2nd millennium

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From left, clockwise: In 1492, Italian navigator Christopher Columbus; The American Revolution; The French Revolution; The Atomic Bomb from World War II; An alternate source of light, the Light Bulb; For the first time, a human being sets foot on the moon in 1969 during the Apollo 11 moon mission; Aeroplanes become the most-used way of transport though the skies; Napoleon Bonaparte, in the early 19th century, affects France and Europe on subjects of expansionism and modernization; Alexander Graham Bell's telephone; In 1348, the Black Death kills over 100 million people worldwide, and over half of Europe, in two years. (Background: An excerpt from the Gutenberg Bible, the first major book printed in the West using movable type, in the 1450s)

The second millennium is a period of time that began on January 1, 1001, and ended on December 31, 2000, of the Gregorian calendar.[1] It was the second period of one thousand years in the Anno Domini or Common Era.

It encompassed the high Middle Ages, the late Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Baroque era, the early Modern Age, the age of Enlightenment, the age of colonialism, industrialization, the rise of nation states, and the 20th century with the impact of science, widespread education, and universal health care and vaccinations in many nations. The centuries of expanding large-scale warfare with high-tech weaponry (of the World Wars and nuclear bombs) were offset by growing peace movements from the United Nations, the Peace Corps, plus doctors and health workers crossing borders to treat injuries and disease, and the return of the Olympics as contest without combat.

Scientists prevailed in explaining intellectual freedom; humans took their first steps on the Moon during the 20th century; and new technology was developed by governments, industry, and academia across the world, with education shared by many international conferences and journals. The development of movable type, radio, television, and the internet spread information worldwide, within minutes, in audio, video, and print-image format to inform, educate and entertain billions of people by the end of the 20th century.

The Renaissance saw the beginning of the second migration of humans from Europe, Africa, and Asia to the Americas, beginning the ever-accelerating process of globalization. The interwoven international trade led to the formation of multi-national corporations, with home offices in multiple countries. International business ventures reduced the impact of nationalism in popular thought.

The world population doubled over the first seven centuries of the millennium (from 310 million in AD 1000 to 600 million in AD 1700) and later increased tenfold over its last three centuries, exceeding 6 billion in AD 2000.


The 2nd millennium was a period of time that began on January 1, 1001, and ended on December 31, 2000. It was the second period of one thousand years in the Anno Domini or Common Era.[1]

The Julian calendar was used in Europe at the beginning of the millennium, and all countries that once used the Julian calendar had adopted the Gregorian calendar by the end of it. So the end date is always calculated according to the Gregorian calendar, but the beginning date is usually according to the Julian calendar (or occasionally the Proleptic Gregorian calendar).

Stephen Jay Gould argued that it is not possible to decide if the millennium ended December 31, 1999, or December 31, 2000.[2] The Associated Press reported that the third millennium began January 1, 2001, but also reported that celebrations in the US were generally more subdued at the beginning of 2001, compared to the beginning of 2000.[3]

The second millennium is perhaps more popularly thought of as beginning and ending a year earlier, thus starting at the beginning of 1000 and finishing at the end of 1999. Many public celebrations for the end of the millennium were held on December 31, 1999 – January 1, 2000[4]—with few on the actual date a year later.


The civilizations in this section are organized according to the UN geoscheme.

Civilizations of the 2nd millennium AD
Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceania


The events in this section are organized according to the UN geoscheme.

Events of the 2nd millennium AD
  Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceania
11th century

1043 Eze Nri Ìfikuánim becomes first king of Nri Kingdom
1054 Almoravid dynasty established[5]
1060 Kingdom of Kanem converts to Islam[5]


1000 Cahokia (present-day Illinois, USA) becomes regional chiefdom of Mississippian culture

1005 Treaty of Shanyuan signed
1008 The Tale of Genji completed[6]
1044 Gunpowder recipe published[6]

1054 The East–West Schism divides the Christian church
1088 The foundation of the first University[6]
1095 First Crusade[6]

