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1st century facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Millennium: 1st millennium
Centuries: 1st century BC · 1st century · 2nd century
Decades: 0s 10s 20s 30s 40s
50s 60s 70s 80s 90s
Categories: BirthsDeaths
Establishments – Disestablishments

The 1st century was the century that lasted from year 1 to 100.

Roman HanEmpiresAD1
AD 1, map of Eurasia with the Roman Empire (red), Parthian Empire (brown), Chinese Han dynasty (yellow) and other states/areas with smaller states (light yellow)
East-Hem 050ad
East Hemisphere in 50, in the middle of the 1st century
East-Hem 100ad
East Hemisphere in 99, at the end of the 1st century

During this period Europe, North Africa and the Near East fell under increasing domination by the Roman Empire. It continued expanding under the emperor Claudius (43). The reforms introduced by Augustus during his long reign stabilized the empire. Later in the century the Julio-Claudian Dynasty, which had been founded by Augustus came to an end with the death 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, 9th Roman emperor, and founder of the Flavian Dynasty.

China continued to be dominated by the Han Dynasty, despite a 14-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


Important people

Bronze statue of Augustus, Archaeological Museum, Athens.
Caligula bust
Bust of Caligula.

Inventions, discoveries, introductions

  • Codex, the first form of the modern book, appears in the Roman Empire
  • Year 78—the beginning of the Saka Era used by South Asian calendars.
  • Bookbinding
  • Various inventions by Hero of Alexandria, including the steam turbine (aeolipile), water organ, and various other water-powered machines.
  • In 31, the Han Dynasty Chinese engineer and statesman Du Shi (d. 38) from Nanyang invented the first known hydraulic-powered bellows to heat the blast furnace in smelting cast iron. He used a complex mechanical device that was powered by the rushing current against a waterwheel, a practice that would continue in China.
  • Although Philo of Byzantium described the saqiya chain pump in the early 2nd century BC, the square-pallet chain pump was innovated in China during this century, mentioned first by the philosopher Wang Chong around 80 AD. Wang Chong also accurately described the water cycle in meteorology, and argued against the mainstream 'radiating influence' theory for solar eclipses, the latter of which was accepted by many, including Zhang Heng.
  • The Chinese astronomer Liu Xin (d. 23) documented 1080 different stars, amongst other achievements.
  • End of 1st century – codex replaces the scroll.


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" 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. 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

Note: years before or after the 1st century are in italics.

0s BC 10 BC 9 BC 8 BC 7 BC 6 BC 5 BC 4 BC 3 BC 2 BC 1 BC
0s 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10s 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20s 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30s 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39
40s 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49
50s 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59
60s 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69
70s 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79
80s 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89
90s 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99
100s 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109

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1st century Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.