of Egypt died on August 12; after the assassination of Julius Caesar she had allied herself with Mark Anthony; they both committed suicide in Alexandria, besieged by Octavian, after losing the naval battle of Actium; with this the Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt was annexed to the Roman Empire; with this Rome conquered the last kingdom of the Successors after Alexander the Great
  • 31 BC
    • The naval Battle of Actium took place on September 1; the forces of Octavian (later Emperor Augustus), led by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, defeated the combined forces of Mark Anthony and Cleopatra VII near the city of Actium in Greece; this was the final war of the Roman Republic
  • 39 BC
    • Octavian married Livia, who had divorced Tiberius Claudius Nero with whom she had the son Tiberius
  • 41 BC
    • The Perusine War of the Roman Republic started and lasted for a year; Lucius Antonius and Fulvia, Mark Antony’s wife, fought against Octavian to support Mark Antony as sole ruler
  • 42 BC
    • The Liberators’ civil war was started by the Second Triumvariate against Caesar’s assassins Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus to avenge the murder of Julius Caesar; the Triumvariate won
  • 43 BC
    • Cicero was murdered on December 7; he had been a supporter of the return to the traditional republican government and the Second Triumvariate declared him an enemy of the state
  • 44 BC
    • The Sicilian revolt, led by Sextus Pompeius against the Second Triumvariate started and lasted until 36 BC; the triumvariate won
    • The Second Triumvariate, the official political alliance of Octavian, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and Mark Anthony was formed on November 26
    • Julius Caesar died on March 15, assassinated by Junius Brutus
  • 45 BC
    • The Roman Civil War ended when Caesar defeated the last of the Optimates and became Perpetual Dictator of Rome
    • Caesar’s great-nephew Gaius Octavius was adopted by Caesar as heir; Octavius was in Apollonia at the time and only learned the news when he returned to Rome the following year after Caesar’s assassination, then changing his name to Gaius Julius Caesar Octavius
    • Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa was sent by Caesar to study with the Macedonian legions in Apollonia, where he was a student with Gaius Octavius
  • 48 BC
    • Julius Caesar defeated Pompeius in the Battle of Pharsalus in Greece, and Pompeius fled to Egypt where they executed him of fear that Caesar would declare war on Egypt; Caesar soon arrived in a divided Egypt, where Ptolemy XII Auletes’ son Ptolemy XIII and daughter Cleopatra VII both claimed power; after fighting and conspiracies Caesar won and thus conquered Egypt, leaving to Syria with Cleopatra as Queen of Egypt, who later gave birth to his son, Caesarion
  • 49 BC
    • Caesar’s Civil War, which lasted for four years, started with political and military skirmishes between Julius Caesars and his legions, called the “Populares,” against the republican “Optimates,” which included the conservative Roman Senate supported by Pompeius and his legions
  • 50 BC
    • The Han Chinese empire stretched over 2.3 million square miles
  • 52 BC
    • The Battle of Alesia took place in September, where the army of the Roman Republic commanded by Julius Caesar and his cavalry commanders Mark Anthony, Titus Labienus, and Gaius Trebonius defeated the Gallic forces; this marked a big expansion of the Roman Republic and the end of the Celtic dominance in present-day France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Northern-Italy
  • 53 BC
    • Marcus Licinius Crassus died
  • 55 BC
    • Julius Caesar crossed the river Rhine with 40,000 soldiers during the Gallic War; a 350 long timber trestle bridge was built in 10 days; as leader, Caesar understood every detail of this impressive construction
  • 58 BC
    • The Gallic Wars started and lasted for eight years
  • 71 BC
    • Marcus Licinius Crassus fought against the rebellion of slaves and gladiators led by Spartacus in present-day southern Italy; Crassus trapped Spartacus by digging a 50 kilometre long ditch, 5 meters deep and 5 meters wide, backed by a wooden wall; Marcus Licinius Crassus had a fire brigade of 500 slaves; when a house caught fire his men would chase away competing firefighters while he negotiated a good rescue-price with the owner
  • 100 BC
    • Julius Caesar was born; he later became a Roman general, Consul, and write of poetry; in his time the Roman Republic started the transition to the Roman Empire
  • 106 BC
    • Marcus Tullius Cicero, known today as Cicero, was born on January 3; he was an influential philosopher and statesman in Rome and he had significant influence on the Latin language
  • 115 BC
    • Marcus Licinius Crassus was born; he became the wealthiest man in Roman history
  • 146 BC
    • After two years of siege, the battle of Carthage, i.e., the Third Punic War, near present-day Tunis, ended when the Romans destroyed the city; the Carthaginians, namely the descendants of the Phoenicians had thus lost all the “Punic Wars” against the Romans
  • 149 BC
    • The Third Punic War started and was essentially a prolonged siege of Carthage
  • 170 BC
    • The first professional bakers emerged in Rome
  • 200 BC
