Visual Timeline: Roman Warfare

To navigate the timeline, click and drag it with your mouse, or click on the timeline overview on the bottom.

Legend:

800 BCE 700 BCE 600 BCE 500 BCE 400 BCE 300 BCE 200 BCE 100 BCE 0 CE 100 CE 200 CE 300 CE 400 CE 500 CE 600 CE  
 
750 BCE - 510 BCE: The semi-legendary celeres or trossuli - a 300-man cavalry corps which the first kings of Rome incorporated into the legion - is formed, later their number is increased to 600.
 
578 BCE - 535 BCE: Servius Tullius, the king of Rome, increases the number of the cavalry corps (equites) to 1,800.
 
 
508 BCE: Lars Porsenna, Etruscan king of Chiusi, lays siege to Rome.
 
 
498 BCE - 493 BCE: Rome defeats the Latins.
 
 
437 BCE - 435 BCE: Rome defeats Etruscan Veii in the Veientine War; the Etruscan king Lars Tolumnius is killed.
 
400 BCE: The Roman cavalry is expanded to include riders who can pay for their own horse.
 
 
396 BCE: Roman expansion begins with the capture of Veii from the Etruscans.
 
 
396 BCE: Rome sacks the Etruscan town of Veii after a ten-year siege.
 
390 BCE: "Gallic Catastrophe:" Brennus of the Senones defeats the Romans at Allia, and subsequently sacks Rome.
 
390 BCE: Gauls sack Rome.
 
356 BCE: 307 Roman prisoners are sacrificed in the forum of the Etruscan city of Tarquinia.
 
343 BCE - 341 BCE: First Samnite War (Rome vs. Samnites).
 
326 BCE - 304 BCE: Second Samnite War.
 
 
298 BCE - 290 BCE: Third Samnite War. Victory for Rome, peace with the Etruscans.
 
298 BCE - 290 BCE: Third Samnite War between Rome and the Samnite people.
 
297 BCE: Celts and Samnites join forces and defeat the Romans at Camertium.
 
295 BCE: In a battle lasting all day, Romans narrowly defeat a force of Celts and Samnites at Sentinum.
 
295 BCE: Roman victory over Samnites, Gauls and Umbrians at Sentinum.
 
 
294 BCE: A Roman army led by L. Postimius Megellus defeats an army from Etruscan Volsinii.
 
 
285 BCE - 282 BCE: Rome defeats the Celts in Italy. Rome's dominance in central Italy is secured.
 
284 BCE: Gauls of the Insubres and Boii tribes defeat the Romans at Arretium.
 
283 BCE: Rome decisively defeats the Senones at Picenum.
 
 
280 BCE - 272 BCE: Roman war against Tarentum. Rome conquers Tarentum. Rome’s dominance in lower Italy is secured.
 
 
280 BCE - 275 BCE: King Pyrrhus of Epirus wages the Pyrrhic War against the Romans in Italy, defence of Tarentum being the pretext.
 
 
280 BCE: The Romans conquer the Etruscan cities of Tarquinia, Volsinii and Vulci.
 
280 BCE: Pyrrhus defeats the Romans at the Battle of Heraclea.
 
279 BCE: Pyrrhus defeats the Romans at the Battle of Asculum.
 
 
275 BCE: The Romans defeat Pyrrhus of Epirus at the Battle of Maleventum.
 
 
273 BCE: Rome conquers the Etruscan town of Cerveteri.
 
 
264 BCE - 241 BCE: First Punic War. Carthage cedes Sicily to Rome.
 
 
264 BCE: The Mamertines at Messana on Sicily call for Carthaginian and then Roman help in defence against Syracuse, sparking the First Punic War.
 
262 BCE: Rome besieges and sacks Agrigento on Sicily in one of the first actions of the First Punic War.
 
260 BCE: First Roman naval victory against Carthage off Mylae in the First Punic War.
 
260 BCE: Rome builds a fleet of 120 ships in just 60 days to fight the First Punic War.
 
258 BCE: Rome wins a naval battle against Carthage at Sulcis during the First Punic War.
 
256 BCE: Roman naval victory against Carthage off Ecnomus during the First Punic War.
 
256 BCE: Rome lands an army of four legions on African soil at Clupea during the First Punic War.
 
256 BCE: Rome wins a land battle south of Tunis during the First Punic War.
 
255 BCE - 253 BCE: Roman fleets are wrecked by storms off Pachynus and Palinurus during the First Punic War.
 
255 BCE: A Carthaginain army led by the mercenary Spartan commander Xanthippus defeats two Roman legions near Tunis during the First Punic War.
 
