2000 BCE - 1 CE a timeline a history of natural light, the hidden light, and the ever-present darkness in the Western World.
[Compiled from Wikipedia article on the history of anti-Semitism en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_antisemitism and A timeline of Western music, http://www.infoplease.com/ipea/A0151192.html, Theories for Everything edited for National Geographic, 2006, and Richard Tarnas’s The Passion of the Western Mind, amongst other sources and research. Dates for events in antiquity are approximate.]
4000 Ancient Sumerian records.
3000 Stonehenge in its earliest form is being built.
2685 – 2345 Great Pyramids of Egypt built.
2600 Imhotep, Egyptian healer, describes numerous ailments, including tuberculosis and appendicitis, and lists of remedies.
2500 Egyptian papyruses contain the first written anatomy of brain and 26 cases of brain injury.
2000-1500 BCE Middle Bronze Age in Biblical lands. Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac & Jacob 2000-1800). Circa 2000 migrations of Greek speaking Indo-European peoples into Aegean area begins.
1950 Hebrew patriarchs migrate from Mesopotamia to Canaan (?)
1800 Early Mesopotamian astronomical observations recorded.
1700 – 1600 Hebrews in Egypt
1700 Minoan civilization on Crete at height during next two centuries, influencing Greek mainland.
1600 Gradual Greek fusion of Indo-European and pre-Hellenic Mediterranean religions.
1550 Ebers Papyrus an Egyptian medical practice and knowledge, ranging from arthritis, and diabetes to parasitic infections and crocodile bites.
1450 Fall of Minoan civilization on Crete after invasions and volcanic disasters.
1400 Ascendancy of Mycenaean civilization on Greek mainland
1250 Hebrews leave Egypt under leadership of Moses.
1200 Trojan War with Mycenaean Greeks. Twelve Tribes 1200 - 1025
1150 Turin papyrus, the oldest existing Western made map, is created during reign of Ramses II.
1100 Dorian invasion, end of Mycenaean dominance
1025 – 1005: King Saul
1005-965 or 1000-960 King David
1005-1004 Jerusalem made David’s Capital. Religion of Judah, Single Monarch and Assertion of Single God.
965-928 or 960-925: King Solomon. Building of the Temple in Jerusalem, asserting single Temple for religion of single God of Judah, Hebrews become Judaheans.
928/925-722 Kingdoms of Judah and Israel
911-609 : Rise and Fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire
900 Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey composed.
776 First Pan-Hellenic Olympic games.
750 First almanacs are created by Babylonian astronomers based on cycles of the moon. Greek colonization of Mediterranean spreads.
722 Northern Kingdom of Israel conquered by Assyria. First Isaiah flourishes in Judah.
720: Exile of upper levels of society to Assyria
701 Assyrian campaign against Judah Southern Kingdom
700 Hesiod’s Theogony, Works & Days
600 Thales of Miletus flourishes and the birth of philosophy, asserts fundamental elements underlie substances
626-539 Neo-Babylonian/Chaldean Empire
597:First Capture of Jerusalem by Babylon & 1st Babylonian Exile.
587/6 ReCapture/2nd Capture of Jerusalem by Babylon & Destruction of 1st Temple.
597-586: Babylonian Exile, The birth of Judaism, imagining YHWH as Creator of the World. The Soferim/ The scribes record the stories of the Hebrews and the Judaheans and possibly create and write the book of the Torah, Joshua, and Judges.
594 Solon reforms government of Athens, establishes rules for Public recital of Homeric poems.
590 Jeremiah flourishes in Judah
580 Sappho flourishes, flowering of Greek lyric poetry
570 Anaximander flourishes develops systematic cosmology
545 Anaximenes flourishes, posits transmutation of underlying substance.
539: Fall of Babylon to Persia. Ezekiel and Second Isaiah flourishes, prophesy of historical redemption.
538 Edict of Cyrus of Persia allowing exiles to return. Now there are two groups of power the Judahean the ex-royal court and ex-temple group & the Scribes who are the Proto-Rabbinic Religion Jerusalem and Babylon
525 Pythagoras begins philosophical-religious brotherhood, develops synthesis of science and mysticism.
520: Dedication to the rebuilding of the 2nd Temple. Xenophanes flourishes philosophical monotheism, skepticism toward anthropomorphic deities.