    • Roman builders made concrete for the first time; they used sandy volcanic ash from Vesuvius and elsewhere as cement, which they called “pulvis puteolanus” from Puteoli
  • 201 BC
    • The Second Punic War ended with Carthaginian defeat
  • 206 BC
    • The Han Dynasty began in China and lasted for over 400 years; during this time the Silk Road developed as a trading route between East and West; the name stems from the lucrative Chinese silk trade
  • 207 BC
    • Mobile catapults were used by Spartan general Machinidas, albeit with little success
  • 210 BC
    • Qin Shi Huang, ruler of China, died
  • 212 BC
    • Archimedes died during the Second Punic War in Syracuse, killed by a soldier in the Roman forces under General Marcellus, apparently while working on a mathematical problem; the general is said to have been angered by the death because of Archimedes’ value as a scientist
  • 215 BC
    • Hieron II, tyrannos of Syracuse, died; he had been an ally of Rome but his successors sided with the Carthaginians; resulting in a Roman siege; Appius Claudius Pulcher led the Roman army and Marcus Claudius Marcellus led the navy
  • 218 BC
    • The Second Punic War started (it lasted for 17 years) and Hannibal, the Carthaginian commander, crossed the Alps in one of the greatest achievements of ancient warfare; this crossing gave the Carthaginians victory in important battles but they ultimately lost the war against the Roman Republic
  • 220 BC
    • Philon of Byzantium died
    • The king of Tsin in China, Tsin Jeng, took the name Tsin Shi Hwang-di (Qin Shi Huang), after he had conquered all the Contending States; this gave China a strong centralized government with many statues of king around the country; he saw science and literacy as a curse and burned most of the books (wood strips) in China; in the next 14 years he also connected and strengthened the Great Wall of China to protect against raids from Mongolian nomads; parts of the wall had been constructed as much as 500 years earlier; it stretched for thousands of kilometers
  • 222 BC
    • Ktesibios died
  • 218 BC
    • Hamilcar was killed in an Carthaginian campaign in Celtic land with his son Hannibal as witness
  • 241 BC
    • The First Punic War ended with Carthaginian defeat
  • 247 BC
    • The Parthian Empire in Persia was founded in the province of Parthia when the land was conquered from the Macedonians after Alexander the Great; this Persian Empire lasted until the Sassanid Empire five hundred years later; the capital was Ctesiphon on the banks of Tigris, 35 km south of present-day Baghdad
  • 264 BC
    • The First Punic War started between the Roman Republic and the Ancient Carthage whose capital was near present-day Tunis and included some of southern Spain, the northern strip of Africa, as well as Sardinia, Corsica, and Sicily (Syracuse); the war lasted for 23 years; the word “punic” refers to the Carthaginians’ Phoenician ancestry
  • 280 BC
    • Construction started on the Lighthouse of Alexandria, built by Ptolemaios’ architect Sostratos of Knidos it was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world that stood for 1500 years; it was more than 125 meters high and took thirty years to complete
    • Philo (Philon of Byzantium) was born; he visited Alexandria and Rhodes and might have been a student of Ktesibios; he published “The Elements of Mechanics” and “Pneumatics;” among other things he described water wheels
  • 283 BC
    • Around this time the scientific centre shifted from Athens to Alexandria, the booming capital of the Ptolemaic Egypt
    • Ptolemy II was born; it was either him or his father, Ptolemy I, who instituted the Royal Library of Alexandria, which for centuries contained every book in the world, often the only copy, until it was destroyed some time between Caesar’s conquest of Egypt and the Muslim invasion in 640 AD; some attribute the Dark Ages to the destruction of this library and its clientele
  • 285 BC
    • Ktesibios (Ctesibius) was born; he did important work on pneumatics and was probably the first head of the Royal Library in Alexandria
  • 287 BC
    • Archimedes of Syracuse was born; he apparently studied in Alexandria before moving back to Syracuse; he published on equilibrium of levers, forces of buoyancy, and other topics; he is considered to be the greatest ancient mathematician
    • The oldest known engineering textbook “Mechanics” was possibly written by Aristotle but more likely by Straton; the book includes equilibrium of levers and considerations of gear wheels
    • Theophrastos, who was running Aristotle’s school, died; the school was then taken over by another of Aristotle’s students, the physicist Straton, who at the time was tutoring the Ptolemaic crown prince in Alexandria
  • 297 BC
    • Demetrios Phalereus went from Thebes to Alexandria, where he is said to have inspired the creation of the famous Royal Library of Alexandria
  • 300 BC
    • Berosos (Berossus) left Babylon and relocated to Kos around this time; he invented an improved sundial; he taught astronomy and astrology in Athens
  • 305 BC
    • Demetrios Poliorketes, one of Alexander the Great’s generals called Poliorketes the Besieger, attacked Rhodes with weapons including a huge 180-ton belfry (siege tower); after a one-year siege he lost in part because Rhodes’ municipal architect Diognetos got the belfry stuck in mud; Diognetos donated the belfry as a monument in Rhodes
