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

Timeline Outline ViewEra: 30 CE - 500 CE   |   Theme: Book History


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 65 CE – 150 CEThe New Testament Was Probably Written over Less than a Century Circa 70 CE – 110 CE
The four authors.
Composition of the Four Gospels
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
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 100 CE – 178 CE
At Alexandria Ptolemy Writes the Almagest, the Cosmographia, and the Tetrabiblos
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 125 CE
The Michigan Instrumental Papyrus. (View Larger)
Ancient Musical Notation
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 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 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 192 CEGrief at the Loss of a Personal Library: Rediscovery of a Long Lost Treatise by Galen on Books and Libraries 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 – 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 234 CE – 253 CEOrigen's Hexapla: Made Possible by the Codex Form, and the First Codices to Display Information in Tabular Form Circa 250 CE
The Heracles Papyrus. (View Larger)
One of the Few Scraps of Classical Literary Illustration on Papyrus
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 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 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
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 Circa 313 CE – 326 CEThe First Full Length Historical Narrative Written from the Christian Point of View 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 Circa 325 CE – 350 CE
A page from the Codex Vaticanus. (View Larger)
The Codex Vaticanus
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
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 – 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
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 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 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 380 CE
Vergilius Vaticanus
Herald of Christianity and Magus: One of the Oldest Surviving Illustrated…
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
397 CE – 1470Augustine on Silent Reading 397 CE – 398 CEThe First Western Autobiography 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 CE – 600At the Beginning of the Dark Ages Production of New Manuscripts Essentially Ceased 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 406 CE
The mentioned diptych, portraying Emperor Honorius in both panels.
The Oldest Surviving Consular Diptych
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 493 CE – 508
Achilles sacrificing to Zeus from the Ambrosian Iliad. (View Larger)
The Only Illustrated Homer from Antiquity
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
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