Rahul Sharma (Editor)

1st century

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1st century

The 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. The 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.

The 1st Century saw the appearance of Christianity, following the life of Jesus of Nazareth in the Roman province of Palestine.

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.

Regional Events and Politics

  • Northern Europe: Celtic, Germanic, Saami and Finnic tribal chiefdoms
  • Western Europe: Roman Empire
  • Central Europe: Roman Empire, Celtic and Germanic tribal chiefdoms
  • Eastern Europe: Roman Empire, Dacian, Sarmatian, Venedae and Balt tribal chiefdoms
  • Southern Europe: Roman Empire.
  • North Africa: Roman Empire, Garamantes, Mauri, Libyan and Gaetulian tribal chiefdoms
  • 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 chiefdoms
  • South Asia: Kushan Empire, Western Satraps, Satavahana Empire, Dravidian Kingdoms, Kingdom of Kalinga, Indo-Parthian Kingdom, Zhangzhung.
  • Southeast Asia: Mandala of city-states, Kingdom of Funan
  • East Asia: Han Dynasty, Yamatai, Xiongnu and Xianbei tribal chiefdoms, Three Kingdoms of Korea (Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla).
  • North America:
  • Central America: Mayan, Teotihuacan and Zapotec civilizations.
  • Caribbean:
  • South America: Nazca, Moche civilizations, Tairona tribal chiefdoms.
  • Events

  • Early 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.
  • Early 1st century – Gemma Augustea is made. It is now kept at Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
  • Early 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.
  • Early 1st century - Inner shrine, Ise, Mie, Mie Prefecture, is built. Yayoi period.
  • AD 1: Lions became extinct in Western Europe.
  • AD 2: First Census of China, the census is one of the most accurate in Chinese history.
  • AD 6: Census of Quirinius.
  • AD 7: Prince Cunobeline of Catuvellauni defeats the Trinovantes in England and establishes his capital at Camulodunum (Modern-day Colchester).
  • 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.
  • AD 9–23: Wang Mang temporarily overthrew the Han dynasty of China.
  • AD 9–23: Xin dynasty.
  • AD 14: 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 Bunlap tribe, among others.
  • c. AD 29: Jesus begins his ministry (traditional date).
  • 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 Caligula in Rome.
  • 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.
  • AD 43: 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 Claudius.
  • Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka first write down Buddha's teachings, creating the Pali canon.
  • The regions of present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan and North India come under the control of the Kushans, a nomadic people forced out of northwest 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 Pre-Angkor Cambodian Kingdom of Funan.
  • The Goths settle in northern Poland, which they called Gothiscandza, and shape the Wielbark culture.
  • c. AD 50: Christian Council of Jerusalem.
  • Mid-1st century – Wall niche, from garden in Pompeii, is made. It is now kept at Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, England.
  • Mid-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 Titus.
  • AD 79: Pompeii and Herculaneum destroyed by eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
  • Jewish Council of Jamnia.
  • Spread of the Roman Empire, reaches largest size under Trajan.
  • Arena (colosseum) is constructed, origin of the name Arena.
  • 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, Italy is 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.
  • Late 1st century – Bedroom, from the House of Publius Fannius Synistor, Boscoreale is made. It is reconstructed with later furnishings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
  • Late 1st century – Seascape, detail of a wall painting from Villa Farnesina, Rome, is made.
  • Late 1st century – Young Woman Writing, detail of a wall painting, from Pompeii, is made. It is now kept at Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples.
  • Late 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.
  • Late 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 Mathura Museum.
  • 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 City, Missouri.
  • Significant people

  • 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 of Rome
  • Gnaeus Julius Agricola, Roman general
  • Livilla (Claudia Livia Julia), Roman noblewoman
  • Claudia Octavia, empress of Rome
  • Claudius (Tiberius Claudius Nero), emperor of Rome
  • Clement I of Rome, pope of Rome
  • Decebalus, king of Dacia
  • Domitian (Titus Flavius Domitianus), emperor of Rome
  • Galba (Servius Sulpicius Galba), emperor of Rome
  • Gan Ying, Chinese ambassador to Rome
  • Germanicus (Nero 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, Christian apostle
  • 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
  • Nero Claudius Caesar (Nero), emperor of Rome
  • Marcus Cocceius Nerva, emperor of Rome
  • Marcus Salvius Otho, emperor of Rome
  • Paul of Tarsus, Christian apostle
  • Publius Quinctilius Varus, Roman general
  • Saint Peter, Christian apostle, first pope of Rome
  • Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna
  • Pontius Pilate, Roman procurator of Judea
  • Lucius Aelius Seianus, Roman statesman
  • Thomas the Apostle, Christian apostle
  • Tiberius (Tiberiau Claudius Nero Caesar), emperor of Rome
  • Titus (Titus Flavius Sabinus Vespasianus), emperor of Rome
  • Trajan (Marcus Ulpius Traianus), emperor of Rome
  • Trung Sisters, Vietnamese rebel leaders
  • Vespasian (Titus Flavius Vespasianus), emperor of Rome
  • Aulus 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 dynasty
  • Yuan An, Chinese statesman
  • Zhang of Han, emperor of China
  • Literature

  • Martial (Marcus Valerius Martialis), Roman poet
  • Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), Roman poet
  • Petronius (Gaius Petronius Arbiter), Roman poet
  • Phaedrus, Roman fabulist of Macedonian origin
  • Pliny the Elder (Gaius Plinius Secundus), Roman writer, commentator and naturalist
  • Pliny the Younger (Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus), Roman writer and lawyer
  • 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 agriculture
  • Hero of Alexandria, Greek mathematician and engineer
  • Josephus (Titus Flavius Josephus), Jewish-Roman scholar and historian
  • Livy (Titus Livius Patavinus), Roman historian
  • Philo of Alexandria, Jewish Hellenistic philosopher
  • Plutarch, Greek philosopher and writer
  • Rabbi Akiva, 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.
  • Bookbinding
  • 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.
  • Although Philo of Byzantium described the saqiya chain pump in the early 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.
  • End of 1st century – codex replaces the scroll.
  • References

    1st century Wikipedia

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