The evolution of this document: Zack Stentz and the GRA staff created the original Commonwealth Timeline. A version incorporating events from Earth history was then constructed by Starlock. This is my (Christopher L. Bennett's) modification of Starlock's Timeline, with a more global emphasis to the Earth-history parts and without Starlock's more speculative entries. (Starlock continued to modify his after this, but I don't have access to his version).
Notes on dating: Available documentation provides two data points for reconciling Commonwealth and Gregorian calendars. The Timeline gives CY 6811 as the publication date of the final volume of Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra, an event which happened in 1885 CE (AD). The "Harper's Brain" website which once existed as an offshoot of the official show site gave CY 6869 as the date Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier (1947 CE). This would put Commonwealth years 4926 years ahead in 1885 and 4922 years ahead in 1947 -- a loss of four years in 62. This would make a Commonwealth year 93.55% as long as an Earth solar year, and would put the first year of the series (CY 10087) in the year 4957 CE.
However, Zack Stentz has stated that he used the English publication date of Zarathustra (1891) as his reference, and that a Vedran/CY year is almost exactly equal to an Earth year. This would make the conversion factor a simple CY = CE + 4920. The Yeager date provided by Harper can be ignored, given Harper's demonstrably imperfect grasp of historical fact. The following timeline is based on these assumptions.
A Commonwealth Timeline
c. 12000 BCE (Before Common Era): An Ice Age ends on Earth. The resulting climate upheavals make life harder for humans, pressuring the hunter-gatherers to develop new survival strategies. Wolves are domesticated.
c. 8000 - 4000 BCE: Agriculture is independently invented in various parts of the Earth, initially in the Fertile Crescent, later in Central America and East Asia. It will eventually allow the rise of civilizations built on the economic surplus it creates.
The Imperial Era:
112 BIE (Before Imperial Era) / 5032 BCE: A team of Vedran scientists led by master sage Rochinda discovers the slipstream, ushering in a new age of faster than light space travel. Rochinda foresees the slipstream being used for the peaceful exploration and colonization of other worlds.
0 CY (Coronation Year, later Commonwealth Year) / 4920 BCE: General Huascar nax Yoweri's campaign of conquest across the Six Galaxies culminates in the foundation of the Vedran Empire, with Huascar's mate Yoweri I named Empress. Over the centuries, the Empire grows from 2,000 worlds to nearly a million, including colonies, outposts and drifttowns and Yoweri's personal retainers form the nucleus of the High Guard.
859 CY / 4061 BCE: A High Guard ship falls into the hands of the Kaldera, who use it to reverse-engineer slipstream technology.
870 CY / 4050 BCE: The Kaldera Alliance is formed to resist Vedran encroachment. Over the next decade, the Alliance successfully pushes the Empire out of the Lesser Magellanic Cloud.
895 CY / 4025 BCE: The Kaldera war ends with the High Guard conquest and occupation of Kalderash and dissolution of the Alliance.
c. 3500 - 3000 BCE: Rise of early civilizations in Mesopotamia, Crete, Egypt. The wheel is invented.
1550 CY / 3370 BCE: The Jeath homeworld is absorbed into the Vedran Empire.
3100 - 2500 BCE: Sumerians write religious poetry, first Gilgamesh epics.
2980 - 2950 BCE: Career of Imhotep, Egyptian physician and architect, regarded as the first scientist.
2900 - 1800 BCE: Indus Valley civilization in South Asia.
2500 BCE: Domestication of the horse.
2350 - 2100 BCE: Mesopotamian empire.
2205 - 1766 BCE: Traditional dates for Xia dynasty, earliest Chinese civilization.
2937 CY / 1983 BCE: Vedran Empress Yoweri XXIII dies without producing a female heir, triggering the War of Succession. The war lasts 60 years and devastates more than 1,000 worlds.
1750 BCE: Code of Hammurabi defines earliest known form of legal system.
1600 - 1150 BCE: Mycenean civilization in Greece. Linear B syllabic writing system developed. Conflict with Hittite kingdoms in Anatolia culminates in destruction of Troy c. 1200 BCE.