12th century

1143 Almohad dynasty take control from the Almoravids[5]
1171 Salah-ad-Din deposes Fatimid ruler of Egypt and establishes the Ayyubid dynasty[5]
1173 Ayyubids capture Qasr Ibrim in Nubia[5]

1100 Toltecs establish capital at Tula[7]
1124 Arnaldur appointed first bishop of Greenland[7]
1175 Destruction of Toltec civilization[7]

1117 The magnetic compass is used at sea[6]
1120 Meng Yuanlao describes four-star dining in Kaifeng[6]
1150 Construction of Angkor Wat[6]
1192 Defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan in second Battle of Tarain

1143 Establishment of the Kingdom of Portugal[8]

1169 Averoes translates Aristotle[6]

  Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceania
13th century

1200 Kingdom of Mwenemutapa established in Zimbabwe[5]
1203 Sumaguru Kante of Sosso conquers kingdom of Ghana [5]
1250 Mamluk soldiers take Egypt from the Ayyubids [5]

1200 Chichén Itzá abandoned[7]
1200 Kingdom of Cuzco founded [7]
1200 Expansion of Chimú state of Chimor [7]

1206 Genghis Khan Builds an Empire[6]

1215 Magna Carta[6]
1260 Dedication of the Cathedral at Chartres[6]

1279 Establishment of the oldest bourders in Europe today, the Portuguese boundering[9]

1200 Tahitians colonize Hawaii [7]

14th century

1324 Musa's pilgrimage to Mecca[6]
1365 Crusade led by king of Cyprus sacks Alexandria[5]
1375 Kingdom of Songhai breaks away from Mali [5]

1315 Founding of Tenochtitlan[6]
1350 Norsemen abandon Greenland[7]
1350 War between Inca and Chimú[7]

1350 Coffee was first brewed[6]
1368 Zhu Yuanzhang ousts the Mongols from power[10]

1348 Black Plague[6]
1350 Emergence of fashion[6]
1382 Wycliffe's Bible

1300 Polynesian immigration to New Zealand[11]
1300 Hawaiians develop class structure[12]
1300 Huge stone statues erected on Easter Island[12]

  Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceania
15th century

1400 capital of Sayfawa Dynasty moved to Borno
1400 Funj settled Alodia
1496 Spain conquers Melilla, Morocco[5]

1428 Aztecs conquer Atzcapotzalco, ally with Texcoco and Tlacopan, become the dominant state in Mexico[7]
1470 Incas conquer Chimú empire [7]
1492 Voyages of Christopher Columbus[6]

1407 Work begins on Forbidden City, Beijing[10]
1431 Ayutthaya conquers Angkor [10]

1413 The invention of modern linear perspective[6]
1453 Ottoman conquest of Constantinople[6]
1455 Gutenberg Bible printed[6]
1494 Luca Pacioli publishes the first work on accounting[6]

1498 Vasco da Gama discovers sea route to India[13]
1500 Discovery of Brazil by Pedro Álvares Cabral[14]

1400 Tongans build ceremonial centre at Muʻa[12]

16th century

1509 African slaves arrive in the Americas[6]
1517 Ottomans capture Egypt[15]
1535 Holy Roman Emperor Charles V conquers Tunis[15]
1546 Songhai Empire takes Niani

1535 Europeans discover tobacco[6][dubious ]
1537 Europeans discover potatoes[6]
1545 The discovery of silver in the Andes mountains[6]

1555 Rise of the Mughal Empire in South Asia;

1517 The Ninety-Five Theses published[6]
1541 Publication of Quartic function on the Ars Magna (Gerolamo Cardano)
1543 Publication of On the Structure of the Human Body[6]
1596 Invention of the toilet[6]

1550 Maoris of New Zealand build fortified enclosures[16]

  Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceania
17th century

1600 Kingdom of Rwanda founded
1600 Dahomey Kingdom founded
1644 Start of the Char Bouba[15]

1607 Virginia colony founded[17]
1624 Manhattan island purchased from Native Americans[17]
1697 Last Mayan resistance defeated [17]

