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Timetable

The Timetables of History, The New Third Revised Edition, Brun, Bernard, based upon Werner Stein’s Kulturfahrplan Touchstone, Simon & Schuster. The Timetables of History can give us a feel for the fluidity and many-sidedness of of past experience. Although divided into political, cultural, artistic, and scientific categories, we see how overlapping, inseparable and arbitrary are all such separations. What is most vivid to anyone depends on where that person lived, and on his education, interests, social class and prejudices.

We use our chronology to narrow our historical vision. We do this, for example, when we make the birth of Jesus the turning point of historical dating. The signs of A.D. and B.C. proclaim the central importance of an event which is actually believed to be central by only a small proportion of mankind. Muslims, naturally enough, date their events A.H. (Anus Hegira) from the crucial event in the history of their religion.


  • -5000 The Egyptian calendar, regulated by sun and moon: 360 days, 12 months of 30 days each.
  • -4000 Suzerain writing, done on clay tablets, shows about 2,000 pictographic signs.
    • Harps and flutes played in Egypt. Smelting of gold and silver known.
  • -3500 Suzerain wedge-shaped (cuneiform) writing, the earliest known.
    • Earliest known numerals in Egypt.
    • Potters wheel in Mesopotamia.
    • Economy of Sumerian cities is based on agriculture and husbandry.
    • Plowing, raking and manuring in Egypt.
  • -3000 Egyptians invade Palestine as reprisal for attacks on trade caravans.
    • Cheops Pyramid and Great Sphinx at Gizeh.
    • Chinese court musician Linglun cuts the first bamboo pipe flute.
    • Weaving loom known in Europe.
    • Oil burning lamps used by Sumerians.
    • Domesticated dogs in Egypt.
    • Lake dwellings in Switzerland.
  • -2500 First libraries in Egypt.
    • Isis and Orisis cult in Egypt. (Resurrection from death)
    • Chinese music has five tone scale.
    • Potters wheels and kilns in Mesopotamia.
    • Bow and arrow used in warfare.
    • First domesticated chickens in Babylon.
    • Cotton cultivated in Peru.
  • -2000 18th dynasty brings Egypt o height of its power and achievements.
    • First trumpets played in Denmark.
    • Decimal system in Crete.
    • Water dam in India built of polished marble.
  • -1500 The Israelites, led by Moses, leave Egypt, reach Canaan.
    • Chiapa de Carzo, earliest known settlement in Mexico.
    • First Chinese dictionary, with 40,000 characters.
    • Egypt destroys the old gods and sets up Aton, the sun god, as only god. (-1385)
    • Moses receives the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai.
    • Kikkuli of Mitanni writes the first treatise on horse breeding and training Prohibition decreed in China.
    • Saul becomes first king of Israel. (-1002)
  • -1000 Accession of David as king of united kingdom of Judah and Israel.
    • King David is succeeded by his son, Solomon, reaches heights of power.
    • Peking in existence.
    • Greek script, based on old Semitic-Phoenician characters with addition of vowels, uses only capital letters.
    • Chinese script fully developed.
    • Hebrew alphabet developed.
    • Classic paganism in full bloom in Greece.
    • Evidence in Sierra Nevada and California of huts built by Pinto Indians.
    • -800 Foundation of city of Rome.
    • Celts move into England.
      Theogony (creation of the world and gods of mythology.)
    • Isaiah’s teachings of the coming of the Messiah.
    • Earliest recorded music, a Sumerian hymn on a tablet.
    • In India, medicine becomes divorced from priesthood.
    • Medical training uses anatomical models.
    • Farmers starve in Greece.
    • First iron utensils.
  • -700 Acropolis in Athens is begun.
    • Seven-string lyre is introduced.
    • Hesiod’s poem "Works and Days" mentions cultivation of barley, wheat, legumes, grapes, olives, figs; also on husbandry of horses, cattle, goats, sheep and pigs.
  • -600 Mayan civilization in Mexico.
    • The "Fables" of Aesop, a former Phrygian slave
      Siddhartha.
    • (Gautama Buddha, called Sakyamuni), founder of Buddhism.
    • In Confucius, Buddha, Zoroaster, Lao-tese, the Jewish prophets, the Greek poets, artists, philosophers and scientists, the sixth century B.C. reaches a zenith of human wisdom and achievement.
    • Pythagoras is said to have introduced the octave in music.
    • Greek philosophers adopt theory of earth as a disk covered by dome of sky, or as floating free in spherical sky.
    • Anaximander taught that all life develops from amphibians
      Position of Greek women in civil rights declines.
  • -500 Indian surgeon Susrata performs cataract operations
    Viticulture in Italy and Gaul. (Wooden barrels serve for preservation)
    • Socrates, Athenian philosopher born.
  • -450 The population of Greece consists of two million citizens and one million slaves; in Athens there are 50,000 citizens and 100,000 slaves.
    • Plato becomes the pupil of Socrates.
  • -400 The "Five Books of Moses" (Pentateuch)receive their definite form.
    • Socrates died.
    • Aristotle, Greek philosopher born.
    • City walls built around Rome.
  • -350 Plato died.
    • Aristotle becomes the teacher of Alexander the Great.
    • Aristotle died.
    • Corinthian columns appear in Greek architecture.
    • First public combats of gladiators in Rome.
  • -250 Introduction of leap year into Egyptian calendar.
    • Great Wall of China (1,400 miles long) built to keep out invaders.
    • Hannibal crosses the Alps.
  • -200 The use of gears leads to invention of ox-driven water wheel for irrigation.
    • Earliest paved streets appear in Rome.
    • Grease comes under Roman control.
  • -100 The first Chinese ships reach the east coast of India
    • Cleopatra VII, last queen of Egypt.
  • -50 Probable date of the birth of Jesus Christ at Bethlehem. (-4)
    • Building of the Pantheon at Rome begun.
    • Leap year introduced.
    • Baptism of Jesus Christ. (27)
    • St. Paul sets out on his missionary travels. (45)
    • London founded.
  • 51 Ming-Ti, new emperor of China, introduces Buddhism.
    • First persecution of Christians. (64)
    • St. Peter executed. (67)
    • Gospels written.
  • 101 The bishop of Rome gains his predominant position as pope c. 200.
  • 201 Persecution of Christians increases; martyrs are being revered as saints c. 250.
    • Building of the Baths of Caracalla in Rome.
  • 251 Partition of the Roman Empire into western and eastern empires.
  • 301 Constantine reunites the two empires under Rome, and becomes sole emperor.
    • Basilica Church of St. Peter’s erected (330); pulled down in 1506 to make room for present cathedral.
    • Bridge built over the Rhine at Cologne.
  • 351 The first "Hallelujah" hymns in the Christian Churches. (390)
  • 451 First Shinto shrines appear in Japan.
    • Venice founded by refugees from Attila’s Huns.
  • 529 St. Benedict founds the Benedictine Order.
  • 594 End of the plague which began in 542 and halved the population of Europe.
  • 600 Barbarian invasions halt in western Europe.
    • Book printing in China.
  • 603 The first St. Paul’s Church, London, built.
  • 604 First church bell in Rome.
  • 610 Mohammed’s vision on Mount Hira.
  • 615 Petroleum used in Japan.