Timelines for Ancient Roman History

adapted from the tables given by Sir John Edwin Sandys
in A Companion to Latin Studies, Third Edition
Cambridge at the University Press, 1921

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L. Opimius, accused of treason, is defended by Carbo and acquitted.


Carbo, prosecuted for treason by L. Crassus the orator (then a young man), commits suicide. C. Marius (tribune) carries a law to check undue influence in the voting at the comitia (pontes angustos fecit).


Foundation of Narbo Martius (one of the burgess colonies projected by C. Gracchus). Agrarian law (Appian, B. C. 1, 27)


Trouble raised in Africa by Iugurtha. C. Marius elected praetor. Birth of M. Terentius Varro, the polymath.


M. Aemilius Scaurus, appointed princeps senatus, holds the position till 89.


Great defeat of C. Porcius Cato (consul) in Thrace by the Scordisci, who overrun Thessaly and Macedonia. C. Marius propraetor in Spain (the first propraetor known to have passed his year of praetorship in the capital). Birth of the orator Hortensius. Temple of Venus Verticordia.


Defeat of Cn. Carbo at Noreia by the Cimbri, who turn aside into Gaul.


The Scordisci driven beyond the Danube. Iugurtha murders Adherbal. War declared against him; but the commander Bestia grants him peace.


Agitation at Rome concerning Iugurtha. He is summoned to Rome, procures the assassination there of Massiua, a grandson of Masinissa, and flees the capital, The war renewed. Lex agraria (C.I.L. 1, 200). Lex Seruilia repetundarum.


A disaster in Africa leads to the Lex Manilia, establishing a court to by all who had had corrupt dealings with Iugurtha. Four ex-consuls and many others condemned.


Q. Caecilius Metellus (consul) carries on the war in Africa in this and the following year with C. Marius as one of his legates. The other consul, M. Iulius Silanus, defeated in Gaul by the Cimbri. The uia Aemilia, constructed in Liguria by Scaurus (censor). Birth of T. Pomponius Atticus.


Massacre of Roman garrison at Vaga.


First consulship of Marius. The command in Numidia conferred on him by the Comitia and held by him for three years. Iugurtha and his ally Bocchus, king of Mauretania, suffer defeat, and Bocchus sues for peace. L. Cassius Longinus, the other consul, is killed with most of his army by the Gaulish tribe of the Tigurini. The Lex Caelia tabellaria (the fourth and last) introduced secret voting in trials for treason (perduellio) at the hands of the assembly. Proletarii admitted to legions by Marius.


L. Sulla, quaestor under Marius, induces Bocchus to surrender Iugurtha. Law of Q. Seruilius Caepio (consul) to restore the iudicia to the Senate. [The law was probably only proposed not passed. If passed, it was soon cancelled.] Seruilius takes Tolosa, and appropriates much gold there captured. Birth of Cicero and of Cn. Pompeius.


The Cimbri destroy two Roman armies near Arausio. Seruilius Caepio (proconsul), who had commanded one of them, is stripped of his imperium, and imprisoned, then freed by a tribune, but goes into exile. Birth of the great lawyer Ser. Sulpicius Rufus.


Second consulship of Marius. Lex Domitia de sacerdotibus.


Third consulship of Marius. First tribunate of Saturninus. New slave revolt in Sicily which continues till 99. M. Antonius (praetor) despatched to Cilicia against the pirates. Cn. Domitius, author of the Lex Domitia, appointed pontifex maximus by the people. Death of the comic dramatist Turpilius.

103 or 102

Death of Lucilius.


Fourth consulship of Marius, who destroys the Teutoni at Aquae Sextiae. Birth of C. Iulius Caesar. The poet Archias comes to Rome.


Fifth consulship of Marius, who with the proconsul Q. Lutatius Catulus crushes the Cimbri near Vercellae. Temple of Fortuna huiusce diei in Campus Martius and new temple of Honos and Virtus.


Sixth consulship of Marius. Violent course of L. Apuleius Saturninus (tribune for the second time) and the praetor C. Seruilius Glaucia. Leges Apuleiae de maiestate and agraria and frumentaria and de coloniis. The oath to observe the agrarian law refused by Metellus; his exile. Marius, armed by the senatus consultum ultimum, suppresses Saturninus and his crew, with the loss of their lives. The laws (except de maiestate) are quashed by the Senate. Citizen colony founded at Eporedia in Cisalpine Gaul; also two in Corsica. L. Aelius Stilo Praeconinus gives Latin instruction about this time.

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Lex agraria of S. Titius, also quashed by the Senate. Condemnation of supporters of Saturninus by commission from the Senate. Recall of Metellus. Birth of Lucretius.


