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Roman Empire Timeline and Roman Invasion of Britain

Period: The Monarchy, 753 BC to 509 BC
Political and military events
Cultural and other events
753 Foundation of Rome
616-579 Tarquinius Priscus c.600

Iron Age huts on Palatine hill
Forum area drained

Earliest Latin inscriptions Capitoline temple built

579-543 Servius Tullius


Tarquinius Superbus
509 Expulsion of the Kings More temples built
494 Plebeians struggle with patricians for rights First law code: Twelve Tables
450 City wall built Romanisation of Italy
390 Rome sacked by Gauls
378 Appian Way built
338 Extension of Roman citizenship 312 Coinage begins
278 End of struggle with patricians c280 First gladiatorial games
272 Rome wins control of whole of Italy Hellenisation of Roman society; comedies of Plautus and Terence; poetry of Ennius
264-241 First Punic War (against Carthage): Rome wins Sicily
218-201 Second Punic War: Hannibal defeated; 206 Spain becomes two Roman provinces
214-167 Macedonian Wars
197-133 Wars in Spain
149-146 Third Punic War: Carthage destroyed, Africa becomes Roman province
148 Macedonia becomes Roman province  
133 Asia becomes Roman province; land reforms of Tiberius Gracchus

Laws of Gaius Gracchu

113-101 War against Cimbri
107-86 Seven consulships of Marius; 104 army reform
91-87 Social War; Roman citizenship extended to all Italy
88-85 First Mithridatic War
82-81 Dictatorship of Sulla: proscriptions, reforms; rise of Pompey
73-71 Revolt of Spartacus
Third Mithridatic War
63 Consulship of Cicero; conspiracy of Catiline
60 'First triumvirate' (Pompey, Caesar, Crassus)
58-50 Caesar conquers Gaul; 55, 54 expeditions to Britain

Speeches, treatises and letters of Cicero; poetry of Catullus and Lucretius; histories of Caesar; 55 Pompey's theatre


49-45 Caesar wins civil war against Pompey and republicans
44 Caesar dictator for life; assassinated 46 Caesar's forum
43 'Second triumvirate' (Antony, Octavian, Lepidus); proscriptions, murder of Cicero c39 Histories of Sallust
Virgil's Eclogues
32-31 Octavian wins civil war against Mark Antony; 31 Actium
29 Virgil's Georgics
Period: The Empire, 27 BC to AD 476
Political and military events
Cultural and other events
27 Octavian becomes first emperor Augustus 27 Agrippa's Pantheon
19 Virgil's Aeneid; poetry of Horace, Tibullus, Propertius, Ovid; history of Livy
16-AD 6 Conquest of Danube provinces
Theatre of Marcellus
Ara Pacis Augustae
Augustus' forum
9 Varian disaster
14 Death of Augustus 14

Augustus' Res Gestae

Teaching and death of Christ

14-37 Tiberius
37-41 Caligula
41-54 Claudius
43 Conquest of Britain
54-68 Nero Treatises and tragedies of Seneca; poetry of Persius and Lucan; novel of Petronius
Boudicca's revolt
64 Fire of Rome; first persecution of Christians
66-70 Jewish revolt

Galba, Otho, Vitellius



Histories and treatises of Pliny the Elder
79 Eruption of Vesuvius
81-96 Domitian 80
Epigrams of Martial, rhetoric of Quintilian
Histories of Tacitus, letters of Pliny the Younger, satires of Juvenal




107 Conquest of Dacia 112
Trajan's forum

Biographies of Suetonius



138-161 Antoninus Pius 142 Hadrian's Wall
Antonine Wall
Novel and oratory of Apuleius; legal writings of
Marcus Aurelius
193-235 Severan dynasty
212 Roman citizenship extended to all free inhabitants of the empire 216 Baths of Caracalla
272 Dacia ceded to the Goths 260 Decree of toleration of Christianity
Aurelian's city wall
293 Tetrarchy established
307-337 Constantine I

Defeat of Maxentius at Milvian Bridge



Arch of Constantine




410 Britain told to defend itself 324 Foundation of Constantinople
455 Vandals sack Rome
476 Loss of western Roman empire complete

Timeline of the Roman invasion of Britain
26th - 31st August 55BC Julius Caesar attempted to invade Britain

Julius Caesar crossed the Channel with a force of around 10,000 soldiers. They landed on the beach at Deal and were met by a force of Britons. The Romans eventually took the beach and waited for cavalry back up to arrive from France. However, a storm prevented the back up force from reaching Britain and Caesar had to withdraw.

July - Sept 54BC Julius Caesar's second invasion of Britain

Julius Caesar crossed the Channel with a force of around 27,000 infantry and cavalry. They landed again at Deal and were unopposed - the Britons had retreated to higher ground. The Romans marched inland and met a large force of Britons led by Cassivellaunus north of the River Thames. After a hard battle the Romans defeated the Britons and some tribal leaders surrendered to the Romans. Cassivellanus ordered crops to be burned and made guerrilla attacks on Roman forces.  But the Romans were too strong and Cassivellanus was forced to surrender. In September Caesar was forced to return to Gaul (France) to deal with problems there and the Romans left Britain.

54BC - 43AD Roman influence increased

Although not present in Britain, the influence of the Romans increased due to trade links

5AD Cymbeline Cymbeline, King of the Catuvellauni tribe, was acknowledged by Rome to be King of Britain
May 43AD Romans Invaded Britain

A Roman force of about 40,000 led by Aulus Plautius landed in Kent. They defeated a force of Britons led by Caratacus and began taking the South-East of Britain. Caratacus escaped and fled to Wales where he set up a resistance base.

Autumn 43AD Claudius arrived with reinforcements

The Roman emperor Claudius arrived in Britain with reinforcements. Colchester (Camulodunum) was taken and eleven tribal Kings surrendered to the Romans. Claudius appointed Aulus Plautius Governor of Britain before returning to Rome.

43 - 47AD Conquest of the South

The Romans continued their conquest and by 47AD had conquered the whole of South Britain and claimed Britain as part of the Roman Empire.

47 - 50AD London Founded

London (Londinium) was founded and a bridge built across the river Thames. A network of roads was built across the south of Britain.

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