Roman History 1st Century A.D.

A note about this page and Expired Knowledge.

A.D. 1 TO A.D. 100
1st Century Dioceses established in the 1st Century: Agrigentum (Agrigento), Beneventum (Benevento), Catania, Neapolis (Naples/Napoli), Panormus (Palermo), Puteoli (Pozzuoli), Rhegium (Reggio di Calabria).
1 195th Olympiad
2 Lucius Caesar, 19 year old grandson and heir of Augustus, dies at Massilia (Marseilles), in Gaul from an illness. Augustus establishes the Italica Romaea Sebasta Olympia at Naples. These are the only sacred Quinquennial (ie. held every 5 years) Greek games held in Italy and they ranked as being equal to those (Olympian, Pythian, Nemean) held in Greece itself.
4 (Feb 21) Gaius Caesar, 24 year old grandson and heir of Augustus, dies at Limyra in Lycia, from wounds he had received in battle in Armenia in AD 3.
5 196th Olympiad Famine in Italy. Julia the Elder, the banished daughter of Augustus, is allowed to leave the island of Pandateria (modern Ventotene). She is allowed to reside at Rhegium. The Romans defeat the Lombards on the river Elbe in Germany. This tribe, whom the historian Velleius Paterculus (II.106) described as “more fierce than ordinary German savagery”, would play a major role in Italian history from the 6th to the 11th centuries AD.
6 Augustus trades the island of Ischia to Neapolis (Naples) in exchange for Capri. Famine in Rome. There are at this time c320,000 people (or nearly one third of the city population) in Rome depending on the public dole of grain, a dramatic increase from c155,000 in 44 BC. Rome imports about 14 million bushels annually. Of this amount about a third comes from Egypt and the remainder mostly from the other Roman provinces of North Africa. Ovid, the Roman poet, is exiled to Tomis on the coast of the Black Sea.
9 197th Olympiad (Sept 10) Three Roman legions under the command of Varus are massacred in the Teutoberger forest by Germans.
10 (c) Mt. Etna erupts.
12 (Aug 31) Gaius Caesar, future Roman Emperor, is born. Last known inscription written in the Etruscan language.
13 198th Olympiad
14 Romans hold a census. Completed on May 14, the count numbers 4,937,000 Roman citizens. (Aug 19) Augustus dies at Nola, in Campania at age 76. He is succeeded as emperor by his 55 year old stepson Tiberius. On Sept. 17, the Roman Senate deifies Augustus. Julia the Elder, daughter of Augustus, dies in exile at Rhegium (mod. Reggio di Calabria), Bruttium, as a result of malnutrition. The exact date of her death is unknown but it occurred after that of her father Augustus but before the year of the year. Estimated population of Roman Empire: c61,000,000, of which c13,000,000 live in Rome and mainland Italy. Another c1,100,000 live on the islands of Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica.
15 New laws are issued regarding actors and the theater: Senators are forbidden to enter the house of an actor. Knights are forbidden to escort actors in public. Theatrical shows are forbidden outside of the theaters themselves. Offenses committed by members of the audience of a theatrical performance are punishable by exile. The term for regular legionaries in the Roman army is set at 20 years.
16 Astrologers and magicians are expelled from Italy. Some astrologers are put to death. Lucius Pituanius is thrown from the Tarpian Rock at Rome, while another, Publius Marcius, is beheaded. Laws are enacted to restrict ostentatious display of wealth. One law forbids the use of solid gold plate at private dinner parties. Another bans the use of silk for men’s garments.
17 199th Olympiad (Jan 2) Titus Livius (Livy), the great Roman historian, dies. Earthquake strikes Rhegium and NE Sicily. These may be related to a series of severe quakes that hit Anatolia, destroying a dozen cities.
18 (Jan 2) Ovid (Publius Ovidus Naso), the Roman poet, dies in exile at Tomis, a remote town on the coast of the Black Sea. Exiled here by order of Augustus, his offense remains ambiguous to historians. It has been speculated, however, that his crime concerned the scandalous indiscretions of Julia, the daughter of Augustus. Others believe that Ovid’s work, the Art of Love, was too risqué for the tastes of Augustus and that his exile was meant to set an example to other writers.
19 Tiberius moves from Rome to the island of Caprae (Capri). Disgusted with Rome and continually frightened by the threat of assassination, Tiberius decides to leave the city permanent. He moves the imperial court to the island of Caprae (mod. Capri), off the coast of Campania. The Lex Petronia is enacted forbidding masters from sending slaves to the arena.
21 200th Olympiad.
24 Unsuccessful slave revolt led by Titus Curtisius, formerly a member of the elite praetorian guard, breaks out in southern Italy. The revolt is centered in and around Brundisium in Apulia.
25 201st Olympiad
27 Tiberius moves from Rome to the island of Caprae (Capri). Disgusted with Rome and continually frightened by the threat of assassination, Tiberius decides to leave the city permanent. He moves the imperial court to the island of Caprae (mod. Capri), off the coast of Campania.