3336 CY / 1584 BCE: The High Guard conquers Ugroth, the Perseid homeworld. Once absorbed, the industrious Perseids quickly rise to important positions in the Imperial bureaucracy.
1500 - 1000 BCE: Exodus of Israelites out of Egypt. Sun pyramid erected in Mexico; Olmec culture begins.
1500 - 500 BCE: Vedic Age in India.
3812 CY / 1108 BCE: Makrai VII is peacefully absorbed into the Empire.
1027 BCE: Beginning of Zhou feudal period in China.
c. 1000 BCE: The breeding of horses for riding enables the rise of nomadic pastoralist societies, able to thrive in the Central Asian steppes, which are not amenable to agriculture. Many agrarian, horticultural and hunting populations on the fringes of the steppes adopt this lifestyle to expand their territory and influence. This harsh life forges them into a proud, powerful warrior society, not unlike the early Vedrans.
911 - 612 BCE: Earth's first true empire, the Neo-Assyrians.
900 - 801 BCE: Iliad and Odyssey written.
800 - 701 BCE: Etruscans move into Italy, introduce horse-drawn chariots. Celts move into England.
712 - 660 BCE: Nubian dynasty in Egypt.
4150 CY / 770 BCE: To offset overexpansion and declining enlistment, the High Guard for the first time opens its ranks to non-Vedran personnel. Many historians believe this move marked the beginning of the reforms which lead to the establishment of the Commonwealth.
4205 CY / 715 BCE: The Perseid Insurrection against Imperial authority is brutally crushed, but only after bitter fighting and the mutiny of several High Guard squadrons. Widespread public revulsion leads to the establishment of the Conclave, the Empire's first popularly elected consultative body. The reform movement will continue to gain strength over the next several decades.
700 - 601 BCE Destruction of the city of Babylon by the Assyrians. Rebuilding of the city by Nebuchadnezzar II; Babylon becomes the largest city on Earth.
4279 CY / 641 BCE: Under the leadership of Vedran spiritual guide Sucharitkul, the Conclave votes to officially dissolve the Empire and replace it with a fully democratic Systems Republic. The Imperial government resists, and civil war seems imminent. The tense standoff ends when High Guard supreme commander Sani nax Rifati brokers a compromise. The Vedran Empress will remain as titular leader of her former empire, but with political power ceded to an elected government. The Systems Commonwealth is born, and with it a new era of peace and prosperity throughout the six galaxies.
600 - 501 BCE: In Confucius, Laozi, Buddha, Zoroaster, the Jewish prophets and the Greek philosophers, poets, artists, scientists and statesmen, 6th Century BCE civilization reaches its zenith. Mayan civilization underway in Mexico. Rome declared a republic after ouster of last king.
4352 CY / 568 BCE: A variety of higher learning institutions throughout the Commonwealth decide to pool resources by affiliating themselves together. The All Systems University is born, which will grow to become one of the Commonwealth's most visible and indispensable bodies, educating trillions of sentients and collecting the wisdom of known space into one body.
c. 500 BCE: Bantu migrations begin in West Africa.
c. 400 BCE - 300 CE: Nubian civilization of Meroe thrives in the southern Nile valley.
324 - 184 BCE: Mauryan Empire in India. Ashoka reigns from 269 - 232 BCE; initially a ruthless conqueror, he converts to Buddhism and promotes peace and tolerance.
c. 250 BCE - 900 CE: Silk Road trade route from China to Mesopotamia flourishes.
221 BCE: The Qin dynasty unifies all of China for the first time. This tyrannical regime falls 15 years later.
202 BCE - 220 CE: Han Dynasty, regarded as the greatest civilization in Chinese history.
220 - 589 CE: Era of Division in China. The fall of the Han to internal corruption and rebellion spawns a dark age of petty warlordism, strife and nomadic invasion, lasting over three centuries. Buddhism flourishes in this environment, its inclusive, universalist doctrines providing common cause for the various factions, and its monks' charity work helping to ease the hardships of the era.
