- Notes: This article is about the decade that began in the year 40. Sometimes the '40s is used as shorthand for the 1940s, the 1840s, or other such decades in various centuries – see List of decades. In American vernacular, '40s' may also refer to forty ounce bottles of malt liquor.
|Centuries:||1st century BC – 1st century – 2nd century|
|Decades:||10s 20s 30s – 40s – 50s 60s 70s|
|Years:||40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49|
Births – Deaths – Architecture
Establishments – Disestablishments
This is a list of events occurring in the 40s, ordered by year.
- The emperor Caligula is consul without colleague.
- Caligula starts on a campaign to conquer Britain, which fails miserably. He declares himself victorious regardless.
- Noricum and Mauretania are incorporated into the Roman Empire.
- Caligula reforms the principatus into a Hellenistic Autocracy. He distributes honors carelessly, declares himself a god and orders that all the heads of the Greek deity statues be replaced by his. He also appoints his horse, Incitatus, a senator.
- Approximate date of start of construction on the Pont du Gard aqueduct in Gallia Narbonensis.
- Vardanes I becomes king of Parthia, opposed by his brother Gotarzes II.
- The Vietnamese Trưng Sisters rebel against the rule of the Chinese Emperor Guangwu of Han.
Arts and sciences
- Philo teaches that all men are born free.
- Christianity comes to Egypt as a church is founded in Alexandria. Mark the Evangelist founds the Coptic Orthodox Church as the first pope.
- An early Christian church is erected at Corinth (most probable date).
- Consuls are the emperor Caligula and Gnaeus Sentius Saturninus.
- January 24
- January 25 – After a night of negotiation, Claudius is accepted as Emperor by the Senate.
- Claudius makes Agrippa king of Judea.
- Messalina, wife of Claudius, persuades Claudius to have Seneca the Younger banished to Corsica on a charge of adultery with Julia Livilla.
- Claudius restores religious freedom to Jews throughout the empire, but prohibits Jews in Rome from proselytising.
- An attack across the Rhine by the Germans is stopped by the Romans.
- Emperor Guangwu of the Han Dynasty deposes his wife, Guo Shentong, as empress, and creates his consort Yin Lihua empress in her place.
- The disciples of Jesus form communities after the Diaspora, especially in Damascus and Antioch. For the first time they are called Christians.
- The death of Caligula saves the Jewish people from being punished for resisting orders to worship his statue in the Temple of Jerusalem.
- Consuls are Emperor Claudius and Gaius Caecina Largus.
- Romans take control of Ceuta, a port city on the North African side of the Strait of Gibraltar.
- The territories of the current Algeria and Morocco become a Roman province.
- The Dalmatian legate, Furius Camillus Scribonianus, revolts but his troops defect and his rebellion quickly withers.
- Claudius begins construction of Portus, the harbour bears a lighthouse and is sited on the right bank of the Tiber.
- Suro becomes the first king of Geumgwan Gaya in the Korean Peninsula.
- The Chinese General Ma Yuan represses the rebellions of the Trưng Sisters in Tonkin.
- 25 January – Conversion of the Apostle Paul to Christianity. The exact date is not provided in texts, but the Roman Catholic Church has chosen to commemorate this date.
- The Roman conquest of Britain begins. Aulus Plautius lands with four legions (20,000 men) and the same number of auxiliaries at Rutupiae (modern Richborough, on the east coast of Kent) and defeats the Britons, led by Caratacus and Togodumnus, in battles on the rivers Medway and Thames. He halts at the Thames and sends for emperor Claudius, who leads the march on Camulodunum. Eleven British kings, probably including those of the Iceni and Brigantes, submit without a fight. Meanwhile, the future emperor Vespasian begins to subdue the south-west. The Romans begin to construct forts, such as at Peterborough, and a road that later becomes Ermine Street.
- The Romans capture a Brythonic settlement at Kent, and rename it Durovernum Cantiacorum (modern Canterbury). They establish a Roman fort to guard the crossing of the River Stour.
- Roman London (Londinium) was established
- Consuls are the emperor Claudius (his second consulship as emperor, third in total) and Lucius Vitellius.
- Claudius annexes Lycia in Asia Minor, combining it with Pamphylia as a Roman province.
- The Romans now have complete control of the Mediterranean.
- Warfare begins between the northern and southern Huns.
- The warrior Trung Sisters commit suicide after their resistance is defeated at Nam Viet in Vietnam.
- Vietnam is designated a province of China.
- Vardanes I of Parthia forces the city of Seleucia on the Tigris to surrender.
- In Coptic Orthodox Christianity, Mark the Evangelist becomes the first Pope of Alexandria, thus establishing the Christian Church in Africa.
Arts and sciences
- Gaius Sallustius Crispus Passienus and Titus Statilius Taurus become Roman consuls.
- The emperor Claudius returns from his British campaign in triumph, the southeast part of Britannia now held by the Roman Empire, but the war will rage for another decade and a half.
- Boudicca marries Prasutagus, king of the British Celtic tribe the Iceni.
- Mauretania becomes a Roman province.
- The Isle of Rhodes returns to the Roman Empire.
- Judaea is controlled by Roman governors.
- Cuspius Fadus, governor of Judea (44–46), suppress the revolt of Theudas who is decapitated.
Arts and sciences
- Pomponius Mela writes De situ orbis, a geography of the Earth.
- Marcus Vinicius and Titus Flavius Sabinus become Roman consuls.
