From the First to the Hyborian Age:
a combined Tolkien/Robert E. Howard timeline

(Author Unknown - )

There are two major texts, at least, that deal with civilizations that existed in what today's anthropologists call prehistory: one is the Red Book of Westmarch, on which Professor Tolkien based his LORD OF THE RINGS. The other is the Nemedian Chronicles, which deals both with the "Pre-Cataclysmic" age and the Hyborian Age, on which Robert E. Howard based his Kull and Conan stories. Looking into real prehistory, about the only place you can fit the over seven thousand years of Tolkien's history and eight thousand years of Howard's history, and have Cro-Magnon man functioning in a non-glacial environment, is in the relatively warm period of 50,000 to 25,000 years ago. Besides, as you'll see below, there is good reason, taking Tolkien at his word, to date the "awakening of the elves" as when the Big Dipper/Great Bear formed. Certainly, it is one of the few events that can be dated to our timelines.

I've divided the chronology into five ages, but you can see some notes below. You'll notice in the chronology I include some markers from "real" prehistory.

Why do the archeologists dig up no artifacts from the Hyborian, Fourth/Thurian/Pre-Cataclysmic, Third, Second, or even First Ages? Well, some of the structures are five to ten times older than the Sphynx or the Pyramids, which are showing signs of wear and tear. Natural erosion and rust would account for some of it. Also, we have reason to believe that cultists of the entities H.P. Lovecraft described may have already raised such caches. Certainly the "Starry Wisdom" cult got the "Shining Trapezedon" which had passed through the hands of the serpent-men of Valusia, among others, according to the account of the late Robert Blake. Doubtless such cultists repeatedly mined and looked for caches of such artifacts long before modern archeology got off the ground. They would have destroyed remaining caches to keep rival cultists from getting hold of "mystical" objects once they were through with it...and over centuries, eventually destroyed traces of these earlier civilizations. (They would have no real way to distinguish objects from, say, Kull's time than from Isildur's time, and destroyed them all.)

Many researchers have contributed to these conclusions...I would like to especially like to thank Dale Rippke, Alberto Monteiro, and Cheryl Lynx, whose research has helped immensely. Many others, too numerous to mention, have contributed in part.

First/Second/Third Ages

Preliminary timeline on the earliest ages in Tolkien, with actual dates to one side. Since Valarian years are 9.582 solar years, I made adjustments for that (see MORGOTH'S RING). Only major events are mentioned. (No, I don't know what the "creation" of the Sun and Moon means in this context. I think the Valar are extra-universal beings sent to help foster the creation of the "children of Illuvatur", Elves and humans. That they didn't shape Earth, but prepared it for the coming of full functioning hominids, like Cro-Magnon man. It's possible that Morgoth got there first and blocked the sun with some sort of screen, at least in the visible spectrum, which may have triggered another glaciation, although the heat and ultra-violet light did go through. The Valar, having no reference to compare it to, didn't recognize his stratagem till the death of the Two Trees, and the Maiar they sent aloft actually destroyed the "screen" between Earth and the visible Sun and Moon.)

The date for the awakening of the Elves is when the Great Bear was first observed in its current form, which Tolkien said when Varda/Elbereth kindled several new constellations, including the Great Bear. Everything else more or less flows from that, but doubtless the dates could be moved by several centuries or even several thousand years either way without much harm.

According to a site I found, the Big Dipper/Great Bear first was observed in its present form around 50,000 B.C.

"The seven are not moving in the same direction, and over time the asterism will dissolve. In fact, it is only the last 50,000 years or so that a discernible "dipper" has formed. As the stars move their separate ways, the shape will more and more become plough-like, with the pointer star (alpha Ursae Majoris) moving in front of the rest, and somewhat south of its present position."

For the Valacirca, the Sickle of the Valar, was the same as the Great Bear/Great Dipper. Varda put it in the sky in my original edition of the Silmarillion, on page 48, and Beren makes a song in praise of it on page 174.

It was said as Varda ended her labors, and put those constellations in the sky, the Elves awoke....

The Fourth/Thurian/Pre-Cataclysmic Age

A lot of the dating on THIS one is dependent on the dating of the age after this. (The Hyborian Age.) It doesn't have a LOT of information in it---we know a lot about the beginning of the Fourth AGe, and a lot towards the end (King Kull and Valusia) and practically nothing inbetween, save for one reference in HOUR OF THE DRAGON/CONAN THE CONQUEROR. Certainly there is room---especially since Howard said the civilized areas were a relatively small amount of the continent---for other things to be happening, in a more traditional Stone Age setting. It may be that, for instance, the Earth's Children series by Jean Auel (CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR, etc.), or William Golding's INHERITORS either happened in the "hinterlands" while King Kull was ruling Valusia, or in the few thousand years of total savagery after the Great Cataclysm in the early Hyborian Age.

Of course, I had to move Kull back in time from the "traditional" time of 20,000 A.D., since, that would put the City of Wonders smack-dab in the worst part of an Ice Age. And Howard DID say the "glacial ages started" (actually, the recurrence of the last phase of the last glacial age) as the Hyborian Age ended. So I have textural reference for dating these so.

