Millennia: 1st millennium · 2nd millennium · 3rd millennium
Centuries: 11th century · 12th century · 13th century · 14th century · 15th century · 16th century · 17th century · 18th century · 19th century · 20th century

Replica of the Santa Maria

The 2nd millennium encompasses the High Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Early Modern Age, the age of Colonialism, industrialization, the rise of nation states, and culminates in the 20th century with the impact of science, widespread education, and universal health care and vaccinations in many nations. The centuries of expanding large-scale warfare with high-tech weaponry (of the World Wars and nuclear bombs) are offset by growing peace movements from the United Nations, the Peace Corps, religious campaigns warning against violence, plus doctors and health workers crossing borders to treat injuries and disease and the return of the Olympics as contest without combat.

Scientists prevail in explaining intellectual freedom, and new technology is developed by governments, industry, and academia across the world, with education shared by many international conferences and journals. The development of movable type, radio, television, and the Internet spread information worldwide, within minutes, in audio, video, and print-image format to educate, entertain, and alert billions of people by the end of the 20th century.

From the 16th century, humans migrated from Europe, Africa Asia to the New World, beginning the ever-accelerating process of globalization. The interwoven international trade led to the formation of multi-national corporations, with home offices in multiple countries. International business ventures reduced the impact of nationalism in popular thought.

The world population doubled over the first seven centuries of the millennium, (from 310 million in AD 1000 to 600 million in AD 1700), and later increased tenfold over its last three centuries, exceeding to 6 billion in AD 2000.


The 2nd millennium was a period of time that commenced on January 1, 1001, and ended on December 31, 2000. This is the second period of one thousand years Anno Domini.

The Julian calendar was used in Europe at the beginning of the millennium, and all countries that once used the Julian calendar had adopted the Gregorian calendar by the end of it. So the end date is always calculated according to the Gregorian calendar, but the beginning date is usually according to the Julian calendar (or occasionally the Proleptic Gregorian calendar).

This millennium is perhaps more popularly (albeit incorrectly) thought of as beginning and ending a year earlier, thus starting at the beginning of 1000 and finishing at the end of 1999. Many public celebrations for the end of the millennium were held on December 31, 1999–January 1, 2000[1]—with few on the actual date a year later. The inaccuracy stems from the assumption that there is a year zero, however this is not the case for this calendar.


The civilizations in this section are organized according to the UN geoscheme.

Civilizations of the 2nd millennium AD
Africa America Asia Europe Oceania


The events in this section are organized according to the UN geoscheme.

Events of the 2nd millennium AD
  Africa America Asia Europe Oceania
11th Century

1054 Almoravid dynasty established[2]
1060 Kingdom of Kanem converts to Islam[2]
1075 Almoravids conquered Ghana [2]


1000 Cahokia (present-day Illinois, USA) becomes regional chiefdom of Mississippian culture

1008 The Tale of Genji completed[3]
1005 Treaty of Shanyuan signed
1044 Gunpowder recipe published[3]

1054 The East-West Schism divides the Christian church
1088 The first university was founded[3]
1095 First Crusade[3]

12th Century

1143 Almohad dynasty take control from the Almoravids[2]
1171 Salah-ad-Din deposes Fatimid ruler of Egypt and establishes the Ayyubid dynasty[2]
1173 Ayyubids capture Qasr Ibrim in Nubia[2]

1100 Toltecs establish capital at Tula[4]
1124 Arnaldur appointed first bishop of Greenland[4]
1175 Destruction of Toltec civilization[4]

1117 The magnetic compass is used at sea[3]
1120 Meng Yuanlao describes four-star dining in Kaifeng[3]
1150 Construction of Angkor Wat[3]

1169 Averoes translates Aristotle[3]

  Africa America Asia Europe Oceania
13th Century

1200 Kingdom of Mwenemutapa established in Zimbabwe[2]
1203 Sumaguru Kante of Sosso conquers kingdom of Ghana [2]
1250 Mamluk soldiers take Egypt from the Ayyubids [2]

1200 Chichén Itzá abandoned[4]
1200 Kingdom of Cuzco founded [4]
1200 Expansion of Chimú state of Chimor [4]

1211 Genghis Khan Builds an Empire[3]

1215 Magna Carta[3] 1260 Dedication of the Cathedral at Chartres[3]

1200 Tahitians colonize Hawaii [4]

14th Century

1324 Musa's pilgrimage to Mecca[3]
1365 Crusade led by king of Cyprus sacks Alexandria[2]
1375 Kingdom of Songhai breaks away from Mali [2]

1315 Founding of Tenochtitlan[3]
1350 Norsemen abandon Greenland[4]
1350 War between Inca and Chimú[4]

1350 Coffee was first brewed[3]
1368 Zhu Yuanzhang ousts the Mongols from power[5]

1348 Black Plague[3]
1350 Emergence of fashion[3]
1382 Wyclif's Bible

1300 Polynesian immigration to New Zealand[6]
1300 Hawaiians develop class structure[7]
1300 Huge stone statues erected on Easter Island[7]

