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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

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on September 19, 2016.