Early Christian
Portrait of Trajan, Capitoline Museums, marble, A.D. 249.











Flavian Dynasty (Vespasian, Titus, Dormitian)
43 CE
Beginning of conquest of Brittany
67 CE
Apostles Peter and Paul put to death
69 CE
Year of four emperors, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and finally Vespasian
79 CE
Eruption of Mt. Vesuvius
High Empire 98 - 192 CE
98 - 117 CE
Empire experiences largest extent under Emperor Titus
Antonine Dynasty (Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antonius Pius, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, Commodus)
Late Empire 192 - 395
Severan Dynasty (Septimius, Caracalla, Elagabalus, Severus Alexander)

Antonine Constitution (granting citizenship to all free men of the empire)


Diocletian creates the Tetrarchy: Diocletian and Maximian are Augustus (having decision-making powers), and Constantius and Galerius are Caesars (having executive powers)

Empire divided into Western and Eastern parts

Constantine, the first Christian emperor, reunifies the empire











Second Style
Second Style began to grow in popularity around 100 BC
goal = to dissolve the confining walls of a room and replace them with the illusion of an imaginary three-dimensional world
Emphasis on fantasy space

Gardenscape, Second Style wall paintings from the dining room of the Villa of Livia at Primaporta, ca. 30 - 20 BCE.












Cityscape, detail of a wall from a bedroom in the House of Publius Fannius Synistor, late 1st century CE.











Dionysiac mystery frieze, Second Style wall paintings in room 5 of the Villa of the Mysteries, Pompeii, ca. 60 - 50 BCE.






















Brother Love











Third Style
20 BC through mid first century AD
goal = Decoration of wall space with delicate, linear fantasies sketched on predominantly monochrome backgrounds
Presented in frames, similar to modern painted canvas
Detail of a Third Style wall painting from cubiculum 15 of the Villa of Agrippa Postumus, Boscotrecase, Italy, ca. 10 BCE. Fresco.












Fourth Style
Popular during the time of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius
goal = unites elements of the preceding styles into one style most intricate of the styles
Fourth Style wall paintings in the Ixion Room, House of the Vettii, Pompeii, ca. 70 – 79 CE.











Augustus House, Herculaneum, primarily 1st century CE.
Apodyterium of Women's Baths, Herculaneum, 60 - 68 CE.

































Eruption of Mt. Vesuvius










Phillip the Arabian, 244 - 249 BCE.










Aulus Metellus (Arringatore),
ca. 80 BCE, Bronze, Height 5' 7".
Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius, ca. 175 CE. Bronze, over-lifes-ize. Piazza del Campidoglio, Rome.
Heroic portrait of Trebonianus Gallus, from Rome, 251 - 253 BCE. Bronze, 7' 11" high.





















Early Byzantine 324 - 726
Founding of Constantinople
Sack of Rome by Visgoth Alaric
Fall of the Roman Empire
St. Benedict establishes monasticism
527 - 565
Reign of Justinian
c. 570 - 632
Muhammad flees Mecca to Medina and founds Islam
Muslims conquer Spain
726 - 843
Middle Byzantine 843 - 1204
c. 768 - 887
Carolingian Empire
768 - 814
Reign of Charlemagne
Viking raids begin
800 - 900
Scandinavians invade North, Muslims invade Mediterranean,
and Magyrs invade the east, destabilizing Europe
Charlemagne crowned Emperor of Holy Roman Empire by Pope
Theodora repeals iconoclasm
c. 919 - 1024
Ottonian Empire
Division of Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic
Crusades begin
Crusaders' sack and occupy Constantinople
Late Byzantine 1261 - 1453
Byzantines recapture Constantinople
Ottoman Turks capture Constantinople, end of Byzantine Empire











Byzantine Empire











Portraits of the four tetrarchs, Constantinople (now in Venice on St. Mark's Basilica), ca. 305 CE. Porphyry, height 51".











"In 1965, a Turkish-German archaeological excavation underneath the Bodrum Mosque, originally a 10th c. church called the Myrelaion, in Istanbul recovered a porphyry fragment of a heel standing on a rectangular base. It seemed to fit the Tetrarchs whose fourth figure is missing his original feet and base. The Myrelaion was built over a 5th century rotunda and next to the Capitolium, a temple associated with the imperial cult built during Constantine’s reign. The Capitolium was also known as the Philadelphion, the “temple of brotherly love,” after the sons of Constantine."

Porphyry fragment found under Bodrum Mosque, 10th century CE.











As Romans experience a crisis of faith, see several influential faiths develop:
Faiths competed and influenced each other
  • Claim exclusivity & universality
Mithras Slaying the Sacred Bull, ca. 150 – 200 CE. Limestone, 24 5/8 X 37 ½".
  • Emphasize revealed truth
  • Offer hope of salvation
  • Honor a chief Profit or Messiah
  • Doctrine emphasizes the struggle between good and evil
  • Practice ritual purification or initiation
  • Responsibility of faithful to seek new converts (Except Judaism)