Religion Timeline

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  • c. 4000 BCE
    Earliest Egyptian Myths Recorded.
  • c. 3500 BCE
    First written evidence of religion in the world recorded on Sumerian tablets.
  • c. 3500 BCE
    First written evidence of religion in Sumerian cuneiform.
  • c. 3000 BCE
    Hathor, known as Mistress of Dendera, cult center flourishes in the city of Dendera.
  • c. 2500 BCE
    Osiris as Dying and Reviving God and God of the Dead appears in Pyramid Texts.
  • 2100 BCE
    First ziggurats in Ur, Eridu, Uruk, and Nippur.
  • c. 1500 BCE - 1100 BCE
    The Rig Veda written, mentioning the god Rudra (Shiva) for the first time.
  • c. 1500 BCE - 500 CE
    The Vedic Period in India.
  • c. 1120 BCE
    The Sumerian Enuma Elish (creation story) is written.
  • c. 700 BCE
    Greek poet Hesiod writes his Theogony and Works and Days.
  • c. 700 BCE
    Indian scholars codify and reinterpret Aryan beliefs to create the Upanishads texts forming the basis of Hinduism.
  • c. 700 BCE
    Development of the Charvaka school of philosophy in India.
  • 599 BCE - 527 BCE
    Traditional dating of the life of Vardhamana, according to Jain tradition.
  • 566 BCE - 486 BCE
    The life of Siddhartha Gautama according to the Corrected long chronology.
  • 563 BCE
    Siddhartha Gautama is born in Lumbini (present day Nepal).
  • c. 490 BCE - c. 410 BCE
    The life of Siddhartha Gautama according to modern scholar consensus.
  • c. 6 BCE - c. 30 CE
    Life of Jesus Christ.
  • 1 CE - 100 CE
    Mithraism spreads in the Roman empire.
  • c. 1 CE - c. 100 CE
    The Mahayana movement begins in India with its belief in bodhisattva - saintly souls who helped the living.
  • 42 CE - 62 CE
    St. Paul goes on missionary journeys across Asia Minor, Greece, and Rome.
  • 64 CE
    Unofficial persecution of Christians in Rome.
  • c. 65 CE - c. 100 CE
    The tales of the life and work of Jesus (gospels) composed.
  • 132 CE
    Septuagint (Greek translation of the Bible) composed at Alexandria.
  • 224 CE - 240 CE
    Reign of Ardashir I, who reformed the Persia by centralizing power, making Zoroastrianism state religion, and rivalling Rome.
  • 224 CE
    Zoroastrianism becomes Persian state religion under the Sasanian dynasty.
  • 300 CE
    Armenia is the first state to adopt Christianity as state religion.
  • 313 CE
    Roman emperor Constantine I tolerates Christianity.
  • 391 CE
    Christianity becomes official religion of Empire.
  • c. 500 CE - c. 600 CE
    In India the Tantric expands the number of deities to include helpful demons, contactable through ritual.
  • 503 CE
    Clovis converts to Christianity.
  • 570 CE
    Muhammad is born in Mecca.
  • 610 CE
    Muhammad receives his first revelation on Mount Hira.
  • 622 CE
    Muhammad undertakes the Hijra (migration) from Mecca to Medina, establishing the start of the Islamic calendar.
  • 624 CE
    Battle of Badr: Muhammad’s forces win, resulting in a turning point for Islam against the ruling Quraysh tribe.
  • 625 CE
    Battle of Uhud: Quraysh tribe defeats the Muslims.
  • 627 CE
    Battle of the Trench: Quraysh troops attempt to siege Medina (then called Yathrib), but lose to the Muslim force.
  • 627 CE
    Siege of Bani Qurayzah: The Muslims capture the Jewish stronghold and Muhammad approves of the killing of all of the males who had reached puberty, and one female. The rest of the women and children are sold in exchange for weapons and other goods.
  • 628 CE
    Conquest of Khaybar oasis: Jews barricade themselves in a fort at Khaybar oasis and are allowed to remain living there if they pay the Muslims one third of their produce.
  • 628 CE
    Treaty of Hudaybiyyah: A peace agreement is signed between Muhammad’s Muslims and the people of Mecca to lower tensions and allow the Muslims to return in 629 CE for their first pilgrimage.
  • 629 CE
    First Pilgrimage: This is the very first pilgrimage that Muhammad and his Muslims make to Mecca after migrating to Medina (then called Yathrib). This is the “lesser” or “minor” pilgrimage (‘umrah), not to be confused with the “greater” or “major” pilgrimage, the Hajj.
  • 629 CE
    Battle of Mu’tah: An unsuccessful attack on the Byzantine Empire, Muslims attempt to capture the village east of the Jordan River in order to show their expanding dominance. However, the battle results in a Muslim defeat and a strategic stalemate.
  • 630 CE
    Non-violent conquest of Mecca: The Quraysh realize that the Muslims now greatly outnumber them and allow the Muslims to capture their city, Mecca, and rule it as they please.
  • 630 CE
    Battle of Hunayn: Ending in a decisive victory for the Muslims over the Bedouin tribe of Hawazin, the Muslims are able to gain many spoils and continue their early expansion.
  • 630 CE
    Attempted Siege of Ta’if: Muhammad’s forces are initially unable to siege Ta’if and convert its people to Islam.
  • 632 CE
    Muhammad dies in Medina, not clearly naming a successor to lead the Muslim people.
  • 632 CE - 634 CE
    Abu Bakr becomes the first caliph (successor to Muhammad) of the Rashidun Caliphate, continuing the expansion of Islam throughout the Arabian Peninsula.
  • 632 CE
    “Farewell Hajj Pilgrimage”: This is the only Hajj pilgrimage in which Muhammad participates. Muhammad tells his followers that his life would end rather soon and provide them with theological advice and encouragement.
  • 634 CE - 644 CE
    'Umar ibn al-Khattab succeeds Abu Bakr, becoming the second caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate. 'Umar continues Islamic expansion throughout Persia and northern Africa.
  • 644 CE - 656 CE
    'Uthman ibn 'Affan succeeds 'Umar to become the third caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate. 'Uthman strengthens Islam's hold on previously captured lands, but his most notable accomplishment is compiling the Qur'an into one consistent text.
  • c. 650 CE
    Realizing several variations in Qur'ans throughout the Islamic Empire, 'Uthman orders the establishment of one "true" Qur'an while destroying the others. Thus, the 'Uthman Qur'an Codex was created and is still the acceptable Qur'an used to this day.
  • 656 CE - 661 CE
    'Ali ibn Abi Talib succeeds 'Uthman to become the fourth and final caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate. 'Ali struggles to expand the Islamic empire due to internal disputes, including Islam's first civil war.
  • Mar 670 CE
    Hasan ibn 'Ali, Shi'a Islam's second imam (his father, 'Ali, being the first imam), is poisoned to death
  • Oct 680 CE
    Husayn ibn 'Ali, Shi'a Islam's third imam, is killed at the Battle of Karbala in present day Iraq. He was beheaded by Yazid I's forces.
  • 708 CE - 714 CE
    The Kojiki written, a collection of oral myths forming the basis of the Shinto religion.
  • 720 CE
    The Nihonshoki written, a collection of oral myths forming the basis of the Shinto religion.
  • c. 807 CE
    Imibe-no-Hironari writes the Kogoshui, a collection of oral myths forming the basis of the Shinto religion.
  • 1122 CE
    Construction begins of the Hindu temple at Angkor Wat.