Lex Caecilia Didia requiring the interval of the trinundinum between the publication of a law and the voting on it and forbidding legislation per saturam.


Human sacrifice said to have been forbidden at Rome.


The realm of Cyrene is bequeathed to Rome by the king, but the Senate decrees the freedom of the cities there.


Lex Licinia Mucia de ciuibus in suam ciuitatem redigundis (to expel from Rome the socii who bad no right to settle there). Passed by the two consuls, Crassus the orator and Scaeuola the pontifex maximus. This law was a chief cause of the Social war. Birth of Cato Uticensis.


L. Cornelius Sulla propraetor reinstates Ariobarzanes, king of Cappadocia, who bad been driven out by Mithridates. Condemnation of P. Rutilius (ex-consul) brings the equestrian indices into great disrepute.


M. Liuius Drusus runs a career similar to that of C. Gracchus. His laws are quashed by the Senate. The sudden death of Drusus, and his failure to enfranchise the Italians, bring on the Social war. Law of Q. Varius Hybrida, establishing a special court to try those who had encouraged the allies. Many condemned in the following year. Death of the orator Crassus.


The Social war proceeds with varying fortune. The Lex Iulia confers the franchise on the allies who had not ioined in the revolt. L. Plotius Gallus teaches rhetoric in Latin.


Lex Plautia Papiria extends the grant of the franchise. During this year and the early part of the following the allies are overcome. The Lex Plautia iudiciaria and the Lex Pompeia de Transpadanis. Mithridates expels Ariobarzanes from Cappadocia and Nicomedes from Bithynia. The Greek sculptor Pasiteles comes to Rome about this time.

Timeline Index





Consulship of Sulla, to whom the war against Mithridates is assigned. P. Sulpicius Rufus; tribune of the plebs, passes a law to distribute the new citizens and the libertini over the 35 tribes and another depriving Sulla and his colleague of their provinces and appointing Marius to the command in Asia Minor. Rufus is killed; Marius and his son are driven to flight. Q. Pompeius, the second consul, is killed by his soldiers. Mithridates overruns Asia and orders a great massacre of Romans.


Mithridates conquers most of the islands and passes to Athens. Sulla besieges it into the next year when it is captured. Revolutionary proceedings at Rome of L. Cornelius Cinna (consul) who is driven out by his colleague Octauius and stripped of his imperium. Marius comes to his support and captures the city. Massacre of distinguished men. Birth of Catullus and of Sallust.


Seventh consulship of Marius and second of Cinna. Marius died on Jan. 13. L. Valerius Flaccus, elected in his place, is sent to take command against Mithridates while Cinna remains in Rome. Archelaus, general of Mithridates, is defeated at Chaeronea by Sulla. Census, [the lustrum was only afterwards completed in 70 and 23 B.C.]. Lex Valeria de aere alieno.


Third consulship of Cinna, with Cn. Papirius Carbo. Successes of Sulla. Flaccus killed by his soldiers. His legate, C. Fimbria, continues operations against Mithridates, and captures Pergamum with other towns, but his troops desert him and he kills himself.


Fourth consulship of Cinna and second of Carbo. Cinna, about to cross to Asia to attack Sulla, is murdered by his soldiers at Ancona. Carbo remains sole consul. Terms of peace granted by Sulla to Mithridates.


The Marians collect an army to meet Sulla, who lands in Italy early in the year. Sulla is joined by some Marian troops and by the young Cn. Pompeius who had raised three legions in Picenum. Q. Sertorius (propraetor) goes to Spain. Burning of the Capitoline temple. L. Murena attacks Mithridates anew, but with poor success.


Consulship of the younger Marius, with Carbo (consul for the third time). Sulla defeats the Marians, and Marius is shut up in Praeneste, which is captured after a siege. Marius kills himself. A large army of Samnites comes to the aid of the Marians and is cut to pieces by Sulla at the Colline Gate (1 Nov.). [The ludi uictoriae Sullanae commemorated this victory.] Dictatorship of Sulla and proscriptions.


Triumph of Sulla (27 Jan.). The Leges Corneliae passed. Successes of Cn. Pompeius in Africa against the Marians. His first triumph. Close of the Second Mithridatic war. Cicero's speech, pro Quinctio.


Surrender of Volaterrae to Sulla. Sertorius continues his operations in Spain against Metellus. Cicero's speech pro Roscio Amerino.


Sulla resigns his authority. War against the pirates in Cilicia.

Timeline Index





Death of Sulla early in the year. Dissension between the two consuls, M. Aemilius Lepidus and Q. Lutatius Catulus, because the former aimed at overthrowing the régime established by Sulla. Sertorius defeats Metellus. Lex Plautia de ui.


