Timeline for Chapter 3 BC 74 Bithynia and Cyrenaica become provinces.
73–71 Slave revolt of Spartacus.
70 First consulship of Pompey and Crassus. Trial of Verres by Cicero.
67 Pompey crushes the pirates.
66–63 Pompey, given exceptional powers in the East, defeats Mithridates and reorganizes the region. End of the Seleucid empire. Syria, including Judaea until 40 BC, is made a province.
63 Consulship of Cicero. Conspiracy of Catiline. Caesar is elected pontifex maximus. Birth of Caesar’s great-nephew, the future Augustus.
60 First triumvirate of Caesar, Crassus and Pompey.
59 First consulship of Caesar, who is appointed governor of Cisalpine Gaul with Illyricum for five years, to which the Senate adds Gallia Narbonensis (Transalpine Gaul). Pompey’s actions in the East ratified. Clodius becomes a pleb and is elected tribune of the people.
58–50 Caesar’s Gallic Wars. The whole of Gaul becomes part of the empire.
56 Renewal at Lucca of first triumvirate.
55 Second consulship of Crassus and Pompey. Caesar’s term extended.
55–54 Caesar’s invasions of Britain.
53 Death of Crassus in Parthia.
52 Pompey appointed sole consul.
49 Pompey authorized to deal with Caesar, who crosses the Rubicon with his army, signifying that he comes as an invader. Pompey leaves for Greece. Caesar is dictator for eleven days, then resigns.
48 Caesar defeats Pompey at Pharsalus. Pompey takes flight to Egypt, where he is murdered as he steps ashore. Caesar, in pursuit, stays to sort out Cleopatra’s affairs. He is reappointed dictator. Local war in Alexandria.
48–47 Caesar in Egypt.
47 Alexandrian War concluded with Jewish help. Caesar defeats Pharnaces, son of Mithridates, at Zela. (‘Veni, vidi, vici.’) Reaches Rome in September.
46 Caesar is appointed dictator for ten years. He crosses to Africa from Sicily, and crushes Pompey’s supporters at Thapsus. Suicide of Cato. Caesar’s quadruple triumph. Cleopatra in Rome with her twelve-year-old husband (her brother Ptolemy XIV) and her one-year-old son Ptolemy Caesar (popularly called Caesarion). Caesar’s wide-ranging legislation includes the reform of the calendar, necessitating the year having fifteen months. He leaves for Spain.
45 Final defeat of Pompeians in Spain. Caesar returns to Rome in October.
44 Caesar designated perpetual dictator. He is assassinated 15 March, having announced that he will leave Rome on 18 March to lead his armies against the Parthians. Marc Antony, Caesar’s consular colleague, takes control. The Senate, at the instigation of Cicero, grants amnesties to the conspirators, and recognizes Octavian as Caesar’s heir. Octavian holds games in honour of Caesar’s birthday. Antony, having granted himself the governorship of Cisalpine Gaul for five years, besieges the sitting governor, Decimus Brutus, one of the conspirators, in Mutina.
43 First consulship of Octavian. Formation of second triumvirate: Octavian, Antony and Lepidus. Proscriptions, in which Cicero dies.
42 Caesar is officially deified. The chief conspirators, Brutus and Cassius, are defeated at Philippi. Cisalpine Gaul incorporated into Italy. Antony goes to settle imperial affairs in the East.
40 Octavian defeats at Perusia army led by Lucius Antonius, consul for 41 and Antony’s brother. ‘Treaty of Brundisium’ effectively divides the Roman world between Octavian and Antony, who marries Octavia, Octavian’s sister.
40–35 Trouble with Sextus Pompeius, who finally surrenders in Asia and is executed.
38 Octavian, having divorced his wife the previous year after she had given birth to his daughter Julia, marries Livia, mother of Tiberius and pregnant with Drusus.
37 Renewal of triumvirate.
33 Second consulship of Octavian. Legal end of triumvirate. Octavian steps up propaganda campaign against Antony.
32 Antony divorces Octavia, and is attacked in the Senate by Octavian. War declared against Cleopatra.
31 Battle of Actium on 2 September.
31–23 Successive consulships of Octavian/Augustus.
30 Having been called back to Italy by mutinies and general unrest, Octavian returns to the East, arriving in Egypt during the summer. Antony and Cleopatra commit suicide. Egypt is annexed by Rome and becomes the personal property of the emperor.
29 Octavian celebrates triple triumph for victories in Dalmatia, at Actium and in Egypt. Temple of the Divine Julius dedicated.
28 Octavian awarded the title of princeps. Octavian and his consular colleague Agrippa hold a census, the first since 70 BC. They also reduce the number of senators from 1,000 to 800.
