Historical Time Periods: The Comprehensive Guide from Ancient to Modern Times

Historical Time Periods
Historical Time Periods Timeline

World history is a wide-ranging and complicated topic. From the rise of humanity to the downfall of civilization, many dates stand out as the beginnings and ends of world history. These historical time periods have shaped our understanding of it all, giving us some insight into what’s happening now. Through reading about these periods, people often lack a critical understanding of when they take place and how long they last. The following timeline highlights some of the most significant dates in world history, from prehistory to our times.

A period can consist of any number of things, but usually, it is a certain region, time in history, or religious idea. They can last either a short time or a long time and may have myths associated with them. In this blog post, we will explore all historical time periods to better understand what they are comprised of and find an example that we can use to mold our own lives.

The study of historians using written records and archaeological evidence to Learn more about the history of humanity with these informative historical time periods.

Historical time periods are divided into five main eras.


Keep reading to learn about the civilizations, languages, empires, technological changes, events, and great figures during every period in history.


This Historical Time Period is marked from time unknown till 600 B.C.

The Prehistoric Era is Era between people’s beginnings and the time before 600 BC. It’s when humans first appeared on Earth and started building civilizations, but there are no records of wars or births during this time.


There are three ages of the Prehistoric Era. They are mentioned below: –

Stone Age
Bronze Age
Iron Age

(Time Period: 2.5 million B.C. to 3000 B.C.)

The Stone Age is a period when the human migration from Africa. It was this time when Tools were first used by Neanderthals and Denisovans.


(Period: 3000 B.C. to 1300 B.C.)

When humans settled in Mesopotamia, the Indus River Valley, and ancient Egypt, they invented new things. For instance, the people who lived in those areas invented metalworking.


(Time Period: 1300 B.C. to 600 B.C.)

The Iron Age introduced planned cities, and the introduction of ironworks, steel, and writing systems. Humans started living together in planned cities with writing systems, marking the start of a new era now known as the Classical Era.

Want to learn more about the Prehistoric Era?
Read More at The Definitive Guide to the Prehistoric Era: The History and Evolution of Humans, Dinosaurs and Other Animals.



The classical Era started in 600 B.C. and lasted till A.D.476.

In 600 B.C., philosophical world history started and many empires rose and fell, such as the Romans.


The Classical era was centered around the Mediterranean empires and contributions to world culture. These empires included:


(Time Period: 600 B.C. to A.D. 600)

Ancient Greece is considered the foundation of democracy, philosophy, mathematics, drama, and poetry.


(Time Period: 753 B.C. to A.D. 476)

Ancient Rome was a great power in political affairs with the establishment of the legal system and city infrastructure.


(Time Period: 550 B.C. to 330 B.C.)

Persian Empire produced Zoroastrianism before Islam and fell to Alexander’s conquest in 330 B.C.


(Time Period: A.D. 285 to A.D. 1453)

Byzantine Empire was created with parts of ancient Greek and Roman cultures which would not fall again until the Renaissance.

Want to learn more about the Classical Era?
Read More at The Definitive Guide to the Prehistoric Era: The History and Evolution of Humans, Dinosaurs and Other Animals.


Middle Ages is considered to have started at A.D.476 and lasted till A.D.1450.

Science, business, and art all had advancements during the Middle Ages when they were prevalent for centuries. Known as the Middle Ages, Medieval, or Post-Classical era, this time period is broken up into an early period called the Dark Ages as a result of the loss of recorded history after the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 A.D.
The Middle Ages constituted a significant time period in English history.


The Middle Ages was a long and difficult period that lasted a little over 1000 years. Historians commonly group it into three parts: the Early Middle Ages, the High Middle Ages, and the Late Middle Ages.


(Time Period: A.D. 476 to A.D. 1000)

Also known as the Dark Ages, began with the fall of Rome in 476 AD and ended with the rise of the Carolingian Empire in 800 AD. During this time, Europe was largely plagued by invasions from barbarian tribes, economic instability, and social unrest.


(Time Period: A.D. 1000 to A.D. 1250)

The High Middle Ages were a period of economic prosperity and cultural advancement across Europe. This period saw the rise of powerful monarchies, such as the Holy Roman Empire and England. The High Middle Ages also witnessed great achievements in art, music, and architecture


(Time Period: A.D. 1250 to A.D. 1450)

This was the period that marked the beginning of European exploration and the invention of the printing press. But this was also a time of upheaval and crisis for Europe. The bubonic plague struck Europe in 1348, killing millions of people. This was followed by widespread famine and economic decline. In 1453, Constantinople fell to Ottoman Turks, marking the end of the Byzantine Empire.

Want to learn more about the Middle Ages?
Read More at The Definitive Guide to the Prehistoric Era: The History and Evolution of Humans, Dinosaurs and Other Animals.


The early Modern Era is the Era between A.D.1450 to A.D.1750.

When one thinks of Leonardo da Vinci, William Shakespeare, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Christopher Columbus, they are thinking of the Early Modern Era. This era experienced a renaissance in the values and philosophies from the Classical era. One of the biggest changes during the early modern era was how people thought about nature.


Movements of major religions, politics, and borders are all responsible for the precipitating advances in human civilization into the modern era.

Some major movements during this time include:


(Time Period: A.D. 1400 to A.D. 1500)

Renaissance humanism was a period during A.D. 1401- A.D. 1500, when people broke away from medieval scholastics. Renaissance humanism became popular during this time, and it incorporated more classical thought into early modern ideas.