Still...when you got used to a scholar like Tolkien, it's rather eye-opening to go from the involved chronologies and appendixes of Tolkien to the more slapdash style of a professional fiction writer like Howard.

The easternmost of the "Seven Empires" that Valusia competed with was called---Grondar. Could Grondar be a later version of the kingdom Tolkien called--Gondor? Linguistic shift over centuries could account for the shift from "Gon" to "Gron", and from "Dor" to "Dar", relatively minor changes? Gondor could have expanded east, completely occupying the lands once known as Mordor...

Do we see any other signs of Tolkien's cultures in the later stories of King Kull? I think we see at least linguistic clues, clues Tolkien would appreciate. Valusia, the country King Kull usurped, seems to be composed of two Quenya words. "Val" means power, as in the Valar. Although there's no "usia", there IS an "os" which means fortress. Save for Kull's home isles and the Pitish isles, it's the westernmost of the lands on the "Thurian" continent, the one facing where the blessed land of the Valar is. How fitting, then, to call it "Valos"---Power Fortress---and to have it corrupted, over centuries, to the name "Valusia".

And almost all the cultures of the pre-Cataclysmic age swore by Valka, a ---fertility?---god, but one which seems all-powerful, although some other gods were mentioned. Again, "Val" means power in Quenya, and "Ca" or "Ka" or "Kal", although more often used as a prefix, not a suffix, meant "bright". If Valka wasn't explicitedly a male god, we might think Valka is another name for Varda, Elbereth, the Star-Queen of the Valar. More likely it's another word for Eru, the One who created the Valar. Even a barbarian like Kull, not raised by the Thurian culture, swore by him, as did his friend Brule of the Pictish Isles.

Trolls in the days of Tolkien's stories were twice the size of men, immensely strong, and has green scales like armour, but extremely dim-witted. In the days of the War of the Ring, Sauron introduced the Olog-Hai, huge trolls with the intelligence of evil men who could resist the sun. When Sauron fell, most of the Olog-Hai wandered away, their bestial intelligence returning. But what if the trolls were bred for size and dull-wittedness from the serpent-men mentioned by Howard? The serpent-men of Valusia, whom Kull fought, were green-skinned and scaled, and are named as part of the Cthulhu mythos by Lovecraft, not just Howard. Valusia is near where the Shire was, once, albeit a little South. I suspect, as I mentioned in an earlier post, that the Valar opened a gateway to another world for the hobbits to live, free of being harrassed by men....the land Dorothy Gale entered. (The Quadlings, Winkies, Munchkins, etc. may be distant descendents of the hobbits. Note they are also "halflings"---the size of a child when full grown.) Perhaps the Ents and the Huorns (the Tin Woodman fought some talking trees who were very like Huorns) and the intelligent eagles also might have migrated into the land that would be later known as Oz, to make way for the growing ranks of men. The diminished, newly-intelligent Trolls/serpent-men might have enslaved the humans of Valusia until they finally rose and revolted, and hence the proud name of "Power Fortress", Valos, later Valusia.

What about Lemuria, Mu and Atlantis? While I don't doubt there were island kingdoms of that time, those names are from a variety of occult and ancient sources. I suspect their true names were something different, and Howard changed them to more familiar names for most readers.

By Kull's time, the empires such as Valusia and Grondar are decadent, effete remnents of a once mighty people.....Grondar is called "less cultured" than her sister empires, with Valusia perhaps originally being a subject kingdom where many of the more cultured migrated to. Or perhaps the influx and absorption of other peoples, caused them to eventually rename their land, after "Grond", the Hammer of the Underworld that Morgoth wielded. I think it more likely, though, that this is the sad remains of Gondor, both linguistically and literally. (It may be that Gondor, like the Roman Empire, split into two halves, and the eastern half became Grondar, and the other split into smaller empires, as happened to the Western Roman Empire.)

I think the "prehuman race" like the resurrected sorcerer in HOUR OF THE DRAGON mentioned by Howard are actually Black Numenoreans. They are learned in sorcery, tall, pale, many characteristics shared by the Mouth of Sauron. (He didn't have glowing eyes, unlike Howard's examples, but his horse did---maybe a side effect of his knowledge of sorcery?) Since they are Numenoreans, they could easily be descended from Elros, who was half-elven. Later ages called them the "Eldar Race", a name usually reserved for the elves, which refers to traces of their elven blood. I also think the pre-Stygian race in Luxor are part of the same race, including the vampiress mentioned below.

The Hyborian Age

Okay, this is the Howard-only one---and let me say, trying to work out a consistent chronology from Howard's "The Hyborian Age" is NOT an easy job. I got about three or four different totals every time I tried. Luckily, we knew from CONAN THE CONQUEROR/HOUR OF THE DRAGON that Acheron fell 3000 years before Conan, and had been around for 2500 years. And we knew the Lemurians had been held captive by the people who moved into Stygia/Acheron for at least two thousand years before THAT. So that gives us 7500 years, at least, between the Great Cataclysm and Conan. So the traditional 8000 years between Kull and Conan looks good...because other researchers, even the reknowned DAle Rippke in "The Mystery of Pre-Human Stygia" at have come up with other totals, like, 6500 years.