250 BCE - 200 CE: Originally a Celtiberian weapon, the Gladius Hispaniensis was commonly used by Roman soldiers for more than four centuries.
 
250 BCE: A Carthaginian army led by Hasdrubal is defeated by Roman consul Metellus near Palermo in the First Punic War.
 
249 BCE: Carthage defeats Rome in a naval battle at Drepanum during the First Punic War.
 
241 BCE: Roman naval victory off the Aegates Islands leads to victory over Carthage, ending the First Punic War.
 
229 BCE - 228 BCE: Rome fights Illyrian pirates. Queen Teuta pays tribute to Rome.
 
223 BCE: Romans successfully campaign against Celtic tribes of Cisalpine Gaul.
 
 
222 BCE: Rome conquers Cisalpine Gaul (modern-day Provence, France).
 
219 BCE: Hannibal crosses the Ebro river in Spain and sacks the city of Saguntum, Rome's ally, sparking off the Second Punic War.
 
 
218 BCE - 202 BCE: Second Punic War.
 
218 BCE: Rome declares war on Carthage after Hannibal sacks Saguntum in Spain. The Second Punic War begins.
 
218 BCE: Hannibal leaves Spain to cross the Pyrenees and Alps into Italy.
 
218 BCE: Hannibal wins the battle of Ticinus.
 
218 BCE: Hannibal wins the battle of Trebia.
 
217 BCE: Hannibal wins the battle of Lake Trasimene.
 
216 BCE: Hannibal wins the battle of Cannae, the worst defeat in Roman history.
 
215 BCE: A Carthaginian army led by Hasdrubal is defeated at the battle of Ibera in Spain.
 
214 BCE - 205 BCE: First Macedonian War: Rome defeats Philip V of Macedon.
 
212 BCE: A Carthaginian army is defeated in Sicily by a Roman army led by Marcellus. Syracuse falls to Rome who now control the island.
 
211 BCE: A Carthaginian army defeats two Roman consuls and their armies in the Tader valley, Spain.
 
 
210 BCE - 207 BCE: Scipio Africanus conquers Spain for Rome.
 
209 BCE: Scipio Africanus captures the Carthaginian base and treasury Carthago Nova in southern Spain.
 
208 BCE: Scipio Africanus defeats a Carthaginian army led by Hasdrubal at Baecula in Spain.
 
207 BCE: Hannibal, harassed by Roman forces, is reduced to controlling only Bruttium in southern Italy.
 
207 BCE: Rome defeats a Carthaginian army at the battle of Metaurus.
 
206 BCE: Scipio Africanus wins the battle of Ilipa in Spain.
 
204 BCE: Scipio Africanus sails to North Africa in the Second Punic War.
 
204 BCE - 203 BCE: Scipio Africanus wins two battles and besieges Utica in North Africa.
 
203 BCE: Carthaginian commander Mago is unable to join forces with Hannibal and his army is defeated in Cisalpine Gaul.
 
203 BCE: Scipio Africanus defeats a Carthaginian army led by Hasdrubal in North Africa.
 
203 BCE: Hannibal is recalled from Italy to defend Carthage against Scipio Africanus.
 
202 BCE: Battle of Zama: Scipio Africanus defeats Hannibal, ending the Second Punic War.
 
200 BCE - 196 BCE: Second Macedonian War: Roman victory.
 
197 BCE: Romans are victorious over Philip V of Macedon at Cynoscephalae.
 
194 BCE: Romans defeat Antiochus III at Battle of Magnesia.
 
193 BCE: The Boii are defeated by the Romans, suffering, according to Livy, 14,000 dead.
 
190 BCE: Battle of Magnesia ad Sipylum, disastrous defeat for Antiochos III against Romans.
 
 
172 BCE - 168 BCE: Third Macedonian War: Perseus of Macedon challenges Rome and is defeated.
 
168 BCE: Romans defeat Perseus of Macedon at Pydna.
 
150 BCE: The Lusitani are betrayed and slaughtered by the Romans.
 
149 BCE - 146 BCE: Third Punic War.
 
149 BCE: Rome sends an army of 80,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry to attack Carthage.
 
148 BCE: The Roman siege of Carthage, in its second year, remains unsuccessful.
 
 
147 BCE: Viriathus leads the Lusitani in victory against the Romans.
 
146 BCE: Scipio Africanus the Younger sacks Carthage and enslaves its population.
 
 
146 BCE: Viriathus leads the Lusitani to a second victory against a Roman army, capturing Segobriga in Spain.
 
133 BCE: Rome captures Numantia. End of Iberian resistance.
 
113 BCE: Romans defeated at Noreia by the Cimbri.
 
107 BCE - 100 BCE: Gaius Marius reforms the Roman army.
 
100 BCE: Roman cavalry riders are by now classified as auxilia and organised in wings or alae.
 
88 BCE - 63 BCE: Mithridates of Pontus fights three wars to free Greece from Rome.
 
 
86 BCE: The Roman general Sulla sacks Athens and the port of Piraeus.
 
 
82 BCE - 80 BCE: Volterra is besieged and sacked by Roman general Sulla.
 
 
69 BCE: Licinius Lucullus leads a Roman army which defeats Armenian king Tigranes II and his capital Tigranocerta is captured. Artashat becomes the capital again.
 
