Roman history

Does anyone know of an Aeon (v3.1.8 on macOS 12.6.1) template, data set or file for Roman history, please… events, emperors, battles, key dates, wars, main figures, movements etc?

I could convert data like this; but it’s a lot of work; could there be something already available?

Thanks in advance!

The best you can do is to create a csv file from the wiki or other resources and import it to Aeon…

Or use the software “Running Reality”.

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Thank you, @Jaran

Running Reality isn’t in any way connected to Aeon Timeline, though, is it?

I wasn’t aware of it and it looks really good: thanks for drawing my attention to it!

Hi Mark
This is surprisingly easy… once you know what to do : )

Copy and paste the contents of each table into google sheets or Excel, use Edit->Paste

This will also copy a load of background data and links into the sheet at the same time, so copy the content you’ve just pasted, and paste it into some new rows but this time use Edit->Paste Special->Values Only.

Sorry, that’s really confusing. I’ll add some screenshots…

Copy from Wikipedia:

Paste in Google Sheets:

Copy what you’ve just pasted and then use Edit->Paste Special->Values Only in the rows below, or somewhere else, and you’ll end up with a text-only version, something like this:

For this example I deleted Wikipedia’s “Date” column but kept the “Year” column. I also added the missing year in row 6 that wikipedia didn’t have.

Next go to File->Download->Comma Separated Value in Google Sheets to download a .csv file that can be imported into Aeon

I created a new file in Aeon using the Historical template. Then used File->Import csv or tsv

In the import interface (below), Column A becomes the Start Date, Column B becomes the Label. Note that I’ve unchecked “My file includes a header row”.

The click Next Confirm Date, then Next and …

It would probably take about 45 mins to get all of that wikipedia page into Aeon, and you could use the CONCAT function in Sheets to get the dates joined to the year column too.


I’m incredibly impressed with how straightforward Aeon’s import is, once the spreadsheet is formatted correctly. Let me know if you need any clarification on any of the above.

PS Had to try it for myself. It took less than 10minutes to get all the info from the Wikipedia tables (up to the 9th century) into Aeon. Let me know if you want me to email the file to you (…somehow). As you say, you’ve now got to create relationships and data types but Aeon’s search and filters should make that quite easy too, I think.

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The you very much for taking all the time and trouble to post such clear and helpful instructions!

In fact I use Numbers; I shall give what you suggest a try and report back.

I’ve actually done it before - and it took a good deal longer than ten minutes - probably because the timespan in question required much more editing.

But I really appreciate your help here and am encouraged to experiment as you kindly suggest. Thanks again!


I’ve begun to knock my spreadsheet document into shape. Three questions, if I may, please:

  1. I think I do want to include Column B (the actual date/day); I’ve played around with exactly which fields/columns in the spreadsheet to map to which of Aeon’s fields… but can’t seem to get it right. Since many of the events are just that and do not extend from a Start to an End date or year, I’m not sure which will work best for either Column A or B of the Wiki data. Any ideas, please?
  2. did you keep the imported text as formatted (RTF) so as to preserve links etc?
  3. does Aeon cope with a span (in this case of 1,000+ years) either side of BC(E)/0/CE/AD… does it detect the dates before and after ‘year 0’ in such a CSV file?

Thanks again!

Hi Mark

As I was figuring out how to convert the data, I ended up with the complete .csv file. Unless you really want to do the dull conversion yourself you may as well use the one I created so you can get on with the exciting part in Aeon. I’ve uploaded it to Google Drive here:

Roman History Timeline

(you don’t need a Google account to download it):

Here are the answers to your questions above. It seems as though Apple won’t let me install any version of Numbers on my 2014 Mac so I can only guess at what functions you have available.

The actual date/day needs to be concatenated with the year in the spreadsheet BEFORE you start the import. The final example in my last email shows how concatenation works in Google Sheets but I really don’t know the formula to use in Numbers.

I imported these as “Start Date” in Aeon. For events with a duration e.g.

Roman–Parthian War of 161–166: The Parthian Empire deposed the Armenian king Sohaemus of Armenia, a Roman client, and installed Bakur.

It’ll be manual process to identify the actual end dates from each event and add them to Aeon’s “End” field.

Aeon will ignore the rtf and convert it to text anyway. I removed the rtf-ness manually [, and unnecessarily, ] by pasting only the values. See the example above where I’ve written:

I think this is "Edit → Paste Formula Results " in Numbers

If you mean, can it handle years with BC in it, yes the import process detects BC in the date surprisingly well.

Hope that all makes sense. I’ll probably remove the link to the file when you’ve told me that you don’t need it, or that you’ve downloaded it. I’d be interested to see how your timeline looks when you’ve added durations, relationships etc.
: ), Steve

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Thanks again very much, Steve!

Got 'em. Much appreciated :slight_smile:

I can see that you’ve also already concatenated original columns A and B. Yes, I could do that in Numbers - or probably would have combined them in BBEdit by substituting a tab for a space etc. But you’ve kindly saved me time. Thanks

I see. Thanks. That’s my next job, then, I think.

Would you say that it’s worth allocating (any of) these settings in the Historical template:

Thanks for your two explanations of RTF and BC(E)/CE/AD…

So when I’ve tinkered a little more with your CSV file (I’ll probably do that in Numbers, my import should look like this, shouldn’t it (A = Start Date and B = Label) - even though I have your file - it’ll be good for me to try it myself and make a note of how you helped me do it:


Hi Mark.

I had a quick play with the file contents earlier and used Person, Location, State (e.g. Byzantine Empire), and Conflict, and added “Belligerent A” and “Belligerent B” relationships to show which States were opposed in the Conflicts - took that idea from Wikipedia.

At this stage I’m feeling my way into some kind of best practice so there’s a good chance you’ll come up with a better way of working.

Yes, that worked out fine to get me started.

Hope it goes well!
: )

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You did? Good for you. I can’t really see how that works or how they are supposed to be used.

I looked for guidance here but couldn’t immediately see anything…

Did you mark such entities as ‘State’ and the ‘Belligerents’ (by adding them) as columns in the spreadsheet somehow? Then they get imported as such?

Or are these flags which you append or set in Aeon itself, after import, please?

Do you have ann interest in the topic - other than kindly helping me, Steve? I’ll gladly share what I find of course :slight_smile: