Visual Timeline: Philosophy

To navigate the timeline, click and drag it with your mouse, or click on the timeline overview on the bottom.

1500 BCE 1400 BCE 1300 BCE 1200 BCE 1100 BCE 1000 BCE 900 BCE 800 BCE 700 BCE 600 BCE 500 BCE 400 BCE 300 BCE 200 BCE 100 BCE 0 CE 100 CE 200 CE 300 CE 400 CE 500 CE 600 CE  
1500 BCE - 500 BCE: Indian scholars of the so-called Vedic Period commit the Vedas to written form; basic tenets of Hinduism are established.
1500 BCE - 1100 BCE: The Rig Veda written, mentioning the god Rudra (Shiva) and goddess Tara (among others) for the first time.
610 BCE - 546 BCE: Dates of Anaximander who develops the cosmic theory of the apeiron as the First Cause of existence.
600 BCE: Development of the Charvaka school of philosophy in India.
599 BCE - 527 BCE: Traditional dating of the life of Vardhamana, according to Jain tradition.
585 BCE: Time in which Thales of Miletus lived.
570 BCE - 478 BCE: Life of Xenophanes of Colophon; claim of One God as the First Cause of existence.
563 BCE - 483 BCE: The life of Siddhartha Gautama according to modern scholarly consensus.
546 BCE: Date of Anaximenes' work; air is claimed as the First Cause of existence.
500 BCE: Life of the Chinese Relativist Philosopher Teng Shih (probable date of death 522 or 502 BCE).
500 BCE: Probable life of the Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu, founder of Taoism and author of the Tao-Te-Ching.
500 BCE: Probable life of Sun-Tzu, Military Strategist, author of The Art of War.
492 BCE - 432 BCE: Life of the philosopher Empidocles of Agrigento.
485 BCE - 415 BCE: Life of the Sophist Protagoras of Abdera; claim that "man is the measure of all things".
470 BCE - 391 BCE: Life of the Chinese pacifist philosopher Mo Ti, founder of Mohism.
469 BCE - 399 BCE: Life of Socrates.
460 BCE - 370 BCE: Life of Democritus, pupil of Leucippus; development of the concept of the atomic universe.
450 BCE - 370 BCE: Life of Antisthenes, found of the Cynic school of philosophy.
440 BCE - 360 BCE: Life of Chinese Hedonist Philosopher Yang Zhu.
430 BCE - 354 BCE: Life of Xenophon of Athens.
427 BCE - 347 BCE: Life of Plato.
427 BCE: Plato is born at Athens, Greece.
407 BCE: Plato meets Socrates, abandons aspiration to be playwright.
404 BCE - 323 BCE: Life of Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope.
403 BCE: Plato turns away from politics toward philosophy.
399 BCE: Trial and death of the philosopher Socrates, who taught in the court of the Agora.
384 BCE - 322 BCE: Life of Aristotle.
380 BCE: Plato founds his Academy outside of Athens.
372 BCE - 289 BCE: Life of the Confucian philosopher Mencius (Mang-Tze).
367 BCE: Plato's second trip to Syracuse.
343 BCE: King Philip II of Macedon summons Aristotle to tutor his young son Alexander (later 'The Great').
336 BCE - 265 BCE: Life of the philosopher Zeno of Citium.
314 BCE: Zeno of Citium is shipwrecked and stranded in Athens.
213 BCE: The Burning of the Books and the Burying of Philosophers Period in China.
1 CE - 100 CE: The Mahayana movement begins in India with its belief in bodhisattva - saintly souls who helped the living.
89 CE: Banished from Rome by Domitian with the other philosophers, Epictetus travels to Nicopolis and sets up a school there.
108 CE: The historian Arrian studies with Epictetus, records his teachings.
121 CE - 180 CE: Life of Marcus Aurelius.
204 CE - 270 CE: Life of Plotinus.
380 CE - 418 CE: Life time of Paulus Orosius.
470 CE - 385 CE: Life of the philosopher Philolaus, active in Magna Graecia.
500 CE - 600 CE: In India the Tantric expands the number of deities to include helpful demons, contactable through ritual.
524 CE - 525 CE: Boethius writes The Consolation of Philosophy while imprisoned by Theodoric in Pavia.
617 CE - 686 CE: Life of the Korean Buddhist philosopher Wonhyo.
1500 BCE 1100 BCE 700 BCE 300 BCE 100 CE 500 CE