- Galba becomes the commander of Legio III Augusta.
- Salzburg (Juvavum) is awarded the status of a Roman municipium.
- The emperor Claudius expels the Jews from Rome.
- Emperor Claudius founds Savaria, today the Hungarian city of Szombathely.
- The Senate holds consultations regarding real estate speculation in Rome.
- The wealthy freedman C. Lusius Storax dies.
- Consuls are Decimus Valerius Asiaticus and Marcus Junius Silanus Torquatus.
- The settlement at Celje gets municipal rights and is named municipium Claudia Celeia.
- Dobruja is annexed into Roman Moesia.
- A census shows that there are more than 6,000,000 Roman citizens.
- After the death of its king, Thracia becomes a Roman province.
- Rome and its northeast border are reunited by the Danube Road.
- A drought and an invasion of locusts hit the Mongolian steppes, causing a famine and a revolt at Xiongnu.
- Haruspices with sixty members.
- Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo is made commander of the Roman army in Germania Inferior. He conquers the Chauci and fights against the Cherusci and Frisians.
- Cauci pirates led by the Roman deserter Gannascus ravage the Gallic coast; Corbulo uses the Rhine fleet against them. The Frisian revolt is suppressed.
- Publius Ostorius Scapula becomes governor of Britain, in place of Aulus Plautius. The south-east of the island is now a Roman province, while certain states on the south coast are ruled as a nominally independent client kingdom by Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus, whose seat is probably at Fishbourne near Chichester. Ostorius immediately faces incursions from unconquered areas, which he puts down.
- Corbulo orders the construction of the canal Fossa Corbulonis, between the Rhine and Meuse in the Netherlands, which connects the city Forum Hadriani (Voorburg).
- Romans build the Traiectum fortification near the mouth of the Rhine, which will later grow to be the city of Utrecht.
- Claudius founds the city Forum Claudii Vallensium (modern Martigny) in the Alpes Poeninae (Switzerland).
- Musselburgh is founded in Roman Britain (Scotland).
- Pliny the Elder sees military service in Germany.
- consuls are Aulus Vitellius and Lucius Vipstanus Poplicola.
- The emperor Claudius invests Agrippa II with the office of superintendent of the Temple in Jerusalem.
- After the execution of his wife Messalina, Claudius gets senatorial approval to marry his niece, Agrippina the Younger.
- Vitellius is a Roman Consul.
- Publius Ostorius Scapula, governor of Britain, announces his intention to disarm all Britons south and east of the Trent and Severn. The Iceni, an independent, allied kingdom within that area, revolt but are defeated. Ostorius then moves against the Deceangli in north Wales, but is forced to abandon the campaign to deal with a revolt among the allied Brigantes.
- Gallic nobles are admitted to the Roman Senate. Claudius grants the rights of citizenship to the Aedui.
- The Hsiung-nu empire dissolves.
- The emperor of China, Guang Wudi (Kouang Wou-Ti), restores Chinese domination of Inner Mongolia. The Xiongnu are made confederates and guard the Northern border of the empire.
- Probable date of the Apostolic Council. Paul of Tarsus begins his first mission (approximate date, see 47).
- According to Christian legend, Martha travels to Avignon.
- Emperor Claudius marries his niece Agrippina the Younger (approximate date).
- Seneca the Younger becomes Nero's tutor.
- Melankomas is the boxing champion at the 207th Olympic Games.
- Likely date for the expulsion of the Jews from Rome.
- Nero becomes engaged to Claudia Octavia, daughter of Claudius.
- Agrippina the Younger charges Octavia's first fiancé Lucius Junius Silanus Torquatus with incest. He is brought before the Senate and sentenced to death.
- In Britain, governor Publius Ostorius Scapula founds a colonia for Roman veterans at Camulodunum (Colchester). Verulamium (St Albans) is probably established as a municipium the same year. A legion is stationed on the borders of the Silures of South Wales in preparation for invasion.
- New Testament book Paul's Epistle to the Galatians is probably written.
- Christianity spreads into Europe, especially at Rome and at Philippi (probable date according to chronology derived from the Acts of the Apostles).
- Gaius Caesar Germanicus/Caligula (37–41).
- Claudius, Roman Emperor (41–54).
- Paul of Tarsus, Christian evangelist
- Fabre, Guilhem; Fiches, Jean-Luc; Paillet, Jean-Louis (1991). "Interdisciplinary Research on the Aqueduct of Nimes and the Pont du Gard". Journal of Roman Archaeology 4: 63–88.
- Burley, Anthony Richard (2005). The Roman government of Britain. Oxford University Press. p. 219.
- Barrett, Anthony A. (2002). Caligula: The Corruption of Power. Routledge. p. 170.
- Adkins, Lesley; Adkins, Roy A. (2004). Handbook to life in ancient Rome (2nd ed.). Infobase Publishing. p. 21.
- Moran, Michael G. (2005). Ballif, Michelle, ed. Classical rhetorics and rhetoricians: critical studies and sources. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 343.
- Freedman, David Noel, ed. (2000). Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Amsterdam University Press. p. 262.
- Scullard, H. H. (2010). From the Gracchi to Nero: A History of Rome 133 BC to AD 68. Taylor & Francis. p. 249.
- Xiao Hong Lee, Lily; Stefanowska, A. D., eds. (2007). Biographical dictionary of Chinese women: antiquity through Sui, 1600 B.C.E.–618 C.E. 3. M.E. Sharpe. pp. 146–147.