1st century BC

The 1st century BC, also known as the last century BC, started on the first day of 100 BC and ended on the last day of 1 BC. The AD/BC notation does not use a year zero; however, astronomical year numbering does use a zero, as well as a minus sign, so "2 BC" is equal to "year –1". 1st century AD (Anno Domini) follows.

Millennium: 1st millennium BC
State leaders:
Categories: Births – Deaths
Establishments – Disestablishments
Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania at the beginning of the 1st century BC
Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania at the end of the 1st century BC

In the course of the century all the remaining independent lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea were steadily brought under Roman control, being ruled either directly under governors or through puppet kings appointed by Rome. The Roman state itself was plunged into civil war several times, finally resulting in the marginalization of its 500-year-old Roman Republic, and the embodiment of total state power in a single man—the Roman emperor.

The internal turbulence that plagued Rome at this time can be seen as the death throes of the Roman Republic, as it finally gave way to the autocratic ambitions of powerful men like Sulla, Julius Caesar, Mark Antony and Octavian. Octavian's ascension to total power as the emperor Augustus is considered to mark the point in history where the Roman Republic ends and the Roman Empire begins. Some scholars refer to this event as the Roman Revolution. The birth of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity took place at the close of this century.

In the eastern mainland, the Han Dynasty began to decline and the court of China was in chaos in the latter half of this century. Trapped in a difficult situation, the Xiongnu had to begin emigration to the west or attach themselves to the Han.


90s BC

Sulla's march on Rome in 88 BC was an early step in the Crisis of the Roman Republic

80s BC

Coin of Maues

70s BC

60s BC

50s BC

40s BC

Cleopatra VII and her son Caesarion at the Temple of Dendera

30s BC

20s BC

10s BC

0s BC

Significant people


Science and Philosophy

Inventions, discoveries, introductions

Sovereign States

See: List of sovereign states in the 1st century BC.


  1. "Roman Timeline 1st Century BC". UNRV. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
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