27 Octavian renounces his special powers and ‘transfers the state to the Roman people’. He accepts the provinces of Spain, Gaul and Syria for ten years, and assumes the name Augustus. Agrippa builds the first Pantheon, which is completed in 25.
The empire Julio-Claudians and Flavians
Rule of Augustus
23 Augustus resigns his eleventh consulship, probably because of illness. He is awarded full tribunician powers for life, and extended imperium which gives him authority over any provincial governor and over the army (renewed for five years in 18 and 13 BC, and for ten years in 8 BC, and in AD 3 and 13).
22 Famine and plague. Augustus declines a dictatorship and censorship for life, but accepts the post of corn supremo. He leaves for the East for three years.
21 Agrippa is forced to divorce his wife and marry Augustus’ daughter Julia, whose husband Marcellus has died after being married to her for two years.
18 The Senate is reduced to 600. Agrippa is granted special powers.
17 Augustus adopts Agrippa’s and Julia’s two sons, Gaius and Lucius, as his own sons. Saecular Games celebrated.
13 Tiberius’ first consulship. Augustus returns to Rome after three years in Gaul, and Agrippa after three years in the East. Agrippa’s special powers extended for five years.
12 Following the death of Lepidus, Augustus is elected pontifex maximus. Death of Agrippa.
11 Tiberius is forced to divorce his wife and marry Julia.
9 Dedication of Ara Pacis in Rome.
8 Tiberius scores victories in Germany.
7 Tiberius awarded tribunician powers for five years; he retires to Rhodes.
6 Death of Drusus. Death of Herod the Great.
2 Banishment of Julia.
2 Death of Lucius. Tiberius returns to Rome.
4 Death of Gaius. Augustus adopts Tiberius, who is granted tribunician powers for ten years. Tiberius adopts Germanicus, son of Drusus, and departs for Germany. Law restricting manumission.
6 Augustus establishes aerarium militare to provide for retired soldiers, and creates the post of praefectus vigilum.
9 Varian disaster.
13 Augustus’ control of his provinces renewed for a further ten years. Tiberius’ powers are also renewed, with imperium equal to that of Augustus.
14 Census enumerates five million Roman citizens. Death (19 August) and deification (17 September) of Augustus. Tiberius succeeds him. Mutinies in Pannonia and Germany. Sejanus appointed commander of imperial guard. Death of Julia.
Rule of Tiberius
16 Germanicus advances to the river Elbe, but is recalled to Rome and the attempt to extend the Roman frontier is abandoned.
17 Germanicus celebrates a triumph, then is sent to the East with powers to reorganize the provinces.
18 Third consulship of Tiberius, with Germanicus, who falls out with Gnaeus Piso, legate of Syria. Death, in banishment, of the poet Ovid.
19 Death of Germanicus in Syria, which Piso is forced by army pressure to leave.
20 Piso, charged with treason and with procuring the death of Germanicus, commits suicide.
21 Fourth consulship of Tiberius, with his son Drusus. Tiberius, however, retires for a time to Campania.
22 Drusus awarded tribunician powers.
23 Sejanus relocates the imperial guard to a camp immediately outside the city walls. Death of Drusus (attributed to Sejanus by Tacitus).
26 Pontius Pilate becomes administrator of Judaea. Sejanus persuades Tiberius to leave Rome.
27 Tiberius settles in Capri.
28 Marriage of Agrippina, daughter of Germanicus and Agrippina (elder), to Domitius Ahenobarbus.
29 Agrippina (elder) and her eldest son exiled. Death of Livia at the age of eighty-six.
31 From Capri, Tiberius denounces Sejanus, on whom the Senate pronounces the death sentence.
33 Probable date of the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth under Roman law. Drusus, son of Germanicus, becomes one of over sixty well-known people executed for treason during the rule of Tiberius.
37 Death of Tiberius (16 March). Gaius (Caligula), Tiberius’ great-nephew, becomes emperor and is suffect consul with his uncle Claudius. Death of Tiberius Gemellus, Tiberius’ grandson. Birth of the emperor Nero.
Rule of Caligula
38 Death and deification of Caligula’s sister Drusilla. Riots in Alexandria between Jews and Greeks.
39 Conspiracy of Aemilius Lepidus, widower of Drusilla, and C. Lentulus Gaetulicus, consul in 26 and now legate in Upper Germany, both of whom are executed. Caligula’s other two sisters are exiled. Caligula is on the Rhine and in Gaul over the winter.
40 Caligula makes an expedition to the Channel. On his return to Rome, he orders a statue of himself to be set up in the Temple at Jerusalem. Deputation of Alexandrine Jews and Greeks.