  Africa America Asia Europe Oceania
15th Century

1483 Diogo Cão made contact with the kingdom of Kongo[2]
1496 Spain conquers Melilla, Morocco[2]
1497 Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama reaches Cape of Good Hope[2]

1470 Incas conquer Chimú empire [4]
1428 Aztecs conquer Atzcapotzalco, ally with Texcoco and Tlacopan, become the dominant state in Mexico[4]
1492 Voyages of Christopher Columbus[3]

1407 Work begins on Forbidden City, Beijing[5]
1431 Ayutthaya conquers Angkor [5]
1453 Ottoman conquest of Constantinople[3]

1413 The invention of linear perspective[3]
1455 Gutenberg Bible printed[3]

1400 Tongans build ceremonial centre at Mu'a[7]

16th Century

1509 African slaves arrive in the Americas[3]
1517 Ottomans capture Egypt[8]
1535 Holy Roman Emperor Charles V conquers Tunis[8]

1535 Europeans discover tobacco[3]
1537 Europeans discover potatoes[3]
1545 The discovery of silver in the Andes mountains[3]


1517 The Ninety-Five Theses published[3]
1543 Publication of On the Structure of the Human Body[3]
1596 Invention of the toilet[3]

1550 Maoris of New Zealand build fortified enclosures[9]

  Africa America Asia Europe Oceania
17th Century

1626 France establishes colony of Madagascar[8]
1644 Start of the Char Bouba[8]

1607 Virginia colony founded[10]
1624 Manhattan island purchased from Native Americans[10]
1697 Last Mayan resistance defeated [10]

1610 Tea spreads to the world[3]
1637 Japanese prohibition against European contact[11]

1603 First performance of Hamlet[3]
1610 Galileo publishes his observations of Jupiter[3]
1666 Discovery of gravitation[3]

1600 Tu'i Konokupolu dynasty take power in Tonga[9]
1642 Abel Tasman sights New Zealand

18th Century

1787 Britain establishes colony at Freetown for liberated slaves[8]
1799 Discovery of the Rosetta Stone[3]

1742 Native American revolt against Spanish in Peru[3]
1776 United States Declaration of Independence published[3]

1751 Chinese occupy Tibet[11]

1722 Bach divided the scale into 12 equal semitones[3]
1769 Invention of the steam engine[3]
1796 The first vaccination[3]

  Africa America Asia Europe Oceania
19th Century

1801 USA blockades Tripoli[8]
1869 The Suez Canal opens[3]
1884 Berlin Conference [12]

1821 Bolivar liberates Venezuela[3]
1876 Menlo Park opens[3]
1876 First telephone transmission[3]

1868 End of Japanese seclusion[3]

1830 First steam railway[3]
1859 Origin of Species[3]
1882 Germ theory proven[3]

1840 Treaty of Waitangi signed[13]
1845 New Zealand land wars[14]

20th Century

1956 Suez Crisis[15]
1956 Six-Day War[15]
1996 End of apartheid[15]

1903 First controlled, powered airplane flight [3]
1908 Ford builds the Model T[3]
1928 First television broadcast[3]

1917 The Russian Revolution[3]
1934 Mao's long march[3]
1945 Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki[3]

1901 First transatlantic radio transmission[3]
1928 Discovery of penicillin[3]
1933 Adolf Hitler appointed Chancellor[3]

1915 Australians and New Zealanders serve in the Gallipoli Campaign
1985 Nuclear Free Zone established in New Zealand[16]

Significant people

The people in this section are organized according to the UN geoscheme.

Significant people of the 2nd millennium AD
  Africa America Asia Europe Oceania
11th Century     Shen Kuo
Omar Khayyám
William the Conqueror[17]
Basil II
12th Century   Sapa Inca Minamoto no Yoritomo
Bhaskara II
Genghis Khan[17]
Richard I of England  
13th Century       Marco Polo Roy Mata[7]
14th Century Ibn Khaldun Acamapichtli Yongle Emperor
Johannes Gutenberg[17]
Jan Hus
15th Century Sonni Ali
Zara Yaqob
Moctezuma I Hongxi Emperor
Guru Nanak Dev
Nicolaus Copernicus[17]
Leonardo DaVinci
  Africa America Asia Europe Oceania
16th Century   Squanto Xu Guangqi
Shah Jahan
William Shakespeare[17]
Ferdinand Magellan
Christopher Columbus
17th Century   Powhatan, Pocahontas Matsuo Basho Sir Isaac Newton[17]
Peter the Great[17]
18th Century Shaka Benjamin Franklin
Thomas Jefferson
George Washington
Qianlong Emperor Napoleon I of France[17]
Catherine the Great
Adam Smith
Kamehameha I
19th Century   Thomas Edison[17]
Simon Bolivar[17] Abraham Lincoln
Empress Dowager Cixi
Mangal Pandey
Charles Darwin[17]
Nikola Tesla
Karl Marx
Te Kooti
20th Century Nelson Mandela
Paul Rusesabagina
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
George Gershwin
Mao Zedong[17]
Mahatma Gandhi
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Albert Einstein[17]
Winston Churchill
Igor Stravinsky
Joseph Stalin
Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

