How To Remember Historical Events

~~ Paul V. Hartman ~~

      One of the valuable tools I use to remember historical events in their proper sequence is to commit to memory a reasonably brief outline of significant events at convenient breakpoints in the span of time of human existence. For instance, the first walled settlement of an agricultural society in history I place at 7000 BC at Jericho. The bow and arrow came into use at 15,000 BC, which is also a suspected date for the arrival of man into South America. The land bridge from England to France submerged to form the English channel at 5000 BC, and the Minoan civilization appears in Crete at 2500 BC. These dates are not dead accurate, but they are reasonably close, and by creating a ladder of several of them, one can then place other events within rememberable time periods, and this aids memory.

      Here then is the "ladder" I use for events Before Christ:
100,000 BC  Beginning of most recent Ice Age.
 40,000     Cro-Magnon man appears in Europe.
 30,000     Neanderthal dies out. Humans reach North America.
 20,000     Maximun ice age extent. Cave paintings appear: France, Spain.
 15,000     Bow and arrow appears. Man in South America.
 10,000     Ice age begins withdraw; temperatures warm.    
  8,000     Agriculture appears in Middle East.
  7,000     Walled settlement at Jericho. Pottery. Copper.
  5,000     Land bridge to England submerges: channel complete.
  3,500     Rice farming in China. Mayan civilization begins.
  3,000     Evidence for Wheel and Bricks in Egypt and Assyria.
  2,500     Pyramids in Egypt; Minoan civilization begins.
  2,000     Bronze Age begins in Europe; Stonehenge.
  1,700     Hammurabi (Babylon); Code of Law.
  1,250     Moses leads the Exodus; Greeks attack Troy. Phoenicia.
  1,000     Saul dies, David unites Judah and Israel.
    800     Phoenicians establish Carthage; Homer writes Odyssey.
    750     Romulus and Remus found Rome. (If you believe it.)
    600     Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
    550     Cyrus the Great establishes the Persian Empire.
    500     Roman Republic begins; so does Athenian Democracy.
    460     Pericles. First Peloponnesian War.
    400     Death of Socrates. Romans defeat the Etruscans.
    335     Alexander begins conquest of the known world.
    300     Ptolemy, first Greek Pharoah of Egypt.
    265     Punic Wars (Rome vs. Carthage) begin.
    220     C'Hin Dynasty will give China its name.
     60     First Roman triumvirate: Julius Caesar, Pompey, Crassus
     54     Romans invade Britain; Cleopatra Queen of Egypt.
     44     Ides of March.
     30     Octavian defeats Antony, becomes "Caesar Augustus".
      5     Probable year of birth of Jesus of Nazareth.

   So. Which event appears in history first, the reign of Solomon or 
 the story of the wooden horse at Troy? Answer: Solomon is not on 
 your list, but you know he follows David, who is King in 1000 and 
 Homer isn't born yet, but  Homer will write about events occurring 
 in 1200, so the wooden horse story is older than Solomon but the  
 Odyssey isn't. Look how smart you are!

   There are some nice books available on the "TimeLine of History" if 
 you wish to continue this list beyond this period.

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