41 Assassination of Caligula. Claudius, with the help of Herod Agrippa in bringing round the Senate, is made emperor, having promised a donative to each member of the imperial guard equivalent to ten years’ pay, an unfortunate precedent. Herod Agrippa (Agrippa I), in addition to his existing territories, is also made king of Judaea, Samaria and Idumaea, which cease to be under the jurisdiction of the governor of Syria.
Rule of Claudius
42 Mauretania is divided into two provinces.
43 Invasion of Britain, part of which becomes a province under Aulus Plautius.
44 Claudius celebrates a triumph for his victory in Britain and names his three-year-old son Britannicus. Achaea and Macedonia become subject to the authority of the Senate. Death of Agrippa I. Judaea reverts to being a province.
46 Achaea is annexed.
47 Plautius celebrates a triumph for his successes in Britain, the last occasion on which a subject is so honoured.
48 As censor, a post he revives, Claudius registers some seven million citizens of Rome, and opens the way for more provincials to become senators. Death of the empress Messalina. Claudius marries Agrippina (the younger), the daughter of his brother Germanicus.
50 Claudius adopts Nero, son of Agrippina.
51 Final defeat in Wales of the British chief Caratacus, who is handed over by Cartimandua, queen of the Brigantes. Claudius pardons him and his family and allows them to live out their lives in Rome. Vespasian is suffect consul.
53 Marriage of Nero to Claudius’ daughter Octavia.
54 Death of Claudius by poison (12 October). Accession of Nero. Claudius is deified.
Rule of Nero
55 Nero rules initially with the advice of his tutor, Seneca, and Burrus, commander of the imperial guard. Claudius’ freedman, who was his financial secretary, is dismissed. Britannicus is poisoned. Gn. Domitius Corbulo appointed to military command in the East.
56 Quaestors are replaced by two imperial officers (ex-praetors) at the treasury, to which Nero transfers forty million sesterces in 57.
59 Nero finally succeeds in murdering his mother.
60 Corbulo, after several military successes, settles the Armenian problem, and is appointed governor of Syria.
61 In Britain, the Iceni (under Boudica) and Trinovantes revolt, causing great destruction and slaughter. They are finally defeated by Suetonius Paullinus, and Boudica commits suicide.
62 Death of Burrus. Seneca withdraws from public life. Nero marries Poppaea, having divorced and subsequently murdered Octavia.
64 Great fire of Rome.
65 In the wake of a high-level conspiracy, there are many executions and enforced suicides, including that of Seneca. Death of Poppaea.
66–74 First Jewish War.
66 As First Jewish War begins, Vespasian is appointed military commander in Judaea. Nero marries Statilia Messalina.
68 Nero returns from visits to Greece. Verginius Rufus, legate of Upper Germany, crushes rebellion of Vindex in Gaul. Death of Nero (6 June). End of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Galba enters Rome and is accepted as emperor.
69 Year of the four emperors. Vitellius, governor of Lower Germany, is acclaimed emperor by his troops and those in Upper Germany. Galba and Piso, his nominee as successor, is killed by the imperial guard, who make Otho emperor (15 January). In northern Italy Vitellius defeats Otho, who commits suicide (14 April). Vitellius arrives in Rome (mid-July). Vespasian, in Judaea, is proclaimed emperor by Tiberius Alexander, prefect of Egypt (1 July), and is accepted as such by the troops in the East and on the Danube. The Danube legions capture Rome (21 December). Death of Vitellius (24 December).
From the accession of Vespasian to the end of the Flavian dynasty
70 Vespasian and Titus are consuls. Titus takes Jerusalem; destruction of the Temple. Vespasian reaches Rome (October).
71 Vespasian and Nerva are consuls. Triumph of Vespasian and Titus for victories in Judaea. Titus is appointed commander of the imperial guard and receives tribunician powers.
73 First consulship of Domitian.
74 Vespasian confers Latin rights on all parts of the Spanish peninsula. Fall of Masada marks end of First Jewish War.
78–84 Agricola is governor of Britain.
79 Death of Vespasian and accession of Titus (23 June). Eruption of Vesuvius and destruction of Herculaneum and Pompeii (August).
80 Fire in Rome destroys Capitoline Temple. Opening of the Colosseum (the Flavian Amphitheatre).
81 Erection of Arch of Titus. Death of Titus and accession of Domitian (13 September).
83 Domitian campaigns in Germany.
84 Battle of Mons Graupius in Scotland. Agricola is recalled.
86–92 Domitian’s Danube wars.
96 Assassination of Domitian. Senate elects Nerva to succeed him.