1st century was the century 1 CE ( I) through 100 CE ( C) according to the Julian calendar. It is often written as the 1st century AD or  to distinguish it from the 1st century CE 1st century BC (or BCE) which preceded it. The 1st century is considered part of the Classical era, epoch, or historical period.
During this period, Europe,
North Africa and the Near East fell under increasing domination by the Roman Empire, which continued expanding, most notably conquering Britain under the emperor Claudius ( AD 43). The reforms introduced by Augustus during his long reign stabilized the empire after the turmoil of the previous century's civil wars. Later in the century the Julio-Claudian dynasty, which had been founded by Augustus, came to an end with the suicide of Nero in AD 68. There followed the famous Year of Four Emperors, a brief period of civil war and instability, which was finally brought to an end by Vespasian, ninth Roman emperor, and founder of the Flavian dynasty. The Roman Empire generally experienced a period of prosperity and dominance in this period and the first century is remembered as part of the Empire's golden age.
The 1st century saw the
appearance of Christianity.
China continued to be dominated by the
Han Dynasty, despite a fourteen-year interruption by the Xin dynasty under Wang Mang. Han rule was restored in AD 23; Wang Mang's rule represents the watershed between the Western/Former Han and the Eastern/Later Han. The capital was also moved from Chang'an to Luoyang.
Regional events and politics [ ]
Map of the world in 1 AD, at the beginning of the first century.
Map of the world in 50 AD, in the middle of the first century.
Map of the world in 100 AD, at the end of the first century.
Western Europe: Celtic, Germanic, Saami and Finnic tribal chiefdom and the Roman Empire
Eastern Europe: Roman Empire, Dacian, Sarmatian, Venedae and Balt tribal chiefdoms
North Africa: Roman Empire, Garamantes, Mauri, Libyan and Gaetulian tribal chiefdoms
West Africa: Gur, Kwa, Soninke and Mande tribal chiefdoms
Central Africa: Bantu tribes, collapsing Nok culture Nok civilization
East Africa: Kingdom of Kush, Kingdom of Blemmyes, Kingdom of Aksum
Southern Africa: Bantu tribes, Khoisan.
Western Asia: Roman and Parthian Empires, Sabaean and Arabian Kingdoms, smaller tribes.
Central Asia: Kushan Empire, Sarmatian, Dahae and other Iranian tribal chiefdoms
South Asia: Kushan Empire, Western Satraps, Satavahana Empire, Dravidian Kingdoms, Kingdom of Kalinga, Indo-Parthian Kingdom, Zhangzhung.
Southeast Asia: Mandala of city-states, Kingdom of Funan
East Asia: Han Dynasty, Yamatai, Xiongnu and Xianbei tribal chiefdoms, Three Kingdoms of Korea ( Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla).
Central America: Mayan, Teotihuacan and Zapotec civilizations.
Caribbean: South America: Nazca, Moche civilizations, Tairona tribal chiefdoms.
Events [ ]
A depiction of the crucifixion of Jesus by Diego Velázquez
The skeleton called the "Ring Lady" unearthed in Herculaneum, one of the victims of the eruption of
Early 1st century –
Jesus of Nazareth is born Early 1st century –
Augustus of Primaporta, (perhaps a copy of a bronze statue of ca. 20 BC), is made. It is now kept in Musei Vaticani, Braccio Nuovo, Rome. Early 1st century –
Gemma Augustea is made. It is now kept at Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. Early 1st century –
House of the Silver Wedding, Pompeii, is built. Excavated in 1893, the year of the silver wedding anniversary of Italy's King Humbert and his wife, Margherita of Savoy, who have supported archaeological fieldwork at Pompeii. Early 1st century – Inner shrine,
Ise, Mie, Mie Prefecture, is built. Yayoi period.
Hathibada Ghosundi Inscriptions Was create in 1st Century Early 1st century –
Lions became extinct in Western Europe.
AD 2: First census of China, the census is one of the most accurate in Chinese history.
AD 6: Census of Quirinius.
AD 7: Prince Cunobeline of Catuvellauni defeats the Trinovantes in England and establishes his capital at Camulodunum (modern-day Colchester).
AD 9: Three Roman legions were ambushed and destroyed at Teutoberg Forest by Germans under the leadership of Arminius.
AD 9: Prince Cunobeline is crowned King of Catuvellauni, his Kingdom dominates Southern England.
AD 9 – 23: Wang Mang temporarily overthrew the Han dynasty of China.
AD 9 – 23: Xin dynasty.
AD 14: Augustus Caesar, first emperor of Rome, dies. His adopted son/stepson/son-in-law Tiberius ascends to the throne.
AD 25: The Han dynasty is restored by Liu Xiu who proclaims himself Emperor Guangwu of Han.
AD 27: Jesus begins his ministry (traditional date).       
