4406 entries. 94 themes. Last updated December 26, 2016.

Timeline Outline ViewEra: 30 CE - 500 CE   |   Theme: All Themes


30 CE – 100 CE
A mosaic of Jesus Christ, located in the Hagia Sophia.
Christianity Emerges
41 CE – 54 CEThe Ostia Synagogue: the Oldest Synagogue in Europe Circa 49 CE
A marble bust of Seneca preserved in the Antikensammlung Berlin. (View Larger)
Seneca Denounces Book Collectors and Even the Library of Alexandria
Circa 50 CE – 200 CE
Hero of Alexandria
Automata Invented by Heron of Alexandria
Circa 50 CE
The Oldest Surviving Substantial Collection of Buddhist Manuscripts: The…
Circa 50 CE – 250 CE
The Alexamenos Grafitto. (View Larger)
Probably the Earliest Surviving Image of the Crucifixion: A Graffito
Circa 50 CE – 1700Note-Taking Versus "Place Memory" from Antiquity through the Renaissance and Later Circa 50 CEThe Role of the "Ordinator" and "Sculptor" in Producing Roman Stone Inscriptions Circa 50 CEThe Mensa Isiaca or Bembine Table of Isis Circa 65 CE – 150 CEThe New Testament Was Probably Written over Less than a Century 66 CE – 73 CE
Destruction of the Second Temple
69 CE – 79 CERoman Inscriptions on Lead Pipes Were Made from Common Text Stamps December 69 CE – January 70 CEThe Lex de imperio Vespasiani is Cast as a Huge Bronze Plaque Circa 70 CE – 110 CE
The four authors.
Composition of the Four Gospels
Circa 70 CE – 90 CEThe Continuing Process of Canonization of the Hebrew Bible Circa 75 CE – 125 CE
The diagram, which accompanies proposition five of Book II of the Elements, is preserved in the University of Pennsylvania. (View Larger)
One of the Oldest and Most Complete Diagrams from Euclid
75 CEThe Last Known Datable Cuneiform Tablet Circa 75 CE
A fresco of a Pompein couple with stylus, wax tablets, and papyrus scroll, preserved in the Museuo Archeologico Nazionale. (View Larger)
Roman Portraits Celebrating Literacy
79 CE
An inscription depicting a contemporaneous politician. (View Larger)
Over 11,000 Wall Inscriptions Survived from Pompeii
79 CE – 2015Discoveries of Greek & Roman Papyri in the Library of the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum, the Only Library Preserved Intact from Graeco-Roman Times Circa 80 CE
Figure nine from Clark's 'The Care of Books,' depicting a Roman reader with his scroll. (View Larger)
The Characteristics of Roman Papyrus Rolls
Circa 80 CE
Figure eleven of Clark's 'On the Care of Books,' depicting 'pigeon holes,' the Roman equivalent of book shelves. (View Larger)
Storing Papyrus Rolls in "Pigeon-Holes"
84 CE – 86 CE
A portrait of Martial.
The First Mention of Literary Works Published in Parchment Codices
Circa 90 CEProcess of Canonizing the Old Testament Circa 100 CE – 178 CE
At Alexandria Ptolemy Writes the Almagest, the Cosmographia, and the Tetrabiblos
Circa 100 CE – 200 CE
The Romance Papyrus. (View Larger)
The Romance Papyrus
Circa 100 CE – 250 CE
The Crosby-Schoyen codex, a Coptic bible circa 300, and the oldest book in private ownership. (View Larger)
Translation of the Bible From Greek into Coptic
Circa 100 CE – 160 CE
The recto side of the Saint John Fragment. (View Larger)
The Earliest Known Fragment from a Papyrus Codex of the New Testament
Circa 100 CE – 250 CE
The fragment of De Bellis Macedonicis, the oldest suriving remains of a Latin manuscreipt written on parchment rather than papyrus. (View Larger)
The Sole Surviving Example of Roman Literary Cursive Script and the Earliest…
Circa 100 CE
Vindolanda Tablet 309, an inventory of wooden goods dispatched dispatched by and to civilians working for the military. (View Larger, with translation.)