  • 310 BC
    • Antigonos the One-eyed Monophthalmus sacked Babylon during the two-year Babylonian War with the other Diadochi king (rivals after Alexander’s death) Seleucus I Nicator
  • 312 BC
    • The first aqueduct in Rome, the Aqua Appia, was built by the Roman censor Appius Claudius Crassus (Appius Claudius Caecus), who was one of the greatest builders of the Roman world and also constructed the strategically important Appian Way from from Rome to Brindisi
  • 317 BC
    • Demetrios Phalereus (of Phalerum) was appointed by Macedon King Cassander to rule Athens after the death of Phocion; Demetrios Phalereus ruled and introduced reforms for ten years until he was exiled by enemies; he first went to Thebes and later to Alexandria
  • 322 BC
    • Aristotle, famous philosopher, polymath, and teacher of Alexander the Great, died after having retired to Euboia after Alexander’s death; the botanist Theophrastos took over Aristotle’s school
  • 323 BC
    • Ptolemy, a general under Alexander the Great, became ruler of Egypt, named Ptolemy I he declared himself Pharaoh in 305 BC and the Ptolemaic Dynasty, i.e., Macedonian kings of Egypt, lasted until 30 BC
    • Alexander the Great died, perhaps of malaria, in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II in Babylon; civil wars broke apart his empire in the years thereafter, resulting in several states ruled by heirs and generals of Alexander
  • 324 BC
    • Alexander the Great married Darius’ daughter Stateira at Susa; he promoted such intermarriage and thousands of Greeks and Macedonians settled in new-founded or old cities in Persia, Syria, and Egypt; the resulting Graeco-oriental civilization is called Hellenistic; like our time this was an intellectually stimulating age of travel, research, and inventions
  • 325 BC
    • Aristotle, a student of Plato, published many of his pioneering works in the period until about 323BC, albeit with some inaccurate hypotheses, such as heavier objects falling faster than lighter ones and neglecting inertia forces
  • 330 BC
    • Darius III, the last king of the Achaemenid Persian Empire died after being injured in a coup on the battlefield; Alexander the Great had wanted to capture him alive and gave Darius III a spectacular funeral and had him buried in the royal tombs
    • The Greek sea-captain Pytheas of Massilia (present-day Marseilles) sailed north and reached what he called Thule, today’s Scandinavia, which he said was six days sailing north of Brittania
  • 331 BC
    • Alexander visited Egypt and brought a Rhodian or Macedonian architect named Deinokrates, who was given the task to plan the city of Alexandria at the site of the fishing village Rhakotis; the construction of this city became a huge engineering accomplishment
    • After several different battles, including the Battle of Gaugamela this year where Darius III again fled in spite of having the larger force, Alexander the Great destroyed the Persian capital Persepolis
  • 332 BC
    • The Late Period (six dynasties) ended in Egypt with the rule of Alexander the Great, who also conquered Babylon this year so that his empire stretched over 2 million square miles
  • 333 BC
    • Alexander the Great defeated the larger force of Darius III, who participated personally for the first time in a Persian battle against the Macedonian forces
  • 334 BC
    • Alexander the Great started a war-campaign into the Persian Empire that lasted for ten years
  • 335 BC
    • Euclid was born; he was a Greek mathematician who lived for about 40 years in Alexandria, the city founded by Alexander the Great four years later, where he authored “Elements” and thus established the field of geometry
  • 336 BC
    • Aristotle went back to Athens where Xenokrates was running Plato’s Academy and formed a new school in another park called Lyceum; the school and its followers are referred to as Peripatetic, originally named after the columns in the park but later because the word also means “walking” and Aristotle like Plato walked as he taught
    • Alexander the Great (Alexander III of Macedon) took the throne after the assassination of his father Philip II of Macedon; until Alexander was 16 he was tutored by Aristotle
    • Artaxerxes IV Arses of Persia was poisoned by the Vizier Bagoas who inserted a cousin of Arses, Darius III, as ruler of the Achaemenid Persian Empire; King Darius III did not obey Bagoas who then tried to poison Darius III; however, Darius III was warned and forced Bagoas to drink the poison; Baboas died
  • 338 BC
    • Artaxerxes III of Persia died, apparently killed along with much of his family by the powerful Vizier named Bagoas who inserted the youngest son of Artaxerxes III, Artaxerxes IV, as puppet ruler of the Persian Empire
  • 343 BC
    • Artaxerxes III of Persia drove the Pharaoh Nectanebo II from Egypt, thus stopping an emerging uprising in Phoenicia
  • 342 BC
    • Aristotle heard that Philip II of Macedon was looking for a tutor for his son, Alexander, and got the job, perhaps because his father had been physician to Philip’s father; as head of the royal academy in Macedon he gave lessons also to Ptolemy and Cassander, both future kings
  • 347 BC