 
67 BCE: Pompey assembles a naval fleet and attacks Pamphylia and Cilicia, principally to repress piracy.
 
 
66 BCE: Pompey the Great attacks the Armenian kingdom of Tigranes II and makes it a Roman protectorate.
 
 
64 BCE: The Roman general Pompey defeats the Seleucid Antiochus XIII and incorporates Syria as a province of the Roman empire.
 
 
58 BCE - 51 BCE: Julius Caesar’s conquest of Gaul.
 
 
58 BCE: Caesar attacks the Helvetii while on migration and defeats them.
 
57 BCE: A Roman army under Caesar narrowly defeats an army of Nervii, Atrebates, and Viromandui.
 
56 BCE: The navies of Rome and the Veneti Gauls clash resulting in a Roman victory. This is the first recorded naval battle in the Atlantic Ocean.
 
 
55 BCE - 54 BCE: Julius Caesar's expeditions in Britain.
 
53 BCE: Battle of Carrhae. Crassus is captured and executed by the Parthians.
 
 
53 BCE: Roman general Marcus Licinius Crassus compels Armenia to provide troops for his campaigns against Parthia.
 
52 BCE: Caesar defeated at Gergovia by Vercingetorix.
 
 
52 BCE: After becoming trapped and besieged at Alesia, Vercingetorix surrenders to Caesar.
 
49 BCE: Julius Caesar besieges Massilia.
 
38 BCE: Octavian amasses a naval fleet to defeat Sextus Pompey.
 
36 BCE: Agrippa defeats the naval fleet of Sextus Pompey in the battle of Naulochos.
 
31 BCE: The Battle of Actium. Octavian defeats Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII.
 
 
27 BCE - 19 BCE: Cantabrian Wars: Roman conquest of the Iberian Penninsula.
 
 
6 CE: Augustus creates the aerarium militare, a treasury drawn from taxes in order to fund a professional army.
 
 
9 CE: The Rhine River is established as the boundary between the Latin and German speaking worlds, following the defeat of the Roman army, under the command of Varus, at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest.
 
15 CE: Germanicus leads 12,000 men across the Rhine to attack the Chatti.
 
43 CE: Claudius commences the Roman conquest of Britain.
 
 
54 CE - 60 CE: Roman general Corbulo successfully campaigns in Armenia.
 
 
58 CE - 63 CE: Roman-Parthian War.
 
 
60 CE - 61 CE: Boudicca's Revolt in Britain.
 
 
70 CE: The city of Jerusalem is besieged and captured by Rome; the Second Temple destroyed.
 
 
75 CE - 77 CE: Romans defeat the last of the Northern tribes; Roman conquest of Britain complete.
 
 
101 CE - 106 CE: Trajan conquers Dacia.
 
 
114 CE: Roman emperor Trajan annexes Armenia and declares war on Parthia.
 
167 CE - 180 CE: Marcomannic Wars.
 
 
192 CE: Emperor Commodus is murdered, civil war ensues (until 197 CE).
 
195 CE: First Parthian war.
 
 
232 CE: Emperor Maximinus Thrax commands a legion in Egypt.
 
293 CE: Emperor Carausius assassinated by Allectus.
 
 
312 CE: Constantine defeats Maxentius at Milvian Bridge.
 
 
324 CE: Constantine I defeats Licinius at Chrysopolis.
 
 
367 CE: Picts, Scots, Saxons, and Franks attack the Roman Empire.
 
402 CE: Alaric invades Italy.
 
 
410 CE: The Romans withdraw from Britain.
 
 
410 CE: Alaric sacks Rome.
 
455 CE: Vandals sack Rome.
 
 
488 CE - 493 CE: Theodoric the Great of the Ostrogoths conquers Italy.
 
 
536 CE - 562 CE: The Byzantine Empire conquers Italy.
 
607 CE - 627 CE: East Rome defeats Sasanian Persia.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
800 BCE 600 BCE 400 BCE 200 BCE 0 CE 200 CE 400 CE