1st century was the century that lasted from
AD 1 to AD 100
according to the Julian calendar. It is often written as the 1st
century AD or
1st century CE to distinguish it from the 1st century
BC (or BCE) which preceded it. The
1st century is considered part of
the Classical era, epoch, or historical period.
During this period, Europe,
North Africa and the Near East fell under
increasing domination by the Roman Empire, which continued expanding,
most notably conquering Britain under the emperor
Claudius (AD 43).
The reforms introduced by
Augustus during his long reign stabilized
the empire after the turmoil of the previous century's civil wars.
Later in the century the Julio-Claudian dynasty, which had been
founded by Augustus, came to an end with the suicide of
Nero in AD 68.
There followed the famous
Year of Four Emperors, a brief period of
civil war and instability, which was finally brought to an end by
Vespasian, ninth Roman emperor, and founder of the Flavian dynasty.
Roman Empire generally experienced a period of prosperity and
dominance in this period and the First
Century is remembered as part
of the Empire's golden age.
1st century saw the appearance of Christianity.
China continued to be dominated by the Han Dynasty, despite a
fourteen-year interruption by the
Xin dynasty under Wang Mang. Han
rule was restored in AD 23; Wang Mang's rule represents the watershed
between the Western/Former Han and the Eastern/Later Han. The capital
was also moved from
Chang'an to Luoyang.
1 Regional events and politics
3 Significant people
3.2 Science and philosophy
4 Inventions, discoveries, introductions
Regional events and politics
Western Europe: Celtic, Germanic, Saami and Finnic tribal chiefdom and
the Roman Empire
Eastern Europe: Roman Empire, Dacian, Sarmatian, Venedae and Balt
North Africa: Roman Empire, Garamantes, Mauri, Libyan and Gaetulian
West Africa: Gur, Kwa, Soninke and Mande tribal chiefdoms
Central Africa: Bantu tribes, collapsing
Nok culture Nok civilization
East Africa: Kingdom of Kush, Kingdom of Blemmyes, Kingdom of Aksum
Southern Africa: Bantu tribes, Khoisan.
Western Asia: Roman and Parthian Empires, Sabaean and Arabian
Kingdoms, smaller tribes.
Central Asia: Kushan Empire, Sarmatian,
Dahae and other Iranian tribal
South Asia: Kushan Empire, Western Satraps, Satavahana Empire,
Dravidian Kingdoms, Kingdom of Kalinga, Indo-Parthian Kingdom,
Southeast Asia: Mandala of city-states, Kingdom of Funan
East Asia: Han Dynasty, Yamatai,
Xianbei tribal chiefdoms,
Three Kingdoms of Korea
Three Kingdoms of Korea (Goguryeo,
Baekje and Silla).
Central America: Mayan,
Teotihuacan and Zapotec civilizations.
South America: Nazca, Moche civilizations,
Tairona tribal chiefdoms.
The skeleton called the "Ring Lady" unearthed in Herculaneum, one of
the victims of the eruption of
Mount Vesuvius in AD 79
1st century –
Augustus of Primaporta, (perhaps a copy of a
bronze statue of ca. 20 BC), is made. It is now kept in Musei
Vaticani, Braccio Nuovo, Rome.
1st century –
Gemma Augustea is made. It is now kept at
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
1st century – House of the Silver Wedding, Pompeii, is built.
Excavated in 1893, the year of the silver wedding anniversary of
Italy's King Humbert and his wife, Margherita of Savoy, who have
supported archaeological fieldwork at Pompeii.
1st century - Inner shrine, Ise, Mie, Mie Prefecture, is built.
AD 1: Lions became extinct in Western Europe.
AD 2: First census of China, the census is one of the most accurate in
Census of Quirinius.
AD 7: Prince
Catuvellauni defeats the
England and establishes his capital at
AD 9: Three Roman legions were ambushed and destroyed at Teutoberg
Forest by Germans under the leadership of Arminius.
