From Destinypedia, the Destiny wiki
Destinypedia: Timeline is a Destinypedia page which lays out the timeline of the Destiny franchise. This page is simply a reference for general events. For detailed information, please refer to the main Timeline article, and the timeline template provided on the right. Note that nearly all events are not attached to specific dates; they may not be in exact chronological order, and adjacent events in the list may be separated by spans of only a few days or several centuries.
The Ancient Past
Several billion years before the time of Destiny, this period primarily includes the early history of the Hive, who originated on the planet Fundament, and their subsequent conquests and atrocities in the name of the Darkness as described in the Books of Sorrow.
More recent than the previous era and yet centuries or even millennia in humanity's past, this period covers the rise and decline of the Eliksni civilization, as well as the expansion of the Cabal empire.
The Golden Age
The Golden Age of humanity begins in the 21st century with the arrival of the Traveler. Over several centuries, humans colonized the Solar System and achieved massive scientific and technological advances. The Golden Age ends with the Collapse, an event of apocalyptic proportions caused by the Darkness, the ancient nemesis of the Traveler. Humanity survives thanks to the Traveler's sacrifice, but only barely. This era lasts approximately three hundred years according to in-game quotes.
The Dark Age
The period following the Collapse, the Dark Age sees the rise of the Awoken and the return of the Exo. Most importantly, the very first Guardians, then known as The Risen, are returned to life by the Ghosts, machines created by the Traveler with its last breath. Survivors of the Collapse gradually gather beneath the Traveler, seeking sanctuary in its aura of Light. Meanwhile, hostile aliens associated with the Darkness (the Fallen, Hive, Vex, and Cabal) establish footholds in the Solar System and lay claim to the remnants of humanity's Golden Age. This era lasts approximately four hundred years according to in-game quotes.
The City Age
The City Age comprises the modern era of humanity, and is named for the founding of the Last City beneath the Traveler. The Risen emerge from the Faction Wars as the Guardians, the defenders of the City, the Traveler, and the Light. Legendary Guardians triumph and perish in equally legendary battles against the Solar System's alien invaders.
The Present Day
All events in Destiny and its expansions and sequels occur in the present day, an unknown date in the 28th century. A new generation of Guardians rises as fears mount that the Darkness will soon return. These Guardians defeat some of the most dire threats the Last City has ever faced.