I also want to bring up a rather odd peculiarity of ALL these ancient texts and maps. We expect some lousy maps (just look at some medieval maps) but all of them make a glaring omission. All of them leave out the Mediterranean, but the Mediterranean has been around for the last ten million years. Tolkien does it. Howard does it, both in map and text. So what's going on?

I suggest--as a provisional theory---that there is something either holy or extremely feared about the Mediterranean before 25,000 B.C. The avoiding of mentioning something that is OBVIOUSLY there---there must have been times when Conan had to cross the Mediterranean to get where he's going---strikes me as religious, on a par with a Muslim refusing to see the Prophet depicted in a movie or picture, or the early Greek Orthodox Christians choosing not to use relistic images of people, on the "thou shalt make no graven image" idea. Perhaps the Mediterranean was holy to the Mother Goddess, the "fat broad" (as an archeology professor of mine called her) whose image is scattered throughout prehistoric Europe. That even the mention of crossing it, or the depiction of it in maps, was forbidden. (Maybe mentioning the Mother Goddess in text was forbidden also, which is why we have no mention of her in Tolkien OR Howard.....unless Yavanna is meant to be depicted.)

That's just a guess. I don't think Conan was a particularly religious man (except about Crom) but whoever wrote the Nemedian Chronicles might have been---or afraid of being stoned/burned at the stake or whatever they did back then.

Anyway, the Hyborian Age might be called the Fifth Age in Tolkien's worldview.

Here's the actual chronology:

AGES OF THE VALAR /LAMPS) (Every Valarian year is equal to 9.582 solar years, according to Morgoth's Ring. The numbering is in Valerian years, but the B.C. is in solar years, of course.)

    Year 1(93,598 B.C.)

  • The Valar come to Arda

  • War between Melkor and Manwë

    Year 1500(79,225 B.C.)

  • Tulkas the Strong comes to Arda

  • Melkor flees

    Year 1900 (75, 393 B.C.)

  • The Two Lamps Illuin and Ormal are set upon mighty pillars, in the North and South of Middle-earth

    Year 3450 (60,156 B.C.)

  • Melkor attacks: Illuin and Ormal are destroyed

  • The Valar retreat to Aman

    Year 3500 (60,061 B.C.)

  • Making of the Two Trees

  • The Age of the Trees begin


    Year 1 [c. 60,061 B.C.]

  • End of the Age of the Valar

    58,000 B.C. - 53,000 B.C.

  • Conditions around the world become warmer, though still generally colder than today.

    53,000 B.C. - 27,000 B.C.

  • Homo Erectus alive in Southeast Asia.

    1050 [c. 50,000 B.C.]

  • Awakening of the Elves

    1085 (49,186 B.C.)

  • Orome finds the Elves in Kuivienen 1100 (49,042 b.c.)

  • Melkor is chained 1179 (48,764 B.C.)

  • Birth of Feanor, son of Finwe and Miriel

  • The Alphabet of Rumil is designed

    47,000 B.C.

  • Middle Paleolithic Age/Middle Stone Age

  • Africa - Homo Sapiens - Europe - Neanderthals

    1400 (46,747 B.C. )

  • Melkor released from captivity with Mandos. 1450 (46,167 B.C.)

  • The Silmarils, the three most splendid jewels in the Kingdom of Arda, with the light of the two trees blended in them are full- wrought. They are hollowed by Varda and all of Valinor is in awe with the greatest work of any Elf.

    1495 (45, 735 B.C.)

  • Ungoliantë destroys the Two Trees

  • Morgoth kills Finwë and steals the Silmarills

  • Morgoth and Ungoliant flee to Beleriand

  • Battle of Alqualondë

  • The Flight of the Noldor begins 1500 (45,688 B.C.)

  • Fingolfin and the rest of the Noldor come to Beleriand

  • Making of the Sun and the Moon. First Age begins

  • Men awakes in Hildórien


    5 (45,683 B.C.)

  • Maedhros (c. 3150 years old) is rescued from Thangorodrim by Fingon

    102 (45, 586 B.C.)

  • Nargothrond is built. Finrod Felagund (c. 2100 years old) leaves Minas Tirith to his younger brother Orodreth and goes to Nargothrond

    116 (45, 570 B.C.)

  • Gondolin is built. Turgon (c. 2115 years old) is its King

    260 (45, 372 B.C.)

  • First attack by Glaurung

    262 (34,370 B.C.)

  • Beor born.

    343 (45,345 B.C.)

  • Aredhel and Maeglin escape to Gondolin. They are followed by Eol. Eol kills Aredhel. Eol is sentenced to death and executed

    355 (45,333 B.C.)

  • Death of Beor(93)

    432 (45, 256 B.C.

  • Death of Boromir(95)

  • Birth of Beren son of Emeldir(26) and Barahir(32)

    455 (45,233 B.C.)