320 - 550 CE: Gupta Empire, the Classical period of Indian civilization. Decimal mathematics developed in India.
581 - 589 CE: Sui Wendi reunifies China under the Sui Dynasty.
618 - 907 CE: Sui Dynasty replaced by Tang, which brings a new age of prosperity and good government to China.
622 CE: The hijra, the Muslims' flight from Mecca, begins the Islamic calendar.
711 CE: Islamic conquests reach as far as Spain.
c. 800 CE: Woodblock printing in East Asia.
1000 CE: Tale of Genji, the world's first novel, written by Lady Murasaki. Vikings contact North America.
1090 CE: Mariners in Song-dynasty China make first use of magnetic compass.
c. 1200 CE: Mississippian capital of Cahokia reaches its peak size and power. Empire of Mali established in West Africa.
1227 CE: Genghis Khan dies, after conquering the largest land empire in world history. The Mongol Empire stabilizes Central Asia, reopening the vital Silk Road trade route between Asia and Europe.
1405 - 1433 CE: Chinese trading fleets under Zheng He travel as far as Africa and Easter Island. However, Ming-Dynasty China is complacent in its prosperity and power, and feels the rest of the world has nothing it needs, so the trading expeditions are halted.
1492 CE: Spain's Islamic rulers are driven out after centuries of conflict. Meanwhile, a confused Genoese mariner in Spanish employ arrives in the Caribbean, believing it to be the East Indies, and extends the Spaniards' holy war overseas, along with their quest for wealth.
1520 CE: With help from Spanish conquistadores, the Mexican people overthrow their Aztec overlords. The Spanish exploit this rebellion to gain power in the region, and plunder its wealth to fuel Europe's economy, which unlike China's is not self-sufficient and depends on outside resources.
1556 - 1605 CE: Reign of Akbar, the great Mughal emperor of India, a cosmopolitan ruler who seeks to unify the great religions of Earth.
1680s CE: Height of the Iroquois Confederation, the first democracy in the modern world.
1760 - 1870 CE: The Industrial Revolution is accompanied by political revolutions and the spread of democracy.
Growth and Peace:
6805 CY / 1885 CE: Human philosopher Friederich Nietzsche (6770 - 6826 CY/1844 - 1900 CE) publishes the final volume of "Thus Spake Zarathustra," the first of his major works. Unbeknownst to the author, thousands of years in the future, his works will provide the intellectual foundation of the genetically engineered Nietzschean offshoot of humanity, Homo sapiens invictus. (The Wise Unconquerable Man.) (6811 CY / 1891 CE: "Zarathustra" published in English.)
1921 CE: Birth of Gene Roddenberry, one of the great philosophers of the 20th century.
1945 CE: World War II, the bloodiest conflict in human history, culminates with the first use of nuclear weapons.
1947 CE: Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier in the X-1.
6883 CY / 1963 CE: An attempt to terraform Ni Kau Prime results in first contact with the mysterious Pyrians, an advanced species that thrives on intensely hot inner planets throughout the six galaxies. The Pyrians retaliate by "pyraforming" the nearby colony of Rainbow Sands, turning the pleasant planet into a hellish inferno suitable for Pyrian habitation. After several skirmishes, the Empire and Pyrians negotiate a defacto peace, each species recognizing the other's dominion over their existing territories.
1969 CE: The first humans set foot on Earth's moon.
c 2135 CE: First Contact with the Perseids
7085 CY / 2165 CE: Thirty years after first contact with a Perseid mentoring mission, Earth becomes the newest member of the Systems Commonwealth. Humans adapt quickly to Commonwealth life and soon spread throughout the six galaxies.
7756 CY / 2836 CE: The Than-Thre-Kull, the first recorded species since the Vedrans to independently develop slipstream technology, petition the Systems Commonwealth for membership. After a shortened mentoring period, the Than worlds are officially accepted in 7762 CY.