508 Democratic reforms instituted in Athens by Cleisthenes
500 Heraclitus flourishes, philosophy of pervasive flux, develops contextual logic that present paradoxes .
499 Persian wars begins with Greece
490 Athens defeats Persian army at Marathon
480 Athens defeats Persian fleet at Salmis
478 Establishment of Delian League of Greek states led by Athens. Period of Athenian ascendency begins.
472 Aeschylus’s The Persians, rise of Greek tragedy plays
470 Pindar flourishes, apex of Greek lyric poetry. Parmenides flourishes posits logical opposition between appearances and changeless unitary reality
469 birth of Socrates
465 Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound
460 Anaxagoras flourishes, concept of universal Nous (Greek concept of Mind/Consciousness)
458-429 Age of Pericles leadership in Athens
458 Priest Ezra comes to Jerusalem, the reading from Torah. Ezra brings from Babylon a copy of the Torah (?). “A Talmudic story, perhaps referring to an earlier time, relates that three Torah scrolls were found in the Temple court but were at variance with each other. The differences were then resolved by majority decision among the three. [For a discussion see: Zeitlin, S. (April 1966), Were There Three Torah-Scrolls in the Azarah?, The Jewish Quarterly Review New Series, 56(4), 269–272}”
450 Emergence of Sophists. Ezra and Nehemiah leadership in Judah
447 Building of Parthenon, completed in 432.
446 Herodotus writing History
441 Sophocles’ Antigone
431 Euripides Medea. Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta lasts till 404.
430-330 Writing of the books of Ezra & Nehemiah & Chronicles.
430 Democritus flourishes, atomism.
429 Sophocles Oedipus Rex
427 birth of Plato
423 Aristophanes’ The Clouds
420 Thucydides writing History of the Peloponnesian War
415 Euripides Trojan Women
410 Hippocrates flourishes foundation of ancient Western medicine. Promoted the centrality in healing is ‘Do no harm.’
404 Athens defeated by Sparta
399 Trial and execution of Socrates
399 – 347 Plato’s Dialogues written
387 Plato founds the Academy in Athens
367 Aristotle begins 20 years of study at Plato’s Academy
360 Eudoxus formulates first theory of planetary motion
347 death of Plato
342 Aristotle tutors Alexander son of Phillip II of Macedonia
338 Phillip II subjugates Greece
336 death of Phillip II, accession of Alexander. Alexander begins conquest of Western World.
335 Aristotle founds his school, Lyceum, in Athens.
331 founding of Alexandria in Egypt
323 death of Alexander and division of his empire, the start of the Hellenistic era of influence over the Western world, which continued through the conquest of Rome and only ended with the conversion of the emperor to Christianity in 312 CE.
322 Death of Aristotle
320 Pyrrho of Ellis flourishes, founder of Skepticism
306 Epicurus founds Epicurean school in Athens.
300 Zeno of Citium founds Stoic school in Athens.
301-198 Jerusalem under Ptolemaic control (Egypt based Hellenists). Rise of Judaism: the invention of the Rabbis alongside Judahism, the remnant of Monarch/Temple power based group. The time of Philo of Alexandria of Egypt.
295 Euclid’s Elements codifying classical geometry
270 Atistarchus proposes heliocentric theory
260 Skepticism taught at Platonic Academy for next two centuries
250 Septuagint project the translation of Hebrew Bible into Greek variants by Alexandrian scholars. “The Talmud and Karaite manuscript state that a standard copy of the Hebrew Bible was kept in the court of the Temple in Jerusalem for the benefit of copyists; there were paid correctors of Biblical books among the officers of the Temple (Talmud, tractate Ketubot 106a). This text is mentioned in The Letter of Aristeas, called so because it was a letter addressed from Aristeas to his brother Philocrates, deals primarily with the reason the Greek translation of the Hebrew Law, also called the Septuagint, was created, as well as the people and processes involved. The letter's author alleges to be a courtier of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (reigned 281-246 BCE).” [Wikipedia]
240 Archimedes flourishes, develops classical mechanics and mathematics
220 Apollonius of Perga flourishes advances astronomy and geometry.
198-167+ Seleucids (Syrian based Hellenists) control of Jerusalem Territory
167 Maccabean Revolt with desecration of 2nd Temple
164: Recapture & rededication of 2nd Temple by Maccabees
164-42? Judahean Religion revival & ascendency over ‘Rabbis’ by Maccabean Hasmonean Priest Kings. Invention of Monotheism ‘One True God’ during this time?
157–129 Hasmonean dynasty establishes its royal dominance in Judea during renewed war with Seleucid Empire. In the later part of the Second Temple period (2nd century BC), the Second Commonwealth of Judea (Hasmonean Kingdom) was established and religious matters were determined by a pair (zugot) which led the Sanhedrin.
146 Greece conquered by Rome
130 Hipparchus flourishes, makes first Western comprehensive chart of the heavens, develops classical geocentric cosmology
63 Julius Caesar reforms Western calendar. Cicero prosecutes Catiline conspiracy. Pompey establishes ‘Roman Rule’ throughout conquered territories.
60 Lucretius’s De Rerum Natura propounds Epicurus’s atomistic theory of the universe.
58-48 Julius Caesar conquers Gaul, defeats Pompey
45-44- Cicero’s philosophical works. Julius Caesar assassinated. Factional strife for control of Roman rule of Palestine
40 Roman Senate appoints Herod, aka the great, King of Judea
37 Herod conquers Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem from Hasmonean Priest King
31 Augustus Octavian defeats Anthony and Cleopatra. Beginning of Roman Empire.
29 Livy begins writing history of Rome
27 Herod begins massive rebuilding program in Palestine.
23 Horace’s Odes
20/19 2nd Temple aka Herod’s Temple rebuilding
19 Virgil’s Aeneid
4 Herod dies
And so it goes….