The objective of the paper is to provide a taxonomy of temporal systems according to three fundamental considerations: the assumed axiomatic theory, the expressiveness, and the mechanisms for inference which are provided. There is an discussion of the significance of the key features of the taxonomy for computer modelling of temporal events. A review considers the most significant representative systems with respect to these issues, including those due to Bruce, Allen and Hayes, Vilain, McDermott, Dechteret al., Kahn and Gorry, Kowalski and Sergot, Bacchuset al., and Knight and Ma. A tabular comparison of systems is given according to their main structural features. In conclusion, the characteristics of a general axiomatic system capable of representing all the features of these models is discussed.