The History of Jerusalem:

a Jewish history timeline with a parallel world history timeline

The history of Jerusalem and the archaeological record testify to a continuous Jewish presence in the city for the last 3000 years. Jerusalem history, then, is truly a Jewish history timeline. But it begins even earlier.

Follow our timeline to get an overview of Jerusalem history.

To the right is a world history timeline to help you see what was happening around the world contemporaneously.

History of Jerusalem World History Timeline
c. 4000 BCE First evidence of human settlement above the Gihon spring, the present day City of David area.
3000 BCE First known use of wheels in Sumerian sites

2900 BCE Egyptian pyramids built
2000-1800 BCE First mention of the city of Jerusalem in Egyptian texts. Egypt ruled Canaan at the time.
1792 BCE Hammurabi conquers Mesopotamia
1405-1350 BCE Jerusalem is mentioned in the El-Amarna letters. The fortifications of the city at this time are visible today near the Gihon spring. The city-state of Jerusalem controls the territory up to Shechem to the North, Jericho to the East, Hebron to the south and the coastal plain to the west. 1400 BCE Iron Age begins in Middle East
1007-1010 BCE King David conquers the city from the Jebusites, brings the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and makes the city the capital of the united Kingdom of Israel.
967 B.C.E. Solomon becomes king and over the next 40 years, doubles the size of Jerusalem and builds the First Temple.
753 BCE Founding of Rome according to legend
701 BCE The Assyrian army lays siege to Jerusalem, but is killed overnight by an angel (or a mysterious plague).
660 BCE Empire of Japan
586 BCE Jerusalem falls to the Babylonians and the First Temple is destroyed on the 9th of Av - one of the most devastating events in the history of Jerusalem, whose effects can be seen to this day. The 9th of Av is a Jewish day of mourning.
538 BCE Cyrus, King of Babylon, allows the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple.
521-516 BCE The Second Temple is rebuilt.
508 BCE Athenian democracy
509 BCE Founding of the Roman Republic
431-404 BCE Peloponnesian War
221 BCE Great Wall of China built
198 BCE Antiochus III, Seleucid king, conquers Jerusalem.
167 BCE The Maccabbean revolt begins and overthrows Hellenic rule. The Temple is rededicated. Yet another example of how the history of Jerusalem impacted Judaism - this event was the basis for the holiday of Channukah.
146 BCE Romans raze Carthage
55 BCE Roman invasion of Britain
44 BCE Julius Caesar assassinated
Year 0
4-7 CE Jesus born
64 CE Rome Burns
70 CE Romans destroy Jerusalem and raze the Temple and expel the Jewish population, replacing it with the Roman Tenth Legion.
73 CE Fall of Massada
130 CE The Emperor Hadrian rebuilds the city as Aelia Capitolina.
132-135 CE Bar Kochba revolt, Jerusalem razed
325 CE Constantine, who had adopted Christianity as the official Roman religion in 313, and his mother, decide to rebuild the places in Jerusalem that appeared in the New Testament. Jerusalem becomes a major Byzantine center. Constantine forbids Jews from entering the city.
361 CE The Emperor Julian permits the Jews to reside in Jerusalem again.
455 CE Sack of Rome
614 CE The Persian army conquers Jerusalem and destroys all the churches and monasteries.
629 CE Byzantines reconquer Jerusalem.
638 CE Moslem Caliph Omar conquers Jerusalem.
747 CE Major earthquake destroys much of the city.
750 CE The Omayad rulers surrender to the Abassid armies.
800 CE Charlemagne crowned emperor
1099 CE Crusader conquest of Jerusalem. Crusaders butcher Moslems inhabitants, burn the Jews alive and enslave the few survivors.
1187 CE Saladin drives out Crusaders.
1244 CE Mameluks defeat Ayyubid rulers and take over Jerusalem.
1267 CE Nachmanides settles in Jerusalem.
1275 CE Marco Polo stops in Jerusalem on his way to China.
1487 CE Bartholemeu Dias circles the Cape of Good Hope.

1492 CE Jews expelled from Spain;Columbus discovers the Americas
1516 CE Ottoman Turks defeat the Mameluks, enter Jerusalem and rebuild the city walls. Under their rule and corrupt policies, Jerusalem declines and the population shrinks dramatically, although the Jewish community continues to grow.
1517 CE Martin Luther’s Thesis

1776 CE United States of America declare independence from Britain

1815 CE Battle of Waterloo
1831 CE Jerusalem conquered by Mohammed Ali’s Egyptian force. He institutes major political and legal reforms and ensured the safety of the roads.
1840 CE Ottoman Turks reconquer Jerusalem but continue the reforms. The Jewish population doubles within a few years.
1844 CE first telegraph
1860 CE Moses Montefiore, with funds from Judah Touro, establishes the first neighborhood outside the city walls – Mishkenot Shaananim. A radical breakthrough in the history of Jerusalem.
1867 CE Mahane Yisrael, the second neighborhood outside the walls is built, followed by Nahalat Shiva (1869), Beit David (1870), Meah Shearim (1873) and more.
1914 CE World War I
1917 CE British enter Jerusalem, ending 400 years of Turkish rule. Jerusalem becomes the capital of the country again after 700 years. 1917 CE Russian Revolution
1920, 1921, 1929 CE Arab pogroms terrorize the Jewish population.
1925 CE Hebrew University opens on Mt. Scopus.
1933 CE Hitler comes to power

1939-1945 CE World War II
Nazis systematically murder 6 million Jews and untold others.
1948 CE United Nations approve the Partition Plan, dividing the area into two states – one Jewish and one Arab. The Jews accept the vote, but the Arabs reject it and launch a war against the nascent Jewish state. At the end of the war, for the first time in the millennial history of Jerusalem, the city is divided in half. The western part of Jerusalem becomes the capital of the State of Israel, while Jordan takes over the area the U.N. had earmarked as an additional Arab state.

For 19 years, Jordan snipers on the heights of the Old City regularly assault the Jewish residents of the poor neighborhoods near the fence that divide the city. They forbid Jewish access and restrict Christian access to the holy places in the Old City, and destroy much of the area.

1961 CE Berlin wall built
1967 CE The Six-Day War. In one of the most moving events in the history of Jerusalem, Israel regains control of the Old City and Jerusalem is unified once more.

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