(Time Period: A.D. 1517 to A.D. 1648)

Martin Luther started the Protestant Reformation and this religious movement led to the separation of Catholicism and Christianity and led to a definition of Christianity as a religion with central doctrines, not theological departures like before.


(Time Period: A.D. 1450 to A.D. 1600)

Between the 14th and 16th centuries, Europe experienced a “rebirth” in art, literature, and learning. This period is called the Renaissance, which means “rebirth” in French. The Renaissance was also a time of great advances in science and technology. During the Renaissance, artists became more interested in realism, or the accurate depiction of people and things. One of the most famous painters of the Renaissance Period was Leonardo da Vinci. He painted realistic portraits and scenes from everyday life.

Renaissance writers produced some of the greatest works of literature in history. William Shakespeare was a famous playwright from this period. His plays are still performed all over the world today.

The thinkers of the Renaissance developed new ideas in science and mathematics. Nicolaus Copernicus discovered that Earth revolves around the sun—not vice versa! Galileo Galilei made important discoveries about motion and gravity.


(Time Period: A.D. 1650 to A.D. 1800)

R. Harris, Ph.D. explains the western intellectual tradition from 1650 to 1800 as the Enlightenment period, which witnessed a re-examination of politics, economics, and science before giving way to Romanticism in the 19th century.

There were many important and influential periods in history. One was the European Renaissance or “rebirth,” as well as the discovery and colonization of the Americas and the Age of Enlightenment.

Want to learn more about the Early Modern Era?
Read More at The Definitive Guide to the Prehistoric Era: The History and Evolution of Humans, Dinosaurs and Other Animals.


The Modern Era is the Era that started in A.D.1750 and is continuing till the present. We are living in the Modern Era.

The Modern era is a culmination of the Renaissance and Enlightenment movements and the huge technological boom. Politically, this era saw revolutions, wars, and the end of monarchies in many countries.

The modern era is easy to understand because there are a lot of easily found records.
These periods include:


(Time Period: A.D. 1760 to A.D. 1840)

The First Industrial Revolution revolutionized the way humans work, with inventions such as the cotton gin and the Erie Canal. The Industrial Revolution was a period in history characterized by major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and transportation. This period saw the transition from manual labor to machine-based production and the rise of factories and mass production.

The first Industrial Revolution began in Britain in the late 18th century and spread throughout Europe and North America over the next few decades. This period was marked by advances in technology such as the steam engine and the development of new iron manufacturing processes. The increased use of machines led to a dramatic increase in productivity, which in turn allowed for lower prices for goods and services.


(Time Period: A.D. 1764 to A.D. 1848)

It was shortly followed by the Revolutionary Period of revolutions and wars for independence like the American Revolution, French Revolution, Spanish-American Wars for Independence, Italian Revolution, Greek War of Independence, and the Spring of Nations.


(Time Period: A.D. 1800 to A.D. 1914)

This Era is the period of time from A.D. 1800-A.D. 1914, which has been referred to as the Age of Imperialism because it led to colonizing around the world and ended with that particular time period.


(Time Period: A.D. 1837 to A.D. 1901)

The Victorian era saw increased urbanization, the American Civil War, and the end of African slavery.


(Time Period: A.D. 1869 to A.D. 1914 )

The second Industrial Revolution took place from roughly 1869 to 1914 and was characterized by even more advances in technology such as the telephone, plane, electricity, steel production, petroleum refining, and chemical manufacturing, and is often referred to as the Technological Revolution. This period also saw the rise of newly industrialized nations such as Germany and Japan.

The Industrial Revolution had a profound impact on society, transforming it from an agrarian society to an industrial one. This era also witnessed a dramatic increase in population as well as urbanization as people moved to cities to work in factories. The Industrial Revolution changed the way we live and work, and its effects can still be felt today.


(Time Period: A.D. 1914 to A.D. 1918)

The first World War, also known as the Great War, lasted from 1914-1918.


(Time Period: A.D. 1929 to A.D. 1939)

An economic hardship started with the stock market crash in 1929, bringing worldwide consequences. 


(Time Period: A.D. 1939 to A.D. 1945)

World War II was a time of major warfare that began with Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939 and ended when Japan surrendered.


(Time Period: A.D. 1945 to current)

The Contemporary period began with advances in technology providing social, economic, and political life. This period is also referred to as the Information Age. The Information Revolution is the name given to the period of history from roughly 1945 to the present. This period is characterized by a dramatic increase in the amount of information and communication available to people, as well as a corresponding increase in the technologies used to create, store, and distribute this information.

Some of the key events of the Information Revolution include the development of television and radio, which allowed for mass communication; the creation of computers and the Internet, which gave rise to new ways of storing and sharing information; and the advent of social media, which has made it possible for people to connect instantaneously no matter where they are in the world.

This increased access to information and communication has had a profound impact on every aspect of human life, from how we work and play to how we think about ourselves and our place in the world. In many ways, we are still living amid this revolution, and its full effects have yet to be seen.

Want to learn more about the Modern Era?
Read More at The Definitive Guide to the Prehistoric Era: The History and Evolution of Humans, Dinosaurs and Other Animals.[td_smart_list_end]

Conclusion of Historical Time Periods: The Comprehensive Guide from Ancient to Modern Times

Where do the Modern Era end and the next one begin? We can’t know for certain without learning from our past and researching how society works. Here is a list of key terms and concepts from the history of society, and a list of Roman Emperors from throughout time.

There is no doubt that history is fascinating. It’s full of incredible stories and lessons that we can learn from. We hope that this guide has helped you to understand the different periods in history a little better and has given you a new appreciation for all that has come before us. Read more about different Periods in History in our upcoming blog post.