Visual Timeline

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Legend:

4000 BCE 3500 BCE 3000 BCE 2500 BCE 2000 BCE 1500 BCE 1000 BCE 500 BCE 0 CE 500 CE 1000 CE  
 
 
4000 BCE: Earliest Egyptian Myths Recorded.
 
3500 BCE: First written evidence of religion in the world recorded on Sumerian tablets.
 
 
3500 BCE: First written evidence of religion in Sumerian cuneiform.
 
3000 BCE: Hathor, known as Mistress of Dendera, cult center flourishes in the city of Dendera.
 
 
2500 BCE: Osiris as Dying and Reviving God and God of the Dead appears in Pyramid Texts.
 
 
2100 BCE: First ziggurats in Ur, Eridu, Uruk, and Nippur.
 
 
1500 BCE - 1100 BCE: The Rig Veda written, mentioning the god Rudra (Shiva) for the first time.
 
 
1500 BCE - 500 CE: The Vedic Period in India.
 
 
1120 BCE: The Sumerian Enuma Elish (creation story) is written.
 
 
700 BCE: Greek poet Hesiod writes his Theogony and Works and Days.
 
 
700 BCE: Indian scholars codify and reinterpret Aryan beliefs to create the Upanishads texts forming the basis of Hinduism.
 
700 BCE: Development of the Charvaka school of philosophy in India.
 
 
599 BCE - 527 BCE: Traditional dating of the life of Vardhamana, according to Jain tradition.
 
566 BCE - 486 BCE: The life of Siddhartha Gautama according to the Corrected long chronology.
 
 
563 BCE: Siddhartha Gautama is born in Lumbini (present day Nepal).
 
490 BCE - 410 BCE: The life of Siddhartha Gautama according to modern scholar consensus.
 
6 BCE - 30 CE: Life of Jesus Christ.
 
1 CE - 100 CE: Mithraism spreads in the Roman empire.
 
 
1 CE - 100 CE: The Mahayana movement begins in India with its belief in bodhisattva - saintly souls who helped the living.
 
42 CE - 62 CE: St. Paul goes on missionary journeys across Asia Minor, Greece, and Rome.
 
64 CE: Unofficial persecution of Christians in Rome.
 
 
65 CE - 100 CE: The tales of the life and work of Jesus (gospels) composed.
 
 
132 CE: Septuagint (Greek translation of the Bible) composed at Alexandria.
 
224 CE - 240 CE: Reign of Ardashir I, who reformed the Persia by centralizing power, making Zoroastrianism state religion, and rivalling Rome.
 
