1 CE - 900 CE. a timeline of natural light, the hidden light, and the ever-present darkness in the Western World.
4- 39 Rules of Herod Antipas
8 Ovid’s Metamorphoses
10 Hillel the Elder, considered the greatest Torah sage, dies, leading to the dominance of Shammai till 30
14 Death of Augustus
15 Manilius’s Astronomica
23 Strabo’s Geography
29/30 Death of Jesus of Nazarene executed.
35 Paul of Tarus sees Jesus in mystical vision on the road to Damascus.
40-44 Rule of Herod Agrippa. Philo of Alexandria flourishes integration of Judahean and proto-Jewish religious thinking and Platonism, developing/creating Biblical commentary on the Biblical text, blending Jewish Deity with Greek concept of Logos.
44 Emperor Claudius returns Palestine to Roman provincial status.
44-66 Unrest in Palestine by Judaheans and Pharisees instigators.
48 Council of Apostles at Jerusalem recognizes Paul’s mission to Gentiles.
50-60 Letters of Paul composed
May 66: Procurator Florus desecrates Temple and then rebels lead by Eleasar son of High Priest occupies Temple.
66-70: The Great Jewish Revolt against Roman occupation ended with destruction of the Second Temple and the fall of Jerusalem. 1,100,000 people are killed by the Romans during the siege, and 97,000 captured and enslaved. The Sanhedrin was relocated to Yavne by Yochanan ben Zakai, see also Council of Jamnia. Fiscus Judaicus levied on all Jews of the Roman Empire whether they aided the revolt or not.
64-68 Apostles Peter and Paul killed in Rome by Nero’s rule.
70: Jerusalem Temple razed by Rome. Thus ends power base of Priest who become the Sadducees. They compete with the Pharisees Rabbis and their ascendency, Triumph of Judaism. Rabbi Yohanan Ben Zakkai gets permission, according to Rabbinic legend, to build a ‘school’ in the city of Yahveh. The start of Mishnah in Oral form that leads to the Talmud in written form. Rabbinic Judaism is now the only power base. The Rule of Rabbinic/Talmudic Constitutional Law of the Jewish People.
Following the destruction of the Temple, Rome governed Judea through a Procurator at Caesarea and a Jewish Patriarch. A former leading Pharisee, Yohanan ben Zakkai, was appointed the first Patriarch (the Hebrew word, Nasi, also means prince, or president), and he reestablished the Sanhedrin at Javneh under Pharisee control. Instead of giving tithes to the priests and sacrificing offerings at the Temple, the rabbis instructed Jews to give money to charities and study in local Synagogues, as well as to pay the Fiscus Iudaicus. The Merkavah (Chariot metaphor taken from the book of Ezekiel) riders, a form of Jewish Mysticism flourishes among a select group of Rabbis. The legend of the four who ventured to PaRDeS (the Garden aka paradise aka the heavenly throne), amongst that four was Rabbi Akiva. The invention of the dual Torah system, the Written Text of the Torah (and the rest of the Scriptures) and the Oral Torah (the teachings of the Rabbis). The legend of Oral Torah at Sinai. This story explains why the Rabbis have the authority to decide and interpret Torah. The story of how the revelation and authority to interpret the Law was passed down in Oral Tradition from Moses to the Rabbis. All that the Rabbis wrote and teach was given at Sinai, so the story goes.
70–200 Period of the Tannaim, rabbis who organized and elucidated the Jewish oral law. The decisions of the Tannaim are contained in the Mishnah, Beraita, Tosefta, and various Midrash compilations.
73 Final events of the Great Jewish Revolt – the fall of Masada. Christianity starts off as a Jewish sect and then develops its own texts and ideology and branches off from Judaism to become a distinct religion.
100 Nicomachus’s Introduction to Arithmetic. Gnostic religions and theologies flourish
109 Tacitus’s Historiae written. (Notes that the leader of the followers of Jesus was executed by Roman law by crucifixion.)
