Brief Roman Chronology of Later Roman History


753 Romulus and Remus found Rome

509 Roman Republic founded after expulsion of Tarquins

264-146 Three Punic Wars

44 Julius Caesar assassinated

31 Octavian defeats Antony at Actium and becomes sole ruler


64? SS. Peter and Paul martyred in Rome in reign of Nero

96 Nerva, becomes first of “5 Good Emperors”

180 Marcus Aurelius dies, succeeded by Commodus

193   Septimius Severus militarizes the Empire

249 Emperor Decius reignites persecution of Christians

257 Valerian Emperor, and in 260 captured and enslaved by Sapor, King of Persia

270-75 Aurelian restores empire, builds wall around Rome

293 Diocletian establishes tetrarchy

324-37 Constantine emperor

360-63 Julian tries to restore paganism

395   Theodosius dies 

410 Alaric and Visigoths sack Rome

455 Genseric and Vandals sack Rome

476 Odovacer displaces Romulus Augustulus

493 Theoderic defeats and displaces Odovacar

503 Clovis the Frank baptized on Christmas

529 St. Benedict founds Monte Cassino

553 Justinian's generals complete destruction of  Gothic Italy

568 Alboin leads Lombards in conquest of Italy

604 Pope Gregory I dies

622 Muhammed’s Hegira

649 Pope Martin I arrested by Constans II

721-44 Liutprand, King of Lombards

728 Pope Gregory II resists Emperor Leo III’s iconoclasm

732 Charles Martel defeats Muslims near Tours

752-57 Pope Stephen II, creates papal states

774 Charles captures Pavia, ends Lombard kingdom

800 Coronation of Charlemagne as Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III

From Vergil’s Aeneid:

Excudent alii spirantia mollius aera,

credo equidem, vivos ducent de marmore voltus,

orabunt causas melius, caelique meatus

describent radio, et surgentia sidera dicent:

tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento;

hae tibi erunt artes; pacisque imponere morem,

parcere subiectis, et debellare superbos.”

Others will forge breathing bronzes more smoothly

(I believe it at any rate), and draw forth living features from marble.

They will plead law-suits better and trace the movements

Of the sky with a rod and describe the rising stars.

You, O Roman, govern the nations with your power- remember this!

These will be your arts – to impose the ways of peace,

To show mercy to the conquered and to subdue the proud.

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Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina