Timeline of Middle Eastern history

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This timeline tries to compile dates of important historical events that happened in or that led to the rise of the Middle East. The Middle East is the territory that comprises today's Egypt, the Persian Gulf states, Iran, Iraq, Israel and Palestine, Cyprus, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. The Middle East, with its particular characteristics, was not to emerge until the late second millennium AD. To refer to a concept similar to that of today's Middle East but earlier in time, the term ancient Near East is used.


This list is intended as a timeline of the history of the Middle East. For more detailed information, see articles on the histories of individual countries. See ancient Near East for ancient history of the Middle East.

Paleolithic period

Neolithic period

9th millennium B.C.

8th millennium BC

7th millennium BC

6th millennium BC

5th millennium BC

Ancient Near East

4th millennium BC

Overview map of the Ancient Near East Ancient Orient.png
Overview map of the Ancient Near East

3rd millennium BC

2nd millennium BC

The Oriental Empires about 600 BC Median Empire.jpg
The Oriental Empires about 600 BC

1st millennium BC

1st millennium AD

Islamic Middle East

1st millennium AD

Ottoman Empire, 1481-1683 Ottoman empire 1481-1683.jpg
Ottoman Empire, 1481–1683
In blue, the Arab Empire in its greatest extent and in yellow the four Christian empires. Arabic ascendency 1884.jpg
In blue, the Arab Empire in its greatest extent and in yellow the four Christian empires.

2nd millennium AD

Contemporary Middle East

2nd millennium AD

3rd millennium AD

See also

Related Research Articles

The Levant is the area in Southwest Asia, south of the Taurus Mountains, bounded by the Mediterranean Sea in the west, the Arabian Desert in the south, and Mesopotamia in the east. It stretches 400 mi (640 km) north to south from the Taurus Mountains to the Sinai desert, and 70–100 mi (110–160 km) east to west between the sea and the Arabian desert. The term is also sometimes used to refer to modern events or states in the region immediately bordering the eastern Mediterranean Sea: the Hatay Province of Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Iraq</span> Historical development of Iraq

Iraq is a country in Western Asia that largely corresponds with the territory of ancient Mesopotamia. The history of Mesopotamia extends from the Lower Paleolithic period until the establishment of the Caliphate in the late 7th century AD, after which the region came to be known as Iraq. Encompassed within Iraqi territory is the ancient land of Sumer, which came into being between 6000 and 5000 BC during the Neolithic Ubaid period of Mesopotamian history, and is widely considered the oldest civilization in recorded history. It is also the historic center of the Akkadian, Neo-Sumerian, Babylonian, Neo-Assyrian, and Neo-Babylonian empires, a succession of local ruling dynasties that reigned over Mesopotamia and various other regions of the Ancient Near East during the Bronze and Iron Ages.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Babylonia</span> Ancient Akkadian region in Mesopotamia

Babylonia was an ancient Akkadian-speaking state and cultural area based in the city of Babylon in central-southern Mesopotamia. It emerged as an Amorite-ruled state c. 1894 BC. During the reign of Hammurabi and afterwards, Babylonia was called "the country of Akkad", a deliberate archaism in reference to the previous glory of the Akkadian Empire. It was often involved in rivalry with the older ethno-linguistically related state of Assyria in the north of Mesopotamia and Elam to the east in Ancient Iran. Babylonia briefly became the major power in the region after Hammurabi created a short-lived empire, succeeding the earlier Akkadian Empire, Third Dynasty of Ur, and Old Assyrian Empire. The Babylonian Empire rapidly fell apart after the death of Hammurabi and reverted to a small kingdom centered around the city of Babylon.

A vassal state is any state that has a mutual obligation to a superior state or empire, in a status similar to that of a vassal in the feudal system in medieval Europe. Vassal states were common among the empires of the Near East, dating back to the era of the Egyptian, Hittite and Mitanni conflict, as well as ancient China. The use of vassal states continued through the Middle Ages, with the last empire to use such states being the Ottoman Empire.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of the Middle East</span>

The Middle East, also known as the Near East, is home to one of the Cradles of Civilization and has seen many of the world's oldest cultures and civilizations. The region's history started from the earliest human settlements and continues through several major pre- and post-Islamic Empires to today's nation-states of the Middle East.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Upper Mesopotamia</span> Northern part of the region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers

Upper Mesopotamia constitutes the uplands and great outwash plain of northwestern Iraq, northeastern Syria and southeastern Turkey, in the northern Middle East. Since the early Muslim conquests of the mid-7th century, the region has been known by the traditional Arabic name of al-Jazira and the Syriac variant Gāzartā or Gozarto (ܓܙܪܬܐ). The Euphrates and Tigris rivers transform Mesopotamia into almost an island, as they are joined together at the Shatt al-Arab in the Basra Governorate of Iraq, and their sources in eastern Turkey are in close proximity.