1610 Tea spreads to the world[6]
1637 Japanese prohibition against European contact[18]

1603 First performance of Hamlet[6]
1610 Galileo publishes his observations of Jupiter[6]
1666 Discovery of gravitation[6]

1600 Tu'i Konokupolu dynasty take power in Tonga[16]
1642 Abel Tasman sights New Zealand[19]

18th century

1700 Maravi Empire tears apart
1754 Usman dan Fodio is born
1799 Discovery of the Rosetta Stone[6]

1742 Native American revolt against Spanish in Peru[6]
1776 United States Declaration of Independence published[6]

1751 Chinese occupy Tibet[18]
1760 Rise of the British Rule in India

1722 Bach composed the Well-Tempered Clavier[6]
1769 Invention of the steam engine[6]
1796 The first vaccination[6]


1795 Formation of the Kingdom of Hawaii

  Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceania
19th century

1869 The Suez Canal opens[6]
1879 Battle of Isandlwana
1896 Battle of Adwa

1821 Bolívar liberates Venezuela[6]
1876 Menlo Park opens[6]
1876 First telephone transmission[6]

1868 End of Japanese seclusion[6]

1830 First steam railway[6]
1859 Origin of Species[6]
1882 Germ theory proven[6]

1840 Treaty of Waitangi signed[20]
1845 New Zealand land wars[21]
1845 Formation of the Kingdom of Tonga by Taufaʻahau

20th century

1956 Suez Crisis[22]
1967 Six-Day War[22]
1994 End of apartheid[22]

1903 First controlled, powered airplane flight[6]
1908 Ford builds the Model T[6]
1928 First television broadcast[6]
1942 Creation of the world's first nuclear reactor[6]

1917 The Russian Revolution[6]
1934 Mao's long march[6]
1945 Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki[6]
1947 Partition of India
1971 Formation of Bangladesh
1992 Destruction of the Babri Mosque by Hindus

1901 First transatlantic radio transmission[6]
1914 Beginning of World War I
1918 End of World War I
1922 Establishment of Italian Fascism
1928 Discovery of penicillin[6]
1933 Adolf Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany[6]
1939 Beginning of World War II
1945 End of World War II
1992 Demolition of the Babri Mosque

1915 Australians and New Zealanders serve in the Gallipoli Campaign
1985 Nuclear Free Zone established in New Zealand[23]

Significant people[edit]

The people in this section are organized according to the UN geoscheme.

  Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceania
11th century Humai ibn Salamna
Eze Nri Ìfikuánim
Yahya ibn Ibrahim
Eight Deer Jaguar Claw Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī
Abu Ḥasan al-Haytham
Omar Khayyám
Khwaja Abdullah Ansari
Rajendra Chola I
Shen Kuo
Pope Gregory VII
William the Conqueror
Basil II
12th century Abd al-Mu'min
Dunama I
Manco Cápac Genghis Khan
Abdul-Qadir Gilani
Muhammad al-Idrisi
Frederick Barbarossa
Dante Alighieri
Richard I of England
Henry II of England
Hildegard of Bingen
  Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceania
13th century Sundiata Keita
Dunama Dabbalemi
Mansa Uli
  Muhammad Rumi
Moinuddin Chishti
Shah Jalal
Thomas Aquinas
Leonardo Fibonacci
Francis of Assisi
Pope John XXII
William Wallace
Thomas Aquinas
Roy Mata[12]
14th century Muhammad Ture
Ibn Khaldun
Kato Kintu
Acamapichtli Ibn Taymiyyah
Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani
Yongle Emperor
Filippo Brunelleschi
Marco Polo
Leonardo Bruni
Jan Hus
Geoffrey Chaucer
Guillaume de Machaut
  Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceania
15th century Ilunga Tshibinda
Sonni Ali
Zara Yaqob
Christopher Columbus
Moctezuma I
Muḥammad Khaldun
Mehmed II
The Great Muhammad Babur
Hongxi Emperor
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
Leonardo da Vinci
Johannes Gutenberg
Nicolaus Copernicus
Niccolò Machiavelli
Filippo Brunelleschi
Joan of Arc
Lorenzo de' Medici
Giovanni Domenico Cassini
Henry VII of England
16th century Idris Aloma
Ahmad al-Mansur
Amerigo Vespucci
Akbar The Great
Mohammad Salim Jahangir
Shah Jahan
Xu Guangqi
Galileo Galilei
William Shakespeare
Martin Luther
Elizabeth I of England
Suleiman the Magnificent
Manuel I of Portugal
  Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceania
17th century Wegbaja
Osei Tutu
Okomfo Anokye
Roger Williams
John Winthrop
Anne Hutchinson
Muhammad Alamgir
Bahadur Shah I
Jahandar Shah
Shah Jahan II
Matsuo Basho
Isaac Newton
Johannes Kepler
René Descartes
Francesco Redi
Marcello Malpighi
Peter the Great
Antonio Vivaldi
Charles I of England and Scotland
18th century Usman Dan Fodio
Opoku Ware I
Dossou Agadja
George Washington
Benjamin Franklin
Thomas Jefferson
Tipu Sultan
Muhammad Shah
Ahmad Shah Bahadur
Qianlong Emperor
Raja Ram Mohan Roy
Siraj ud-Daulah
Alessandro Volta
Adam Smith
Cesare Beccaria
Immanuel Kant
Catherine the Great
Gian Lorenzo Bernini
Louis XVI of France
Lazzaro Spallanzani
Sake Dean Mahomed
Kamehameha I
  Africa Americas Asia Europe Oceania
19th century Moshoeshoe I
Menelik II
Thomas Edison
Abraham Lincoln
Simón Bolívar
Francisco de Paula Santander
George Washington Carver
Susan B. Anthony
Ali bey Huseynzade
Empress Dowager Cixi
Mangal Pandey
Swami Vivekananda
Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
Charles Darwin
Carl Friedrich Gauss
Marie Curie
Alfred Nobel
Guglielmo Marconi
Victoria I
Otto von Bismarck
Karl Marx
Giacomo Leopardi
Florence Nightingale
Te Kooti
20th century Nelson Mandela
Hassan al-Banna
Sayyid Qutb
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Mo Ibrahim
Desmond Tutu
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Muhammad Ali
Neil Armstrong
John F. Kennedy
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Mahatma Gandhi
Mao Zedong
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Muhammad Iqbal
Chiang Kai-shek
Abul A'la Maududi
Rabindranath Tagore
Abul Kasem Fazlul Huq
Jagadish Chandra Bose
Albert Einstein
Adolf Hitler
Benito Mussolini
Joseph Stalin
Winston Churchill
Enrico Fermi
Niels Bohr
Paul Dirac
Alan Turing
Donald Bradman
Howard Florey
Banjo Paterson
Margaret Battye
Douglas Mawson

See also

Inventions, discoveries, introductions[edit]

Inventions, discoveries and introductions
Communication and Technology Math and Science Manufacturing Transportation and
Space exploration
  1. Printing press[24]
  2. Thermometer
  3. Electrical battery
  4. Telegraph
  5. Photography
  6. Telephone
  7. Animation
  8. Television
  9. Computer
  10. Transistor
  11. Satellite
  12. Internet[24]
  13. Electrostatic generator
  1. Accounting
  2. Probability
  3. Calculus
  4. Vaccination[24][25]
  5. Atomic theory[25]
  6. Anesthesia[24][25]
  7. Natural selection[25]
  8. Genetics[24][25]
  9. Special relativity[25]
  10. Penicillin[24][25]
  11. DNA[25]
  12. Quantum mechanics[25]
  1. Canned food
  2. Plastic[25]
  3. Assembly line
  4. Sliced bread
  5. Frozen food
  6. Nuclear reactor
  7. Food processor
  8. Finite geometry
  1. Barometer
  2. Bicycle
  3. Steam engine
  4. Steam turbine
  5. Internal combustion engine
  6. Steam locomotive
  7. Human flight
  8. Moon landing
  9. Space shuttle
  10. Space station
  11. GPS navigation
  1. Longbow
  2. Rockets
  3. Aircraft carrier
  4. Nuclear weapon
  5. Submarine
  6. Tanks
  7. Firearms

