1300 - 1400 Proto-Renaissance
1305 - Giotto completes his work on the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua.
1308 - Dante writes his epic poem the Divine Comedy.
1341 - The first great humanist, Petrarch, is named the poet laureate of Rome.
1400 - 1500 Early Renaissance
1419 - Architect Brunelleschi designs the dome for the Florence Cathedral.
1434 - The Medici family becomes the head of the city-state of Florence.
1450 - Johannes Gutenberg invents the printing press.
1453 - The Ottoman Empire captures the city of Constantinople, signaling an end to the Byzantine Empire.
1469 - Lorenzo de Medici becomes head of the city-state of Florence. He is one of the great patrons of the arts.
1485 - Henry VII becomes king of England beginning the reign of the House of Tudor.
1486 - Boticelli completes the painting The Birth of Venus.
1492 - Explorer Christopher Columbus discovers the Americas.
1495 - 1527 High Renaissance
1495 - Leonardo da Vinci paints the Last Supper.
1498 - Vasco da Gama arrives in India after sailing around the southern tip of Africa from Portugal.
1501 - Michelangelo begins his work on the sculpture David.
1503 - Leonardo da Vinci paints the Mona Lisa.
1508 - Michelangelo begins his painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
1509 - Henry VIII becomes king of England.
1509 - Humanist author Erasmus writes Praise of Folly.
1511- Raphael paints his masterpiece The School of Athens.
1516 - Sir Thomas More publishes his work Utopia on political philosophy.
1517 - Martin Luther posts his 95 theses on the door of the Church of Wittenberg. This signals the start of theReformation.
1519 - Ferdinand Magellan begins his voyage around the world.
1527 - Rome is sacked by the troops of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
1534 - Henry VIII separates the Church of England from the Catholic Church of Rome so that he can divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn.
1558 - Elizabeth I becomes Queen of England.
1588 - The Spanish Armada is defeated by the English navy.
1599 - William Shakespeare builds the Globe theatre. He will write many of his great plays over the next few years including Hamlet and Macbeth.
1610 - Galileo discovers the moons of Jupiter.
1618 - The Thirty Years War begins.