110 Plutarch flourishes, writes Parallel Lives, comparative biographies of prominent Greeks and Romans.
115–117 Kitos War (Revolt against Trajan) – a second Jewish-Roman War initiated in large Jewish communities of Cyprus, Cyrene (modern Libya), Aegipta (modern Egypt) and Mesopotamia (modern Syria and Iraq). It led to mutual killing of hundreds of thousands Jews, Greeks and Romans, ending with a total defeat of Jewish rebels and complete extermination of Jews in Cyprus and Cyrene by the newly installed Emperor Hadrian.
120 Epicetus flourishes, Stoic moralist.
132: The Emperor Hadrian threatened to rebuild Jerusalem as a pagan city dedicated to Jupiter, called Aelia Capitolina. Some of the leading sages of the Sanhedrin supported a rebellion (and, for a short time, an independent state) led by Simon bar Kozeba (also called Bar Kochba, or "son of a star"); some, such as Rabbi Akiba, believed Bar Kochbah to be messiah, or king. Up until this time, a number of Christians were still part of the Jewish community. However, they did not support or take part in the revolt. Whether because they had no wish to fight, or because they could not support a second messiah in addition to Jesus, or because of their harsh treatment by Bar Kochba during his brief reign, these Christians also left the Jewish community around this time.
135: This revolt ended in when Bar Kochba and his army were defeated. The Romans then barred Jews from Jerusalem, until Constantine allowed Jews to enter for one day each year, during the holiday of Tisha B'Av.
136 Rabbi Akiva executed by the Romans
138 With Emperor Hadrian's death, the persecution of Jews within the Roman Empire is eased and Jews are allowed to visit Jerusalem on Tisha B'av. In the following centuries the Jewish center moves to Galilee.
140 Ptolemey’s Almagest and Terabiblos codify classical astronomy and astrology.
161 Marcus Aurelius becomes emperor of Rome.
170 Galen advances science of medicine.
180 Irenaeus’s Against Heresies criticizes Gnosticism.
Circa 200: After the suppression of the revolt the vast majority of Jews were sent into exile; shortly thereafter. Judah haNasi edited together judgments and traditions into an authoritative code, the Mishnah. This marks the completed transformation of Pharisaic Judaism into full blown Rabbinic Judaism. Rabbinic Judaism is based on the interpretation of Halakah, the Law. Corpus Hermeticum compiled in Alexandria (approximate). Although the Rabbis traced their origins to the Pharisees, Rabbinic Judaism nevertheless involved a radical repudiation of certain elements of Pharisaism—elements that were basic to Second Temple Judaism. The Pharisees had been partisan. Members of different sects argued with one another over the correctness of their respective interpretations. After the destruction of the Second Temple, these sectarian divisions ended. The term "Pharisee" was no longer used, perhaps because it was a term more often used by non-Pharisees, but also because the term was explicitly sectarian. The Rabbis claimed leadership over all Jews, and added to the Amidah the birkat haMinim (see Council of Jamnia held at Yahveh.), a prayer which in part exclaims, "Praised are You O Lord, who breaks enemies and defeats the arrogant," and which is understood as a rejection of sectarians and sectarianism. This shift by no means resolved conflicts over the interpretation of the Torah; rather, it relocated debates between sects to debates within Rabbinic Judaism
During the time of the Composition of the Talmud, references are noted in the eventual text of a book assumed to be the Sefer Yetzirah and the study and use made of it by groups of Rabbis engaged in mystical studies. The historical origin of the Sefer Yetzirah was placed by Reitzenstein (Poimandres, p. 291) in the 2nd century BCE. According to Christopher P. Benton, the Hebrew grammatical form places its origin closer to the period of the Mishna, around the 2nd century CE.
220–500 Period of the Amoraim, the rabbis of the Talmud.
235-285 Barbarian invasions into Roman Empire.
248: Origen’s Constra Celsum defends Christianity against pagan intellectuals.
250-260 Persecution of Christians by Roman emperors Decius and Valerian
265: Plotinus writing and teaching in Rome, emergence of Neoplatonisim.
301: Plotinus Enneads complied by Porphry.
312: Conversion of Constantine to Christianity.
313: Edict of Milan establishes religious toleration for Christianity in Roman Empire
315–337 Roman Emperor Constantine I enacts new restrictive legislation. Conversion of Christians to Judaism is outlawed, congregations for religious services are curtailed, but Jews are also allowed to enter Jerusalem on the anniversary of the Temple's destruction..