Centuries and decades[edit]

11th century 1000s[note 1] 1010s 1020s 1030s 1040s 1050s 1060s 1070s 1080s 1090s
12th century 1100s 1110s 1120s 1130s 1140s 1150s 1160s 1170s 1180s 1190s
13th century 1200s 1210s 1220s 1230s 1240s 1250s 1260s 1270s 1280s 1290s
14th century 1300s 1310s 1320s 1330s 1340s 1350s 1360s 1370s 1380s 1390s
15th century 1400s 1410s 1420s 1430s 1440s 1450s 1460s 1470s 1480s 1490s
16th century 1500s 1510s 1520s 1530s 1540s 1550s 1560s 1570s 1580s 1590s
17th century 1600s 1610s 1620s 1630s 1640s 1650s 1660s 1670s 1680s 1690s
18th century 1700s 1710s 1720s 1730s 1740s 1750s 1760s 1770s 1780s 1790s
19th century 1800s 1810s 1820s 1830s 1840s 1850s 1860s 1870s 1880s 1890s
20th century 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s


  1. ^ 9 of the 10 years of the decade are in this millennium


  1. ^ a b United States Naval Observatory, "The 21st Century and the 3rd Millennium:When Did They Begin?" (Washington, DC, June 14, 2011).
  2. ^ Stephen Jay Gould, Questioning the Millennium: A Rationalist's Guide to a Precisely Arbitrary Countdown (New York: Harmony Books, 1999), ch 2.
  3. ^ Associated Press, "Y2K It Wasn't, but It Was a Party", Los Angeles Times, January 1, 2001.
  4. ^ "Millennium FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions". When does the Millennium start?. Greenwich2000.ltd.uk. 2008-08-12. Archived from the original on 12 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-29. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Africa AD 600–1500". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-17. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd Toast, Scott (2002-02-19). "Top 100 Events of the Millennium". adapted from LIFE Magazine. Scott Toast. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Americas AD 1000–1492". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  8. ^ nationsonline.org, klaus kästle -. "Portugal - Portuguese Republic - Country Profile - República Portuguesa - Travel and Tourism Portugal". www.nationsonline.org. Retrieved 2015-09-15. 
  9. ^ "| www.visitportugal.com". www.visitportugal.com. Retrieved 2015-09-15. 
  10. ^ a b c "Asia AD 1200–1500". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  11. ^ Whitmore, Robbie. "Timeline of events in New Zealand history". New Zealand in History. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  12. ^ a b c d "Oceania AD 1000–1520". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Archived from the original on 21 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  13. ^ Society, National Geographic. "Da Gama Discovers a Sea Route to India". Retrieved 2015-09-15. 
  14. ^ "Cabral Discovers Brazil | History Today". www.historytoday.com. Retrieved 2015-09-15. 
  15. ^ a b c "Africa AD 1500–1850". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  16. ^ a b "Oceania AD 1520–1770". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Archived from the original on 21 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  17. ^ a b c "Americas 1492–1800". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  18. ^ a b "Asia AD 1500–1800". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  19. ^ "European discovery of New Zealand". Encyclopedia of New Zealand
  20. ^ Michael King (2003). The Penguin History of New Zealand. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-301867-1. 
  21. ^ Belich, James (1986). The New Zealand Wars and the Victorian Interpretation of Racial Conflict. Oxford University Press. ISBN 1-86940-002-X. 
  22. ^ a b c "Africa AD 1950–2000". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  23. ^ "New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act". Retrieved 25 November 2008. 
  24. ^ a b c d e f Keeley, Larry (2007-02-16). "The Greatest Innovations of All Time". BusinessWeek. The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. Archived from the original on 7 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "The Big 100: the Science Channels 100 Greatest Discoveries". Discovery Communications, LLC. 2008. Archived from the original on 31 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-12.