The Oldest Surviving Handwritten Documents in Britain
Circa 100 CEFrontinus on the Water Supply of Ancient Rome Survived in Only a Single Problematic 12th Century Manuscript 105 CE
Ts'ai Lun
The Invention of Paper in China
113 CE
The Most Famous Example of Roman Square Capitals
114 CE
Probably the Greatest, and Certainly the Longest Lasting of the Roman Libraries
Circa 115 CE – 125 CEThe Library of Celsus at Ephesus Circa 125 CE
The Yale Musical Papyrus. (View Larger)
Ancient Greek Songs
Circa 125 CE
The Michigan Instrumental Papyrus. (View Larger)
Ancient Musical Notation
Circa 125 CEThe Longest Ancient Stone Inscription 130 CEThe Finest Surviving Example of Roman Monumental Lettering in Britain 132 CE – 135 CEIn the "Cave of Letters" Discovery of Papyri Recording Israel's Second Century Revolt Against Roman Rule Circa 150 CE – 450 CE
Several of the leather-bound codices of the Nag Hammadi Library. (View Larger)
The Form of the Manuscript Book Gradually Shifts from the Roll to the Codex
Circa 150 CE
Recto of papyrus containing lines from Homer's Illiad, found at Hawara. (View Larger)
The "Hawara Homer"
Circa 150 CE
The oldest known image of the Virgin Mary, located in the Cacomb of Priscilla on the Via Salaria in Rome. (View Larger)
The Earliest Known Image of the Virgin Mary
Circa 150 CEThe Earliest Runic Inscriptions Circa 150 CEA Door-to-Door Bookseller in Egypt, Second Century CE Circa 150 CECommercial and Private Book Trade in 2nd Century Egypt Circa 150 CEThe Bankes Homer: One of the Best Preserved Papyri of Homer Circa 150 CEThe Earliest European Martial Arts Manual Circa 150 CE – 1650The Earliest Diagrams Representing Human Activity: Ancient Greek Military Tactics, Including the Macedonian Phalanx, Applied as Late as the 16th and 17th Centuries Circa 160 CE
The Vimose Comb. (View Larger)
The Earliest Known Runic Inscription
Circa 170 CELucian's Diatribe on the "Ignorant Book Collector" 175 CE – 225 CE
Fragment 75. (View Larger)
The Oldest Surviving Fragment from the Gospel of Luke
Circa 175 CE – 250 CEOne of the Oldest Papyrus Codices of the New Testament Circa 175 CEPollux's Onomasticon, the Oldest Specimen of Encylopedism Surviving from Antiquity Circa 180 CE"Attic Nights" : Lack of Arrangement Makes its Own Kind of Arrangement Circa 185 CE
Insisting on Only Four Gospels
Circa 190 CEClaudius Galen Writes the First Auto-Bibliography Circa 190 CE – 1905Otlet and and La Fontaine Develop the Universal Decimal Classification 192 CEGrief at the Loss of a Personal Library: Rediscovery of a Long Lost Treatise by Galen on Books and Libraries 198 CEThe Diptych Document Format Circa 200 CE
The front side of the first Egerton papyrus fragment.
The Egerton Gospel: One of the Earliest Known Fragments of Any Gospel
Circa 200 CE – 300 CEThe Making of a Gospel Book Circa 200 CE – 300 CEAmong the Earliest News Media: Tipao Circa 200 CE – 400 CEThe Transition from the Roll to the Codex Resulted in Both Survival and Destruction of Information Circa 200 CEThe Definition of Book Includes Codices as Well as Rolls Circa 200 CE
The earliest depiction of a Roman book cabinet. (View Larger)
The Earliest Image of a Book Cabinet or Armarium
Circa 200 CE – 400 CECurse Tablets from Roman Britain 203 CE – 211 CE
A reconstruction of a portion of the Forma Urbis Romae, showing a section of the Theater of Pompey. (View Larger)
The Forma Urbis Romae, Monumental Stone Map of Ancient Rome
Circa 220 CEThe Oldest Woodblock Printed Fragments from China Circa 220 CEThe First Important Work of Rabbinic Judaism Circa 232 CE
Dura-Europos church.