  • Dagor Bragollach, the Battle of Sudden Flame

  • Dead in the first assault: Bregolas(62), Angrod(c. 2000), Aegnor(c. 2000)

  • Ard-galen is destroyed and becomes Anfauglith

  • Barahir(55) becomes King of Dorthonion after his brother Bregolas

    464 (45,224 B.C.)

  • Húrin of the House of Hador weds Morwen of the House of Bëor.

  • Túrin, their son, is born in Dor-lomin with omens of sorrow.

  • Beren leaves Dorthonion and travels to Doriath. He meets Lúthien Tinúviel in the forest of Neldoreth and they fall in love.

    496 (45,192)

  • Turin meets Nienor in the Forest of Brethil

    499 (45, 189)

  • Turin kills Glaurung, self, sister Nienor slays self.

    511 (45, 177 B.C.)

  • The Fall of Gondolin

    532 (45,156 B.C.)

  • Elros and Elrond, twin sons of Eärendil, are born.

    545-87 (45,143-45,101 B.C.)

  • The Last War of the Elder Days, also called Great Battle and the War of Wrath. Morgoth's Angband is razed. The last two Silmarils are recovered. Eärendil slays Ancalagon the Black, greatest of the winged dragons, and all but two of the dragons are destroyed. The Valar aid in the defeat and destruction of Morgoth, who is thrust beyond the Gates of Night never to return.

    616 [c. 45,072 B.C.]

    Second Age

    The age of the fall of Numenor and the forging of the One Ring.

    1 (45,071 BC.)

  • Foundation of Lindon, ruled by High King Gil-galad, and of Mithlond, ruled by Cirdan Shipwright.

    32 (45,039 B.C.)

  • The Edain, led by Elros, establishes Númenor on the island Elenna that was given to them by the Valar.

    500 (44,571 B.C.)

  • Sauron, deeming the time is right, begins his evil schemes again by attempting to seduce the Elves, knowing they have the greatest skills and talents. 700 (44,371 B.C.)

  • The Noldor, led by Galadriel and Celeborn, settle in Eregion, seeking the friendship with the great dwarven city Khazad-dûm and to trade with mithril, which both races account as the most valuable metal. Eregion means Land of Holly, which is the most beloved tree of the elves..

    750 (44321 B.C.

  • The Noldor begin building Ost-in-Edhil, the chief city of Eregion. Celebrimbor, seeking to excel his grandfather Fëanor, founds The Gwaith-i-Mírdain, People of the Jewel-smiths whose purpose is to ever seek more knowledge and improve their crafts.

    1000 (44,071 B.C.)

  • Sauron, fearing the power of the Númenoreans, begins building the Barad-dûr in Mordor, a secure place with mountain surrounding the borders, thus easy to defend from his chief enemies, the Elves and Númenoreans who come to the shores of Middle-earth.

    1200 (43,871 B.C.)

  • Sauron under the name of Annatar begins teaching the smiths of Eregion, especially in the making of Rings, but has no luck in seducing Gil-galad, who refuses to have any dealings with him. Gil-galad sends warnings to Eregion, but they are not heeded since the elves there welcome the teachings of Sauron.

    1375 (43,696 B.C.)

  • Galadriel leaves Eregion and dwells in Loth-lórien, because the Gwaith-i-Mírdain revolts against her and Celeborn's rule. Celebrimbor becomes Lord of Eregion. Celeborn, not wishing to take the route through Khazad-dûm to Lórien stays in Eregion. .

    1500 (43,571 B.C.)

  • The Gwaith-i-Mirdain begins forging the Rings of Power. Under Sauron's instructions they make the sixteen Rings, which he hopes will put the elves under his dominion.

    1590 (43,481 B.C.)

  • Celebrimbor forges in secret his masterwork, the Three Rings. 1600 (43,471 B.C.)

  • Sauron forges the One Ring and places it on his finger. The elves find out, remove their rings so Sauron can not gain control of them and hide the Rings to prevent Sauron from using them on others. Sauron completes the Barad-dûr.

    1601 (43,470 B.C.)

  • Celebrimbor takes the Three Rings and travels to Lórien to seek the advice of Galadriel. She counsels that the Rings should be dispersed and hidden far from Eregion, where Sauron believes them to be. Celebrimbor gives Nenya to her; he then travels to Lindon and delivers Vilya and Narya to Gil-galad, who later gives Narya to his foster-father Círdan.

    1695 (43,376 B.C.)

  • Sauron marches into Eriador from Calenardhon, seeking the Rings of Power and beginning the war between him and elves. As the vanguard of Sauron's army approaches Eregion, Celeborn leads a sortie out of Ost-in-Edhil and is successful in driving it back. But when Sauron's main host arrives, Celeborn is overrun and retreats, but he is cut off from returning to Eregion. So he retreats north and meets up with an army sent from Lindon by Gil-galad and commanded by Elrond.

    1697 (43,374 B.C.)