AD 9: Prince
Cunobeline is crowned King of Catuvellauni, his Kingdom
dominates Southern England.
Wang Mang temporarily overthrew the
Han dynasty of China.
AD 9–23: Xin dynasty.
Augustus Caesar, first emperor of Rome, dies. His adopted son,
stepson and son-in-law
Tiberius is his successor.
AD 25: The
Han dynasty is restored by Liu Xiu who proclaims himself
Emperor Guangwu of Han.
AD 28–75: Emperor Ming of Han,
Buddhism reaches China.
Humans arrive on
Pentecost Island and establish the
c. AD 29:
Jesus begins his ministry (traditional
c. AD 33: The Crucifixion of
Jesus (traditional date).
c. AD 33–36: Conversion of Paul the Apostle.
AD 40: Succession crisis erupts at King Cunobeline's court and his
exiled younger son Prince Adminius flees to the court of
AD 40: Emperor
Caligula plans to invade Britain, but forgets to bring
an army, he instead declares war upon the sea, whipping it and taking
shells as prisoners.
AD 40–43: Revolts erupts in Vietnam by the Trung sisters.
AD 42: King
Cunobeline dies, his son Caratacus becomes King. He and
his brother conquer much of South-Eastern England, expanding territory
into Atrebates, driving out King Verica. King Verica travels to Rome
to the court of
Claudius to help reclaim his throne.
Roman conquest of Britain
Roman conquest of Britain begins. London is founded (although
it could have existed centuries before this date).
AD 44: Death of Herod Agrippa.
AD 41–54: Rachias, an ambassador sent from
Sri Lanka to the court of
Buddhist monks in
Sri Lanka first write down Buddha's teachings,
The regions of present-day Afghanistan,
North India come
under the control of the Kushans, a nomadic people forced out of
China by the Han Dynasty.
Tacitus mentions the Suiones, who will one day be called the Swedes.
Kaundinya, an Indian brahmin marries Soma and establishes the
Angkor Cambodian Kingdom of Funan.
Goths settle in northern Poland, which they called Gothiscandza,
and shape the Wielbark culture.
c. AD 50:
Christian Council of Jerusalem.
1st century – Wall niche, from garden in Pompeii, is made. It is
now kept at Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, England.
1st century – Detail of a wall painting in the House of M.
Lucretius Fronto, Pompeii, is made.
AD 58–88: Rule of Ming and Zhang.
AD 60: Queen
Boudica of The Iceni in
England launches a rebellion
against The Romans. Tens of thousands die and the Roman army is
massively damaged. The Rebellion fails and Boadicea commits suicide by
poisoning herself. Three major cities are obliterated.
AD 64: Great Fire of Rome, first Roman mass Persecution of Christians,
earliest significant recognition of
Christians in Rome.
AD 66–73: First Jewish-Roman War.
AD 69: Cartimandua, Queen of the Brigantes in Northern England, is
overthrown in a civil war. Her unpopular alliance with Rome, the
betrayal of Caratacus and her love for someone other than her husband
are the three reasons which led to her demise. The Action enraged the
Romans so much that they conquered and annexed The Kingdom.
AD 70: destruction of
Herod's Temple in
Jerusalem by the Romans under
Herculaneum destroyed by eruption of Mount
AD 80: The
Colosseum is finished.
Jewish Council of Jamnia.
Spread of the Roman Empire, reaches largest size under Trajan.
Late 1st century—Cityscape, detail of a Second Style wall painting
from a bedroom in the House of Publius Fannius Synistor, Boscoreale,
is made. It is now at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
The painting "Alexander the Great confronts Darius III at the Battle
of Issos", detail of mosaic floor decoration from Pompeii,
made. It is a Roman copy after a Greek painting of c. 310 BC, perhaps
by Philoxenos or Helen of Egypt. It is now at Museo Archeologico
Nazionale, Naples, Italy.
1st century – Bedroom, from the House of Publius Fannius
Boscoreale is made. It is reconstructed with later
furnishings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
1st century – Seascape, detail of a wall painting from Villa
Farnesina, Rome, is made.
1st century – Young Woman Writing, detail of a wall painting,
from Pompeii, is made. It is now kept at Museo Archeologico Nazionale,
1st century – Mausoleum under Construction, relief from the
tomb of the Haterius family, Via Labicana, Rome, is made. It is now
kept at Musei Vaticani, Museo Gregoriano Profano, ex Lateranese, Rome.
1st century – Middle-Aged Flavian Woman, is made. It is now
kept at Musei Vaticani, Museo Gregoriano Profano, ex Lateranese, Rome.
c. Late 1st century-early
2nd century – Buddha and Attendants, from
Katra Keshavdev, Mathura, Madhya Pradesh, India, is made. Kushan
period. It is now kept at
1st-2nd centuries - Tomb model of a house, is made. Eastern Han
dynasty. It is now kept at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas
Seneca the Younger
Antonia Minor, Roman noblewoman, mother of
Germanicus and Claudius
Arminius, Germanic military leader
Augustus Caesar (Gaius Octavius), first emperor of Rome
Ban Chao, Chinese general
Boudica, Celtic Briton leader
Caligula (Gaius Julius Caesar
Augustus Germanicus) (Caligula), emperor
Gnaeus Julius Agricola, Roman general
Livilla (Claudia Livia Julia), Roman noblewoman
Claudia Octavia, empress of Rome
Claudius Nero), emperor of Rome
Clement I of Rome, pope of Rome
Decebalus, king of Dacia
Titus Flavius Domitianus), emperor of Rome
Galba (Servius Sulpicius Galba), emperor of Rome
Gan Ying, Chinese ambassador to Rome
Claudius Drusus), Roman general
Guangwu of Han, emperor of China
Heraios, Kushan chieftain
Hillel the Elder,
Jewish religious leader
Ignatius of Antioch, bishop of Antioch
James the Just,
Jesus of Nazareth
John the Baptist, religious prophet of Christianity and Islam
Julia Agrippina, empress of Rome, mother of Nero
Kujula Kadphises, Kushan ruler
Livia Drusilla, first empress of Rome
Ma Yuan, Chinese general
Ming of Han, Chinese emperor
Claudius Caesar (Nero), emperor of Rome
Marcus Cocceius Nerva, emperor of Rome
Marcus Salvius Otho, emperor of Rome
Paul of Tarsus,
Publius Quinctilius Varus, Roman general
Christian apostle, first pope of Rome
Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna
Pontius Pilate, Roman procurator of Judea
Lucius Aelius Seianus, Roman statesman
Thomas the Apostle,
Nero Caesar), emperor of Rome
Titus Flavius Sabinus Vespasianus), emperor of Rome
Trajan (Marcus Ulpius Traianus), emperor of Rome
Trung Sisters, Vietnamese rebel leaders
Titus Flavius Vespasianus), emperor of Rome
Vitellius, emperor of Rome
Valeria Messalina, empress of Rome
Vipsania Agrippina Major, Roman noblewoman, mother of Caligula
Wang Mang, Chinese official, founding emperor of the short-lived Xin
Yuan An, Chinese statesman
Zhang of Han, emperor of China
Martial (Marcus Valerius Martialis), Roman poet
Methodios I of Constantinople, Roman hagiographer, saint and patriarch
Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), Roman poet
Petronius Arbiter), Roman poet
Phaedrus, Roman fabulist of Macedonian origin
Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder (Gaius Plinius Secundus), Roman writer, commentator
Pliny the Younger
Pliny the Younger (Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus), Roman writer and
Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman writer, philosopher and statesman
Silius Italicus (
Tiberius Catius Asconius Silius Italicus), Roman poet
Statius (Publius Papinius Statius), Roman poet
Valerius Maximus, Roman writer
Science and philosophy
Aulus Cornelius Celsus, Roman encyclopaedist
Apollonius of Tyana, Greek philosopher
Ban Biao, Chinese historian
Ban Gu, Chinese historian
Ban Zhao, Chinese historian
Columella (Lucius Junius Moderatus Columella), Roman writer on
Hero of Alexandria, Greek mathematician and engineer
Titus Flavius Josephus), Jewish-Roman scholar and historian
Titus Livius Patavinus), Roman historian
Philo of Alexandria,
Jewish Hellenistic philosopher
Plutarch, Greek historian and biographer
Jewish tannaim theologian
Strabo, Greek geographer, philosopher and historian
Tacitus (Gaius Cornelius Tacitus), Roman historian
Quintilian (Marcus Fabius Quintilianus), Roman rhetorician
Quintus Asconius Pedianus, Roman historian
Quintus Curtius Rufus, Roman historian
Yochanan ben Zakkai,
Jewish tannaim theologian
Wang Chong, Chinese philosopher
Inventions, discoveries, introductions
Codex, the first form of the modern book, appears in the Roman Empire
AD 78: the beginning of the Saka Era used by South Asian calendars.