AD 28 – 75: Emperor Ming of Han, Buddhism reaches China.
AD 29 Humans arrive on Pentecost Island and establish the Bunlap tribe, among others.
AD 29: Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka first write down Buddha's teachings, creating the Pali canon during the Fourth Buddhist Council .
AD 30: The regions of present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan and North India come under the control of the Kushans, a nomadic people forced out of northwest China by the Han Dynasty.
AD 31: The Crucifixion of Jesus (traditional date).    c.
AD 34: Stoning of Saint Stephen. c.
36: Conversion of Paul the Apostle.   
AD 40: Succession crisis erupts at King Cunobeline's court and his exiled younger son Prince Adminius flees to the court of Caligula in Rome.
AD 40: Emperor Caligula plans to invade Britain, he instead declares war upon the sea, taking shells as spoils. 
AD 40 – 43: Revolts erupts in Vietnam by the Trung sisters.
AD 41 – 54: Rachias, an ambassador sent from Sri Lanka to the court of Claudius.
AD 42: King Cunobeline dies, his son Caratacus becomes King. He and his brother conquer much of South-Eastern England, expanding territory into Atrebates, driving out King Verica. King Verica travels to Rome to the court of Claudius to help reclaim his throne.
AD 43: Roman conquest of Britain begins. London is founded (although it could have existed centuries before this date). AD 44: Death of Herod Agrippa.
AD 50: Christian Council of Jerusalem. Mid-1st century – Wall niche, from garden in
Pompeii, is made. It is now kept at Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, England. Mid-1st century – Detail of a wall painting in the
House of M. Lucretius Fronto, Pompeii, is made.
AD 58 – 88: Rule of Ming and Zhang.
AD 60: Queen Boudica of The Iceni in England launches a rebellion against The Romans. Tens of thousands die and the Roman army is massively damaged. The Rebellion fails and Boadicea commits suicide by poisoning herself. Three major cities are obliterated.
AD 64: Great Fire of Rome, first Roman mass Persecution of Christians, earliest significant recognition of Christians in Rome.
AD 66 – 73: First Jewish-Roman War.
AD 68: Nero commits suicide
AD 68: Kingdom of Funan is established in the Mekong Delta, the first Indianized state—or, rather a loose network of states in mainland Southeast Asia. The capital city is Vyadhapura or modern-day Ba Phnum District in Cambodia. Kaundinya, an Indian brahmin marries Soma and establishes the pre- Angkor Cambodian Kingdom of Funan.
AD 69: Following Nero's demise, the Roman Empire falls into its first civil war in nearly a century now known as the Year of the Four Emperors.
AD 69: Cartimandua, Queen of the Brigantes in Northern England, is overthrown in a civil war. Her unpopular alliance with Rome, the betrayal of Caratacus and her love for someone other than her husband are the three reasons which led to her demise. The Action enraged the Romans so much that they conquered and annexed The Kingdom.
AD 70: destruction of Herod's Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans under Titus.
AD 70: India sees the end of the Hellenistic dynasties.
AD 71: Use of locks with keys of clever design begins in Rome.
AD 72: First Jewish-Roman War: The Roman army ( ) under Legio X Fretensis Sextus Lucilius Bassus lays siege to the Jewish garrison of Machaerus at the Dead Sea.
AD 73: The Chinese Han Dynasty launches a major campaign against the Xiongnu, whom they confront in the Battle of Yiwulu in the Kumul oasis, an ultimate Han military victory led by General Dou Gu (d. AD 88).
AD 74: Chinese generals Dou Gu (Teou Kou) and Geng Bing (Keng Ping) take control of Turpan.
AD 77: Pliny the Elder publishes the first ten books of Naturalis Historia.
AD 78: The Romans conquer the Ordovices, located in present-day northern Wales, as well as the Silures.
AD 78: Indian Prince Aji Caka introduces the Sanskrit language and Pallawa script, used to inscribe Javanese words and phrases, to the Indonesian islands.
AD 79: Pompeii and Herculaneum destroyed by eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
AD 80: The Colosseum is finished.
AD 83: In Rome, the castration of slaves is prohibited.
AD 85: Baekje invades the outskirts of Silla in the Korean peninsula. The war continues until the peace treaty of 105.
AD 86: Roman general (and future emperor) Trajan begins a campaign to crush an uprising in Germany.
AD 87: The Roman Julius Maternus explores western Africa (approximate date).
AD 88: The First Dacian War ends: Decebalus becomes a client king of Rome, he receives money, craftsmen and war machines to protect the borders ( limes) of the Roman Empire.
AD 89: Battle of Ikh Bayan: The Han Chinese army under Dou Xian, allied with the southern Xiongnu, is victorious over the Northern Xiongnu.
AD 92: The Marcomanni are defeated by the Romans at the Danube; however, they are not entirely subdued.