The Earliest Christian House Church, With the Most Ancient Christian Paintings
Circa 234 CE – 253 CEOrigen's Hexapla: Made Possible by the Codex Form, and the First Codices to Display Information in Tabular Form Circa 240 CE – 320 CEThe Library of Lactantius, an Early Christian Author 244 CE – 256 CE
A Frescoe found in Dura Europos depicting scenes from the Book of Ester. (View Larger)
Possibly the Earliest Record of Rabbinic Texts & the Earliest Continuous…
249 CE – 251 CEThe Persecution, Imprisonment and Torture of Origen 249 CE – 251 CECertificates of Conformation to Pagan Religious Practice Circa 250 CE
The Heracles Papyrus. (View Larger)
One of the Few Scraps of Classical Literary Illustration on Papyrus
Circa 250 CEThe Earliest Papyrus Codex of the Minor Prophets Circa 250 CE
Fragment 2687 of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, which supplements fragment 9. (View Larger)
Greek Writings on Music and Rhythm
Circa 250 CEThe Crosby-Schoyen Codex: One of the Earliest Extant Papyrus Codices, Probably from the Earliest Monastery Library Circa 250 CE – 350 CEThe Earliest Stage of Half-Uncial Circa 250 CEThe Earliest Known Greek Manuscript of the Four Gospels 251 CEDeath of Wei Tan, Discoverer of Ink February 28, 256 CEWarrant for the Arrest of a Christian: One of the Earliest Surviving Recorded Uses of the Word Christian 258 CE – 317 CEFoundation of Imperial Nanking University 270 CEThe Porphyrian Tree: The Earliest Metaphorical Tree of Knowledge 275 CE – 309 CE
A map of Israel, with Caesarea Maritima highlightd in blue. (View Larger)
Pamphilus Establishes a Library and Scriptorium and is Executed During…
Circa 275 CE
Side A of Oxyrhyncus Papyrus 2547. (View Larger)
Perhaps the Earliest Surviving Text of the Hippocratic Oath
Circa 280 CE – 340 CE
A portrait of Eusebius of Caesarea. (View Larger)
One of the Earliest, Most Widely-Used Cross-Indexing Systems
Circa 280 CE – 339 CEReconstruction of the Contents of the Library of Eusebius 284 CE – 305 CE
The Imperial Library at Nicomedia
300 CE – 350 CE
Codex IV found at Nag Hammadi. (View Larger)
Early Christian Papyrus Codices in Coptic Bindings
Circa 300 CE – 700The Transition from Papyrus to Parchment Circa 300 CEOne of the Earliest Complete Papyrus Codices on a Secular Subject 301 CE – 303 CEThe Oldest State-Built Christian Church 303 CE
Piece of the edict in Pergamonmuseum Berlin.
Costs of Professional Writing Measured by the Normal Length of a Line in a Verse of Virgil
February 24, 303 CE – 311 CE
The Diocletianic Persecution of Christians
May 19, 303 CEAs a Result of Diocletian's Edict, Police Seize Thirty-Four Biblical Manuscripts in Africa Circa 308 CE – 326 CEEusebius Introduces His Tabular Timeline System October 28, 312 CE – 315 CEThe Emperor Constantine Converts to Christianity 313 CE
The Edict of Milan Proclaims "Religious Toleration"
Circa 313 CE – 326 CEThe First Full Length Historical Narrative Written from the Christian Point of View October 18, 315 CEConstantine's Religious Toleration Does Not Apply to Jews 318 CE – 323 CEThe Role of Books in the Rule of the Earliest Christian Monasteries Circa 320 CEA Sarcophagus Showing a Greek Physician in His Library 324 CE – May 11, 330 CE
Constantinus II.
The Foundation of Constantinople
September 18, 324 CEConstantine Becomes Emperor of the Entire Roman Empire Circa 325 CE – 350 CE
A page from the Codex Vaticanus. (View Larger)
The Codex Vaticanus
Circa 325 CE – 950
Vat. gr. 218 fols. 39v-40r, two pages of the earliest surviving copy of Pappus's 'Collection.' (View Larger)
The Text of Pappus's Mathematical Collection is Based on a Single 10th…
325 CEThe First Ecumenical Council of Christianity 326 CE – 327 CEContantine Orders Fifty Luxurious Bibles for the Churches of Constantinople Circa 330 CE – 360 CE
The Codex Sinaiticus. (View Larger)
The Codex Sinaiticus
330 CE – 1453The Decline of Literacy in the Byzantine Empire 330 CE – 1453The Limitations of Book Production and Book Trade in the Byzantine Empire Circa 337 CE – 378 CE
Detail of image from De rebus bellicis showing fanciful ox-powered wheel boat.  Please click to view entire image.