Various inventions by Hero of Alexandria, including the steam turbine
(aeolipile), water organ, and various other water-powered machines.
AD 31: the
Han Dynasty Chinese engineer and statesman
Tu Shih (d. AD
38) from Nanyang invented the first-known hydraulic-powered bellows to
heat the blast furnace in smelting cast iron. He used a complex
mechanical device that was powered by the rushing current against a
waterwheel, a practice that would continue in China.
Philo of Byzantium described the saqiya chain pump in the
2nd century BC, the square-pallet chain pump was innovated in
China during this century, mentioned first by the philosopher Wang
Chong around AD 80.
Wang Chong also accurately described the water
cycle in meteorology, and argued against the mainstream 'radiating
influence' theory for solar eclipses, the latter of which was accepted
by many, including Zhang Heng.
The Chinese astronomer
Liu Xin (d. AD 23) documented 1080 different
stars, amongst other achievements.
1st century – codex replaces the scroll.
^ in violation of the general rule that the abbreviation AD should
precede the date in question.
^ J. Dwight Pentecost, The Words and Works of
Jesus Christ: A Study of
the Life of Christ (Zondervan, 1981) pages 577-578.
^ Andreas J. Köstenberger, John (Baker Academic, 2004), page 110.
^ Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible 2000 Amsterdam University Press
ISBN 90-5356-503-5 page 249
^ Paul L. Maier "The Date of the Nativity and Chronology of Jesus" in
Jerry Vardaman and Edwin M. Yamauchi, Chronos, kairos, Christos:
nativity and chronological studies (1989) ISBN 0-931464-50-1, pp.
^ The Riddles of the Fourth Gospel: An Introduction to John by Paul N.
Anderson 2011 ISBN 0-8006-0427-X pages 200
^ Herod the Great by Jerry Knoblet 2005 ISBN 0-7618-3087-1 page
Jesus in Johannine tradition by Robert Tomson Fortna, Tom Thatcher
2001 ISBN 978-0-664-22219-2 page 77
Jesus & the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New
Testament Times by Paul Barnett 2002 ISBN 0-8308-2699-8 pages
^ The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New
Testament by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum 2009
ISBN 978-0-8054-4365-3 pages 77-79
^ Paul's early period: chronology, mission strategy, theology by
Rainer Riesner 1997 ISBN 978-0-8028-4166-7 page 19-27 (page 27
has a table of various scholarly estimates)
^ Bromiley, Geoffrey William (1979). International Standard Bible
Encyclopedia: A-D (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
(W.B.Eerdmans)). Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 689.
^ Barnett, Paul (2002). Jesus, the Rise of Early Christianity: A
History of New Testament Times. InterVarsity Press. p. 21.
^ L. Niswonger, Richard (1993). New Testament History. Zondervan
Publishing Company. p. 200. ISBN 0-310-31201-9.
Decades and years
2nd century BC ←
1st century BC ← ↔ → 2nd
century → 3rd century
Centuries and millennia