1st century

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Millennium: 1st millennium
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AD 1, map of Eurasia with the Roman Empire (red), Parthian Empire (brown), Chinese Han dynasty (yellow) and other states/areas with smaller states (white)
Eastern Hemisphere in AD 50, in the middle of the 1st century
Eastern Hemisphere in AD 100, at the end of the 1st century

The First Century was the century that lasted from 1 to 100 according to the Julian calendar. It is often written as the First Century AD[1] or First Century CE to distinguish it from the First Century BC (or BCE) which preceded it. The First 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 (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 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 First Century saw the appearance of Christianity, following the ministry, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth in the Roman province of Palestine.

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 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[edit]


The skeleton called the "Ring Lady" unearthed in Herculaneum, one of the victims of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79

Significant people[edit]


Science and Philosophy[edit]

Inventions, discoveries, introductions[edit]


According to the New Testament, during the reign of Tiberius, Jesus, a Jewish religious leader from Galilee, was crucified in Jerusalem on the charge of blasphemy for claiming to be the Son of God. But God raised him from the dead[15] three days later, see Resurrection of Jesus. Over the next few decades his followers, following the Great Commission, including the apostle Paul, carried his message throughout the Greek-speaking regions of Asia Minor, eventually introducing it to Rome itself. Roman rulers began to persecute the new sect almost immediately (the emperor Nero accused the Christians of starting the fires that destroyed much of Rome in 64 AD), and would continue to do so for centuries, sometimes vigorously, and other times passively. Christian tradition records that all of Christ's apostles except John the Evangelist suffered martyrdom.

In the 4th century, Christianity was eventually taken up by the emperor Constantine, although one of his successors Julian the Apostate renounced it for paganism and again persecuted the Church. However, by the end of the 4th century, Emperor Theodosius I proclaimed Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire.

Decades and years[edit]


  1. ^ This in violation of the general rule that the abbreviation AD should precede the date in question.
  2. ^ J. Dwight Pentecost, The Words and Works of Jesus Christ: A Study of the Life of Christ (Zondervan, 1981) pages 577-578.
  3. ^ Andreas J. Köstenberger, John (Baker Academic, 2004), page 110.
  4. ^ Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible 2000 Amsterdam University Press ISBN 90-5356-503-5 page 249
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ The Riddles of the Fourth Gospel: An Introduction to John by Paul N. Anderson 2011 ISBN 0-8006-0427-X pages 200
  7. ^ Herod the Great by Jerry Knoblet 2005 ISBN 0-7618-3087-1 page 183-184
  8. ^ Jesus in Johannine tradition by Robert Tomson Fortna, Tom Thatcher 2001 ISBN 978-0-664-22219-2 page 77
  9. ^ Jesus & the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times by Paul Barnett 2002 ISBN 0-8308-2699-8 pages 19-21
  10. ^ 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
  11. ^ 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)
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ Barnett, Paul (2002). Jesus, the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times. InterVarsity Press. p. 21. ISBN 0-8308-2699-8. 
  14. ^ L. Niswonger, Richard (1993). New Testament History. Zondervan Publishing Company. p. 200. ISBN 0-310-31201-9. 
  15. ^ Acts 2:24, Acts 2:32, Acts 3:15, Acts 3:26, Acts 4:10, Acts 5:30, Acts 10:40, Acts 13:30, Acts 13:34, Acts 13:37, Romans 10:9, 1 Corinthians 6:14, 1 Corinthians 15:15, Galatians 1:1, Colossians 2:12, 1 Peter 1:21