See also

Inventions, discoveries, introductions

Inventions, discoveries and introductions
Communication and Technology Math and Science Manufacturing Transportation and
Space exploration
  1. Printing press[18][19]
  2. Telegraph[18]
  3. Photography[18]
  4. Telephone[18]
  5. Animation[18]
  6. Television[18]
  7. Computer[18]
  8. Transistor[18]
  9. Satellite
  10. Internet[18][19]
  1. Calculus[18]
  2. Vaccination[19][20]
  3. Atomic theory[20]
  4. Anesthesia[19][20]
  5. Natural selection[20]
  6. Genetics[19][20]
  7. Special relativity[20]
  8. Penicillin[19][20]
  9. DNA[20]
  10. Quantum mechanics[20]
  1. Canned food[18]
  2. Plastic[20]
  3. Assembly line[18]
  4. Sliced bread[18]
  5. Frozen food[18]
  6. Nuclear reactor[18]
  7. Food processor[18]
  1. Bicycle
  2. Steam engine
  3. Steam turbine
  4. Internal combustion engine
  5. Steam locomotive
  6. Human flight
  7. Moon landing
  8. Space shuttle
  9. Space station
  10. GPS navigation
  1. Longbow
  2. Rockets
  3. Aircraft carrier
  4. Nuclear weapon
  5. Submarine
  6. Tanks
  7. Firearms

Centuries and decades

11th century 1000s 1010s 1020s 1030s 1040s 1050s 1060s 1070s 1080s 1090s
12th century 1100s 1110s 1120s 1130s 1140s 1150s 1160s 1170s 1180s 1190s
13th century 1200s 1210s 1220s 1230s 1240s 1250s 1260s 1270s 1280s 1290s
14th century 1300s 1310s 1320s 1330s 1340s 1350s 1360s 1370s 1380s 1390s
15th century 1400s 1410s 1420s 1430s 1440s 1450s 1460s 1470s 1480s 1490s
16th century 1500s 1510s 1520s 1530s 1540s 1550s 1560s 1570s 1580s 1590s
17th century 1600s 1610s 1620s 1630s 1640s 1650s 1660s 1670s 1680s 1690s
18th century 1700s 1710s 1720s 1730s 1740s 1750s 1760s 1770s 1780s 1790s
19th century 1800s 1810s 1820s 1830s 1840s 1850s 1860s 1870s 1880s 1890s
20th century 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s


  1. "Millennium FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions". When does the Millennium start?. 2008-08-12. Retrieved 2009-01-29. 
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 "Africa AD 600-1500". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-17. 
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 3.30 3.31 3.32 3.33 3.34 3.35 3.36 3.37 3.38 3.39 3.40 3.41 3.42 3.43 3.44 3.45 3.46 3.47 3.48 3.49 3.50 3.51 3.52 3.53 Toast, Scott (2002-02-19). "Top 100 Events of the Millennium". adapted from LIFE Magazine. Scott Toast. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 "Americas AD 1000-1492". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Asia AD 1200-1500". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  6. [|Whitmore, Robbie]. "Timeline of events in New Zealand history". New Zealand in History. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Oceania AD 1000-1520". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 "Africa AD 1500-1850". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Oceania AD 1520-1770". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "Americas 1492-1800". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Asia AD 1500-1800". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  12. "Africa AD 1850-1950". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  13. Michael King (2003). The Penguin History of New Zealand. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-301867-1. 
  14. [[James Belich (historian) |Belich, James]] (1986). The New Zealand Wars and the Victorian Interpretation of Racial Conflict. Oxford University Press. ISBN 186940002X. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 "Africa AD 1950-2000". World Timelines. The British Museum. 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  16. "New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act". Retrieved 25 November 2008. 
  17. 17.00 17.01 17.02 17.03 17.04 17.05 17.06 17.07 17.08 17.09 17.10 17.11 17.12 Hart, Michael H. (2000). The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History. Citadel. pp. 556 pages. ISBN 0806513500. 
  18. 18.00 18.01 18.02 18.03 18.04 18.05 18.06 18.07 18.08 18.09 18.10 18.11 18.12 18.13 18.14 18.15 "Greatest Inventions of All Time". 2002-01-30. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 Keeley, Larry (2007-02-16). "The Greatest Innovations of All Time". BusinessWeek. The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 20.6 20.7 20.8 20.9 "The Big 100: the Science Channels 100 Greatest Discoveries". Discovery Communications, LLC. 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 

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