The military history of Iraq, due to a rich archaeological record, is one of the longest in written human history. The region of Iraq, which used to be Mesopotamia, has been referred to as the "cradle of civilization", and wars of conquest have been recorded in this region as far back as the third millennium BC. Because of its geopolitical dominance and ideology based in world domination, the Neo-Assyrian Empire is by many researchers regarded to have been the first world empire in history. The area possesses strategic value, initially for the rich, fertile agricultural region in the Mesopotamian plain, and more recently for large petroleum deposits and access to the oil-rich Persian Gulf. The present territory of Iraq lacks significant strategic barriers, making it difficult to defend against foreign invasion.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Mesopotamia</span>

The history of Mesopotamia ranges from the earliest human occupation in the Paleolithic period up to Late antiquity. This history is pieced together from evidence retrieved from archaeological excavations and, after the introduction of writing in the late 4th millennium BC, an increasing amount of historical sources. While in the Paleolithic and early Neolithic periods only parts of Upper Mesopotamia were occupied, the southern alluvium was settled during the late Neolithic period. Mesopotamia has been home to many of the oldest major civilizations, entering history from the Early Bronze Age, for which reason it is often called a cradle of civilization.

Middle East empires have existed in the Middle East region at various periods between 3000 BCE and 1924 CE; they have been instrumental in the spreading of ideas, technology, and religions within Middle East territories and to outlying territories. Since the 7th century CE, all Middle East empires, with the exception of the Byzantine Empire, was islamic and some of them claiming the titles of Islamic caliphate. The last major empire based in the region was the Ottoman Empire.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of the Assyrians</span> History of ancient Assyria and the Assyrian people

The history of the Assyrians encompasses nearly five millennia, covering the history of the ancient Mesopotamian civilization of Assyria, including its territory, culture and people, as well as the later history of the Assyrian people after the fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire in 609 BC. For purposes of historiography, ancient Assyrian history is often divided by modern researchers, based on political events and gradual changes in language, into the Early Assyrian, Old Assyrian, Middle Assyrian, Neo-Assyrian and post-imperial periods., Sassanid era Asoristan from 240 AD until 637 AD and the post Islamic Conquest period until the present day.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Name of Syria</span>

The name Syria is latinized from the Greek Συρία. In toponymic typology, the term Syria is classified among choronyms. The origin and usage of the term has been the subject of interest, both among ancient writers and modern scholars. In early Hittite, Luwian, Cilician and Greek usage between the 9th century BC and 2nd century BC, the terms Συρία (Suría) and Ασσυρία (Assuría) were used almost interchangeably to specifically describe solely Assyria in northern Mesopotamia, modern-day Iraq, Southeast Turkey and Northeast Syria, but in the Roman Empire, the terms Syria and Assyria came to be used as names for distinct geographical regions. "Syria" in the Roman period referred to the region of Syria, while Assyria in Mesopotamia was part of the Parthian Empire and then Sasanian Empire and only very briefly came under Roman control. Henceforth, the Greeks then applied the term "Syrian" without distinction between the actual Assyrians of Mesopotamia, Northeast Syria and Southeast Anatolia, and now also to the Arameans and Phoenicians of the Levant who had not previously had the term applied to them or their lands.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Christianity in the Middle East</span> Overview of Christianity and churches in the Middle East

Christianity, which originated in the Middle East during the 1st century AD, is a significant minority religion within the region, characterized by the diversity of its beliefs and traditions, compared to Christianity in other parts of the Old World. Christians now make up approximately 5% of the Middle Eastern population, down from 20% in the early 20th century. Cyprus is the only Christian majority country in the Middle East, with Christians forming between 76% and 78% of the country's total population, most of them adhering to Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Lebanon has the second highest proportion of Christians in the Middle East, around 40%, predominantly Maronites. Egypt has the next largest proportion of Christians, at around 10% of its total population. Copts, numbering around 10 million, constitute the single largest Christian community in the Middle East.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Iran–Iraq relations</span> Bilateral relations

Iran–Iraq relations are the diplomatic and foreign relations between the two sovereign states of Iran and Iraq.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ancient Near East</span> Home of early civilizations within the area of the modern Middle East

The ancient Near East was the home of early civilizations within a region roughly corresponding to the modern Middle East: Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt, ancient Persia, Anatolia and the Armenian highlands, the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula. The ancient Near East is studied in the fields of ancient Near East studies, Near Eastern archaeology, and ancient history.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Syria (region)</span> Region east of the Mediterranean Sea

Syria or Sham is the name of a historical region located east of the Mediterranean Sea in West Asia, broadly synonymous with the Levant. Other synonyms are Greater Syria or Syria-Palestine. The region boundaries have changed throughout history. In modern times, the term "Syria" alone is used to refer to the Syrian Arab Republic.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timeline of ancient Assyria</span>

The timeline of ancient Assyria can be broken down into three main eras: the Old Assyrian period, Middle Assyrian Empire, and Neo-Assyrian Empire. Modern scholars typically also recognize an Early period preceding the Old Assyrian period and a post-imperial period succeeding the Neo-Assyrian period.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of the Arabs</span> Aspect of history

The recorded history of the Arabs begins in the mid-ninth century BC, which is the earliest known attestation of the Old Arabic language. Tradition holds that Arabs descend from Ishmael, the son of Abraham. The Syrian Desert is the home of the first attested "Arab" groups, as well other Arab groups that spread in the land and existed for millennia.


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