8400 CY / 3480 CE: Renegade human genetic scientist, Dr. Paul Museveni, founds Ayn Rand Station, the first Nietzschean colony. The Nietzschean gospel of gene-based survivalism and self-improvement quickly gains adherents, until by the present era Nietzscheans make up 8% of the Commonwealth's total human population.
8402 CY / 3482 CE: Nietzschean Progenitor Drago Museveni is born at Ayn Rand Station.
8424 CY / 3504 CE: Dr. Paul Museveni dies under unexplained circumstances and his son Drago assumes leadership of Ayn Rand Station, the first true Nietzschean to lead his people.
8503 CY / 3583 CE: The "Twelve Centuries of Peace" era begins.
9112 CY / 4192 CE: After decades of self-inflicted environmental devastation, Krrendar IV, the homeworld of the Nightsider species, is made a Commonwealth protectorate. Despite the best efforts of environmental reclamation specialists and terraforming experts, the damage proves irreversible and the Krrendar system is ceded to the Pyrians. The Nightsiders are evacuated and disperse across known space.
9688 CY / 4768 CE: At peace and with no conceivable threats on the horizon, popular sentiment to disband the High Guard grows and coalesces into an organized political movement.
9760 CY / 4840 CE: Disbandment advocates hold a Commonwealth-wide referendum on the High Guard's future. Disbandment is rejected, 48 percent to 52 percent, but supporters vow to revisit the issue to vote again after the minimum 10 year waiting period.
Conflict and Renewal:
9766 CY / 4846 CE: The mixed human/Perseid/Nietzschean world of Brandenburg Tor is attacked by a previously unknown species. All but a handful of the planet's three billion sentients are killed by the mysterious attackers, whom the terrified survivors dub the Magog. Fifteen years of sporadic Magog incursions and attacks follow, though none as devastating as the first. The disbandment referendum is postponed indefinitely.
9768 CY / 4848 CE: Construction begins on Glorious Heritage class heavy cruiser "Andromeda Ascendant" (serial number XMC-10-284) at Newport News Orbital Shipyard.
9772 CY / 4852 CE: "Andromeda Ascendant" undergoes installation of "Headwaters of Invention" Mark VIII slipstream engines; Shakedown cruise to Tarn-Vedra; Installation of "Shining Path to Truth and Knowledge" AI model number GRA (serial number XMC-10-182) at Tarn-Vedra in Sentience ceremony; "Andromeda Ascendant" is commissioned (12 Kalends 9772).
9781 CY / 4861 CE: Commonwealth diplomats negotiate the Treaty of Antares, officially suspending hostilities with the Magog. The non-aggression treaty is signed over the vigorous protests of Nietzschean representatives, who back a campaign of total extermination against the Magog. Fifteen Nietzschean worlds threaten complete secession from the Commonwealth, but eventually back down after security assurances are given by High Guard command.
9781 CY / 4861 CE: Dylan Hunt, an officer in the High Guard Special Forces, assumes command of the Andromeda Ascendant.
9782 CY / 4862 CE: Andromeda celebrates her 10th year in service.
The Long Night: The Fall of the Commonwealth and
(Note: CY / CE now placed before year)
CY 9784 / CE 4864 After years of planning, a coalition of Nietzschean-led forces launch a sneak attack on the High Guard, their intent to overthrow the Systems Commonwealth and replace it with a Nietzschean-dominated empire. High Guard and Home Guard facilities on over 500 worlds are simultaneously attacked, resulting in the destruction in homeport of nearly half the Argosy fleet. Empress Sucharitkul XII is assassinated when her royal barge is ambushed by a Nietzschean strike force, Earth is bombarded from orbit, and an attempt to seize San-Ska-Re is repulsed by Than-led Home Guard units, with heavy casualties on both sides.
CY 9784 / CE 4864 "Andromeda Ascendant" encounters Nietzschean ambush in Hephaistos system.(The events of "Under the Night.")
