Summer Seminar: Chronology, Bibliography, Information




1174? Aeneas leads his people from burning ruins of Troy

753 Romulus and Remus found Rome

509 Roman Republic founded after expulsion of Tarquins

451 Decemviri draw up Tables of laws

390 Celtic Gauls sack Rome and receive tribute

264 1st Punic War begins

216Hannibal defeats Varro and Aemilius Paulus at Cannae

201 Scipio defeats Hannibal at Zama, ends 2nd Punic War

146 Destruction of Corinth; Fall of Carthage

103-02 Marius defeats Cimbri & Teutones

90 Italian allies revolt from Rome

83 Sulla made dictator

63 Cicero as consul puts down conspiracy of Catiline 

59 Consulship of “Julius and Caesar”

49Caesar crosses the Rubicon with army, near Ravenna

44 Julius Caesar assassinated

42 Octavian, Antony, Lepidus form 2nd Triumvirate; 

31     Battle of Actium, Octavian (Augustus) sole ruler


14 Augustus dies, succeeded by Tiberius

96- “Five Good Emperors”: Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, 

161 Antoninus Pius,  Marcus Aurelius

180 Commodus

193 Septimius Severus militarizes Empire

249 Decius becomes emperor and reignites Christian persecutions 

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

270-75 Aurelian restores empire, builds wall around Rome

293 Diocletian (284-305) creates tetrarchy

313 Edict of Milan tolerating Christians

324 Constantine (306-37) become sole emperor

360-63 Julian tries to restore paganism

364-75 Valentinian emperor

368 Valens defeated and killed by Goths at Adrianople

379-95 Theodosius rules East and West

395 Honorius in West, Arcadius in East

402/2 Honorius moves to Ravenna

408 Stilicho “the Vandal” murdered

410 Alaric and Visigoths sack Rome

425-55 Valentinian III

454 Aëtius murdered by Valentinian

455 Genseric and Vandals sack Rome

455-56 Avitus Marcian (450-57)

457-61 Majorian Pope Leo (457-74)

461-65 Libius Severus

467-72 Anthemius

472 Olybrius Zeno (474-91)

473-74 Glycerius

475 Nepos

475-76 Romulus Augustulus

476 Odovacer displaces Romulus Augustulus

493-526 Theodoric, King of Goths in Italy

527-65 Justinian restores Empire

523 Boethius arrested

554Justinian issues Pragmatic Sanction

565 Lombards invade Italy; Venantius Fortunatus leaves

590-604 Gregory I Pope

610-41 Heraclius Emperor of East

666 Constant II makes Ravenna archbishopric independent

756 Pepin the Short defeats Lombards

800 Charlemagne crowned Emperor in Rome

962 Otto I crowned Emperor in Rome

998 St. Peter Damian born in Ravenna

1002 Otto III dies on third attempt to reenter Rome

1220 Friederich II Emperor

1321 Dante buried in Ravenna

1347 Cola di Rienzo proclaimed tribune of Rome

1806 Holy Roman Empire dissolved

1936 Mussolini proclaims Second Roman Empire



By Agathias Scholasticus, Historian, poet, anthologist in age of Justinian

On An Image of the Archangel

Greatly daring was the wax that formed the image of the invisible Prince of the angels, bodiless in the essence of his form.  But yet it is not without Grace; for a man looking at the image directs his mind to a higher contemplation.  His veneration is no longer confused, but the image imprinted upon himself he fears as if here wre present.  The eyes stir up the depths of the Spirit and Art can convey by colours the prayers of the soul. (I.340)

On the angels and shepherds

One dance one song for men and angels, for man and God are become one.  (I.39)

Love poems:

All night long I make my complaint, and when dawn comes to give me a little rest, the swallows twitter and move me again to tears, chasing sweet slumber away.  My eyes are kept closed but again Rodanthes stirs the worries in my breast.  Hush, you envious chatterboxes.  It was not I who cut the tongue of Philomela [who became nightengale] Go weep for lost Itylus in the hills and sit and weep in the nest of the hoopoe in the mountains that I may sleep for a bit.  Perhaps some dream will come and wrap Rodanthe’s arms around me.

Times’ Revenge

She, who but late in beauty's flower was seen,

Proud of her auburn curls and noble mien--

Who froze my hopes and triumphed in my fears,

Now sheds her graces in the waste of years.

Changed to unlovely is that breast of snow,

And dimmed her eye, and wrinkled is her brow;

And querulous the voice by time repressed,

Whose artless music stole me from my rest.

Age gives redress to love; and silvery hair

And earlier wrinkles brand the haughty fair.

Poems on Troy

Where are those walls of thine, o city, where thy temples full of treasure, where the heads of the oxen thou wert wont to slay?  Where are Aphrodite’s casket of ointment and her mantle all of gold?  Where is the image of thy own Athena?  Thou hast been robbed of all by war and the decay of ages, and the strong hand of fate, which reversed thy fortunes.  So far did bitter envy subdue thee; but thy name and glory she cannot hide. (IX.153)

If thou art a native of Sparta, strannger, mock me not; for I am not the only one that fortune hath used thus.  But if thou are from Asia, mourn me not; for every city now bows beneath the Trojan sceptre of the house of Aeneas.  If the envious sword of thy enemies hath emptied the temples of my gods, and my walls and my streets, yet am I again a queen, and do thou, undaunted Rome, my child, set on the Greeks the yoke of thy just rule.

Woman’s Lot

Not such your burden, happy youths, as ours--

Poor women-children nurtured daintily--

For ye have comrades when ill-fortune lours, 

To hearten you with talk and company; 

And ye have games for solace, and may roam

Along the streets and see the painters' shows.

But woe betide us if we stir from home--

And there our thoughts are dull enough, God knows!

Three Partridge Poems

My partridge, wand'rer from the hills forlorn, 

Thy house, light-woven of the willow-bough

No more, thou patient one, shall know thee now; 

And in the radiance of the bright-eyed morn

Shalt stretch and stir thy sun-kissed wings no more.

A cat struck off thy head--but all the rest

From out the glutton's envious grasp I tore!

Now may the earth lie heavy--so 'twere best--

Upon thee, and not lightly, so that she

May ne'er drag forth these poor remains of thee.

O cat in semblance, but in heart akin

To canine raveners, whose ways are sin; 

Still at my hearth a guest thou dar'st to be?

Unwhipt of Justice, hast no dread of me?

Or deem'st the sly allurements shall avail

Of purring throat and undulating tail?

No! As to pacify Patroclus dead

Twelve Trojans by Pelides' sentence bled, 

So shall thy blood appease the feathery shade, 

And for one guiltless life shall nine be paid.

Response by Damocharis, Pupil of Agathias

Wickedest of cats, rival of the man-eating pack; thou art one of Actaeon's hounds. By eating the partridge of Agathias thy mastei", thou hurtest him no less than if thou hadst feasted on himself. Thy heart is set now on partridges, but the mice meanhile are dancing, running off with thy dainties.  (VII.206)



Avatar photo

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

3 Responses

  1. David says:

    Shirley more happened between
    1347 Cola di Rienzo proclaimed tribune of Rome
    1806 Holy Roman Empire dissolved
    1600′ 30 years war is not in context here? Is it simply more of the same as 1806?

  2. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    This chronology is for our Summer School which concentrates on the period 400-700 AD. The later dates relate to the final talk on the specter of the Empire that haunted Europe.

  3. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    PS. Who’s this Shirley More, you seem enamored with. She sounds like a happening kind of chick.