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Europe History Timeline

  • 3500 - 2600 BC Minoan people settled the island of Crete, became an important maritime power trading with Egypt and Asia Minor
  • 3000 BC Aegeans and Minoans developed bronze tools and trade networks
  • 3100 - 2400 BC Construction of Stonehenge completed in England in multiple phases
  • 2500 - 2000 BC Use of bronze tools spread across mainland Europe
  • 1900 - 1600 BC Mycenaean Age began, Mycenaean people spread across the Greek mainland
  • 1627 BC Thera Volcano erupted, decimated nearby Minoan settlements, changed the climate of the entire region
  • 1420 BC Mycenaeans occupied the Minoan cities on Crete
  • 1104 BC Phoenicians founded the city of Cadiz in present day Spain
  • 1085 BC Madrid founded
  • 900 - 800 BC Greek city states founded. Greeks modified the Phoenician alphabet to create the Greek alphabet
  • 776 BC First Olympic games held in Delphi
  • 753 BC Rome founded
  • 600 BC The Forum built in Rome
  • 550 BC World wonder, the Temple of Artemis completed in Ephesus
  • 546 BC Cyrus the Great proclaimed "King of the Persian Empire"

500 - 400 BC


  • 509 BC Romans converted to a republic form of government
  • 470 - 399 BC The Greek philosopher, Socrates, developed the Socratic method of inquiry and the beginnings of ethics. He also contributed to philosophical thought.
  • 466 - 456 BC World wonder, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia is completed
  • 428 - 348 BC Plato, a student of Socrates, founded one of the earliest organized schools in western civilization, influenced studies of mathematics and philosophy throughout the known world.

400 - 100 BC

  • 384 - 322 BC Aristotle, a student of Plato, developed formal logic, the camera obscura, the beginnings of the scientific method, and zoology
  • 353 - 350 BC World wonder, the Mausoleum at Harlicarnassus was completed in modern day Turkey
  • 331 - 334 BC Alexander the Great conquered the entire Persian Empire
  • 312 BC The first Roman aqueduct, Aqua Appia, was constructed
  • 292 - 280 BC World wonder, the Colossus of Rhodes is completed. Stood over 30 m (107 ft) high.

100 - 0 BC

  • 70 - 1 BC The poet Virgil wrote the Aenid
  • 44 BC Gaius Julius Caesar assassinated on the Ides of March
  • 30 BC Egypt became a Roman province. Roman general, Mark Anthony and Egyptian pharaoh, Cleopatra committed suicide
  • 27 BC Rome's republic ended and the empire began. Augustus Caesar was sole ruler of the Roman Empire
  • 7 BC - 4 CE Rome conquered Judea in modern day Israel. Jesus of Nazareth was born in this Judean province.

0 - 400 CE

  • 50 -43 Romans conquered Britain, founded the city of London
  • 80 The Colosseum was built in Rome
  • 122 Hadrian's Wall was built in northern England
  • 200 - 300 Germanic tribes such as the Ostrogoths and Visigoths began to organize
  • 306 - 322 Constantine declared emperor of the Roman empire. He ended persecution of Christians and converts to Christianity
  • 325 Ecumenical Council of Nicea convened to develop Nicene Creed, set the date for Easter, and homogenized Christian beliefs
  • 400 - 600 Decline of the Roman Empire

400 - 900 CE

  • 710 - 730 Muslim forces crossed the Strait of Gibraltar, conquered Spain
  • 741 - 813 Charlemagne expanded the Frankish empire to include modern day Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, northern Italy, and northern Spain.
  • 793 - 802 Viking settlers expanded from Scandinavia outwards to northern England, Ireland, and northern France.
  • 825 Vikings arrived at Iceland
  • 843 Viking settlers founded Dublin
  • 859 Russian city of Novogrod founded
  • 872 Harold I unified all of Norway
  • 886 - 911 Viking leader Rollo sacked Paris and in a treaty, was given the region of Normandy in France

900 - 1100

  • 962 The Saxon leader Otto I crowned Holy Roman Emperor by the Pope
  • 982 - 985 Viking explorer Erik the Red banished from Iceland and subsequently discovered Greenland
  • 1025 Poland declared independence from the Holy Roman Empire, emerged as major European power
  • 1057 William the Conqueror conquered all of England for France
  • 1066 Tower of London constructed
  • 1096 - 1300 The Crusades began causing many Muslim and Christian deaths. Crusaders battled across the Middle East and Spain.

1100 - 1400

  • 1144 Gothic architecture gained prominence
  • 1237 Mongols crossed the Ural mountains and ruled Russia
  • 1252 The Inquisition began, torture approved in cases of religious disobedience
  • 1347 - 1350 The Black Death struck Europe killing an estimated 30 - 60% of Europe's population
  • 1350 - 1500 The Renaissance began in Italy

1400 - 1700

  • 1430 Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for leading French troops
  • 1434 The Medici family rose to power in Italy, Cosimio de Medici became ruler of Florence
  • 1492 Columbus began his exploration of the New World
  • 1492 Gutenberg Bible printed using moveable type
  • 1500 - 1600 English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch colonies were founded throughout the New World and Africa
  • 1503 Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa
  • 1517 The Protestant reformation began
  • 1588 England defeated the Spanish Armada and gained control of the seas
  • 1600 Galileo challenged geocentric view of the universe
  • 1687 Isaac Newton founded Newtonian physics

1700 - 1900

  • 1750 - 1850 English Industrial Revolution began
  • 1789 French revolution stormed the Bastille
  • 1792 - 1821 Napoleon conquered much of Europe for the French
  • 1802 Ludwig van Beethoven performed Moonlight Sonata
  • 1804 Napolean proclaimed Emperor of France
  • 1845 - 1849 Irish potato famine killed approximately 1 million Irish
  • 1848 Karl Marx argued for socialism, revolutions occurred in Europe; issued Communist Manifesto
  • 1859 Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species
  • 1860 - 1869 Italy and Germany unified into modern countries

1900 - 2000

  • 1914 - 1918 World War I occurred throughout Europe
  • 1930's Great Depression weakened European economies
  • 1933 Adolf Hitler became Chancellor Germany
  • 1939 Winston Churchill became prime minister of Britain
  • 1939 - 1945 World War II occurred throughout the world. Hitler created concentration camps for Jews. Russia expanded their country. Mussolini overthrown in Italy.
  • 1944 D-Day landing in Normandy by allies
  • 1945 Hitler committed suicide; Germany surrendered
  • 1946 - 1990 Cold War took place between USSR and the United States
  • 1957 USSR launched Sputnik into space
  • 1978 World's first successful &test-tube& baby born in Great Britain
  • 1989 Poland overthrew communism. Tim Berners-Lee of Great Britain, created the World Wide Web. Berlin Wall demolished
  • 1991 USSR collapsed, Cold War ended
  • 1992 Maasricht treaty created European Union
  • 1995 CERN in Switzerland created antihydrogen atoms
  • 2002 The European Union released the Euro as a new form of currency
  • 2003 Ten thousand people died in heat wave in France
  • 2005 French protestors rioted in the streets. Pope John Paul II died. Bomb attack on three of London's underground trains killed 56, injured over 700
  • 2007 - 2009 Russia attacked Georgia
  • 2008 Former Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic arrested on charges of genocide
  • 2010 Polish President, Lech Kaczynski and 96 other passengers and crew, killed in airplane crash
  • 2011 Greeks rioted in the streets over government and economic troubles

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This page was last modified on September 19, 2016.