The idea of axis refers to a line and the concept of chronology refers to the temporal succession of something. The term chronological axis is, in a nutshell, a timeline. It is a term widely used by historians, since to organize historical events in a certain period of time it is convenient to establish a chronology. Chronological Axis
A tool at the service of understanding the past
The chronological axis is usually represented by a line. In it, divisions can be determined. Thus, a. C and d. C is the traditional division to indicate that an event took place before or after the birth of Christ.
The fundamental idea of any chronological axis is to segment the story in an organized and linear way. On occasion, these axes allude to relatively short periods (for example, the 20th century) and sometimes refer to very long periods, such as prehistory or the Middle Ages. These timelines are governed by a general principle: at equal distances and equal amounts of time.
To understand a historical fact, it is essential to locate it at a specific time
Years are grouped into glosses: quinquennium (5 years), decade (10 years), century (100 years) or millennium (1000 years or ten centuries). These numerical references registered in a chronological axis serve to refer to history itself, as the previous period refers to another category , prehistory. Prehistory is understood as the period from the emergence of the human being to the appearance of writing and includes two general periods: the Paleolithic and the Neolithic.
The use of a chronological axis as a way to organize time can be used in several disciplines, such as history, archeology or paleontology. Chronology, on the other hand, is the auxiliary discipline of history that studies the temporal order of historical events.
Each civilization has its own chronology and, for this reason, the Greeks managed the time with reference to the Olympics held every four years and the ancient Egyptian civilization that lasted 3000 years was usually based on the dates of the reigns of the pharaohs.
A simple illustrative example
Let’s imagine a line with which we intend to show the two millennia of history from the birth of Christ to the present day. In this line, a series of annotations would be made: year 0 would represent the beginning of the chronological axis, in the middle of the line the year 1000 and at the end we would indicate the year 2000.
This general representation includes several eras: Ancient History, Middle Ages, Modern Age and Contemporary Age. Each of these epochs could serve to establish a new chronological axis.