The proconsul Catulus defeats M. Lepidus at the pons Muluius, and again in Etruria. The senatus consultum ultimum passed against Lepidus, who flees to Sardinia and dies there. Many of his followers, including M. Perperna, join Sertorius. C. Iulius Caesar prosecutes Dolabella, ex-governor of Macedonia, for extortion.


Cn. Pompeius defeats and kills M. Brutus, the legate of Lepidus in Cisalpine Gaul, and is despatched to Spain as colleague of Metellus with equal authority; but is not fortunate at first. An agitation begun to remove some of Sulla's restrictions on the tribunate.


A law of C. Aurelius Cotta (consul) restores to the tribunes the right of standing for other magistracies after the tribunate. Some districts annexed in Cilicia, in consequence of the war with the pirates. Cicero quaestor in Sicily.


The consuls L. Licinius Lucullus and M. Aurelius Cotta are commissioned to attack Mithridates, the former on land, the latter by sea. [Lucullus remained in Asia till 67.] Cotta is severely defeated by Mithridates, who attacks Cyzicus, but is himself besieged by Lucullus. Great successes of Sertorius. Bithynia, bequeathed to Rome by king Nicomedes, becomes a province; also Cyrene. A large commission given to M. Antonius against the pirates.


Severe defeat of Mithridates at Cyzicus; his fleet is destroyed by storm soon after. The war of gladiators and slaves under Spartacus begins. Lex Terentia Cassia frumentaria. Agitation of C. Licinius Macer (tribune).


Spartacus defeats both the consuls of the year and a proconsul. Sertorius assassinated by the treachery of Perperna, who is defeated and killed by Cn. Pompeius. Lucullus makes his way into Pontus.


Spartacus destroyed near Regium with most of his followers by M. Crassus (praetor). Cn. Pompeius returning from Spain falls in with and cuts to pieces the rest of the insurgents. Failure of M. Antonius in an attack on Crete, and his death. Lucullus drives Mithridates before him. Triumph of Pompeius (end of Dec.). Thrace conquered. Ariouistus invades Gaul.

Timeline Index





First consulship of Cn. Pompeius, and of M. Licinius Crassus, Full restoration of former powers of tribunate. Lex Aurelia, constituting juries in criminal courts equally from among the senators, equites and tribuni aerarii. Trial of Verres. Mithridates driven to take refuge with his son-in-law, Tigranes, king of Armenia. Census at Rome. Birth of Virgil.


Lucullus defeats Tigranes and captures Tigranocerta. Cicero curule aedile.


Lucullus, on his way to attack Artaxata. is checked by the mutiny of his soldiers. He captures Nisibis. Mithridates occupies Lesser Armenia. Caesar quaestor in Spain. Crete annexed.


Return of Mithridates to Pontus. Severe defeat of C. Triarius, a legate. The soldiers stop the operations of Lucullus. Tigranes overruns Cappadocia. Lex Calpurnia de ambitu. Lex Roscia theatralis. Lex Gabinia giving Pompeius an extraordinary commission against the pirates, who are subdued in three months. Lex Cornelia on solutio legibus. Lex Gabinia on reception of embassies by Senate.


The Lex Manilia (supported by Cicero, who was then praetor, in the extant speech) bestows on Pompeius exceptional powers, for the war against Mithridates.


Mithridates a fugitive. Pontus made a province. The Lex Papia, the last of the Roman alien acts. Caesar curule aedile. Cicero defends C. Cornelius on a charge of treason. First Catilinarian conspiracy. Birth of Horace.


Pompeius in Syria, which is made a province. Senatus Consultum dissolves illegal collegia.


Consulship of Cicero (the first nouus homo since 94). His speeches against the agrarian law of Rullus, against Catiline, and in defence of Rabirius (perduellionis reus) and Adurena. Senatus consultum ultimum passed (21 Oct.), and execution of the Catilinarians (5 Dec.). Pompeius in Iudaea. Mithridates assassinated. Lex Tullia de ambitu. Law requiring personal professio of candidates for office probably passed in this year. Birth of the future Emperor Augustus. Caesar elected pontifex maximus.


Defeat and death of Catiline (Jan.). Caesar's praetorship Clodius profanes the ceremonies of the Bona Dea. Uproar leads to passing of senatus consultum ultimum. Cicero's speeches pro Sulla and Pro Archia.


Return and triumph of Cn. Pompeius. Clodius tried by a special court and acquitted. Caesar in Spain.


The refusal of the Senate to confirm the acta of Pompeius, and to remit a portion of the price payable by the publicani for the right of collecting taxes in Asia, leads to the formation of a political compact between Caesar, Pompeius and Crassus, to exploit the state for their own purposes. Abolition of the portoria of Italy by a Lex Caecilia.


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