29 202nd Olympiad
30 Agrippina the Elder, granddaughter of Augustus and widow of Germanicus, is exiled to the small volcanic island of Pandataria (modern Ventotene). 
32 (c) St. Peter establishes the papacy in Rome.

33 203rd Olympiad (Oct 18) Agrippina the Elder dies of starvation on the island of Pandataria (modern Ventotene). 
37 204th Olympiad (Mar 16) Tiberius dies at Misenum, at the age of 78. While traveling through Campania, Tiberius fell ill at his seaside villa at Misenum. While it is probable that this illness killed him, there was a rumor that he may have been smothered by Macro, the commander of the Praetorian Guard, to ensure that Caligula would inherit the throne. He is succeeded on the imperial throne by Gaius Caesar, better known to history as Caligula. (Mar 16) Earthquake on Capri. (summer) Having been told a by an oracle that he had no more chance of becoming Emperor than he had of riding a horse across the Gulf of Baiae, Caligula has a temporary bridge of ships built from Puteoli to Baiae. He then rode his horse across the c2 mile span as an act of defiance against the divine oracle. (alt. date: 39) (Dec 15) Birth of Nero, the future Roman emperor.
39 (Dec. 30) Birth of Titus, future emperor, at Rome. (c) Mt. Etna erupts.
40 (Jun-Aug) Caligula visits Campania. (c) St. Pancras is sent by St. Peter to Sicily to become the first bishop of Tauromenium (mod. Taormina). He was later martyred.
41 205th Olympiad (Jan. 24) Gaius Caligula, age 29, is assassinated in Rome by members of the Praetorian Guard. He is succeeded as emperor by his uncle Claudius. Claudius is recognized as Princeps by the Roman Senate on January 25.
45 206th Olympiad
47 Secular Games are held at Rome.
49 207th Olympiad
50 (c) Amphitheater (capacity c20,000) built at Alba Fucens in Samnium (mod. Abruzzo). Emperor Claudius adopts his stepson Nero. Eruption on Vulcano Island. Eruption on Stromboli.
51 (Oct 24) Domitian, future emperor, born in Rome.
53 208th Olympiad Famine and pestilence in Italy (to 54).
54 Fucine Lake is partially drained. (Oct 13) Claudius is assassinated, probably from eating poisoned mushrooms, served to him by the physician Stertinius Xenophon. The plot is believed to have been organized by Claudius’ wife, Agrippina, to ensure that her son Nero would succeed to the imperial throne.
55 Birth of the poet Juvenal at Aquinium (mod. Aquino).
57 209th Olympiad
59 A riot breaks out in the amphitheater at Pompeii between the Pompeiians and visitors from the nearby town of Nuceria (mod. Nocera). The violence results in so many injuries and deaths that the Roman Senate bans gladiatorial games at Pompeii for the next 10 years. (Mar) Agrippina, mother of the Emperor Nero, is assassinated at her villa at Baiae, by order of her son.
61 210th Olympiad
62 Gaius Ophonius Tigellinus, a native of Agrigentum, of Greek background, is appointed Praetorian Prefect to Emperor Nero. (Feb. 5) Violent earthquake strikes Campania causing great damage to Pompeii, Herculaneum and other Campanian towns. St. Paul is executed in Rome for treason. Nero has his wife Octavia killed and then marries Poppaea Sabina.
64 Naples suffers damage from an earthquake. (Spring & Summer) Nero makes an extended visit to Campania. During his visit he makes his public debut as a performer at the theater in Neapolis (Naples). This performance appears to have been may in connection with the Italica Romaea Sebasta Olympia, the games founded by Augustus in AD 2. (July 18-26) Great Fire of Rome. In order to relieve the public suspicion that he was responsible for the fire, Nero puts the blame on the small Christian community in Rome. As a result, several Christians are arrested and executed. There is no evidence that the Christians made any effort to defend themselves or deny the changes made against them.
65 211th Olympiad A plague in Rome claims 30,000 lives.
67 Date for the crucifixion of St. Peter on Vatican Hill at Rome according to Eusebius and Jerome. The actual date is very uncertain with different sources giving placing it between AD 55 and 68. Tertullian, writing in the 3rd Century, is the earliest source to mention Peter being hung from the cross upside-down. (alt date: 64). St. Linus succeeds Peter as pope (alt date: 68). Nero participates in the Olympic Games and grants liberty to Greece.
68 (June 9) Nero is overthrown and commits suicide at age 30. With his death, the Julio-Claudian dynasty comes to an end and the Roman World is plunged into civil war as various factions battle for the imperial throne. Over the next year and a half, four different emperors will be crowned. The first of these was Galba. Earthquake strikes area around Teate (mod. Chieti), in Samnium. Plague in Rome.