AD 94: The Chinese General Ban Chao completes his conquest of the Tarim Basin by taking Yānqi, which is located on the strategic Silk Road.
AD 98: Tacitus mentions the Suiones, who will one day be called the Swedes.
AD 98: The Goths settle in northern Poland, which they called Gothiscandza, and shape the Wielbark culture.
Jewish Council of Jamnia. Late 1st century—Cityscape, detail of a Second Style wall painting from a bedroom in the House of
Publius Fannius Synistor, Boscoreale, is made. It is now at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The painting "Alexander the Great confronts Darius III at the Battle of Issos", detail of mosaic floor decoration from
Pompeii, Italy is made. It is a Roman copy after a Greek painting of c. 310 BC, perhaps by Philoxenos or Helen of Egypt. It is now at Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, Italy. Late 1st century – Bedroom, from the House of Publius Fannius Synistor,
Boscoreale is made. It is reconstructed with later furnishings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Late 1st century – Seascape, detail of a wall painting from
Villa Farnesina, Rome, is made. Late 1st century – Young Woman Writing, detail of a wall painting, from
Pompeii, is made. It is now kept at Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples. Late 1st century – Mausoleum under Construction, relief from the tomb of the
Haterius family, Via Labicana, Rome, is made. It is now kept at Musei Vaticani, Museo Gregoriano Profano, ex Lateranese, Rome. Late 1st century – Middle-Aged Flavian Woman, is made. It is now kept at
Musei Vaticani, Museo Gregoriano Profano, ex Lateranese, Rome. c. Late 1st century-early 2nd century – Buddha and Attendants, from
Katra Keshavdev, Mathura, Madhya Pradesh, India, is made. Kushan period. It is now kept at Mathura Museum. 1st–2nd centuries – Tomb model of a house, is made. Eastern Han dynasty. It is now kept at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.
Inventions, discoveries, introductions [ ]
Codex, the first form of the modern book, appears in the Roman Empire
AD 78: the beginning of the Saka Era used by South Asian calendars.
Bookbinding Various inventions by
Hero of Alexandria, including the steam turbine (aeolipile), water organ, and various other water-powered machines.
AD 31: the Han Dynasty Chinese engineer and statesman Du Shi (d. AD 38) from Nanyang invented the first-known hydraulic-powered bellows to heat the blast furnace in smelting cast iron. He used a complex mechanical device that was powered by the rushing current against a waterwheel, a practice that would continue in China. Although
Philo of Byzantium described the saqiya chain pump in the early 2nd century BC, the square-pallet chain pump was innovated in China during this century, mentioned first by the philosopher Wang Chong around AD 80. Wang Chong also accurately described the water cycle in meteorology, and argued against the mainstream 'radiating influence' theory for solar eclipses, the latter of which was accepted by many, including Zhang Heng. The Chinese astronomer
Liu Xin (d. AD 23) documented 1080 different stars, amongst other achievements. End of 1st century – codex replaces the scroll.
References [ ]
^ in violation of the general rule that the abbreviation
AD should precede the date IN question.
^ J. Dwight Pentecost,
The Words and Works of Jesus Christ: A Study of the Life of Christ (Zondervan, 1981) pages 577–578.
^ Andreas J. Köstenberger, John (Baker Academic, 2004), page 110.
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible 2000 Amsterdam University Press ISBN 90-5356-503-5 page 249
^ Paul L. Maier "The Date of the Nativity and Chronology of Jesus" in Jerry Vardaman and Edwin M. Yamauchi,
Chronos, kairos, Christos: nativity and chronological studies (1989) ISBN 0-931464-50-1, pp. 113–129
The Riddles of the Fourth Gospel: An Introduction to John by Paul N. Anderson 2011 ISBN 0-8006-0427-X pages 200
Herod the Great by Jerry Knoblet 2005 ISBN 0-7618-3087-1 page 183-184
Jesus in Johannine tradition by Robert Tomson Fortna, Tom Thatcher 2001 ISBN 978-0-664-22219-2 page 77
Jesus & the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times by Paul Barnett 2002 ISBN 0-8308-2699-8 pages 19–21
The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum 2009 ISBN 978-0-8054-4365-3 pages 77–79
Paul's early period: chronology, mission strategy, theology by Rainer Riesner 1997 ISBN 978-0-8028-4166-7 page 19-27 (page 27 has a table of various scholarly estimates)
Bromiley, Geoffrey William (1979). International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: A-D (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (W.B.Eerdmans)). Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 689. ISBN . 0-8028-3781-6
Barnett, Paul (2002). Jesus, the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times. InterVarsity Press. p. 21. ISBN . 0-8308-2699-8
L. Niswonger, Richard (1993). New Testament History. Zondervan Publishing Company. p. 200. ISBN . 0-310-31201-9
The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Caligula 45–47.