    • Plato and his friend from Syracuse, Archytas of Taras, died; afterwards the Plato-students Aristotle and Xenokrates left the Academy and crossed the Aegean Sea to settle in Assos in present-day Turkey; while there Aristotle married and had a daughter
  • 356 BC
    • Alexander, later to become Alexander III of Macedon and Alexander the Great, was born
  • 358 BC
    • Artaxerxes II of Persia died and his son Artaxerxes III became ruler of the Persian Empire
  • 365 BC
    • Aineias the Tactician wrote “On the Defence of Fortified Positions” but barely mentioned catapults, which was a new invention at the time and is first mentioned on Alexander’s siege of Tyre in 332 BC
  • 367 BC
    • Plato visited the city Syracuse in present-day Sicily twice in the next ten years, visiting his friend Archytas
  • 370 BC
    • Hippocrates died
  • 380 BC
    • Plato published The Republic
  • 384 BC
    • Aristotle of Stagyra was born; he became student of Plato, teacher of Alexander the Great, and greatly influential in the blossoming of science and engineering in the Hellenistic world
  • 385 BC
    • Plato’s school was formed in a park called Akademia north of present-day Athens; the name of the park gave rise to the work Academy; more generally the Greek nobility also met for Symposia meaning Drinking Parties; today a Symposium is rather an academic gathering
  • 386 BC
    • Aristophanes, the playwright, died
  • 399 BC
    • Socrates died
  • 404 BC
    • Athen capitulated, thus ending the Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens; this marked the end of the Golden Age of Greece; the war had seen the use of such instruments as flame-throwers by the Boiotians fighting on the Spartan side
    • Darius II of Persia died and his son Artaxerxes II became ruler of the Persian Empire
  • 406 BC
    • Dionysious I, later the Tyrant of Syracuse, was elected supreme military commander; he created a research laboratory for weaponry to which he recruited mathematicians and craftsmen from all Greece; as a result Syracuse in Sicily, called by some the “New York” of old Greece, became the leading power of Europe; it was in wars with colonies of the Carthaginians from Carthage, a suburb of present-day Tunis, Tunisia, an earlier Phoenician colony
  • 423 BC
    • Sogdianus of Persia was killed after six months and fifteen days in power; another son of Artaxerxes I named Darius II became ruler of the Persian Empire
  • 424 BC
    • Artaxerxes I of Persia died and his son Xerxes II became ruler of the Persian Empire, but he was assassinated after 45 days by his brother Sogdianus who took the reign, also being killed a few months later
  • 427 BC
    • Plato was born around this time
  • 428 BC
    • Archytas of Taras, present-day Taranto, was born; he was a founder of mathematical mechanics and a friend of Plato
  • 430 BC
    • Typhoid fever, or perhaps typhus, broke out in Athens and lasted for three years; it is referred to as the Plague of Athens; the epidemic was devastating and probably contributed to the Athenians’ 404 BC loss against the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta in the Peloponnesian War
  • 431 BC
    • After Athens had developed into a major power in the Mediteranean during the previous fifty years, Sparta’s king Archidamus II invaded the land around Athens in what is known as the Archidamian War, the first stage of the Peloponnesian War, which lasted until the surrender of Athens in 404 BC
  • 441 BC
    • The Athenian forces of Perikles attacked the walls of Samos with battering rams in movable sheds, built by Artemon of Klazomenai
  • 446 BC
    • Ictinus designed the Parthenon; construction began the year after
    • Aristophanes was born; he became a powerful comedian and playwright among the Athenians; he is known as the Father of Comedy and from his plays we find thoughts from his contemporary Socrates and others
  • 450 BC
    • Perikles, leader of the Athenian Empire, hired leading artists and architects to build temples, shrines, and statues on Akropolis; the work continued for two decades; this is the construction we see in the present-day ruins on Akropolis; the Parthenon was built by the architects Iktinos and Kallikrates, while Perikles hired the leading sculptor Pheidias to create its statues
  • 454 BC
    • The treasury of the Delian League was moved from Delos to Athens, this essentially transformed the league into an Athenian Empire under the leader Perikles, starting what is knows as the Greek Golden Age
  • 460 BC
    • Hippocrates, from the island of Kos in Greece, was born; he is said to have been trained at the Asklepieion and he produced lasting contributions in the field of medicine
  • 465 BC
    • Xerxes I of Persia died and his son Artaxerxes I became ruler of the Persian Empire
  • 469 BC
    • Socrates was born; he is one of the founders of Western philosophy; his thought is known through the works of his students Plato and Xenophon
  • 478 BC
    • The Delian League between Greek city-states was formed as an alliance to continue fighting the Persian Empire; the name of the alliance comes from their meeting place at the island of Delos
  • 479 BC
    • Confucius died
    • In their last attack on the Greeks, Persian forces were again defeated by the Greeks and their allies near Plataea
  • 480 BC