  • Eregion is overrun and Ost-in-Edhil falls. Celebrimbor is captured on the very steps to the great house of the Gwaith-i-Mírdain and tortured into telling where the Nine and the Seven is hidden, but refuses to reveal the location of the Three. Sauron nevertheless guesses their whereabouts. He marches north-west and meets Elrond and Celeborn, who leads the survivors from Eregion. They would have been overwhelmed except Sauron is attacked in the rear by a force issuing from Moria (this was a force of Dwarves accompanied by Elves of Lorien led by Amroth). Sauron turns and drives the Dwarves back into Moria, but the Gates are shut and he can not enter. Allowed time to move, Elrond retreats north to Imladris with Celeborn.

    1699 (43,372 B.C.)

  • Sauron advances north-west to assail Lindon, but is forced to leave a strong detachment to besiege Elrond in Imladris. Sauron is thus in control of Eriador, and reaches the River Lhun.

    1700 (43,371 B.C.)

  • Tar-Minastir, King of Númenor, sends a great armada to the aid of Gil-galad which crushes Sauron's forces. The year after, Sauron is driven out of Eriador and the war ends in favor of the Elves, though with grievous losses.

    2250 (42,821 B.C.)

  • The Nazgul appear for the first time.

    3262 (41,809 B.C.)

  • Sauron is taken as prisoner and led to Númenor, where he corrupts them into worshipping him as a god and defying the Ban of the Valar.

    3319 (41,752 B.C.)

  • Númenor sinks, but Elendil and his sons survives and the year after founds the Númenorean realms-in-exile, Arnor and Gondor. They split the Palantírs up, Elendil having three and his sons two each. Elendil puts one palantír in Annuminas, Arnor's capital, one at the watchtower Amon Sûl, and the last at Emyn Beraid, where it looks west across the Sea. The Gondor stones are placed at Osgilliath, Minas Anor, Minas Ithil and Orthanc, an observatory. Sauron, who lost his fair shape in the downfall, returns to Mordor in the guise of a great, black warrior.

    3429 (41,642 B.C.)

  • Sauron, knowing that the realm of Gondor is the greatest threat, lying next to his own land Mordor, attacks and conquers Minas Ithil, where he burns the White Tree. Anarion defends Osgilliath and Minas Anor, whereas Isildur, escaping Minas Ithil with the Palantír and a sapling of the White Tree, travels north up the Anduin to seek aid from his father.

    3430 (41,641 B.C.)

  • The Last Alliance is formed, between Elendil, High King of Arnor and Gondor, and Gil-galad, High King of the Noldor, knowing that Sauron can only be defeated if they join forces.

    3431 (41,640 B.C.)

  • The Last Alliance assembles their armies in Imladris, with Gil-galad and Elendil as the supreme commanders. Cirdan of Mithlond, Amroth of Lorien and Oropher of Mirkwood also join the Alliance.

    3434 (41, 637 B.C.)

  • The armies of the Alliance crosses the Misty Mountains and meets the forces of Sauron at what is to be known as Dagorlad, the Battle Plain. The Alliance triumphs and marches into Mordor, laying siege to Barad-dûr.

    3440 (41,631 B.C.)

  • Anarion is killed by a rock, thrown from the tower which crushes his helmet.

    3441 (41,630 B.C.)

  • Sauron makes a desperate attempt to break the siege and engages personally in battle. Although he manages to kill Gil-galad and Elendil, Isildur slays him and cuts the Ring from his finger. End of the Second Age.

    Third Age

    1 (41,629 B.C.)

  • Isildur, son of Elendil `The Tall', proclaims his lordship over the Dúnedain of the North and the South. He remains in Gondor, restoring order in the kingdom while sending a greater part of the army of Arnor to Eriador

    2 (41,628 B.C.)

  • Isildur plants a seedling of the White Tree in Minas Anor. He sets out to Imaldris in the early part of Ivanneth (September) after delivering the southern kingdom to Melendil. However on the thirtieth day of his journey near the northern borders of Gladden fields, Isildur and his three elder sons, Elendur, Aratan and Ciryon are slain after being attacked by orcs. The One Ring is lost in the Anduin

    3 (41,627 B.C.)

  • Ohtar to whom Isildur had given the shards of Narsil reaches Imaldris after having escaped the orc attack at Gladden fields

    1150 (40,479 B.C.)

  • The Fallohides, one of the three strains of hobbits enter Eriador. The Stoors move to Dunland

    1300 (40,329 B.C.)

  • The year of reappearance of the Ring-Wraiths. The realm of Angmar is founded in the north by the `Witch-King' who is none other than the chief of the Ring-Wraiths. The hobbits migrate westwards and many of them settle at Bree. Orcs begin to increase in the Misty mountains and attack the dwarves

    1601 (40,028 B.C.)

  • Many hobbits migrate from Bree and Argeleb II grants them the land beyond Baranduin. The hobbits are led by the Fallohide brothers Marco and Blanco. Thus the foundation for the Shire is laid and this year becomes the first of the Shire reckoning.

    1856 (39,773 B.C.)

