Timeline: Roman occupation

 1 mya      Prehistory      54 BCE
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 54 BCE      Roman occupation     410 CE
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A well-preserved section of the Roman city wall can be seen from behind the City Wall pub on the High Street.

 

Jesus of Nazareth, a Jewish preacher and religious leader, is crucified in 30 CE. His followers were all Jews either by birth or conversion and are referred to by historians as Jewish Christians (Vermes 1981). The early Gospel message was spread orally, probably in Aramaic, but almost immediately also in Greek. 43 The South-East of the island of Britain is invaded by the Romans. The Battle of the Medway, between the invading Romans and the native inhabitants of the area, is thought to have occurred nearby (Hassal 2005).
The first Christian community was centred in Jerusalem (Acts of the Apostles and Epistle to the Galatians). Christianity spreads relatively quickly throughout the Mediterranean over the next couple of centuries. 190s to 220s During the 190s systematic earthen fortifications were established at Rochester which were replaced in stone during the 220s; the earliest surviving City Wall. The Romans bridged the river for the first time, at the same point as the present bridge (Yates and Gibson 1994).
The first archaeological evidence and credible records showing Christian communities in Britain large enough to maintain churches and bishops dates from this time, but it started from a small base. 200s Compared to the rest of the country there was a marked abundance of Roman villas lining the valley from Rochester down to Maidstone (Philp 1962). The foundations of several Roman buildings have been identified in excavations within the city walls (Brooks 2005).
During the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (AD 306–337) Christianity began to transition to the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. 307 to 337 No evidence has been found of Christian worship at Rochester in the Roman era. A church in nearby Canterbury which the Venerable Bede wrote had been in use in the late Roman period, and which had since fallen into disuse, was renovated by King Æthelberht of Kent as a private chapel for his wife Queen Bertha of Kent around 580 (Bede 731: book I).
Following severe Saxon raids in 408 and 409, Honorius sent a letter in 410 to the cities of Britain urging them to look to their own defences (Zosimus Book VI.10). Later in 410, Rome itself fell. 407 to 410 At Rochester, as elsewhere, a layer of dark earth between Roman and Anglo-Saxon layers of archaeological deposits suggests a period of de-urbanisation.
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     410 CE      Anglo-Saxon era       1066 CE

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 1066 CE     Norman period     1299 CE

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  1300 CE    Late Middle Ages     1499 CE

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1500 CE     Early Modern era     1799 CE

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1800 CE      Late Modern era     2018 CE