325: Council of Nicaea convened by Constantine establishes orthodox Christian doctrine.
350: The Next phase of Rabbinic commentary on the Torah and Mishnah begins to be recorded into a text, the Gemara. The Mishnah and the Gemara combines to be the Talmud. To centers of Rabbis work on this document. Those in Palestine and those in Babylon.
358 Hillel II creates a mathematical calendar for calculating the Jewish month. After adopting the calendar, the Sanhedrin in Tiberias is dissolved.
361–363 The last pagan Roman Emperor, Julian, allows the Jews to return to "holy Jerusalem which you have for many years longed to see rebuilt" and to rebuild the Second Temple. Shortly after, the Emperor is assassinated, and the plan is dissolved.
370 Huns begin massive invasion of Europe, continues until 453.
379 In India, the Hindu king Sira Primal, also known as Iru Brahman, issued what was engraved on a tablet of brass, his permission to Jews to live freely, build synagogue, own property without conditions attached and as long as the world and moon exist.
382 Jerome begins translation of Bible into Latin.
391 Emperor of Rome, Theodosius prohibits all pagan worship in Roman empire.
400 Augustine’s Confessions. The Talmud is completed by the Rabbis living in Palestine.
413-427 Augustine’s City of God.
415 Death of Hypatia by Christian mob in Alexandria
438 The Empress Eudocia removes the ban on Jews' praying at the Temple site and the heads of the Community in Galilee issue a call "to the great and mighty people of the Jews": "Know that the end of the exile of our people has come"
450 Redaction of Talmud Yerushalmi (Talmud of Jerusalem)
476 end of Roman empire in West.
C. 500 The completion of the Babylonian Talmud.
524 Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy
529 Closing of the Platonic Academy in Athens by Christian Roman Emperor Justinian.
550 The main redaction of Talmud Bavli (Babylonian Talmud) is completed under Rabbis Ravina and Ashi. To a lesser degree, the text continues to be modified for the next 200 years.
550–700 Period of the savoraim, the sages in Persia who put the Talmud in its final form.
555–572 The Fourth Samaritan Revolt against Byzantium results in great reduction of the Samaritan community, their Israelite faith is outlawed. Neighboring Jews, who mostly reside in Galilee, are also affected by the oppressive rule of the Byzantines.
600: Pope Gregory the Great codifies and collects the chant, which is used in Roman Catholic services and is named the Gregorian chant in his honor.
622 Beginning of Islam.
700–1250 Period of the Gaonim (the Gaonic era). Jews in southern Europe and Asia Minor lived under the often intolerant rule of Christian Kings and clerics. Most Jews lived in the Muslim Arab realm (Andalusia, North Africa, Palestine, Iraq and Yemen). Despite sporadic periods of persecution, Jewish communal and cultural life flowered in this period. The universally recognized centers of Jewish life were in Jerusalem and Tiberias (Syria), Sura and Pumbeditha (Iraq). The heads of these law schools were the Gaonim, who were consulted on matters of law by Jews throughout the world. During this time, the Niqqud is invented in Tiberias.
711 Muslim armies invade and occupy most of Spain (At this time Jews made up about 8% of Spain's population). Under Christian rule, Jews had been subject to frequent and intense persecution, which was formalized under Muslim rule due to the dhimmi rules in Islam. Jews and Christians had to pay the jizya. Some sources mark this as the beginning of the Golden age of Jewish culture in Spain, though most mention 912.
731 Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, popularizes method of dating events from birth of Jesus.
740 The Khazar (a Turkic semi-nomadic people from Central Asia) King and members of the upper class adopt Judaism. The Khazarate lasts until 10th century, being overrun by Russians, and finally conquered by Russian and Byzantian forces in 1016.
760 The Karaites reject the authority of the oral law, and split off from rabbinic Judaism.
807 Abbassid Caliph Harun al-Rashid orders all Jews in the Caliphate to wear a yellow belt, with Christians to wear a blue one.
846 In Sura, Iraq, Rav Amram Gaon compiles his siddur (Jewish prayer book.)
c. 850: Western music begins to move from monophony to polyphony with the vocal parts in church music moving in parallel intervals.
And so it goes….