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Key Dates

Some key dates in Ancient Rome and the major events afterward that shaped what happened in Rome and to its monuments and art collections.



753 BC                        Traditional date for the foundation of Rome



509 BC                        Traditional date of the expulsion of the kings and foundation of the Roman Republic

496 BC                        Battle of Lake Regillus (defeat of Latin League)

396 BC                        Destruction of Veii

390 BC                        Gauls sack Rome

343-290 BC                Samnite Wars

280-275 BC                Pyrrhus of Epirus invades Italy but fails to defeat Rome and leaves

272 BC                        Rome defeats Tarentum;  now controls the Italian peninsula

264-241 BC                First Punic War

218-201 BC                Second Punic War

197-150                      Rome wages various wars against Alexander the Great’s successor kingdoms

149-146 BC                Third Punic War

146 BC                        Carthage and Corinth sacked

133 BC                        Tribunate of Tiberius Gracchus

123 BC                        Tribunate of Gaius Gracchus

122-104                      War against Iugurtha; rise of Marius

111-101                      War against the Cimbri and Teutones in Gaul, Spain, Northern Italy

102 BC                        Marcus Antonius’ war against Cilician pirates

91-87 BC                    Social War

88 BC                          Sulla marches of Rome

84 BC                          Sulla returns to Rome from the East; passes reforms as dictator; resigns, and dies in 79 BC

73-71 BC                    Revolt of Spartacus

67 BC                          Pompey wages war against pirates



60                                First Triumvirate (Pompey, Caesar, Crassus)

58-53                          Julius Caesar wages war in Gaul

49-48                          Civil war of Pompey and Julius Caesar

44BC                           Julius Caesar assassinated on Ides of March

43 BC                          Second Triumvirate (Mark Antony, Lepidus, Octavian)



31 BC                          Battle of Actium ends civil wars of the Republic.  Principate begins

AD 14                          Death of Augustus

AD 14-68                    Julio-Claudian dynasty (Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero)

AD 69                          Year of the Four Emperors

AD 69-96                    Flavian dynasty (Vespasian, Titus, Domitian)

AD 96-97                    Reign of Nerva

AD 97-117                  Reign of Trajan; expands empire to its greatest extent

AD 117-138                Reign of Hadrian

AD 138-192                Antonine dynasty (Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, Commodus)

AD 192                        Year of the Emperors

AD 192-235                Severan dynasty (Septimius Severus, Carcalla, Elagabalus, Alexander Severus); Caracalla extends citizenship to all freed people within the \ empire in AD 212; Sassanians overthrow Parthians in 226

AD 235-284                Years of military crisis

AD 249-252                Reign of Decius (increased raids across Rhine)

AD 260               Sassanians kill Valerian

AD 260-268               Reign of Gallienus

AD 270-275                Reign of Aurelian



AD 284- 305               Reign of Diocletian; creation of tetrarchy rule

AD 306-337                Reign of Constantine

AD 212                        Edict of Toleration

AD 378                        Battle of Adrianople.  Goths defeat the Eastern empire army

AD 410                        Sack of Rome by Alaric the Goth

AD 455                        Vandals sack Rome

AD 476                        Ostrogoths depose last Western emperor (Romulus Augustulus)

AD 527-565                Justinian in Constantinople attempts to reconquer the Western empire

AD 568                        Lombards invade Italy

AD 636                        Arab armies defeat Roman army at Al Yarmouk

AD 711                        Arab army invades Spain of the Visigoths



800                              Charlemagne crowned Holy Roman Emperor in Rome

846                              Saracens sack Rome

852                              Construction of the Leonine Walls

1084                            Normans sack Rome

1144                            Creation of the commune of Rome

1300                            First Jubilee year (Pope Boniface VIII)

1309-1377                  Papacy relocates to Avignon and then returns to Rome



1420s- 1519               Rome becomes the center of the Renaissance in Rome; buildings include: St. Peter’s, Sistine Chapel, Ponte Sisto, etc. Artists included: Bramante, Michelangelo, Raphael

1527                            Sack of Rome by Charles V

1545-1648                  Counter-Reformation (addressing the effects of the Protestant


1584-1792                  Baroque period. Artists included: Bernini, Borromini. Late monuments: Trevi (1762), Spanish Steps (1725)



1798-1799;                 French occupation

1800-1814                  Excavation of the area around Trajan’s Column. Many ancient works of art sent to France; some returned

1848-1849                  Republic of Rome (Mazzini and Garibaldi)



1860-1870                  Unification of Italy

1870                            Rome captured by Italy

1871                            Rome becomes capital of Italy

Late 19C- early 20C   Formation of national collections of art and archaeology in Rome constituted out of purchased private collections and well as new excavations

1898-1910                  Excavation of the Roman Forum, led by Giacomo Boni



1922                            Mussolini’s march on Rome

1919-1945                  Mussolini as Duce of Fascism

Archaeology in Rome:

Excavation of Largo Argentina (1926-1929)

Destruction of monuments around Theater of Marcellus

(1930) for Via del Mare

1932: Via dei Fori Imperiali created (Vial dell’Impero), revealing imperial fora

1937/8: Ara Pacis Museum and Mausoleum of Augustus created for excavated monument (completion in 1940)

Excavations on Palatine hill

Design of EUR, modeled on many Roman monuments

1929                            Lateran Treaty establishes Papal State of the Vatican

1943                            Germany occupies Rome

1944                            Allies liberate Rome


1950s- Today             Major collections and sites are managed by the Comune of Rome and the National Superintendency.  Some sites and monuments remain private (e.g., Palazzo Colonna, Palazzo Pamphilj), and the Vatican maintains Vatican City, Vatican Museums, and many properties (palazzi, churches, catacombs, etc) in and around Rome.