    • The soldiers of Persian ruler Xerxex I burned the old temples on the Athenian Akropolis and attempted to attack the Greeks who were hiding on the island Salimis, but the Greeks under Themistocles with allies prevailed
    • Engineers under Persian ruler Xerxes I built a bridge over Hellespont to extend Persian power over European Greece; the bridge collapsed in a storm and Xerxes had the engineers beheaded before appointing others lead by astronomer Harpales who built a stronger bridge over which Xerxes’s armies traveled
  • 485 BC
    • Siddhartha Gautama Buddha was born around this time; his teachings are the foundation of Buddhism
  • 486 BC
    • Darius I of Persia died and his son Xerxes I became ruler of the Persian Empire
  • 490 BC
    • Persian King Darius I sent a sea-born war-expedition to Athens that landed at Marathon; because the Persians lacked their horses the Athenians under Miltiades, a general who had lived among the Persians, won the battle; after the battle a person ran from Marathon to Athens with warning of an impending attack that was thus thwarted
    • Empedocles was born in Agrigentum, a Greek city in Sicily; during his sixty-year life he created the theory that all matter is made of the four elements earth, air, fire, and water
  • 495 BC
    • Pythagoras died
  • 500 BC
    • The Persian Empire stretched over 2.1 million square miles under the rule of Darius I
  • 509 BC
    • The monarchy of the Roman Kingdom ended and the Roman Republic was established; the Roman Republic was governed by two Consuls elected every year; the Consuls were advised by a Senate
  • 522 BC
    • Under complicated circumstances the power in the Persian Empire went from Cambyses II to Darius I who had been his lance-bearer; the people had revolted against the rule of Cambyses II on July 1 and had elected Gaumata, an impersonator of Cambyses’ brother Bardiya, as their leader; it became a short rule because Gaumata was killed by Darius and a group of helpers in September
  • 512 BC
    • Persian King Darius I conquered Thrace and made Macedonia a tributary state; his Samian engineer Mandrokles built a floating bridge across the Bosphorus
  • 525 BC
    • The battle of Pelusium took place; it was the first major battle between the Persian Achaemenid empire and Egypt and followed sieges at Gaza and Memphis; after the persian victory the Egyptian throne was transferred from the Pharaohs to Cambyses II of Persia
  • 528 BC
    • Anaximenes of Miletus died
  • 530 BC
    • Pythagoras left Samos to escape the reign of Polycrates; apparently at the advice of one of his instructors Thales he traveled in his lifetime to Egypt, Arabia, Phoenicia, Judaea, Babylon, and India to collect knowledge
    • Cyrus the Great died and his son Cambyses II became the second king of the Persian Empire
  • 531 BC
    • Lao-tzu (Laozi) died; he was a Chinese philosopher and writer who founded Taoism and the idea of avoiding will and purpose to become one with nature and feel the Tao
  • 538 BC
    • The Jews returned to Jerusalem after being freed by the Persians in Babylon
  • 539 BC
    • Babylon fell to the Persian Empire, i.e., the Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great
  • 546 BC
    • Thales of Miletus and his student Anaximandros died
  • 547 BC
    • The Battle of Thymbra took place in December; it was the decisive battle in the Persian Empire’s conquest of Lydia
  • 551 BC
    • Confucius (K’ung Fu-tzu) was born; he became an important figure in Chinese politics and philosophy; he promoted morality and social correctness but not science
  • 552 BC
    • Triggered by actions of Astyages, ruler of the Median Empire, the Persian Revolt began in the ancient province of Persis against the rule of the Assyrians and the Medes; the war lasted two years and Cyrus the Great ultimately won and thus started the Persian Empire
  • 559 BC
    • King Cambyses I of the Persian Achaemenid dynasty died and his son Cyrus II became king; under his reign the vast Persian Achaemenid Empire was created; he became known as Cyrus the Great; the rule was characterized by central administration and emphasized benefits for the people; the Cyrus rule has influenced Persian rule to this day
  • 562 BC
    • King Nebuchadrezzar II of Babylonia died
  • 570 BC
    • Pythagoras of Samos was born; he lived for about 75 years and established the Pythagorean Brotherhood, whose students, among other achievements in mathematics, proved the Pythagoras’ right triangle rule
  • 585 BC
    • Anaximenes was born in Miletus; he became a student of Anaximandros and is together with Thales one of the three famous Milesian pre-Socrates philosophers
  • 586 BC
    • King Nebuchadrezzar, on his way to war with the Egyptians, destroyed Jerusalem and led the Jews to Babylonia where they would be held captive until freed by the Persians nearly fifty years later; the first deportation had started eleven years earlier in 597BC
  • 594 BC
    • In Athens the nobleman Solon introduced “democracy,” i.e., people’s rule, and people took interest in “politics,” i.e., the affairs of the polis, Greek for city
  • 600 BC
    • Construction began around this time on the Great Wall of China
    • The Tower of Babel reached its final form under Nebuchadrezzar II, after several destructions and rebuildings
    • King Cyrus I of the Persian Achaemenid dynasty died and his son Cambyses I became king
  • 605 BC
