Libya emerges indirectly in history with its peoples invading or immigrating to Egypt. At times, most of the Egyptian military consisted of Libyans.
Phoenician trade posts
The oldest accounts of Libya are connected to Phoenician colonies established in first half of the last millennium BCE.
6th century BCE: Phoenician ports of Libya are conquered by Carthage.
5th century BCE: Rise of the Garamantian Empire in today's Fezzan.
107 BCE: Northwestern Libya is conquered by Rome, and comes under administration of Africa Proconsularis which has its administrative centre around Carthage. The region becomes later a province of its own, under the name of Tripolitania.
74 BCE: Cyrenaica is conquered by Rome. Further Roman advances south is halted by the Garamantians. The region is later named Libya, where today's northeastern Libya is called Libya Superior, while today's northwestern Egypt is called Libya Inferior.
Vandal destruction and Muslim conquest
455 CE: Vandals take possession of Libya.
643: Amr ibn al-As conquers northeastern Libya, known as Barka, and the region becomes part of the new Muslim Empire governed from Madina in today's Saudi Arabia.
647: Tripolitania is conquered by the Arabs.
1146: Tripolitania and Cyrenaica is conquered by the Normans of Sicily.
Ottoman Era and Piracy
1521: Barka is incorporated into the Ottoman Empire, but control remains in the hands of local rulers.
16th century: Tripolitania becomes one of the main centres for piracy along the Barbary Coast.
1551: Tripolitania becomes a vassal state under the Ottoman Empire.
1711: Rise of the Karamanli dynasty, which served to protect the corsair activity centred to Tripoli, something which strongly irritated European powers. Still, trade between Libya and Europe thrives. Much of this trade was with slaves, destined for the American continent.
1801-05: First Barbary War fought between Tripolitania and the USA, ending with the defeat of the pasha in Tripoli.
1835: As the Karamanli dynasty had become increasingly less popular, due to economic inefficiency and abolishing of corsair activity and slave trade, the Ottoman sultan has his nominal representative removed from power in Tripoli.
1842: Fezzan comes under nominal Ottoman control.
1843: Muhammad Ibn Ali as-Sanusi, leader of a increasingly powerful religious movement, chooses Cyrenaica as his seat. The Sanusi movement becomes important all over Libya.
1911: Italian invasion, and a battle over control of Libya starts. The Sanusis become the leaders of Libyan resistance.
1912: The Ottoman Empire renounces its claim over Libya.
1929: Tripolitania and Cyrenaica is united under Italian rule.
1931: End of the Italian colonization of Libya, when the Sanusis give in.
1943: With the fall of the Axis powers in the World War 2, Britain and France divides Libya: Tripolitania and Cyrenaica comes under British control. Fezzan comes under French control.
Independence and King Idris
1949. Cyrenaica becomes an independent emirate, with Emir Sayyid Idris Sanusi as leader.
November 21: United Nations grants independence for a united Libya, to be relized within the span of 2 years.
1950: A national assembly convenes in Tripoli. Emir Idris is designated king of the coming kingdom.
1951 October 7: Promulgation of the new constitution of Libya.
December 24: King Idris declares the independence of the United Kingdom of Libya.
1952 February: Elections are held for parliament.
1953: Libya enters the Arab League.
December 7: Britain obtains rights on having military bases in Libya for a period of 20 years.
1954 September 9: USA obtains equal agreement as Britain did the preceding year on military bases.
1955: Libya joins the United Nations.
1956: Concessions on oil extraction is granted to two American oil companies. More companies would follow later.
1961 September: With the opening of a 167 km long pipe line, oil exportations start from Libya.
Libya increases its share of oil profits from 50% to 70%.
1963: Amendments to the constitution, transforming Libya into one national unity, and allowing for female participation in elections.
1964: Negotiations between Libya and Britain and USA on cessation on military installations in Libya.
1969 September 1: Coup against the royal palace and the king staged by young officers. The Libyan Arab Republic is established, and Mu'ammaru Gadhafi becomes head of a revolutionary council.
September 14: Libya takes effective control over banks, by obtaining 51% of the stocks.
December 11: Temporary constitution replace the old constitution.
December 26: Signing on a confederation between Libya, Egypt and Sudan.
1970 March 31 and June 30: Last American and British troops leave Libya.
July 7: Libya nationalizes the oil industry, together with all Italian assets in the country.
1972 August 2: Declaration of a merger with Egypt to be staged.
1974 January 12: Merger between Tunisia and Libya is declared, but the incentive lasts only a couple of hours.
1975 August: Coup attempt by officers.
1977 March 2: Libya is named jamahiriya, state of the masses.
April 5: Student demonstrations that are brutally suppressed.
July: Border clashes with Egypt.
November: Libya changes its national flag into the present all green.
1978: Initiatives that changes the economy into socialist structures.
1979 February 28: Gadhafi rejects the authority of the hadith in Muslim lore.
1980: Actions performed to root out foreign opposition to the Libyan government.
1982 March 6: USA impose an embargo on Libya.
1983 June: Invasion of northern Chad.
1984 May 8: Assassination attempt on Gadhafi.
1985 September: Libya expels 100,000 immigrant workers which strikes hard on neighbouring countries of Tunisia and Egypt. Borders to the two countries are closed.
1986 April 17: American bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi, partially in an attempt to kill Gadhafi.
1987 March 27: Liberalization of the economy, losening of the socialist structures.
September: Libya loses its occupied territories in northern Chad.
1988 April: Some political liberalization involves freeing of political prisoners. Borders with Tunisia and Egypt are reopened.
1989 January- March: Actions against Islamist group of Jihad, 1,500 arrests.
February 17: Declaration of the Maghreb Union, together with Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.
September: Establishment of a body for world Muslim revolution.
1991: Strengthening of ties with Egypt.
1992 April: Hard sanctions from the United Nations are imposed on Libya, in retaliation of the country's refusal of extraditing two Libyan citizens charged with bombing of an airplane in 1988.
1995 April: Libyan violations on the UN ban on international flights in and out of Libya, with an airplane sending pilgrims to Mecca in Saudi Arabia for hajj.
September 1: Gadhafi calls for pan-Arab expulsion of Palestinian refugees and immigrant workers, in order to halt the ongoing peace process between Israel and Palestine. Libya starts with sending Palestinians out of the country.
September 6 and 7: Clashes between Libyan police and militant Islamists in Benghazi. Thousands of Islamists and Sudanese expatriates are arrested following the clashes.
October 25: Libya stops the expulsion of Palestinian expatriates.
1996 August: US trade laws involves a threat against any company that trade with Libya. The law is met by strong international reactions.
1999 February 13: Libya accepts to extradite the two men accused of being responsible for the airplane bombing in 1988.
April 5: Sanctions against Libya are suspended as the two suspects of the airplane bombing of 1988 are surrendered for trials in front of an international tribunal in the Netherlands.
2000 July: Strong improvements on relations with neighbouring countries, as air traffic is resumed with countries like Morocco and Egypt.
2003 September 12: UN votes to lift the 11 year long sanctions on Libya, following Libya's payment of indemnity to victims and relatives of victoms of terror actions which Libya has been accused of being responsible.
2004 September 20: USA lifts all remaining sanctions on Libya, meaning that normal relations between the two countries have been reestablished.