  • King Narmacil II of Gondor is slain in a battle with the Wainriders beyond the Anduin. Gondor loses its eastern territories and the people of the eastern and southern Rhovanion are enslaved. Calimehtar, son of Narmacil II becomes the king of Gondor. It is supposed that the Ringwraiths re-entered Mordor at this time.

    1975 (39,654 B.C.)

  • Arvedui dies after the ship that Cirdan sends for him drowns in the Bay of Forochel. The northern kingdom comes to an end with the death of Arvedui. The palantíri of Annúminas and Amon Sûl are also lost. The fleet of Eärnur reaches the havens of Lindon. The Witch-King is defeated in the Battle of Fornost. He vanishes from the north. Glorfindel, the elf lord prophesies that the Witch-King would not perish at the hands of a man.

    1980 (39,659 B.C.)

  • The dwarves delving deeply in Moria for mithril rouse a Balrog of Morgoth that had lain hidden there. Durin VI is slain by the balrog. The Witch-king comes to Mordor and gathers the Ringwraiths

    2000 (39629 B.C.)

  • The Nazgûl issue from Mordor by the Pass of Cirith Ungol and lay siege to Minas Ithil. .

    2002 (39, 627 B.C.)

  • The fall of Minas Ithil. The Nazgûl capture the palntír of the tower. Minas Ithil becomes a place of fear and is renamed Minas Morgul.

    2043 (39,586 B.C.)

  • Eärnur becomes the king of Gondor after the death of king Eärnil. The king of Minas Morgul taunts him and challenges Eärnur to a single combat. However, Mardil the steward restrains the wrath of Eärnur..

    2050 (39,579 B.C.)

  • The Witch-king's challenge is renewed and Eärnur rides to Minas Morgul and is lost. Mardil begins ruling Gondor in the name of the King as no worthy claimant to the crown of Gondor is found.

    2463 (39,166 B.C.)

  • The formation of the White council. It is in this year that Déagol the Stoor finds The One Ring while fishing in the Anduin. Sméagol murders Déagol.

    2485 (39, 144 B.C.)

  • Birth of Eorl the young, who later becomes the first King of the Mark.

    2770 (38,859 B.C.)

  • Smaug the Golden, greatest of the dragons of his day descends on Erebor. The town of Dale is ruined and deserted. Thrór escapes with Thrain II and Thorin II.

    2890 (38,739 B.C.)

  • Bilbo Baggins is born in the Shire.

    2931 (38,698 B.C.)

  • Aragorn `Elessar', son of Arathorn born on the first of March.

    2939 (38,690 B.C.)

  • The events of THE HOBBIT.

    2968 (38,661 B.C.)

  • Birth of Frodo Baggins.

    2980 (38,649 B.C.)

  • Aragorn and Arwen meet in Lórien and plight their troth upon the hill of Cerin Amroth. Gollum gets acquainted with Shelob. Theoden becomes King of Rohan after the death of Thengel..

    2983 (38,646 B.C.)

  • Birth of Faramir, son of Denethor II. Birth of Samwise Gamgee.

    3001 (38,628 B.C.)

  • Bilbo's one hundred and eleventh birthday and his farewell feast. Gandalf suspects that the ring that Bilbo has could be the One Ring of Sauron. Gandalf seeks for news of Gollum and he seeks the aid of Aragorn.

    3018-3019 (38,611 B.C.)

  • The War of the Ring. The beginning of the Fourth Age.


    1 (38,610 B.C.)

  • First year of the Fourth Age.

    61 (38,549 B.C.)

  • Death of Rose Gamgee, Sam's wife (born Rose Cotton). Samwise Gamgee delivers the red book into the hands of Elanor, and passes into the West.

    120 (38490 B.C.)

  • Death of Aragorn II Elessar (Envinyatar, Telcontar), and Ascendance to the throne of the Reunited Kingdom of his son Eldarion.

    121 (38489 B.C.)

  • Death of Arwen Undomiel, queen of the Reunited Kingdom..

    38,000 B.C.

  • Riss-Urm/Eem/Sangamon Interglacial Age truly sets in.

  • The oldest image of a star pattern, that of the famous constellation of Orion, has been recognised on an ivory tablet as between 32,500 and 38,000 years old. The tiny sliver of mammoth tusk contains a carving of a man-like figure with arms and legs outstretched in the same pose as the stars of Orion. Believed to have been left behind by the mysterious Aurignacian people who moved into Europe from the east supplanting the indigenous Neanderthals.

    35,700 B.C.

  • The vampiress Akivasha : "The name of that ancient, evil, beautiful princess still lived the world over in song and legend, though ten thousand years had rolled their cycles since the daughter of Tuthamon had reveled in purple feasts amid the black halls of ancient Luxor".

    Obviously Luxor---later part of Stygia---was founded before that time---in my view, by Black Numenoreans fleeing Gondor. Note that the only earlier vampire on record was mentioned in the Lay of Lithien.

    33, 700 B.C.

  • King Kull reigns in Valusia.

  • The waning of the civilization of the main, or Thurian continent... a civilization dominated by the kingdoms of Ramelia, Valusia, Verulia, Grondar, Thule and Commoria. These people spoke a similar language, suggesting a common origin. (Westron, in my view. Howard's words, my italics. "Valka", the name of the greatest god of that time, seems to be taken from Quenya root words which mean "power-bright", although they are put together oddly. It may be a later name for Eru. "Grondar", of course, suggests "Gondor", although they seem to be the least of the kingdoms, perhaps asserting a variation of the old name to reclaim old glories.) Though they don't seem to be in agreement. The barbarians of the age were the Picts, who lived on islands far out on the Western Ocean, the Atlanteans, who dwelt on a small continent between the Pictish islands and the Thurian continent, and the Lemurians, who inhabited a chain of large islands in the Eastern Hemisphere. There were vast regions of unexplored land, the civilized kingdoms, though enormous, occupied a relatively small portion of the whole planet.

    (I've put a gap of 500 years here, because evidently the island-nation called Atlantis by Howard, which was barbaric at this time, possibly named in memory of Numenor, or Atlantte, had become more civilized, and had colonies on the mainland when the Great Cataclysm hit.)

    33,200 B.C.

  • Then the Cataclysm rocked the world. (There have been suggestions of a cometary impact---see by Dale Rippke) Atlantis and L&muria sank, and the Pictish Islands were heaved up to form the mountain peaks of a new continent. Sections of the Thurian Continent vanished under the waves, or sinking, formed great inland lakes and seas. Volcanoes broke forth and terrific earthquakes shook down the shining cities of the empires. Whole nations were blotted out.


    33,200 B.C. (Great Cataclysm)

  • Many Lemurians also made their way to the Eastern coast of the Thurian continent, only to be enslaved by the ancient race which already dwelt there. And their history, for thousands of years, became a story of brutal servitude. (Note the "thousands"--at least two.)

    33,000 B.C. - - 28,000 B.C.

  • In Australia a major extinction also occurred.

    The timing of this extinction is much more poorly known; however, it appears to date to between 38,000 B.C. and 18,000 B.C. Europe, Asia, and Africa also experienced some extinction toward the end of the Pleistocene. However, on all of these continents the extinction was less severe (fewer species involved).

  • Upper Paleolithic Age/Late Stone Age/Aurignacian Tool Age Began.

  • The ozone layer was destroyed 35,000 years ago in a disaster which lasted 2,000 years. The cause was probably the closest supernova explosion in known history (150 light-years away) which ripped away the ozone layer and bombarded Earth with waves of cosmic rays. The ozone layer gradually reestablished itself, but not without considerable damage to Earth's biosphere. Studies of traces of beryllium-10 in ice formed about 35,000 years ago in the ice caps of both poles support this conclusion. The surviving relics of the explosion may have formed the Veil Nebula in the constellation of Cygnus.

    The visual effects would have been spectacular. The exploding star would have been brighter than the full Moon for months, casting shadows and turning night into day. It would have been as painful to the eye to look at as our Sun.

    The physical effects on our ancestors would have been equally cataclysmic. The successive shock waves would have lasted for more than 100 human generations. The Earth would have been bombarded both by cosmic rays and by ultraviolet radiation from the Sun as the ozone layer was ripped away. There would have been extinctions amongst marginal species throughout the biosphere. The demise of the Neanderthals would have been accelerated if they were, as now believed, pale-skinned. Darker-skinned races would have been at least risk from unrestrained ultraviolet radiation, but those bursts of cosmic radiation must have caused random mutation in all lifeforms.

    The cosmic ray bombardment would also have effected the Sun's own surface activity, especially it's electromagnetic and gravitic balances, triggering cycles of activity sufficient to affect Earth's climate. The demise of larger variants of common species and the widespread expiration of herd herbivores in Eurasia and the Americas may have been caused by these sharp geographical shocks, even more so than through the conventional explanation of over-hunting by expanding Neolithic human populations.

  • Modern humans Homo sapiens, sapiens in Europe.

    32,700 B.C.

  • Forced to battle continually for their lives, the Atlanteans yet managed to retain vestiges of their former state of advanced barbarism. Then, their struggling culture came into contact with the powerful Pictish nation. The stone-age kingdoms clashed, and in a series of bloody wars, the outnumbered Atlanteans were hurled back into savagery, and the evolution of the Picts was halted. Five hundred years after the cataclysm, the barbaric kingdoms had vanished.

  • Meanwhile, in the far North, another people are slowly are coming into existence. A band of barely human savages had fled thither to escape destruction, they found the icy countries inhabited only by a species of snow-apes, whom they fought and drove beyond the arctic circle, to perish, as the savages thought. The primitive humans then adapted to their hardy new environment and survived.

    32,200 B.C.

  • Another lesser cataclysm further altered the appearance of the original continent and left a great inland sea to separate East and West. The earthquakes, floods and volcanoes completed the ruin of the barbarians, already begun by their fierce tribal wars.

    31,200 B.C.

  • Far to the East, the enslaved Lemurians have risen and destroyed their masters. They are savages, stalking the ruins of a strange civilization. The survivors of that civilization have come westward, overthrowing the pre-humans of the south and founding a new kingdom called Stygia.

  • Acheron founded.

  • In the North, one tribe is growing: the Hyborians or Hyboai. Their god is Bori, some great chief whom legend has raised to the status of a deity. 1,500 years in the snow-country have made them a vigorous and warlike race. And now, they are pushing southward in leisurely treks.

    29,700 B.C.

  • Tribes of twany-haried Hyborians have moved southward and westward, conquering and destroying many of the small unclassified clans. As yet, these conquerors have not come in contact with the older races. To the Southeast, the descendants of the Zhemri are beginning to seek to revive some faint shadow of their ancient culture. To the West, the apish Atlanteans have began the long hard climb back toward true humanity, while to the South of them, the Picts remain savages, apparently defying the laws of nature by neither progressing nor retrogressing. And, far to the South dreams the ancient, mysterious kingdom of Stygia. On its Eastern borders wander clans of nomadic savages already known as the sons of Shem, while next to the Picts, in the broad Valley of Zingg, protected by great mountains, a nameless band of primitives has created an advanced agricultural system and life.

  • Meanwhile, the first of the Hyborian kingdoms has come onto existence, the rude and barbaric kingdom of Hyperborea, which had its beginnings in a crude fortress of boulders heaped to repel tribal attack. There are few more dramatic events in history than the rise of this fierce kingdom, whose people turned abruptly from nomadic life to rear dwellings of naked stone, surrounded by cyclopean walls.

  • Five hundred years after the founding of Acheron, the first of the Hyborian wanderers reached its borders, to recoil from the priests and warriors of the South. For nearly two thousand years, Acheron warred against the invading Hyborians. At last the barbarians swept over Acheron and blotted it out, to be stopped at last by the disciplined armies of Acheron's sister empire, her southern neighbor Stygia.

    29, 200 B.C.

  • All this time, far to the East, the Lemurians are evolving a strange semi-civilization all their own, built on the wreckage of the one they overthrew. The Hyborians, meanwhile, have founded the kingdom of Koth, on the borders of the pastoral lands of Shem. The savages of the lands of Shem, through contact with the Hyborians and the ever ravaging Stygians, are slowly emerging from barbarism. Far to the North, the first kingdom of Hyperborea is overthrown by another tribe which, however, retains the old name. Southeast of Hyperborea, a kingdom of the Zhemri has come into being, under the name of Zamora. To the Southwest, invading Picts have merged the agricultural dwellers of the fertile Valley of Zingg. This mixed race in turn will be conquered by a roving tribe of Hybori, and from this mingled elements will come the kingdom called Zingara.

    28,700 B.C.

    Acheron falls.

    28,000 B.C.

  • The Earth's climate system entered another big freeze-up. At first it's relatively mild, like the "Little Ice Age" of medieval times. It doesn't become more pronounced until 25,000 B.C.

    27,700 B.C.

  • The kingdoms of the world are clearly defined. The kingdoms of the Hyborians - Aquilonia, Nemedia, Brythunia, Hyperborea, Koth, Ophir, Argos, Corinthia and the Border Kingdom - dominate the Western world. Zamora lies to the East, Zingara to the Southwest of these. Far to the South sleeps Stygia, untouched by foreign invasions, though the peoples of Shem have exchanged the Stygian yoke for the less galling one of Koth.

    27,200 B.C.

  • Another five centuries and the Hybori peoples are the possessors of a virile civilization, whose most powerful kingdom is Aquilonia, though others vie with it in strength and splendor. They are the supreme in the Western world. In the North, however, golden-haired, blue-eyed barbarians have driven the remaining Hyborian tribes out of all the snow-countries except Hyperborea. Their land is known as Nordheim, and they are divided into the red-haried Vanir and the yellow-haired Aesir. Now the Lemurians enter history again, as Hyrkanians.

  • 27,000 B.C. - Homo Erectus disappears.

    25,700 B.C.

  • Conan born.

    25,625 B.C.

  • Conan dies.

    25,500 B.C.

  • Neantherthals disappear.

    25175 B.C.

  • Atrus, priest of Mitra, and Gorm, chief of Picts, meet.

    25,125 B.C.

  • Gorm and the Picts destroy the Aquilonian empire. Hyrkanian hordes comes riding from the East.

    25,100 B.C.

    Death of Gorm

    25,000 B.C.

    End of Hyborian Age…"For a short age, Pict and Hyrkanian snarled at each other over the ruins of the world they had conquered. Then began the glacial ages"

    Glacial ages restarted around 25,000 B.C. I'm not sure what a "short age" is---I'm putting it as a century.

    19,000 B.C. - 15,000 B.C.

  • Late Glacial Cold Stage/Upper Pleniglacial Age Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Global ice extent was at its greatest.

    16,000 B.C.

  • Greatest ice extent reached.

    16,000 B.C. - 12,000 B.C.

  • Melt begins slow, in span of several decades a dramatic shift in global weather brought a rapid end to the cold, glacial Pleistocene epoch.