    • Nebuchadrezzar II became king of Babylonia; in addition to completing the Tower of Babel he constructed the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and he destroyed the First Temple, i.e., Solomon’s temple, in ancient Jerusalem
  • 610 BC
    • Anaximander (Anaximandros) was born; he lived in Miletus and became a student of Thales; he also became the instructor of Anaximenes and perhaps even Phytagoras
  • 612 BC
    • The Assyrian Empire ended when an alliance of the Scythians, Medes, and Babylonians conquered Assyria
  • 624 BC
    • Thales of Miletus (Milet in present-day Turkey) was born; he was an influential astronomer and physicist included as one of the Seven Sages of Greece; scholars from Aristotle Bertrand Russell regarded him as the first philosopher in the Greek tradition; his work in geometry makes him the first true mathematician
  • 625 BC
    • Nabopolassar became king of Babylonia
  • 653 BC
    • The third Intermediate period (five dynasties) ended in Egypt and the Late Period (six dynasties) began
  • 681 BC
    • Assyrian King Sennacherib was beaten to death by his sons; in spite of being a typical brutal Assyrian ruler he had brought about many technical innovations
  • 689 BC
    • Assyrian King Sennacherib recaptured Babylonia after an uprising; he massacred the people and burned the city; he later started to rebuild the city, which after the fall of Assyria again became the largest city in the world
  • 704 BC
    • The Greek shipbuilder Ameinokles of Corinth designed a ship that featured staggered oarsmen in groups of three
  • 705 BC
    • Sennacherib became king of Assyria after the death of his father, King Sargon II; Sennacherib ruled Assyria proper (present-day northern Iraq), Babylona (central Iraq), and Chaldea (southern Iraq), Syria, and Phoenicia
  • 714 BC
    • King Sargon II of Assyria invaded Armenia and found an irrigation system that was not yet known in Mesopotamia; a qanat (Arabian) or kariz (Persian), i.e., a sloping tunnel that brings water from an underground source; he destroyed the ones he saw but he brought the idea back to Assyria; it is still used many places
  • 722 BC
    • Sargon II became Assyrian king
  • 753 BC
    • The Roman Kingdom, the predecessor to the Roman Republic and the later Roman Empire, was founded in present-day Rome around the Palatine Hill
  • 776 BC
    • The first Olympic games were held at Olympia in honour of Zeus, the Father of the Greek Gods, bringing together the Dorians, Ionians, Spartans, and Athenians every four years to measure strength in various sports
  • 911 BC
    • The campaigns of Adad-nirari II began; he is considered the first king of Assyria; by 934 BC the Assyrian Kingdom had again become an Empire
  • 931 BC
    • King Solomon died, ending the Golden Age of Israel
  • 970 BC
    • King David died and his son King Solomon took reign as the third King of the United Monarchy of Israel
  • 1000 BC
    • King David of the United Monarchy of Israel conquered Jerusalem
    • The Dorians occupied Crete and Mycenae (southwest of present-day Athens); during the next few centuries they mixed with the natives to form the Hellenes, i.e., Greek people; previous Greek events like the siege of Troy, Odysseus’ travels, and the reign of King Minos in Crete are unconfirmed legends; the Hellenes were influenced by the powerful Lydian, Median, Chaldean, and Egyptian kingdoms via the Lydians by land and the Phoenicians by sea
  • 1009 BC
    • David became the second king of the strengthened United Monarchy of Israel
  • 1026 BC
    • Saul became the first king of the United Monarchy of Israel
  • 1040 BC
    • King David was born; he later became the second King of the United Monarchy of Israel
  • 1056 BC
    • End of the Middle Assyrian Empire
  • 1077 BC
    • The New Kingdom period (three dynasties) ended in Egypt and the Third Intermediate period (five dynasties) began
  • 1200 BC
    • The Phoenicians, centred around present-day Lebanon, started a business-oriented rather than war-oriented dominance at sea that lasted for 400 years; their society was led by the king, the priests, and councils of elders; the Phoenicians were also the first country to make extensive use of an alphabet
    • The end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age, which lasted until about AD 400 in Europe
    • The first areas of the Norwegian coast emerged from the ice; at this time dry land existed between Denmark and England; the Viking Bank was an island in the North Sea
  • 1213 BC
    • Pharaoh Ramesses II died
  • 1250 BC
    • Mongols under Hulagu Khan conquered Mesopotamia and destroyed much of the irrigation system; the region was under Mongol rule for almost 100 years; combined with previous salt-related decay of the soil and subsequent plundering the region became almost uninhabited
  • 1279 BC
    • Ramesses II became pharaoh of Egypt and ruled for more than 66 years; perhaps the most powerful pharaoh, he introduced a strong, centralized, and autocratic rule of Egypt
  • 1303 BC
    • The future pharaoh Ramesses II was born; referred to as Ramesses the Great he became the powerful third pharaoh of Egypt in the Nineteenth Dynasty
  • 1332 BC
    • Tutankhamun, known as King Tut after the famous 1922 discovery of his tomb by Howard Carter, began his ten-year rule of Egypt
  • 1365 BC