CY 9785 / CE 4865The Commonwealth's civil war continues, with the Nietzscheans foiling a High Guard counteroffensive at the Acheron Delta. And in a devastating blow to Commonwealth morale, Tarn-Vedra is abruptly cut off from the Slipstream, by methods unknown. Most of the inhabited worlds in the Andromeda and Milky Way galaxies fall to the Nietzscheans, leaving San-Ska-Re as the Commonwealth's provisional capital.
CY 9786 / CE 4866 The last battle of the Commonwealth Civil War is fought at the Witchhead Nebula when High Guard ships are ambushed by a larger Nietzschean fleet. The two fleets destroy each other almost completely.
Shortly afterward, the Magog cross the Quarantine Zone in strength and numbers never imagined. Swarm fleets roam all of known space, indiscriminately attacking Nietzschean and former Commonwealth worlds alike. With no central political authority remaining and reliable interstellar communications only a memory, individual worlds are left to fend for themselves.
CY 9787 / CE 4867 Weakened by the war to overthrow the Commonwealth, the ruling Nietzschean Drago-Kazov Pride is betrayed and attacked by Pride Jaguar. The Nietzschean alliance is shattered, and instead of replacing the Commonwealth with a Nietzschean empire, chaos reigns instead. Fountainhead is rendered uninhabitable by orbital bombardment, which historical records attribute either to a Pride Jaguar attack or a final act of vengeance from a remaining High Guard starship. The remains of Nietzschean Progentior Drago Museveni are recovered and entrusted to Kodiak Pride, one of Drago-Kazov Pride's allies.
CY 9795 / CE 4875 Hoping to restore interstellar trade and commerce, a group of large corporations found the Free Trade Alliance to defend and advance their interests.
CY 9797 / CE 4877 During one of the many Magog raids on Earth, a human holy man is paralyzed and implanted with Magog eggs. Miraculously, the human remains conscious, and he spends the incubation period speaking to his Magog captor about various human religions and philosophies. Inspired by the words of his victim, the Magog renounces violence and founds the People of the Way, with his newborn progeny as the new religion's first converts. Many humans, Than, Perseids, and others-even a small minority of Magog-flock to this new amalgam of belief systems, and spread its gospel of peace and hope throughout known space.
CY 9856 / CE 4936 With the Commonwealth gone, a collection of Than planets resurrects its previous government, the Than Hegemony, which establishes control over most majority-Than worlds. Other species continue to live among the Than, which control the most stable swath of known space, and most adapt remarkably well to Than social structures.
CY 9888 - 9909 / CE 4968 - 4989 An epidemic of Triangulum measles sweeps across known space, followed by a host of other infectious and contagious diseases, many of which had been easily treatable in the Commonwealth era. Populations on inhabited worlds are reduced by as much as 90 percent, and many of the few remaining social and economic structures are swept away.
CY 9956 / CE 5036 The so-called "Mad Perseid" Hasturi claims to have navigated to Tarn-Vedra and returned safely, but his extravagant claims are dismissed as the addled boasts of a mind distorted by spending too long in the Slipstream. After Hasturi's death, his ship log is lost and presumed destroyed.
CY 10065 / CE 5145 The still-powerful Drago-Kazov Pride betrays its Kodiak Pride allies and seizes the remains of the Progenitor from them. Kodiak Pride is exterminated, and the Progenitor's remains are relocated to Enga's Redoubt, the Drago-Kazov homeworld.
CY 10070 / CE 5150 The Castalian people overthrow their Nietzschean rulers and establish a democratic government, led by former resistance leader Chancellor Lee.
CY 10083 / CE 5163 Across the Milky Way galaxy, a wave of vicious attacks on starships and drift colonies commences by parties unknown. The attacks continue and intensify to the present day.
CY 10087 / CE 5167 A salvage party retrieves the High Guard starship Andromeda Ascendant from the edge of a black hole in the Hephaistos System. The ship's surviving captain Dylan Hunt (frozen in time for over 300 years by the freak interaction of the black hole's gravity well and his ship's AG field) declares his intention to restore the Systems Commonwealth to its former glory.
Edited by Christopher, 05 July 2005 - 08:06 AM.