Chronology: 1st Century AD


Figure 1.--The Altar of Paece is the most beautiful surviving piece of Roman sculpture. It was dedicated in 13 AD, a year before Augustus died. Depicted on the side were Augustus directing the ancient rites of blood sacrifices along with the "flamen diales" and "lictors". Also depicted is the royal family. Here Marcus Agrippa holds the hand of his young son and Augustus' grandson Lucius.

Two major religious/intelectual traditions can be noted in the 1st century Rome. The dominant inluence at the time during the Principate is Stoicism which first appeared in the 2nd century BC and is Hellenistic in origin but evolved over time. The Roman Stoics are more involved in political thought, although with significant ethical and religious content. Thre are three principal Roman Stoics. Seneca (4 BC-65 AD) was Nero's tutor. Few tutors have failed so gloriously. Epictetus (60-120 AD) was a slave. Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD) was an emperor. The ultimate goal of Roman Stoicism was a kind of inner peace and the personal realization that real happiness in life can be achieved only by submitting to the order of universe. The other principal tradition obstensibly begins in 1 AD. The Christian Church has set Jesus' birth at 1 AD, although his actual birth date is unknown. Jesus is crucified (?? AD). The Apostle Paul of Tarsus plays a major role in shifting Chrisianity from a small Jewish sect to a universal religion that allows the Gospel to spread thoughout the Mediterranean world. Paul dies (67 AD). Lucius Caesar dies (2 AD). Gaius Caesar dies (4 AD). Augustus adopts Livia's son Tiberius. Tiberius adopts Germanicus (4 AD). The Julian Laws of 18 BC are updated (9 AD). A huge dissaster befalls Rome with the German tribes destroy the better part of three legions in the Teutoburg Forest (9 AD). Augustus dies (14 AD). He provided Rome with 44 years of stable rule, in contrast to the civil war which preceeded him and the misrule that followed him. The conquest of Britain is finally achieved (43 AD). Some of the most morally corupt rulers in Western history followed Augustus. With the single exception of Claudius (41-54 BC), Rome for much of the 1st century is without competent rule. It is a testimony to the strength of the Roman state that Rome continues to prosper. One reason for this is that for about two and a half centuries from Augustus through Marcus Aurelius, the Pax Romana is maintained for a huge area straching from Hadrian's Wall on the border with Scotland to Rhine in northern Europe and Persia in the Middle east there was peace that enabled the economy to prosper and the artifacts of civilization, archetecture, the arts, and literatre to develop. Caligula (37-41 CE) and Nero (54-68) are two especially brutal and incompetent, perhaps mad, emperors. Rome builds the fabled Colosseum, the building most associated with Rome, as a place of public entertainment, especially gladiatorial combat (75-80 AD). Finally with Nerva Rome gets a competent if short term emperor (96-98 AD).

Religious/Ethical Traditions

Two major religious/intelectual traditions can be noted in the 1st century Rome.

Stoicism

The dominant inluence at the time during the Principate is Stoicism which first appeared in the 2nd century BC and is Hellenistic in origin but evolved over time. The Roman Stoics are more involved in political thought, although with significant ethical and religious content. Thre are three principal Roman Stoics. Seneca (4 BC-65 AD) was Nero's tutor. Few tutors have failed so gloriously. Epictetus (60-120 AD) was a slave. Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD) was an emperor. The ultimate goal of Roman Stoicism was a kind of inner peace and the personal realization that real happiness in life can be achieved only by submitting to the order of universe.

Christianity

The other principal tradition obstensibly begins in 1 AD. The Christian Church has set Jesus' birth at 1 AD, although his actual birth date is unknown. Jesus is crucified (?? AD). The Apostle Paul of Tarsus plays a major role in shifting Chrisianity from a small Jewish sect to a universal religion that allows the Gospel to spread thoughout the Mediterranean world. Paul dies (67 AD). The religion he helped found, Christianity, becomes one of the world's great religions. Is Palestine the Romans brutally suppress Jewish revolts and Judiasm from which Christianity develops is spread throughout the Roman world in the resulting Jewish Dispora.