    • The rise of the Middle Assyrian Empire began; it lasted for more than 300 years
  • 1400 BC
    • The Mycenaean civilization collapsed; they created the earliest buildings in Greece that have survived to this day
  • 1500 BC
    • The first professional millers emerged in Egypt, using rotary mills
  • 1549 BC
    • The Second Intermediate period (three dynasties) ended in Egypt and the New Kingdom period (three dynasties) began
  • 1650 BC
    • Plague or influenza broke out in Egypt and lasted for a hundred years
  • 1690 BC
    • The Middle Kingdom period (four dynasties) ended in Egypt and the Second Intermediate period (three dynasties) began
  • 1792 BC
    • Hammurabi (Khammurabi) became the sixth king of Babylon (until 1750 BC) and erected a stone monument with the Code of Laws that included punishment for poor construction; under these laws different people had different worth but was considered fair in the paradigm of those days
  • 1867 BC
    • Babylon was founded by the Euphrates river, about 85 kilometres south of present Baghdad; it later became the holy city of Mesopotamia, i.e., the land between the rivers of Tigris and Euphrates
  • 1991 BC
    • The First Intermediate period (five dynasties) ended in Egypt and the Middle Kingdom period (four dynasties) began
  • 2000 BC
    • Around this time on the grassy plains that stretches from present-day Poland to Turkestan, cattle-raising nomads called Aryans tamed horses; they then conquered their neighbours and ultimately Persia and India; although there is talk about an aryan race it no longer exists
  • 2181 BC
    • The Old Kingdom period (four dynasties) ended in Egypt and the First Intermediate period (five dynasties) began
  • 2154 BC
    • The Akkadian Empire ended; thereafter conflicts ensued until Mesopotamia was essentially divided into Assyria in the north and Babylonia in the south
  • 2334 BC
    • Sargon of Akkad united the Akkadian Semites and the Sumerian-speaking population of Mesopotamia under the Akkadian Empire, which lasted for more than 200 years; during this time Assyria was merely an Akkadian city-state in Mesopotamia
  • 2560 BC
    • The Great Pyramid of Giza, also known as Khufu’s Great Pyramid, was completed after ten to twenty years of construction; it is made of 2.3 million blocks of stone
  • 2600 BC
    • Monuments were built by the Mayans in present-day Cuello in Belize
  • 2686 BC
    • The Early Dynastic period (two dynasties) ended in Egypt and the Old Kingdom period (four dynasties) began
  • 2700 BC
    • Imhotep, the first engineer and architect known to us by name, built the first pyramids in Egypt, for his King Joser; Imhotep’s son, Rahotep, became the second in a long line of architects descending from Imhotep
  • 3050 BC
    • Lower and Upper Egypt went from separate villages to a unified Egypt when Menes (Mena), king of the south, conquered all of Egypt; with this the First Dynasty of the Early Dynastic Period was founded, and the capital moved from Abydos to Memphis
    • The city of Uruk in Sumer, later in Babylonia in southern Mesopotamia and today in Iraq, had over 50,000 residents living within a city wall; the city walls, temples, and canals built by the Sumerians are considered the world’s first engineering works; Sumerians also invented the wheel and the chariot dragged by horses; the Sumerian number system was also in use, with base 12, leading to today’s use of 24 hours, 60 minutes, 60 seconds; they identified five planets in the sky and created seven-day weeks with days named after those planet plus the sun the moon; their year was 360 days with 12 months each 30 days; due due to Arabian nomads into Sumer, Sumerian was gradually replaced by the Semitic Akkadian language, which became the universal trade language
    • At this time humans built large monuments, including the pyramids and the Stonehenge in England; recent findings in Gobekli Tepe in Turkey indicate the creation of large ornamented rocks six thousand year earlier
  • 3114 BC
    • The Mayan calendar began on August 11
  • 3600 BC
    • Humans built brick arches in both Egypt and Mesopotamia
    • The end of the Stone Age and the beginning of the Bronze Age
  • 10,000 years ago (8,000 BC)
    • Humans reached South America
  • 11,500 years ago (9,500 BC)
    • Humans created large ornamented rock structures from this time in present-day Gobekli Tepe in Turkey; perhaps this indicates that the permanent settlements of the Agricultural Revolution was partially prompted by cultural or mythical reasons
  • 12,000 years ago (10,000 BC)
    • The Agricultural Revolution started independently at different locations with humans settling permanently, planting/harvesting of crops and domesticating animals; the earliest location may have been the hills in the north of present-day Iraq and Syria; the human population consisted of 5 to 8 million nomadic foragers
    • Global warming created a passable land bridge from Siberia to Alaska, which humans crossed; within 2,000 years they reached the southern tip of South America; like earlier in Australia an extinction in the megafauna ensued
  • 13,000 years ago
    • Homo floresiensis became extinct and Homo Sapiens was thus the only surviving human species
  • 20,000 years ago
    • Humans created carvings on walls in caves thus demonstrating abstract thought
    • Northern Europe was covered by an immense glacier, in places 3km thick