69 212th Olympiad (Jan 15) Emperor Galba is assassinated. About 120 people claimed to have been the assassin hoping that the next emperor, Otho, would reward them. (Apr 16) Otho is defeated in battle by the army of Vitellius commits suicide. (Apr 17) Vitellius is declared Roman Emperor. As one of his first acts, he has a list drawn up of the c120 names of those claiming to have killed emperor Galba. All of these were sentenced to death. (Dec 22) Vitellius is overthrown and killed by a mob in Rome, as forces loyal to Vespasian enter the city. Vitellius’s body is thrown into the Tiber. Vespasian, who is still in Alexandria, Egypt, at the time, is acknowledged emperor. With his victory, the period of civil war ends and a new dynasty, the Flavians, comes to power in Rome. Volcanic eruption on Ischia. Pestilence in Rome kills both humans and animals.
70 Contrary winds cause major delays in grain shipments to Rome. Panic and a bread shortage grip the city. The Gospel of Mark is written at Rome according to some sources. It is believed that it could have been authored by someone who had served as interpreter for St. Peter. The original ending of the Gospel was lost and the existing one dates to cAD 400.
71 Vespasian banishes philosophers and astrologers from Rome. A lavish public lavatory is opened at Rome. At this time, Rome’s extensive water system includes many flush toilets and urinals.
73 213th Olympiad
75 Several philosophers including the cynic Diogenes secretly return to Rome. Gospel of Luke written sometime between c75 and c90.
76 Traditional date for the death of Pope St. Linus. He is traditionally labeled as a martyr though without any documentary proof. He was succeeded as pope by St. Anacletus (Cletus). (alt dates: 79, 80).
77 214th Olympiad Plague in Rome (to 78).
79 (June 23) Vespasian dies at age 69 and is succeeded as emperor by his 38 year old son Titus. (Aug 24-25) Violent eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Several towns and other settlements, including Pompeii, Herculaneum, Stabiae, Oplontis, Sora, Tora, Taurania, Cossa and Leucopetra, are destroyed. Among the c10,000 killed in the disaster is the Roman historian and naturalist Pliny the Elder. The eruption is accompanied by a series of major earthquakes. Pliny the Elder, the Roman natural scientist, dies at Stabiae during the eruption of Vesuvius. As a result of the eruption of Vesuvius, there is a shortage of liquamen (also called garum), a seasoned sauce made from fermented fish. Pompeii had been a leading center for the condiment’s production. Plague, probably anthrax, spreads through Rome and the rest of the Empire, killing thousands.
80 Titus restores the horologium of Surrentum and its architectural decoration, damaged a year earlier by the earthquakes which accompanied the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. The Flavian Amphitheater, better known as the Colosseum, is inaugurated at Rome. Eruption on Ischia. Anthrax plague continues in the Roman Empire. Drought in Italy. Gospel of Matthew written between c80 and c85. (c) Eruption of Mt. Etna.
81 215th Olympiad (Sept 13) Titus dies at Reate of a fever at age 40. According to some sources, he was a victim of malaria. Others believed that he had been poisoned by an agent of his 29 year old brother, Domitian. Although he reigned for only 2 years, Titus has a reputation as one of the best and most honorable of Roman emperors. Domitian succeeds him as emperor.
85 216th Olympiad
88 St. Clement I becomes pope (alt dates: 91, 92).
89 217th Olympiad
90 Gospel of John written between c90 and c100.
93 218th Olympiad
95 Traditional date for the founding of the Basilica of SS. Apostoli at Nola. Domitian exiles all philosophers from Italy. Outbreak of a severe form of malaria in the countryside outside of Rome. The sickness remains endemic throughout the Roman Campagna for the next 500 years. Much of the fertile lands, devoted largely to fruit orchards, are lost to cultivation. The displaced small farmers immigrate to Rome itself bringing the sickness with them. This rise of malaria in Rome causes a drop in the city’s live birth rate, while the population of the empire as a whole is increasing. The city of Rome is serviced by at least 10 aqueducts at this time, supplying the population with 250 million gallons of fresh water each day. About 50% of this total was used for the public baths. According to some sources, at its height, the city of Rome had so much fresh water that it could provide 291 gallons per capita daily.  Obviously, few people would have needed so much water for personal use. An estimate made by the US Geological Service (USGS) reported that the average modern American household used between 80 and 100 gallons of water daily.
96 (Sept 18) Domitian (age 44) is assassinated at Rome, the victim of a senatorial plot. The assassin, a freedman named Stephanus, is quickly killed. The Senate chooses the 61- year old Nerva as the new emperor. Because of his advanced age and lack of an heir, the Senate saw him as a good choice in preventing a new dynasty emperors being created. With the accession of Nerva, the era of the “Five Good Emperors” begins. For nearly a century hence, the Roman Empire would know its greatest period of peace, prosperity, and power.
97 219th Olympiad A new colony is established at Minervium (or Colonia Minervia) in Bruttium. The settlement’s name is changed to Scolatium (or Scolacium), a Latin form of the town’s pre-Roman name of Scylacium. St. Evaristus becomes pope. (Alt. dates: 98/101).
98 (Jan 27/28) Nerva dies of illness. He is succeeded by his adopted heir Trajan, under whom the Roman Empire would reach its greatest territorial extent. The Roman economy flourishes. The silver content of the denarius rises to 93% pure.