De rebus bellicis, Including Images of War Machines
Circa 350 CE – 450 CEThe Third Earliest Manuscript of the Four Gospels; One of the Earliest Codices Preserved in the Western Hemisphere Circa 350 CE
The Earliest Egyptian Printed Cloth
Circa 350 CE – 475 CE
A bust of Fronto. (View Larger)
"To Fronto Belongs the Unique Distinction of Surviving Solely as the Lower…
Circa 350 CE
The recto side of P.Oslo I 4, a section of the mentioned papyrus. (View  Larger)
The Most Richly Illustrated Greek Papyrus
Circa 350 CE
Folio from Codex Vercellensis. (View Larger)
The Earliest Surviving Manuscript of the Old Latin Gospels
Circa 350 CE – 450 CEThe Oldest Surviving Manuscript of the Comedies of Terence Circa 350 CE – 825The Earliest Surviving Document of the Christian Book Trade and Stichometry Circa 350 CE
One of the four leaves of the Vergilius Augusteus that resides in the Vatican Library.(View Larger)
The Earliest of Two Surviving Examples of Codices Written Entirely in Roman…
Circa 350 CE – 650Origins of the Lateran Library, Precursor of the Vatican Library Circa 350 CEThe Earliest and Largest Part of the Surviving Text of Cicero's De re publica Was Preserved in a Palimpsest Circa 350 CE – 450 CEBiblical and Roman Law: Precursor of Footnotes; Early Uniform Pagination Circa 350 CEThe Most Widely Used Medieval Grammar 350 CE – 550One of the Earliest Treatises on Indian Medicine, Written on Birch Bark Circa 350 CEPossibly the World's First University Circa 350 CEThe Largest Papyrus Codex and the Earliest to Use Red Ink for Titles 354 CE
Title page from the Chronography of 354. (View Larger)
The Earliest Dated Codex with Full-Page Illustrations
Circa 357 CE – 1453The Imperial Library of Constantinople, About Which Very Little is Known 367 CE
Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria. (View Larger)
New Testament Canonization in Process
Circa 375 CE – 425 CE
A page from Codex Bezae Cantabridgensis. (View Larger)
The Codex Bezae Cantabridgensis
Circa 375 CEThe Syriac Sinaiticus: The Oldest Translation of the Bible Circa 375 CEThe Obscure Origins and Meaning of the Term "Uncial" for Script Circa 380 CE
Vergilius Vaticanus
Herald of Christianity and Magus: One of the Oldest Surviving Illustrated…
Circa 380 CEJerome's Chronicon February 27, 380 CEThe Edict of Thessalonica makes Nicene Christianity the Official State Religion of the Roman Empire 384 CE
Saint Jerome. (View Larger)
St. Jerome Criticizes Luxurious Manuscripts
Circa 385 CEThe Last Major Surviving Historical Account of the Late Roman Empire Circa 390 CE
The recto side of Folio Two of Quedlinburg Itala. (View Larger)
The Oldest Surviving Illustrated Biblical Manuscript
Circa 390 CEThe Only Ancient Manual of Roman Military Instructions that Survived Intact 391 CEEarly Christians May Have Destroyed What Remained of the Alexandrian Library Because of its Pagan Contents 392 CE
The First Collection of Bio-Bibliographies
393 CE
A coin featuring the profile of Emperor Theodosious. (View Larger)
The Roman Empire Splits Permanently into Eastern and Western Halves
August 24, 394 CEThe Latest Known Inscription Written in Egyptian Hieroglyphs 396 CE – 426 CEThe Oldest Datable Uncial Manuscript, Probably Written in Hippo Regius, Africa 397 CE – 398 CEThe First Western Autobiography 397 CE – 1470Augustine on Silent Reading Circa 400 CE – 600At the Beginning of the Dark Ages Production of New Manuscripts Essentially Ceased Circa 400 CE
The Charioteer Papyrus
Circa 400 CE
Page 215 of MS G.67, depicting the acts of the apostles. (View Larger)
"The Earliest Evidence for Tooling on a Leather Bookbinding"
Circa 400 CE
The Johnson Papyrus, a fragment of an early fifth century herbal. (View Larger)
The Oldest Extant Book Illustrations of Plants
Circa 400 CEA Diptych Depicting Roman Orators Holding Papyrus Rolls Circa 400 CEThe Durability of Papyrus 400 CE – 800The "Architecture" of Early Latin Gospel Books Circa 400 CE – 600The Oldest Manuscript Collection Surviving in Pakistan and India Circa 400 CEAugustine's Six Ages of the World 406 CE
The mentioned diptych, portraying Emperor Honorius in both panels.
