c. 2000? -- Abraham, founder of Judaism, is alive.

c. 13th century -- Moses, Hebrew lawgiver, is alive

c. 1100 - c. 500 -- The Veda , sacred texts of the Hindus, are compiled.

604 -- Traditional birth date of Lao-tzu, founder of Taoism.

588 -- Traditional birth date of Zoroaster's revelation.

c. 563 - c. 483 -- Buddha, founder of Buddhism, is alive.

551 - 479 -- Confucius, founder of Confucianism, is alive.

c. 540 - c. 468 -- Mahavira, founder of the Jains is alive.

c. 200 -- The Bhagavad Gita, important Hindu text, is written.

6 or 4 - c. A.D. 30 -- Jesus of Nazareth, founder of Christianity, is alive.



33? -- The Crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ.

64? -- Peter, disciple of Jesus and, according to tradition, first bishop of Rome, dies.

c. 70 - c. 100 -- First four books of the New Testament - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John - are written.

5th century -- Two Buddhist sects - Zen and Pure Land (or Amidism) - are established.

c. 570 - 632 -- Muhammad the prophet - whose teachings, recorded in the Koran, form the basis of Islam - is alive.

622 -- Muhammad flees persecution in Mecca and settles in Yathrib (later Medina); the first day of the lunar year in which this event, known as the Hegira, takes place marks the start of the Muslim era.

936 -- Traditional date of the arrival from Iran of the first Parsis (followers of Zoroastrianism) in India.

1054 -- Catholic Pope Leo IX condemns the patriarch of Constantinople, finalizing the split between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

c. 1224 - 74 -- Saint Thomas Aquinas, Italian philosopher and Roman Catholic theologian, is alive.

1309 - 77 -- The Roman Catholic papacy is seated in Avignon, France.

1483 - 1546 -- Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant Reformation in Germany and author of "95 Theses" (1517) is alive.

1491 - 1556 -- Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit Order or Roman Catholic priests, is alive.

1509 - 64 -- John Calvin, leader of the Protestant Reformation in France, is alive.

1549 -- The first Christian mission in Japan is established.

1582 -- Jesuit Matteo Ricci is the first missionary to be sent to China.

1620 -- Plymouth Colony in North America is founded in December by 102 English Puritan separatists, known as Pilgrims.

1642 - 91 -- George Fox, English founder of the Protestant Society of Friends (the Quakers) is alive.

1703 - 91 -- John Wesley, English founder of the Protestant movement that later became the Methodist Church, is alive.

1859 -- Charles Darwin, English naturalist, publishes Origin of Species , which elucidates his theory of organic evolution.

1869 - 70 -- The first Roman Catholic Vatican Council, at which the dogma of papal infallibility is promulgated, is convened by Pope Pius IX.

1869 - 1948 -- Mohandas K. Gandhi, Indian spiritual and political leader who helped his country achieve independence from Britain and sought rapprochement between Hindus and Muslims, is alive.

1933 - 45 -- The systematic persecution and attempted extermination of European Jews, known as the Holocaust, by Adolf Hitler's Nazi party takes place.

1948 -- The independent Jewish state of Israel is declared.

1962 - 65 -- The second Roman Catholic Vatican Council, at which changes were made in the liturgy and greater participation in services by lay church members was encouraged, is convened by Pope John XXIII and concluded by Pope Paul VI.