  • 30,000 years ago
    • The human species Neanderthals became extinct
    • Humans, i.e., Homo Sapiens, crossed from Eurasia to America across the land-bridge that is now the Bering Strait
  • 45,000 years ago
    • Homo Sapiens arrived in Australia and an extinction of large mammals followed, like in all other places where humans settled
  • 50,000 years ago
    • An Ice Age began with glaciers appearing further and further south leading to plummeting ocean levels and creating a land-bridge from Eurasia to America; on average ice ages have appeared every 100,000 years
  • 70,000 years ago
    • The Cognitive Revolution started and a language with abstract concepts developed; this is essentially the beginning of human history; humans continued to live as hunter-gatherers until the Agricultural Revolution almost 60,000 years later
    • Mount Toba in present-day Sumatra in Indonesia erupted, leading to several years of continuous winter that killed most humans; only about a thousand humans survived this super-eruption
  • 100,000 years ago
    • Humans went on the move, from Africa into Eurasia; they did not succeed and left the Neanderthals as masters of the present-day Middle East until they returned 30,000 years later with a very different result
  • 200,000 years ago
    • Homo Sapiens, our species, evolved in East Africa and humans became able to speak
  • 300,000 years ago
    • Humans used fire dailyk
  • 500,000 years ago
    • Neanderthals of the human species evolved in Europe and the Middle East
  • 800,000 years ago
    • Humans controlled fire
  • 2,000,000 years ago
    • Humans spread from Africa into Eurasia; the evolution of different human species began
  • 2,600,000 years ago
    • Early humans, protohumans or hominids of the genus Homo, created rock tools and the Stone Age began
  • 6,000,000 years ago
    • The last common parents of humans and chimpanzees, our closest relatives, lived around this time
  • 7,000,000 years ago
    • It has been argued that grass appeared all over the world at this time, and that primates then went from living in trees to walking on the ground, but recent studies suggest that grass appeared earlier
  • 10,000,000 years ago
    • Mountain ranges, like the Himalayas, appeared on Earth and changed the weather patterns, leading to an Ice Age
  • 30,000,000 years ago
    • The Pterodactyls (finger-wings) flew, with wingspans up to 8 meters
  • 50,000,000 years ago
    • Primates, the ancestors of humans, started to develop
  • 65,500,000 years ago
    • The Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event, caused by a 4km wide object slamming into Earth, wiped out a large number of animal and plant species, including the dinosaurs
  • 230,000,000 years ago
    • During the reign of the dinosaurs, the Earth’s continents drifted apart
    • The dinosaurs started to roam the Earth, and dominated over the mammals for the next 160 million years
  • 252,280,000 years ago
    • A spike in volcanic activity dramatically raised the carbon dioxide levels on Earth and 75% of species became extinct in the “Permian–Triassic extinction;” the extinction may also have been caused by a comet that hit present-day Brazil, releasing methane that caused instant global warming
  • 300,000,000 years ago
    • Deposits of Plants were “cooked” on the hot Earth and eventually turned into coal that later served as an important energy source for humans
  • 400,000,000 years ago
    • The first amphibian animals took the step from the oceans to land
  • 500,000,000 years ago
    • The first bony fish appeared; these are direct human ancestors
  • 541,000,000 years ago
    • The Cambrian “explosion” of species took place, continuing through the next 56 million years
    • Around the Earth’s 4 billionth birthday there were around 13% oxygen in the atmosphere
  • 2,500,000,000 years ago
    • Oxygen started rising from Earth’s oceans into the atmosphere
    • Bacteria figured out how to absorb energy from the sun
  • 3,800,000,000 years ago
    • Substances with DNA appeared in Earth’s oceans; plants and bacteria formed 700,000 years thereafter
    • The first permanent oceans formed on Earth
  • 3,900,000,000 years ago
    • The surface of Earth became solid
  • 4,000,000,000 years ago
    • Water vapour from volcanic activity started falling as rain on Earth
  • 4,540,000,000 years ago
    • The presence of the Moon stabilized the motion of Earth and slowed the Earth’s rotation, eventually to one rotation in twenty-four hours
    • An object the size of Mars smashed into Earth, creating molten debris that formed the Moon
    • Our solar system formed and planet Earth appeared, so far consisting of molten lava and rotating around its axis in six hours instead of today’s twenty-four
  • 12,000,000,000 years ago
    • Stars started to create basic elements, and during the following 8 billion years exploding stars (supernovas) created elements like iron, gold, uranium, and copper
  • 13,400,000,000 years ago
    • Gravity started to act and the first stars were formed
  • 13,700,000,000 years ago
    • 380,000 years after the Big Bang the first atoms appeared (hydrogen and helium) and spread unevenly through the universe
    • Beginning of time, according to the Big Bang theory

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