224 CE: Zoroastrianism becomes Persian state religion under the Sasanian dynasty.
 
300 CE: Armenia is the first state to adopt Christianity as state religion.
 
313 CE: Roman emperor Constantine I tolerates Christianity.
 
391 CE: Christianity becomes official religion of Empire.
 
 
500 CE - 600 CE: In India the Tantric expands the number of deities to include helpful demons, contactable through ritual.
 
503 CE: Clovis converts to Christianity.
 
 
570 CE: Muhammad is born in Mecca.
 
 
610 CE: Muhammad receives his first revelation on Mount Hira.
 
 
622 CE: Muhammad undertakes the Hijra (migration) from Mecca to Medina, establishing the start of the Islamic calendar.
 
 
624 CE: Battle of Badr: Muhammad’s forces win, resulting in a turning point for Islam against the ruling Quraysh tribe.
 
 
625 CE: Battle of Uhud: Quraysh tribe defeats the Muslims.
 
 
627 CE: Battle of the Trench: Quraysh troops attempt to siege Medina (then called Yathrib), but lose to the Muslim force.
 
 
627 CE: Siege of Bani Qurayzah: The Muslims capture the Jewish stronghold and Muhammad approves of the killing of all of the males who had reached puberty, and one female. The rest of the women and children are sold in exchange for weapons and other goods.
 
 
628 CE: Conquest of Khaybar oasis: Jews barricade themselves in a fort at Khaybar oasis and are allowed to remain living there if they pay the Muslims one third of their produce.
 
 
628 CE: Treaty of Hudaybiyyah: A peace agreement is signed between Muhammad’s Muslims and the people of Mecca to lower tensions and allow the Muslims to return in 629 CE for their first pilgrimage.
 
 
629 CE: First Pilgrimage: This is the very first pilgrimage that Muhammad and his Muslims make to Mecca after migrating to Medina (then called Yathrib). This is the “lesser” or “minor” pilgrimage (‘umrah), not to be confused with the “greater” or “major” pilgrimage, the Hajj.
 
 
629 CE: Battle of Mu’tah: An unsuccessful attack on the Byzantine Empire, Muslims attempt to capture the village east of the Jordan River in order to show their expanding dominance. However, the battle results in a Muslim defeat and a strategic stalemate.
 
 
630 CE: Non-violent conquest of Mecca: The Quraysh realize that the Muslims now greatly outnumber them and allow the Muslims to capture their city, Mecca, and rule it as they please.
 
 
630 CE: Battle of Hunayn: Ending in a decisive victory for the Muslims over the Bedouin tribe of Hawazin, the Muslims are able to gain many spoils and continue their early expansion.
 
 
630 CE: Attempted Siege of Ta’if: Muhammad’s forces are initially unable to siege Ta’if and convert its people to Islam.
 
 
632 CE: Muhammad dies in Medina, not clearly naming a successor to lead the Muslim people.
 
 
632 CE - 634 CE: Abu Bakr becomes the first caliph (successor to Muhammad) of the Rashidun Caliphate, continuing the expansion of Islam throughout the Arabian Peninsula.
 
 
632 CE: “Farewell Hajj Pilgrimage”: This is the only Hajj pilgrimage in which Muhammad participates. Muhammad tells his followers that his life would end rather soon and provide them with theological advice and encouragement.
 
 
634 CE - 644 CE: 'Umar ibn al-Khattab succeeds Abu Bakr, becoming the second caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate. 'Umar continues Islamic expansion throughout Persia and northern Africa.
 
 
644 CE - 656 CE: 'Uthman ibn 'Affan succeeds 'Umar to become the third caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate. 'Uthman strengthens Islam's hold on previously captured lands, but his most notable accomplishment is compiling the Qur'an into one consistent text.
 
 
650 CE: Realizing several variations in Qur'ans throughout the Islamic Empire, 'Uthman orders the establishment of one "true" Qur'an while destroying the others. Thus, the 'Uthman Qur'an Codex was created and is still the acceptable Qur'an used to this day.
 
 
656 CE - 661 CE: 'Ali ibn Abi Talib succeeds 'Uthman to become the fourth and final caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate. 'Ali struggles to expand the Islamic empire due to internal disputes, including Islam's first civil war.
 
 
670 CE: Hasan ibn 'Ali, Shi'a Islam's second imam (his father, 'Ali, being the first imam), is poisoned to death
 
 
680 CE: Husayn ibn 'Ali, Shi'a Islam's third imam, is killed at the Battle of Karbala in present day Iraq. He was beheaded by Yazid I's forces.
 
 
708 CE - 714 CE: The Kojiki written, a collection of oral myths forming the basis of the Shinto religion.
 
 
720 CE: The Nihonshoki written, a collection of oral myths forming the basis of the Shinto religion.
 
 
807 CE: Imibe-no-Hironari writes the Kogoshui, a collection of oral myths forming the basis of the Shinto religion.
 
 
1122 CE: Construction begins of the Hindu temple at Angkor Wat.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4000 BCE 3000 BCE 2000 BCE 1000 BCE 0 CE

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