The Oldest Surviving Consular Diptych
410 CE – 449 CE
A map of Britannia from A Classical Atlas of Ancient Geography by Alexander G. Findlay. New York: Harper and Brothers 1849. (View Larger)
The Withdrawal of Roman Legions from Britannia Results in the End of Literacy…
August 24, 410 CE
A depiction of Alaric I by German painter Ludwig Thiersch. (View Larger)
The Goths Sack Rome
413 CEThe City of God Circa 415 CEJohn Cassian Introduces Monastic Life to Europe Circa 420 CEOne of the Few Surviving Sources for the Administrative Structure of the Late Roman Empire Circa 425 CE
A section of the Codex Ephraemi from the National Library in Paris, containing Matt. 20:16-23. (View Larger)
An Early Fifth Century Palimpsest
Circa 425 CEThe Earliest Surviving Copy of the Vulgate Gospels 426 CE – 450 CEThe Earliest Image of Codices in a Book Cabinet and Possibly the Earliest Image of a Bookbinding in Wall Art 431 CEThe Introduction of Christianity to the Irish Circa 450 CE – 550
Fragment 26v of the Cotton Genesis, depicting Abraham. (View Larger)
Fragments of a Fifth or Sixth Century Codex
Circa 450 CEThe Earliest Treasure Bookcovers: Made of Ivory or Precious Metals Circa 450 CEThe Codex Alexandrinus Circa 450 CE – 650The Church Assumes Role of Educator and Civil Service for the Tribal Kingdoms Circa 450 CE – 650The Church Replaces the Roman State as the Source of Order and Stability Circa 450 CEThe Smallest Codex Known from Antiquity Circa 450 CEThe Codex Mediceus of Virgil Circa 450 CEHesychius of Alexandria's Dictionary Survived in Only One Deeply Corrupt Renaissance Manuscript 450 CE – 1193The First Residential University Circa 450 CEOne of the Two Surviving Ancient Codices Written Entirely in Square Capitals 451 CEThe Last Victory Achieved by the Western Roman Empire 455 CE
Karl Briullov's interpretation of Geiseric's sack of 455. (View Larger)
The Second Sack of Rome
476 CE – 1500"A Bibliography of Works on Medieval Communication" Circa 490 CE – 542Composition of the Babylonian Talmud 493 CE – 508
Achilles sacrificing to Zeus from the Ambrosian Iliad. (View Larger)
The Only Illustrated Homer from Antiquity
December 25, 496 CEClovis I Converts to Roman Catholicism Circa 500 CE – 1554
A page from Corpus Agrimensorum Romanorum, depicting a perspective of a house and the boundaries of the property on which it was built. (View Larger)
One of Few Surviving "Scientific" Manuscripts from Late Antiquity
Circa 500 CE – 600
The theater at Bet She'an. (View Larger)
The Earliest, Most Significant Rabbinic Texts Are Preserved in Stone
Circa 500 CE
Example of a colophon at the end of a papyrus roll from the seventh century BC.  As is customary in ancient Greek books, the last line of the last poem (marked by the cronis in the margin) is followed by the name of the author and title (Sappho, Lyrics); the book number (beta = 2) is given in the next line, both decorated with top and bottom-lines.
The Format of the Book Evolved with the Transition to the Codex
Circa 500 CE – 650
The manuscript before and after restoration and repagination. Image from June 2010 edition of The Arts Newspaper. (View Larger)
Possibly the Earliest Surviving Illuminated Christian Manuscripts
Circa 500 CE – 1450The Longevity of Wax Tablets for Recording Written Information