Augustus

The first decade of the 1st century AD is dominated by Augustus. Lucius Caesar dies (2 AD). Gaius Caesar dies (4 AD). Augustus adopts Livia's son Tiberius. Tiberius adopts Germanicus (4 AD). The Julian Laws of 18 BC are updated (9 AD). Marcus Agrippa played a key role in Augustus' reign. He was the young Ocravian's principal military commanders. He commanded Octavian's fleet at Actium and defeated Anthony and Cleopatra. He married Augustus' only child--Julia and had thrre sons and two daughters. One son Lucius is seen here (figure 1). One of their daughters marries the General Germanicus Ceasar. Their son Gaius Ceasar replaces Tiberius as the Emperor Caligula. Augustus dies (14 AD). Augustus provided Rome with 44 years of stable rule, in contrast to the civil war which preceeded him and the misrule that followed him. The Pax Romana which begins with Augustus is perhaps his greatest achievement.

Teutoburg Forest (9 AD)

A huge dissaster befalls Rome with the German tribes destroy the better part of three legions in the Teutoburg Forest. It ends Romes drive to push eastward into Germany. The Rhine becomes in Europe the eastern border of the Empire. The consequences of the Roman defeat reveraberate through European history down to the 20th century.

The Julio-Claudian Emperors (14-68 AD)

Some of the most morally corupt rulers in Western history followed Augustus. With the single exception of Claudius (41-54 BC), Rome for much of the 1st century was without competent rule. Caligula (37-41 CE) and Nero (54-68) are two especially brutal and incompetent, perhaps mad, emperors. Tiberius succeded his step father (14-37 AD). He was a realtively competent administrator, but became reviled because of his personal habits and suspicious nature. He fuled with miliatary power and the Praetorian Guard, the only military force allowed in Rome. Caligula succeeded Tiberius (37-41 AD). He was at first received with jubilation because of the hatred for Tiberius. Caligula proved, however, much worse. He was not only tyranical, but surely insane. Claudius I (41-54 AD) replaced Caligula. Claudius renewed the reforms public works began by Ceasar and Augustus. The conquest of Britain begun by Ceasar was finally achieved (43 AD). Claudiuswas followed by his nephew Nero (54-68 AD). The young Nero was advised by his tutor Lucius Annaeus Seneca and the prefect of the Praetorian Guard, Sextus Afranius Burrus and began his rule with moderation. He soon veered toward excesses and was foirced to commit suicide (68 AD).

The Pax Romana

It is a testimony to the strength of the Roman state that Rome continues to prosper. One reason for this is that for about two and a half centuries from Augustus through Marcus Aurelius, the Pax Romana is maintained for a huge area straching from Hadrian's Wall on the border with Scotland to Rhine in northern Europe and Persia in the Middle east there was peace that enabled the economy to prosper and the artifacts of civilization, archetecture, the arts, and literatre to develop.

Rome

Rome builds the fabled Colosseum, the building most associated with Rome, as a place of public entertainment, especially gladiatorial combat (75-80 AD).

The Flavian Emperors (69-96 AD)

There were brief reigns of Galba, Otho, and Vitellius as a power struggle developed after Nero was deposed (68-69 AD). Vespasian emerged victorioius. He and his sons are known as the Flavians. Vespasian ruled for a decade, bringing order to the chaos surrounding Nero and his succession (69-79 AD). Vespasian tried to restore the simplier Rome of the early Augustan years. He restired some of the authority of the Senate and worked to promote the welfare of the people. The short rule of his son Titus (79-81 AD) is best known for the eruption of Vesuvius which obliterated the prosperous cituirs of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Vdespasian's other son Domitian ruled longer (81-96 AD). In his later years he became especially cruel and suspicious and was eventually murdered.

Nerva (96-98 AD)

Finally with Nerva Rome gets a competent if short term emperor . He is the first of what history describes as the Five Good Emperors. Nerva began the practice of choosing a competent succesor and then adopting him.

Clothing

We have developed some information on Roman children's clothing, we do not at this time have any details as to stylistic changes over time. as far as we can tell, Children's clothing was remarably unchanged during the Roman era.

Sources









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Created: August 16, 2003
Last updated: August 16, 2003